Head Coach Brian Daboll
August 15, 2022
Daboll: Morning guys. Just cranking right along. Another day in pads. It’s the fourteenth or fifteenth practice. Certainly, a lot to work on, and it’s what we’ll do.
Q: What was your takeaway from yesterday? It looked like you guys were having trouble completing passes there for a while.
A: Yeah. It’s practice. You always want to practice as good as you can. On the other hand, I said it was a good practice. I think the defense got a lot of ball disruption plays, knocked the ball out quite a bit, had a couple picks. So, that’s why you practice.
Q: (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) throws so much pressure at the offense, and that’s well documented. At any point, do you have to ask him just to dial back so you can get a better evaluation because you’re not going to see that defense too often during the season?
A: I think it’s good. I think it’s good for an offense, too, to have to deal with that. However many plays in a row, it’s still good. It makes you think. But I do think you want to do that at times where you say, ‘Hey, give me two or three so every play isn’t mental gymnastics of figuring out different things.’ But I think it’s good to apply as much pressure because you’re going to deal with it at some point. Whether it’s 20 plays in a row, you never know about that, but it’s good for an offense to have to work through communication. And it’s really good to sit back after the practice and go through it and really talk about some things that are issues at times.
Q: When do you become concerned about days like yesterday? I know you’re about process over scheme, but when do you need to really start seeing some results?
A: That’s why we practice. We’re all about the process, so if you have a bad day, you regroup, you look at it, you talk about it. Obviously, you want to translate good things in practice to games. We’re evaluating players right now. We’re working through a lot of different schemes. That’s not much different than the last twenty-two years I’ve been around. But we want to perform well when it counts the most, which is on gameday.
Q: How much input do you have with the defense. Obviously, we assume you’re talking to (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) all the time. He says that. Wink kind of comes in as an established commodity. Do you have as much control?
A: I talk to both guys.
Q: I just mean in terms of the schemes and stuff. Are you hands on with that, or do you kind of say, ‘Wink’s going to do his thing’?
A: I have a lot of confidence in both those guys. If there’s something that I see – whether it’s the kicking game, defense or offense – I give my input.
Q: (Wide Receiver) Collin Johnson has had a pretty good camp and preseason game. Can you talk about how he fits into what you and Mike are looking to do on offense?
A: Well, he’s made the most of his opportunities. So, we’ve talked to these guys about earning it, and he’s certainly earned it with his opportunities that he’s gotten. If he does well, he’ll get more opportunities. He’s smart. He’s got position flexibility in terms of intelligence and understanding the roster. He’s made plays. He’s done a nice job.
Q: (Outside Linebacker) Jihad (Ward) and (Outside Linebacker) Elerson (Smith) and (Offensive Lineman) Jon (Feliciano) left practice yesterday. How did they come out of that?
A: They’ll be okay. They probably won’t go today, but they’ll be alright.
Q: How are you doing on numbers? You’re getting pretty short there in practice.
A: Yeah, we’re down a little bit. We’re certainly down a little bit. We got two lines today offensively. So again, those aren’t long lasting deals. But it’s good for some of these other guys to get their chances too now.
Q: What conversations have you had with (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay about expectations that you have for him, and then what has he shown you? Has he lived up to those so far in how he’s practiced?
A: Yeah, I think all of the players are the same for us. Their expectation is go out there, learn what to do. Go out and do it as hard as they can do it. Improve each day. And I think that’s what Kenny has tried to do. The conversations I have with each player is private. But, in general, that’s our message to all the guys.
Q: Kind of building off that, with Kenny, what he’s tasked to do within this offense, is it maybe a little bit different than what he did last year or in Detroit?
A: I can’t speak for Detroit or last year. We’ve moved him around at times. We’ve kind of locked in on a certain spot right now for him. And I think it just takes reps, takes reps with quarterbacks and receivers, all of them. But he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do.
Q: After the preseason game, how are you feeling about the offensive line going forward?
