Head Coach Brian Daboll
December 9, 2022
Q: What happened with (running back) Saquon (Barkley)
A: Week 14, his neck’s a little sore, so (we) put him on the injury report.
Q: Nothing happened in practice or anything?
A: I think it’s just a long season, sore, so (we’ll) see where he is today. Probably limited today again, too.
Q: You think he’ll play Sunday?
A: I hope so.
Q: You have any doubt that he wouldn’t at this point?
A: I’d say, probably got to see.
Q: You can have injuries to any body part, it seems like you have a disproportionate amount of neck injuries. Anything to that, that you can figure out the cause there?
Q: You think you can learn more about your players in a situation like this where you’ve had a little down turn versus when things are going great and the kinds of players that you might want to move forward with?
A: I think you’re always evaluating, certainly when things aren’t going as great as you like them to go. That’s why we try to be consistent with our approach and really focus on that rather than the results.
Q: What have some of your key guys, or all your guys, showed you so far in how they’re dealing with this slump?
A: Consistency. I’ve been the same guy every day coming in. That’s all you can ask for from your guys.
Q: Other than (safety Xavier) McKinney, who won’t play Sunday?
A: I don’t have that sheet but (cornerback) Adoree’ Jackson, (offensive lineman Joshua) Ezeudu and (guard Shane) Lemieux.
Q: And (defensive lineman) Leonard (Williams) is still?
A: Yeah, all the rest of the guys are still wait and see.
Q: We asked Adoree’ yesterday whether he thinks he’ll play again this season and he said, ‘I hope so’. Is there any doubt of that in your guys’ mind?
A: I’d say I hope so, too. I think it’s just day by day.
Q: Just to be clear with Saquon, was the plan going into yesterday’s practice to limit him or did you add him after the practice?
A: No, he took some things. We knew he was going to be limited.
Q: How are you feeling about (guard Ben) Bredeson for this week?
A: I’d say better than last week. Still need to see another day. He’s improved, so more optimistic than last week but not 100 percent.
Q: Does the magnitude of that Washington game have anything to do with how you would manage your roster this week?
A: Next week?
Q: Yeah, the playoff implications.
Q: You have faced a lot of good receivers; this is maybe the best tandem that you guys have faced and obviously you’re short handed in the secondary. How can you guys manage that match up and what have you seen from (wide receiver DeVonta) Smith and (wide receiver A.J.) Brown?
A: Well, I’d say our guys have done a good job playing. I think (defensive backs coach) Jerome’s (Henderson) done a good of getting these guys ready and they’ve made the most of their opportunities. Anytime you play good receivers, it’s always a challenge. With two of them, you can usually affect any part of the field you want to affect, deep, short, outside the numbers on either side. So, certainly it’ll be a challenge. Those guys are productive players that put stress on defenses.
Q: When you face a quarterback that can hurt you with scramble, not just design runs, how much does that affect your pass rush and your approach to that?
A: I’d say those guys are always tough to defend because they can hurt you in a multitude of ways. I think (quarterback) Jalen’s (Hurts) thrown on time really well, vertical, short, intermediate. Then there’s always a play within the play when you have quarterbacks that can move and avoid rush. You have to be disciplined. It’s definitely a challenge. Different because some guys you know where they’re going to be in the spot all the time and they do a good job of moving him around, then add on the scrambles. So, there’s a play within the play and the longer they’re extended, the harder it is.
Q: Is there any carry over to the way you guys defended (Ravens quarterback) Lamar (Jackson) or are they different styles?
A: No, I think each week is a little bit different. I wouldn’t say one player’s the same as the next player. I know Jalen’s a strong runner, so each week you’ve got to sit down and one of the first those first things you look at is the quarterback and how you can affect him. Guys that can move and create different lanes and extend plays and hurt you with their legs and their arm, definitely a challenge.
Q: How much do you believe in sort of the pressure building as the season moves along? As you get into bigger games here in December, meaningful playoff games?
