Tight Ends Coach Lunda Wells
October 5, 2018
Q: Have you been pleased with the progress of your group?
A: Theyíve done ok. Iím pleased with the progress with them. Theyíve gotten better at some things that weíve strategically tried to improve from Week 1, and they consistently continue to get better at those things. Weíre not where we want to be at. Iím always going to say that. Weíre always shooting for perfection, and achieve excellence. Weíre always trying to continue to progress with the things that weíre doing, but Iím pleased with the progress in terms of them being able to adapt and get better at the things that weíre emphasizing each week.
Q: What has been done in terms of making the other guy step up in Evan Engramís place?
A: Obviously, not having one of the guys that you depend on, not having him kind of brings you back a little bit as a whole, as a room, as a team, but the guys that are in that room are plenty capable of doing the things that we them to do. Weíve just adjusted and kept moving forward.
Q: What have you seen specifically from Rhett Ellison in terms of a receiving tight end?
A: Rhett is a pro. He goes about his business. I always tell him he works in solids. He just goes about his business doing his job well, and when the opportunity presents itself to make an impact play to get on the stat sheet. Heís one of those guys that you can depend on to make that play on the stat sheet, but until then, he just works in solids and gets his job done. Heís a pro.
Q: With Evan Engram out, can anyone else stretch the field from that position?
A: Yes, those guys are capable of stretching the field. Do they stretch the field at 4.4-4.5 40 (yard dash) time? No, but theyíre not 5.0 flat 40 (yard dash) time guys. They have speed to be able to get down the field and make plays down the field.
Q: What does Scott Simonson bring to the table?
A: Scott has been a pleasant surprise. Heís consistently gotten better at the role that heís had. His role has increased even more. Heís done a nice job. He brings toughness, like I said before. He brings effort, he brings smarts, because you can move him around and do some things with him. Iím really pleased with his development and his progress in terms of his role that he has.
Q: What kind of player do you see Garrett Dickerson as? What can we expect from him if called upon in the game?
A: Again, Garrett is very sharp. Heís another guy that we can move around and put in positions to be successful. Heís a guy that you can add as a receiver. Heís continuing to grow as a blocker. Heís a guy that, in time, heís going to be a pretty good player.
Q: How difficult is it to do what Simonson and Dickerson are doing in terms of how fast their learning curve is?
A: Like always, itís challenging when you have guys coming in the midway point of the offseason program, but again, the redeeming quality about those guys is theyíre smart and they can learn. You donít spend as much time coaching the assignment part. Youíre really able to hone in on the technique part. Again, this game of football is so much about technique and not just assignments.
Q: What about this matchup specifically with Carolina getting (LB) Thomas Davis back this week?
A: I donít look at it in terms of what the Carolina Panthers are giving up. I kind of look at it as in terms of what our guys bring to the table and the knowledge of what weíre asking them to do, and their effort. Also, in terms of the techniques that theyíve been taught and that they continue to perfect. Itís about our guys coming out and doing the things that they know and the right way to do things. So, itís not about them, itís about us.
Q: How much have your guys been asked to help the tackles block maybe more than they were in the past?
A: Itís just about the same. Itís just the offenseís structure. Itís not about helping the tackles, itís about each man doing their assignment. Sometimes, our assignment involves us in protection. Itís not about letís help the tackle. Itís about us doing our job in protection.
Q: Does the offensive scheme demand more of it than the scheme last year?
A: Well, the scheme last year is a different scheme. This scheme is kind of one of the things that (Head Coach) Pat (Shurmur) has had in his arsenal for years.