New Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden spoke to reporters this morning for an hour at the NFL Owner's Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Here is a quick twitter roundup of the topics he covered.
Gruden says he'd like Morris to be more pass catching threat. Hopes he can get 20-25 catches. Says not natural hands— John Keim (@john_keim) March 26, 2014
Gruden on why franchise orakpo: pass rushers not grow on trees. Wasn't sure what others would be available— John Keim (@john_keim) March 26, 2014
Gruden says he "wouldn't mind letting (Orakpo) play out his franchise tag" to see what he can do before long-term deal.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 26, 2014
Gruden said it was very important to sign DeAngelo Hall. Said he’s come a long way since his rookie year. "He’s a Redskin"— George Wallace (@GWallaceWTOP) March 26, 2014
Nugget I forgot this morning (now seeing going over notes) Gruden said Hall and Amerson likely starting CBS w Porter as the nickel.#Redskins— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 26, 2014
Kirk Cousins/QB Situation:
Gruden says no teams have contacted them about Cousins. Said he's excited to have Cousins behind Griffin.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 26, 2014
Gruden says no calls for cousins Says "u need two great quarterbacks. The way Robert plays, u never know what can happen."— John Keim (@john_keim) March 26, 2014
Gruden on the most important part of coach/qb relationship:"Quarterback needs to know the coach has his best interest at heart. #Redskins— George Wallace (@GWallaceWTOP) March 26, 2014
Gruden called Thompson an exciting back coming out of fsu. But says durability an issue. Think he's anxious to see him on field— John Keim (@john_keim) March 26, 2014
Robert Griffin III:
Gruden says he doesn't think much of a difference will be made by RGIII wearing brace or not. "His knee is strong" Will be fine either way.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 26, 2014
Gruden also said that RG3 has shown a lot of leadership this offseason. Noted that he's always at Redskins Park, the Arizona passing camp.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
Gruden said he wants RG3 to "settle down" a little bit and stop being so anxious. It's the offseason, time to relax a little. #RedskinsTalk— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
1 thing forgot to put in highlights: Gruden loves Jason Hatcher's versatility. Will be moved around quite a bit.— John Keim (@john_keim) March 26, 2014
Gruden said Lichtensteiger's biggest adjustment will be shotgun snaps to Robert Griffin III. #RedskinsTalk— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
Jay Gruden told reporters that O-line coach Chris Foerster recommended moving Lichtensteiger to center.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
Gurden said Polumbus was "pretty good" at right tackle. Not an issue last season, in his opinion.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
Gruden hinted that he expects Phillip Thomas (Lisfranc) to be ready to play. #RedskinsTalk— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 26, 2014
John Keim's Highlights:
2. They will move Shawn Lauvao to left guard and keep Chris Chester at right guard. Gruden did not address Josh LeRibeus, but it’s clear from this move that there’s not a whole lot of confidence in him.
6. Yes, they looked for some bigger linemen, but they want big guys who can move. As has been stated many times, they plan to use the same run-game schemes.
15. They're anxious to see Kory Lichtensteiger at center. As for Tyler Polumbus at right tackle, Gruden was a bit complimentary but I don't get the sense they're done looking for another possibility. Or, as they say, "more depth."
4. Gruden said if Griffin isn’t comfortable with the read option, they won’t run it as much. He also said he won’t try to stop him from running out of the pocket. Clearly, though, there’s a balance that needs to be struck. But Gruden wants Griffin to feel comfortable on the field. That’s a big issue.
13. He mentioned the young safeties, but, again, I don’t get a sense that either Bacarri Rambo or Phillip Thomas will be the answer this season. Rambo’s play did not suggest he should be; Thomas’ foot and recovery from the Lisfranc injury makes him a question mark for now.
Mike Jones' Highlights:
- Gruden did say that the addition of outside linebackers coach Brian Baker will definitely help Orakpo. The coach said more will be asked of Orakpo, but that it’s not realistic to expect him to be able to significantly elevate his game without giving him a technician type of coach — something Orakpo has never had (Bobby Slowik, a former Division II wide receiver at Michigan Tech, previously did a lot of work in practices with the pass rushers while his dad worked with the inside linebackers. Mind-blowing, I know).
- Speaking of coaches, Gruden said the hiring of special teams coach Ben Kotwica "one of my most important hires," and also said the retention of Chris Foerster as offensive line coach ranked among his best moves as well. He also said the addition of Kirk Olivadotti, like Baker, will greatly benefit the linebackers.
- Gruden said improving Griffin’s fundamentals will be key. He mentioned footwork on drop backs and throws. But he also said that protection is also crucial. He said someone might criticize Griffin for not stepping up in the right spot, but at the same time, they might’ve "missed the guy hitting him in the ribs." Gruden will stress quick releases as well. He said as a player, he took a lot of unnecessary hits because he held onto the ball too long. He himself had a devastating knee injury. But he said that wasn’t the result of holding the ball. "No, I got hurt because my right tackle got beat."
- Gruden said Griffin has the physical and mental capability to do anything required of him. "There aren’t many things you can throw at him that he can’t do. My fear is I might have too many plays for him," he said with a laugh.