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Quotes: Jay Gruden 9-3-2018

On signing DT Caleb Brantley and waiving DT Anthony Lanier II:

"Well, we thought it was a chance to get our football team a little bit better and we like Anthony. He did a lot of great things for this organization, but at the end of the day, we thought Caleb adds a little bit more to the defensive line room. We had a good chance to take a look at him and we had good grades on him when he came out and we decided to make the move."

On what he liked about Brantley:

"Well, he was disruptive in the passing game. He was a good pass rusher along with decent against the run. You know, so, in Cleveland he had a couple sacks, got some experience, got some pass rush ability, so we brought him in for a look."

On if the team is getting more versatility with Brantley:

"I think so. That’s the thought right now. Jury’s still out. We’ve still got a good chance to look at Caleb, you know, he doesn’t have to play right away. So, he’s got a chance to get in here, learn defensive a little bit and develop because we have some defensive lineman ahead of him right now playing on game day. He’ll get some work in in practice and we’ll get a good look at him for the next couple weeks and go from there."

On if he takes into account specific issues or character evaluations when signing new players:

"A little bit of both. [It’s] more of a character evaluation and from what we understood the charges are dropped, everything’s OK. He’s been there at Cleveland [Browns] the last couple years, so there haven’t been any issues yet. We’ll see. We understand who he is, where he comes from and what he’s done and what he’s going to do. We have to help him get the best out of him both as a player and as a person."

On this week’s schedule:

"Today was [part of] a couple bonus days we’ve had -- us against us -- and tomorrow will be the day off for the players. We’ll start into our severe preparation for Arizona [Cardinals] on Wednesday, Thursday, [and] Friday. Then we leave Friday; have another walkthrough Saturday over there."

On the Arizona Cardinals:

"Arizona, they’re good. You know, they’re a very talented football team. Like I said, they have some great skill players and obviously one of the top running backs in the National Football League and one of the best receivers in the history of the game. Sam Bradford is a very efficient quarterback. In the little bit he played last year at Minnesota [Vikings], I think he was 35-for-38 in his first game and then he had the unfortunate injury. Obviously, they have [Josh] Rosen who can also play quarterback and Mike Glennon. So, they have a good football team, plenty of weapons, physical team and it will be a great challenge without a doubt."

On preparing for teams that have a new head coach:

"Yeah we have four games obviously in the preseason, which everybody’s worried about everybody’s hiding everything and not showing everything, which could be the case. But we also have to go back to when (Cardinals offensive coordinator) Coach [Mike] McCoy was an offensive coordinator last year [with the Denver Broncos] and you have to go back to when Coach [Steve] Wilks was a defensive coordinator last year at Carolina [Panthers], so we have a lot of film to look at. Sometimes you have too much film to look at. You’re not sure how they’re going to make all the pieces fit. You know, he doesn’t have the same personnel he had at Carolina that he has now. He’s got a talented football team, but it’s still a little different. I’m sure he’s made adjustments based on that, so it’s very important for our system to be sound no matter what we see and we have to adjust, possibly game time, at different looks we may have not seen."

On how he communicates game preparation to the players against first year head coaches:

"We’ll try to condense it down and make it easy for them but at the same time, we have to challenge them mentally because that’s the way it’s going to be. You know, we’ll have plenty of tape for them to watch, so there’s never going to be a shortage of tape around here for these guys to watch and study. There’s a thought that you could study too much and maybe see too many things, see too many ghosts, but we want to try and get them as prepared as possible while also being able to play fast and efficient."

On starting the season fast:

"Well we’re trying, you know, we’re trying to get the right people in here, get the people in the right spots, make sure we’re sound with our communication and discipline and our fundamentals. Then obviously you have to protect the football at all times. You know, the easiest way to start slow is have a couple turnovers early and let the Arizona crowd get into it early and it puts you behind the eight- ball. It’s very, very difficult to overcome on the road. I understand being on the road is tough no matter who you play, and Arizona is one of the better home crowds in the NFL. It’s going to be loud and that’s a challenge that presents itself-in-itself, let alone the players that they have. The big thing is ball security, playing fast and obviously tackling extremely well."

On limiting RB Chris Thompson’s workload:

"Yeah we are going through that right now. We have a lot of different packages and we just have to limit the packages and try to figure out the best way to get our best players on the field. He could see anywhere between five snaps and 90 snaps. Right now, it just depends on how we feel and how he feels on game day. He’s such a great weapon for us, not only in the passing game, catching routes, but he’s great in pass protection and he’s also a very good runner as we all know. So, temptation will be there to play him a lot, but we also have Rob [Kelley], Samaje [Perine], Adrian [Peterson] that can also take some of the work off of him."

On his assessment of the young wide receivers:

"We have six guys in here, and we’ll probably dress five, maybe four, and see how it is on game day, but Trey Quinn obviously has shown ability to play every position. He’s very, very smart, he’s detailed in his routes, strong hands, great after the catch, so I don’t worry about Trey [Quinn] one bit. He’s coming in like a veteran, and he’s learning from a pretty good player in Jamison [Crowder], so he’s taken a lot of reps when Jamison [Crowder] was down for a few days, and performed extremely well. Cam [Sims] obviously showed flashes early and [in the] last preseason game but he’s taken a little bit of a back seat because of his injury. But, he’s now recovered and has got all the tools needed to be a good receiver. How much we use him will be dependent on how Maurice Harris is. If Mo is ready to go, we may not have to use Cam quite as often, but I feel great about the receiver room, Jamison [Crowder] being the veteran of that group which is crazy. Josh [Doctson] and Paul [Richardson, Jr.], he’s still feeling his way through, but Paul is a dimension we haven’t had here since DeSean [Jackson]. I think they are all very good players."

On QB Nic Shimonek:

"Yeah, he was in [Los Angeles Chargers], as a backup out there, got a few reps, but not a whole lot. Has some arm talent. We just wanted to get a guy in here, a third guy to take a look at, and see how he does, how he handles himself, how he throws the ball and leads routes versus air and we’ll go from there."

On if WR Cam Sims' special teams play will keep him active for game days:

"It could. He's got to improve in that department without a doubt. Trey Quinn has done an excellent job in that department also, so those two guys have stepped up, and Maurice Harris has proven to be a very reliable guy in that department. So, we understand the fourth-fifth receiver on game day has to produce on special teams, some way, somehow, and all three of those guys will."

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