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Quotes: Jay Gruden, Alex Smith 10-3-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden 

Opening statement:

"Tomorrow we shall give you the updates on the injuries. So, you're going to have to wait until tomorrow."

On WR Josh Doctson not practicing today:

"We will give you an update tomorrow on the injuries, John."

On if Doctson's absence is injury related:

"I don't know. I can't remember. [Laughter] Is that it? [Laughter]"

On if he feels QB Alex Smith is underappreciated compared to other quarterbacks in the league:

"Yeah, probably, you know, statistically, he's probably not where those guys are, but production-wise as far as wins and losses, he's got to be up there close. I know we're happy to have our guy and I know they're happy to have their guy. Drew's a great player. Aaron was a great player last week. You can see the fear that he puts in defenses eyes sometimes when he moves around. The same thing with Drew with almost [71,000 plus] yards I guess so, productive players for a long time. It shows they've got consistency and obviously great people and great players."

On if he has talked with players on reacting to the possibility of New Orleans QB Drew Brees' breaking the career passing yard record against them:

"No, no, just hopefully he doesn’t get it. You never know."

On his thoughts on Brees:

"Well, I think he has unbelievable accuracy – number one. He has great anticipation, great accuracy and fundamental skills in the pocket where he can move around and stand tall. He gets on his tip toes and he sees the field extremely well. He knows where the weaknesses are at every coverage and he can attack you. It's very important for us to disguise our intent and try to get after him as best we can. If he has time to see the field and read what your intent is on defense, he'll find an open guy. He's done it his whole career. I think that's what he's best at. He gets in unique formations, shows your hand and he gets into the right play."

On New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara:

"Yeah, no obviously he's dangerous in all phases. In the running game, I think he's undervalued probably. Everybody thinks about him as a pass catcher but he's very good in the running game. Obviously, when he gets outside or coming out of the backfield, he's very dangerous on screens and option routes. Compare him to Chris Thompson very similarly. Before Chris got hurt last year, their numbers were comparable. They do a great job of utilizing him on all spots on the field, in the slot, outside, in the backfield, in the I [Formation]. He's a guy that is very dangerous."

On identifying players like Kamara and Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson:

"Yeah, I think that type of guy is hard to find really. You know, running backs that can handle the running between the tackles and also get out in space and win on pass routes and also be effective in pass protection. It's not easy. That type of body, that type of skillset, the quickness in and out of your cuts, the hands, the route definitions that you have to have, the protection, the strength you have to have to run between the tackles and outside, they just don’t come along every day. When you do get one, it's fun to play with them because you can utilize them in so many different ways"

On New Orleans Saints QB Taysom Hill:

"He's a little bit of everything. I don’t know what position he is, but he plays everything. So he's a guy you've got to be aware of. Can't treat him really like wildcat quarterback because he can throw it, so you have to play your gaps. You have to be sound and treat him like a Tim Tebow type guy, who can run the football, catch the football and obviously throw it."

On WR Josh Doctson's season:

"I think statistically it's not where he wants to be but I think he's getting better. We are 2-1, that’s the bottom line. We've been pretty productive on offense. Sometimes he'll be asked to do more, make some plays, hopefully it will be this week but I think he'll make plenty of plays for us by the time the season is over."

On using Doctson in the red zone:

"Yeah we tried a couple. We tried to fade it to him against Indy and we overthrew him out of the back of the end zone. Then we had one where they held him I think last week against Green Bay, where he got the P.I. [pass interference], which is good. He got us first and goal at the one and Adrian [Peterson] took it in. I think the more attempts we get, the more opportunities he will see."

On signing RB Mack Brown:

"Mack is a good guy to have on our practice squad because he knows the system pretty much and we know what he can do with the football. We have Samaje [Perine] obviously, also, Kapri [Bibbs], but having Mack Brown out there with Adrian's [Peterson] ankle the way that it is, is a good get for us. Just for a little insurance for us down the line if we need it. Hopefully we don’t have to use him, but if we do, Mack will be ready."

On the New Orleans Saints defense:

'Yeah, they didn’t play very well against Tampa Bay. [Tampa Bay] had their way, [Ryan] Fitzpatrick had a heck of a game against them, threw some very nice passes against them, had some big plays with DeSean [Jackson] and Mike Evans and their tight end O.J. [Howard]. They gave up some plays in that game but they settled down a little bit. They have some young players back there. They lost Patrick Robinson, their nickel, so they had to move some people around. Their front seven is very good. They can rush the passer. [Cameron] Jordan is an excellent player and the rookie [Marcus Davenport] they have is a strong player finding his way. I think they are very dangerous. They are strong up front and their coverage I think is getting better and better."

QB Alex Smith

On RB Chris Thompson being more than a check down running back:

"I mean it's hard to sum up. I've been really impressed. I think for a back of his stature, how hard he runs, how well he runs between the tackles, how tough he runs. There have been several plays this year already; you've seen his physicality show up in protection as well for a smaller back. I think it's easy to label those guys as kind of scat backs, specialist-type backs, but I don’t think Chris is limited in that way. I think he's a guy that can do everything and has a ton of tools. Certainly the toughness and physicality that he brings is part what – it will make that happen."

