Head Coach Brian Daboll
November 29, 2022
Daboll: It’ll be good to get out there outside today and get a good practice in.
Q: There are a lot of names, but can you kind of tick through some of the injured guys there?
A: I would just say, in general, looks promising for quite a bit of guys.
Q: Who’s not going to practice?
A: Today – (guard Shane) Lemieux, (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu and (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson). Everybody else is going to practice.
Q: What kind of lift is that for your team to look around and know they’re getting that many guys back?
A: Well, let’s see how it goes at practice. We’ll go full pads today. We’ll do some good hitting, kind of see where guys are at and take it day-by-day and get to Friday, and hopefully we’ll have some guys back.
Q: What is it about (tight end Daniel) Bellinger that he needs to clear to be able to play? I know it’s a little different because it’s about, I guess, the contact part of it.
A: I would say he’s trending in the right direction. So, we’ll see how it goes out there today, but I’m optimistic for Belly.
Q: When they came back to work on Monday, what was your general message to the team for the stretch run?
A: Really, let’s get ready to go for Washington. Got an extra day here to prepare, and let’s take each day and make the most of it.
Q: So, (center Jon) Feliciano – do you just plug him back in? Or did (center) Nick (Gates) show you enough where that’s a decision you’re going to make?
A: I would say relative to the guys coming back, there’s still a few days here. Let’s get through practice today; let’s go to the next day. I don’t want to make some split-second decision. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re going pads: Let’s work a little bit on the running game. Let’s get some of these guys back and see how they operate in contact stuff.
Q: Do you have a policy just in general like you can’t lose your job to injury, or is that type of deal where it opens the door?
A: I wouldn’t have one either way. I think we just do what’s best for the team.
Q: How did Nick grade out of that game?
A: He did okay. (There’s) some stuff he can do better, but he did a good job.
Q: Is Shane’s (Lemieux) situation something that could be long-term here?
A: Don’t know that.
Q: Is it the same exact toe?
A: Yeah, it’s his toe. I think we’re trying to be smart with him. I know he wants to be out here, but we’re trying to do right by the player, too.
Q: I know you mentioned Ezeudu and the neck thing last week not being super serious. Is there anything that’s changing on that front regarding the severity?
A: No, not too much. Again, just not ready to go for today.
Q: Would you consider Jon at center and Nick at guard?
A: I think we’d consider whatever we think is best. If we have a bunch of guys out here, we’ll roll them in and see how everyone operates.
Q: We’re talking a lot about your offensive line. Their (the Washington Commander’s) defensive line is a rare one with four first-round draft pick talents on it. What kind of difficult challenge do they pose? What makes them so good?
A: They’re good at the run and the pass. I think that’s what (makes them so good). I think having strong fronts – both defense and offensively – is kind of where you want to build your football team. And they certainly have done it. I think the last eight games, they’ve up 16 points – that’s without (Commanders defensive end) Chase (Young). So, they’ve got some other good players in there – two Bama (University of Alabama) guys inside. I was with (Commanders defensive tackle Daron) Payne for that one year. (Commanders defensive tackle Johnathan) Allen. (Defensive end Montez) Sweat. They’re challenging on both fronts. They don’t give up a lot of points. They haven’t given up a lot of points here in the last eight weeks or six and seven. I think they play physical style football. (Commanders head) Coach (Ron) Rivera – I got a lot of respect for him and how he. They’re physical on both sides of the ball and the kicking game. That’s what I think makes a good football team.
Q: I realize you always prefer to focus on the day-to-day and small picture, but (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) yesterday suggested that you relayed a big picture thought about the season starting now. What were you trying to get across to your players with that?
A: I think December…when you play meaningful games in December, I think that’s why we all do this. You go all the way back to OTAs and to preseason and the beginning part of the season; now you’re in December. And I’ve been on teams that have played meaningful games in December, and I’ve been part of teams that haven’t. It’s not a lot of fun when you’re not playing meaningful games. So, let’s come to work with a great attitude, a positive mindset. Keep getting better. And you focus on the week’s opponent: That’s how you have to do it. But they’re important games now.
