Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett
November 5, 2020
Q: I’m just wondering how much have you sensed frustration, if at all, with Golden Tate and sort of the role he’s playing here?
A: I don’t really want to comment much on that. That’s something for Coach Judge to comment on. Obviously, Golden has done a good job for us when given opportunities. We try to get opportunities for all of our guys and give them chances to help us contribute.
Q: Do you feel the need at least to talk to veteran players who are kind of in that position and kind of explain to them what you guys are thinking and what their role is and really define it for them?
A: I think what you try to do as a coach is communicate with all your players, and have those conversations and communication be daily. Obviously, guys’ roles on teams change day by day, week by week. We’re doing everything we can to try and win a ball game. We as coaches and our players understand that you have to embrace every role that you’re in.
Q: Did Andrew (Thomas) take a step forward you think in your last game? It seemed like he played a little better, had some good blocks. Were you encouraged by his performance?
A: Yeah, Andrew’s a young player. It’s hard to play in the National Football League as a rookie. It’s particularly hard to play left tackle in this league, and particularly hard to go against some of the rushers he’s gone against over the first half of the season. Throughout the season, he’s done some good things. Obviously, there are plenty of areas where he needs to get better. But we all need to get better. Every player on our team, every coach on our team. I thought he did a good job in the game the other night against a really good defensive front, really good pass rushers. He hung in there well. Really good evidence of him run blocking at a high level and pass protecting at a high level. But certainly not a perfect performance. A lot of stuff in the game you go back and you say, ‘this can be better, this can be better.’ That’s what we’ll continue to do with him and everybody on a week by week basis.
Q: Daniel (Jones) said the other day that he needs to do a better job of understanding when the play is over. You were a quarterback, obviously. How difficult is that to “give up on a play”? Also, have you dealt with other quarterbacks that you had to coach that out of also, and how did you do that?
A: I think that’s the nature of most quarterbacks. Quarterbacks who are worth their salt have a playmaking instinct in them. They want the ball in their hands and they want to be the guy who’s guiding the offense but making an impact on what goes on on the field. I would say every quarterback I’ve been around who’s been a really good player has that same instinct. Over time, you learn through experience what plays you simply have to fold on, and you have to get the ball out of your hand and live for another day. Whether it’s punting on the drive or just simply going to second and 10, I think that’s an important thing to understand. The more situations you’re in, if you approach them the right way, you’ll learn from those experiences. Daniel continued to do that. Most guys I’ve been around have gone through that very similar process.
Q: Did you have any moment on the field that you did something and you were told, ‘look, the play is over, don’t be a hero’? Was there anything that stuck into your head that helped you?
A: When I was player? Yeah, I didn’t have those playmaking capabilities that these guys have. But certainly, it’s the same thing. It’s a mentality that you have to develop over time. We ask our quarterbacks to run our offense, make plays in the passing game, make plays with your feet. You’re always balancing that with putting your team in a position where they can be successful. Taking care of the football is a big part of that. That’s a process that I believe all quarterbacks go through. I certainly went through it at different points in my career.
Q: As far as it goes with Daniel, are there things that you can simulate in practice to kind of drill that into him a little bit more? That sometimes you just need to get rid of it or sometimes just take the sack. Are there things in practice you can simulate rather than just drilling it through game film?
A: I think the most important part of practice is 11 on 11 type situations and trying to make those as realistic as possible. You try to do that in seven on seven situations, even when you’re working on one on one. If the timing isn’t right and you have to move on, try to make it as game-like as possible. There are certainly plenty of drills we do in individual period to try to help all our quarterbacks do those things well physically and also with their decision-making. That’s a big part of coaching quarterbacks, and we’ll continue to try to do that.
Q: Do you sense the requisite urgency on his part to kind of combat this, because it seems like it’s an ongoing thing and has been since he arrived in the league?
A: I don’t think there’s any question he recognizes the urgency of it. Daniel is such a hardworking guy, he’s such a passionate guy. He’s so invested in being the best player he can be and helping us be the best team we can be. We love his approach. We love what he’s all about. He’s done so many good things for us this year. But we do have to eliminate the negative plays, and he recognizes that. That will be a thing we continue to work on and focus on as we move forward.
Q: Do you think you’re at a point now halfway through the season without a preseason that you have a better feel of what all your players can do and how to scheme them? It did seem on Monday night like you had the Buccaneers chasing a lot, that guys were open, that with the exception of the two turnovers, it seemed like you guys were clicking. I was wondering if you think without that preseason, it just required a little time to kind of learn the talents and skillsets of everybody before it got going.
A: I just think it’s an ongoing process with coaches. You’re always trying to learn more about your individual players and what they’re capabilities are, and then different parts of your unit. Whether it’s your offensive line or your tight ends, receivers, quarterback, runners, you’re always trying to learn them and play to their strengths and minimize maybe some of their deficiencies. That’s a big part of coaching wherever you are. I think the more you’re around people, the more you get to know them, and maybe most importantly, the more guys get experience, a lot of young players playing for us right now are learning as they go. Again, their approach has been outstanding. I think you see them improve. They improve on a daily and weekly basis. That’s really what you’re asking for from them as a coaching staff, is to come in the building every day with the right mindset and the right mentality to continue to grow and get better. I believe we’ve done that. We have a long way to go, obviously, individually, as a unit, as a team. But guys are approaching it the right way, and that gives us a real good chance to get better week by week.
Q: This question kind of complements that. How much has your playbook expanded as the season has progressed? Is that just sort of a natural thing where you can’t throw everything out there Week 1, and it just builds to this point?
A: Again, I think it’s knowing the players and being able to play to their capabilities. It comes with experience, it comes with time. You have to practice, you have to practice together. Unfortunately, nobody in the league this year had preseason games. That’s a great opportunity to grow and get better. But over the course of the season, the best teams are the ones that grow and get better. They’re better in Week 2 than they were in Week 1, better in Week 3 than in Week 2. That doesn’t always have to be a progression where it’s always taking steps forward. But over the course of the season, you have to improve, you have to get better, and you have to make that a point of emphasis for everybody in the organization. Again, our guys go about it the right way, and I think that’s given us a chance to grow and get better offensively and broaden our capabilities. Hopefully, that will continue this week.