Head Coach Ben McAdoo
September 29, 2017
Q: Why the decision to take the fullback (Shane Smith) off your roster?
A: We felt we were nicked up at a couple different spots and that’s what we felt we had to do for the team.
Q: Do you feel good about your running back situation?
A: Yeah, we had a couple guys who if we would have practiced today, would have been limited in practice. And then again, we will have to take a look at guys tomorrow and see how they get through practice tomorrow.
Q: What happened to Brett Jones?
A: He got sore as practice went on on Wednesday.
Q: How much would that impact things if he can’t go?
A: Again, we would have to move some guys around, but we’ll take a look at it tomorrow. See how he gets through tomorrow’s practice.
Q: How do you think he’s played since he stepped in the lineup?
A: He’s done some good things in there.
Q: Bobby (Hart) doesn’t have a status. Would he just go back to right tackle and (Justin) Pugh go back to left guard?
A: Again, we’ll have to take a look at it. We have a couple guys nicked up so we’ll take a look at it in practice tomorrow, see how it goes.
Q: Have you talked to the team about kneeling and the anthem subject this week?
A: No. We talked about it before the ballgame last week. We have some people behind the scenes who are working together with the players, but we’ve been keeping it in the meeting rooms about football.
Q: Do you plan to address it on Saturday night before the game?
A: We have a little time before we get to Saturday night. We have the players having conversations and they are working with some people behind the scenes.
Q: How do you think Justin (Pugh) has done at right tackle? Do you think that has helped the overall line?
A: You know what? He’s going out there, he’s fighting, he’s competing. He’s done a nice job. He did a nice job in a tough environment versus a very good opponent last week. I have a lot of respect for Justin. He’s earned it.
Q: Do you see that becoming a permanent spot for him?
A: Again, every week is a new week. We go one week at a time. Certainly, when Bobby (Hart) gets healthy, we’ll put him in the mix somewhere and we’ll see how it goes. But again, every week is a new week.
Q: How difficult is it to get Odell Beckham in a one-on-one matchup?
A: Yeah, I mean it’s a challenge. Last few years, it’s been a big challenge for us. Last week being really his first week back in the rotation, we had some opportunities one-on-one to give him the ball and he cashed in on those opportunities.
Q: Do you believe your offense is at its best when it runs through him?
A: I think our offense is at its best when we are running the ball well, that’s number one, so it takes the pressure off the quarterback. So, you run the ball well, it opens up things in the action pass game and the quarterback has a chance to complete the ball. It’s tough to get Odell the ball. Teams most of the time cloud him or play a version of two-man to him or double him in some sort of way. So, it’s a challenge to get him the ball, so when you have an opportunity to get him the ball, you want to take advantage of it.
Q: What have you seen from him this week? Obviously there has been a lot of talk around the celebration, he met with the owner, how do you think he’s handled this week?
A: He’s focused on preparing for the game.
Q: You haven’t seen any of this other stuff bother him?
A: He seems dialed in and focused on his preparation.
Q: When you are a young head coach, you get there because of your acumen for coaching football. For you, what has it been like learning the other stuff that goes along with it?
A: Yeah, I’m not someone who believes in getting distracted. I think the biggest difference i, you can never clean your desk off in this job. There is always something coming on your desk, it stacks up pretty quickly. You have to roll with the punches, have principles you hang your hat on, and be consistent.
Q: Does that impact game planning as the offensive play caller?
A: No. We spread around the game planning areas like we always have. Each assistant coach has his own area and dives into his own area usually a week ahead, sometimes sooner. But they have a pretty good idea on how to present what the opponent does in their certain area and then the whole staff chimes in and we kick around some ideas.
Q: Does Rhett Ellison take on a bigger role now that you do not have a fullback?
A: Rhett’s a heck of a player for us and he’s a versatile player for us.