Following every Redskins game of the 2019 season, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay will sit down with an exclusive, one-on-one interview with head coach Jay Gruden to discuss the team's performance.
Here's what Gruden had to say following the team's Week 4 loss to the New York Giants.
You can listen to the interview on the latest Redskins Talk Podcast.
JP Finlay: At 0-4, I can't imagine you ever thought that's where things would be after a month?
Jay Gruden: No. Anybody who thinks that should not be in this business. That's a negative way of thinking. There's a great group of guys down there. They're working hard. We just have not got the production out of the coaching staff. We have to take full responsibility for it. Then the players haven't quite produced like we thought they would. It's a combination of things. As coaches, we have to do a better job of putting these guy in position to succeed. And for the players, when the plays are there that present themselves, we have to make the plays.
JP: You started with the coaching staff so let's start there. Would you consider any changes to your coaching staff?
Gruden: No. I don't know why that would be a benefit right now. We have a system in place right now. If you're going to change coaches or think you're going to change systems on a Wednesday and put in a whole new defense, I don't think it would really be beneficial. The players play hard for coach Manusky, they play hard for coach Callahan, they play hard for everybody else in this building. We just have to get more out of them. Coach Manusky knows the challenge at stake, and has to do a better job, as do I.
JP: Offensively, any changes to be made there? The run game's not working...
Gruden: Offensively, we got to get some of our guys back. That would help. I don't know what people expect when you're missing the talent and some of the payroll that we're missing on offense. These are hired guns watching the game on television eating popcorn, unfortunately. But the guys who are asked to step up in their place, we got to get more out of them, for sure. I'm not using that as an excuse. We got to play better. We should never line up offsides. We should never have false starts. We should never have delay of games. Those are things we can correct as a staff and have to make sure we hone in on the details of every play, and these guys have to do a good job of executing. Youth is no excuse. We've got to do a better job of coaching them when they're in the game, and they've got to do a good job performing.
JP: Yesterday, you mentioned the play-calling could have been better. Is that something you consider, bringing more people in, giving some off that responsibility up?
Gruden: Any time the plays do not work, it's the play-calling. Any time the plays do work, it's not about the plays, it's about the players. It's a combination of things. We had some guys open that need to be hit. Really. We got to hit them. I think Case was dealing with his foot injury, trying to gut it through. That's just the way he is because he's a tough, great competitor. He wasn't quite himself. He would never miss Trey Quinn twice on wide-open seem balls. he had a couple plays where he stepped up in the pocket and had guys open. I just think he wasn't quite himself. And Dwayne playing for the first time, he did some good things. But we weren't quite in sync when he was in the game, for whatever reason. We have total input. Obviously coach Callahan, Kevin [O'Connell], coach Cavanaugh. We have a group committee as far as calling plays. I think it's a good system. We just have to do a better job.
JP: How much are you guys missing Trent?
Gruden: Well Donald Penn's done a great job. He's competed his tail off, he really has. But Trent's a Pro Bowler. We do miss him. We miss his leadership But at the end of the day, he's not here. Before I want to cry about Trent Williams, I want to commend Donald Penn for what he's done. He's done a great job and that's not the reason why we're struggling. The offensive firepower that Jordan Reed gives us is part of the reason. Missing Brandon Scherff and Chase Roullier in the game. Terry McLaurin, who we know what kind of speed and threat he's been for us for the first three weeks has a little bit of an impact. I think Derrius Guice has had an impact, you know what I mean? Obviously Alex Smith, he was our quarterback that we brought in here. We still have enough talent in here to do a lot better than what we've done in the first four weeks. That's frustrating and a direct reflection on me.
JP: Going forward, New England is coming to town. You said at your press conference that facing New England can have no impact on your decision at quarterback. So what will have an impact on your decision at quarterback for Week 5?
Gruden: I want to ask anybody out there, 'what difference does facing New England make as opposed to any other NFL team out there that plays good defense?' Every NFL team has good defensive players, not just New England. New England has been great for a lot of years. They have a great quarterback, a great head coach, a great system on defense. Eventually, you're going to have to go back there. You're going to have to play. You're going to have to face the rush, you're going to have to face defenses and make tough throws. That has nothing to do with it. If I feel like Dwayne gives us the best chance to win, then Dwayne will play. If I feel like it's Colt or Case, then they'll play. That's just what I have to do. I have a locker room full of players down there. I'm not trying to appease anybody except them and give us the best chance to win on Sunday.
JP: Did you think Dwayne looked ready for game time yesterday?
Gruden: I think for the position he was thrown in, he came in the second quarter, he led us down for a field goal there...
JP: He gave you a bolt of energy.
Gruden: That's what I was hoping for, really. It's just unfortunate that we didn't punch it in, in the red zone there. We lost three yards on a run play, which can never happen at the goal line. I thought he did some good things for his first time action. But there are things we can obviously clean up.
JP: Does it stunt his development at all if he goes in and then isn't the starter the next week?
Gruden: No, it should not at all. When you're the backup, first of all, you should prepare like you're the starter. That's your job as a backup. If at any point you're thrown in the game, the quarterback gets hurt, you have to be ready to perform. That's just the way it is as a backup. That's your job. Your job as a quarterback is to get ready to play at any given time. It could be for injury reason, it could be to give your team a spark. So he's got to be ready to go. He did a pretty good job in his first game and he's got to get better.
JP: Colt needs to show you he's healthy, right?
Gruden: He wouldn't be out there practicing last week if he wasn't healthy. That was the whole deal. I didn't want him out there practicing until he was 100-percent in his mind. His body is fine now, he's done a lot of rehab, worked his tail off in the locker room. This has been frustrating for him. This has been frustrating for all of us. Now that he's out there, last week he got a few reps with the scout team, we'll see how he is come Wednesday afternoon.
JP: I know you've got meetings, I know you've got to run. Thanks for your time.
Gruden: Thank you.
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