Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan
May 12, 2017
Q: Did you have contact with Davis Webb prior to the draft?
A: I didn’t meet him, either. I did the evaluations as the quarterback coach did as well. So, based upon the film study, then of course the quarterback coach had an interview with him, and our scouts talked to his coaches. That's how I was able to get the feedback to how he was off the field.
Q: What is your early impression of Webb under center?
A: That is one of the things that stood out. It was the jump he made from his game film at Cal to the Senior Bowl, then the combine. There was quite a bit of work that he did. You could see that. At the Senior Bowl, he had opportunities to be under center. You look at him on tape, obviously, he's a big, tall quarterback with a very strong arm. He has that deep ball accuracy that you like to see. As the elements get windy and cold, as things change here from a weather standpoint in November and December, it's good to have that arm strength. That speaks to a little bit more as far as just him as a quarterback, but to answer your question as far as under center, yes, I saw some improvement
Q: Are Webb’s pass attempts at Cal a red flag for you?
A: Not really. Players can’t pick the type of scheme that they are going to be running. In the same way, those that might be in a run-oriented option-type of offense might not have as many attempts. What it comes down to from our standpoint about evaluation: what type of decision is he making, how accurate is he when he throws the football, what type of leadership does he have in terms of being able to bounce back. You watch the game film, there was an interception or a bad mistake. Does he create more and more mistakes like a snowball effect, or does he get better? So, don't really hold it against a guy; it's a matter of evaluating his body of work and the scheme that he's played in.
Q: Why isn't his deep accuracy as strong as his shorter accuracy. Is that a matter of the system that he was in?
A: I actually saw it the other way. I thought his deep accuracy was better in many cases than some of his shorter, intermediate accuracy on the tapes that I looked at. It's in the eye of the beholder, because you look at three, four, five games and the different cut-ups. But from that standpoint, the thing that stood out to me from an accuracy perspective was the deep ball accuracy. I think, sometimes, it could be drops. Sometimes you’re not sure what the exact design of the play is. We do know that he's a young man that we do want to spend a lot of time with his lower body mechanics. Obviously, we talked about taking the ball from under center, that's a big jump for him. But, also, everything in terms of his lower body, stepping into the throw, being able to generate more power, and that'll help his accuracy. That scheme, that system, didn't really have that much of an emphasis, so many of throws were all arm. So we're excited to work with him to get his lower body capable to where we need it to be.
Q: How will Eli handle there being another quarterback in the room?
A: I think Eli is time and again the consummate professional. He's going to go about his business trying to improve and trying to still take that approach that he's had in all the years that I've known him, and that is not as a number one pick or two-time Super Bowl MVP, but more of an undrafted free agent. Having a great hunger, he's his own harshest critic looking at the mistakes that he's made and the things that he wants to improve upon from last year. I don't see there being any sense of competition or resentment or anything other than he's another guy in the room and he's going to - Eli that is - to get himself in a position to be at his best. So I don't see there being any type of effect with bringing someone else into the room. He is locked in, he's zeroed in as much as I've ever seen him.
Q: What was your first impression of Davis?
A: I met him last night. First impression is he's tall. I had to look up and say hello. It's always a good thing whenever I have to do that. Brandon Marshall was nice to be able to do that with. Good firm handshake, look you right in the eye. Heck of guy. All the reports that I read say that he's very bright, a gym rat. One of those guys that can't watch enough film. Came across that way, as someone that is very bright and going to be a hard worker. I was generally pleased with the first impression when I first met him last night.
Q: Where does Engram set himself apart or how to use him?
A: The thing that is really intriguing about Evan is the speed component. This is a legitimate vertical threat. But he's not just a receiver. When you talk about first impressions, when I met him, seeing him up close and personal last night, this is a big, strong guy. There's a size element that he has. He is not a big wide receiver and we do feel comfortable about things that we'd want him to do when he has to have his hand in the ground and when he is in that wing alignment. There is a versatility that he has that we're hoping can create some problems for the defense from a matchup standpoint because of his speed, and because of the way he runs his routes like a wide receiver. I think he had the third-fastest combine time and that's including the receivers. He's a dynamic threat and has a very confident but humble, focused demeanor in just the very short period of time that we were able to work with him. So we're going to throw the kitchen sink at him and see what is going to help put us in the best position to help us.
Q: Do you put him in the tight end room or the wide receiver room?
A: He's in our tight end room. He's a tight end.
Q: What kind of leap have you seen the offensive tackles make so far in the offseason?
A: We actually had them out on the field and it's versus Frank Air. We're not able to have the defense out there, so we’ve got Frank Air as the defender. But the thing is we're able to see is the initial quickness, and I would just say this, it's been documented that both Ereck [Flowers] and Bobby [Hart] spent a lot of time here working out in the weight room. I think if you see Ereck, his body is a lot leaner and so it's very early and we didn't get a chance to practice against the defense yet, but you do see some increased quickness. I'm just very pleased that both those young men have made that commitment to try to improve their game physically and do the things that they need to do to their bodies to mature and grow. They’re both young players and we're excited about seeing what they are going to do once that competition steps up when we're out there in OTAs and mini-camps and so forth.
Q: With Engram, did you mean when you said he's not a big wide receiver?
A: What I meant was often times people might look at him and say he's just going to be there to be split out wide and when you think of a big wide receiver, in my mind, I think of Brandon Marshall, Plaxico Burress, that's a big wide receiver. This is someone who has some of that upper body strength and the size where he can fill some of those roles that we want as a tight end and we're going to be selective in the things we want him to do. But he is not someone who you'll see strictly as someone that is displaced out in the slot that is just a bigger body. He's a versatile player, he's a tough guy, and we're excited about seeing what we can do with him.
Q: Why did you wait until Day Three to add a lineman in Adam Bisnowaty. You were also active in undrafted free agency with linemen, particularly with Chad Wheeler and Jessamen Dunker. What have you seen from these rookie linemen from film?
A: The two young men you just mentioned as far as the free agents, obviously, there are some guys that we're excited to have in here, and Adam as a draft choice. It's so early to say, just from that transition from that college game. You could look at some of that Senior Bowl tape to try to see something that resembles NFL offenses. It's premature at this point, but we're certainly glad all of them are here with us.