A: To me, it’s the same. Consistency matters. Every game’s important, every play’s important. I don’t think you can get too high or wrap yourself up with one game. I think you just try to stay as consistent as you can with the things you need to do to win that game and go out there and try to coach and play the best you can.
Q: How realistic do you think that is with your players to have that approach? Obviously, everyone’s asking questions about playoffs.
A: Yeah, and those are questions that you’re going to get asked, but you’ve got to focus on the most important thing, which is getting ready for this week. That’s what we’ve stressed since we’ve been here and that’s what we’ll stress going forward.
Q: With all the tape, data, and everything available, how do people miss on Jalen and even going back to (Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen)? How do people miss on big quarterbacks?
A: That’s a good question, probably a long answer for you. Evaluating quarterbacks and quarterback development, I think that’s a long conversation. You just go back to Josh’s year, which was 2018, and look at the players that were selected who were all good players coming out of school. They’ve all had different roads and career paths that they’ve taken. Josh has had a lot of consistency, he’s an exceptional player. He’s had the same GM, the same head coach, added players around him, the same system and has made the most of his opportunity and, he’s a heck of a player. I wouldn’t say Buffalo missed on him, right? They thought highly of him coming out and look at the other guys who we thought highly of coming out as well. Whether that be (Rams quarterback) Baker (Mayfield), who’s now on his third team and he’s a heck of a player. And (Panthers quarterback) Sam (Darnold), what’s it, his second team? And (quarterback) Josh Rosen, who was (on) how many teams, and (Ravens quarterback) Lamar (Jackson). Again, it’s probably a long conversation, but it’s hard position to play, it’s a hard position to coach. Everybody wants instant gratification and that’s usually not the way it works, really with any position but particularly the quarterback position. There’s a lot of things that need to go right. All these players are talented, they’re talented coming out of high school most of the time and then into college. I’d say there’s a lot of things that play into that; the person, the player, the development aspect of it, the team around him, the play makers around him, and it just doesn’t happen. It takes a lot of time; it takes a lot of effort.
Q: At his combine when I met Jalen Hurts for the first time, there were doubters obviously. He said to me, “My game has no ceiling.” Do you think the great player can will himself to be the player that he truly believes he can be in some respects or is that too fairytaleish?
A: That’s probably, that’s each individual. You never know but a guy like Jalen, I haven’t been around him in the NFL, but I know the type of individual he is. He’s all about improvement. He’s all about consistency. He keeps the main thing the main thing. I don’t want to speak too much because, again, I haven’t been around him a lot, but I have a great amount of respect for him as a person and he has certainly improved each year. You watch him each game, he’s got a great mindset – he doesn’t let adversity get in his way, which is hard to do sometimes. I just got a great deal of respect for him and how he’s gone about his business. Again, I think Philadelphia has done a great job of surrounding him with a great nucleus of players, a sound coaching staff. I think that helps, but you ultimately give credit to those players. Guys like (Buffalo quarterback) Josh (Allen) or guys like Jalen. (Baltimore quarterback) Lamar (Jackson). Guys that have improved each year and made the most of their opportunities with a really good, I would say, organization around them.
Q: I know it’s been one day since we’ve asked you about McKinney but has he cleared any more hurdles and is getting closer to the field?
A: Probably the same thing as yesterday.
Q: There is a good chance the weather is going to be lousy on Sunday. Does that alter your gameplan?
A: We talk about it. We definitely have to have a plan for whether it’s rain, sleet or a little bit of snow, wind. Again, just being from the Northeast area, Buffalo so to speak, and then coming out here – this is like Florida here. Again, we’ll cross that bridge if we get to it and talk about it pregame and see where it’s at. Today’s Friday, usually those things change, at least from my experience, a good amount. Aware of it, definitely.
Q: After what Baker Mayfield did last night, shouldn’t OTAs, training camp and practice just be eliminated? Like a waste of time.
A: Saw that this morning.
Q: What’s the point of practicing?
A: Valid question.