Head Coach Ben McAdoo
October 20, 2017
Opening Statement: Alright. Let’s open it up.
Q: Did DE Olivier Vernon have a set back?
A: We decided to leave him in for treatment on Thursday.
Q: How much did he do the previous day?
A: He was limited. He did more than he did previous weeks, but he was limited.
Q: Could WR Sterling Shepard play more outside with the way your receiving corps is now?
A: Yeah. He could play outside depending on which personnel group is on the field. We’re confident in all those guys, whether they play inside or outside.
Q: What do you think is a challenge for the defense with a quarterback like Russell Wilson, who can throw on the run and rush?
A: Yeah. I think when you look at Russell, he’s very capable in the pocket, first of all. He has good instincts on where to go with the ball. Trusts his read. He’s been in the same system his whole career, has good rhythm in his body, good timing, good accuracy, can make all the throws. Where he’s deadly is when he can create at the back end of the pocket. He’s good at the top of the drop where he can set it, reverse out and come out on top of the ends on either side or step up and come out. Last thing we want to do is give him a vertical lane where he can step up and run through the defense. So, he’s very dangerous when he can create. He can make all the throws and when he moves and he can do it both sides – left and right.
Q: What do you attribute to the success in the run game in the last three games?
A: I think we’ve played physical. I think we’ve had more attempts at the plate. Been able to rush the ball into the fourth quarter and that has helped.
Q: How much has RB Orleans Darkwa earned more opportunities based on what he’s done the past couple weeks?
A: Yeah. I mean, he’s running the ball well when he’s had his opportunities. He’s done so really since he’s been here. He’s a physical back. He’s a big back. He has good instincts on where to go. He can read the hats up front and tie it into the scheme. He’s done a nice job.
Q: Has he earned more playing time by doing that?
A: He got 21 carries last week. That’s a healthy dose.
Q: How much of an impact has OL D.J. Fluker made the past three games?
A: He’s playing physical. The thing we like about D.J. is he gives you everything he has. He’s a physical player. He’s tough. Has great enthusiasm for the game and glad we have him.
Q: Do you regret not getting OL D.J. Fluker in there sooner?
A: I think we brought him along at just the right pace.
Q: How do you think OL D.J. Fluker’s energy and enthusiasm helps?
A: Anytime you have big guys with enthusiasm and a passion to play the game and to be physical and come off the ball and run the ball, it helps.
Q: Is there anything that you think OL Brett Jones has given you in the run game?
A: Yeah. I think, you know, obviously Brett prepares very well. He’s a smart player. He’s cerebral. Studies the game. He’s physical. Plays with good pad level and he has some thickness to him and he finishes.
Q: Since you weren’t calling the plays, would you say that you had the opportunity to spend more or less time on the defense or special teams? I assume you’re usually more involved with the offense.
A: Everyone gets a piece of me.
Q: When the defense is on the field, are you able to do more because you’re not planning the next series?
A: I think a lot of times you trust your gut when you’re calling plays. A lot of the preparation situationally is done in advance. So you look at the game through a different lens when you’re not calling. I think you always need to think ahead, whether you’re calling the game or you’re in my position to manage the game. But I think your personality can come out a little bit more and you can move around a little bit more instead of playing the play caller and the game manager ahead of the game. I think there are advantages and disadvantages of it, but I can interact with the players a lot more this way in all three phases.
Q: What about the operation with Mike (Sullivan)? Obviously you’re on the headset, but there is not enough time to say, “I don’t like that play,” right?
A: Yeah, I mean I can veto anything that’s called, but you have to trust the man that you empowered to call the game. You have to empower him to call the game and let him set it up.
Q: How much would you say you interacted with him and suggested things in between series?
A: I’m always listening, I always want to hear the other coaches and their input. You always want to go back and make sure you know where the breakdown was or why you were successful in certain things. But you just want to keep the lines of communication open, just be a part of the conversation in all three phases.
Q: I know you say this is one of 16 games, but is this game more important to build off of last week so you get to the bye with two wins?
A: We prepared well Wednesday, we had a good practice Thursday. We have to have a tremendous day today mentally and take care of ourselves physically and have a good speed day tomorrow. We need to take it one day at a time.
Q: Is there anything that you do differently pre-bye?
A: Well, we just came off a night game on a pseudo west coast trip for us. So it was important for us to make sure the players had their rest at the beginning of the week so they could get fresh so we could have good, quality practices on the field and play well on Sunday. So we’ll take care of our bodies when it comes time for that. We had a good week of preparation so far and we need to continue it.