TE Coach Lunda Wells -- December 14, 2018
Q: Do you think Evan (Engram) made strides last week, not just coming back from injury but kind of his all-around game?
A: Yeah, he did a nice job. He did a nice job doing the things that we needed him to do in the game. He saw some improvement, so he’s doing good.
Q: How much has your group transformed from the way you came into the season and the way you’re using your personnel now?
A: Again, like I’ve said before, it all depends on what the teams show that they give us, then on personnel, you go into each game with certain roles and certain things that you’re trying to do and then sometimes in the game, you get into different roles as the game plays on. It all varies and the guys have done a nice job embracing the roles that they have and doing a nice job with it.
Q: How much does the team’s broader commitment to running the ball more since the bye elevate Rhett Ellison’s role and how has that impacted him as a player?
A: He does a great job of what he’s asked to do. Like I said before, a lot of the things that he does goes kind of in silence, it’s not necessarily showing up on the stats sheet. He’s done a really good job of what we’ve asked him to do as a blocker, and all those guys have done a nice job with what we’ve asked them to do as a blocker as we run the ball.
Q: (Scott) Simonson – even with Evan back, he’s still getting 20-plus snaps. What have you seen from him? What does he contribute?
A: Like I said before, his toughness, his knowledge, he’s very smart and he throws pure-ass attitude out there. He does a nice job with the role that we give him. Sometimes it’s blocking, sometimes it’s out catching the ball, he’s caught a couple balls in critical spots in previous weeks, so he’s done a really nice job in the role we give him.
Q: Do you guys take some credit? Credit might not be the right word, but the way you’ve run the ball, everybody says ‘oh, look how the offensive line is playing’, but your group has had a lot to do with the blocking there, too.
A: It’s one of the positions where we don’t necessarily look for the pat on the back, we understand that our role is important.
Q: But when I want to give you a pat on the back, you’ll take it?
A: Yeah. (Laughter) You’ll take it. But again, we enjoy the fact that we’re able to do our job to help the team win. Those guys just enjoy winning.
Q: What was it like when you sat down with the guys and were looking at that touchdown run of Saquon’s? Your two guys both were big parts of that.
A: It’s pretty good. Those guys did a nice job executing, which gave Saquon some air there. You give Saquon some air, and anything can happen. It was enjoyable. We had some coaching points that we made on that particular play to help make it better for us, but they did a nice job in the game. They really did.
Q: How has Evan handled things? It’s been an up and down season for him with injuries and things like that.
A: Injuries, like I said before, those get after him a little bit. When he gets hurt, he’s discouraged a little bit, but he keeps working hard and keeps putting himself in a position to return, and it’s been up and down, but it’s been positive for him because he’s had opportunity to make some plays as of late, which gives him that confidence that he needs.
Q: Do you think (Engram) could potentially be a guy you use in heavy packages, or is he more of just a receiving tight end and you have to be selective in the run game?
A: I really hate using that term, ‘receiving tight end’, because all the guys embrace the role of a tight end, which means blocking and catching. Will he ever be in the big packages? If the role fits, yes. Again, we try to play to our guys’ redeeming qualities and he can be in the big packages if we needed him.
Q: Just seems like since the bye, he has been used more exclusively as a receiver versus in blocking packages with you guys trusting Rhett more. I was just wondering if one day, he’s the lead tight end, if he can be what Rhett’s been for you guys this year basically.
A: Yeah, all those guys in my mind are lead tight ends. It’s all predicated on the scheme that we’ve got going here and how we’re trying to attack the defense, and again, utilizing those guys’ redeeming qualities. Again, he’s done a hell of a job.