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Coachspeak: Redskins' Jay Gruden talks Matt Jones, Ziggy Hood, receivers plan against Falcons

Comments from the Redskins head coach following Tuesday's practice session.

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden held his daily press conference following Tuesday's lone practice in Richmond. Here's what he said beyond injury updates on Jordan ReedPreston Smith and Trent Williams including comments on Matt Jones, Ziggy Hood and the wide receivers without Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson...

On the plans for Thursday’s game against Atlanta:

“We’re going to get everybody some reps in the game that are traveling and making the trip. Once the game gets started… I’ll put them through pregame warm-up and once the game gets started, then I’ll make my determination on who to take out and when to take them out. That’ll be solely my decision, and we’ll go from there.” 

On if he enters the game with a “pretty set plan” for playing time:

“I’ve got a pretty set plan. I’ve got to make sure obviously Coach [Ben] Kotwica knows about who’s coming out because it’ll affect special teams, and the coordinators know who’s coming out. [That] might affect our play calling. But for the most part, I’ll give them a heads up of what I anticipate happening, but sometimes on game day things change. Somebody gets nicked, somebody might have to play a little bit more than we anticipated. But, the plan is [to] make sure that everybody’s ready to play a football game on Thursday night, and then I’ll make the decision who comes out when.”

On if WR Maurice Harris will receive more reps with Jamison Crowder ruled out:

“Yeah, I think so. I think you’ll see Maurice. You’ll see [Valdez] Showers. You’ll see Dez Stewart. So, we have some guys… [Jarvis] Turner, he’ll get some reps in there. Ryan Grant, obviously, he’ll pick up some slack. [Rashad] Ross will get a lot of reps, so we have some guys that have shown to be worthy of getting these reps. It’ll be fun to watch these guys and then see how they do on special teams and that’ll help make our decision moving forward.” 

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On G Shawn Lauvao’s status for Thursday:

“He’s playing.” 

On what he is looking for from rookies:

“I just like to see them – pregame warmups, see how they look, the look in their eyes, see how excited they get and see how they play. With all the information we’ve given them through OTAs and training camp up to now, to get ready for the first game, I want to see how they process it and then see how they’ll perform. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. When the lights cut on, who is going to show up and play in a big way, protect the football, play assignment-sound football, fundamentally sound football and make plays? At the end of the day, it's about making plays and hopefully those guys will step up and do that.” 

On a single area in which RB Matt Joneshas improved most this summer:

“I just think his decisiveness when he gets the ball in his hands. We run a lot of zone plays and a lot of times if you’re indecisive, you’re bouncing your feet. He’s sticking his foot in the ground and making decisive cuts – whether it’s cutting into the C gap, B gap, backside A gap or even bouncing it outside. You’ll see him make decisive cuts. His cuts have been pretty darn good. He’s making the reads properly and he’s doing a good job with his vision. I think the vision aspect is the biggest improvement that I’ve seen.” 

On DE Ziggy Hood:

“I’ll tell you what, Ziggy Hood has jumped out a lot. The one-on-ones, he does extremely well, and I think during the team periods, he’s active. He shows up. What you’re looking for in defensive linemen, you obviously want them to be sound in their run game, but you want to see guys show up. He’s disruptive. He’s a smart football player who has played a lot of football. Like I said, he just shows up and does a good job.”

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