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Wednesday Transcript: Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/1/2018 3:41 pm
Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
August 1, 2018

Q: What do you like about the group you have right now?
A: I like the versatility. When we first got here and started putting the offense in during the off-season, I purposely did not let anyone know what position they would be playing. I wanted to install the offense as a whole and have them concentrate on the concept of the play and not worry about, ĎIím X, Iím Z, Iím Fí, and once they learned the concept, they didnít know what position they were playing until the first day of OTA practice because I was playing them everywhere. Once we had to go out and practice, I said, ĎYouíre the Z, youíre the X, youíre the Fí, but by then they had already comprehended the concepts. Now when we start game planning, we can move guys anywhere because they know the concept and we go no-huddle and they can lineup anywhere, they can go out and play it because they know the concept.

Q: How much of an advantage does that give you as a position coach, and also as an offense if youíre moving personnel around against a defense that only has so much time to prepare for you?
A: Itís an awesome advantage to have, only because of the fact that you have certain guys on your team and they are keying on certain guys, before you can break a huddle and line a guy up and know where is going to be. Now when you break the huddle, you donít know if the guy is going to be outside, inside, or the right side. It gives you an advantage. We can game plan it and they have to do more game planning to try and figure out if heís here, letís do this; if heís here, letís do that. When you line up in one spot all the time, it makes it easier. We are going to try and make it as difficult as possible.

Q: When you look at specifically Sterling and Odell, are they going to be interchangeable?
A: Probably using all of our receivers all over the field. Like I mentioned earlier, the versatility of the group we have, we can play them all over. You will see guys all over, youíll see all of them line up outside, youíll see all of them line up inside, they know the concepts so they can go out and execute.

Q: How many young guys have flashed for you? It seems like Amba Etta-Tawo and a whole bunch of them have made plays?
A: I like the group as a whole. Amba has flashed along with some other guys. Some guys are flashing even without the ball. People have a tendency to focus on guys with the ball, but what you donít see is guys flashing running routes, beating the corners one way or another and they donít get the ball thrown to them. I am more impressed with that because guys are really working. Sometimes guys, they kind of know based on the defense they arenít getting the ball, but they are still running hard and getting open, so a lot of guys have flashed with the ball like Amba and some other guys, but a lot of guys have been flashing without the ball, too, and they are still getting open, snagging opportunities right now.

Q: You have known Odell since he was a baby. How has your long-standing relationship with him and his family helped you coach him and establish a relationship with him?
A: It has helped, obviously. I played with his dad at LSU 100 years ago and his mom Heather was a multiple All-American when she was there, and Iíve known her the whole time. Odell was actually born when we were in college, so it helped me have an immediate connection with him. I have known him before here because I follow LSU and I met him a couple times. When you get here you have an immediate connection, I played with his dad, went to school with his mom, so that made the transition for me to come here and for him to come with me a little bit easier because I have that immediate connection.

Q: What have you learned from him seeing him up close and personal in practice every day?
A: The fact that he is talking ball a lot. Sometimes you think guys donít like to talk ball when they are in there, but you see him going over stuff and talking ball with other guys. Talking about different plays, talking about different techniques. ĎHow can you do this better, how can you do that better?í Thatís what the great ones do. They sit back and not only do it on the field, but when they are off the field they are looking at somebody else and seeing how they can do this better or that better. He talks ball a lot when he is not in there.

Q: Anything specific that he talks about?
A: Just everything, nothing specific. Whether itís releases or routes, whether itís blocking, just everything.

Q: Can you see how motivated he is? He has the contract thing and only playing 4 games last year?
A: I see all guys are motivated. We are a new staff, guys want to come in and impress the new coach or the new teacher, you know, so I think they are all motivated, him included.

Q: So itís not like youíre trying to match their skillsets, because maybe his skillset is a little different than the other two? Youíre just looking for the best guy, no matter what?
A: The best two guys, the best three guys, best four Ė however many are on the field, we want those best guys out there making plays, regardless of where they line up. Thatís why we, again, taught the concept when we first got here because you line up anywhere, and wherever you are, youíre gonna make those plays. Now, some guys are better in the slot than other guys, and when we get to game planning, weíll get to game planning and those types of situations, but for the most part, I want guys knowing what to do and then go fast, because when youíre playing fast, youíre not thinking.

