Some brief thoughts on Jay Gruden's very brief press conference kicking off training camp for the Washington Redskins.
What Gruden said on Junior Galette's season-ending Achilles injury: "We're upset obviously, but more for him as an individual. ...Devastated is a good word for him. .
What we heard: Are you @*!#*&# kidding me! Ok, Gruden remained far more chill when answering the question, but the pain is real. The coach did add that for now the plan is taking a closer look at the younger options, including Houston Bates, Lynden Trail and Willie Jefferson.
What Gruden said about certain players recovering from injuries, including guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle surgery), wide receiver Josh Doctson (hip and tight end Jordan Reed. All missed at least a portion of the offseason work. "We might hold a couple of them back for a few days," Gruden said, noting a decision would be made Wednesday following player physicals. Asked specifically about Lauvao, who last played in Week 3, Gruden said, "He's very close, though. Just talking to him, I think he feels pretty good. I imagine he'll be a couple of days still." On whether he expects Lauvao to participate during camp, Gruden added, "I would hope so, yes."
What we heard: Sure, Lauvao needing more time, fine. That any issues Doctson and even Reed were not outright dismissed is a tad concerning. For now, we'll assume the coach is going with caution in his statements. ...Back to Lauvao. Needing a couple of days sounds great, but that's not the same as simply hoping he'll practice over the next 2-3 weeks, as Gruden's comment indicates. Getting back on the field is great, but there is still conditioning, testing the ankle, getting into a flow and so on. If Lauvao doesn't return within a week -- best guess here is no -- then the idea that he starts Week 1 fades.
What Gruden said about whether expectations are higher after an NFC East title, Kirk Cousins signing a massive 1-year deal, etc. "That's probably the consensus around here. They do feel a little higher. We feel like we accomplished a lot. We made major improvements last year and we continue to expect our team to make those improvements. This is no different. ...We always have high expectations for this team."
What we heard: Gruden is smart here. Playing the aw shucks card doesn't fly and frankly would send a weird, low expectations message to the player assuming any of them pay attention to such statements. The Redskins won the division title, made the postseason for the first time since 2012 and added helpful pieces since then including Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman, first round pick Doctson and safety David Bruton. Stating you have high expectations doesn't mean predicting 16-0. Also doesn't mean you're lowering the bar on your team.
What Gruden said about possibly moving defensive end Trent Murphy back to outside linebacker following Galette's injury: Yeah, that could happen, but there is so much nickel pass rush nowadays the amount of times we're in a true 3-4 alignment...is about 30 percent now...We want Trent to inside for now."
What we heard: 1) We're not switching one plan already in progress because an issue elsewhere developed. 2) Murphy's move to 4-3 DE gives him the best chance to contribute. 3) He's already packed on the pounds after eating like a horse this next season. Asking him to yo-yo his weight like that as if he's Christian Bale prepping for a movie role is just mean. Gruden also mentioned some of those young options getting a crack at replacing Galette's vacated role.
What Gruden said about how the weather might interfere with his practice schedule: “I’ll have to wait and see. I might have to cut some periods if it gets too hot. Maybe change the practice to the morning, flop our walkthrough and our afternoon practice where our pads are in the morning and afternoon is the walkthrough. We’ll see how it goes but we’re going to keep them hydrated. ... I told our coaches, ‘Keep an eye on each individual player, keep them hydrated,’ and we’ll just go and take it day by day.”
What we heard: Hey, winter, you coming?
* After the press conference, the Redskins announced they signings of two wide receivers, Kendal Thompson and T.J.Thorpe. Thompson played quarterback at the University of Utah. The 6-foot-1 Thorpe caught 23 passes for Virginia last season. Those additions bring the Redskins roster total up to the max 90 players for the start off camp.
* Seriously, that was some efficient press conferencing
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