Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett
Q: So obviously we all saw the video of (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) yelling in your direction. Is there something you want to address with that?
A: Yeah, to me, it's not a big deal at all. We're excited about having Kenny Golladay here. We liked him a lot in free agency and we brought him here and he's done a really good job for us. I love the guy. I love his competitive spirit. We talk a lot about passion, emotion and enthusiasm in our players. That's line one and he's demonstrating that. We talk a lot about fighting and competing. He's a guy who wants to be a part of this thing. He missed a lot of time during training camp. He's done a good job when he's gotten some opportunities here in the first couple of weeks. He had a couple in that game the other day that unfortunately we didn't finish and probably had some frustration. That stuff happens on sidelines all the time. We ask our players when they're between the stripes to go out there and compete and battle and scratch and claw and we can't say when they come to the sidelines all of a sudden we're choir boys again. We understand that. I've been on the sidelines for a long, long time, so that happens. But he and I had a good visit after the game. It was not an issue at all. Going forward, there's always better ways to handle things. As you go forward, better ways to communicate, but it wasn't a big deal to me and to our team at all.
Q: Can you speak about the offensive line and the job they did considering that you had a short work week and some shuffling to do and just how they performed overall?
A: Yeah, those guys have done a really good job in the first couple of weeks. They've had a lot of injuries up there, a lot of moving parts, different guys in there and real credit to the guys who have come in. We have three guys who have come in here in the last 10 days to two weeks who have played a lot of snaps for us. A tribute to them — professional players, prepared. You can tell they're veterans, guys who have been around football a little bit. They've transitioned well. Credit to (Offensive Line Coach) Rob Sale and the guys working with the offensive line to get them ready. Again, moving parts, but that's the situation we're in right now and we've just got to respond the right way. They've done a good job so far.
Q: On Golladay real quick, you said you had a good visit with him after. Did you feel the need to make sure that nothing was kind of going to come out of it?
A: Yeah, I just talked about it. It wasn't a big deal.
Q: Do you agree with that assessment that you get him the ball in different ways and how did you take the criticism that he was – or whatever he was upset about? What did you make of that?
A: I'm not going to keep talking about this. Kenny got different opportunities in the game and did a good job with some of them and a couple of them we didn't convert on. That's just what the situation was. We addressed it and we moved on.
Q: When you guys drafted (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney), there was a sense like a lot of the routes in your playbook that we see a lot of your veteran receivers run aren't necessarily the routes that he had a lot of success on at Florida. So, are you adapting more Florida Kadarius Toney routes into your playbook? Does he have to do a better job learning the traditional NFL routes because he seems like he's getting a lot of snaps but not getting a lot of touches?
A: Kadarius hasn't played a lot of football for us, yet. He missed the spring. He missed most of training camp. He practiced about three days before the season started, so he's a young player who's learning. Receivers, it takes them a little time to transition into the NFL. We all know that. I would say, in general, college receivers when they're coming into the NFL, there's a whole repertoire of routes that they haven't been exposed to, so he's in that process. It's not unique to him or to us, that's just the nature of things. The biggest thing with him is practicing day in and day out and developing some consistency. No fault of his, he's just been hurt and been sick and has been dealing with some different things. He's done a good job here lately continuing to work in practice. He's continued to develop the trust that coaches and quarterbacks have in him and just continue to grow. You said it, he played some more snaps in the game the other day. He did a good job with his work. He just has to keep doing that.
Q: With the success (Quarterback) Daniel's (Jones) had running, do you sit down and say, 'let's do it more'?
A: I think you want that to be a part of what you do, and he's done a really good job of that here the last couple of years with us. That's certainly going to be a part of what we do going forward. I don't think we're going to turn into a triple option team. I don't think that's it. I think one of the best things that he does is he has an ability to throw the ball from the pocket, throw the ball on the move and then run the ball different ways. So, that's certainly an asset to our team.
Q: With (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and the long run he broke off the other night specifically, do you look at that – I mean, that's really the first time with you as his coach that he's had a run like that, right? The first week last year he didn't really have one. How much do you look at that and say, 'he's getting there, we're getting there'?
