Head Coach Brian Daboll
August 31, 2022
Daboll: Afternoon. How’s everybody doing? So, we had a good practice yesterday – and that led right into really a lot of evaluations last night. I’d say (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and his staff were here pretty late last night; I know the coaches have done a lot of work with some of the guys that were released. I think it’s out there we’ve claimed four players. So, that means we need to make some decisions relative to putting some guys on IR. Joe and his staff right not are in the process of taking care of all that stuff. In terms of practice squad and stuff like that, I’m going to go see Joe right after this. So, it’s kind of a fluid deal right there.
Q: You don’t have to cut guys before you put the other guys on IR?
A: You got to do a couple of little things there. But really, it’s going to end up being the three IR guys. We’re going to put three guys on IR.
Q: Those are (Guard) Shane (Lemieux), (Cornerback) Rodarius (Williams) and (Outside Linebacker) Elerson (Smith)?
A: It is. Yep.
Q: How tough of a blow is that for Shane? It’s at least (four) games, right?
A: He’s pretty resilient. Unfortunately, he’s been through it once, but he’s in good spirits. So, he’ll work back. He’s been already rehabbing, and he’ll be back as soon as he can.
Q: Who starts in the opener at left guard?
A: We’re worried about today’s practice – getting better today.
Q: Is (Offensive Lineman Josh) Ezeudu ramping up? Is he getting close?
A: He’s getting better. Yeah.
Q: Who are your left guards, though? Who’s in that spot the next week or two?
A: Let’s see until we finalize the roster to give you a better answer.
Q: One of the guys you claimed was the safety (Jason) Pinnock from the Jets. You obviously saw a little bit of him here. What’d you guys like about him?
A: He’s good on teams. He had some good film out there. He’s played in the deep part of the field. We practiced against them; we played against them. He has some redeeming qualities and traits that when the guys watched him in the scouting department and our coaches, thought it would be a good claim.
Q: Clearly the secondary and the depth of the secondary was something you guys thought you needed to address significantly here. You picked up three guys there. How concerning is that to you that you have to bring in three guys in those spots, get them ready in what, 10 days, 11 days?
A: Much like we talked about yesterday, too, that’s the nature of being in the NFL and being a coach. Sometimes you get guys on a Wednesday or guys work out on a Tuesday that you got to get them ready to play, so we have a little bit more time here than you normally would have if you just pick somebody up or sign somebody on a Tuesday or Wednesday to get them ready to play. So, that’s what we’ll do.
Q: My point was this is so many guys in one position group.
A: They can handle it. Most of these guys are pros and can handle it. You just stay with them a little bit longer and meet and get them ready.
Q: What kind of a player was Pinnock to gameplan against last year?
A: I just think he has good traits that we’re looking for: has good some speed, some size, can play in the kicking game. So, we’ll get him here and see what he can do here in our system.
Q: With your three IR guys, is there a chance with all three that they could return this season? Or are any of those season enders?
A: No, I think there’s a chance.
Q: (Jets Head Coach Robert) Saleh obviously was very high on him and didn’t want to let him go, but they were obviously pretty full there. Do you ever talk to him in your joint practice about that?
A: About that particular player? No, I didn’t.
Q: I know that’s not really protocol, but you guys are pretty friendly.
A: No. I didn’t. I just think our scouting department and the guys upstairs with Joe and (Assistant General Manager) Brandon (Brown) and all those guys, they unfortunately got some late-night food that I had to partake in a little bit, but they stayed a lot longer than I did. And they have met and done a great job with evaluating the players that are out there and done a lot of work on those guys and then given the coaches some guys to look at. So, it’s been a good process for the first time that I’ve been though it.
Q: You had (Guard) Jack Anderson in Buffalo last year. What do you like about him? Was he a guard, center, both?
A: He played a little bit of both for us. Smart – you know he got claimed by Philadelphia. So, didn’t want to lose him. I remember we didn’t want to lose him, but he had an opportunity to go and get claimed and looking forward to working with him again. He can play inside – either spot – and he can play center too.
