Jay Gruden On Josh Johnson: "He's Got A Lot Of Poise"

Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden addressed the media Monday following the team's 16-13 win in Jacksonville

On injuries from Sunday:

"Alright injury update, Josh Holsey has got a partial ACL [tear]. We will put him on IR. Danny Johnson has a knee and a finger dislocation. We'll decide whether or not he has a chance to be ready against the Eagles or not. [Ty] Nsekhe has got a knee, same knee he has been dealing with, a bone bruise, and Montae Nicholson has a finger sprain."

On OL Ty Nsekhe's prognosis:

"Hopeful, yes."

On TE Jordan Reed:

"Jordan Reed is working with the trainers as we speak and hopefully he'll make some more progress.

On QB Josh Johnson:

"Well, I think Josh did some good things. First half there were some ugly plays. We didn’t handle a lot of their movement up front, they did a nice job spiking their three-technique and their defensive ends created havoc in the running game. In the passing game, we struggled a little bit, but stuck with the plan, got a little bit better in the second half. Obviously Jamison [Crowder]'s play was huge, great catch by him. Then Josh made enough plays at the end to get us down there.

On LB Shaun Dion Hamilton:

"I think the most progress he's made is health. I think when he first started training camp, he was fresh off that knee surgery that he had at Alabama and I think you can just see him getting progressively healthier and healthier and the more reps he's gotten, his legs have gotten under him. He's a smart player, very instinctive. He's made the most of the opportunities that he's had at practice and we decided to put him in there and he's done a pretty good job."

On what a win like Sunday can do for the team:

"Any win is good for the building. Anytime you have a four game losing streak, you're going to have distractions and those are going to be brought to the forefront. Negativity is a very strong part of pro football when you have a four game losing streak and it's our job as coaches and their job as players not to give in and not to listen to all that stuff and continue to work. I'm proud of the fact that our guys have done that. They've practice extremely hard, been attentive in meetings. We've had our share of differences, but aired them out and got them cleaned up and guys got ready to play. So, hats off to the defense for sticking with the plan, hats off to Coach [Greg] Manusky sticking with his plan and then offensively Coach [Bill] Callahan, the rest of the guys, piecing together some guys in there and making some things work. At the end of the day, I've said it many times, it’s not about the plays, it's about the players and the players executed fairly well yesterday."

On the importance of special teams the last two weeks;

"One hundred percent, 100 percent, we're going to be grinding out some games these last couple of weeks, there's no question about it. We're not going to be in the luxury of being up 41-0 or anything like that, so special teams will play huge and at the end of the half, it was unfortunate. Obviously we had our returner way too tight. He was at the 50-yard line, he should have been back further and the guy banged it over his head with the wind at his back. Mo [Harris] misjudged it, fumbled it and obviously the punt, we would have loved to just kick it out of bounds there, but Tress [Way] was just trying to get it off and he launched. Then we lost three cover guys. Jehu [Chesson] got pinned and tripped, then he tripped over [Deshazor] Everett, then he tripped over the long snapper, so we had three guys on the ground, then we lost contain, hence the big play. Those plays are going to be huge moving forward. We have to make those type of plays, we have to make splash plays on special teams for us to have a chance."

On what he told QB Josh Johnson before the game and why:

"I saw him playing catch and threw one 180 miles an hour at the guy and almost killed him [Laughter]. Yeah, I just told him, relax, calm down and everything is going to be. But, he's got a lot of poise for a guy who just got here. A lot of confidence, I've said that before. There was some stuff at him, he had the defensive tackles in his face, defensive ends. We blew a protection, he got hit a few times pretty hard, but he didn’t let that affect his next drop. He continued to read the field, scan the field, stand tall, and made some big time throws. So, I was impressed with him."

On QB Colt McCoy:

"He's coming along good. He sent me a video the other day of himself running through some drills. He's a guy that’s going to go the extra mile to try and get himself ready. We'll see how soon it is though, but I know if anybody can get ready sooner than expected, it would be Colt McCoy."

On how to keep guys calm when on a losing streak:

"Well, it's important to get them a little calm, but also we still need that edge. We need to have guys that really have a lot of passion and desire to want to win and get out of the rut. So, I don’t mind a lot of people speaking up and playing hard and speaking their mind and showing their competitive spirit on the practice field. But, also we've got to understand that this is about the team and everybody moving forward and playing together and being on the same page at the end of the day. I think our guys for the most part have done that. Like I said, anytime you have a four game losing streak, you're going to have differences; differences are natural. It just happens in pro football, whether it’s; we don’t like the coverage, we don’t like the scheme, or this, this, this, this, those things will be talked about, addressed and cleaned up moving forward. We had a great week of practice like I said and the leadership type guys, Ryan Kerrigan, you see how he plays. Jonathan Allen; two sacks, three tackles for loss, Daron Payne was a presence inside again, Preston Smith held his own in there, Shaun Dion [Hamilton], Zach Brown, obviously Mason Foster, they played well. D.J. [Swearinger] played great at safety, so those guys, Josh Norman was solid at corner. Those guys that we need to step up, stepped up."