Q: What do you like about Odell in the slot? Heís been there quite a bit this last week.
A: I like his playmaking ability, and not only him, but anybody. You caught on the tail end of it, but all those guys, they play all over the place Ė outside, inside, whatever, so Odell in the slot instead of lining up in one position all the time being outside or whatever, it makes it harder to game plan for different guys and for him to be able to read defenses and be able to, whether itís run option routes or going deep in the slot or run crossing routes, itís just whatever the situation dictates. I like to be able to have the versatility like we do of having guys all over the place and line up, and you canít just game plan one spot or the other.

Q: When you look back at last yearís Giants tape, was it alarming how much they were in the same place?
A: No, some people are like that. A lot of times when Denver with Peyton and when he was there, we had guys right and left and had guys in the slot, so it depends on what the philosophy is. I like the philosophy here better where you can just move guys around and not have them dictate what they do, but you can be the offensive aggressive and dictate what they do, so I like this system better, but it didnít surprise me because Iíve seen a lot of different systems, a lot of different things work and they were successful in years before doing it. It just didnít work out this past year.

Q: Whatís it like for you Ė you played with his father, he was born when you guys were in college, and now here you are coaching him and heís become a megastar. Whatís it like for you to come full circle?
A: It makes me feel old. Thatís what it makes me feel. I mean, I held him as a baby, I sat at the form, and now here he is, Iím coaching him and Iím like, wow. It makes you feel old, but Iím glad to see where heís come from. I know his parents really well like I told you, and for him to be able to have this success heís had up to this point, and hopefully continue, Iím happy for him and his family.

Q: When he was growing up did you ever see him play in high school or younger? Did you stay in touch with thee family?
A: I didnít see him play in high school. I obviously watched him in college every week because the alma mater, LSU Ė Go Tigers. I watched him every week in college and obviously Iím a fan of anyone who plays at LSU, and then to be able to see him perform in college and wore his dadís number back then Ė he was better than his dad, by the way.

Q: Do you work with guys who arenít receivers? Can you line up Saquon [Barkley} on the outside or Evan Engram?
A: Yeah, well, when we have formations, we have that. They have come to me at certain points in time asking me questions about this route or that route, and I share it with them what I share with my receivers, but we have coaches who coach those guys so they do their job, and my room is full, my plate is full with the guys I have. Iíve got 12 guys and I hope all 12 guys make the team, but obviously they canít, but Iím coaching them, all my guys and I think other coaches are doing a really good job coaching their guys.†

Q: Given that you held Odell as a baby, is it hard to yell at him now?
A: No, itís not. It makes it easier, actually.†

Q: How would you describe the relationship you guys have?
A: Just coach-player.†

Q: Have you heard from [his] dad or mom?
A: They were here during training camp, I talked to them.

Q: What was their reaction to you coaching him?
A: Just a hug and, Ďglad to have you here coaching our soní, that kind of thing, but thatís about it. Iíve known him forever, so itís been a long time.

Q: Do you get enough running in?
A: I do.†

Q: Every rep, right? Or every end of every series?†
A: Yeah. Well, at the end of every unit, if a receiver catches the ball, I have them score, and anybody on the field, theyíll score with him and I score with him as well. I started that back when I was in Denver and guys after about training camp day 3 or 4, they started to complain like Ďoh we run too muchí, so what I said was, well, if I run with you, you have to run. So I started running with them, and the thing that happens, you guys donít see, sometimes weíre backed up on the 10 or 15 yard line and they score, Iím like oh man I have to go 90 yards and then come back and go again. But I hold myself to it. Itís a training camp thing to make them score, for one, and then itís a sneaky way to get conditioning in for them, and I do it so they canít complain. I know if a guy whose 50 years old can do it, they can do it.†
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