On New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees closing in on the NFL record for career passing yards:

"God, you know, what is it 71,000 yards or something? For as long as he's been doing it, playing at a crazy high level, you could throw a lot… I mean that whole era, obviously Peyton [Manning], Drew [Brees], Tom [Brady], those guys as far as the productivity late in their career, I mean those three guys kind of rewrote – Brett [Farve] obviously a part of that too, you could throw him in. Those guys rewrote, I think, productivity for an aging quarterback in what they were able to do. I think it wasn’t by luck. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of training, a lot of taking care of their body that saw them able to be productive into their forties. I'm not sure Drew is forty yet, but anyway late into their career. Yeah so, the all-time yard leader, that's obviously decent record to have as a quarterback."

On if he has trained with Brees: 

"I worked out with him yeah. I mean I'm from San Diego, so when I do get back there, I occasionally work out. I'll go up to where he works out with the guy there."

On what makes Brees a good player:

"I think every time I've been around him, I think the thing that jumps out is the attention-to-detail. I think clearly obviously everybody's gifted and things like that. I just think the continued work ethic. I think the continued attention-to-detail for a guy that already had a ton of success. I think it's easy to kind of, get relaxed, know you can roll it out there and be successful. I think the attention-to-detail that he continually has day in and day out, even this late into his career, certainly stands out in my mind."

On what he did during the bye week:

"Yeah, it was, you know, with the early bye week, it was tough to do a ton of self-analysis. We're three weeks in, three games. You do look at that, you do rest up, take advantage of some of the time off with your family and kids, get back to being a dad a little bit and husband. Then try to stay in shape, such a big road ahead of us, came in and worked out a lot. Just trying to get ready, get back ready to roll for the long haul here."

On sustaining the same momentum from the Green Bay Packers game:

"I mean, yeah I think it'll be a similar answer right. I mean we don’t… I don’t go up against their offense. Our job as a team is obviously to try to win the game and score more points, but you do that as stay short sided. You do that one play at a time, trying to go out and execute each and every single play, whether that's controlling the ball or hitting big plays when they come. I think that all, that's encompassed in that — the attention-to-detail, one play at a time, executing that play. I think when you do that more often than not over the course of the game, good things happen and you put yourself in good situations."

On the next steps in the progression of the offense:

"I think it’s the ability to find out. I mean quickly, we're able to do so much, so many different personnel groups, so many guys that I think can have that play-making ability for us. I think deciphering quickly what it's going to be that week. You don't know [personnel]. You don't know how they're going to play us, you know, certain personnel. How are they going to, who are they going to matchup and things like that. I think the ability to decipher that quick and to counter it, I guess you'd say. I think looking at it that the productivity when we've been good, we've been good situationally. We've been good on third down. We've been good in red zone, short yardage situations, goal line – those things. Situational football, I think, wins football games more often than not in the league and continues to be good in those areas and then putting together four quarters, consistent football. In our two wins we've played lights out for a couple halves and then had some disappointing halves. I think the consistency of putting together four quarters. "

On improving on second half issues:

"Yeah, no question, I mean I don’t think you can ever expect to go out there and not score any touchdowns in the second half and win ball games, against anybody, certainly against good offenses and good quarterbacks like Drew [Brees]. Need to be better moving forward, need to learn from it, and grow from it absolutely."

On what he has learned about last year's game against the New Orleans Saints:

"I think it's kind of what we just talked about. I mean a game that we were up and I don’t know. Certainly everybody was kind of disappointed in the way it turned out to be up by what, 16, with however much time left and not come out of there with the win, but I think that’s what we've been talking out. You've got to play four quarters of football against good football teams. Can't lax – can't let up – can't take a play off. You never know which play will be the defining play and certainly sometimes it comes down to four minutes and you've got a chance to win a ball game by staying aggressive and executing."

On how useful the game film from last season is when analyzing the New Orleans Saints defense:

"I mean, you look at it, there are a lot of changes, that’s not the only change. They've got a lot of changes as well. You look at it, I think it is a piece of the puzzle with a lot of the other games you are looking at, but it is a new year, they've had a full offseason, a lot of games since then, so certainly not putting too much stock into it."

On if he wonders about a career where he has stayed with one team and with one coach:

"No, I'm not thinking about that. I'm trying to go out there and beat them. No. Right now, that’s for another time. Every single person's past is different in this league at every position. I think if you are dwelling on that, you are doing yourself a disservice."

On if he watched Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes on Monday night:

"I did, yeah I got to watch that game."

On what he thinks about Mahomes' start of the season:

"I mean a record setting start for them, for him, for the offense – lighting the world on fire right now. Fun to watch, obviously a ton of friends on that team, including Pat, and to see them do what they are doing is crazy. They are on fire right now."

On his past games with the New Orleans Saints:

"I don’t necessarily put a ton of stock into those. I feel like these are all unique matchups, this is its own unique matchup, everybody is a different space, different place, that’s unique to right now. It's finding a way to win this matchup. So yeah, I'm not putting a ton of stock in prior games or anything like that."

On if he noticed any problems with the Redskins offense in the second-half:

"I mean probably a ton of things but in the end it's coming down to execution. There were a lot of times I think in both game you look at self-inflicted things, uncharacteristic things, got us off schedule, putting us in tough situational football, third and long, things like that and things that are hard to convert. I think if anything, it is a reminder of how small the margins are between playing winning football and not. I think all those little things get magnified when they are not happening."

On what stands out on tape of the New Orleans Saints defense:

"Certainly played their best game I felt like this week. Early on, they gave up some explosive plays down the field. Felt like they have been trying to iron it out as the season has gone on. They give you a lot to look at, a ton of different fronts up front, play a ton of coverages and they have the ability to do a lot. They make you prepare for a lot as well as an offense. I'm kind of figuring that out – seeing what direction they are headed in – like I said, coming off their best game this week."

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