A: A real credit to him. He had a serious knee injury last year and he's worked really, really hard to come back. For him to come back as quickly as he has, it's really amazing. Again, a credit to him, a credit to our training staff and everybody who's worked with him. With him, it's just day by day getting better and better and better as he goes. We started to see him the last couple of weeks of training camp come back and really do everything we've asked him to do. You have to speak to him as to how he's feeling, but we're just excited to have him back and he's done a great job for us the first couple of weeks.
Q: Why do you think the offense isn't generating a lot of yards after catch and how do you go about generating more of that?
A: Again, you're always trying to refine things. Certain defenses give you certain things with run after catch, so I think that might vary week to week. I think the other piece of that is just the precision you have with route-running, accuracy, catch on the run, all of that. You're always trying to get better at that. (There were) good examples of that during the game where we did it the right way. Certainly, some areas where we can get better. It's just part of the process you go through as you try to improve and build your offense.
Q: If I could go back to Kadarius for a second because we didn't talk to you last week on the short week. That first game against Denver, he had the two snaps, the ball went right to him in the first half. Do you feel like the defense knew, 'Kadarius is in, it's going right to him'? I guess to that end, does he have to be more of a decoy sometimes so that you can eventually hit the big one to Kadarius?
A: He'll be a piece of what we're doing. We have a lot of guys on offense that we like and we want to get the ball to. We were excited to draft Kadarius and we're excited to have him on our team. We're excited to play him. But you know, we're excited about playing (Tight End) Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay and (Wide Receiver) Sterling Shepard and (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton and some of the other guys, too. Our guys are going to earn their opportunities, earn their opportunities to get a jersey, to play and to get opportunities within the game.
Q: What in particular did you like about how Daniel played the other night within the context of the areas where you are looking for him to take the next step?
A: I think Daniel has really improved in playing winning football at the quarterback position and that's line one. That's where it starts. You have to be able to take care of the ball. You have it in your hand every play and I think if you go back to probably the middle of the year last year, you see the strides he's made in that area and that's line one. That's where it has to start. But then you have to have an ability to make plays, too. I think he demonstrated that with his arm and with his feet. From the pocket, throwing the ball quickly, throwing the ball down the field. He made some plays. He handled pressure. He threw it well against man and zone. It wasn't perfect by any means, but he's certainly making a lot of strides and going about it the right way.
Q: On the last drive, when you guys were trying to make them use their timeouts there. On those runs, when Daniel's running was working so well on those read options, why call runs to Saquon more than actually giving Daniel the option?
A: You certainly can do that. In those situations where it's a little bit of a sell-out, sometimes you want to use bigger personnel to protect the run a little bit more rather than spreading them out. You certainly could do it. There's a number of different things you can do in any of those situations. We felt like that was the right thing for us to do at that time.
Q: What's the balance there, play-calling aside, on making them use their timeouts versus just going for a touchdown and trying to win the game?
A: Yeah, we were trying to win the game and the way we were trying to do that is to try to run the ball the way we did and then try to convert the third down. Unfortunately, we weren't able to convert the third down and give us a chance to keep that drive alive.
Q: How much do you view that game as sort of a significant step forward for the offense? You put a lot of points on the board and lose even more out there with the penalty that brought back the touchdown and the dropped pass.
A: I thought we made some strides. I thought we did a good job having a balanced attack, attacking them different ways – running it and throwing it. That's what you're trying to do. It's a good defense. It's a really good defensive front. Those guys are hard to block. They've done a good job keeping offenses from moving the ball and from scoring points. Certainly, a competitive game. We did some positive things and certainly plenty of stuff we've got to clean up.
Q: As a quarterback, on the play that Slayton runs by the defense, is there a chance that Daniel can just lollipop it when he's that open or do you not even get that chance when you're a quarterback? You know, keep it short because he's 20 yards behind everyone.
A: Daniel was trying to complete the ball. Unfortunately, he missed it by a little bit. It was a good route and a near miss throw. So unfortunately, that one didn't work out for us.
Q: People call it conservative play-calling there at the end, but there was a time not long ago when giving the ball to Saquon twice wouldn't have been conservative. How close is he to being that guy that you can rely on to make plays in the fourth quarter?
A: Saquon's a really good player. I think we all know that. We have a tremendous amount of confidence in him. He's someone we certainly want to get the ball to in any situation – early in the game, late in the game. We want to hand it to him. We want to throw it to him. He'll keep getting better and better as the season goes on.