Jay Gruden: "There Should Be A Sense Of Urgency"

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden speaks to the media following Thursday's practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center.

On injuries:

"Did not participate were [Quinton] Dunbar, shin; [Morgan] Moses, ankle; [Adrian] Peterson, shoulder, [Matt] Ioannidis, shin; Zach Brown, knee. Limited were [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [Tony] Bergstrom, knee; [Jordan] Reed, back; [Trey] Quinn, ankle. Everybody else was full."

On LB Zach Brown:

"Yeah, it's a knee-shin area. He did a lot with the trainers today and looked pretty good, so I think it’s just going to be a day-to-day basis. Hopefully we'll see him more tomorrow. A lot of these guys… we’ve got to see some progression obviously in the next coming days, so hopefully we'll see that with Moses and Matt and Zach Brown."

On if he is optimistic about WR Jamison Crowder and RB Chris Thompson playing:

"I'm optimistic. I try to be optimistic about everybody but time will tell. Jamison did a lot more today, which was positive. He's still got some soreness a little bit but he's been working through it. Then Chris Thompson, I think when you watch him run, there is no issue. There is no issue. He looks fast. He looks quick, so I think he's going to be fine but we've got to make sure we protect him."

On how QB Alex Smith is doing:

"Yeah, I went and saw him and he's going through the rehab or the process of trying to get better. It’s a tough road and anytime you have surgery on your leg, it's not easy, but he's got a great support system, great doctors, and hopefully he'll recover fast."

On how DL Tim Settle is coming along:

"You know Settle has been one of our most exciting prospects. Obviously, [Daron] Payne and the young guys, but Settle has come the furthest in my opinion. I think he's gotten better, gotten stronger, played at a better pad level. He's staying on his feet. When we first got him, he was falling down all the time and leaning on people, but now he's showing some explosion and keeping his balance, which is pretty good. I'm excited about him as a prospect for this football team for many, many years and he's going to get more and more reps, especially like you said; if Matt [Ioannidis] is struggling."

On how Settle fits into the rotation:

"Oh, without a doubt, without a doubt, Stacy McGee is starting to get his feet under him. He's starting to do a little bit better job but I do see that rotation being pretty darn good."

On how to judge CB Quinton Dunbar's injury after last week:

"Yeah, I don’t know. This is a unique deal. When you're talking about the nerve and you're talking about that area for a guy who utilizes his speed, it's tough. It's only something that Quinton can help us along with. We're trying to do everything we can as far as rehab is concerned, seeing the doctors and specialists for the nerve, but at the end of the day it's all about what he feels comfortable with. Last week, he felt comfortable enough to play but, you could see he was struggling with it as the game went on. Maybe tomorrow we'll see him out there running around out there a little bit but we'll see."

On LB Shaun Dion Hamilton:

"Same thing, I think he's another guy that, he just had his major surgery about a year and month ago at Alabama. He's starting to get his legs underneath him. He's starting to get his confidence. He's always been and always will be an instinctive player but now he's starting to be more comfortable with calls, where he's supposed to be and I think he feels quicker also. He's coming along at a great pace and I think he's ready to step in when he's needed."

On what doctors have said about Dunbar's recovery and timetable:

"Yeah, I don’t know. They kind of have it narrowed down to what it is and where it is. It’s just a matter of when he feels comfortable, where he can actually push off and run fast. I think he can run a little bit but when he tries to put a lot weight on it and push and extend his speed, that's where I think he has trouble. He loses function as far as power in his leg. It feels weak."

On if he will get the power back in his leg:

"Yeah, he'll get it back eventually. I just don’t know when. I don’t think anybody can really tell when. He has just got to continue to do what he's got to do in there and see as many people he can and stay off of it I guess. Kind of like a pulled muscle I guess."

On if Smith's recovery timetable:

"Yeah, not that I've been told. No."

On if Crowder and WR Trey Quinn could both be active:

"Oh there will be a chance for sure. We'll just have to Gerry-rig how we are going to do that. Right now with Trey being limited and Crowder being semi-limited, we'll see, probably this week play the healthiest one. If we can play both, we'll figure out a way to do that. The good thing about Jamison, he can play all three positions. Quinn can probably play all three also. He's a very smart guy but we'll just have to figure out where we want to put them as far as matchups are concerned. We could play both, to answer your question."

