Head Coach Brian Daboll
January 6, 2023
Q: What’s your injury report for this week?
A: Two guys that will definitely be out, and then the rest of the guys, we’ll see after practice. The guys that will be out will be (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams) and (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari). We’ll see where the other guys are after today.
Q: Is (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) trending in the right direction at least?
A: I’d say we need another day, but he’s getting better. We’ll see where he’s at today.
Q: For all of your injured guys, do you have concerns that any of them may not be available for the playoff game?
A: I’m just going by today. We’ll see how it goes after the game (on Sunday).
Q: With Adoree’, what do you see as the pros or the cons or the positives of playing him or just having him return in the playoffs? Is that risky? Do you want him to get some work, game work, in before then?
A: We’ll go through today. We’ll talk to the trainers and the medical staff and we’ll do what’s right for the player and what’s right for us.
Q: Are you willing to reveal if you’re sitting any starters yet?
A: What time is it today? Friday evening. (Laughs) Good question.
Q: Is part of your reluctance for that, obviously jokes aside, but you want to finish the week out with your guys and then see where you’re at after today’s practice?
A: I’d say that every week is – we don’t talk a lot about injuries or who’s playing. We go through the week of practice. We do the same thing Week 1. We have our meeting after practice. (General manager) Joe (Schoen) and I talk after practice, in the evening, Saturday. That’s when we make our decisions.
Q: What are you looking to get out of this game?
A: Play a good football game.
Q: You don’t ever play a starting quarterback if you’re not playing your offensive line? So, if (tackles) Andrew (Thomas) isn’t playing, and Evan’s (Neal) not playing, then you wouldn’t play the quarterback (Daniel Jones) either?
A: We’ll talk about that tonight.
Q: Has your thought process on playing starters changed at all during the week? Or you kind of had your mind made up?
A: No, we talk during the week. But we’ll make our final decision after practice, see how it goes and, again, decide what we think is right for our team.
Q: Will you discuss at all with players? Will you take what they feel? Or is it with guys, they’re always going to want to play?
A: They’re told they got to be ready to play. That’s their job.
Q: Do you see any sense in playing guys for a series or two series? Or is it all or nothing whenever you decide?
A: That’s what we’ll talk about tonight.
Q: So, that is an option? A series?
A: I’d say everything is an option. But again, whatever we think is right, that’s what we’ll do.
Q: A couple of your players yesterday, to me, went through the idea that all of this really started in the spring with their great attendance, with the way that you introduced yourself and your staff to them. I know that’s big picture, and you may not like that kind of a question either. But do you, in any way, look now at where your team is and say, ‘It really did start months and months ago with those introductions and the commitment by those players,’?
A: Yeah, I think what you do is you try to build the best team you can. I think building a team is more important than just collecting talent. I think Joe has done a really good job with his staff of bringing people in that fit the criteria that we look for. And certainly, being around the guys and the chemistry, I think that’s really important. I think there’s hidden points in team chemistry. There’s hidden points in camaraderie. So, we had great attendance in the offseason, and that led into training camp. And the experiences that you share with one another, I think those are important, definitely. But bringing in the right kind of guys that do the right thing that are consistent, that work on improving, that play well together, I think that starts back in April and May. And you just try to improve it as the season goes on.
Q: Since we asked you so much Wednesday about the (Buffalo Bills safety) Damar Hamlin situation, what was it like for you to get the more recent news?
A: Awesome. It’s probably uplifting for the entire league, hearing what you just heard when I was coming out here. Just so thankful that he’s trending in the right direction. But it gives you a boost because you’re praying so hard for the young man. To see him improve, or to hear about him improving the way he’s improving, it’s just, it’s an awesome thing. It’s awesome.
Q: Since you’re building something long-term here, too, is a week like this a good opportunity to get a look at players who you haven’t gotten a look at in real games yet?
A: We evaluate our guys every day. At practice, they’re getting a ton of reps. You only have so many players on your roster, so whoever’s playing out there, it’ll be a good opportunity for them – whether that’s guys that have played a lot, or guys that haven’t.
Q: Two guys you picked up on waivers just a couple weeks ago – (inside linebacker) Jarrad Davis and (guard) Wyatt (Davis) – are they guys that since they’re on the active roster at this point, maybe they see a little bit more time on Sunday?
A: I’ll just say everybody that’s on the active roster each week – not just this week, each week – has to be ready to play. And those guys have spent a lot of time with their coaches, trying to get up to speed with how we do things. It’s not easy to come in only for a few days and be able to play. But they’re trending in the right direction in terms of learning our material and being able to execute the things we’re asking them to execute.
Q: But it’s fair to say, I think, that you know what’s on deck for next weekend. There are guys here who maybe don’t have that resume to say, ‘We can trust these guys in that opportunity.’ This could be an opportunity for guys to show you, ‘You know what, maybe you aren’t where you should be in our plans for a week from now.’
A: I’d just say they got to show it every day. We would never put a guy out there that’s not prepared to play in terms of physically or mentally.
Q: The weather’s kind of lousy. Why (are you practicing) out here today?
A: I would say our groundskeepers – Rob (Davis), Bobby (Blake) and Ox (Greg Oxnard) – they put a tarp on it a few days ago. So, we went out and tested it this morning to make sure it’s safe for the players. They were in here really early taking it off. So, the field is good to go on. So, we’ll be outside.
Q: How different do you look at your team from – I know it wasn’t that long ago, but they (the Eagles) beat you pretty handily the first time – from when you played them several weeks back at this point?
A: In what regard?
Q: Have you seen growth in your team in that time? Do you look at your team differently now, maybe, than you did six weeks ago?
A: I would say each week you try to improve; that’s what you try to do, whether you win or whether you lose. And I think each week, we get a little bit better. Again, the results might not be what you want them to be. But I think that as the season goes on, you look for improvement. And I think we’ve improved a little bit each week.
Q: I know the focus is on you and yourselves going into the weekend. Do you mention, at all, what’s at stake for the Eagles, what’s at stake for your division? And why wouldn’t you take that approach?
A: I just focus on what we need to do to try to win a game. What are our musts? Go out there, prepare well, practice – just like it was when you were asking me this is for the playoffs. We just focus on the week. That’s, again, my mentality. That’s what it’ll always be. That’s the consistent approach that I try to use.