Q: This is pretty much for the most part – a couple of moves here or there – the roster you’re going to have for Week 1. And this is your first year as head coach. What do you make of the totality of your roster at this point?
A: I’d say it’s still kind of a fluid situation. There’s always decisions that can be made, but the guys that we have out here, they’ve all earned a spot. And then you can only take 46 to a game, so we’ll have to decide that next. But all the guys that we have here, we have confidence in that made the team.
Q: I know you got plenty of time between now and Sept. 11. What is (Wide Receiver) Kadarius’ (Toney) situation right now?
A: Improving. Yeah. He’s improving.
Q: Do you have any question about him for Week 1 at all?
A: I’m just taking it day-by-day. I thought yesterday he came out and practiced and had a pretty good practice. I think he’s getting better. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to go.
Q: And he’s doing everything in practice? Not limited at all?
A: Yeah. We’ve kind of ramped him up as we went the last few weeks and given him more and more reps. So, hopefully he’ll be ready.
Q: Does the three guys going on IR mean you only have to cut one? Or do you have to cut four right now to make room for the four?
A: No. I mean there’s other things that go along with it, but it’ll be those three guys and then Joe right now just actually gave me a call right before I got out here. I’m going to go up there and see him or call him right after this.
Q: How much has your familiarity with Joe helped you though the training camp process, through these last few days? What’s the advantage – do you think – that you did know each other?
A: Well, the familiarity and we’ve worked together before. We have a good relationship. I’d say we have a good working relationship, too. I know what he’s expecting on our end. He kind of knows what to expect from the coaching staff. I’d say there’s a lot of good give and take. We’re in constant communication. We try to leave no stone unturned, and that way I think as an organization, it’s pretty smooth relative to how we structure practice, how we look at free agents, what we did in the draft – I mean, all the stuff that we’ve done up to this point. It’s good collaboration and I’d say good organization.
Q: Was any of the stuff you talked about not knowing you’d be in this position when you were in Buffalo? Not players obviously, but just situations. Did any of those things arise that you said, ‘Hey we used to talk about this when we weren’t in these positions’?
A: We’re not there yet. Each day, something else pops up and we try to handle it the best way that we can. And I think there’s really good give and take. A lot of mutual respect. I think he does a fantastic job of leading the scouting department and the support staff. And him and I, again, we have really good conversations about everything. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you always have to agree, but there’s really good communication on both of our ends, I think.
Q: Have you had any big disagreements?
Q: Are you expecting to have (Safety) Dane Belton on the field Week 1? He looked good yesterday.
A: Hopeful. Hopeful.
Q: How do you view practice squad? Is that where you want to develop guys, or is that where you want the next-guy-up at a position? How do you balance that?
A: That’s a good question. I think a little bit of both. You always want guys that you can if you need them – or if something happens or somebody gets sick – that you can put right on (the active roster), and they’re ready to go. But you’re also trying to develop your team for the long run, too. So, do what you need to do now, but have good young players that you can work with and develop and have skillsets that you covet. That’s a constant thing. You’ll see probably a bunch of workouts most Tuesdays here to see who can upgrade us or switch a guy in, switch a guy out. But the way it’s set up now, it’s good to have both.
Q: I know you don’t have a full list of your practice squad before you talk to Joe and figure out everything. But do you expect that you might have some guys from the practice squad out at practice today?
A: That is the plan, yeah. Now who that is right now, I mean there’s a list that I saw. We’ve had a lot of conversations with some of the guys that we released and some guys we’ve pinpointed here. But I’ll go talk to Joe and see. So, I kind of pushed practice back a little bit, too. So, all these timeframes of when things are coming out and when we can get guys on the field so we can have more guys out at practice.
Q: How’s (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux)? How’s Kayvon doing, and is he getting closer to getting on the field? And Azeez?
A: Yeah, day-to-day. Both of those guys – I’d say him and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) are rehabbing and doing a good job and getting better each day.
Q: Are they doing any running at this point?
A: Whatever their rehab is. I mean, I talk to (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) about (it). They’re getting better. I know that.