Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
September 21, 2018
Q: Whatís the challenge for your group now two games in, we know what weíve talked about in terms of the struggles of the offense. What do you tell your guys as far as what their jobs need to be to turn this thing around?
A: Itís just a matter of doing your job. I preach to my guys every day about being the best wide receiver you can be with and without the ball, meaning there are times Ė a lot of times Ė when you donít have the ball, but you still have to go ahead and play hard for your teammates, whether itís in the run game, or carrying out some pattern for your other teammates to get the ball. Everybody has a job to do and thatís what Iíve been emphasizing with my guys. Everybody do their job.
Q: When Odell is not able to get involved, he wasnít really on Sunday, do you have to change anything? Do you look back and see there were opportunities for him?
A: Sometimes you can game plan things for guys to be the primary receiver in the pass pattern, but sometimes the defense -- they get paid, too -- and they did a good job of taking some things away. Itís up to us as coaches to find what we can do to counteract what they were doing so we can get guys open and get them to be the primary receiver.
Q: How do you manage on the sidelines in-game and during the week the frustrations of not getting into the end zone and reassuring guys that what youíre doing is going to hit?
A: I have a phrase in my room that I tell guys: keep playing hard, keep getting open, you will get the ball, because everybody has a job to do and you canít snap the ball yourself, you canít block yourself, you canít throw the ball yourself. You canít do everything, so all you have to do is your job, keep getting open and we will find you the ball.
Q: Cody (Latimer) had the deep catch the other night and in the preseason, what makes him a good deep threat?
A: Cody has size, he has good speed, he has really strong hands, and last week we actually emphasized that particular route about three or four times that he and Eli picked up on the deep ball, so Iím glad to see it has come to fruition.†
Q: On Odellís attitude Ė What sense do you get being around him?
A: His attitude has been really good. Heís a positive guy, heís one of the hardest practicing guys Iíve ever been around. I mean, he practices hard. You have to pull him back sometimes because he likes go, heís like a little energizer bunny. He just goes and goes and goes. His attitude has been good. Obviously all great players like him probably want the ball as much as they can get it, and when they donít get it as much sometimes, frustration may creep in a little bit, but not as much because he knows what weíre trying to do. He knows he canít control everything, he can only control what he can control. Again, our phrase -- just keep getting open, we will find you the ball.†
Q: When you practice the Philly Special, do you coach Odell how to throw that, or is that Mike Shula?
A: We donít practice Philly Special. I donít know what youíre talking about. (Laughter)
Q: When there are opportunities to get Odell the ball deep, because we heard that a lot this week that opportunities were there, and the ball doesnít wind up going in that direction, how do you keep him dialed in? How do you keep him energized?
A: I think Odell realizes that every time youíre open, the ball is not going to come your way. Again, my stress to him is keep getting open, we will find you the ball. Sometimes, it doesnít always work out the way we want it to. Sometimes it may not work out, sometimes it may work out two or three times in a game, or youíll have a huge game and a lot of touchdowns were scored, a lot of points, and win a lot of games; but at some point in time, itís going to click for all of us on offense, and when it does, itís going to be something special to watch.†
Q: (Pat Shurmur) talked about needing to get the ball in his hands early this week. Does that also include early in the down, earlier in the progression, get the ball out quicker?
A: I would say early and often, thatís what I would say. Heís a special player, heís a one of a kind type player, generational type player. Guys like him, we want to get them the ball as much as you can and if he has the ball a lot of times, good things happen for our offense, quite frankly.†
Q: (Sterling Shepard) has been kind of quiet. What are you seeing from him? Heís had a couple of drops, kind of uncharacteristic. What are you seeing from him?
A: I told my guys early on in camp Ė if I had to go into a fight with one of you guys in the room, Sterling would be the one I would take with me. He is a football playing Jesse, as they would say in the south. Heís tough, heís smart, heís feisty, it means something to him. Heís a good player when he gets the chance to play with the ball in his hands, but heís really a good player without the ball. He has a lot of good blocks, a lot of good crack blocks on the safeties. Iím very happy with Sterling Shepard right now. Jerry Rice dropped passes, too, so Iím not concerned so much until dropped passes become a habit, but my focus is really on guys playing hard and playing as a team and playing for each other. Once we do that, good things will happen for us.†
Q: You said youíre telling your guys to get open. Through the first two games, are you seeing guys getting open enough to your liking, that the opportunities are there?
A: There are obviously things we can do a whole lot better. Iím pleased for the most part with what weíre doing, but thereís things obviously we can work on to get better. No one is perfect, there is no perfect person. No oneís walking on water. Weíve just got to continue to play hard, play fast, play smart, play tough, be physical, and again, this is our first season together. Thereís a whole new staff and everything, so weíre still learning, going through the learning process, learning curve, but I think each week we always see on tape, thereís a play here or a play there, missed opportunity here or missed opportunity there, for us to have a really good offense, really good game and come out with a victory. I think weíre on the brink of that, I really do.
Q: You might not know him well, but what does (Stacy Coley) bring?
A: One thing he brings is knowledge about this offense. He was in Minnesota with Coach Shurmur, so a lot of stuff weíre doing offensively, he already knows. He came in yesterday and he remembered a lot of the terminology that we use and what to do. He brings some speed, I remember watching him coming out of college, out of Miami Ė heís a 4.4 guy, so he brings some speed, brings some versatility, he plays multiple positions as well, which is good for us on offense, because you have to be that multiple guy, especially when you get under the ball no-huddle. He brings knowledge of the offense, thatís the one thing he brings that stands out right now.