Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka
October 27, 2022
Q: In the fourth quarter there, four-minute offense, you ran the same play eight times. A variation of it going left and right. What does that say about the confidence you have in your run offense?
A: I think, first off, credit goes to our run-game contingent – (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson), (tight ends coach) Andy Bischoff, (running backs coach) DeAndre (Smith) – for the conviction to add those plays at the end of the game and definitely the players for going out and executing it. It’s not easy to do that in the National Football League and they did a nice job of handling it, picking up yards when we needed it.
Q: Have you ever run the same play, at least some variation of it, that many times in a row? How rare is that?
A: I don’t know what the numbers are on it, but that would be the first for me.
Q: What does it do for an offense when you have a left tackle playing at the level that (tackle) Andrew (Thomas) is playing at?
A: It definitely helps out everyone else. I think he’s doing a great job with communication, with the execution. I think he’s bringing young guys along as well from a leadership standpoint – obviously being a captain in the locker room, he’s a great teammate. I think all of that combined is what helps out not only in the offense but throughout the team as well.
Q: How big is the (tight end Daniel) Bellinger loss for you guys?
A: We’ll certainly miss him and hope he gets back soon. We’ve had a next man up mentality this whole season and the guys that will be stepping into those roles, we’ll expect them jump right in and execute at a high level. Coach Bischoff does a great job of getting those guys ready. The rest of those guys will be ready to go.
Q: I ask this knowing that everybody always wants more but with scoring down around the league, are you happy with where you guys are in terms of that?
A: Yeah, we evaluate the red zone each week. We continue to find ways to get better at it. It’s hard to score in the National Football League but you got to find ways. However we can find ways to score points – field goals, honestly you want touchdowns but we evaluate that every single week. We are looking for ways to improve.
Q: On most of those eight plays we talked about, I think (offensive lineman) Josh (Ezeudu) pulled – I think except for one. Is that one of his strengths and how did you feel like he played there?
A: He did a great job. Again, that next man up mentality. He jumped right in there, handled the cadence and some of our silent count stuff. He did a really good job with that communication. There’s a lot of things that he had to juggle and he jumped right in and executed it when he needed to. When everyone knew we were going to run the ball, he was one of those guys out in front with great fundamentals and all of the things that we talk about each day. He did a nice job with that.
Q: What did you think when you heard Saquon after the game say basically that he thought he played soft and ran soft in the first half?
A: Saquon is very critical of himself. That’s what makes him the player he is. I think, was there some more left out there for him? Maybe, I think so. That’s the kind of competitor he is and I think he’s never satisfied.
Q: Why do you think you guys are having so much more success? Not just that game but just in general? The numbers bare that in the second half of games this year compared to the first.
A: I think it’s a combination. I kind of talked about this last week, it’s a combination of putting players in the right positions and the execution. We’re all in this together, we got to continue to find ways to start fast. I thought we did a better job of that in Jacksonville. First drive, went down and scored. I think we need to continue to find ways and we need to find a similar way this week.
Q: So you don’t consider much the idea of wearing down defenses? Do you think it’s more schematic and being able to take advantage of what you see?
A: I think each week you go into it trying to score points and trying to start fast, try and score every time you touch the football. That’s the goal. I think over time, how that fits with who we want to be as an offense; whether it’s running it, whether it’s throwing it based on what the defense presents – you just got to be flexible.
Q: You guys have obviously faced unique circumstances on the road this year going to London that was pro-Green Bay crowd. Last week was really a pro-Giants crowd for most of it. Going to Seattle where the reputation of the 12s kind of precedes them, how do you guys handle that circumstance? Is there even more emphasis this week for you guys to go silent and try to figure out how to deal with that?
A: You definitely know you’re going into a loud environment. You prepare the best you can like we have been all week with crowd noise and that kind of stuff at practice. (Head coach Brian Daboll) Coach Dabs does a good job of getting our guys ready for that.
Q: Why is scoring down across the league? What trends are defenses doing that makes scoring more difficult this season?
A: That’s a good question. I haven’t really studied the whole league. We’re really focused on ourselves right now and how we can get better. That’s what we’re really focused on right now.
Q: On Daniel (Jones) touchdown run, did he audible or take it upon himself because he saw something to make that play happen or was that just the play call?
A: Daniel did a nice job there. We had a run called and those guys took it upon themselves to sneak in down there on the inch line. That was a good job by them being football players.
Q: How do you decide when to roll Daniel (Jones) out? Or when you need to encourage him and that the defense is susceptible to that?
A: There’s certain looks that we look for on tape, in the game that we look for. We make adjustments based off how they are lining up for which run schemes, which keep schemes. There’s a little bit of flexibility, there’s a little bit of in-game feel. That’s something that Dabs brought along and that’s been a big part for us and Daniel has handled it really well. It’s complicated but those guys have done a good job with the looks they have been presented.
Q: With Daniel (Jones), you mentioned he audibled there. How much more do you see him changing stuff up now compared to earlier in the year and now that he becomes more familiar with what you guys are looking for, with what you guys are looking for in this offense?
A: I think in the offense, it’s kind of built into the offense. Run and pass option. Pass and run options. There’s a lot of flexibility. The quarterback has the keys to the car from that aspect. He does a good job handling it. (Quarterbacks coach) Shea Tierney does an awesome job of getting those guys prepared. The whole quarterback room is sharp and on top of it.