The Redskins are in the 3rd week of OTAs, and today’s practice was open to the media. Head Coach Jay Gruden spoke to the media after practice.
HC Jay Gruden
“That’s what we are doing, we are developing him. He got some quality reps last year in some critical situations in games which is good, mainly in dime situations and now he’s getting more in base, first and second down, so it’s good to see him in that role. He came in, he was a tall, gangly linebacker worried about some of the inside run stuff, some of the lead plays with the fullback and all that stuff, but he has handled it quite well. He is a guy that can really run and having Jonathan [Allen], and obviously Daron [Payne], Ziggy [Hood] and Matt Ioannidis in the middle to take the lineman off of the linebackers, I think you can then have a lighter linebacker. He can be free to roam sideline-to-sideline. Josh is taking advantage of his reps and will have to continue to do so come training camp.”
"In the second year, we expect major strides for all first-year guys. I’ve said it before. So just understanding pro football, what it’s all about in your first year, you have the four preseason games and 16 regular season games. It’s a grind, mentally. It’s all-day football, not like college where you only get 20 hours a week, so I think he understands the grind and our system a lot better. He’s more comfortable, and we’ll see how much he progresses. Very critical year for a young football player.”
"Experience. I think D.J. [Swearinger] with a little bit of experience now, he’s still a young player. Josh [Norman], he seems like a veteran, but he’s still not exactly an old guy. Just having an experienced guy who’s been through a lot, he’s played corner and nickel. He communicates the defense very well and is a calming factor for those guys. When formations change and coverages might change, all that good stuff, it’s good to have a guy like Orlando who’s been there, done that and can communicate with the young guys. So he’s done very well, and I’ve been impressed with the way he’s stood out in practice.”
"Yeah, big time. We kept him mainly on the practice squad and activated him late last year, and [he] made great strides throughout the year – his size, speed, his ability to block, run. He’s got all the things you want as a receiver in the West Coast-type offense… run after the catch. Now it’s just about him lining up and being comfortable in the route tree and who he’s supposed to block, when he’s supposed to block them and also help us out on special teams, so he’s done excellent, man. He had a little bit of a toe [injury] there for a little bit, but I think he’s healthy now, and you see him run, and he’s got a chance to really explode on the scene.”
"It’s not easy for a young guy like that to come in here and play tackle for us with the ones from the get-go. Coach [Greg] Manusky does a good job of throwing a lot of different fronts and looks at them. He’s learning on the fly. Coach [Bill] Callahan has taken him under his wing and really worked with him and this experience has been invaluable for him. To me, it’s so much better to get an opportunity and go out on the field and actually practice than stand there with a helmet in your hand and watch, so you can make the mistakes, you can correct yourself. It might be your set, it might be too vertical, whatever it might be, so everything has been a teaching point for him. Every play is something to learn from – running play, pass play, pass protection – and I think he’s going to become better faster because of that because of these opportunities.”
"Trey [Quinn] has come in here, and I haven’t heard him talk a whole lot. He’s very quiet. He’s a quiet assassin and he just goes out there and is very detailed in his routes. Ike [Hilliard] has done a great job with him, and Trey, when the ball’s in the area, he’s got strong hands. Very quarterback-friendly target. He can run the option routes. He’s learning from Jamison [Crowder], which is good, but he can also line up in different spots, so Trey is a guy that we’re going to rely on to be able to play multiple spots, be tough enough in the running game to block safeties from time to time. He’ll do whatever is asked of him, I know that, and maybe even return some punts. We’ll see, but I’ve been very impressed with Trey.”