WR Coach Tyke Tolbert -- December 7, 2018
Q: Do you feel as if you guys got something going here in these past few games?
A: Yeah, I like the direction we’re going offensively. I think more times we have a new staff and a new system and everything, it takes more time for an offense to get acclimated than the defense, but I think our guys are finally having the confidence to go out there and make plays – be it in the run game, be it the passing game. Our guys just feel more confident. I do sense that, yes.
Q: Do you like what you’ve seen from your younger guys?
A: I like what I’m seeing from all of our guys. They’re doing all the right things, and making plays in the passing game. They’re making plays in the run game, which I really encourage guys to do, because a lot of times, with especially the back that we have back there, he’s a special running back – we have to be able to make plays in the run game as well. Blocking downfield, and the five or six-yard runs come from offensive linemen, but the 20-yarders come from the wide receivers. I like how they’re all playing right now, in the run game and in the pass game.
Q: How good is (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) at blocking?
A: Odell is an effort guy, he’s an effort guy. So, he’s always down the field blocking. One of the things I’ve always done is I’ve always stressed blocking, first of all. You have 65 plays in the game. You have five catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Ok, that’s great. What are you doing the other 60 plays? I always emphasized blocking and being a team player in that respect. If they have a good block in the run game, in the film room, we’ll run the tape about three or four times to emphasize that. If he catches a touchdown, I may roll the film twice, but a good run block, I may run it three or four times to put emphasis on it. Everybody likes to feel good about being complimented. They figured out that there will be more compliments out of me if they have a real good block and a touchdown. So, they take pride in that.
Q: What has (WR) Russell Shepard brought to you guys this year?
A: Russell, he brings a lot of leadership to our room. He’s the veteran of the group, if you will. He’s a jack of all trades. He plays all the positions. He’s my fill-in guy. Russ does a really good job with us. He does a really good job on special teams. He keeps the room light, if you will. He loves to have a good time, but when it’s time to be serious, Russ gets serious and does what he has to do to make the plays.
Q: What does (WR) Corey Coleman have to do to earn more reps at wide receiver?
A: Corey, he has to keep plugging along. Corey, with him, he’s probably been in three or four offenses this year alone – from Cleveland, to Buffalo, to New England, to here. Some of the plays that we have, there’s some crossover and it’s the same concept, but it’s called totally different things, and some things they’re called totally the same, but they’re different concepts. So, sometimes he confuses those, but Corey is doing well. We’re going to have to put more into the offense, and I think we’re going to see that going forward. Corey is going to play more, and more, and more, because he does have a lot of ability that you want to see on the field. He has really good hands. He has really good speed. He’s good with the ball in his hands, he’s tough. This offense requires you to play different positions all the time. When you move him around as much as we move him around, and those concepts like I mentioned with him and other places, it gets intertwined sometimes and can be confusing a little bit. As far as the other guys, they’ve been here the whole time, so they kind of know what to do in all those instances. He’s continued to get better in that regard, and the more he gets better with that and the more comfortable he is with that, the more we’ll play him.
Q: Do you sense that this late in the year Odell is still fresh? Has he shown any signs of wear and tear?
A: When it’s game time, he’s as fresh as he’s ever been. Even in practice, you’ll see he has a lot of energy. He runs around. Let’s not overlook the fact that he’s coming off a major, major surgery he had last year. He’s had maybe a Comeback Player of the Year type of comeback, because that’s a major surgery he had. For him to be playing at the level he’s playing at this time of the year coming off an ankle injury, that’s all credit to him, and the rehab that he’s done, and the work he puts in. He still looks fresh to me. As time goes on, it’s a long season. Sometimes, people have some wear and tear. He’s still out there. He’s practicing hard, doing all the right things, having a lot of energy every day. So, I’m very proud of him for that.