Gruden: "I wanted to try and keep some of the formational run concepts"

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Source: Redskins Public Relations / Photo: Jorge O. Martínez /

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the time frame for CB Josh Norman’s return:

“We’re not sure. He had follow-ups with doctors today. So he wasn’t out at practice today, so we’ll get a better idea come tomorrow/Wednesday. Hopefully it’s two to four [weeks]… five, three. I don’t know.”

On LB Zach Brown’s absence today:


On how much of an asset T Trent Williams is even when he’s injured:

“Well, he’s a great teammate. He’s a great asset. I’d rather have him as a player than a teammate, but we’ll know more about those guys come Wednesday. He just sat out, did not participate today. Hopefully we’ll have a better feeling on what he’s going to do Wednesday. If he can’t play, then obviously he’ll help out the best way he can, get T.J. [Clemmings] ready to roll.”

On today’s practice:

“It was just trying to get them back out there, get a little sweat going. It’s been five days and [they’re] a little rusty. Just trying to get some pitch and catch out there, get them a good sweat. Had a good day, ran around fine, trying to get some guys some work that haven’t got a lot of work – Clemmings especially at left tackle. Got [Stefan] McClure some work at safety today, which was good, and [Josh] Harvey-Clemons at linebacker, trying to get some other people in there, get some work."

On if Norman’s injury involved a lung issue:

“No, it was just his rib – from what I know… Unfortunately I don’t read all the reports, except our trainer’s, and that’s what I got.”

On Norman:

“He’s a great corner and he’s one of the best corners in the league. That’s a significant player to lose on your football team. Fortunately we have some guys that I think are ready to step up and play in his absence. [Quinton] Dunbar is ready to roll, Fabian [Moreau] is doing a much better job, [Kendall] Fuller can go out to corner if need be, we have [Joshua] Holsey on the shelf ready to roll. So we have some guys out there that will have to step up if he can’t go.”

On if Norman’s communication separates him from the others:

“He doesn’t do a whole lot of communicating. The safeties usually communicate with him. He just does a great job of covering his guy and then forcing turnovers. He gets the ball out occasionally, which is great. He’s a great tackler and he is a big-time cover guy against big-time receivers. So he’ll be missed, but we will just have to make do without him until he is healthy.”

On WR Josh Doctson’s shoulder:

“He practiced today, so we will see. We will get him more treatment. He landed on his shoulder, but he practiced today. I think he will be OK.”

On if he has had a conversation with Doctson about practicing through injuries:

“No, I think when it comes to injuries, I talk to the trainer and player. It’s up to them to get the player healthy and the player to get out there. So it is beyond his control. When he is injured, he is injured and can’t practice. It is just an unfortunate circumstance, but he has been available for us now the last four to five weeks so he has been good.”

On 49ers WR Pierre Garçon and if the defensive backs will know his tendencies:

“A little bit, but they do a good job of moving him around and he is a physical player still, without a doubt. He is still one of the top possession-type receivers there is in football. He is really good after the catch. That’s the one thing we really have to make sure [that] we tackle well when he gets the ball in his hands out in space because he can really run after the catch. He runs very good, precise, crisp routes and has got strong hands. He does all the underneath stuff. He can hit you down the sidelines from time to time so he is definitely their best playmaker. Aldrick [Robinson] was here too, so we know Aldrick a little bit”

On the similarities between the Redskins’ offense and the 49ers’ offense:

“We kept a lot of the run game concepts and terminology the same just so we didn’t have wholesale changes when I got here. I wanted to try and keep some of the formational run concepts – the keepers, the bootlegs, play action, some of those stayed intact. The passing game, the drop-back passing game, I turned over to my terminology because that is what I am comfortable with. So that is basically how we did it.”


On former Miami Dolphins Offensive Line Coach Chris Foerster:

“It’s sad. I feel for Chris. He’s a very good offensive line coach and he was a great person when he worked here, so hopefully he gets the help that he needs and can move forward with his life.”


On the timing of the bye week and if the team is ready to go:

“I think we’re ready. Obviously the injuries are a little bit of a concern, but for the most part, the bye happens when it happens. Now we just have to understand we have 12 weeks of straight ball. That’s just 12 straight weeks. These guys have to commit themselves to a long haul. You’d like to break up it at maybe the halfway point like we had last year, but now that we know when it is, we have to just adjust our schedules and really all commit ourselves to the grind of the NFL season 12 weeks in a row – hopefully 13, hopefully 14, 15 weeks in a row.”


On the hallmark of 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense and the pieces he has in place:

“He’s got talent, that’s for sure. They’ve lost four games by three points or less, I believe, two overtime games, so they’re right there. They had the Rams on their heels. They had a horrific – unlucky, I should say – offensive pass interference call that cost them, so they’re right there. They have a very good running back. [Brian] Hoyer’s played a lot of football. They’ve got Pierre Garçon. They’ve got a heck of left tackle. Their defense is coming on. They have three first rounders on that defensive line. [NaVorro] Bowman’s still a heck of a linebacker. I don’t know if Reuben Foster’s going to play but he’s an excellent linebacker. They have pieces to be good. They’re just trying to implement a system and I think it will take some time, but they’re very dangerous. That’s for sure.”


On how hard it is to change the culture of a new team:

“Yeah, like I said, that takes time but I’m sure they have some pieces in place that they can build off of and they can rally their troops around. I don’t know anything about who they have there as far as personality goes, but I know that watching them on tape, they play hard to the bitter end. Like I said, four games, three points or less. They’re right there against some very good football teams – Seattle, the Rams, Colts. Panthers they struggled a little bit against, but four out of five games, they easily could be 4-1. I think from a talent standpoint, they have people in place that can compete and win games.”