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Redskins OTA Pressers: Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky talking about practice

The Redskins HC and DC answer questions after OTAs

NFL: Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins are in the 2nd week of OTAs, and today’s practice was open to the media. Head Coach Jay Gruden and Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky spoke to the media after practice.

DC Greg Manusky


"Just overall, I think they have been doing a great job. I mean, we have been throwing a lot of stuff at them from week-to-week that they have been here, and they have really progressed across the board. [Daron] Payne is doing a great job. He’s trying to get acclimated to some of the calls, hasn’t had a lot of mental errors. He’s done a great job. Physical player. Impressed with Shaun Dion [Hamilton]. He’s learning the calls, he’s getting in there. We are kind of protecting him a little bit with the injury he had in college but he’s looking good. So we are happy with what we see.”

Jonathan Allen:

"Oh, very good. I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason. We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff, but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.”

Montae Nicholson:

"Oh, very good. I think he did a great job of rehabbing in the offseason. We were kind of a little bit hesitant early on when he was here just taking reps and stuff, but looks like he’s just keeps on progressing from where he kind of left off last year and the sky’s the limit for him.”

"We’re trying to move him around sometimes. It’s just great to see him back to the form that he was when he left last year. So I’m excited for him. I’m excited for all the guys. I compliment every one of them because the stuff that we’re throwing at them right now is a lot and they are really comprehending it and getting it down, so I’m excited.”

Orlando Scandrick:

"I mean, he’s doing both right now. He’s playing outside as a corner, and he’s playing as a nickel back inside. He kind of did that in Dallas over the years that he was there. Smart football player, understands quarters, threes, all that kind of stuff, so from my standpoint, [he is] a veteran guy that can come in and have success.”

Jonathan Allen/DaRon Payne chemistry:

"I see that with all the players that we have. I think playing a year with somebody, and then all of the sudden Jonathan getting hurt, even Matt Ioannidis and Ziggy [Hood] are having good practices. So it’s just good upfront to have those guys understand how Jimmy [Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula] is teaching it and how we’re trying to relate it to them in that fashion up in the classroom. They are actually doing it out on the field, which is a great thing.”

Backups getting reps for Zach Brown:

"I think it’s always important and it’s always a thing for those backup players with [Josh] Harvey-Clemons getting those reps for him. I want Zach to be here. He’s not, but from my standpoint, with those players that are here that are working, those young bucks, I’m excited for them to make an advance as well.”

Fabian Moreau/Ryan Anderson Year 2:

"I think both of them, I think Anderson from his steps out of his stance – his first and second steps – have grown dramatically over the time that he’s had. And then with Fabian, just doing a great job of just understanding and recognizing splits, understanding when he can take his chances and he has. And he’s done a great job. Both of those guys have.”

HC Jay Gruden

Rob Kelley:

Which RBs will he keep?:

"None. I haven’t thought about it at all. I’ll let the guys play it out and see how it goes. We have more practices here in the offseason, then we start training camp, we have four preseason games, we have the Jets coming to town. We’re looking for the total package. Obviously each guy will have their own role, but for the most part, we’ll just play the best player. And at some point, special teams could play a role also. They’re all great kids. They’re all working extremely hard. It’s going to be a tough decision when that happens, but I’m not going to think about that now. I want to be fair to all of them, let them all have an opportunity.”

Jordan Reed:


"We’re trying to get some continuity there on offense a little bit. We’ve got some line people moving in and out there, but for the most part, did some good things. I like the way our defense is flying around and making plays. We got a couple turnovers yesterday, had some more today, so that’s good to see. And then offensively, like you said, we’re going to make our share of plays, defense is going to make their share of plays. That’s what we’re looking for, really. We’re looking for good, sound competition. And at the end of the day, we’re all just trying to get better.”


"I mean, we’re on our way to being what we want to be, without a doubt. It starts with the personnel and then making sure everybody buys into what Coach [Greg] Manusky is teaching and the rest of the coaches. So right now we’re just at the entry stages and we’re teaching defense, but from a personnel standpoint, there’s a lot to be excited about, especially when you add Daron Payne to the mix, Jonathan Allen is back healthy and at linebacker you add Shaun Dion Hamilton for some depth, [Troy] Apke at safety, and obviously getting Montae Nicholson back full-time, and [D.J.] Swearinger with another year under his belt, and having veterans like Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the edges. There’s a lot to be excited about, without a doubt, but now it’s about them playing together, staying healthy and learning.”

Alex Smith and his WRs:

"That’s just him trying to get to know his receivers, you know? At the end of the day, we don’t know if these guys can come down with the ball unless we give them some opportunities. And it’s the same with the defensive backs. I want them… sometimes I’ll tell them to take a shot whether they want to or not because I have got to see the defensive backs play the ball in the air and I want to see the receivers play the ball in the air. We’ve had our share of plays down the field. Josh [Doctson] had a great catch today. [Brian] Quick had a couple. Robert Davis had a nice catch today. And then defensively, we had some great pass breakups. That’s what I’m looking for. I know we’re not supposed to be in this one-on-one combat. We have got to taper off a little bit, but we still can play football and we’re giving these guys the opportunity to make plays.”

Zach Brown:

Josh Doctson:

"Oh, yeah. You know, the more experience you get… The first year was a wash for him. Last year was really his first year here. And then this year is just a matter of reps and getting to know Alex and just being precise in what he does and without hesitation. You can see that confidence in the routes that he’s running. And every day we’re going to get different looks. We’re going to get cloud tech, we’re going to get bump-and-run, we’re going to get outside leverage, inside leverage, boxes and all that good stuff. But for him to just continue to see different coverages, different looks, different techniques with the routes that we have called, he’ll be a much better player.”

Montae Nicholson:

"Critical for a guy of his age and his lack of experience. You know, last year was a great test for him. We just got to sprinkle it in and saw him play and what we have thoughts for his athletic ability, and now it’s a matter of him learning the system and communicating. The comfort level you see from guys year one to year two, especially the safety position because so many things change – trying to disguise and coming down, playing a hole, playing post, playing box, whatever it is – there’s so many different nuances to your technique that you have to learn, and the more he gets comfortable, his athleticism is as good as there is a safety in the NFL. So mentally, once he gets it down, we have great faith that he’s going to be an excellent player for us for years to come.”