Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka
Q: You guys have really leaned heavily on 11-personnel the last couple of weeks. I'm just curious what you like about that and how that came about?
A: Yeah, I think just as the weeks go on you evaluate the personnel (groups) that give you an advantage in each game plan. For the past couple of weeks, it's been that way so we've kind of been riding that. Guys have been doing a good job executing.
Q: Obviously this game doesn't mean anything for the standings and you know in the playoffs you're going to play one of two teams; the Vikings or the 49ers. I know you have fresh Vikings film, but have you been doing any prep work at all on them and or the 49ers knowing the realities of those situations?
A: No, full steam ahead on getting prepped and ready for the Eagles.
Q: Why is that?
A: Because that's this week's game. It's what's most important, make sure our guys are ready to go.
Q: You have an unheralded group of wide receivers. Can you talk about the work that (wide receiver) Richie (James), (wide receiver) Darius (Slayton) and Isaiah (Hodgins) have done?
A: Yeah, they've done a tremendous job being in the right spot, executing, playing really hard in both the run and the pass game. They're detail guys, they're smart guys that you really trust that are dependable and tough. (Wide receivers) Coach (Mike) Groh does a good job, really not just with those three guys but it's been a bunch of guys that have contributed in that area, too. I'm proud of that group, they've done a nice job.
Q: Where has (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) grown or shown the most progress in your mind this season?
A: Daniel's done a good job really executing the offense, getting the guys together and there's been a couple new faces in the huddle throughout the season. I think he's managed that well and gotten everyone on the same page and led that group. Being a captain, I think that's important, and he's done a really good job of that – I'm proud of what he's done there.
Q: How much do you believe in the rest versus momentum? If they take a week off, how much do you feel like you have to get it back going again the following week?
A: My philosophy on that mirrors (head coach Brian Daboll) Dabs' philosophy – which is getting the guys ready to go this week. We'll let Dabs handle that at the end of the week.
Q: You went through this with (Kansas City head coach) Andy (Reid) several times. How would you describe what his philosophy was on that situation?
A: I probably wouldn't speak for coach Reid on his philosophy of it, but I know what we're doing here and how Dabs wants to handle it. That's what we'll fully support.
Q: He was big into resting guys. That's always kind of been his theme. What did you see coming out of that the few times that you guys did do that? When your guys basically didn't play at the end of the season.
A: For me, that's so far in the past. I'm just so focused on this week and practice and getting our guys ready to play.
Q: I think the stat is 21 teams have had to start their backup quarterback or their third string quarterback or both at some point this year. How fortunate are you guys to have (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Tyrod is a great piece to that quarterback room. He contributes a lot, helps everybody – not just the players but the coaches as well. I find myself leaning on him and his experience. He's seen a lot of football and played a lot of football. He's a great asset to have and a guy that you really cherish in the quarterback room and on the team.
Q: The flipside of that is Daniel is one of the 11 who hasn't missed a start, that was a big knock on him was his durability. What have you seen from him in terms of keeping himself on the field?
A: Daniel does all the right things on the field, off the field, prepping his body. He spends a bunch of time doing that type of stuff, kind of the prehab for those soft tissue things and just the kind of normal aches and pains of a football season. He does a good job of taking care of it and on the field, obviously, protecting himself, getting up and out of bounds and sliding and doing those type of things that also I think helped.
Q: Would you like to see him do a little more of that? Sliding, getting out of bounds?
A: Yeah. I mean I think he's got to make the decision. He's a tough kid, so he's not going to shy away from contact, number one. I think he's done a good job of taking care of himself and not putting himself in those tough situations.
Q: Would you rather not see him throw shoulders at linebackers?
A: I know the one you're referencing. That was a third down in Minnesota. I thought it was a tough play and got us an extra yard to get us into a fourth and manageable.
Q: Just a follow up on that – is that something you're telling him during the game? Especially on Sunday, he took a lot of contact.
A: No, he's just playing football. He's a football player. He's a tough kid and he's going to want to play as hard as he can. Again, I think he's gotten better at just being smart where the contact is. Sometimes he gets up and out, sometimes he lowers his shoulder, sometimes he slides. I think he's got to be smart, a smart football player, and he is. I think he's made good decisions there.
Q: (Tight end Daniel) Bellinger's skillset seems like, especially when you get to the fringe and the red zone – the play you had last week with him in the backfield. It seems to have that position for a tight end but also a guy who can play in the backfield, puts a lot more pressure on the defense. Is that something that you think since he's come back you've been able to get back to where really it seemed like you had been getting to that point when he had gotten hurt?
A: Yeah, it certainly adds some flexibility to your run game, to your pass game to kind of be able to do some of that stuff in the backfield. Those schemes that we've done have been kind of cool. I've obviously liked them because you can influence that second level, getting those guys a step up and it kind of slips them. I think it's been a good piece of the offense.
Q: Not to ask you the secrets to those plays but just the idea of when you are influencing the second level – that also factors into the run game I would imagine with (running back) Saquon (Barkley) building off of that?
A: Absolutely, absolutely. It's one of those complementary plays that we look at each week. Whether it's backfield or he's split out, tight – all those things kind of tie into it and Belly has done a great job of kind of making sure he ties into both the run and the pass.
Q: Is that part of what you're trying to do is build one play off of another and where did you actually learn that from?
A: I think each week you go in trying to find the best plays versus the scheme and then when you look at a play you go, "Alright, how can they defend it? What can they present that can give this certain play issues?" You kind of want to try and build plays off of that to kind of counteract what they may or may not do and have them in your back pocket for – alright, they're doing X,Y or Z, let's jump into this on the next drive or next series. You kind of look at that really for all the run game, pass game and try and complement all the stuff on top of putting the guys in certain spots. That's really helped a lot of it. A lot of time is spent on it.
Q: What do you view as (quarterback) Davis Webb's strengths as a player and how has he contributed to your team this year?
A: I thought you saw it in the preseason. He's done a nice job there. Getting the ball out of his hands. Really taking control of the offense, he has such a great demeanor in the huddle, he has a great demeanor on the field and command of the offense. I think those are some of his biggest attributes for sure.
Q: From your standpoint, what has been the key to Saquon having his best season in terms of rushing yards?
A: I think, I'm sure Saquon would say the same thing, on offense it's an 11-man operation. The guys up front – it starts up front – those guys have got to set the tempo and then Saquon's going to feed off of them, work off of them. I think Saquon is doing a good job of trusting himself, trusting his eyes, trusting his landmarks and all the fundamentals and techniques that we talk about. I think that's what you're seeing. Obviously, he's a talented player, so he gets out in space and he makes the plays in space that we expect him to.
Q: What is particularly valuable about (center Jon) Feliciano? He came here this year, new. What has he given you guys uniquely at center?
A: From the day he got here, obviously he knows – he had experience with the offense. I think he's even taken that to another level as far as being a leader of that group and a veteran of that group, that can kind of get everyone going in the right direction. Felice is one of those guys that you lean on to kind of get it going. He's a tough kid, he's competitive and that's what you love about Felice – he's going to go in there and compete and play his butt off.