Jay Gruden: "We've Done A Great Job Protecting The Football"

Head Coach Jay Gruden speaks to media following practice on Thursday at the Inova Sports Performance Center.

On injuries:

"Did not participate were [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [Quinton] Dunbar, shin, [Dustin] Hopkins, groin; [Chris] Thompson, rib and [Trent] Williams, thumb. Limited were [Morgan] Moses, knee; [Ty] Nsekhe, ankle; [Daron] Payne, shoulder; [Samaje] Perine, calf; [Montae] Nicholson, illness."

On how K Dustin Hopkins is progressing:

"I don’t know, tomorrow is the day he kicks, so we're going to see how he does tomorrow. Tomorrow is a telling day for us with 'Hop'."

On bringing in a specialist for kickoffs:

"I think the days of Tress [Way] kicking off are over, hopefully. So, we'll have somebody be a kicker, kickoff and kick field goals and extra points if Hop can't go but we're still optimistic."

On ways to get TE Jordan Reed open:

"I think a lot of times we try to make him the primary, based on the play and sometimes the coverage might dictate the ball going somewhere else and sometimes he's not the primary, where he does get the ball. Everything is coverage related. Obviously you get man-to-man and you're going to work the man matchups, the best matchups. Sometimes that's Jordan, sometimes that's [Josh] Doctson, sometimes it's our slot, and sometimes it's our Z or our halfback. It's all play dependent but obviously being one of our best route runners and most productive guys, he tends to get more looks than the average guy.

If there is chemistry growing between Reed and QB Alex Smith:

"Yeah, I think so. I think it’s going to continue to grow. During a lot of the six games that we've won, we didn’t have a lot of passes in those games. I think we threw for under 200 yards in four of them, maybe, that might be the fact. When you're not throwing the ball 45 times and having 30 completions, statistically you're not going to get the numbers. I think his numbers will come, hopefully."

On if he had a snowball fight today:

"No, no [Laughter]."

On if WR Trey Quinn can contribute on Sunday:

"Yeah, I think so. We'll make sure he's good to go. We haven’t made a decision on if he'll be up or not but there's a good chance that if he does play, he'll be our slot guy and return to punt return and put [Greg] Stroman back in other categories in the punt return game, so that’s good."

On RB Chris Thompson:

"Yeah he is, talked to him this morning and this afternoon and he is feeling better. I think the previous rib injury has healed, which is good. Now, the other side that was injured is coming along. We'll take it day by day. I said he's probably going to be out, but you never know. We'll get a look at him tomorrow and if he feels good there is a chance but I think the most important thing with that injury is time and only he can really tell us because there are X-rays and all that. But, he's the one that's got to deal with the pain and when he feels like he's ready to go, he'll go."

On WR Jamison Crowder and if there was a setback:

"I don’t think it's a setback. I just think he came out there and when you have an injury like that, it's important to go out there and test it when you feel like you can and he did all the stuff with the trainers and the strength staff. They felt like it was a green light for him to try and go practice and see what he can do. It just didn’t quite feel right for him making those full speed cuts, so we kept him out again today and we'll see where he is tomorrow."

On the importance of the turnover margin:

"Yeah, that’s the reason why we won six games, really. The turnover margin and we've done a great job of protecting the football with a few exceptions. Our defense is getting the ball out and getting the ball back for our offense. I think that's one telling stat usually that you can look at and say, that’s a successful team, they're plus-11, they're minus-16, this is a team that’s struggling. So yeah, it's a very important stat, it's one of the most important stats, that, third-down, red zone obviously very, very important."

On why S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has fit in so well:

"I don’t know, I think it's just the type of guy he is. I think he's just a great football player number one and he demands respect because he's been a playmaker and been to the Pro Bowl. But, he also comes in and is willing to learn, willing to work. When you go out and get somebody like that, with the ability that he has and the Pro Bowls, sometimes you're not sure. Is he better than… does he think he's better than everyone else out here? But that's not the case at all, he fits right in, he's been a great leader, an upbeat guy, learned and played well last week and we anticipate him getting better and better once he gets a full grasp of the defense, which I think he already has."

On Houston Texans WR Demaryius Thomas:

"Yeah, Demaryius has plenty of film so those guys could watch with the computers that we have now. We can take all his route targets from Denver and just watch him run routes. But, you're right he is going to fit in a different system, with a possible different route tree. The play passes, the big play ability that they have, with obviously 'Hop' [DeAndre Hopkins] and him together is pretty dangerous. A great addition for that football team but we have to make sure we're well aware of another team with great receivers. This is another week, every team seems like they have them and we just have to go out and do the best we can and compete."

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