Head Coach Brian Daboll
October 12, 2022
Daboll: How’s everybody doing? Normal Wednesday, so cranking away. A lot of work to get done and a nice day to do it.
Q: Is your punter (Jamie Gillan) making his way west?
A: Yeah, he should be here tonight.
Q: So, you don’t have to take any steps to prepare for any issues with him?
A: No, we’ll be good. I think he’s on the plane right now on his way back.
Q: What’s it like defensively going from (Quarterback Aaron) Rodgers to (Quarterback Lamar) Jackson? It seems like two significant challenges.
A: I’d say another significant challenge just like it was last week. This guy’s extremely talented in all facets. His winning percentage since he’s been a starting quarterback is 75%, which is one of the tops. He plays with his arm and he plays with his legs. He’s a dynamic player, he’s one of the best in the league.
Q: This team has an identity now, is it hard to imagine this team without (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) here? There was a time when it was going to be somebody else as the defensive coordinator.
A: I’ve never thought about it. I’m glad he’s here. We have guys who work really hard. Wink, (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka, (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas) T-Mac (McGaughey) do a good job of leading their respective units. I never thought about it.
Q: When you first got the job here, Pat (Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham) was here, right? What was the thought process going through hiring a defensive coordinator? Did you have a list in your head of five or six guys?
A: You always do when you’re getting ready for those things. When Pat decided to go to the Raiders, we interviewed Wink along with a bunch of other guys and we felt he was the right fit. He’s done a good job.
Q: How did (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) come out of the game and do you expect him to be completely 100% this week with the ankle?
A: He came out good. I think he’ll continue to make progress, but he came out good. He feels better today than he did last Wednesday.
Q: How about (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley)?
A: Saquon, relative to today?
A: He’ll be out there practicing today. Probably a limited role, but hopefully he’ll be ok.
Q: Back on Wink for a second, how much do you sense that this game has a lot of meaning to him?
A: I don’t. We talk about it, not just this week but when you’re in the league as long as some of us have been in the league, you’re bound to be on different teams and play against different teams. Players, too. So, I think our focus is just getting ready to play this week, trying to come up with a good plan for their offense, for their defense, for their kicking game. I think we’re all pros. We’ve all been on different teams. We’ve played against teams we’ve coached or played, people we’ve worked for. I think it’s status quo.
Q: Back to injuries, you guys constantly have people going out. The players that you brought in, they’re able to step up and contribute to the team.
A: One, credit to those guys for picking up our system as quick as they can. Two, I’d say the position coaches that work with them. For example, like (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome (Henderson) and (Assistant Defensives Backs Coach Michael) Treier, both of those guys have done a great job. (Cornerback Justin) Layne and (Cornerback Nick) McCloud out there that haven’t been with us for a while. Again, always give credit to the player first, but then there’s a lot of extra meeting time besides the big main team meetings to try to get those guys as comfortable and as ready as they can be.
Q: What do you see from those positional coaches in those meetings? What are the discussions you have with them after?
A: Like after they meet with the guys?
A: As a head coach, you’re just asking them, ‘does this guy understand exactly what he needs to do if we put him out there?’ You explain to the player the expectation is to whenever you get here start digging in, not just to how we do things with the playbook but how we do things in our building. So I’d say the support staff, people like (Director of Coaching Operations) Laura Young, that kind of explain everything that we’ve been doing around here, what we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to be. Then the position coaches who spend a lot of extra time, again that’s our job as a coaching staff, to get our guys ready to play.
Q: How much have you adjusted maybe with the offense and what your vision for it was in the spring and even in camp to what you guys are actually running now?
A: I’d say that’s a continual process. I said it earlier in the season, you go out there, particularly with a new staff, with new play callers, and players are getting accustomed to the play callers, play callers are getting accustomed to the players. I think you’re always tinkering on things. By no means are we a finished product. We do that, we look at our tape, we say, ‘boy, that doesn’t look real good. Let’s kind of transition a little bit more towards this, maybe add some new things.’ But you’re always trying to develop as the season goes on, all the way through to the end. But particularly in the early part of the season, I’d say that happens a lot.
Q: In building that offense, do you see opportunities to get Saquon even more involved as a receiver in the passing game? Or have teams kind of taken that away from you guys?
A: If we think he’s a good player, obviously we think Saquon is. Unless you’re calling a screen pass or obviously a handoff, you know exactly where it’s going. In terms of the passing game, if it’s not a screen, there’s usually between two to three to four to five options based on the protection. So, we’ve used him in a variety of roles, along with a lot of other guys too, but again our job is to figure out what our guys do good and try to put them in those spots.
Q: In terms of the guys who didn’t play Sunday, (Cornerback) Cor’Dale Flott, (Wide Receiver Kadarius) Toney, (Wide receiver) Kenny Golladay, (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari), (Wide Receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson), are they going to practice today?
A: One at a time, sorry.
