Head Coach Brian Daboll
August 3, 2022
Daboll: Morning. Fire away.
Q: Usually you mention what situations you guys are working on. What are you guys working on today?
A: First, second down. Back with the pads. We’re going to do 9-on-7 today. A run drill. So, defense knows it’s run. Offense knows it’s run. I think that’s important for the guys at the line of scrimmage to compete at that knowing that’s coming.
Q: Did you think (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) had a strong day yesterday? It seemed like the ball didn’t touch the ground much.
A: Yeah. I think he’s been doing good. Each day, he’s making progress. Made good decisions. Had a couple turnovers, which one was a little slip on the skill guy and a timing route. So, I thought the other one (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) made a really good play. Attacked the ball well. We always try to limit those the best we can. But I think he’s making progress. Decision making. Trusting his reads. Still got a ways to go.
Q: How much does a day like that though maybe help your offense? I know it goes back and forth, but is it the kind of day where things start clicking for them?
A: I think that when you go in a film room, and you’re the coordinator or you’re a coach that’s teaching guys, you try not to ride the waves of really play-to-play. Because there’s a lot of good things that happen. You know, the details of the play that guys are doing things well. And you try to be as consistent as you can, whether it’s a completion, an incompletion. Why is it an incompletion? You teach it. Why is it complete? It can be a completion, and still the play is not exactly how you need it to be done. The efficiency of it. I just try to keep these guys as levelheaded as we can. Find out what we got to fix, and if something’s good, let them know that it’s good. We go out and there’s six incompletions, I don’t really worry about that. Because there’s a lot of things that are going on within the play or the reason for it. And conversely, if the ball doesn’t hit the ground much, that’s fine. But there’ might be some things that, even though it’s a completion, that we really need to get fixed because it’ll cost us as we get going. So, being as consistent as we can as a coaching staff – that’s our approach.
Q: Coach, do you look at Daniel and say that’s he’s becoming more comfortable taking some of the chances downfield?
A: Time will tell. You know, we certainly encourage that, particularly right now in training camp and in the spring. We want to make the right decision, but I also think there’s an element mentally in a quarterback’s head of the fear of failure or making a mistake. I think everything is really risk/reward when you’re talking about plays for a quarterback. Like is the risk worth the reward? And if it is, let’s go ahead. There’s situations. There’s players you don’t want to throw at. There’s a lot of things that go into that. But really what I want Daniel to do is make the right play. Make the right decision. And there’s certain periods that we want to test the deep part of the field or see how the secondary covers, sure, but for the most part we want to make a good decision with the football and go onto the next play. If that’s a 60-yarder down the field, that’s a 60-yarder. If it’s a check to a run, check to a run. That’s really what we’re trying to get done with Daniel, with all our quarterbacks.
Q: And as a follow up real quick, is he making more of the right decisions to where he’s not thinking as much and he’s just on autopilot?
A: Yeah, that’s a question for him. He’s the one back there holding it. You know, I think he’s he’s steadily improved since we got here. He’s learning a whole new language. It’s not just for Daniel, it’s any young quarterback or new quarterback in a new system. There’s a lot to learn. There’s a lot to handle. So, he’s making progress. But we still, we’re constantly teaching and we’re evolving as to what we do. Still, we’re trying to figure out what we do well too. What our pieces are. The routes that are good. There might be a certain route concept that we ran yesterday where after we tried it three or four times, I’m telling (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka like, ‘Let’s just move on from that play.’ But we need to practice it to see if that’s something we’re good at. And I think the quarterback has to have some input on that as well. So, he’s making improvement each day.
Q: Brian, on Friday – on Friday night, are you going to go offense against defense or split them up?
A: No, so we’re still – I don’t want to give you a definite answer because there’s still communication going on in that regard. So, we’ll do that tomorrow. Right now, the way that I have it is we’ll all be on the same sideline. The coaches that will be up in the box for the first preseason game will go upstairs in the box after we have a 10 to 12 minute special teams, get everybody organized. And then, we’ll go out there, and we’ll compete against each other. Exactly how we’re going to do that, we’re going to talk about that tomorrow. Just see what happens here out at practice today.
Q: Brian, a couple of your receivers have mentioned they like that you’re grooming this offense to make the route their own, and it’s not pen-to-paper. I’m curious, how does that happen? Because it can’t be backyard football where like I’m going to run a slant and you think I’m going to run a curl. And then, there’s a pick six.
