Jay Gruden always starts his post-practice press conferences with an injury report. But on Wednesday, the injury report wasn't the priority.
Instead, the head coach faced 10 minutes of questions regarding the Redskins' claiming of Reuben Foster on Tuesday. No member of the front office was made available for comment beyond the statement Doug Williams provided on Tuesday.
During his time at the podium, Gruden addressed a ton of different angles about the transaction, including why Washington made the move to pick Foster up first and then wait for his murky situation to clear up as opposed to waiting and eventually pursuing him if a resolution happened.
"We probably could've done that, but we saw an opportunity there to claim him and we chose to do that as an organization," Gruden said.
As for who made the final call on claiming Foster, Gruden said that it was a group decision.
"I think we all had our hands in it," he said. "And we accept, obviously, the questions. But we wanna let the process play out and see what happens and get to the bottom of it. There's no guarantee he's ever gonna play here, to be honest with you. He's got a lot of work to do — personally, with the team, with the NFL, with himself."
The coach repeated various versions of "we'll let it play out" and expressed a desire to see what the league's investigation of Foster reveals often while speaking. And that's the thing: All of this could be over a guy who never suits up for the Burgundy and Gold.
But Gruden has had an affinity for Foster going back to his days at Alabama, perhaps making the initial backlash worth a future addition to the defense in the franchise's eyes.
"He was one of my favorite players in the draft defensively, as a player, and one of my favorite interviews as a person," he said, looking back on 2017. "We would like to find out more about what happened."
As for whether this entire thing will be a distraction for a group that's still very much in the playoff hunt, Gruden denied that it would become a problem.
"This is the only time I talk about it," he said. "Right now we're spending great practice time in walkthroughs and practice, and we'll have meetings now, get ready for tomorrow's practice... So after this, it's not a topic."
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