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Washington Postgame Quotes 10/6

Washington Head Coach Jay Gruden and select players comment on their 33-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 6, 2019.


Postgame Press Conference

Sunday, October 6, 2019

On injuries:

"Quinton Dunbar had a hamstring stinger. [T] [Donald] Penn, hamstring. [TE] [Jerome] Cunningham was in concussion evaluation process."

On the momentum shift in the second half:

"They took the opening drive and ripped it down our throats and made it 19-7. We came back, had a nice drive going. We got a first down, got another first down. We got a hand to the face, backed us up. They took the drive down and scored. It's hard to come back against those guys 26-7."

On QB Colt McCoy's performance:

"I think he rushed a couple things early in the game and rightfully so. We had trouble picking up some stuff, which we have practiced and worked with, worked against all week, all year. So, it's an unfair evaluation right now. I gotta check out the protection first. But, he handled some things pretty well I think. We have to do a better job around him, we have to give him better plays, we have to play better around him. For him, any quarterback in this offense or any offense to succeed, we have got to have strong performances by others."

On the defense's performance:

"They played pretty good in the first half. They had a great sudden change at the end of the half, they held them to a field goal and kept us right in the game. Then the third quarter, they went touchdown, touchdown, touchdown. We've had really major problems coming out of halftime, and contrary to beliefs, it's not about second half adjustments as much as it's about second half mentality. For whatever reason, we have gotten beaten up in the third and fourth quarter. Penalties, turnovers, lack of third down play-making that killed us."

On his job security:

"Nobody told me anything and I don't have a concern. I'll just wait and see. If the key works on Monday, I'll keep working. Go attack the Miami Dolphins and plan on getting on first win next week."

On staff changes moving forward:

"No. This time of the year, you're not going to install a whole new defense or a whole new offense with all the new people we have around here and some of the injuries we have pilling up. Consistency is going to be good. We're going to have to perform better and do a better job."

On theoretically making staff changes:

"Theoretically, I can make changes everywhere. We're 0-5. We have not played up to par in any phase of football other than special teams. They've been outstanding. Just have to take a look at it tomorrow and see what happens."

On turning things around this season:

"Yes, I've been provided ample opportunities to succeed around here. I've got good players, I've got a good staff. We just haven't produced on Sundays or Mondays. We gotta do better."

On Patriots TE Ryan Izzo's touchdown:

"I don't know. I have to look. I have no idea. I just know he was wide open. It was a play-action pass. Somebody might've tripped or got caught up. I don't know, I'll have to wait and see."


On how he felt the game went:

"Tough day. I don't want to paint any other picture. We want to score more than seven points. I felt fine physically. But when you get down a couple scores to these guys, it's a hard thing to just drop back and throw with their pass rush and their defense. We put ourselves in a hole, we had a lot of penalties that unfortunately stopped a couple of our drives. We just got to go back to the drawing board. We got a good group of guys in this locker room, good leaders, guys who want to win, who care. We'll just circle the wagon and figure out a way to get one on the board. That's the only thing we can do right now."

On the New England Patriots defense:

"I don't want to make any excuses for me. We're playing in the National Football League, and I know my job and responsibility. I think I did maybe move out of pocket a couple times in the first quarter where I may have had a pocket there. But after that, I felt like I settled in. I had no issues seeing coverage and what they were doing. It was just a matter of getting my foot in the ground and trying to find the open guy, find number two. But when those guys knew we were throwing the football, that's hard to do. So we battled, we fought and we just came up short today. It was tough."

On the offensive struggles:

"I certainly don't take for granted playing in the National Football League. You're one of 32 guys out there. I think we have a good offense. We just were missing some guys and we're doing our best and there's no excuse for what we put out there today. I think as a unit we have to continue to just figure out a way to start in the run game, and I think everything will build off of that. We've had a tough time with that the last couple weeks. We'll be all right though."

On the interception at the end of the half:

"That's a hard one. I haven't played with these guys a lot. I haven't practiced with them a lot. But I'll take the blame for me. I think I have to see that throw, maybe, and maybe progress. We'll go back and look at that."

