Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: How's everybody doing? Tough game. Physical game. It's what we thought it would be, and I thought Chicago played physical. I thought our guys played physical. (We) made a few more plays than they did. There were a lot of bumps and bruises. I don't know the answers to any of the questions relative to any of the players yet. We'll figure that out as we get going. But tough, competitive game; good to get another win.
Q: When (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) goes down there and you go to the wildcat for (running back) Saquon (Barkley). Was that a contingency plan, something you've worked on before? How seamless did you think that worked?
A: Those were plays we had in the gameplan. I just thought those were the right thing to use at that particular time based on where (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) was, limping around a little bit. And then we put a couple of other ones in on the sideline – ones that (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) and I have run in the past. So didn't have to get to all of them but got to a couple of them that I thought helped us, particularly the edge plays with (running back Matt) Breida there at the end. And Barkley's been ballhandling since training camp, not for this necessary (reason that) both quarterbacks go down –just because it's part of our package that we have. Just thought that was the best thing to do.
Q: Could he (Saquon Barkley) have thrown the ball if he needed?
A: Yeah. I think he could've. I was hoping he would get over 40 runs this game.
Q: What was that moment like though when Tyrod goes down; you've already taken Daniel out of the game? Did you all have time to discuss that? He said he was good to go? How does that work?
A: So, you're just talking about the communication?
Q: How you decided to put him back in and said he wasn't done for the game.
A: I went up to him. He talked to the trainers. He worked over there on the side. I saw him moving a little bit. He wanted to go. I said, 'You're not going into the game. I see you're limping. I'm not risking you getting injured to try to protect yourself with that limp. But if we need you, can you go back in the game?' He said, 'Yeah. I can go in the game now.' I said, 'Tyrod's going in the game, and if we need you, hopefully it'll be just to hand the ball off.' So, when Tyrod went down, I looked over to (quarterbacks coach) Shea (Tierney) and said, 'Is he good to go?' He said, 'Yup.' We didn't pass it, right? We just handed it off.
Q: The rushing game with Saquon, Daniel. Can you talk about that? The offensive line.
A: Good week of practice. That was, I would say, the plan going into it. It's always good when things work out the way we want them to work out in a game. Daniel's weren't necessarily designed runs. There was pass elements to the play we thought would be a few good designs to run against their team. They happened to go with the receiver. We hit a couple of other ones. We hit the one to (wide receiver David) Sills where they called us on a formation. I thought our line did a good job. We ran the ball inside; we ran the ball outside; had a couple of scheme runs in there that we liked this particular week. And then 26 (Saquon Barkley) – I've said it since OTAs – is a really good football player. So, that along with Daniel's, what did he have – about 70 or something around there? That's the way we wanted to play this game. And it worked out.
Q: Was that what made those runs by Daniel so effective? You said they went with the receivers instead of staying with him. What other elements are there? It seemed like the fakes to Saquon also were confusing them. What made Daniel able to get those big runs?
A: They were open. There was nobody out there.
Q: Is that something you see on film during the week? Those boots were killing them especially in the first half there. And there just seemed to be a lot of real estate there.
A: Yeah. That's part of the preparation. It's really no different than a drop back pass you designed that you think looks good. We had a variety of formations that we used a few of them. It's the first time I think that we've called really one this year. I think we called one other one. But for the most part, we called a few of them. Just thought in our preparation it was a good play to use this week.
Q: How encouraging is it to see your team win this game on a day when you faced as much adversity as you did?
A: What adversity?
Q: The quarterbacks got hurt.
A: Oh. Sorry. You just move on. I mean look, you feel for the players that get injured that give everything they have during the week to get their bodies and their minds right. And if somebody's out, that's why you have other players on the roster that you have confidence and faith in, or they wouldn't be on the roster. So, you have to obviously show empathy to your players that get hurt, but you're onto the next play quickly. And you're not worried. I mean (tackle) Evan (Neal) went out. There's a list; you guys saw it. There's quite a bit of guys that were out there. I do have the names. I don't have reasons: Daniel, ARob (cornerback Aaron Robinson), (defensive lineman Henry) Mondeaux, Evan, (wide receiver Kenny) Golladay, Tyrod, so it was quite a bit of them. But I don't think you really think about that when you're going. Other than if it's a play call and you need to do something different to either help a particular player or flip a formation or not call a pressure. You got to know your players.
