Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka
Q: When you look at Baltimore's defense, how similar is it to the one you faced in camp? I know their defensive coordinator (Greg Roman) was with (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale). I don't know how much of a spin he's put on it. I was just curious on that.
A: There's definitely some similarities in the scheme and how they line up, for sure.
Q: As intense with the exotic blitzes?
A: Yeah, you know on tape, there's some. Maybe in the stats there's not as many as what Wink's doing, but we know it's in their DNA so we got to prepare for that.
Q: Why have they been so good at turning the ball over?
A: They have really good players in the backend, really good players in the front seven as well. They generate pressure, they create pressure up front, and they have ball hawks in the back end that do a good job of tackling the football, stripping and punching at the ball. Those are points of emphasis for us this week.
Q: You worked in Kansas City with one of the top tight ends (Travis Kelce). You have (tight end Daniel) Bellinger here now. He's not at that level yet but what do you see from him and how can you use him and continue to use him in different ways like you did on Sunday?
A: I think Belly is doing a great job with his role. Every single day he comes to work, he gets better. I think you're seeing that week in and week out as his role continues to expand and he continues to do different things within the offense just like we ask everyone to do. He's done a great job with that. (Tight ends) Coach (Andy) Bishoff has done a great job with him, meeting with him early and making sure he's detailed. Daniel is putting in all the work. I'm really happy for him.
Q: Is that inherently a fun position to tinker with and be creative with?
A: Yeah. You use your players to their strengths and use them to the best of their ability. Daniel has done a great job with all of the positions we put him at – in-line, spread out, in the backfield like the play you saw there last week. He's got flexibility and he's an athletic kid and he's smart and he's dependable and he's a guy that we trust in those situations.
Q: You mentioned they have good players in the backend. They also stats-wise have given up the most passing yards in the NFL, a lot of big plays. Can you guys capitalize on that or is that just not your strength? Your receivers aren't big downfield receivers right now. I'm wondering can you capitalize on that or do you have to be you?
A: I was with (Baltimore cornerback) Marcus Peters in Kansas City and know how talented he is. Obviously, being there, playing against Baltimore and Wink and those guys and there's a lot of familiar faces. I know maybe the stats don't show it or whatever, but we've got to be prepared for a physical game and a game that these guys really come to play every single week. We got to put our best foot forward as far as being fundamentally sound and doing the things we want to do on offense. It's a big-time challenge at all levels, all three levels, really, of the defense.
Q: I don't know how many teams have a practice-squad call up lead them in receiver snaps like you did with (wide receiver) Marcus Johnson. What did he show you that he got the call up and through the course of the game that you kept going back to him?
A: (Wide receiver) Coach (Mike) Groh has done a good job with him of working him into the offense and getting him kind of caught up with where we're at. He didn't have a whole lot of time in the spring and in training camp, so he had to catch up pretty quick. He's done a great job. Each week, he's just continued to kind of absorb a little more of the offense. I felt like he was in a good spot to come up and he did a great job, he did a really good job. I'm proud of him. He did a nice job for us, and every day we'll continue to evaluate that room and really everyone on offense to declare what that role is going to be. If everyone continues to have good weeks of practice, we'll be able to piece together a gameplan and find a role for him.
Q: Did you wait until the second half intentionally to run Daniel Jones to make the Packers think that he couldn't do it?
A: That wasn't, I wouldn't say intentional. It was part of the gameplan. I think there was just a timing of when the play call, when we used it. I think it showed up there, I thought after those first couple of drives, I thought the guys settled in. I thought as an offense we settled in and put together a few good drives there before getting to the second half.
Q: In the red zone, you guys obviously have been very creative throughout the season. Do you feel like now you're in a position where you've given the defense now when they try to look at you on tape, that you're coming at them in so many different directions that it's made your job a little more, I don't want to say easier but gives you a good plan to give you options as to what you want to do down there versus where you were Week 1 and how teams would attack you?
A: Yeah, I think when we evaluate the red zone we look at – obviously the closer you get down to the goal line, the more condensed everything becomes so you got to find a way to displace a defender or create an extra gap. Do certain things that can give the offense an advantage because the defense gets a little bit more, the space condenses on the offense a little bit, so you can't really go as vertical if you want to, so you got to think in different ways. I think our staff has done a good job of putting together plans like that which are creative and use the strengths of our players whether it's on the perimeter or in the core. I really credit those guys, the staff and the players, for executing and then the staff for putting it together.
Q: How do you feel (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) has played so far with his ball security and decision making?
A: Daniel has done a good job with the ball. He's doing all the right things that we're asking him to do, putting his eyes in the right spot. I think he's making quick decisions and I know (quarterback) coach (Shea) Tierney is really, he's really doing a great job with him since really the spring of emphasizing that with not just Daniel but all the quarterbacks. I think those guys have bought into it and he's doing a really good job of managing that aspect of it.
Q: Can you take us through the last offensive possession and the thought behind it and what was going through your head?
A: We have a couple of guys on staff, (offensive assistant/game manager) Cade (Knox) and (director of football data/innovation) Ty (Siam), that help us out with the clock management along with (head coach Brian Daboll) Dabs. From that standpoint, I let those guys direct me on how we want to go. Whether it's taking a knee, taking a safety. That was a well thought out process between those guys. I don't want to speak for them or for Dabs, but that was the plan and the guys went out there and executed it.
Q: If you were playing Kansas City this weekend, would you stand up here and tell us it's just another game for you?
A: We're not playing Kanas City this weekend. I don't have to answer that. I mean, I don't have to go there with that. I think the opponent we have is the Baltimore Ravens and that's the challenge we have to get ready for and make sure our guys are prepared for that.
Q: You got so accustomed playing, coaching to seeing the game on the field. How do you like the bird's eye view as a play-caller of an NFL team?
A: It's certainly been an adjustment. I had some experience when I was in Kanas City being up in the booth in my role there. It wasn't completely foreign, but it's definitely a lot quieter, it's a little bit easier to see the field and you kind of get a little different perspective. I've enjoyed it.
Q: How much are you itching to get to the (wide receiver) Wan'Dale Robinson pages of the playbook?
A: Wan'Dale is doing everything he can to get healthy and get ready to go. Our training staff, he's working his butt off in the training room to get him ready. Whenever he's ready, we'll integrate him in and find a role for him. When that time is present, we'll do that.
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"Q: If you were playing Kansas City this weekend, would you stand up here and tell us it's just another game for you?"
That's the best they could come up with?
Odd ? for sure.