On Head Coach Jay Gruden's comment about the team's 2nd half mentality:

"Well, I think we put a nice drive together to start the third quarter. We hit a couple balls and moved across the 50 [yard line]. And then I looked up again and it was third and 20. We just keep hurting ourselves. I thought we did a nice job getting off of the goal line. I mean look, they're not going to give us much. They're a very good defense, so whenever they present an opportunity, we've got to make it. The worst thing you can do is get penalties and back yourself up. We got across the 20 and it was a like a nine play drive for five yards or something. We just can't do that as an offense. The false starts, just the little stuff, that's where we've got to clean these things up. We think we can move the ball. We do think we can score points, but we're not good enough to beat the New England Patriots when we're in second and 20 and third and 20 all of the time. I don't think you can beat anybody that way. That's what really, really hurt us today."

On speaking to the team as a leader:

"You definitely speak up. Being 0-5 is not fun. I've never been 0-5. I don't think very many guys in there have ever been 0-5. It's a place that's no fun. We've got to find a way to dig ourselves out of this hole. But I do believe in each one of the guys in there. We didn't play great today, but we're going to have to turn that around quickly. My message to the guys in the huddle was just that I appreciate the fight. This wasn't because of lack of effort. This wasn't a lack of going out there and doing the best job you can. We just have to clean up a lot of little things that keep biting us, and I think we will."

On the running game:

"This is my first time out there. I felt like we had a good plan. I did. But, what happens in these games when you get down a couple of scores and you're playing against Tom Brady, you've got to throw the football. I hate to say you have to abandon the run game, but you sort of have to get into the mentality of 'we've got to create something and make something happen.' And before I leave out, I just want to say I felt like the defense played a great game and had a great first half. We couldn't get anything going and they were battling and battling. We turned the ball over deep and they [Washington defense] stopped them [Patriots] for a field goal. Those are the things that good teams do. We, as an offense, just have to find ways to get the ball across the 50 [yard line], get the ball in the red zone, and punch it in. We had a whole call sheet of red zone plays, and we never even called one of them. That part is frustrating, but I believe in the guys in this room. I think we believe in each other. We just have to figure out a way to get it done."


On what if felt like to score his first touchdown:

"It felt great. I'm hungry for more. It's been a long time coming, finally got to get in the end zone. It's hard getting in the end zone, so you have to cherish that moment every time you get in."

On his touchdown play and what he saw on the big play:

"Pretty much just like a little reverse, kind of, a little hand-back. I kind of get hidden behind the line when I go back across and they kind of lose me with the Z-motion or whatever. I just got out there and the guys in front of me blocked well, I made a good cut, they missed tackles and I scored."

On when he knew he'd be a prominent player in the scheme this week:

"This week we installed a lot of plays, new formations, stuff like that, so I kind of knew that my reps would be picked up a little bit. I was happy, I was ready to go contribute any way I can to the team."

On how to move forward from 0-5:

"We've just got to keep going forward, put our heads down, keep grinding. Nobody is going to give us a win just because we're 0-5, we've got to go take it. So next week, we're just going to go to work hard and hopefully we get our first win in Miami."

On what he saw from QB Colt McCoy in his start:

"He played a good game, he got his feet wet. First time back from injury, so I know things were moving pretty fast at first, but he settled down. He was getting comfortable and we started rolling a little bit, but the pre-snap penalties on offense are killing us right now."


On what could be improved on offense:

"Just [minimizing] the negative plays, converting third downs and when we get in the red zone, we've got to score."

On if the Patriots presented any surprises on defense:

"They played a little less man than we anticipated. They played a lot more Cover-2, but either way we prepare for it all."

On whether there's anything particularly tough about the Patriots defense:

"I mean, they force you to drive it down the field. That's why they're the Patriots, that's why they haven't given up many touchdowns. Very well-coached. They tackle in the open field."


On if the offensive play-calling is working with the offensive personnel:

"I don't think that we really have established an identity over the past five weeks. That's just kind of my [outlook] on it."

On the culture difference between this team and his previous teams:

"I've never been 0-5. I'm sure there are some other guys on this team that haven't dealt with that before. I'm not going to backtrack on what I've said in the previous weeks because the talent is here, but obviously we're not getting it done. We need to try something different because we all know we haven't been successful here in the past five weeks. I don't know what more to say. You guys are watching the game too, what do you guys think?"


