Tight Ends Coach Lunda Wells -- November 16, 2018
Q: (TE) Evanís (Engram) playing time slightly went down. How do you present that to him to make sure that doesnít affect him at all?
A: I think itís one of the things where you donít necessarily look at it as going down. Just trying to utilize all of our personnel, all those guys in that room. It wasnít necessarily directed towards him. It was just more so schematics and more so gameplan in terms of what we can do to take advantage of what the other team is giving us.
Q: How can he become a better blocker so that he can remain on the field in certain blocking situations like (TE) Rhett (Ellison) and (TE) Scott (Simonson)?
A: I think heís getting better at it. Obviously, his redeeming quality is what he brings to the table in the pass game. Heís still working at it, and heís getting better. I think heís made tremendous strides in the right direction, but again, at the end of the game who was in, who wasnít in, was all predicated on trying to put guys in the best position to be successful.
Q: I know heís been injured and missed some time, why do you think he hasnít had the same frequent success as your receivers? [Engram]
A: I hadnít really evaluated him as not having success, because again, numbers only tell half the story in my mind. Heís has some success. Weíve missed on some opportunities earlier in the year that limited the numbers, but I canít say one way or another what pinpoints him directly not having the amount of numbers that heís had. Again, weíre making strides in the right direction to do things that we do to help win games.
Q: Should he have caught that pass over the top in the fourth-quarter? [Engram]
A: Should he have had it? Some might say yes, but he threw a hell of an effort at it. The guy got his hand in there and broke it up.
Q: How have you seen him handle the drops mentally?
A: At times, you get down a little bit, especially right after the game because heís a competitor and he wants to do his best to give the team a chance to win. So, he feels more so that he let the team down, but after that, weíve just been moving forward and keep doing a lot of hard work and effort at it. Like Iíve said before, as a batter, you canít bat .500 with the bat on your shoulders. We just keep taking swings at it, and I think thatís been his mentality. Just keep catching balls, and keep catching more balls.
Q: Are you working with him at being a more versatile threat so that he can be on the field more? Or, are you guys comfortable with him not being on the field in run-heavy packages?
A: No, heís a tight end. So, he does everything that goes into play with being a tight end Ė as a run blocker, as a pass protector, and is catching the football and is running routes. We emphasize all of that. Heís not sitting over there with the wide receivers catching balls while weíre doing run drills. Individually, heís right there getting his run stuff in. Heís developing in every aspect.
Q: This game seemed different in that regard as far as his usage. [Engram]
A: Yeah, we saw opportunities to utilize all our personnel within that room in that game. So, thatís what we did. It wasnít like a direct reflection on him. It was just taking advantage of our 53-man roster.
Q: How do you think Scott Simonson and Rhett Ellison did in their roles?
A: They did really good this past game. They moved some guys around their role. It was good to see that. Also, they did some things in the pass game in pass protection that, again, it doesnít show up on the stat sheet, but it contributed to some of those plays that we made. They had a really good day. Itís probably the better game out of the unit, overall, because again, we utilized the personnel, they guys relished in their role that they had, and you saw down the stretch Evan had some big catches, some big plays down the stretch to put us in a position to win a game.
Q: Do you expect your guys to play a bigger role moving forward, considering the array of two-tight end packages that this offense entails?
A: How much of a role they play, I think, is predicated on how well they relish in the role theyíve been given, and also what scheme and what things help us put ourselves in a position to be successful, depending on the team that weíre playing against.
Q: I think the Bucs have allowed the most yards to opposing tight ends this season. Is that something you guys noticed when you see the success that other teams have had against them at that position?
A: Again, we donít spend a whole lot of time focusing on what theyíve given up. We kind of spend more time focusing on how we can attack them schematically and individually in terms of matchup wise. Looking at the previous tight endsí numbers, we donít really focus on that. We want to focus on us and being able to take advantage of what they give us, and play our best.
Q: No (Buccaneers LB) Lavonte David, that should work in your guysí favor. Heís the guy thatís used to cover most tight ends.
A: Correct, correct. That helps, but we focus on doing our deal and focusing on us. Itís about us.
Q: When Evan has struggled with the catches, have you worked with him on how to overcome that mentally? Or, are you exclusively coaching him from a technique standpoint?
A: My perspective has always been at some point in time, you donít want to put them in panic mode. When heís struggling, thatís when you kind of be more of an encourager. The catching and the football, that just comes along with how we prepare. Itís not like, hey, letís catch 10,000 footballs. Letís just continue to be consistent and catch like we normally do. Then, itís just the encouraging part so that he knows, hey, heís been put on this Earth to catch footballs. Letís just continue to emphasize and get it done on Sunday.
Q: How much does he fight that in his head?
A: Immediately after the game, it messes with him, but after that, we turn the page, we come back here on Wednesday, turns the page, and moves forward and throws all effort at it.
Q: Do you think the end of last game should help his confidence?
A: Yeah, it gave him a little confidence. Like we say, you go out there and hit a homerun, youíll start to feel pretty good about yourself, but you never lose the fact of continuing to throw hard work at it and keep working at it.