Jay Gruden: "I Think Our Players Competed"

Coach Jay Gruden Postgame Press Conference vs Giants.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden addresses media following the 40-16 loss to the New York Giants.

On injuries:

"Injuries, Jordan Reed, foot sprain/toe. I'm not sure which one, he did not return. Shaun Dion Hamilton had a shoulder strain I guess."

On starting their fourth quarterback next week:

"It’s tough to deal with. It really is. It’s unfortunate. Our guys continue to compete. That product we put on the field today was not a reflection of the guys work during the week and at practice. However, it did look bad. It’s a reflection of all of us. I think our players competed and did the best they could. Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson, can’t say enough about them coming in here with really short notice trying to learn an NFL offense and play on a Sunday with limited reps. They competed and did the best they could. At the end of the day, we weren’t quite ready."

On the drop off in play on defense:

"Started out really well. It started off good. First quarter we were competing, going toe-to-toe. We weren’t getting any yardage on offense. We were going three and out a lot. We got backed up and threw a pick-six. After that, I think it was like a punch in the gut for everybody. They had a nice drive to get it to ten to nothing. We had another three and out I believe. I think Saquon [Barkley] might have broke one. For the most part, I don’t have an explanation right now as far as what the breakdowns were, who they were and why they were. I just know that Saquon is one heck of a back. We missed some fits. We saw some glaring missed fits that this late in the year shouldn’t happen. That’s something we should be detailed up on right now. It wasn’t the case, especially the long run."

On if any changes are coming:

"No, not really. We have a game to win next week in Jacksonville [Jaguars]. Then, we have to go about try to find a way to do it."

On if QB Josh Johnson will start next week:

"Yes, we’ll get Josh ready to go. I think the element he brings a little bit knowing the system. He came in here and he was playing a pickup basketball game and came in here and is playing in the National Football League on a Sunday. My hat’s off to him for picking it up. Fortunately, he’s been around me for a while and can handle the terminology and did a pretty good job moving around."

On feeling like his job is in jeopardy:

"My job is in jeopardy every week, so I just have to go about and do the best I can to get these guys ready to go. We’ll continue to do that."

On QB Mark Sanchez:

"What did work? There was nothing that worked so nothing worked. Everything did not work. I don’t know. I’ll have to check it out. We tried to run the ball early. We ran the ball first down. Second down, we ran the ball. Then, we got stopped. The running game wasn’t very productive for us. We weren’t getting any big plays. Threw the pick-six and the ball got batted at the line. There were a couple of different reasons why. Misread a couple of coverages. Maybe missed a couple throws and some protection issues. You’re talking about a quarterback that just got here and you ask me why everything went wrong. There’s a lot of different reasons, but we do understand how difficult it is for him to come in with a short amount of time to play."

On LB Zach Brown not starting:

"Zach Brown missed a couple of days because he was sick, so we started in base with Shaun Dion [Hamilton] and went on from there. Then Shaun Dion got hurt and Zach Brown came back out."

On not competing in the second half today:

"First half was terrible. That was a snowball effect. Second half was the same way. We made the switch to Josh and got a rally going. I don’t think it was a lack of competing, we just got beat a little bit. We gave ourselves terrible field position for the defense. They were on the field a long time. A lot of three and outs by the offense. They might have been gassed a little bit. I would never say we did not compete. I’ll have to watch the film and find out."

On if there is a disconnect in preparation:

"I don’t know if there is a disconnect or not. We’ll have to check the run defense. There’s a disconnect. We have a quarterback who just got here. We have two offensive guards who were named starter yesterday. There’s a disconnect there. There are three of our starting 11 guys that just got here a little bit ago, so there’s a disconnect there. We also lost Jordan Reed in the first quarter, so there’s a major disconnect there. There’s four pretty good players or four key players who aren’t out there or what have you. Two starting guards and a starting quarterback, I’d say there is a disconnect there."

On other things on defense that didn’t go well and Giants RB Saquon Barkley:

"I don’t know. This is all pretty fresh. I’ll have to check the film out. There’s a couple missed tackles there. We talk about wrapping up and all that good stuff. It didn’t happen today. He’s a great player, so let's give him some credit too. He is a really good running back. He’s the first or second pick in the draft for a reason. He’s going to continue to be a great running back and give a lot of people a lot of fits."

On why the struggles are happening this late in the year:

"I think sometimes some guys get over-aggressive. Like a lot of the keepers, the nakeds when they fake the run, guys were really aggressive trying to get in there and make a tackle. Then it’s a naked and we’re out flanked from time to time. Backside they hit outside a gap by a head or two and they get pinned or the guy makes them miss in the hole. There’s a lot of different reasons for it. At the end of the day I don’t think it's because of lack of effort or guys aren’t playing. Sometimes they are playing too hard and getting out of a gap."

On choosing the guards:

"They were the biggest. We went with the size. We’re trying to be a physical football team and try and get some runs downhill, runs early. They probably had the best ability to pass protect. We got Zac [Kerin] in here three days ago and obviously, Ty [Nsekhe] is the other one, we just got him not too long ago. We went with the bigger, safer type players. Guys who are a little but more veteran type guys."

On what led to the decision to go with QB Josh Johnson:

"We were down pretty much. I want to give Mark [Sanchez] the benefit of the doubt and give him a chance. We just couldn’t protect. I thought at the end of the day, if we are having trouble protecting, I need somebody who can move around and makes some plays. I went with Josh. The ability to scramble and make some plays with his legs. Mix in some RPOs and zone-reads, all that stuff."

On penalties:

"Obviously, I’m upset about the loss, but these penalties I have to check them out. I’m sure we’ll send a bunch up to the league and find out. The holding calls and the one on Fabian [Moreau] down the left sideline, I thought he got pulled down. They called it on Fabian. The personal foul at the end on Josh [Doctson], I don’t know what was going on. It was a big pile up. A lot of holding calls again. When you get a young quarterback and you’re trying to run the ball and you get first and 18 or second and 20, you have no chance. That’s a major issue. It’s been an issue, hands to the face and holding. Whatever they are, we’ll have to check them out and continue to try and correct them."


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