Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: So, good to get another win. (It was a) hard fought game. I thought we did a lot of things well. (There's) some things, obviously, to clean up on like there always is. But today's my youngest daughter's birthday, so I was asking her what she wanted for a present the other day. And she said, 'A win. Give me a football with my name on it, dad.' That's pressure more than anything else. So, I want to wish her a happy birthday, and good to get a win. The guys played hard, played physical. (They) made some timely turnovers. (They) came out in the second half (and) had an opening drive touchdown. (They) stalled a couple times in the fringe. (They) got hit on some bigger plays in the second half, but overall (it) was a good team win. (We'll) get ready to play (the) Detroit (Lions).
Q: Obviously, your defense – consecutive drives in the red zone. You come up with turnovers. Can you talk about that and the games (defensive linemen) Dexter Lawrence and Leo(nard) Williams had on the inside?
A: Two good players for us. Two good leaders. I think, if I'm not mistaken, Leo got that first one out (to force a fumble) in there in the pile there. And then (safety Dane) Belton made a big play after they hit a couple good plays. Red zone defense, we've been playing it fairly well this year. This was in the fringe area, high red zone. Good plays. Everything starts up front, whether it's the defensive line or the offensive line. And Dexter and Leo, along with some other guys that have been playing in there, have been doing a good job for us. We're going to continue to need that.
Q: What's her name, and is she getting a game ball?
A: Her name is Avery. And yeah, I'll figure something out to make sure she gets that. Yeah.
Q: I assume (running back) Saquon (Barkley) was fresh after the bye?
A: I mean, you tell me. He looked good to me. No, I'm just messing with you. What did he have? Thirty five (carries) for 152 (yards)? The thing, I think, with him is (he) takes a lot of shots. So, we try to do the best job we can – the medical staff, the sports science – of practicing him the right way. And this week, he was fresh. So, he had a really good week of practice. We were handing him the ball at the 20 (yard line) and he was running the ball to the end zone, 80 yards, and then coming back and doing it again. So, I thought that the stuff he did during the week carried over. Obviously, he's having a good season for us. He had a good day.
Q: His slide at the end – what did you think of him (Saquon Barkley) sliding to stay in bounds, short of the first down?
A: We would've liked to get the first down. But we had a problem there in Jacksonville, so I think he was making sure no matter what, he was going to stay in bounds and let the clock go. Good game for him.
Q: How much at the end of the day – I know you always want to improve the mistakes – but how much at the end of the day are you just happy to pull out a win no matter how it is, how you're performing?
A: You're always happy. It beats the alternative. It's hard to win in this league. There's a lot of good coaches (and) a lot of good teams. Like I said earlier in the week, if you play well, you have a chance. It doesn't guarantee you anything. If you do the things that cause you to lose, you're probably going to lose no matter what team you are, who you play, where you play, what time you play. So, our job is just to focus on the things that we can do each drive, each play, each day, each practice and not get too far ahead of ourselves in terms of where the results are. Just stay in the moment.
Q: What did you see from Dane (Belton), and how much did you have to change not having (safety) Xavier (McKinney) in there? Like did you change (safety) Julian's (Love) responsibilities at all? Or did Dane just (step in)?
A: Those guys are interchangeable, but Dane's smart. That's why we drafted him. We thought he was a good player, and he's very intelligent. So, you're always going to miss your captains, your really good players, like X is. But I thought throughout the week, Dane was practicing well. He was ready to go. We had no choice. That's what we expect.
Q: Did Dane get hurt? Someone said he went into the X-ray room.
A: I don't know. I don't know.
Q: When you sit a veteran like (wide receiver) Kenny (Golladay), do you say something to the player? Or do players understand that (they need to do better)?
A: I think (receivers coach) Mike (Groh) addressed it with him, and we went with (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins) the second half.
Q: What has it just not worked with Kenny? I think there was the thought that he'd come back from the injury and provide a little bit of a boost.
A: It's after one game. You never know what can happen week to week. Go out there and try to have a good week of practice. And take it day by day.
Q: How much of that was based off the drop towards the end of the first half?
A: What, Isaiah playing?
Q: No, him (Kenny Golladay) not playing anymore.
A: We just decided to play Isaiah. It's as simple as that. And I thought Isaiah did a good job being here for a couple of days. Coming in, making a couple good plays, knowing what to do, being where he's supposed to be. Credit to him for the short amount of time he was here. So, I'm glad we have him.
Q: What's it like formulating a conservative game plan, maybe to protect your team from its weaknesses?
A: I wouldn't use that word. I would just use we try to do what we think we can do, which was run the ball for 46 times. I think (a previous question) asked me, 'Is it as simple as just running the ball with Saquon Barkley?' The answer's no because they do a good job. They made some runs. But each week, we just do what we think we need to do for that particular game. If it's 60 passes, it's 60 passes. That's what we do as a coaching staff. That's what we'll always do. I wouldn't give it a label. I would just say we try to do the best job we can to formulate a plan and make sure the players execute it.
Q: You just kind of chuckled when I mentioned that question the other day. It almost seemed like, 'Yeah. We are going to run the ball. That's our advantage here.' How much was that actually the case coming in?
A: I think that we've done some good things in the running game. I think (offensive line coach) Bobby Johnson and (assistant offensive line coach) Tony (Sparano Jr.) and Bisch (tight ends coach Andy Bischoff) and (running backs coach) DeAndre (Smith) do a great job of sitting down during the week and talking it over with Mike (Kafka). And players understand what we want to do. Saquon, again, he had 36 touches today. Is that going to happen every week? I don't know, but we wanted to get him going and get our line going and try to win the line of scrimmage. And (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) had a, what, 153 (passer) rating? Is that right? So, he was efficient.
Q: How difficult of a throw was that that he (Daniel Jones) made to (wide receiver Darius) Slayton on that touchdown?
A: Yeah. The guy was right in his (Daniel's) face. (He) stood in the pocket, and then Slay did a great job. Again, testament to Slay. We've always talked about that earlier. 'What's going to happen in preseason? Are you guys playing him too much? Are you trying to showcase him?' We've had confidence in him. He's had to earn it, and he's had to fight through some tough times, I'd say, earning it. But he's done a really good job for us, call it, these last – I don't know – however many games of performing when his number's called. And that's the type of guys we want.
Q: When you elevate a guy like (tight end Lawrence) Cager from the practice squad and get a TD (touchdown) and an onside recovery, is that a bonus?
A: He did his job. Whether it's him, Isaiah, guys that we have on the roster, that's our job as a coaching staff is to get these players ready, to find guys that are out there – like (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and his staff do and try to get them in here to see if they can help us. And if they can, great. And if they can't, look for some more guys. But there's certainly a lot of things that everybody, starting with me, can do better. But it was good to get a win today.
Q: Were you pleased with how (cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) handled the punt return?
A: Yeah. We had a plan. We were going to use both of those guys based on situation – (wide receiver) Richie (James) and Adoree'. Again, they did a good job during the week. It's hard when you have a couple bad plays that everybody sees. Richie didn't want to fumble the ball, and he does a good job of catching punts for us. And I have confidence in Richie. But again, we had to make a decision for this week what we thought was best, and that's what we went with.