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Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteHogs Havena Washington Redskins communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsRedskinsMastheadOddsShopCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Looks Like Someone Has A Sixpack Of The MondaysDaily SlopRedskins RecapsEDTShareTweetShareShareReviewing Jay Gruden’s press conference comments about players as the Redskins’ OTAs wind downPhoto by Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesJay Gruden has improved his ‘coach speak’ during his tenure in Washington.When he took over in 2014 Ross Pierschbacher Jersey , his comments were generally open, honest and transparent.Nowadays, he has learned the art of giving reporters quotes that they can use in stories without actually saying much at all, and almost never staking out an unequivocal position.Shurmer creates a story in New YorkThe phrasing of coaches’ comments is important.We had a great example of that inside the NFC East on Tuesday, when Pat Shurmer set all the scribes to scribbling with his comments about the quarterback situation in New York.Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty ImagesHere’s what Pat said: Shoot, that sounds like what coaches say all the time.Why was this special?Because here’s what Pat Shurmer didn’t say:Look, Eli Manning is the starting quarterback for the New York Giants, and if Daniel Jones wants to change that, he’s gonna have to come in here and earn it every day.The rookie, for now and for the foreseeable future, is the backup.I don’t expect him to be satisfied with that, and I expect him to work to change it, but this is Eli’s team.Journalists jumped all over Shurmer’s comment:My unhealthy fascination with Jay Gruden’s press conferencesPerhaps because I live so far away and have such limited opportunities to see & hear Redskins commentary — I mean, I don’t exactly get the local DC sports on the radio during my drive to work — I have an unhealthy fascination with press conferences, and Jay Gruden press conferences in particular.I always watch the presser and read the transcripts, looking for clues to what Jay is thinking below his usual devil-may-care off-season manner.Grading on a curveLet me share a quick story with you as an aside.As many readers know, I teach English at a university here in Thailand.Because English is taught as a foreign language, the grading system here is... generous.What I mean by that is that the university doesn’t want to kill student GPAs if they struggle with English, so for a course (say, Freshman English 101), regardless of how many students there are, or how many teachers are involved in teaching the course, everyone studying the course is dumped into one big bucket and they are graded on a curve.99.44% of all the students will get a grade above a D+. What I’m saying is that, for all practical purposes, the lowest grade given is a C, while the highest is an “A”.So, if a kid gets a ‘C’ in one of my courses, it might sound like he did okay Da’Ron Payne Jersey , and that a kid who got a ‘B’ did really well.In reality, my ‘C’ students are the worst — probably the bottom 25% of the class, while the ‘B’ students represent the middle of the pack.If a student gets a “D”, it’s a sign that he or she probably didn’t submit a number of assignments or missed a key exam.To get an “F” pretty much requires that a student be implicated in a homicide on campus.Jay’s unfailing off-season positivityJay Gruden’s use of coach speak involves the same sort of ‘graded on a curve’ use of language.If Jay says a guy has been “good”, that’s usually a signal that he’s not impressing in camp.That’s a ‘C’, but it’s a ‘C’ on the curve.Jay Gruden - 2018 ExamplesHere’s what Jay sounds like when he’s communicating some enthusiasm.These quotes are from 2018:Let’s look at some times when Jay sounded less enthusiastic last year:Kevin HoganHere, Gruden says Hogan has been “good” and then praises his ‘escape ability’ (as opposed to leadership, passing ability or command of the offense).He is reduced to praising Hogan’s attentiveness in meetings — a sure sign that the kid isn’t gonna make the roster.Elijah WellmanWhen Gruden says things like “we’ll go from there” or “we’ll see how it goes”, “we’ll see how he does”, these are all bad signs.This is Jay, in his mind, avoiding any commitment whatsoever to a player.I think he actually likes Wellman, but just doesn’t see room on the roster for a fullback.Jay likes a fullback on the practice squad so that the ‘Skins defense can practice against him when they have an upcoming opponent that utilizes a fullback.It’s a job, I guess.Jay Gruden - present dayNow that we’ve dialed in a little bit on how to interpret Jay’s offseason comments, let’s look at some of the things he’s been saying.Ereck FlowersHere’s what reports on Ereck Flowers have looked like from journalists covering OTAs and minicamp:Here’s what Jay Gruden said about Ereck Flowers in his latest press conference:Getty ImagesWhen I try to reconcile the head coach’s comments about Flowers with the media reports, the only thing that makes sense to me is the Jay Gruden “curve”.When I read that he did a ‘good’ job, I read that as faint praise.When I read that the coaches “need to get him some work”, then I wince, thinking of the $1.5m guarantee that the team gave Flowers when he signed his contract.Dwayne HaskinsHonestly, Jay was saying last year that Alex Smith was the smartest guy he’d ever met, and that Alex was struggling to learn the entire new system in a short time.I think we could all see on the field during Alex’s 9 1⁄2 games that he rarely looked comfortable.Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsNow Jay has a 22-year-old rookie with one full season as a college starter who is learning how to call plays in the huddle, and you can spot the strain it is creating in Jay.Every other sentence is about Haskins’ need to study, to learn, to ask questions, to look at film, to become natural.He’s got “a long way to go” as we reach the end of OTAs and minicamp, entering the break ahead of training camp.After seeing this press conference, I wouldn’t be betting money on Haskins to get the nod for Week One in Philly.Samaje Perine6 June:11 June:I confess to be a bit stumped about what Jay is thinking about Samaje Perine when looked at the context of their history together.Even applying the ‘curve’ to Jay’s comments Quinton Dunbar Jersey , what he is saying about Perine is, on the face of it, very impressive.Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY SportsInitially, I was thinking that Jay might simply be pumping out the sunshine and lollipops about Samaje as part of an organizational effort to prop up any potential trade value that Perine might have, but I’m starting to wonder if, perhaps, the running back and his head coach may have had a heart-to-heart talk at the end of the ‘18 season, and if Jay might not have re-committed to giving the young man a chance to make the roster.Perine may end up being one of the two or three most interesting players to watch during training camp.The Defensive Line groupThere’s no real surprise that Jay is talking up some of his top draft picks and leaders on the defensive side of the ball.The only surprise here is that Jay clearly included Brantley in the list of five players.Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY SportsThe Redskins generally carry 6 DL (5 minimum), so this gives us a pretty good idea about who Gruden sees as the core of the DL for the regular season roster.Every other DL on the roster is an undrafted free agent or street free agent signed this year or last.The only real question here is if the Redskins will carry a 6th guy on the depth chart, and who it’ll be if they do.Jon BosticIt wasn’t Jay who mentioned Bostic this week, but Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor.Asked to identify a guy who stood out on Special Teams, Kaczor was reluctant, but then qualified his remarks by limiting them to players who weren’t on the roster last season.When a coach says he doesn’t want to single a player out, then goes ahead and does it, that usually means something to me.When it comes to figuring out if a potential ‘bubble’ player will make the roster, the opinion of the special teams coordinator is one I pay attention to.With the injury to Reuben Foster earlier and the release of DeMarquis Gates on Tuesday, the Redskins linebacker depth doesn’t have a lot of names:Mason FosterShaun Dion-HamiltonJosh Harvey-ClemonsCole HolcombJon BosticThe Redskins normally carry 5 guys in this part of the roster, so, barring unforeseen injury, I’m ready to wager the mortgage payment on the idea that Jon Bostic makes the 53-man roster and, between special teams and defense, sees significant snaps as a Redskin. The first four games of the 2018 season have given fans a good snapshot of areas the Redskins may need to improve on in next years offseason. Granted, it’s still very early, but the teams is still void of some key playmakers in some areas of great importance.Below is a look at some early draft prospects that may be able to help the Redskins out in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that this list is very fluid at this point.EDGE:Nick Bosa (JR) Ohio St6’4” 265Montez Sweat (JR) Miss St6’6” 245Clelin Ferrell (SR) Clemson6’5” 260Jalen Jelks (SR) Oregon6’6” 250Austin Bryant (SR) Clemson6’5” 265Brian Burns (JR) Fl St6’5” 240Joe Jackson (JR) Miami6’5” 258Jaylon Ferguson (SR) LA Tech6’5” 262Anfernee Jennings (JR) Alabama6’3” 265WR:D.K. Metcalf (SO) Ole Miss 6’4” 230:N’Keal Harry (JR) Arizona St 6’4” 213:A.J. Brown (JR) Ole Miss 6’1” 225:David Sills V (SR) WVU 6’4” 210Juwan Johnson (JR)PSU6’4” 231CB:Greedy Williams (SO) LSU6’2” 180Deandre Baker (SR) Georgia5’11” 185Trayvon Mullen (JR) Clemson6’1” 190Blace Brown (SR) Troy6’0” 185Amani Oruwariye (SR) PSU6’1” 200Levonta Taylor (JR) Florida St5’10” 181ILB:Devin White (JR) LSU6’1” 245Te’von Coney (SR) ND6’1” 240T.J. Edwards Wisconsin6’1” 245Natrez Patrick (SR) Georgia6’3” 245Shaquille Quarterman (JR) Miami6’1” 240Mack Wilson (JR) Alabama6’2” 239 S:Deionte Thompson (JR) Alabama6’2” 196Taylor Rapp (JR)Washington6’0” 207C/G:Beau Benzschawel Wisc. (SR)6’6” 315Michael Jordan (JR) Ohio St6’7” 312Nate Herbig (JR) Stanford6’4” 330Ryan Bates (JR) PSU6’4” 310TE:Noah Fant (JR) Iowa6’5” 240Caleb Wilson (JR) UCLA6’4” 240Although we have Alex Smith locked up for the foreseeable future, you can never completely count out quarterback, especially when your starter is 34 years old. Below is a early list of some of the top passers who could be available in next years draft.QB:Justin Herbert (JR) Oregon6’6” 235Will Grier (SR) West Virginia6’2” 223Drew Lock (JR) Missouri6’4” 225Jarrett Stidham (JR) Auburn6’3” 215Ryan Finley (SR) N.C. State6’4” 212Clayton Thorson (SR) NW6’4” 226Jake Browning (SR) Washington6’2” 210
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