Head Coach Brian Daboll
August 16, 2022
Daboll: Good morning. How’s everybody doing? Another day, cranking away. Same place in terms of the injured guys, where we’re at. Everybody’s making progress. So just got another day without pads on today. So, that’s about all I got.
Q: So, no injured guys are going to be back?
A: No, the same guys that have been working. You know, (Wide Receiver Darius Slayton) Slay and (Wide Receiver David Sills V) Sills, they’re going to be doing stuff. Everybody will be doing a little bit of something. Well, not everybody. Most guys are going to be doing a little bit of something where they’re at in their rehab process. But that’s where we’re at.
Q: (Fullback) Jeremiah Hall is a guy that was just waived. I’m curious where you plan on going with that sort of fullback/h-back position, and you’re also pretty thin on numbers now at tight end.
A: Yeah, we have four of those guys. So, all of those guys – Jeremiah was actually in the tight end room. That’s where, since I’ve coached tight ends like James Develin I talked about, he was with me when I was in the tight end room, those guys can usually play both spots. So, all those tight ends are cross trained, whether it’s fullback, h-back, tight end, we teach them all those spots.
Q: You had until 4 PM today, so I’m curious why do it before practice when you’re short on bodies?
A: (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I just get out there, do the player right. They were going to be released, so try to treat them the right way.
Q: I’m kind of curious, do you sit down with the player and give them feedback as to why they’re being released? Do you tell them to stay ready? I mean, how do you approach that?
A: I appreciate the question. I’ll keep those confidential. You do it with a sense of empathy because, look, these players are working extremely hard. They’ve given everything they have in spring, summer camps, and it’s the nature of the business we’re in. And I’ve been on the other side of that, too. It’s not any fun. These guys care about what they’re doing. They’re giving you everything they have. So obviously, there’s empathy for the player and what they’ve tried to do, but you’re as positive as you can be with giving someone news that they don’t want to hear.
Q: As a coordinator and an assistant, you have had to do that in the past. Or no?
A: I was like the second wave. So, you know, the first wave is Joe and I sit down with the player. I was always the second wave after they heard the news. So, yeah, it’s a tough part of the job, just to be honest with you, as a people person and a person who respects what these guys go through. I mean, you guys know. But in the building, whether they’re a little bit hurt, they’re injured, they’re rehabbing, the training process, the meetings. You respect these guys. And in a couple weeks, there will be a thousand players that are out of a job. These guys are pretty much the age of my kids. So, I have a great deal of respect for the stuff that they do and empathy when things don’t go exactly the way they want them to be because that’s real life.
Q: Why didn’t (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) go in on 11-on-11s yesterday?
A: He’ll be fine. He’s good. We just gave him a little rest.
Q: Why does (Cornerback) Zyon Gilbert impress you? Why did he get that opportunity?
A: He has a pretty good skillset. He’s got good length. Quickness. He’s still learning. He’s got a ways to go. But he’s done a great job since he’s been here. And as you can see, we were rolling in receivers. We’re going to roll in a bunch of players still. He was kind of the next guy up that we wanted to take a look at.
Q: The receiver position, a couple guys there where this organization has invested significant resources, be it free agent dollars or draft picks. How do you balance playing time distribution to guys that the organization’s invested a lot in compared to somebody like (Wide Receiver) Collin (Johnson), who is not a high draft pick nor is he getting a lot of money, but his playing time is kind of forcing him into that discussion?
A: Yeah, I think Joe and I are on the same page that whoever performs the best is going to play. So, whoever comes in and has the right habits, priorities and then ultimately actions out there on the field, that’s why you create competition. I understand the question, but we’re going to do everything we can do to give everybody opportunities to play. And however that sorts out, we still got three weeks or whatever it is left. Those are the guys we feel best about playing.
Q: As a follow up, how do you feel about that position group overall halfway through August?
A: I think they’re making progress just like all the position groups are. Everybody’s learning new things. But (Wide Receivers Coach Mike Groh) Mike’s done a good job with those guys. They’re going to continue to grow, continue to learn. And we’re going to make it as competitive as we can make it.
Q: With a player like (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay), he obviously has a proven track record in this league. How much does practice production matter to you?
A: Well, everything matters. Everything matters in the evaluation.
Q: How much emphasis do you put on it? That’s a better way of saying it.
A: You put emphasis on everything. Practice. Ultimately, it’s the games. Again, when you get into live action. But everything right now is a competition. So, the people that are doing the best – and again, your best might be a little different than my best. He’s improving, but all those guys are going to compete. I think we’re going to try to make it as competitive as we can make it to put the best 11 out there on each play.
Q: There are players that maybe don’t necessarily show up in practice, but something just switches on game days? Is there a way to tell, ‘Oh this guy’s just a gamer?’ Or do you just not know until the regular season?