Q: When was the last time you went pads, and what does that mean? I guess the objective is to –
A: We went pads the week before Houston.
Q: Is the objective to – you talked about the running game – to help that running game? And how does that help it?
A: I think practicing in the things that you’re wearing (in a game) help. Obviously, we’ve done a lot of it all the way up until now. You want to make sure you’re taking care of the players. They’re fresh; they’ve had a couple days off. So again, I think this was a good day to do it.
Q: How do you think your team is handling losing recently?
A: I think the way they’re handling winning – they’re consistent. We’ve all been in this league a long time. The last time that you haven’t faced adversity will be the first time. You’re going to face it. Week 1, Week 5, Week 10. So, the approach is to be consistent, like the message I’ve tried to give really since I’ve been here.
Q: Do you want to get (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) back into the running game more than he has been the last couple of weeks? Is that something that’s holding back the whole running game in general?
A: I think there’s a bunch of different ways to run a quarterback. So, in a lot of ways, he’ll zone read it or he’ll have a decision to make, whether that’s to give it to the running back or keep it, that’s some of it. But we’ll put together the best plan we can and go out there and work at it.
Q: You’ve obviously worked for a couple of the greatest head coaches ever. When they get to December, have you seen them change their approach with their team in any way? Or how do they conduct it?
A: The guys I’ve worked for, those two guys (Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Alabama head coach Nick Saban) are pretty consistent. Again, I think each person runs their team the way they want to run it. I think being consistent with your approach, with your process, with your preparation, I think that’s the way to do it.
Q: You’ve talked about breaking up the season into quarters.
A: We’re (at) the last game of the third quarter.
Q: What makes you think that your team is ready to peak in these December games when you get to that fourth quarter?
A: I’d just say we’re trying to get ready to play this week. That’s the most important game. It’s the fourth game of our third quarter here in the season. And we’re going to try to do the best we can to try to get ready.
Q: Do you think getting results early in the season, winning games early, helps a team stay confident when you go through a stretch like this?
A: I don’t know. I’ve been part of teams that have lost early and remained confident, that have won early. To me, the biggest thing as a leader is to remain consistent with your approach, to not get too high or low, to not ride any waves. Again, it’s human nature at times. So, your job as a leader is to focus on the things you can control and coach them up.
Q: Chase Young – he hasn’t played this year, obviously. And he might play this week. So, what’s your sense of how you guys are preparing (for) where he might line up? Throughout his career, he’s lined up all over. Last year against you guys – you weren’t here – (he was) 50/50 on both sides. How do you prep for that?
A: You never know exactly what you’re going to get each week. You’re always facing good players. We’ll see how many snaps he plays when he gets back. Obviously, he’s a dynamic guy with where he was selected, how he’s played. All hands on deck.
Q: Two player questions for you – (cornerback) Rodarius (Williams). It seems like he made two good plays. He jumped the pick, and then he stayed with him on the go-route. What have you seen from him just coming back? Obviously, he missed quite a bit of time.
A: The short time he’s been back, I think he’s improved out here each day at practice, and again, it’s good to see guys make some plays when they’re working hard. We’ll need him to continue to do that.
Q: The other one was (safety) Landon (Collins). He played – I want to say twice – right after you guys signed him. (You) haven’t elevated him in a while. Is it just he hasn’t fit in the game plan with other inside linebackers? What’s kind of happened with him?
A: Each week we talk about the roster and whether it’s the defensive scheme, the offensive scheme, what we need, that could change. That changes on a week-to-week basis.
Q: Are you worried about a guy getting frustrated in that spot when he’s been up (on the active roster), and then he’s down (on the practice squad) for three or four games?
A: No, that’s the National Football League.
Q: (Cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott is out of the protocol?
A: No, he’s still in the protocol.