Tight Ends Coach Lunda Wells -- October 18, 2019
Q: What opportunities for the tight end position does this defense present?
A: Just like any week. Within our scheme, we’ll have some chances to make some plays. They’ll do a nice job of creating some good pass rushes, so whatever we do, we have to do it quickly and be decisive with how we execute our routes and stuff. They’re a good team, a good defensive team. We have to do a nice job of executing on our part.
Q: How much do you sense guys have a little extra excitement when they go up against a defense that they know hasn’t done well at stopping the tight end, and that those opportunities could be there? Do guys notice that or get extra amped when they see that?
A: I don’t know if it would be extra amped. They all watch the tape, so they’ve seen how some other tight ends have had some success. I think every week, we’re just trying to pinpoint where we can execute and have our success against the team. Every week is different. We have to approach it where we have to be at our best, more so in terms of us being at our best. We need to take advantage of opportunities that they might give us.
Q: Obviously, we hope to get final word on whether Evan (Engram) is a go for Sunday later from (Head Coach) Pat (Shurmur). With this injury, obviously, you’ve been coaching him, you’ve seen him try to come back from injuries. Was this different for him in any way, in terms of how he attacked this injury versus maybe what’s happened in the past for him, how things have tended to linger?
A: No. I think he’s done his part in terms of working his behind off with the treatments and stuff. Every injury is different. When it happens, you have to try to approach it the same way in terms of working your behind off in treatment. Also while you’re doing that, kind of staying aggressive in terms of what we got going in game plan wise. He’s done a hell of a job taking care of his body. The training staff has done a hell of a job trying to get him in position to make a return. So, we’ll see.
Q: Because I know that was really a focus for him. He said coming into this year that it was really as much a physical thing as it was a mental thing. It was ‘Stay confident, stay optimistic, keep everything…’ That’s why I was kind of curious to see if that paid dividends this time.
A: Like you said, he’s approached it just like he’s always approached it in terms of trying to do what he needs to do from the training room staff, and he’s done a nice job with it.
Q: Have you seen that explosion from him this week that you’re used to?
A: Yeah, he’s getting there. He’s getting there. He’s done a hell of a job this week working and trying to get himself back at it.
Q: When you see an opponent that has Chandler Jones and (Terrell) Suggs coming off the end, what does that do for the tight ends in terms of their blocking responsibilities?
A: Again, just like each week, we have a role in terms of having to be a blocker. Those are two really good players that have had a lot of success over the years. We’ve challenged ourselves to be at our best when the opportunity presents itself to block those guys.
Q: I don’t think we’ve had an opportunity to talk to you since you guys brought in Kaden (Smith) and have kind of given him more opportunities. I think Pat said you guys liked him pre-draft and that evaluation. I’m just curious if you can share your connections with him through that process and now having him here, what role can he play?
A: Again, he’s a rookie. We liked him coming out. He’s a smart kid, tough and he shows the ability to be able to stretch the field. He’s not a blazer, but he has a good catch radius, long arms and he’s very smart. He learns very well. He’s done a nice job. Really, all of those guys have done a nice job of picking up the things that we were asking them to do and getting better each day. He’s doing a nice job. Again, all of those guys in that room are doing a nice job of doing the things that we’re asking them to do.
Q: (Garrett) Dickerson had a big preseason and training camp. I know he got hurt, but once he gets back and gets healthy, how come you don’t work him into the offense and into the passing game more?
A: Again, everybody has a role. Each week, your role might change. I think those guys do a nice job of preparing to play. Then when the opportunity presents itself, those guys will be ready to play.