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Quotes: Jay Gruden 11-23-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries to T Trent Williams:

"He stayed back and had X-rays that came back negative on his ribs. He was getting checked out for his ribs. We just wanted to make sure that we took the precautionary action and get his ribs checked out, but everything came back negative, so he’s just got some sore ribs."

On DL Matt Ioannidis’ status:

"Yeah, they’re doing that right now as we speak. He landed on his calf and it’s bruised right now, a little bit of swelling, so they just want to make sure that they are proactive and make sure that’s just what it is and nothing else."

On if the referees explained the hit on TE Jordan Reed in the fourth quarter:

"No. I asked the referees and they said it wasn’t helmet-to-helmet on the field, but clearly when you watch it, it was, so just a play that they must have missed for some reason. I don’t know."

On getting back to normal with the schedule next week:

"Yeah, I think it will be good from a health standpoint, number one. They get a couple days off here and then coming back Monday, we get a good bonus day where we’re just going to do our stuff – get Colt (McCoy) a lot of reps, get Mark (Sanchez) a few of those reps – but just go back to basic-type plays where Colt is calling the plays and Mark gets in the huddle and calls some plays and just gets some familiarity with the guys. Colt hasn’t really thrown a lot of balls to Josh Doctson or Jordan Reed or all these guys, so it will be good from a familiarity standpoint and comfort level of just some extra time to work with these guys. Quarterbacks need to have that comfort zone of having some time with the guys and we need to try and get them as many reps as possible this coming week."

On if CB Quinton Dunbar shin injury:

"I think as the game went on it must have gotten a little bit worse. I can’t speak for Quinton right now. I know he didn’t finish the game very well and I know he was in some pain there in the very end. This is a unique deal when you’re talking about the nerves. We took some time to try and get him right. He said he felt good. He did some running on his own on Tuesday and Wednesday, felt like he was good to go, and I think that thing just gave him some issues as the game went on."

On when he expects Trent Williams to rejoin the team:

"He’ll be back Monday. I think it’s just a rib. There is not a lot of treatment you can do for a rib injury – the same with Chris Thompson and all these guys. I don’t think it’s as severe as Chris Thompson. The X-rays came back negative so there is no fracture there. So that is a good thing. I think it is just sore. He will come back Monday and we will see where he is at."

On repairing the run defense:

"Well, one, we need to make sure that we tackle better. I think that missed tackles showed up a little bit more this week and it’s just something that we have to do a better job of. We have to wrap up. We have to hold guys up and we have to pursue the ball. I mentioned it many times. We were out of gaps uncharacteristically a couple times. You are talking about the course of a game. You can play good for 55 minutes of the game but for those five minutes the team that makes the plays in those critical situations is the team that usually wins. Dallas made those plays and we didn’t. The Amari Cooper touchdowns, the Zeke (Ezekiel) Elliot runs, we got out of gaps so to speak, missed some tackles and low and behold they made the big plays and we didn’t."

On if RB Chris Thompson has a fracture in his ribs and if he expects him back for the Philadelphia game:

"Yeah, I think he had cracked ribs, fractured ribs. I don’t know what the difference is. I will ask Larry [Head Athletic Trainer Larry Hess]. I just know that the rib issue takes some time, but I think he is going to come back Monday, and we will see where he is at. I think we anticipate him getting some practice time on Monday and Wednesday and Thursday and we’ll see where the pain is. We will try and protect it with a pad and see if he can go."

On the report that QB Alex Smith could miss 8-10 months:

"Right now, I’m going on the six to eight, so we’ll just have to wait and see, make sure that everything goes OK. I don’t know."

On WR Trey Quinn’s performance yesterday:

"Trey had some good plays. He had a punt return and a nice touchdown – first touchdown of his career which is good to see and then there are some things he needed to clean up. He hasn’t got a ton of reps. He’s missed a lot of time with that injury that set him back a little bit. Trey is a great competitor, solid route runner, but there are some things obviously when you talk about a young receiver in the slot with all the different things. We ask that guy to do that we can clean up but I was impressed with Trey and his competitive spirit both in the return game and obviously at receiver and blocking. He is a tough guy. I like him."

On how they can clean up the running game:

"Well, we have to play more physical number one and stay on blocks, tight ends, tackles, guards, centers, everybody. We have to be able to run through some tackles also every now and again. When we have an unblocked player, there is always going to be an unblocked player from time to time, we’re not going to have gaping holes on every single run, so we have to make some dirty runs and be more productive. They were getting off blocks, running to the ball; they did an excellent job defensively. Very good front, good linebackers, fast to low and we’ve just got to do a better job, that’s all. I don’t know if it’s schematic as much as its man-on-man and we’ve just got to make sure we stay on them. With the gap pulling plays and we have some outside zones, some inside zones, we’ve just got to try and strap up, play a better pad level and stay on blocks."