A: I think, again, we evaluate everything. There’s practice. There’s games. There’s meetings. Again, the receiver position in general, it’s a position where you’ve got to be mentally tough. I’ve coached it for a long time. And there’s games where guys don’t get a whole lot of play or a whole lot of touches. They might be open, but maybe a read or something takes them to another guy, so you got to stay into it. You can be out there 70 plays and get five targets. Some might get a little bit more. But that position is one that requires a great deal of mental toughness.
Q: At the end of the game, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) was going crazy for (Running Back) Sandro (Platzgummer), and you have seen that kind of support here at practices as well. Can you talk about the importance of that comradery, that spirit and that support from the players to each other.
A: Yeah. We’re just trying to build as good a team chemistry as we can. That’s important. That’s important during the season, as you guys know; you’ve been through NFL seasons for a long time. There’s a lot of things that don’t go as planned, and you have to stay strong within your group. And you have to support one another. And you have to concentrate and focus on the things you can control. And I’ll just say with Saquon in general, he’s been excellent since he’s been here in the spring, picking up our stuff and into summer. His leadership has really been good. It’s stood out in a strong way to me as is his performance and the way that he approaches it on a day-to-day basis. He’s been fantastic.
Q: Is there a need or maybe a desire or maybe even a curiosity to see what (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) can do with the first team at some point this summer?
A: Yeah, as we get going here in terms of the preseason games, we’ll talk about whatever we think is best. But I have full confidence in (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and full confidence in Tyrod and what his role is. Each day, we sit there and we evaluate the guys. But will he get a few reps here or there? He might.
Q: Is that any reflection on Daniel?
A: Absolutely not. No. I learned from a pretty good coach a while ago, usually he doesn’t tell those guys when he throws them in because that’s what the backup’s role is. You have to go in on a split second. You prepare like you’re a starter. But the fourth play of a game, something happens, you’re in, you got to be ready to go. So, I don’t necessarily think we’ll tell those guys when that will happen.
Q: There’s been a lot of scrutiny on the offense and Daniel. And I know you don’t read social media, likely, but there is a perception out there that your offense is struggling this summer. The flip side of that, does that mean your defense has been playing very well this summer? How do you look at that, and is the defensive system maybe a little bit easier to pick up for guys than what you’re installing offensively?
A: No. I look at it as a team always. There’s a lot of things we can do better in every area on our football team, starting with us as coaches and all the way down to the players. So, again, we’re just trying to build as good of a team as we can. Team chemistry. Try to get a little bit better every day and take it day-by-day.
Q: How do you see your defense developing so far this summer with (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale)?
A: Some good. Some not as good. Much like the other areas of the team, I think those guys are working hard. But there’s a lot of things that we can clean up really in every area.
Q: You mentioned the number of players that are going to be let go and kind of be out of work.
Q: Because of that, are you a fan or a proponent of some of these other leagues that have kind of started to sprout up recently whether it’s the XFL or the Summer League where these guys who don’t make it in the NFL now have another opportunity to play, develop a little bit and then make another run?
A: I think it’s great for players. Again, this is a tough industry. It’s hard to make. And the more opportunities that players can have, wherever that may be, I’m all for it.
Q: Not doing a joint practice with the Bengals, is that logistics, or is that something you thought football-wise wouldn’t benefit you? Why not?
A: This is just our first year. I’ve done it a lot of different ways. I’ve been part of a lot of different teams over the last however many years. I just thought for our first year to make sure we’re getting our installations right and we’re doing the things we need to do, I thought that it was in our best interest to do it this way.
Q: Whenever we ask you about the quarterbacks, obviously today is another example, it’s Daniel and Tyrod. Obviously, (Quarterback) Davis (Webb) is here. You are familiar with Davis. What does Davis bring to the table in terms of what you’re trying to get out of him being here this summer?
A: Davis has done a really good job since he’s been here. He knows the system. I think he operated the system well the other night in game action. He’s done a really good job in his leadership role with really the entire team but in general the skill players, when he talks to those guys. And I think he’s a good ear for Daniel and Tyrod. Being in the system, being around me, he’s been really good.
Q: Do you look for a way to kind of stoke his competitive fire, too? He’s not necessarily playing for those roles.
A: I think he’s innately competitive. So, when he’s out there, he understands what he’s trying to do. And he’s a very competitive guy.
Q: How helpful in the evaluation of the bottom of the roster is it to have that quarterback playing with the threes who knows the system rather than some rookie who’s flailing around?
A: Yeah, no doubt. Anytime you can have a quarterback that can function in these games, I’d say that and really in the trenches, what you’re looking to do is give everyone a good chance and a fair evaluation. That’s important.