On if there is more pressure to win in Philadelphia:

"Yeah a little bit, I think there should be a sense of urgency without a doubt – where we are in the season, what our record is, we're tied for first, Dallas is right there, Philly is right there. Anytime you can go on the road and get a key victory is very, very critical. It is also important for our confidence and our psyche down the stretch. I don’t think anybody has the lost any confidence despite the injuries that we've had, especially to our quarterback. I think we all have faith in Colt [McCoy] but to go out there and to get a big win against the defending Super Bowl champs would do a lot of good for a lot of people."

On the "Code Red' games of the past and if there is any code word for this week:

"No, I think everybody knows the importance of this game. I think where we are right now as a football team, losing two in a row like you said, there's still a lot of ball left, regardless of what happens in this game Monday night. We do understand that when you play a division rival like Philadelphia to try and get one on the road there would be very helpful."

On any takeaways from Philadelphia's success last year with a backup quarterback:

"Yeah, I think you can learn a lot from that. One, nobody gave them a chance last year and they went out and lost their starting quarterback and ended up winning a Super Bowl. You can learn a lot from that. It’s about how the team rallies around certain people and it's not about one guy. That defense stepped it up, that offensive line stepped it up, the running game stepped it up and of course Nick Foles did a great job in critical moments. That's what we're trying to do. Our defense has got to step up without a doubt. We've got to be a better tackling team, play more physical. Our offensive line has got to step it up for sure. Our running game better step it up and then Colt [McCoy] has got to make the plays necessary in critical situations."

On what they can do to make McCoy more comfortable:

"Yeah, I think you try to get with Colt. Now you have time to really put a game plan together. Then you go out and practice and look at it and sometimes the most important part of practicing is eliminating plays that he's not comfortable with instead of just putting them because they look good on a chalkboard. If he doesn’t like them at the end of the day – we eliminate some – then focus in on ones he's very comfortable with. I've never, ever, put a play in that a quarterback is uncomfortable with. You can believe that if you want but it's true [Laughter]. We talk about every play and somebody might say something different but I try to do that and try to make him as comfortable as possible."

On building trust with receivers on things like back-shoulder throws:

"I think we haven’t given a lot those guys a lot of opportunities, so it does take a little bit of time. It's a natural thing. Unless you call a back shoulder, say this is going to be a back shoulder or you call a go ball or fade ball and a guys is playing over the top and the quarterback gives you a back shoulder opportunity, that takes precision, that takes work, that takes confidence in the quarterback, the receiver coming back to the ball and making those plays. So, you see it all the time on Sundays. We haven’t seen a lot of them. We saw one with Josh [Doctson] last week which was huge. If we can incorporate that as part of our game, those are big chunk plays we need to have."

On if receivers have been surprised with McCoy going deep:

"Yeah, I think there was. I think that Vernon [Davis] was a little bit surprised on his down the right sideline. He wasn’t quite ready for it, he saw it late and then kind of juggled it and dropped it, but I think that's important. When you're working a guy and you don’t have a lot of time and you think he's running down the sideline and you see the defensive back over the top, the natural instinct for a quarterback would be to back shoulder it. Now our receivers have got to make sure they get their heads around and then adjust to the ball."

On S D.J. Swearinger Sr. and his comments:

"The comments were the comments. He has his unique way of motivating the guys. I wasn’t as upset about the comments as I was with how he did it with the radio. I think I just made a point to him that anytime you have an issue with anybody or anything we're doing in house, we keep it in house and we don’t need to go on airwaves and we'll talk about it as a team. The point got across to him. His message was heard but we just moved forward."

On the balance of coach leadership versus player leadership:

"You have to have limits as far as I'm concerned. You have to have rules and make sure that everybody understands that what we do in here stays in here and that’s the most important thing. There's so many different ways with social media and radio and newspapers and Twitter and all that stuff that, you've just got to be careful sometimes and that’s the most important thing. As far as leadership goes, you can't coach leadership. You either have it or you don’t. You can't force it. Luckily for us, we have some pretty good leaders in here, some are more vocal than others, but we do have a good group of veteran guys and some young guys that are emerging."

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