Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: I wanted to ask you about a report yesterday that (wide receiver) Odell Beckham Jr. will be visiting you guys at some point after Thanksgiving. Can you confirm that and provide any information on when that would happen or anything else?
A: Not at this time I can’t.
Q: Do you have updates on yesterday’s injuries starting with (cornerback) Adoree’ Jackson and (wide receiver) Wan’Dale Robinson?
A: Some of these guys are still getting tests this morning. I will say with Wan’Dale, he has an ACL.
Q: His season’s over?
Q: You guys have gone through a bunch of receivers here. What’s the next step with Wan’Dale out, and maybe it even ties into (the) first question about Odell?
A: We have plenty of receivers on the roster, as you know. So, it’s a short week. We’ll get the guys ready to go, and we’ll revisit things like we always do each week and see where it goes.
Q: They’re naming this game after John Madden. They’re celebrating John Madden on Thanksgiving. Did you ever have any run-ins or experiences with him? Or can you just talk about what he means to the game?
A: I have never met Coach Madden. You think football, you think Madden really with everything from coaching at the Raiders and how successful he was to announcing to the video game that all the young guys like to play. Just a great ambassador for the National Football League and a great tribute to him.
Q: Just to clarify on the injuries – so, is Wan’Dale the only one of the guys that you do have an update for us today?
A: Yeah. Most of these other guys are still getting looked at here – almost all of them.
Q: The other thing I want to ask you about is just in terms of the week’s schedule. It seems like with these Thursday games, there’s kind of a trend away from actual practices. I guess you guys are not having a traditional practice this week. What goes into that calculation about handling it that way versus going out there Tuesday and having a real practice.
A: These guys are pretty sore after games. So, what you try to do is you sit down with the training staff, sports science, and you come up with the best schedule you can for your team to make sure they’re getting rehabbed and they’re taking advantage of all the treatments after the walkthroughs. We’ll set it up similar. We won’t be out there running around, but we’ll do some walkthroughs. We’ll have a little break. Then we’ll go out there and do some more walkthroughs. Obviously, it’s a big mental week for us and then just getting your body right to play a game on such a quick turnaround.
Q: Is there any chance on the injury front to maybe have some good news with (tight end Daniel) Bellinger, (tackle Evan) Neal and (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari)?
A: I’d say they’re coming along. I think they’re improving. Whether or not they’ll be ready this week, (it’s) too early to give you an answer to that.
Q: I asked you this question last week, and now it’s pertinent: Does this week make it harder for them to come back because of the circumstances of such a short week and so little practice?
A: We’ve definitely had discussions about that. One, it’ll be as we go along if the medical people say they’re ready to play. And it is a short week; there’s no question about that. That goes into play in discussions.
Q: Obviously, they’re probably never going to do away with Thanksgiving games. But do you feel like Thursday games are a lot to ask for these guys? You just pointed out, especially when you have a tough week like you just had injury-wise, do you think it’s something that needs to be discussed among the league where, ‘Hey. Why do we have to play these Thursday games?’
A: Well, they’re on the schedule. So, we just get ready to play them and try to come up with the best schedule and process that we can to make sure that we’re ready to go.
Q: You mentioned yesterday, obviously there are ebbs and flows to every season. You’re hitting something now with these two games back-to-back coming off a tough loss with all these injuries. Do you feel at some point you’re going to have to, as the head coach, just talk to the team at some point about not ‘woe is me,’? (It’s a) tough situation. You’ve never had this many injuries this season. (It’s a short week and you’re playing) against a team that just scored 40 points in Minnesota. Is that kind of like in the manual at some point in the next few days?
A: Yeah. I’ve tried to do that since I’ve gotten here. We’re not about excuses – never will be. We have people on our roster that are going to be ready to play. And that’s our job as a coaching staff is to get these guys ready to play. Again, you’re always going to hit adversity – whether it’s in a game, whether it’s in a season. We’ve talked about that since April. I don’t think that’s something you all of a sudden talk about. You have to teach it, and you have to try to learn from it. And that’s everybody – it’s myself, it’s the coaches, it’s the players, it’s the support staff. You have to believe in your process. You have to go out there and try to execute the best you can. And if you do those things, you live with the results. And you move onto the next week.
Q: Is this one of those times when you see what you’ve built? You see what you’ve built and see there is always a fence. Is there a weak point where you kind of look and see now and say, ‘Okay. We can talk about handling adversity. Now that maybe we’re hitting it, let’s see if everything we’ve put in place is going to hold up here’?
