Wide Receiver Coach Tyke Tolbert -- August 24, 2020
Q: David Sills has had a good camp. I was just curious what you’ve seen out of him?
A: David Sills has done a really good job. He’s a really smart guy, he’s working hard. He’ll go in there and play all of the positions. I told you guys the other day, he’s a rep stealer. He has his reps, he’s going to go in and run his reps, then he’ll steal some other reps. If he sees guys running down the field, he’ll jump in there and say ‘I got them, I got them.’ I like that about him. He jumps in there, doesn’t matter what position it is. He goes in there and plays and executes his assignments.
Q: What jumps out to you about C.J. Board and Austin Mack, and why have they been able to earn so much trust to date?
A: Well, I think the thing with C.J. is immediately his feet. He has speed. He really has speed off the ball, he’s really fast, sudden out of his breaks. He has a little bit of experience in the league too. The thing with Austin Mack is his knowledge. That’s for all those rookies. Those guys came in the spring and really learned the offense. Austin Mack’s a super smart guy. He can play any position. He’s a tough guy, he’s a physical guy, he’s very dependable. That’s the thing that stands out with him to me.
Q: How much did you need to see a young receiver on the field now, having not worked with him on the field in the spring? Or did you know who these guys were anyway just because of how much tape you’ve watched and seen before?
A: Yeah, I think it’s different when you do it from college to the NFL. For those guys, you can see all of them but especially the young guys coming in, see how they adjust to the speed of the NFL and see who’s going to accept the challenge day in and day out, who’s going to back down. All three of those rookies have accepted the challenge, they’re stepping up. It’s not too big for them. Two guys played at Ohio State, one played at LSU. Playing big time football is not too big for them. I think they’re doing really well.
Q: I want to ask you about Alex Bachman. He’s a guy who came in late last year, you spent some time with him on the practice squad. But he’s impressed seemingly since we stepped out there to watch you practice last Monday. Where does he fit in and what do you like about his skillset that maybe translates to some of the things you guys want to do?
A: A lot like Sills, the fact that he knows all of the positions, he knows them well so he can plug in anywhere, which is unique to have guys like that that can plug in anywhere. He’s very knowledgeable, he’s adjusted well to the competition we’re going against. We’re going to have to see him more going against really good on good. What I mean by that is really going against the one’s and going against man coverage and everything to see how much improvement he can make with that. But he’s been working his butt off and done a really good job. The more he goes out there and makes plays, the more opportunity he’ll get.
Q: How much of a challenge is it, I mean when you see him, he does look like a prototypical slot guy. How much of challenge is it for him to steal those reps when you have such experienced guys who have produced in the slot, like Golden (Tate), like (Sterling) Shep and going forward?
A: I think the thing that helps him and all those young guys is a lot of the time in practice, we’ll split practices and have guys working in two spots, so they’re getting all of the reps. Every rep that Golden or Shep would get is every rep Alex Bachman will get as well. That’s been a really good thing how Coach Judge structures practice to where all of the guys are getting a lot of reps. That helps a lot.
Q: This offense could be really good. But do you think you have enough weapons at the wide receiver position?
A: Yes, I do. Weapons are an opinion of one person, but I think all these guys are NFL football players and they’re all here for a reason. It’s up to us to coach them up to get them to play the best within the system that we possibly can. Do I believe we have enough weapons? Yes. Everybody is always looking for the biggest, strongest, fastest guy, but that doesn’t necessarily fit the system that you’re running. I think these guys fit perfectly for what we’re running. We expect a lot from them and we’ll build up a lot of them.
Q: Obviously, you have familiarity with Darius (Slayton) and Shep and Golden last year, but it’s a new offense. I’m curious how much is new, or how much does that familiarity help you when you’re teaching these guys this year?
A: That’s a good question. People ask me that all the time about different systems and everything and how it fits. But running a curl flat is running a curl flat. You can call it ‘hank,’ you can call it ‘sixes,’ you can call it whatever you want to call it. But it’s still the same plays. Everybody in the NFL runs the same plays. It’s a matter of how you call it. It’s just getting used to the terminology. But the same plays we’re running here are the same plays we ran two years ago, the same plays I ran six years ago. It’s really the same stuff, it’s just a matter of getting used to the terminology. You still kind of coach them the same, and they still kind of know conceptually the same stuff. They just have to learn different terminology.