On a package with RB's Byron Marshall and Chris Thompson:

"Yeah, just trying to get some of our skill guys out there, give them some different looks, trying to just hold the linebackers a little bit, so they can hold on the double teams inside and try to get some movement for the inside zones and then obviously working the read option with the pitch guy there. Unfortunately, we didn’t block the inside zone part of it too well. We had a chance for some hits, but were too soft on the nose guard or two soft on the three-technique or the defensive end beat our tight end across his face, or what have you. That’s something we have to clean up to have a chance with that, because if you're going to run a zone read and the options off of it, the inside zone part of it is critical. If the ends play the pitch, you've got to hand it off and we've just got to do a better job on that part. But, it’s a nice little package."

On the rotation of the second cornerback now that CB Josh Holsey is out:

"Yeah, that’s something we've got to talk about. Obviously, I love the way that Fabian [Moreau] plays at corner, I really do. I think he's got a chance to be an excellent corner down the road. We keep just moving him around week in and week out, so we can put [Greg] Stroman back at nickel if need be, we obviously can put Fabian in there and play Adonis and Stroman at corner and that’s something we'll talk about starting Wednesday. If Danny [Johnson] can't go, we'll probably have to sign another corner to help on special teams and be a backup corner and that’s another issue."

On how LS Andrew East did in his first game:

"Andrew East? He did pretty good, I guess [Laughter]. I mean he snapped it [Laughter]. I think when you're comparing him to somebody like Nick Sundberg, you probably say 'man those snaps don’t look quite the same.' Nick is one of the fastest snappers with the velocity of anybody in the league. Andrew did a nice job though, they were accurate. A lot of pressures, some of those punts were backed up, there was some pressure and obviously the field goal at the end of the game. For his first time meeting the guys, I thought he held up well, held up in protection, did some good things."

On what was different on defense:

"I just think that they complimented each other very well. I think the pass rush complimented the secondary and vice versa. The secondary held up when we didn’t have a lot of pass rush and that’s what it’s all about. In the run game, I think everybody did their job and that’s kind of what we preach. I think most teams try to preach the same thing and that’s do your job. If you've got the d-gap, take the d-gap. If you've got to hold up on a double team to free up your linebackers, do it. If you've got to crack replace as a corner, you've got to do that and you've got to make the tackle. So, I think everybody is held accountable and I think they answered the challenge.

On the decision to leave CB Greg Stroman inactive:

"I think [Josh] Holsey was here all last year and I think the whole thing is when [Quinton] Dunbar was here, we had Fabian at nickel and he's getting most of the reps at nickel. When Dunbar went out, I wanted to move Fabian back to corner. So, we had to get a nickel in there and those guys are pretty inexperienced at nickel and Stroman had a bad shoulder. Holsey has been here, he looked like he was 100 percent ready to go. I think he was the most experienced guy we had at nickel, so we put him in there. Stroman with a little bit of a bad shoulder, Danny [Johnson] was a flyer on special teams, so we decided to sit Stroman for a week."

On what he saw from RB Adrian Peterson on the last drive:

"Adrian is Adrian. During the game he was looking at me and giving me a dirty look. He wants the ball, he felt good. "Coach, I feel good, I feel good man." I'm not getting many holes there Adrian, I'm trying [Laughter]. He's the type of guy that answers the bell when he's given an opportunity and I think that last run, the outside zone where he stuck his foot in the ground, you could see the burst at the end of the game, which is impressive. Then, the last three plays where we had to get in field goal range, in position, I think he had three carries for 12 yards. Those are 12 tough yards against that defense and very impressive."

On if the exchanges with Peterson were as calm as described:

"Yeah, yeah. Adrian has been great all year. I was a little nervous when we first got him, I was like man, if don’t give this guy 20 times a game, he's going to kick my butt [Laughter]. He's been very good man, he's been very patient, very understanding about the rotations, about what we try to do, when we bring Chris [Thompson] in, or Byron [Marshall] or Kapri [Bibbs] when he was here. He's just been a great guy to have on our team."

On the change in practice schedule and if it's long-term:

"Yeah, we'll probably keep it the same this week. I think trying to shorten the day just a little bit for them. I think the big thing is try to get the meetings and practice in before lunch, so they can have a little bit more time to recover. This time of year, I think it's more about recovery and getting these guys legs under them for Saturday or Sunday, in this case Saturday. I'm still going to give them tomorrow off, I think it's very important for them to get some time off and relax and get their legs under them, especially the defensive line and offensive line. Then Wednesday, we'll think about either a walkthrough or a jog-through, then Thursday we'll try to get some light running in and then travel Friday."

On combining practice into a short time frame:

"Yeah, we'll probably have jog-through or something on Wednesday and we'll probably do first, second down, then Thursday we'll probably do some red-zone, third down, predominantly and then Friday we will probably walkthrough goal line and short yardage and then whatever else we need to clean up."

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