Head Coach Brian Daboll
January 17, 2023
Daboll: What’s today? Tuesday? So it’ll be a Wednesday walkthrough on a short week.
Q: Can you talk just a little bit about the excitement for your ballclub and for this fanbase, for this game?
A: You work really hard to get to this point. But I think you have to focus on keeping the main thing the main thing. It was good to move on, but you’ve got to put that in the past really quick and get to the preparation on this week’s opponent. Number one seed. They won the (NFC) East. They beat us twice. They got eight Pro Bowlers, six All-Pros. I think they can get your attention real quick, so we got a lot of work to do.
Q: When you play a team twice in three weeks, like you did against Washington, is there anything you take from that approach upcoming for this weekend?
A: It’s pretty much what I talked about last week. Washington, we played each other pretty quickly. Minnesota. I think December, we played four teams. We played Washington, Philly, Minnesota and the Colts, I think. So, we’ve had some time that was close between each opponent. So, again, you watch the games. You do everything that you do each week to prepare for a team.
Q: It’s pretty obvious, though, when you played the Eagles the last time, they were using (Eagles quarterback Jalen) Hurts differently. They weren’t going to use him on designed runs. How much do you expect a different version of him this time around?
A: I think you’ve got to go through all the tape from the entire year at this time of year and plan for everything. Again, there’s only 65 to 75 plays this time of year, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re trying to give your players everything you can in terms of the preparation process of it. What they do or not do, you never know going into a game. So, it’ll be the standard procedure that we usually do.
Q: Do you expect them to run him more? Or him to be able to run more than he did during that game?
A: I don’t know. I think you’ve got to prepare for everything. (He’s) a dynamic player. I’ve said this before, he can throw it, he can pass it. That’s why he’s up there for MVP. And we’ve got a big challenge ahead.
Q: Because of the circumstances in the last time you were there, who played, who didn’t play, are there still things that you were able to gain that day as a team, whether it was schematically or even your guys watching and breaking down that film that helps you now that you will have a lot of players who weren’t on the field?
A: Absolutely. Look, we put together a plan we thought was going to work like we do every week. So, again, when you have two games to look at, you really study those games. But you’re studying every game they’ve played, and you’ve got to have your best this week.
Q: Defense – where do you think they’ve gotten better recently at this point in the year?
A: I think throughout the year, you try to get better at everything. All that matters is this week, who we’re playing and having our best game this week.
Q: The physicality of your receivers in the run game – Isaiah (Hodgins) has some key blocks the last few games. Last week, (running back) Saquon’s (Barkley) run, (wide receiver Kenny) Golladay’s out there knocking a mouthpiece out. Can you talk about what they’re bringing to your run game?
A: It’s important. Perimeter blocking – whether it’s the receivers, whether it’s a (running) back out there, tight ends – it’s important for every run game in the league, and I’d say particularly important for ours.
Q: What do you make of the Eagles’ front on defense?
A: They’re really good. They’re hard to block. They can stop the run. They got a lot of really good players. They use them well. They’re a challenge to block. On the perimeter, they’re a challenge with the tackles. And inside, they’re a challenge. So, that’s where – like I talked about before – the offensive line and defensive line, that’s where usually the game starts. And they’re pretty much All-Pro or Pro Bowl at every spot.
Q: You’re sort of insulated in your bunker, so it’s hard to get a sense of the vibes outside. There’s excitement for sure. But you were in this area with the Jets in 2007 when the Giants went through a similar run like this. Do you remember anything about that, what the area was like?
A: I was probably about 40 pounds lighter. Look, we appreciate our fanbase. They’ve been great all year. Like I said before, they’re part of our team. And they’ve been a help all year. They were loud in Minnesota. That was a hostile place, and we just wanted to go out there and do a good job for them.
Q: If it’s hostile in other places you’ve been this year, how would you describe the atmosphere in Philly you’re expecting on Saturday night?
A: Hostile. I don’t have good adjectives for that one other than that.
Q: In the spring, you spent a lot of time at the Garden (Madison Square Garden) with the Rangers’ playoff run, too. Did that open your eyes a little bit to what this area’s about when teams win?
A: It’s great. Again, our fanbase is awesome. They’ve been awesome all year. We appreciate their support. I know they’ve helped us along the way, particularly in home games. They’re an important part of our team.
Q: When you see signs of confidence in your team, what do you see when you look at them?
