Head Coach Brian Daboll
November 8, 2022
Daboll: How’s everybody doing? It’s an important week for us. We’ll go out there and have a good day today.
Q: What’s your disappointment level on what happened with (safety) Xavier (McKinney)?
A: What I’d say is I heard that a few days ago. I feel bad for Xavier. (I’m) disappointed that he got injured, and he’ll do everything he can do to get back and be ready to go.
Q: What happened?
A: I’m not going to get into the particulars of it. He hurt his hand. I’m sure he’ll talk to you guys. But he hurt his hand, and he’ll be out here for a few weeks.
Q: Is it broken?
A: I’m not going to get into the particulars with it.
Q: You said you’re disappointed that he got injured. Are you disappointed that he violated his contract by getting on an ATV?
A: I’ll stick with what I said. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for us. I know he’s disappointed, but can’t do anything about that now. We’ll get ready to play (the) Houston (Texans).
Q: I’m sure most coaches – I’m sure you did – send players with a message into the bye week of ‘Be smart; be careful.’ Do you feel like he was being smart and careful? From what you know, do you feel like he was doing that and just had a bad break?
A: Again, I think we’re all disappointed in what happened. He’ll do everything he can do to get back. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for us. It’s an unfortunate thing that happened.
Q: What do you do in the meantime at that position?
A: Get everybody else ready to go.
Q: Is there anybody specific? Is (safety Dane) Belton the guy?
A: Belton will be out there. (Safety Jason) Pinnock will be out there. We have guys that can play, and we feel confident in.
Q: Will (safety) Julian (Love) have the green dot? Will he call the plays?
A: He will. Julian will have it.
Q: Did he (Xavier McKinney) apologize to you?
A: I’m not going to get into the conversations that we had. They’re private between the player, myself, the organization. That’s where I’m at with it.
Q: Any discipline?
A: Same thing. It’s all a private matter. Again, I feel bad for us; I feel bad for him. Certainly not something you want to see. I feel bad for the kid in particular. I mean, he got injured. And I feel bad for us; we lost a good player for a few weeks.
Q: Did he need to go to the hospital out there?
A: I’m not getting into the particulars. You guys can talk to Xavier and ask him.
Q: You think he’ll return this season at some point?
A: We’ll see.
Q: Does anybody have the range that he has – sideline to sideline – who’s going to replace him?
A: We’ll find out.
Q: Does he need surgery, or did he already have surgery?
A: I’m not getting into any particulars with it.
Q: What have been your impressions of Dane (Belton)?
A: Professional. Done everything we asked him to do. Good football player. He’s done a good job for us out there.
Q: You’re also getting (guard) Shane (Lemieux) back. Are you getting anybody else back after a bye week that’s healthy?
A: Yeah. The only two that won’t practice today are (tight end Daniel) Bellinger and (tackle Evan) Neal. Everybody else will practice.
Q: Anyone going to be limited?
A: Yeah – some guys. We’re moving in the right direction with everybody.
Q: With (defensive lineman) Nick Williams, is he done for the year?
Q: With Bellinger, is he due back at some point because with an eye surgery, you worry about –?
A: Yeah, at some point. Whenever that is – whenever he’s ready to go – he’ll be out here.
Q: Why did you guys not put him on IR (injured reserve)?
A: At some point, I can’t give you the exact date, but he’s getting better. (He) looks a lot better, too.
Q: It seems you guys are really limited then on the defensive line – defensive tackle, particularly. What do you guys do there?
A: We have guys. We have guys on the practice squad. We’ll see how they do. We always have a plan. We’ll let that go through the whole week and then decide on Friday.
Q: You talk about dividing the season into quarters. What is your approach for, I guess this is the third quarter of the season?
A: Yeah. Important game. At home. Going to have to play well. Came off a bye. Feel like we’re rested. The guys have had a lot of good energy here these last couple of days, and we need to go out there and have a good week like we do every week.
Q: Do you change anything, though, at this point? You probably – I assume – know significantly more about your own team, what you do well.
A: Like change scheme? Change schedule?
Q: No scheme. Anything like as you move along each quarter of the season?
A: No. I’d say we’re pretty consistent with how we handle things relative to the scheduling and practice, stuff like that. We looked at a lot of different things. You make tweaks. I think you do that every week. So, we’ll see where we’re at here this week.
Q: At one time, you had Shane (Lemieux) projected as a starter for you guys.
A: Is that Lemieux?
Q: Lemieux, yeah. Can he get that job? Is that job up for grabs as he comes back here?
A: I mean, this is his first day back, so let’s –. The first thing we’re going to do is see him out there on the field and give him a few reps on the look team and see how he responds to that and start with that.
Q: Coming out of the bye against Houston, obviously their record is a little susceptive. We saw what they did with Philly (the Philadelphia Eagles), especially in that first half last week. What are your early assessments of what you’re going up against?
