Aftermath: Gruden talks injuries, Hatcher's comments, Culliver's call

Trent Williams and Alfred Morris injury updates, Matt Jones fumbles and the controversy following Sunday's loss.

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden held his weekly Monday press conference following Sunday's 44-16 loss at Carolina Panthers. The highlights:

Injuries:

"Trent Williams  has a knee – patella – contusion; he’ll be day-to-day. Alfred Morris aggravated his rib; he’ll be day-to-day. Deshazor Everett has a hamstring strain. Chris Thompson is OK. He was put in the concussion protocol, but he’s OK — did not have one. Jordan Reed had a knee – MCL – sprain but came back in and played.”

 

On if RB Alfred Morris’ injury is to the same rib:

“It’s the same one, yeah.”

 

On how much it hurt not having Morris available for most of yesterday’s game:

“Yeah, it hurt, but we were prepared. We dressed three backs — three halfbacks. We still had obviously Matt [Jones] and Chris [Thompson] and just still failed to get anything going.”

 

On if the team would make a roster move if Morris isn’t available Sunday:

“Possibly, but, you know, we’ll have to wait and see. I think he’s going to be OK, based on what I’m hearing, but that’s an option. We have a couple moves we could make but we’ll wait and see Wednesday how he’s doing.”

 

On RB Matt Jones' fumbles this season:

“He’s a talented kid, man. Like I said, a lot of them -- I think like three of them -- were non-contact fumbles. He’s trying to gain the extra yard, stick the ball out. Yesterday he was hurdling the pile and it just barely got poked out. I think it’s just a matter of him continuing to focus more on the ball pre-contact, also when there is contact. That’s something Randy Jordan does every day in individual. He spends the first part of individual every day working on ball security drills and we’ll continue to work on it. He’s got to understand as a running back in the National Football League, once you have this M.O. [modus operandi], the only way to shake it is to protect the ball. If you don’t protect the ball then you won’t be a running back in the NFL for very long. We have total faith in him that he’s going to fix this but he has to himself make sure he understands the importance of the ball. All running backs do.”

 

On if he shares DE Jason Hatcher concerns about officiating:

“No, I think everybody was a little frustrated after the game and what he said is what he said. It’s already in the newspaper. You go back and watch the tape, we’ve been pretty good as far as penalties are concerned. I think we’re in the bottom third or bottom fourth of the league as far as penalties against us. So we’ve been pretty good as far as that is concerned. It just seemed yesterday, two major, major penalties went against us and people are frustrated by that. But we have to recover from those things. They happen. Calls that go against you happen in a course of a football game and the course of a season. We have to rebound from them like every other team in the NFL does.”

 

On if he concerned by the players’ voicing their disagreement on social media:

“Well, with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, they have their way to voice their opinion. We try to keep everything in-house as far as our opinions are concerned. I’ll make sure we address that as far as a team meeting is concerned. These officials are human beings and they do the best they can just like we are as players and coaches. To point the finger at an official for our loss yesterday probably isn’t right because we lost by 30. Those two calls did make a big difference in the football game but there's a lot of things that we did as a coaching staff and as a team that weren't good enough to win in Carolina against an undefeated team.”

 

On his message to the team this week:

“Well, we have to search for consistency, really. There’s a lot to look forward to in this season. However, the one thing we want to focus in on is ourselves and our fundamentals, how we prepare and all that stuff. When we turn the ball over five times, have nine or 10 penalties, miss tackles, there’s no point in looking forward, you know what I mean? We have to look at ourselves very closely, X’s and O’s wise, as coaches and as players individually from a fundamental standpoint, do what we can do to get better and protect our football team and eliminate the self-inflicted wounds. If we can do that, we’ve shown that we can be pretty good. We’ve shown that we can be pretty bad. It’s unreal how good we’ve been and how bad we’ve been all in the same season within a week of each other. We know the capabilities that this team has, but we have to make sure that we continue to focus in on the fundamentals of football – protecting the football, penalties and obviously tackling.”

 

On if he has a clear understanding of the rule that negated the touchdown by CB Chris Culliver:

“It’s very confusing. Jordan Reed caught an out route early in the game and got hit right on his head and there was no call. Then the ball is right in front of Chris Culliver and he goes for the ball, hits him with his forearm. It’s just unfortunate. You feel helpless as coach that you can’t even challenge that. I think those plays - that was a touchdown play, too - we still couldn’t challenge it unfortunately. Hopefully something happens where a play of that magnitude is challengeable. We understand the way we’re trying to keep player safety alive and it’s a very important part of this game now – player safety and where to hit people. When calls are made that may not be called, should’ve been called, those are the ones that are the most frustrating and the ones you don’t understand, especially when you can’t challenge them. It is what it is now. We just have got to continue to preach to our players where the target area is. But I didn’t see anything wrong with what Chris did, where his body position was, where he hit the player. He went for the ball and his forearm hit the receiver. But it was called and we have got to deal with it."

 


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