Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 30, 2022
Opening Statement: Normal Friday, looking forward to another home game. In the last couple of weeks, our crowd has been fantastic, really provides a spark for our entire team. Got some work to do today and finish it up here Saturday and get ready to play Sunday.
Q: After the way Monday night went down, how much emphasis did you put this week on protecting (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and preventing the pressure that he’s been under?
A: We do it every week. We’ll try to improve on the things that we need to improve on, coach the fundamentals and whether we got to do different things schematically, we’ll look into that. Work on the techniques for the players. Again, you try to work on everything. That’s an area that we’re always going to focus on, protecting the quarterback.
Q: At what point in the summer or whenever it was did (wide receiver) Richie James move from being a guy you had trying to make the team to what he has become in the leading receiver?
A: I don’t know if there was an exact time. I think he’s been very consistent. He’s been out here every day. He’s a very trustworthy receiver, he’s where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there. I think he’s earned that confidence, not just from the coaching staff but from the quarterback as well.
Q: Did you see anything from either (wide receiver) Kadarius (Toney) or (defensive lineman) Leonard (Williams) working with the trainers yesterday to think that they might have more to do today?
A: I’d say no.
Q: With Kadarius, is there any thought on putting him on IR? This is an injury that was in camp. Come back, take the time to fully let it heal?
A: Yeah, we haven’t talked about that, (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and I. He’s getting better. He’s rehabbing, so hopefully we’ll see him out here as soon as we can.
Q: I know he just got here but is (inside linebacker) Jaylon Smith ready to play in a game?
A: He’s working at it. All those guys, we tell all the guys that are on the practice squad, that it’s an extension of the roster. You have more players, learn the stuff, learn how we do things and we’ll evaluate it on a week-to-week basis. He’s done a good job since he’s been here.
Q: What have you seen from him?
A: Yeah, he’s done a nice job. He took some reps out there yesterday. He’s been a good addition up to this point.
Q: I know you weren’t obviously in a position to look at a quarterback when you were in Buffalo, but people always say they study all the quarterbacks. I’m curious what you thought of (Chicago quarterback) Justin Fields? We haven’t really heard your thoughts on Justin Fields this week.
A: I recruited Justin, down in Georgia. That was the year that he came out with (Jacksonville quarterback) Trevor (Lawrence) and they were both top-notch quarterbacks coming out of high school. He was an impressive, impressive player. We went and watched him, had a chance to meet with him when he came up on a visit, his family. I have a lot of respect for him, I think he’s a very talented player, athletic, but he’s a good, young quarterback and I think he has a bright future.
Q: You have a relationship with (Miami quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa), too? How hard was it to watch last night?
A: Yeah, I do. He means a lot to me. Special kid, great family and it was tough.
Q: You’re in a position to put guys in games, does it give you something to think about when you see what happened the week before and just about everything that goes into those decisions?
A: Yeah, I think every decision is different. I don’t really think about them as players. I know I’m a coach, but I try to think about them, they’re not too far off from my kids. Anytime a guy gets hurt, I saw it and just prayers for him, his family and the people around him.
Q: You mentioned about Jaylon and the practice squad, that’s kind of become – the practice squad has become something different over the last couple of years. When you guys are pitching veterans to come to the practice squad, how do you handle that? Some guys might just say, ‘You know what, I’m going to continue to wait for an opportunity.’ Do you sell guys or are you almost wanting a guy to say, ‘I’m willing to come for this opportunity’?
A: I think every case is different. Some guys are at different points in their careers. Again, it’s a unique way now that things are handled with the practice squad and elevations and things like that. If there’s an opportunity to come here and we would like the player to come here, we tell them this is the case. It might just be come here, get your feet underneath you and we’ll see where it goes, learn our system, but I think for every player, that’s a different decision, particularly veterans, have to make.
Q: On Wednesday, you talked a lot about how important it is to stay consistent through these levels of adversity and lean on the people that you have. What are those challenges that impede on that ability to be consistent? Is that just losses? Is that media? Is that player doubt? How do you attack those head on?
A: I’d say what you just said, you’re consistent. There’s plenty of ups and downs in this business. I think if you ride a roller coaster as a leader, that doesn’t do anybody any good that is playing, coaching, members of the organization. Again, as long as you do things throughout the week the way that we expect them to be done, the standard that we want them to be done – you can live with the results. You don’t like the results, doesn’t mean you’re happy about a result. I think an important part of leadership is consistency and positive communication and doing things that, again we talked about this a lot, but whether it’s a schedule change, whether it’s a change in the scheme – you’re always looking to improve whether it’s a win or a loss. I think what matters most is how you approach it on a day-to-day basis without riding the wave of things didn’t go great or things went really well. That’s what I believe a leader has to do.
Q: Did you reach out to or speak to Tua or his family members or anything like that?
A: I haven’t yet. I will. Right after that, I think it’s respect for him, his family, their space.
Q: The loss on Monday night - with the players, I don’t want to say a sense of urgency, but is there something anxious with them to get out and show their fans we’re going to turn this around right away?
A: We try not to think like that. We just try to be consistent. I think you have to have a sense of urgency every day you come in the building. From a coach to a player to a support staff, it’s a competitive league, you have 17 games and each day is critical to the preparation process. You go out there and you try to coach your best, play your best. I think the level of urgency has to be there regardless of a result. That’s what we’re trying to preach here.
Q: Ideally as you build a program, I’m thinking you’d want those waves to smooth out?
A: Yeah, but they won’t.
Q: You’d think it’d be more jarring now.
A: Early on. Again, I’ve been fortunate to be part of some successful teams and there was waves throughout those seasons. Whether that’s you lose a good player, you lose a couple of games in a row. Again, we don’t ever want to do that. That’s never the goal. The goal is to go out there, prepare, do the things you need to do and try to win a football game. You’re going to face those tough times. You can either let tough times bring you down or you can try to stay consistent, improve on the things you can improve on, be positive when sometimes it’s hard to be positive and do the things we need to do to be better the next week. Again, if we’re out here not doing the things we need to do in practice or coming in late to meetings, not paying attention or we’re not doing the details that we need to improve on – that’s one thing. That’s my job to get it fixed during the week, but our guys have had a great mindset, they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do. Not just the players but really everybody in the building. I think you need to stay consistent with that with an improvement mindset.
Q: Will (cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott see action?
A: Flott probably won’t be able to go this week.
Q: Is it longer term?
A: We’ll see. I don’t know. I can’t say how many weeks or days. I know he’s better than he was, but I don’t think he’ll make it this week.
Q: You’re down a couple of receivers – for you guys offensively, for you to get where you want, how important is it to get (wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay) more productive?
A: I would not single out Kenny, I’d say we’re all trying to be as productive as we can. I’d say his preparation and how he goes about it during the week – I’ve been very pleased with his approach.
Q: I say Kenny because he’s a guy whose already done it in this league, he’s played at that high level. You’re short on wide receivers and he appears to be the guy you need to get something out of.
A: Well, I’d say you try to get stuff out of everybody, regardless of how many years you play, don’t play. Again, everybody has got to be ready to go and do their job to the best of their ability and that’ll help everybody out.