Q: Cor’Dale Flott?
A: Will not practice.
Q: Kadarius Toney?
A: He will not practice today.
Q: Kenny Golladay?
A: Will not practice.
Q: Azeez and Wan’Dale?
A: Azeez and Wan’Dale will both be limited.
Q: (Safety) Tony Jefferson?
A: Tony will not practice today.
Q: Is it an injury?
A: It is. Yep.
Q: Is (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) out of the protocol?
A: Tyrod will be limited today; we’ll kind of transition into normal practice after today, hopefully.
Q: (Defensive Lineman) Leonard Williams?
A: Leo will be limited, yep. But trending upward. A lot of those guys are getting better. So, we’ll see.
Q: Is your receiver situation sustainable? I know you brought in a guy off the practice squad. You have some guys with some potential long-term issues. Can you go on like this without bringing more people in?
A: I think the guys we put out there did a really good job for where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there. They made plays on the football. (Wide receiver) Marcus (Johnson) has really come along. I think Coach Groh (wide receivers coach Mike Groh) has done a good job with him. He had some familiarity with him. He has a good skillset. And I was proud of the way Slay (wide receiver Darius Slayton) competed and produced. So, (wide receiver) Richie (James) has done a great job for us all year. So, I feel confident in those guys.
Q: It seems like you’ve had a trust and a confidence in (Tight End) Daniel Bellinger – almost from the start. He seemed to be in line to be the starter right away. Is that true, and what have you seen since then?
A: I think he’s come a long way. He’ll be the first to tell you, he’s still got to keep on improving. But I’d say he’s a tough-minded individual. Tight end is a difficult position to go from college – usually – to the NFL. We ask him to do quite a bit; I’ve been very happy with how he’s approached things. I’ve been on him pretty early on, having coached the tight ends for a little while. (Assistant General Manager) Brandon Brown, (Director of Player Personnel) Tim McDonnell did a great job of scouting him coming out (of college). They were huge proponents of him during the draft process, and as we got to know him, what he stood for, some of the intangibles that we look for, he’s done a good job. And we’ve asked him to do a variety of things. He just gets a little bit better each day. But again, it’s a tough position. They all are, but it’s a tough position to go from college right away to the NFL. And give Brandon and Tim some credit, too. They really stood on a table for him when they did their evaluations.
Q: When you look at his college production and everything, it doesn’t scream (that) ‘This guy’s going to be a big-time receiver’ or anything like that. Is there meat on the bone for him in that capacity?
A: Absolutely. We’ve still got a long way to go.
Q: When you talk, obviously we asked you about the emotional factor for familiarity with Wink and when you go against others teams you’ve been with. There’s also a schematic thing, I would imagine, for you guys. They know him well. He knows Lamar well. How much do you talk about that early in the week to know what you’re trying to do?
A: You have conversations just like, wherever I was at, if there was somebody on that team before. You always have conversations. Try to pick up as much as you can. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to put a good plan together, and it comes down to executing on the field. I could ask him all I want about Lamar Jackson, but we’ve got to do a good job. It’s hard to stop him. Not many teams do it.
Q: You’re evaluating Daniel throughout this whole season, obviously, to see what his future is going to be here. How much did last week – handling the injury, playing that game, leading that drive without (running back) Saquon (Barkley) on the field – how much does that all up his stock a little bit in that process?
A: I just look at it from how he’s been since we’ve been here with OTAs and the things he’s done to get better. Again, I’ve said it ad nauseam: he works as hard as he can. He comes in. He does a great job with the players around him of leading them, of helping them with the offense. Each week, I think you get a little more comfortable. Again, we’re five weeks into, really, live competition. So, I think you learn a lot about players – not just Daniel, but everybody. And he’s done a good job for us.
Q: One injury I don’t think we’ve asked about is (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson)? Where is he at?
A: Adoree’ will be limited today.
Q: You’re here because this had been a losing organization for a number of years, obviously. I’m curious what you’ve seen from your team, your locker room now that it’s winning.
A: Well, I wasn’t here. I just try to work this week. That’s really what I try to do with the guys, too.
Q: Some guys don’t handle winning well, though. They’re a little bit immature. It’s new to them, whatever.
A: You’re constantly teaching them in meetings, talking to them about different things. The biggest thing we can do is go out there and have a good day. You can’t look too far behind you, where you were. And you can’t look too much ahead of yourself, where you’re going. You got to focus on what you can control because I’ve said it before: this league will humble you very quickly. And there’s certainly a lot of things we can do better from a coaching staff to players, all of us collectively as an organization. That’s where we’re at. That’s what we try to do is get a little bit better each day.
Q: With Gillan – you guys knew he had a NATO passport going to (London). And basically, you knew he might not come back with you, and everything was in the works to get that rectified?
A: Yeah, we knew all that. Everything that led up to where it is today, we already knew. But we’ll see. Hopefully we’ll see him tomorrow.