A: I just see a humble, hardworking group that tries to get ready to play each week to do the things that we need to try to do. Each team, at this time of year, is really, really good. And I think they do a good job of maintaining their focus on keeping the main thing as the main thing, which is our preparation here the next few days and then ultimately how we play.
Q: What does it mean to be among the elite eight that are remaining right now in this playoff run?
A: I don’t think of it like that. I understand the question. I think that you have to get ready to play a game, and you have to do the things necessary to get ready to play the game. That’s where my focus is. I know that’s where the team’s focus is. We’ll try to have a really good week.
Q: Is there any extra motivation you guys can pull from the first meeting with Philadelphia and how it got a little lopsided?
A: No, every game’s different in this league. Every time you play a team – whether it’s the second time, third (time) – it’s all different. What matters most is our process leading up to it and then how we play.
Q: You were obviously on the outside coming in prior to this year. In regards to the perception of (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and what people thought of him, how much do you think what he’s done this year has changed the look of people from outside – fans, critics, pundits?
A: I understand the question. I’d say that my focus is just trying to help him be the best he can be. He’s done everything that he can do since I’ve been here. A great guy to work with. He works extremely hard, and I think that’s where our focus is.
Q: Was Sunday the best he can be?
A: I don’t know. We just try to play as good as we can play each week.
Q: You used the words ‘proud of your team’ after the ball game the other day. What are you most proud of?
A: They competed for 60 minutes, and we advanced. So, they did everything they could do during the week, which I know is a boring answer. But that’s what it is. And then they went out there and executed in a tough place. So, that game’s done and over with. We’ve got to turn the page pretty quick here, which we already have, and try to do what we can do this week to be prepared.
Q: There were two different results from those games against the Eagles and obviously two different personnels on the field. Do you still view both games equally in terms of the film from when the starters played in the first matchup?
A: No, there weren’t two different results. There was one. We lost both of them. I thought we went out there and competed and got outplayed, got outcoached, by a really good team. That’s why they had a bye week.
Q: What does it say about (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) that fairly late in the game the other day that (defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) called a defense where he’s with (Vikings wide receiver Justin) Jefferson essentially one-on-one, and they’re trusting him to make whatever play is there to be made?
A: All the guys we’ve had have done what we’ve asked them to do since we’ve been here. Our job is to try to put them in position, and when they go out there and practice it and prepare the right way, you’ve got to have confidence in your players. Whatever we ask them to do, we try to do the best job we can of putting them in good position and then have faith that they’re going to go out there and do it.
Q: Does your quarterback have to be your best player on offense to maximize an offense?
A: No, I mean it’s a team game. Obviously, he touches the ball on every play, but it’s such a team game. I think the offense helps out the defense. Defense helps out the offense. Kicking game. So, we need all our players to be at their best.
Q: This season, how has Daniel (Jones) gone from the start of the year, where you’re asking him to make situational plays, to now it seems like the whole offense is on his shoulders and he’s carrying it?
A: I’d say every game is different. Each game we ask him to do quite a bit. One week is different than the next. What we did in Week 2 might’ve been different than Week 15, but we’ve had confidence in Daniel. I’ve had confidence in Daniel since training camp.
Q: Is there something about your coaching staff, the way you guys have come together, that in these games where you see an opponent for a second, in this case a third time, that you can appreciate your guys the way you’ve built it and said, ‘This is the way I anticipated them to work week to week’?
A: I’ve felt that way since I got here, since we started. We had late nights in March and in April. They work extremely hard. They’re smart. They’re good teachers, good communicators, work really hard to put together a gameplan. And they’re good team players.
Q: Do you value, do you think, because you’ve been in that – and you’ve told us stories, you’ve been in the role where you’re not the position coach, you’re the guy that’s in that room breaking down film? Does that appreciation, did that help you put together your staff when it was time to put together your own staff?
A: I think you draw on all your experiences. It was a collective effort trying to put together the best people. Our guys and women have done a really good job for me.
Q: You’re obviously at the beginning of building something here. When you look at what they’ve built in Philadelphia, is there anything that specifically impresses you about what they’ve done long-term to make that team good and that franchise good?
A: No, I’ve just got a lot of respect for that team, that coaching staff, that front office and the players. They’ve done a really good job. That’s why they’re where they’re at.
Q: Any injuries?
A: No, everybody will be doing something today. It’s a walkthrough, but if it wasn’t, everybody would be doing something. I think (safety Jason) Pinnock has turned a corner pretty quick here. (Outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) will still be limited. A couple other little bumps and bruises, but hopefully heading in the right direction.