A: Yeah, it’s not like that. Exactly. There’s obviously different route concepts. Combinations. You know, some adjustments are standard adjustments. I’d say most teams do them. Other routes that we have, you can do a lot of different things. But that’s the communication that the quarterback, the receiver, even the tight ends, even the backs with (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and (Running Back) Matt (Breida), they have to be on the same page. Like the body language for a receiver – or let’s just call it a skill player – is really critical for a quarterback. You know, you’re back there, and again sometimes it’s just a timing route where you’re taking five steps, no hitch, and letting it rip. Some other times where there’s wiggle room, the skill player really has a responsibility to see it like the quarterback. So, the quarterback’s vision is like this, sometimes the skill’s vision is like this. So that’s a work in progress with the guys that we have, making sure that they’re doing things the way the quarterback sees it, and the quarterback sees it. That’s why the communication in the meeting room is so important. You know, there’s a lot of communication, and I encourage that. Those are the ones throwing it and catching it, but it’s not like he’s supposed to run an in-cut and the guy just runs a flat. We don’t do that.
Q: So, it’s post-huddle, pre-snap like when the guys are actually in their spot based on where…
A: It’s pre and post. You got to get a look at what the defense is doing. Some defenses disguise a lot. Some others don’t. Is it man? Is it zone? There’s a lot of things. That’s why I keep saying we place a premium on intelligent players. And you got to be smart as a receiver in our offense.
Q: Are you having the coordinators upstairs or on the field with you?
A: On Friday, both of them will be downstairs. And then, the first game, I haven’t made an ultimate decision. We’ll see how Friday goes. But that’s how it will be on Friday.
Q: Brian, how much are you actually just looking forward to that first experience in the stadium?
A: Yeah, I think it’s awesome. I think it’s, you know, again, the more fans you have, the more juice you get as a player and as a coach. And I think it’s good. It’s the next step. Spring ball is obviously a lot different than training camp. You have the fans out here. There’s energy. There’s a lot of people watching. You try not to let the outside affect your performance. You try to concentrate on your job. But everybody’s human. So, the more people there are, there’s added pressure at times for certain players. And other times they can handle it. So, I think it’s just another step in getting ready for our preseason game.
Q: Brian, we’ve seen (Guard) Josh (Ezeudu) take snaps at left guard, left tackle, even right tackle. Is there a situation where he could be the backup at all four positions other than center? Or do you want to have a swing tackle and an interior lineman?
A: No, there’s a situation. If he’s the best guy for us – the next best guy to go in. Usually what you try to do, and it’s not always the case when you’re talking about really any position, but most offensive line coaches like a one-for-one. Like if one guy goes down, the next guy goes in instead of moving two people. Sometimes you have to do that based on who you have. But he’s done a good job, and it’s hard for – he’s a rookie. So again, I credit (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and the scouting staff for really diving into these guys in terms of how they learn and the ability to learn multiple things. We put a lot on them. I’d say we put a lot on all the rookies. But that’s how we’re going to do it.
Q: Do you have a (Center Jon) Feliciano update?
A: He’ll be out there.
Q: Full go?
A: Yep. We’ll probably manage him. It’s going to be a hot one today. But he’s out there ready to practice.
Q: So, it was an overheating, heat and hydration situation?
A: Yeah, he’s good to go.
Q: Putting aside the fundamentals of the game you have to teach, this team has struggled in recent years. Do you feel like more than anything you have to teach some of these players just how to win? How do you go about doing that?
A: Yeah. That’s a great question. I’ve definitely thought about it. You naturally think about it. You want to try to win. If you’re a competitor, you want to win in everything you do. So, you try to, in these situations in practice, you try to create as competitive an environment as you can whether that’s in the cafeteria, at the walk through, in the locker room, everything’s about competition. If you love this sport or you love to compete – you should love to compete. You should try to do everything you can to try to win knowing again it’s hard. We’re committed to a process of trying to improve and do things a certain way. And sometimes the results aren’t going to be exactly what you want right away, but you have to stay committed to what you believe in and keep improving. Talking about competition and creating that type of competition, I think that it’s players and coaches that you bring in too and the culture you’re trying to create. It’s hard nowadays. It was hard 20 years ago when I was doing it, to not let the results affect the process. We’re strong in our belief of trying to do things the right way and keep improving in that area, competing. And you hope that the better you do, the more you compete, the more detailed you are that the results come with it.
Q: Just as a follow-up, this is is the first time you’re trying to do that as a head coach. Is that the hardest part of your job so far?
A: Yeah. That’s another good question. I don’t know if it’s the hardest. There’s a lot of things that have come across my desk the last few months that I ask for a lot of opinions not just from my staff, but from people that have done it in the past. You know, humble, don’t have all the answers, doing the best job you can and creating a culture that you see for your team as you got to give it sun and water every day. It just doesn’t stay the same. You have to stay on top of it. The values that you believe in, you have to commit to those, and you have to find different ways to express those and show them good examples of what they’re doing. Not just the players but the coaches, the staff. You have to be a good communicator. But there’s certainly a big part of it that I’ve been trying to work on the best I can. And it takes time.