Head Coach Brian Daboll
July 27, 2023
Q: Last year during camp you did four on, one off. This year, you’re doing three on, one off. Is that done in response to injury studies that you might have come across or done more to simulate the regular season schedule?
A: No, I would say in June and May, we’re doing a lot of evaluation to get ready for training camp. So, I spend a lot of time with Ronnie Barnes and Leigh Weiss and Mark Loecher and Sam Coad. They do a great job of doing their research, presenting their plan. We talk about it and again, everything is for the players. We try to do the best we can. Right before this started, I called those guys up and asked them to have another meeting, just seeing the forecast with the heat, to make sure we were doing everything we could do to gear up and not overload the players early on. They do a great job with that.
Q: What happened with wide receiver Jalin (Hyatt) yesterday and will he practice today?
A: He will. He got a little hot at the end there. Took a few reps, but he will be good to go.
Q: What do you look for early on with new players, especially rookies, in terms of work ethic and all those things that might make you think ‘hey, this kid’s somebody I want to play for.’
A: We spend a lot of time with them. They have extra meetings. Teach them how to be a pro, develop a routine. We understand there’s going to be plenty of mistakes, not just for them, for everybody. So, make sure that we are doing a good job correcting the mistakes. Teaching them how to be a pro, how we do things in our program, and I think the veterans do a good job with helping them out with that as well.
Q: Is part of that teaching them how to practice? You had a pretty good collision yesterday between two guys.
A: Some of it is friendly fire. You try like heck not to have those. You’re going to have some of them. I just had a meeting today where I showed a couple clips where I think we can do a little better job with taking care of one another. But, again, we are in a competitive situation. Everybody is trying to compete for a role. Some role, whatever it may be. But understand we only have a certain amount of guys and we certainly try to do our best to maintain their safety.
Q: How is defensive tackle Rakeem (Nunez-Roches) doing after that car accident he had on Tuesday?
A: He’s sore. He won’t practice again today. It could have been worse, so I’m glad he’s where he is right now. I think he’s making progress.
Q: It’s not anything where he will be out for an extended period?
Q: What is the story on defensive tackle Vernon Butler?
A: He didn’t report. We are kind of working through some things. That is really all I got for you. I understand the question, but that’s where we’re at.
Q: What did you see from running back Saquon (Barkley) yesterday? You didn’t have him in the Spring, so it was your first look of him on the field.
A: Normal Saquon.
Q: You started with Ben Bredeson at center. What is your plan there? Why start with him?
A: Today will be John Michael (Schmitz Jr.). And (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) has done a good job. I think we talked about this last year quite a bit, relative to the rotation for the offensive linemen. You will see, I would say, a good amount of rotation on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes a period-to-period basis. John Michael will be going with the first group today and then Ben (Bredeson) will be rolling in there. Not just at center but at guard, too.
Q: How has John Michael (Schmitz Jr.) handled the learning process of the offense?
A: Good. He’s a smart guy, he works hard. That’s a good room in terms of the veterans really helping out the younger players. There’s a lot, as you know, on your plate, playing center. He’s a very cerebral; he’s intelligent. He’s made progress since he’s been here.
Q: Would you prefer to not have the revolving door at left guard that you had last year?
A: I think whatever we think is best. That’s why we are going to let this thing play out as long as we can and rotate guys. If they earn a spot to play, then we play them. If one guy stands out, then he stands out.
Q: How do you think offensive lineman Ben (Bredeson) played last year? Could that job have remained his if he didn’t get hurt in Jacksonville?
A: I don’t know. I’m really focused on where we are at this year. There is some good competition. Ben has been a good player for us in the short time we’ve been here with him. I think he’s got some flexibility at center, at guard. He will have an opportunity to compete it out.
Q: What is the skillset necessary for a receiver to be able to line up in the backfield? I see you did that with wide receiver Parris Campbell a little bit. Is that something you like with him? What qualities does that guy have to have?
