Jay Gruden turned the tables a bit when he was asked about Robert Griffin III’s comment about thinking he is the best quarterback in the league.
“I didn’t really make a lot out of it,” said Gruden when asked about what Griffin had said during an interview with a local reporter. “You guys [the media] did.”
Griffin used to word “firestorm” to describe the reaction to what he said as internet columnists and radio and TV talk shows took aim at what they perceived to be out of line comments by Griffin.
But Gruden didn’t think it was any big deal.
“I think all players strive to be the best,” said Gruden. “That doesn’t change. DeSean Jackson said that he was uncoverable. Whether he is or not, that’s the way he feels.”
Gruden was referring to Jackson saying during a training camp press conference that he couldn’t be covered, even by top corners like Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman. That remark raised some eyebrows but didn’t create anywhere near the uproar than Griffin’s “best” comment did.
“Robert has high goals for himself,” said Gruden. “I don’t fault anybody for having high goals for himself. We don’t want anybody to strive to be average. The key thing he said, he’s got to go out and prove it.”
Gruden also addressed some on-field football matters:
—Colt McCoy will be behind center after Griffin leaves Thursday’s preseason game against the Lions. Griffin and the other starters will exit sometime around the end of the first quarter, according to Gruden, and McCoy will play into the third quarter. During training camp Gruden said that the backup quarterback competition would be decided in preseason games. “Kirk had a very strong performance against Cleveland,” said Gruden. “So Colt’s just got to parlay a solid performance when he played in the games last year, and see his grown and see what he’s all about.”
—LB Keenan Robinson was held out of practice with a sore Achilles. Per Gruden, he is day-to-day. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall did not practice with an ailing toe and his availability for Thursday’s game is in doubt.
—Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) will not play against the Lions. “I’m hoping that he’s going to be ready for Baltimore,” said Gruden, referring to the team’s third preseason game on August 29. Rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), who participated in individual drills today, will “probably not” play against the Lions but if he can get in a couple of good practices he may go against the Ravens.
—Gruden said the team is looking a rookie running back Matt Jones as a back who will work primarily in relief of Alfred Morris on first and second downs. “If he earns the reps, he will get his fair share of carries,” said Gruden. He also said that Chris Thompson is doing “an excellent job” as the third down back.