RICHMOND -- Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden is up to four press conferences during training camp with plenty more coming. While he may provide his offensive playmakers with plenty of opportunities thanks to his highly-rated schemes, the coach is more judicious with his wording during these Q&A sessions. That leads to more interpretation which is what we're doing here.
July 28: What Gruden said about his thoughts on Kirk Cousins one year ago and at what point last year did he believe Cousins was the best bet at quarterback for this team.
“I think this time last year when we reported to camp, we’d had our OTAs and Kirk was obviously throwing the ball very well at that time and really had everybody on notice as far as, ‘Wow, this guy is really picking up steam.’ We still had competition out here at the quarterback position. It was [Robert Griffin III]'s team at this time last year, but circumstances happened the way they happened and Kirk took full advantage of his opportunities when he got the chance. We made a decision to go with Kirk because of all of the things we saw at OTAs and all of the things we saw at training camp and in the preseason games. We did a lot of work on it and we made a decision and Kirk, we felt like, earned that role.”
* I asked Gruden these questions largely because I was curious as to what he might say about the QB change one year removed, with the hysteria over all things RG3 having largely quieted. His response, particularly the part where Cousins shined in OTAs, jives with his comments at the time of the switch late in preseason. Yet the "we still had competition" line of thinking remains interesting considering there was real public acknowledgement of such thing. In Gruden's mind, sure, but saying so out loud would have meant all in the organization were on board with Cousins starting over Griffin. It's quite clear that wasn't the case. That Gruden said Friday of Cousins “He doesn’t have to do a whole lot to get me" [on board for a new contract] also reminds us that there's some level of disagreement over the QB spot once again.
JULY 30: Gruden on Josh Doctson's Achilles injury. The first round pick was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of camp.
“I don’t know. You know, I think this thing is a sensitive issue for him and he’s the one that’s got to ultimately say. He feels good. He said he’s walking around without the boot right now. I think it’s just a matter of as we gradually push him, how he responds, and I think that’s the biggest issue we have to deal with. Hopefully this tendonitis or whatever it is doesn’t reoccur.”
* First off, at least nobody else should smash their hands over far of a three-month absence for Doctson. Interesting that Gruden says the injury is a "sensitive issue for Doctson and that "he’s the one that’s got to ultimately say" good to go. Linebacker Perry Riley returned from the PUP list Friday and said he wanted back sooner, but the doctors held him back.
Asked Friday if at times he's felt the team has held him out too long, Doctson answered," Yeah, but I'm playing for a 12-plus [year] career. It's the first few months of my whole career, but I can't really sweat this time." The rookie also said he wants to get on the field and said he's close, "but you never know though. They want me 100 percent."
Expect questions of the coach as to whether the delayed return is more on Doctson or the training staff if the rookie isn't practicing by Monday or Tuesday.
July 29: On S DeAngelo Hall’s transition from corner to safety:
“I think he’s going through it. I think it’s a totally different perspective at safety than it is at corner for him. He’s just got to learn to see the quarterback and get in the right position, get his eyes right and then just trust what he sees and break. I think he’ll do that. It’s just going to take some time. Whether he’s a half-field player, middle player, covering the tight end, covering somebody out in the slot, whatever it is, he’s just got to get comfortable with his landmarks, his positioning and his eyes. And the more reps that he gets – he got 25 good reps in team period yesterday, not to mention the one-on-ones and the walkthrough – the more comfortable he’s going to be. We expect D-Hall to pick it up quickly because he’s that type of guy. He’s very competitive, very smart and he’ll do fine.”
The battle at strong safety between David Bruton and Duke Ihenacho is the juicier camp storyline, but tracking Hall's adjustment shouldn't be overlooked. Based on his career and his performance last season following the change, expect the 32-year-old to figure out all the angles of his new-ish position. But things get interesting if the coach continues to talk about the process taking time considering Hall isn't a young pup still soaking it all in.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.null