Q: Do you have an update on Tyrod? He was evaluated for a concussion. Does he have a concussion?
A: I have no updates on any player because I did not talk to the doctors or trainers before I came in here.
Q: As you've said, you've talked since you got here about how great Saquon is. But does the magnitude of what he's done so far surprise you at all? Just the level that he's at.
A: The magnitude?
Q: Yeah, how good he is. You said he was really good.
A: I think he's really good. He's a good player for us. I mean, we're on Week 4. So, he's one of our better players. Again, you can use him a bunch. You can use him as a decoy a bunch. But he's one of our better players; I think he touched it about 30 times (today). I'm not into – I understand the question: Am I surprised? Not surprised? I just think I watch him at practice. He goes out there. He prepares hard, and then he tries to play as a good as he can play.
Q: You said, 'This is the way we wanted to play.' But some of this at the end was certainly emergency situation. I mean I don't know if you wanted to go into the fourth quarter and not throw a pass for the next ten minutes. Obviously, you wanted to run the ball. You just said, 'What adversity?' and you sounded serious that you weren't thinking about that.
A: I don't see that as adversity.
Q: But there's two quarterbacks that aren't able to play, and neither of them can play.
A: He was out there. And we had other things we needed to do. That's our job as a coaching staff is to make sure you're prepared for whatever situation comes up. Is it always going to be great? No, it's not. There's certainly things that we can all do better, starting with me. But I just think that's what you do in a leadership position, too. You don't panic. You try to stay composed. You try to give people a plan that they can go out and execute and believe in when they need to do it. Whether that's the quarterback is not able to move, so you put him out there at receiver and give it to Saquon, who can move, and throw Matt Breida in there. I would say just our smart, tough, dependable theme, smart is at the top of that list. So, being able to adjust and handle things as they come our way – whether it's the coaching staff or whether it's the players – that's very important to us.
Q: You said that you and Bobby Johnson put in some things.
A: We talked. And Kafka (offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka), he had some things. He's had Tyreek (Hill), and he's had other guys. So, when that went on, we just sat down, and I said, 'Where's the grease board?' I know not many people use grease boards. Five people gave me an iPad at the same time. I said, 'I want a grease board,' which is rarely used nowadays. We talked about a few things. But we had things that were already in the game plan. So, it's just a matter of 'Let's go to three-back personnel' that they haven't seen all game and run one of our plays from our – it's not the wing T – but the three guys in alignment, and let's use that. If it works, let's come back to it. And you're looking across the field, and you know what's coming and Fleus (Bears head coach Matt Eberflus) is telling them (his players) to all come up and bring blitz zero. But we felt that we had a hat for a hat on most of those plays that we had; and then we ran another one that Saquon had a read on. And the discussion was, do we just put Saquon back there and forget about the quarterback and put him out? But that changes some defensive philosophy and mentality, too. So, just to try to give yourself a little bit of crease.
Q: Have you ever been in a situation as a coordinator or coach, head coach, where you haven't had a quarterback that might be able to throw the ball with more than half a quarter to go?
A: Not that I can think of. I could be wrong, but not that I can think of. And Daniel could have thrown it.
Q: How did Daniel handle that when you told him you were going to go with Tyrod? Like he wasn't happy about it?
A: He was like, 'I can go. I can go. I can go.' But I just think it's important. You can go and do the tests and run over there. And if you're a coach, you're watching him run, too. So, you appreciate the grit and the resolve that the players have. But I think it's your job, too. I want to make sure he can protect himself more than anything.
Q: You wouldn't put Daniel back in if you thought he was at serious risk. So, that said, is it fair to say that you don't think the injury is too serious now?
A: I don't know. I'll find out now when I go back in. But I honestly don't know.
Q: Can you call the press box when we're done?
A: If you want to bring (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/head athletic trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) in, we can bring him in (Laughs).
Q: Winning three out of four hasn't been the norm around here for a while. What, in your mind, is the biggest reason this team has responded this way in the first month of the season?
A: I think the players played good when it counted the most. Give all the credit to the players. I think the assistant coaches and coordinators are doing a good job of putting them in position, and those guys are playing hard for 60 minutes. So, I'd say give the players, first-and-foremost, all the credit. And give the assistant coaches and coordinators the second part of it.