Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: A lot of good work out there. We'll see what happened with (Offensive Lineman) Marcus (McKethan), take a look at that tonight. Give you guys an update the next time I see you. Obviously, a lower body but we will see where it's at. A lot of good things, tried to put the guys in a lot of different situations. Certainly, a lot to clean up on.
A lot of good situational work. A lot of things to clean up on but for the first scrimmage tried to make it as game-like as we could. We only did one live period. But got a lot of reps with a lot of guys and go back look at the tape and fix what we've got to fix.
Q: Was (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) shaken up at the end?
A: Yeah, he just tightened up a little bit. I think it was more of a cramp than anything. He's fine.
Q: What went into picking which group was going to do the tackling?
A: It was really the threes with some of the younger players. They will probably play a lot in the preseason and I didn't want it to be the first time they see live contact on Thursday night. So, most of the younger guys that were in there. We did a series with that and everything else was kind of thud tempo.
Q: It looked like especially in the first drive (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) was brilliant. It seemed like the offense had trouble handling that. What do you make of that and how did they handle that second drive?
A: I thought both sides competed well. It's good to get a lot of work against pressure as an offensive unit. It tests your rules to make sure everybody is doing the right stuff. So, it was good. There was some good on offense, there was some good on defense. They had really around two drives, around 34 plays total. So, I wanted to try to stress those guys. I think one play was 15 and the other play was 19 or something like that for the first unit. Which was the plan going in. A little bit hot, a little bit humid. It's what we needed, we need more of it.
Q: Do you try to tell the defense to not anticipate. Do you see sometimes where they jump something because they know it's coming?
A: No, I say play with instinct and play with feeling. Go after it. If you see something, trust your eyes and try to make a play. Defensive football is reactive football. The guys who can react quickly and make good decisions, take chances when they need to take chances are usually the tough ones to go against. I like the way they compete, I like the way they jump stuff. Got to make sure it doesn't go over our head.
Q: Do you think Adoree' almost had a pick six on the first play or should have?
A: It was close, it was close. Yeah.
Q: What did you think of the decision making by the quarterbacks tonight?
A: It was pretty good. I'm sure there are a few plays that they'd like to have back but overall, they did a good job with what we were calling and trying to execute. Certainly, you have not just those guys, but I'd say as a team, a long way to go. That's why you do these things. It was good to get the fans out there. It was a great support. There was a little bit different energy. You get a little bit more tired than you do in practice just because you're a little bit more hyped. I thought it was exactly what we needed in terms of the tempo of practice, the amount of plays that we had. I just think we've got to keep on improving our conditioning.
Q: Does a night like this help in terms of evaluation or of your individual players when you see them in this type of setting?
A: Yeah, I think it's part of the evaluation process. Is it more important? Not really. There's a lot of practices that we have that are sort of similar to this except this is a little bit more amped up, like I said, with the fans. We try to evaluate everything. From our walk throughs doing the right stuff to the practices without pads. Obviously, the practice with pads in this competitive atmosphere is always a good time to evaluate. Then we have the preseason games. Is it more important? I wouldn't say it's more important but it's a good tool to use, definitely.
Q: You wanted to see improvement from Daniel? Did you see that today?
A: Yeah, I thought he operated well. Again, I'm sure there are plays he would've wanted back, but I thought he did a good job with his decision-making process. Made some good throws. But certainly a lot to work on.
Q: How would you assess where the offensive line is right now?
A: I think they're gelling. The first unit is coming together. Again, you'll get the truest test of an evaluation from the offensive line in live reps. Where you can bring a quarterback down, or you can bring a running back down. But I think the guys are communicating well, they are working together. We still got a long way to go, just like every position, but I think they are moving in the right direction.
Q: What do you make of a play like when Daniel ends up hitting (Wide Receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) for a big play early, but (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) came in and was untouched? How do you view that when you go back and evaluate?
A: It just depends on again – can Daniel move up? Again, could he bring him down? Could he not bring him down? Is there a fault in protection? Is there a missed hot? Is there a missight? I don't overreact on those type of things. We'll watch the tape and see what went wrong and what went right.
Q: Is there a time where you can make a note of it yourself and say like, 'Okay this is now a cause for concern?' Or is that only when you get, like you said, live reps in games?
A: I think the best evaluation will come when we play the game. Again, everything is important. But when you're actually bringing down guys and tackling and quarterbacks are live, that's when you get the best evaluation.
Q: What are your thoughts on the communication level from the secondary? Especially with the threes and a lot of young guys.
A: Yeah, much like I said about the offensive line, I think that's when those guys are making progress. Particularly with our defense – there's a lot of communication that goes into things. And the more you play together, the more it gets better.
Q: Coach, (Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodaux) drew a holding penalty tonight. He seems to have drawn a lot of those in training camp so far. What does that indicate to you as far as him being a problem?
A: Well, he's tough to block. He's done a really great job these last few practices of getting his feet underneath him. He's got a variety of pass rush moves. Again, he's a rookie. We'll see when the reps become live. We all watched the game last night. There was a lot of things to correct off of that game. We certainly looked at that already as a staff and as players and as coaches in our meeting room. He's a good young player. He's got a lot to work on. I hope he draws more of them.
Q: What's your overall takeaway from tonight and what you accomplished?
A: I thought it was a competitive practice. I think the guys were a little bit more upbeat. It's natural with the fans out here and the music going. But certainly, there's a lot to improve on, I think. I think we're moving in the right direction, but we're a ways away. And I think we have to improve our conditioning level. That's why we did those two long drives. And I think everyone can get a feel for where they're at individually. But collectively, that'll be a point of emphasis this week.
Q: With Kayvon, has there been anything that surprised you about him that maybe you didn't know coming out of the draft that's kind of taken you aback?
A: No. He's a humble guy. He knows he doesn't have all the answers. I think he relies a lot on the veterans, and (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) is doing a good job with him. He's been a good teammate, and everything that we've kind of researched on him, so far, it's been right on point.
Q: You talk a lot about the value of live reps. Do you have a plan on how you're going to handle the preseason? In particular, just the first game.
A: We will talk about that after this game and see where we're at and how many each group is going to get. Maybe it's an individual basis – that'll be something over the next few days that we really iron out.
Q: Some of the plays maybe they looked disjointed a little bit. Does some of that have to do with you running your stuff offensively and (Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale) Wink's running his stuff defensively – you and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka). And the idea that you're not necessarily matching up against what they're coming at you with. When you guys put together your plan tonight, it is attacking the defense you're going to see, or are you working more on what you guys have in your playbook?
A: You're asking if it was like a gameplan thing?
Q: Yeah. I assume you have a gameplan for your own defense. But does that contribute to some of the things that maybe don't matchup?
A: I think that's the great thing about training camp. You don't gameplan, and you don't anticipate. You just go out there, and you trust your rules. And you see what you got to fix on both sides of the ball – whether it's turning a guy free, whether it's a screen for 20 yards on a third down and long situation, whatever that may be. A missed protection. There's certainly things in every practice. That's what training camp it for: to improve fundamentals and techniques and to improve upon your assignments against whether you want to call it un-scouted looks or different situations. That's why communication is so important really in every area of the field.
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