Jay Gruden: "We Have A Lot Of Room For Improvement And We're Still 6-3"

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden spoke to members of the media following Wednesday's practice.

On injuries:

"Alright did not participate were [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [Quinton] Dunbar, shin; [Chris] Thompson, rib; [Trent] Williams, thumb; [Montae] Nicholson, illness; [Dustin] Hopkins, groin. Limited were [Morgan] Moses, knee; [Ty] Nsekhe, ankle; [Adrian] Peterson, shoulder; [Daron] Payne, shoulder; and everybody else was full."

On if anyone from the injury report will be inactive:

"That we know for sure? Trent [Williams] will be out, that's for sure. [Chris] Thompson, pretty good chance."

On K Dustin Hopkins injury and its severity:

"He's got a strain, he aggravated it. He just said he felt a little tightness in pre-game warm-up, and as the game went on, it got a little tighter. He's going to kick on Friday and we'll know more on Friday."

On how he felt about the offensive line against Tampa Bay:

"Well, we don’t have anybody to rotate with so, they're good [Laughter]. I thought they did pretty good, really. I was impressed with Jonathan Cooper coming in, a few days and really competed. I like that Morgan [Moses] fought through his injury, did a good job. Ty [Nsekhe] obviously has had some bumps and bruises but he's done a good job. Obviously, Chase [Roullier] in the middle was great with the calls. [Tony] Bergstrom didn’t get any credit, but playing right guard, did a pretty good job also. There's room for improvement and I think the more the play together, the better they'll get. We've just got to get some other guys schooled up in case something else happens."

On Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson:

"I think he's a young player, very talented without a doubt. He's got a skill set that is very dangerous inside the pocket and outside the pocket. It's just how you want to defend him, not to mention, he's got a heck of a weapon out there in Hop [DeAndre Hopkins] – very, very talented, obviously. Adding Demaryius Thomas helps them on the other side. [They are a] tough team to defend. They do a good job with the play-actions, the shot plays, and on third downs, they're an excellent team because of the threat to run. Anytime you play a two-man or man, you've got to worry about him running. But, he's doing a great job for a young quarterback, for any quarterback for that matter. His ability to run in the pocket, run outside the pocket and pass in the pocket is extraordinary."

On DL Matt Ioannidis' progress:

"I think he's stronger. I think the weight room here with Chad [Englehart] has helped him out quite a bit. He was strong when he got here, but I think he's got more muscle mass, more power and more confidence in the system. He's been put in some nickel situations where he's been allowed to rush, where his first year he probably didn’t have that many opportunities to rush. This year he's getting more and more opportunities to rush, so he's taking advantage of them. He plays with great effort, great motor. We knew that when we drafted him, what type of guy he was from Temple and he's doing a heck of a job with his opportunity."

On executing to generate chances to score more points:

"Yeah, we've got to get more points without a doubt. I think the last couple weeks against Atlanta and Tampa Bay we had too many drives where we are wasting on penalties or dropped passes or self-inflicted wounds and that’s what we have to get rid of. Then, make the plays that present themselves. Then, eventually we're going to have to have some guys run out of tackles and make some more YAC… some extraordinary plays. I like the offense we have. I like the fact that we have a lot of room for improvement and we're still 6-3. Alex [Smith] is still feeling his way through with the receivers and tight ends and all that stuff but he's getting better and better. I really think that we'll get better. I've said that for eight weeks but we will."

On preparing for the Houston Texans pass rush of DE's JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney:

"Yeah, it's hard to simulate that, really. Today was more of a walkthrough to look at their fronts and some of their blitzes and some of the packages that they have. They have quite a few of them, which can pose a problem if you're not communication right. So, that was step one. Step two will be – continue to study the film and watch those guys and watch how they rush. Like I said, you can't simulate the get offs that those two guys have. Clowney and Watt have as good of a get off as there is in pro football, not to mention they're long, fast and skilled and powerful. The most important thing is that we get off on a snap count, change our snap count, but they're a problem. They've been a problem for everyone they've played and we just have to have a good plan for them."

On putting a player in a position to succeed when facing a former team:

"I think there is extra motivation for guys, maybe, sometimes against certain teams. But the fact of the matter is you better be motivated every week in pro football or you will get beat and we understand that. If there is extra motivation for a guy, then great, but I hope that our whole team is extra motivated this week. Because we are playing a heck of a team that’s on a six-game winning streak and if we aren’t, it will be a long day. I hope D.J. [Swearinger] has a great game but I hope he plays within himself and doesn’t do too much extra-curricular activity things."

On why the Texans are so good against the run:

"Well, they have a great front. They are big and they're powerful and it's hard to get outside. It's hard to get the edge because they set the edges. They've got [Jadeveon] Clowney on one side or [Whitney] Mercilus on one side and then they've got [J.J.] Watt as an end and their nose guard [Brandon Dunn] is playing extremely well. Their linebackers are playing fast and their safeties are getting involved quite a bit also with Honey Badger [Tyrann Mathieu] and [Justin] Reid. They're a good defense and they play very fast and it's not easy. They've given up some yards, they've given up few points, so we've just got to figure out ways to attack and be smart about it. The most important thing against a team like this, in my opinion, is you've got to stay out of third and seven plus. You don't have very much of an opportunity to have success if you're in third and eight or third and nine, third and ten, against this defense."

On WR Jamison Crowder’s MRI:

"He just…he has some issues in there. He just has to take some time and get better. I don’t know if it showed anything new. I just think the ankle is not 100 percent heeled yet. It’s on its way but time will be the key."

On QB Colt McCoy leaving practice early today:

"Yeah, Colt had a family emergency and everything is OK."

On if McCoy practiced at all today:

"Yeah, yeah."

On putting WR Crowder on IR:

"Yeah, we hope not. We hope that…he has made progress. Last week, he did a little bit of running, but he said he could feel it when he cut. So, we got another MRI just to make sure that we’re not putting too much work on him right now, make sure he gets heeled. We don’t think it’s that far away but we do probably need to take a little more time."

On activating WR Trey Quinn:

"Yeah, we’ll get Trey up hopefully sooner than later."

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