A: Yeah. You do that from the get-go. It wasn’t our first loss. You come in after a loss; you don’t feel great. You feel very disappointed. You put a lot of work into it during the week, and you don’t get the results you want. You should be disappointed, but you can’t let it linger. In this particular case, it’s such a quick turnaround. You’ve got to move on quickly. That’s something that we’ve stressed really since we’ve gotten here: Take it day-by-day. Learn from the things you can learn from. You’re going to hit bumps in the road. Whether that’s a practice or a game, a play, a call, a decision, those things are going to happen. And you move on from them.
Q: You talked about your other receivers after Wan’Dale. How encouraged were you from what you saw from (wide receiver) Kenny Golladay on Sunday? And can he be part of the solution here over the next few weeks?
A: Kenny did his job. (He) made a couple of plays when the ball was thrown to him. I’d say the receivers in general – obviously, Wan’Dale had a good game. He was really trending in the right direction. (He) really felt healthy and had quickness. I think Slay (wide receiver Darius Slayton) made some good plays. I think (wide receiver) Isaiah (Hodgins) had a couple (plays) called back. He made some good plays. I know he fumbled that ball. He was very disappointed in that of himself. But those guys know what to do. And we’ll go out there and put a plan together to utilize anybody who’s going to be active.
Q: With where you’re at on wide receiver, would you like to add any pieces to the picture? Not necessarily saying it has to be, obviously, Odell. But do you feel like you need to add something here later in the season?
A: I think that’s something that (general manager) Joe (Schoen) and I will talk about. Just like all the spots, this will be another discussion that we’ll have. And we’ll see where it goes.
Q: What did you see when you went back and looked at the film? What stood out to you about that loss?
A: Pretty much what I thought after the game: There was some good things in there. But it’s hard to win a game when it’s 3-0 in the turnover battle. The percentages don’t favor you very much. There was definitely some good things to take from it, and then (there) were things that weren’t as good. We didn’t win the line of scrimmage. We didn’t rush for a lot of yards. I’d say they rushed for 160 (yards). I thought we executed fairly well in the red zone. Offensively, they were four-of-five. Defensively, third downs were kind of a wash. But again, those turnovers (are detrimental). We’ve had – in our three losses – six turnovers, and (they’re) directly related to 24 points. Conversely, in the seven wins, we’ve had five turnovers, and those led to six points. So, turnovers are huge; they always are. And we’ve got to keep working on that.
Q: You mentioned ‘win the line of scrimmage’ and not being able to run the ball. Was that just guys getting beat (in their) individual effort? Or did you see something outstanding that you thought maybe you guys need to clean up?
A: I’d say it’s a collective effort. It’s really everything. It was everything yesterday in the run game. They (the Detroit Lions) did a good job. Give them credit, too.
Q: (Punter) Jamie Gillan – he’s a had a few punts this year that were short. What are you seeing from him? Would you like a little more consistency out of him? And can you talk about the special teams overall?
A: Well, we missed those two kicks; one was blocked, and one was almost blocked. I’d say we need to do better in that area all the way around. (Kicker) Graham (Gano) has been really consistent kicking the ball. Jamie’s had a couple that I know he’d like to have back, but he’s working at it. We just need to do a little bit better in that area.
Q: Along the lines of putting this game behind you, you mentioned how the schedule obviously helps in that regard. But do you guys do your full review as you normally would in a week with the players and everything else? Or do you kind of condense that? And does that almost help that you’re not even focused on yesterday?
A: That’s part of it on a short week. As a coaching staff, we watched it last night. I watched it at my house. And the coordinators watched it. The position coaches watched it. So, I had conversations with them yesterday about it. And you really got to come in and get going on Dallas. You only have so many hours in a day, and that’s what you have to do on these Thursday games.
Q: I wanted to ask you about the offensive line. You had a few injuries on that offensive line. I know you don’t know the status of these guys yet, but that being said, is there a concern with the continuity and the chemistry with having guys coming in and out – especially on this short week – in case you don’t have (center) Jon (Feliciano) or if (tackle) Tyre (Phillips) can’t go or whoever might not be able to go?
A: I think what you do is those guys get tons of reps during the week. And all the guys that we have have been here. There’s good communication with really all of them. I think (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) has done a good job of mixing those guys throughout practices, too, and giving them reps so that different guys are working with different guys. And that’s really no different than really wherever else I’ve been. Obviously, you would love to have the same five guys out there. But usually, that’s not the case. You’re going to have to adjust and make sure those guys are doing a good job of communicating with one another.