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Jay Gruden Presser: Ryan Kerrigan is a Quiet Killer

Jay Gruden spoke at Thursday's training camp practice

NFL: Washington Redskins-Training Camp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive line versatility:

“I think it’s become more specialized a lot. You know, you’ve got first and second down. You’ve got base, you’ve got nickel, you’ve got dime, and you’ve got all these sub packages now that people have to run in and out. You know, we might only have one defensive lineman on the field at one time. Sometimes we’ll have two, sometimes we’ll have four, and sometimes we’ll have five. So, you know, it’s a very specialized group now and it calls for a lot of substitution.”

Alpha mentalities on defense:

“Yeah, that’s what drew us to Ryan in the draft. He is definitely an alpha, which you guys say he is. He’s a leader, plays hard. Same with Junior. That’s the mentality you want your defense to have and the more of those guys the better. Josh Norman is definitely one. D.J. Swearinger, for sure. So we have a lot of guys that are like that. We have some quiet killers too like Ryan Kerrigan."

Chris Thompson:

“I think in this day and age, what I see, when I was in Cincinnati where I came from, we had Giovani Bernard my last year there as a rookie, and I knew what type of impact he had on third downs and pass protection and getting open on linebackers – especially in the red zone, also. I needed that role here, and Chris Thompson fit the bill. He’s fast, can catch the ball extremely well, and I thought he was tough enough in pass protection. So, it was a matter of keeping him healthy and see how he can handle that role, and he’s been perfect for it. You know, it’s a huge role for us. In the red zone, they double cover the tight end, they double cover receivers, but the backs are usually one-on-one and it’s a great matchup."

Su'a Cravens finding his role:

"Like I said, we drafted him last year and he played a 3-4 outside backer, nickel-type thing at USC. He didn’t really play in the whole or the half at USC, it was mainly around the football. We drafted him and we had visions of him being a safety, but he had never done it really. We put him at the linebacker spot and tried to blitz him, tried to use him around the football, and then this year we wanted to branch him off and play safety once he learned the system and how the NFL works. So far, it’s been a good project but we’ll see. He’s got a ways to go but I like his progress. I think he’s just going to get better and better."

Rob Kelley:

Jonathan Allen/Ryan Anderson:

"Jonathan was consistent in the middle. His junior year, he was a great pass rusher. He transformed his game to become a better run player. And then Ryan was just all around the football all the time. He was just a productive football player with sacks, takeaways, was good against the run, and both of them are very smart players, very attractive to us and luckily we got them both."

Jon Gruden returning to coaching:

Josh Doctson:

"We just have got to keep him healthy and keep him working with Kirk [Cousins] and getting used to each other because that’s going to be the important thing, especially in the red zone. There’s a lot of throws that Josh can come down with that Kirk has got to understand that. He has got to trust the fact that Josh can make unbelievable catches and plays just if he’s given the opportunity. That’s something that Kirk has to have the belief in, and Josh has to make the plays and show him that he can do it.”