Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Washington Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening Statement:"Injuries real quick: [G] Shawn Lauvao has knee swelling. He'll be day-to-day as far as the Giants' game. [CB] DeAngelo Hall has an Achilles injury – we're going to get it checked out tomorrow. [DE Jason] Hatcher went down with a hamstring strain. It looks mild. We'll see his status for Thursday; we're not sure. And then [T Tyler] Polumbus had a mild knee sprain. He came back in. He's going to be okay it looks like. [LB] Keenan Robinson has an AC sprain – he's going to be okay. And then [LB Brian] Orakpo has a finger sprain – he'll be okay." 

On whether the special teams' play was frustrating: "It is. I wouldn't like to think just special teams. We had plenty of chances offensively to do something. We threw a pick. We had the ball at the 40-yard line down three with four downs to get 10 yards and we failed to do that. Defensively, we missed some assignments and again, gave up big plays. And special teams, you know all three of us. It's a good football team we played and they're going to make their plays, but we all have our hand in this, coaching also was defeated. So I'm not going to point my finger at special teams. Everybody had their hand [in this], but we do have to figure out a way to cover kicks better."  

On his emotions walking off the field after being so close to winning: "It's frustrating. We battled back. We were down 10 with about five minutes to go. We put together a quick drive to get back in the game and our defense did an outstanding job getting us the ball back at the four-yard line and we failed to convert. Very frustrating. Very disappointing. But I like the way we battled back. I liked the way our defense came back and accepted the challenge at halftime. I liked the way our offense performed. [QB] Kirk [Cousins was] in his first full start in a while. There's a lot of things to like. The things I don't like was the special teams, obviously the big plays and then the penalties were unnecessary and things that we have to address. Things that we can correct we will correct, but I can't keep saying that at a postgame news conference after we lose. We have to get them corrected for us to get this thing turned around."      

On his evaluation of Cousins' play: "I thought he did excellent. Other than the pick that he forced, I think he had a good game. There's a few things that we can tweak with his footwork. Sometimes he got a little antsy in there and threw balls a little early. He could have waited another count or two, but that's just part of being in the pocket again and feeling the pass rush and knowing how much time you have. But overall, man, to throw for over 400 yards on the road, I think he did an excellent job with limited reps the whole camp. I'm very proud of Kirk – the way he played and the way he battled."

On the communication on the field: "We didn't have any problems with that. I think it was a good process all the way through. I think guys played hard like I said. We battled through some injuries. The penalties we have to get rid of and some other things, but overall, the road game – I think we handled the road crowd, the crowd noise very well."  

On the factor of the offense, particularly the tight ends, and whether WR DeSean Jackson was a factor as well: "Both – I think everybody was a factor. The tight ends did well. [WR] Pierre [Garçon] had a big day. And of course [WR] DeSean [Jackson]. Anytime DeSean is out there if you want to put another safety there on top of him it opens up things for [WR] Andre [Roberts] and Pierre and all that. So I think Kirk did an excellent job of seeing the coverages, reading them and getting the ball out of his hands. I don't think we had a sack – I could be mistaken. Did we have a sack? No sacks for as many times as we threw the ball with [OLB] Trent Cole and the good pass rush that they have is an impressive day not only for our offensive line, but for Kirk."      

On where he thinks the offense can go: "Obviously we have a lot to be encouraged with. I think from an offensive line standpoint, you throw the ball that many times and you don't get sacked, it's a great tribute. And then if you could spread the ball. If you had different weapons – you know [TE] Jordan Reed is not even playing, and DeSean was a little bit banged up – you have a lot to look forward to. Our running game wasn't quite hitting like we normally have it, but like I said, we have a lot of games left to play. We're disappointed with this loss, but I think everybody can see that there is major improvement going on here and everybody can rally around Kirk for the next six or seven weeks." 