A: I think (Houston Texans head) coach Lovie Smith does a great job. I thought (Houston Texans general manager) Nick Caserio has done a great job of selecting some young players on their roster that are good football players. (Defensive back Jalen) Pitre and (cornerback Derek) Stingley (Jr.) and (running back Dameon) Pierce have all really contributed. They play a lot of young players. I think they have some good veteran players on the defense in particular. (Defensive lineman) Jerry Hughes is a guy that I’m familiar with at Buffalo, and he’s playing at a high, high level right now, which I’m not surprised with. (Defensive lineman) Mario Addison is back there; (linebacker Christian) Kirksey (is back there.) They’ve got a lot of players. They’re competitive, and we’re going to need to be at our best.
Q: As a source of motivation, have you ever talked to your team about playoff possibilities? And if not, why not?
A: No, because I think we just live in the moment. Each week is its own week in the NFL, and you try to stack as many (wins) as you can together. And at the end of the year, wherever you’re at, you’re at. I think if you lose focus on what’s important, which is the only thing you can control, is today. And then go out there tomorrow and get ready to play a good team, that’s all you can control. If you get too far ahead of yourself, again, it brings you back to reality real quick.
Q: (Wide receiver) Richie James has cleared the concussion protocol?
A: He’ll be limited today. He’s still non-contact.
Q: Do you plan to make a change at punt returner?
A: I’m not going to get into who we’re playing, who we’re not playing. I’d say that we have a lot of people competing for that spot. And we’ll see where it goes.
Q: Is (cornerback) Aaron Robinson – he’s eligible to return now. Will he return?
Q: Do you think he’s going to play this year?
Q: Since we last talked to you, (general manager) Joe Schoen expressed confidence that (wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay) would be back this week. Where are you on Golladay? Do you think he’ll play this week?
A: Yeah, he’s practicing.
Q: Full (participation)?
A: He’ll be – I mean he’s limited or whatever we’re going to put him at. But he should be ready to go.
Q: You guys have preached – you specifically have preached consistency – every week, process. This is obviously an inconsistent situation now, coming back from the bye. So, there are differences for this team. Have you taken the time, or will you take the time, to kind of take the pulse of this team to see where you’re at? To see if you’re picking up where you left off? Or is it not an expectation that you pick up where you left off?
A: I think we come out here and try to have a good day like we do in meetings. Put the game plan in. Come out. Practice well. Compete. We only had a couple of days off. It’s not like we had a whole (season). We’ve done a schedule, a couple of times, similar to this. It’s worked well for us. So, today’s a normal Wednesday for us. And tomorrow, you guys got the schedule. But no, just go out there and do the things we need to do today to help us out for Sunday.
Q: After a week of self-scouting, are there things that stand out that you really would like to improve on in these last nine (weeks)?
A: Yeah. You look at fundamentals, what we can do drill-wise to help our players. You look at different schemes. There’s a lot of different things that we talked about. Then, you try to implement them out there today. Again, you’re game planning now back for Houston. A lot of it is, ‘Let’s see what we need to do better fundamentally.’ And then, there’s certain situations that come up as a playcaller or a scheme. You talk about a lot of different things.
Q: I know he’s on IR, but how far along is (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari)? Is there any chance when he’s ready that (he’ll come back)?
A: Coming along. He’s coming along.
Q: How about (outside linebacker) Oshane (Ximines)?
A: Yeah. He’ll practice today.
A: Same probably as Kenny; we’ll work these guys back in. But him, (cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott, Golladay, all those guys should be ready to go.
Q: Kenny obviously got off to a slow start. What is your expectation? Can he play better now that he’s coming off injury? You expect big things for him down the stretch?
A: I just expect him to come out here and have a good Wednesday. You know I don’t take it too far down the road. I don’t think you can do that. Just come out here, and have a good practice.
Q: I just ask because obviously receiver is an area where (you’re thin).
A: We’ll see. We just (obtained wide receiver) Isaiah Hodgins. So, between Isaiah and Kenny and (wide receivers Darius) Slayton and (David) Sills and Richie (James) and Wan’Dale (Robinson) – those guys will come out here and have a good day.
Q: What did you see from Hodgins that made you decide he was a guy to sign?
A: We drafted him when we were at Buffalo. Big receiver. Good hands. Good quickness. Makes contested catches. Very, very smart. Really knows all four spots with being here for a day. So, we’ll see where he’s at. But really good mentality. Team-first player. Hard worker. Again, some of the stuff we do is a bit different. But he’s picked that up. So, we’ll see if he’s ready to go.
Q: Is that one of those things that stand out on the wire when they waive him that – whether you knew right away, or Joe came to you right away – that you guys knew that guy was not getting past you the next day?
A: I think you try to know the league the best you can. Obviously, we’ve had some experience with him. But I think Joe and his staff do a great job of really knowing all the players in the league. Then, if something comes up, they’ll communicate with me, or we’ll communicate with the coaches. And then, we had a good give and take; just something we chose to do.
Q: After two weeks ago, are you doing anything with punt return?
A: We’ll see. We’ll be out there. The same guys will be catching punts today, whether it’s (cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) or Richie (James) or (wide receiver Kalil) Pimpleton. We’ll see how these guys look.