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Transcript: Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

Eric from BBI : Admin : 9/7/2022 6:00 pm
Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

Q: How excited are you coach? Calling plays, will you be calling from the booth or the field?

A: I'll be up in the booth just like I was in the preseason.

Q: Out of curiosity why do you prefer the booth?

A: It's been cool. It's not the first time I'm in the booth, but it's definitely a different perspective. You get to see the game a little bit differently. Kind of got a bird's eye view up there.

Q: What kind of play caller do you think you are? How would you describe it? We've seen the preseason, obviously that's a different setting.

A: I think you've got to be able to adjust to the game. I think you've got to be able to put our players in a good position to be successful. Find some rhythm on offense and go and execute.

Q: How much do you plan on leaning on (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) at times? He was saying yesterday that there is so much going on and it's so quick that he didn't really want to get in your ear on calling plays in the moment. I'm curious as to how much maybe you want to go to him?

A: Yeah, I think it's going to be collaborative. When you are in the flow of a game, I think everyone has input and ideas. I welcome that, I love that. The best part of building that staff was all the ideas and everyone's vision of the game. Obviously, I've got to have a clear picture of what I'm feeling and what I'm seeing out there but I'm always going to rely on the eyes of my staff and the coaches out there.

Q: What does it say to you about Dabs, that he was willing to give you this opportunity?

A: It's a special opportunity. I definitely don't take that for granted. Any opportunity you can to call plays in the National Football League is an honor. I'm working to put my best foot forward and give our guys the best opportunity to be successful.

Q: Are you a script the first 15 plays guy?

A: I think there's flexibility in that. I don't think you have to be. But there is flexibility in that, depending on the game plan, the situation, depending on the weather, injuries. I mean, you take all that into account.

Q: When was the first time that Dabs came up and said, 'hey, I want you to call plays.'

A: It happened this week. We were talking and he gave me the nod.

Q: Going back to even the preseason, when was the first time he brought it up?

A: It was a part of the interview process where he wanted his offensive coordinator to call the plays, but he also reserved the right to take the reigns on that as well and I respect that. I think the way that it's gone, it's been good. So, we're working through all that still.

Q: Is it surprising? Because not many guys want to give that up when they become head coaches.

A: Again, I think it's a special opportunity anytime you get a chance to call plays in the National Football League, it's an honor. So, I'm just excited. I'm looking forward to doing my job to the best of my ability.

Q: Going out there Sunday, it's the first run for real at this point. Is the first game a challenge because the opponent doesn't know what you're going to do but I would imagine you guys want to find out what you can do and adjust. Maybe more adjustments, more flexibility in week one versus down the road?

A: Sure, absolutely. Really every game is kind of its own unique situation. But absolutely, first week, I'm sure they have some new wrinkles that we haven't seen. So, we'll have to be able to adjust on the sideline and have enough stuff in the gameplan to counteract.

Q: What's the difference in getting ready for a game as a player and as a play caller? I'm not talking about the physical parts of it, I'm talking about the internal parts of it.

A: It's very similar, at least to when I was a player, the approach I took. I think as a play caller, it's definitely a little bit different because you're the one behind the scenes putting the game plan together. But my approach, my prep, hasn't changed. It's continued to ramp up every single day depending on the situation to make sure the guys are prepared.

Q: You talk about the press box being a bird's eye view. When you're off the sideline and you're off of that emotion, you can talk to (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) but you can't be there with him and things like that. Is that an adjustment? Is it going to be hard to be divorced from the whole sideline?

A: No, I have a bunch of trust in the staff that's down there and the eyes that they have. Obviously, Dabs is down there as well. So, that's been an ongoing conversation, an ongoing communication throughout the preseason of, 'hey our guys are liking this, we're liking this scheme'. They get a better feel for that part of it. 'Hey, so and so is feeling it, let's keep on feeding him' or vice versa. That's just the communication and trust I have with our guys.

Q: When you were a quarterback did you like the OC in your ear all the time?

A: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously, you're getting the play, you're getting pertinent information for the situations. So, it's always good to hear that same voice throughout practice and then you hear the same voice in the game.

Q: You had the entire summer to see Daniel up close. What are your thoughts on what you have as a quarterback and how good you think he can be?

A: Daniel has continued every single day, he's gotten better. I love his approach, I love his work that he puts in before practice, after practice. I mean he's a guy that you look at and that's how its supposed to be done. I think where we're at today, we've got some installs coming in today. We've got a big practice, an important practice, some situational stuff showing up today. So, I think that's pretty much more or less what we're focused on.

Q: You mentioned the interview process and Brian bringing it up from the get-go, wanting the OC to call plays. How appealing did that make this opportunity? Obviously, you had a pretty good job in Kansas City.

A: I think the opportunity to work with Dabs was very appealing, regardless, because there always was an opportunity that he might pull back, but I wanted to work with Dabs, I wanted to be a part of this organization, and what it stands for. That's what I was excited about the most.

Q: You've worked with a head coach that's won a Super Bowl and has done it at the highest level. What do you see as Brian's upside? And what's been the best part of working with him?

A: Dabs brings a lot of Super Bowl experience as well, I think, having five. So, I think his experience in those games, whether it's playoffs or the season, he's been through the highest highs and the lowest lows. He's been through a lot as a coach so he has just as much knowledge and just as much experience that you can definitely pull from. (Kansas City Chiefs Head) Coach (Andy) Reid, he's a Hall of Fame coach. He's unbelievable, he's a great mentor and someone I look up to and respect highly, too. So, I've been fortunate enough to be around guys like that.

Q: What did you take from the summer and preseason games that was unexpected that you're taking into the regular season?

A: I took the same approach. Nothing really changed for me. Just working through the gameplan, working through our schemes and what we want to do on a week-to-week basis to make sure it's simple for our guys. Our guys can go play fast and execute. Really, that's been our theme as an offensive staff: let's try to make it simple so that our guys go play fast.

Q: How much will you take player input when it comes to scheming and play calling? Do you take input?

A: Absolutely, absolutely. They're professionals, these guys are super smart. They have a great feel for the game. They understand what they can and can't do and I think when the players take ownership of that, I think that's when you get something really good, really special.

Q: How do you feel about tempo? Do you feel you will be a hybrid of Brian and Andy?

A: I think you have to have flexibility with that, whether you want to jump into it or not. Kind of depends on the game, kind of depends on how the game's going. But there's some element of that.

Q: You guys talked about process so much during the summer. Where are you guys in terms of knowing what this offense is?

A: I think in terms of the process, we're on a Wednesday practice, we're working through our gameplans, working through our normal weekly schedule. That's where we're at in the process really.
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