On NT Chris Baker's hit on Eagles' QB Nick Foles: "You know what, I didn't even see it. I didn't even see it. Is that why he got ejected? He told me he hit the quarterback while it was an interception running back. If it was cheap and not within the rules, then he should have been kicked out, but I did not see it honestly."

On what kind of conversation he will have with Baker after reviewing the tape: "If it was illegal, I'll have a conversation about it. It's things we have to address and make sure [don't happen again]. We don't ever want to put another player in harm's way, especially a quarterback. I used to play it. It's unnecessary if it happened. I don't know if it happened yet or not. But if it did happen, we'll address it. And I'm sure the league will too."  

On whether he thought Jackson did a good job of keeping control of his emotions: "I think he was fine. I think he was a little sore. You could see the way he was running, he was holding his shoulder. But I think he competed. He played well. He played within the rules, but you know he's going to get excited to make the big play. And that's just DeSean. He's going to do that no matter if he plays in the backyard or Philadelphia. This had a little bit of extra zest for him, so I'm proud of the way he played. I'm proud that he came out here and competed – despite being very sore – and put together a good game."  

On the play of the defense: "I think [the defense] came back. First half I was really disappointed. They ran a bubble screen, a quick screen, for a seven yard gain. Luckily they had a penalty. They were up and down the field. And offensively I think we had the ball for 13 minutes in the first quarter and they still had 21 points at halftime. So we addressed the effort. Playing with your eyes, but that's a great tempo and they've done it to a lot of teams on offense. So I think our guys came back in the second half, competed, stopped the run, forced them into some third-and-longs and got after Foles and did a good job rushing the passer. And that's our secret. That's our remedy. We have to get the first downs stopped and get them into second-and-long and third-and-long and let our rushers rush."     

On the Eagles' pace on offense and how that breaks down the defense: "No question. They have, if not the best, they have very good players. They have receivers, skill guys, and they got [RB Darren] Sproles and [RB LeSean] McCoy who are very good. Foles is a darn good quarterback. [TE Brent] Celek and [TE Zach] Ertz – darn good tight ends. Pro Bowl left tackle [Jason Peters]. So they're going to make their plays from time to time. But when you give it to them easy and you're out of the gap, somebody loses responsibility somewhere with a vertical hook or what have you, it gets a little frustrating. But our guys rallied. They played hard. Hats off to the Eagles offense. They did a great job again. But I think we came in in the second half, flexed our muscles a little bit and did some good things to get the ball back and give ourselves a chance."   

On whether he's concerned about the short week and all the injuries: "Yeah. When you play on the road in the NFL in a division game like this and then have to come back and travel back home and play on a Thursday night – it's not easy. Not to mention we have so many of these injuries that it's a major concern for us. But I'm sure the Giants will feel the same way. I'm sure they had some guys beat up a little bit too. It's just the way it is in football. They put the Thursday night schedule on there and we all have to have one. So we'll have to deal with it. We'll do walkthroughs tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday and then get ready for Thursday.   

On how he can get the team to play with passion, but also with control to eliminate penalties:"It's unfortunate. I have to look at the penalties, if they were penalties, but our guys played hard. And when you play hard, you get excited, and football is an exciting game played with a lot of passion. Sometimes you play within the rules or unfortunately the referees see something that may or may not have happened. But we have to make sure we control that. Do the best we can of making sure we show every penalty on tape and getting them corrected because that's what loses a lot of football games. We're going to be, in my opinion, in a lot of these close games the next three weeks and penalties will cost you a lot.   * *

On what happened during the missed 33-yard field goal and also the Eagles' kickoff return for a touchdown: "The 33-yard field goal hit the upright. I think it was a good hold, a good snap, good protection. He just missed it. I think he's made 17 in a row before that. It's unfortunate. The kickoff return, I don't know what happened to be honest with you. I was looking at the pictures and I'll talk to [special teams coordinator] Ben [Kotwica] when we break up here, but a good return by [RB Chris] Polk and good blocking on their part.

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