Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert
Q: Did (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) tell you you could give us the offensive game plan?
A: Not quite (laughs). Not quite.
Q: How are the receivers? Are you going to get anybody back?
A: We'll see. We have some guys. Obviously, with Shep (Sterling Shepard) going down, that was a big blow for us, our team, our unit and our room. We'll see. KT (Kadarius Toney) is working with the trainers today and hopefully we can get him back coming up to the last part of the week. We won't have him today for practice, but we'll see toward the end of the week if he can get in there. Other guys are just ready to go.
Q: (Wide Receiver John) Ross (III) is still in protocol?
A: Yes, he is.
Q: KT is back in the building, right?
A: He's back in the building today, yes.
Q: Do you have some hope that he'll be able to go Sunday?
A: I've got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that he'll be ready to come back.
Q: How important is it for a rookie and for him to get back and play these last few games?
A: It's very important. He's chomping at the bit to get out there, just so you know. He wants to play, he wants to be out there with his teammates. He's had some unfortunate situations come up throughout the course of the year. That's unfortunate, but he wants to play and it's important for him to come out here and get these last couple of games under his belt so he can have some momentum going through the offseason and into next season.
Q: Do you have to manage guys' expectations if they're not getting targets early? Like actually actively on the sidelines or do you leave them alone?
A: You know, the way I've done that, to be honest with you, I tell guys if you're on this level and play receiver it's because you've done some good things in your past to make plays. They all want the ball. I don't want a receiver who doesn't want the ball. They all want the ball. What I tell them and explain to them if they don't get the ball is just keep getting open. Keep getting open, we'll get you the ball. It's our job to find a way to get you the ball, so keep getting open. You have to keep encouraging them along the way and showing them things they are doing right, and the things they're not doing right, correct those things. You've just got to keep instilling the confidence in them, just keep getting open. I see you, the quarterback sees you. Sometimes, we have a little one-off here or a one-off there. We're going to get you the ball but keep getting open.
Q: Is Kenny (Golladay) getting open enough in that regard? When you look at his numbers, he's never been a big separation guy. Even when he had the big year, he was by metrics towards the bottom. Is he getting open enough or where is that line with him?
A: I think you mentioned it, you just said it, he's never been a guy that's created a whole lot of separation, but he gets separation because of his body and his catch radius. He's not going to ever be the guy probably that gets a ton of separation, but he is open because of his catch radius. Sometimes, you have to have the ability just to throw it up to him and let him go make a play, and I think (Quarterback) Jake (Fromm) did a good job of that this past game, just throwing it up on that go route and letting him go make a play. That's probably what he specializes in is making plays and contested catches. All the catches that he's made this year so far – I say all of them, most of them – are on contested catches.
Q: When you're looking at the film, he might look like he's covered, but you're saying this is an opportunity to still get him the ball?
A: I think so, I think so. Again, if you're 5'9", you can't say that about a guy, but if you're 6'4", you can say that about a guy.
Q: There's a lot of excitement outside the building about Jake possibly playing here and getting a shot, seeing what he has. What's it like inside the building and especially with your group?
A: I think with my particular group, it doesn't matter who the quarterback is, we have to go out there and we have a job to do. I think they're prepared for whoever plays quarterback. We installed the same game plan that we normally would during the course of a week, a wrinkle here or a wrinkle there. For the most part, it's our job to go out there and block when it's time to block, run a route and get open when it's time to get open and make plays when the ball comes our way. Regardless of who's playing quarterback, it's our job to do that.
Q: When you're facing Philly, what problems do they present? (Eagles Cornerback Darius) Slay is obviously a playmaker. What are the problems they present to your receiver group?
A: They do a lot of things that are pretty simple, but they do them well. They disguise well on the backend. They run to the ball in the run game. They're a very physical group back there, so I think it poses a challenge for our guys every week because everybody on this level plays hard, everybody gets paid to play well. They play particularly well on defense, they play particularly well on the defensive line, they create a lot of pressure with their defensive line, so when you have a good defensive line like they have, the defensive backs don't have to cover as long. They can take more chances back there because they know the defensive pass rush will get there faster than probably some other teams.
Q: Do you factor in that Slay knows Kenny so well? They've obviously gone against each other hundreds of times in practice. Do you factor that in as a wide receivers coach at all any differently?
A: I don't. The flip part about that is, yes, Slay knows Kenny well, but Kenny knows Darius well. That's how we would look at it if it came into effect. But we don't look at it that way, no.
Q: Where did you get the 'As you go, we go' line?
A: I don't know. Something at the beginning of the season that I told the line that that's true, how they go is how we go. So, if they go out and play well, we're going to play well. In every stretch as you hear with those guys and after every game or before the game when they're stretching, 'We go as you go.' They repeat it, so here we go.
Q: With (Wide Receiver) Darius Slayton, what accounts for his – it seems like he's had a difficult year. He just hasn't been able to get on track and he's had more drops than he's had in previous seasons. What do you think he's working through? How do you evaluate his year?
A: Probably pressing a little bit. I think the personnel group did a really good job of bringing some talent to this group. Although we haven't had them all at the same time a lot of times, I think when you have so much talent and so many things, the opportunities don't come your way as much. So when opportunities do come your way, he probably presses a little bit too much instead of just relaxing and being himself and letting the game come to him. We've talked to him about that, just, 'Hey, man. Just relax, just be yourself, do you. When you have an opportunity to make the play, go make the play. Don't be so hard on yourself when you don't make the play.' Jerry Rice dropped the ball too back in the day. I'm not saying he's Jerry Rice (laughs), but what I'm saying is receivers are going to drop balls. Receivers are going to drop balls, so like when a defensive back gets beat on a deep ball, you've got to forget about it and go to the next play. Same thing when a receiver drops the ball, forget it and go to the next play.