Coach Jay Gruden On Vernon Davis: "He Loves Football"

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden speaks to the media Wednesday ahead of Redskins vs Broncos

[Before Video]

On having a game plan for the starters:

"I do have a game plan! I just havent figured it out yet. Ill decide that -- everybody is preparing to play, and they dont know how long they are going to play, but I have a meeting tomorrow with our staff, and our training staff, and well go from there."

On starters getting more playing time this week against the Denver Broncos:

"Its fair to say anything you want nowadays. (laughter) So, you can say whatever you want. I dont know exactly how long they are going to play."

On RB Samaje Perine practicing today:

"He did individual today. Hes getting better. I expect him to be out for the game but, I expect him to play the fourth game."

On other players potentially missing this week's game against the Denver Broncos:

"Chris Thompson will be out for sure. Stacy McGee will be out for sure. Trent [Williams], I dont know yet. Jordan [Reed] will be out for sure."

On RB Adrian Peterson mentoring young players:

"Its early [and] his head is swimming right now as far as trying to get himself ready mentally to play, but you can see he is already impressed a lot of people out here, just in the way he runs, and how fast he works, and how dedicated he is to his craft. It wont be long before he rubs off on anybody and everybody."

On what he would like to see from Peterson against the Denver Broncos:

"Thats a good question. You know I think a lot of it will determine on how many offensive linemen I have in the game, you know well see. In the first half Id like to get him some touches and get a good lather going."


On how he will evaluate Peterson based on limited reps during this week's preseason game:

"I think you [can] tell by the whole body of work that he has put on throughout his career. I think the big thing you try to see on the first seven [to] eight carries is getting out of the huddle, having the plays register in his mind, how quickly he can adapt to our audibles and all that goes into an offensive game plan. So, trying to give him a feel for the quarterback, snap count, our linemen, our blocking schemes, but as far as viewing him as a player, and what he can do, I think the most important thing is just in the system what he can do."

On teams health and the emphasis on improving in the third preseason game:

"I think we are just getting healthier really. I think there [have] been some guys with some nagging injuries, not too serious of injuries; they just need a couple days here and there. I think there are a few other guys who could probably play, that wont play. Just keep them out because we have a few weeks before our first regular season game. So, well be a little bit more careful now than we would be in the regular season, but it is good to see pretty much a full roster out there practicing for the first time in a while."

On if TE Vernon Davis has a limited role when TE Jordan Reed is on the field:

"Not really. Vernon has been just a perfect guy to coach really. Hes never complained, never said boo. He just comes out, does what hes asked and does it 100 miles an hour. Theres been some coaching weve had to do with him as far as transition into our terminology and some learning for him, but for the most part, he just goes out and plays. He loves football and loves to be coached and loves to practice. He hasnt missed one practice -- knock on wood -- so hes never been an issue as far as that is concerned."

On if he decided this week to sit RB Chris Thompson and Reed:

"No, its been the plan. Yeah, weve got to get them ready [for the regular season]. Theyre practicing more. Chris is doing more and more [and] Jordan is doing more and more. Theyre getting themselves ready."

On if he is comfortable with Thompson and Reed playing this week if it were the regular season:

"I believe so. I believe so, but luckily, thats not the case and weve got another two and a half to three weeks for them to really, really, get some good practice sessions in, get with Alex [Smith], and get quality work in, not only for them, but for Alex, but also for their bodies to get them in shape."

On QB Alex Smiths leadership style:

"Its been positive. Theres been nothing negative, obviously, so hes just a quality teammate. Hes a veteran guy that brings veteran leadership naturally that comes natural to him. Its nothing that is forced by him. The players all respond to him. He communicates well with the rookie free agents equally as well as he does with the veteran players on this football team. So, a very [good] guy, easy to like, very well likable guy, easy to like, easy to play with and a very good, obviously, leader and teammate."

On LB Pernell McPhee:

"Hes doing [well]. He missed about three or four days there, a couple nagging things that we just had to rest him a few times, but for the most part, hes doing [well]. He has come in and hes one of the natural leaders also. A veteran guy thats come in and worked extremely hard [and] communicates the defense well. Hes a fit. You know, he can play outside linebacker, he can move inside in nickel situations, so were just getting the feel for what hes best at, the best place to put him. Right now, hes obviously behind Preston [Smith] and Ryan Kerrigan but also we could use him in third-down in different areas. But hes done a great job."

On the importance of another pass rush option:

"Yeah, its good. Its good. The good thing also is, you know, with Jonathan [Allen] and, obviously, Daron [Payne] and when Matt [Ioannidis] gets back we have some interior pass rush already. Its not necessary but its also good to have different packages and get those guys some rest. Bring in Pernell [McPhee] maybe that can stand up and do some different things at the three-technique. We have options there on third-down, which are good."