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Transcript: Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

Eric from BBI : Admin : 11/9/2022 2:54 pm
Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

November 9, 2022

Q: When you did your self-evaluation this past week, the offense has been kind of sluggish coming out of the gate. Did you uncover any kind of common denominator that you can address moving forward?

A: Yeah, there was some good stuff that we looked at as a staff. Really took some good time and evaluated first, second down, third down, red zone. Just really went piece by piece on personnel groupings, the players, putting those guys in the spots – that they were in the right spots. I think we came out with some good information and stuff that we can apply moving forward.

Q: How much of that is getting a feel for not only what your guys are doing but what the other side is doing?

A: It’s a good combination of both. We’ve had some new players come in so we’re constantly evaluating how those guys play and what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are and then also tying that into what we see from a defensive standpoint. That’s been the key, that’s what we spend a ton of time on every single day.

Q: What have you seen from (wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay) after the bye here and what can you reasonably expect from him after such a quiet first part of the season?

A: Kenny came out yesterday, had a good day of practice. Really, the standard for him and for every player is come out, practice hard, work on your techniques and assignments and then when your role is defined in the game, go out and execute.

Q: Do you have any sense that he can give you something in the second half here? When you look back, other than the injuries, what do you see why it just didn’t work for him in the first half?

A: I don’t want to get too far ahead. I think today is a big practice for everybody. We got the bulk of our game plan in, our base first and second down stuff. Putting in some more third down and red zone today. This will be a good test to work through all the stuff and make sure we’re on the same page.

Q: If you don’t want to get too far ahead, how about just looking back and seeing what were the speed bumps that you noticed for him in the first half of the season?

A: I think Kenny has done a good job. Kenny came in and he’s been a great teammate. He’s come in and worked hard when he’s been practicing. I know he’s gotten a little dinged up, so he worked his tail off to get ready for this week. We’re happy that he’s available.

Q: The reality with him is that his role was minimized before he was injured. With where you are now, how much would you like for him to do more moving forward?

A: Every week, each day, we’ll go together as a staff and get together with (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs and talk about everyone’s role, everyone’s job per that game plan. It’s still being defined. Every single day, we evaluate that and make sure we get the guys in the right spot and by the time we get to Sunday, we have a good plan and everyone understands what they’re doing.

Q: How much can (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) grow now that he’s been healthy, he’s been back in the mix?

A: Wan’Dale is continuing to grow in the offense as a young player. He’s doing all the right things in the classroom and getting on the same page with the quarterback. That’s really important for a young guy and then learning how to be a pro. I think he’s done a good job of that to date, and I think he’ll continue to do that throughout this week.

Q: You guys didn’t make a lot of big moves or additions at the trade deadline. You did bring in (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins). What have you seen from him? Brian and (general manager) Joe (Schoen) brought him in and are familiar with him.

A: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of familiarity with Isaiah in the offense and having some experience with that. He’s been great to come in and plug into the offense. There’s a lot of familiarity for him offensively. There’s some new things that we might have changed and just different verbiage, but he’s handling that great. Again, today is another one of those big days as far as workload from a game plan standpoint.

Q: Why has there been so few shots down field in the passing game? Is that something that needs to increase?

A: Absolutely. I think you got to find ways to create explosive (plays) – it definitely helps offense. It’s hard to put together a 13, 14-play drive and finish and go on to score. You got to find a way to generate explosives in the run game, the pass game. Yeah, we definitely evaluated that.

Q: When you look back at the first half of the season, did you think you used (running back) Saquon (Barkley) enough? You should have used him less? How did you look at it?

A: That’s a good one. I think when you look where you’re at in the game – there’s a lot of different situations that come up. Sure, would you want to get a premier player the ball? Yes, absolutely but sometimes you got to react to what the defense is showing you and other people have to step up and make those plays too. I think Saquon is a good part of our offense, he does a lot of things for us in the pass game, protection, in the run game, but there’s a lot of other players too. It’s an 11-man operation on offense. It can’t just be one guy, everyone is a part of it, including the coaches putting everyone in a good spot to be successful.

Q: He’s had some slow starts, getting back to the original question, is part of that to be expected because a team is going to come out and try to shut him down?

A: I don’t know if that’s real. I think we got to go out and execute our offense and make adjustments. I think we have to do a better job of that offensively. From a coaching standpoint, getting our guys in the right spot and put them there that way they can go out and go play fast. At the end of the day, that’s all it comes down to is our execution and our discipline with all three levels.

Q: What are you expecting from (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) here in the second half and how can he get you guys offensively to the next level?

A: The standard for us hasn’t changed. Today where we’re at, just go and having a great practice. That’s the first step and then as the week goes on, just keep on getting better and understanding the game plan, understanding our opponent and then we go out and execute on Sunday.

Q: How much would you say he’s won you over? From when you first came in and you have to learn about him to now?

A: There’s definitely a lot of trust between me and Daniel. We meet very often, especially in the offseason. During training camp, we were meeting every single morning for an hour talking through the installs, talking ranking stuff. We talk multiple times a week about the install. At the end of the week, we go through every single play on the call sheet, rank it, talk about it, see how we’re going to use it within a game. If a game goes one way, we’ll go this direction. If a game goes the other way, we’ll go this direction. We definitely talk a lot about that. He does a great job with it, he’s a pro and he’s been around here for a few years now and has seen a few things. It’s been good to lean on him and get his comfortability with the offense.

Q: Can you get more from him or is he where he’s at?

A: Daniel is doing a great job. He’s doing everything we’re asking him to do, and I think as the offense continues to progress and we keep on finding ways to get our best players the football, he’ll continue to do what we ask of him.

Q: What did you think the execution issues were in Seattle?

A: When we go back and look at it, every group had a piece of it. Again, it goes all three levels. O-line, running backs, receivers, quarterbacks. Everyone is a part of it. I think we went back and looked at all the little fundamental things – the techniques. Those things showed up. We look at it and evaluate it as a play caller. Did I put my guys in the right spot in that situation? There’s things that showed up that way as well. I tell the guys all the time; we’re all this thing together, we got to make sure that we’re all doing our part and if there’s little things we got to fix - we talk, we communicate, we adjust and then we go back and fix it. That’s what was great about the bye, you had that opportunity to do that because, you know, sometimes you get rolling and the weeks keep on going and you’re not able to step back and reevaluate the big picture of things. That was a great time for us as a staff, as players to get rejuvenated and go back to more of the basic stuff, fundamental things and reteach those things.
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