On QB Colt McCoy getting a full week of preparation heading into Philadelphia:

"I think it makes a lot of difference, really. I think when you are talking about, we’ve got Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, we have five really good days of practice where we can get looks. Basically, we have four days of practice where guys are going to run routes against hopefully the defense that we are going to see and we can really talk about it. When you are able to practice and come back and watch the practice and you talk about here is what we are expecting and what we’re putting in for these looks and you go out and rep them. Then you correct them and make tweaks here and there. That’s why practice is so important. When you’re just doing walkthroughs, you don’t really make the mistakes to correct, it’s here’s what we are trying to do here, here’s our strength coach playing a third corner so it’s a little bit different. But, I think when you’re able to get the looks and you’re still not going to get the exact looks you are going to see every time but still going through the repetition. I’ve always believe that repetition is key, king, and if you don’t get the reps, it will set you back a little bit. Colt, in fairness to him, hasn’t had any reps with the ones, going through the process of a game plan of going through the plays, watching the plays of him doing it. He’s been watching Alex [Smith] do everything the entire year. He’s been watching Kirk [Cousins] do it the entire year before that so, this process of being a starting quarterback is something that repetition is necessary and critical in the quarterback’s progress and the reps will help considerably. I’d hope."

On TE Jordan Reed was alright following the hit:

"As was I, but yeah, he came out OK. He’s fine and it’s just frustrating because that’s a point of emphasis so to speak and when it’s that blatant in front of a lot of people right in the middle of the field, you just wonder why that wasn’t called. If we are talking about protection of the players, it’s frustrating, I know Jordan was frustrated, he was going crazy, but unfortunately, we just have to regroup and go on to the next play. When you’re a tight end and you’re defenseless and you get hit in the head – that’s what we are trying to take out of the game – and unfortunately they missed that call."

On if RB Adrian Peterson’s workload been affected by injuries:

"A little bit of both. He banged up his shoulder again early in the game and I think he was playing in a little bit of pain there. When you’re a running back and you’re a powerful running back and you have a banged-up shoulder, it has a little bit of an effect on you and the way you run. I’m not saying he was poor running the ball, but I don’t think he was quite himself and [he] is quite a dominant player over the course of his career and I think he’d probably agree with that. We have to do a better job of trying to get some more holes for him. Obviously not a lot of great looks for him to run through, but hopefully this extra couple of days of rest will do his shoulder good, his body some good, and come back running. We’ve got to do a better job of getting him some runs with some better looks and getting him one cut and down the field and get some more of those four, five, six tough yards that he’s really good at, with the ability to maybe break a couple out of there. We tried some outside zones from the shotgun. We tried some downhill runs under the center, some gap runs, and nothing really hit very well. Hats off to their defense but we just have to a better job of honing in on schemes that we’re good at and comfortable with and give him an opportunity to get his pads squared and make a cut and go, which he’s really good at. Hopefully with this added time, his body will feel better and we’ll be able to do that."

On if injuries are affecting the run defense:

"A little bit, I think Matt [Ioannidis]’s injury hurt a little bit and like I said, Jonathan [Allen] was banged up, he banged his knee, [Daron] Payne has been playing with a shoulder issue here and there and then Zach Brown got hurt very early in the game. He banged up his knee. We missed a couple of runs and hits on a couple of zone reads, they had a couple of cutback runs that were just great runs by Zeke [Elliott], but for the most part you’re right. The tackling has got to improve, both when receivers catch and obviously when the backs get it. You can’t really put a finger on it. I wish I could but it’s a combination of everybody. Could be a corner on one play and a crack replace, could be a safety, could be a defensive lineman getting out of place, could be a linebacker in the wrong gap. I know Coach [Greg] Manusky, [Jim] Tomsula, Torrian Gray, [Kirk] Olivadotti, we’re going to work our tails off to make sure we get people in the right spots and function. But, yesterday and the last week and the week before that, we’ve given up some uncharacteristic long runs which we will get corrected. We have to in order to have a chance to win our division because we know how important the last five games are. It always comes down to who can run the ball and who can stop the run and we’ve done a good job of stopping runs for most of the year but the last couple of weeks have been a concern."

On what he is seeing that makes him feel like this team can still win the division:

"Well, I have a group of guys that are competing on every down and are fighting. I think that I feel optimistic that when we get Chris [Thompson] back – who is a major weapon – I don’t know if people understand how important Chris Thompson is to our offense and Jamison Crowder – hopefully he comes back – those are two key components of our offense. Hopefully Trent [Williams] will be ok obviously and Morgan [Moses] gets a little bit better – he played last night = yesterday on a bad Achilles and he was limping around a little bit and wasn’t quite himself. Get more continuity with [Jonathan] Cooper and [Tony] Bergstrom in there next to Chase [Roullier], that will help offensively. Time hopefully will help our offense and then defensively, getting those guys a little bit more healthy and then we can make sure we communicate and be in the right spots. I think the more we challenge them, the more these guys respond. I know we have some tough minded guys back there, some guys with a lot of pride, some guys that love to play, love to compete, [Daron] Payne, Jonathan Allen, [Ryan] Kerrigan, Preston [Smith], I know Mason [Foster] has been great for us. D.J. [Swearinger Sr.] wants nothing more than to be a great player and then having more time with Ha Ha [Clinton-Dix] will help. I think we have the players in place to be successful, get some guys back to being healthy, but the big thing is getting Colt to be comfortable back there. So, I think I have reason for optimism without a doubt."

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