A: I think those guys did a good job of communicating. Some of the guys on the second and third lines, they’ve only been here a few days. And I think that again, (Offensive Line Coach) Bobby (Johnson), (Assistant Offensive Line Coach) Tony (Sparano Jr.) did a good job of getting them ready. They did themselves a good job of getting ready. You got to try to win the game up front, both sides. So, the first group, obviously (Offensive Lineman) Shane (Lemieux) went down. But I think the first group communicates well. They’re working good. And the second group did a nice job as well of closing out that game with five minutes left, whatever it may be. It’s an important part of your team, is the trenches.
Q: Speaking of guys that are getting opportunities with offensive linemen down, what are you seeing from (Offensive Lineman) Devery Hamilton?
A: He played a lot of plays in that preseason game, and he competed really well. He has position-flex. Today, you’ll see him inside at guard. He can play tackle. He can play inside. Another smart guy that’s doing everything that we ask him to do.
Q: I assume that (Guard) Ben Bredeson is going to be in the first team at some spot today.
A: Yeah. He’ll be playing center. Yeah. Center today.
Q: What is it about him that you like?
A: Smart, tough, dependable. Very good communicator. I think he has good leadership skills. Was really good on the sideline the other night. Practices hard. Out there every day. A guy you like to work with.
Q: What do you mean by ‘really good on the sideline?’
A: He’s just a good communicator with his teammates, and he’s a good communicator with Bobby. I think when you have good communicators – look, it wasn’t all vanilla; there’s certain things that are going on when you’re playing that position and you’re playing a quarterback position, I think the more you can communicate what you’re seeing, because it’s not always the same as what the coaches on the sideline are seeing that’s going on, he does a good job with that.
Q: Do you intend to give the ones playing time in the second preseason game as well?
A: I do. Now how much? We haven’t got to that yet. But, yeah.
Q: What changes are you looking for ahead of Sunday’s preseason game – improvements overall for the team?
A: Just keep grinding away. Keep improving our fundamentals. It’s going to be a big thing. I thought we improved a little bit on that yesterday pass protection-wise with the backs, playing the deep ball with the defensive backfield. Again, you can’t tackle. I think we missed six tackles the first game. So improvements fundamentally is the most important.
Q: The third preseason game used to be the dress rehearsal when there were four. So, is that now the second game and usually the third becomes the fourth?
A: Not there yet. Not there yet relative to exactly how we’re going to do it. But we’ll have a plan.
Q: You mentioned Collin Johnson, or we were talking about Collin Johnson before. How much does that size, that 6’6’’ frame that he has allow you to use him in different spots and that kind of versatility you were talking about before?
A: It’s not so much the size. It’s his overall intelligence of being able to line up at multiple spots. The ability to separate and get open is important and then make plays on the football when he has an opportunity to.
Q: What have you seen from (Tight End) Daniel Bellinger just throughout camp and in the preseason game?
A: Much like a lot of the rookies, a lot to work on. We’ve thrown him in there and he’s played a lot of football for us – still has a ways to go to learn a lot of the intricacies that you need to have in playing. But he’s willing. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s got good qualities to work with. We just got to keep working with him and improving.
Q: What are the biggest things you feel like he needs to work with, and then have you seen him approach that?
A: I’d say the whole part. It’s such a different coming from where he is. We’ve asked him to do a lot of stuff. So, just keep a good, positive mindset, and learn from his coaches, and do a good job.
Q: Andre Patterson being back with the team
A: Dre Patterson’s back today. Probably won’t be on the field but was in the building. So, it’s good to have him back.
Q: How have you been adjusting to the culture here and just connecting with the fans so far?
A: It’s great. It’s a great part of the country. I really like living here. I think the people in our building are fantastic. Really, it’s a cool place to be.
Q: Just quick clarification: The three guys that got hurt yesterday, are you waiting on any additional tests on those guys? Or are none of them predicted long term?
A: We should be alright with those guys. Yep.