Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert -- December 7, 2019
Q: You get all your guys, what does that mean to the offense in your opinion?
A: More play makers, the better. Thatís what it means.
Q: I think when Sterling and Golden played last time together, the way it shook out Golden was in the slot more than Sterling, I believe. Why is that, what did you attribute to that?
A: No particular reason. The way we install in the preseason, everybody knows all the positions. It depends on the formation we call. Sometimes some guys end up more inside than outside, but no particular reason.
Q: How do you think Sterling has looked since he has come back?
A: He looks good. Heís fast, heís sudden, heís quick. He practices hard every play. Every play you canít tell if itís run or pass because he has great departure speed off the ball, which is what I like. He hustles, he looks really good.
Q: You have a couple guys in Slayton and Tate that have never caught a pass from Eli Manning in a game. How do you prepare them for the quarterback change?
A: We donít, we just go out and run our plays. Whoever is back there throwing it, we are going to catch it. Thereís no real different preparation from a wide receiver standpoint. Our job is to go out there, line up and make plays in the run game and the pass game. Whoever is back there is going to throw and weíre going to catch it, and hopefully have a lot of success.
Q: Weíve seen Darius be productive when heís been in the lineup. A lot of it has been without Shep and Golden there together. How do you make sure he doesnít have his playing time reduced and not become as big a factor?
A: He is going to be the same factor he has always been. We have a good plan for these guys, a good rotation for these guys. Like I said in the opening statement as far as guys coming back, all your play makers are back, so it makes it great for us to be able to have guys on the field that can make plays any time. I wouldnít or should not see Slaytonís role decrease, if you will. Itís just a better rotation, I guess, with a lot of better guys in there. If itís less plays for him, itís not intentional. If itís more plays for him, itís not intentional. Itís just how the game is going to be called and whoís in there (inaudible).
Q: Where have you seen him make the biggest strides, Slayton?
A: I think probably his routes. At Auburn, he didnít have a very big route tree because of the way they run the offense. A lot of running stuff, he ran a lot of go routes. He didnít have a very big route tree when he first got here. To see him improve week in and week out with his routes and the route technique, thatís probably where he has improved the most.
Q: How surprising is that to you? Because thatís the one thing when you look at him, heís able to get open pretty consistently.
A: I think his work ethic, it doesnít surprise me. He works hard, and critically, heís coachable. He listens to the things we try to say and try to do, and he goes out there and performs. He works at it quite a bit.
Q: Did you see something though? Because I know, like you said, itís hard because heís not really running that route tree, but is there something when youíre scouting him that you can see how likely heíll progress?
A: Well, I think the first thing that stands out is his speed. His speed, and then heís a smart kid. The way I look at it, if youíre fast and youíre smart, I feel like I can coach you to do the things I want you to do technique wise. It takes time, heís just a rookie but heís progressing in a way weíd like for him to progress.
Q: This secondary for the Eagles has struggled at times, what kind of opportunity does that present for you guys against them?
A: I think, to be honest with you, the receiver room, we feel very confident that we can have success whenever we go on the field, regardless of who the secondary is. I donít look at it from the standpoint of theyíve been struggling or whatever, because I know they are a good team and I really know they are a good front and can get to the quarterback really fast. Our job is to get open whoever we are playing against. We donít look at it as if guys are having great success or are not having as much success. We look at it the same way. We are going to go out there, we feel confident we can go out there and win. Execute the plays that are called and get open, regardless of whoís covering us.
Q: Russell Shepardís season is over. What does he still bring this team and to your room?
A: Energy every day. Russell is in the meetings and heís our hype-man of the wide receivers. He brings a lot of juice to us and I appreciate a guy like him. Sometimes when youíre not doing as well as a team, sometimes guys can get down a little bit, but not Russ. Russ brings the energy every day, he keeps the whole team energized and especially the wide receiver room energized. I appreciate Russ.
Q: How impressed have you been with the unitís blocking in general?
A: Iím impressed with their blocking. As a matter of fact, one of the things I have on the tip sheet, itís tip number eightó the first sentence is, ĎBe the best player on the field with or without the ball.í Iíve always been of the philosophy ... If you have 65 plays in the game, which is an average, and you have five catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns, thatís great. But what are you doing for the other 60 plays? I obviously emphasize the other 60 plays. Because all of the guys want to catch the ball, make plays and score touchdowns, but are you helping your team win in other areas? Thatís playing without the ball. You have to be as good of a player without the ball as you are with the ball.