On what changed after a quick start:

"A whole bunch, man. We've got to figure out how to be more consistent. I think another big thing is we've got to figure out is coming out in the second half strong, finish games off. It's bad though. We've got to learn and we've got to learn fast because we're getting tired of losing. 0-5 is not good. Some of the things we've got to get better – sustaining drives, starting faster, we've got to get the run game going. There's a lot of stuff we've got to work on, but we're going to keep working, man. It's tough right now, 0-5 sucks."

On whether the issues are mental or physical:

"It's a little bit of both. We're making good adjustments, we've got to go out there and execute. It's tough though because it's always like one person here, one person there. I had my share today, it's tough. We've got to be all together. So, it's working, it's just tough right now. We've been working hard during the week, everybody has been putting work in practice and stuff, and it's just tough when it's not showing on Sunday. But all we can do is keep working, man, that's all we can do is keep working. Keep staying positive and stay together, so that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to keep everybody together in this locker room and just keep going. We've got a long season ahead of us so that's the only positive we can look at, but 0-5 sucks."

On where things are breaking down on offense:

"I wish I could pinpoint it because if I could pinpoint it, it'd be fixed right now, you know what I mean? But I feel like we need to be a little more consistent in the run game. Coach is calling them, we just need to execute better and more often. And we need to stop with these penalties. I played for the Raiders and I thought the Raiders had an 'X' on their back when it came to penalties. But with Washington, it's totally different. It's ridiculous out there. I was getting mad at the refs out there. I explained to the ref, I said, 'it ain't you, man. We're just frustrated. These penalties keep happening. I know you've got to do your job.' I said, 'It's just frustration, so don't get mad at us if we're yelling at you all.' We're frustrated, so we've got to find a way to get it better. It's hard when you get a nice positive first down play, then you come in second down and get a penalty, and now you turn second and 5 into second and 15 or second and 20. It's tough, you know, we're always playing behind the sticks, so we've got to help ourselves better with all those penalties. We had a long run with [RB Adrian Peterson] and they called a penalty. I think AP might've took that to the house. Little stuff like that, that could've changed the game. We've just got to keep working. It's going to fall into place, I just wish it had fallen into place sooner before we go 0-5."


On the positives from the game:

"I don't know where you get positives from a loss 7-33. Yeah, it [stinks]."

On what happened in the second half:

"I don't know. It got away from us. It just got away from us."

On team morale:

"No. It's tough, It's tough, it's tough, it's tough. [We] go to work every day, we practice hard, we come out here play hard, just can't catch breaks. We got players that [are] just really good. It's just sometimes things happen that [are] just not in our control. Yeah, it's tough."

On the coaching staff:

"That's not a question I can answer. That's dealing with up top. I'm not going to put myself in a situation and comment on that. That's got to deal with the people that's up at the top of the office who make those decisions. We just play the game. We try to play it to the best of our abilities."

On the feeling in the locker room:

"We [are] going to band together. That's all we got. [We] got nobody else that's for sure. Dig ourselves out of the hole that we put ourselves into. That's all we got. I think the teams we've been playing are really good teams. They've done a good job of scouting us and doing what they know necessary to get a W. We just have to be better in situations and critical moments to be able to help the football team in any way we can."


On the success against the Patriots offensive line:

"I think we liked our matchups. I was happy with a lot of the pressure we were able to put on. We just allowed them to be too balanced in the second half. And that was kind of what went bad."

On struggles in the second half:

"It's tough because I feel like we come into the locker room for half time and we're like excited. We're like, 'Alright, let's go. We're playing well. Let's do it for 30 minutes.' I don't necessarily think it's a mentality. I just feel like we haven't executed well. It's just the little things each play that leads ultimately to them getting down the field on us."

On the idea of playing for Head Coach Jay Gruden's job:

"We can't concern ourselves with that. We got to try and find a way to win as players. We got to be better as players. That's our focus."

On staying focused at 0-5:

"We still know that we are professionals. We have a long season ahead. We still have 11 games left. Those games are going to be there no matter what our record is right now. So, we got to be ready to play those games."

On what can be improved:

"Usually, it's little things in terms of maybe a guy's not in the right place or a missed tackle. Those lead to big chunks plays that ultimately allow them to extend drives and move the ball pretty efficiently."

On sacking Patriots QB Tom Brady:

"Yeah, cool for sure. I hadn't got one on him before so that was pretty neat. Of course, I wish it would have come in a different circumstance."

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