A: I would say that early training camp and OTAs, you experiment with a lot of different things. It’s not just Parris. There have been a lot of guys we have done that with. Again, there’s some things you’re trying to get a look at. There are different situations we are putting these guys in to see how they react and see if they can handle it, both mentally and the physical part of it. We will continue to do that through training camp, whether it’s with a defensive player or offensive player playing at a different spot. You try to create as much value for the player as you can and as much flexibility for your system as you can with people being able to do multiple things. So, whether that happens or not, I couldn’t tell you right now. You’ve seen last year during this time we did the same thing.
Q: Generically, what do they need to be able to do? Not everyone can do that.
A: Well, it just depends what you do with them. You don’t have to do the same thing with everybody. You figure out what they can do well and try to do some of those things, and we’re still doing that. We will do that throughout training camp and really into the early part of the season. So, again, what we ask Parris to do might be something different than we ask another player to do, whether it’s a tight end, running back, slot receiver, an outside receiver. That’s why you do all of these things.
Q: Besides the player he is, what is the value of having wide receiver (Cole) Beasley here?
A: Good. We thought we would add competition to the spot. We had some guys who were going to be on PUP. He’s been in our system. He’s a smart player, he’s crafty, and he has played a long time in this league. When you have a veteran in a room, any room, I think younger players can ask them questions and learn from some of the stuff they have been through.
Q: Last year, you didn’t know the players and had to put them through situations in camp, particularly Daniel Jones. See how they respond. You had to put them in adverse situations. Do you do that again?
A: Yeah, we will do that. Not just the players but the coordinators, too. There are two different ways we practice relative to the periods. Some is you just script the plays so I could give this to my five-year old. Well, he doesn’t read as well. My seven-year old and let her just read off the script and you plan it out the night before or during the summer of the things you want to make sure you see both schematically and, I would say, physically from the players, as you asked about Parris (Campbell). And then there is “call it” periods, if you will. Sometimes you try to put the defense at a disadvantage and maybe do five second-and-1’s in a row where it is a pretty high percentage for the offense, and you you flip it and put five 3rd-and-17’s in a row and try and put them in adverse situations where it is advantage the other way. So, sometimes the coaches know or players know, but most of the time they don’t. That is my job to make sure we are trying to apply as much pressure on really everybody as we can.
Q: We heard a lot about explosive plays. How much do you focus on that this summer and do you ask quarterback Daniel (Jones) to be more aggressive? Do you call more shot plays? How do you go about working on that throughout training camp?
A: I would say obviously we obviously were down, last, in explosive plays. You do a lot of research in the offseason. There are plays you call to be explosive that maybe don’t turn out that way relative to how they are getting played. You can’t just focus on one area. It is certainly an area we need to improve on, that we will try to improve on, but I never want Daniel to force any ball. Will there be times when I might go to him and say, ‘let this thing rip.’ If it gets picked, I don’t really care. It gets intercepted in practice, let’s take a look at how it looks. It’s not just that. There’s a lot of areas in all three phases we have done a lot of research in the offseason and areas we have to improve on.
Q: Do you see continuing growth from quarterback Daniel (Jones) in terms of command and confidence? For us watching practice, it just has a different feel to it.
A: He works really hard. I think when you’re in the second year of a system where you’re not just learning where everybody is at … quarterback, it’s a very difficult position to play and operate at a high level. There is so many things that happen before you even get out of the huddle that you have to do. When you’re just learning the system, there are a lot of things going through your head. To try and learn from the things we did last year a little bit, I think there is advantage in that, but it doesn’t guarantee you anything.
Q: What did you see from Darrian (Beavers) and Micah (McFadden) yesterday with the inside linebacker position?
A: It’s early to tell. Both of those guys are young players that we drafted. (Darrian) Beavers is coming back from an injury. Micah played a lot of football. I think he’s the only young guy who kind of played the whole year. So, we will move those guys around and give them their opportunity to show what they can do. It’s really too early for that.
Q: Are you still learning what tight end Darren Waller can bring in totality to this offense?
A: Yeah. I’m learning really all of the players, even the guys that we had last year. They have made improvements. That’s your job as coach is to make sure we are allowing these guys to be as successful as they can and put them in different positions. There’s a lot of good give and take. You need that in meetings, too. You can go through a practice and sit down as a coaching staff and watch the tape together, go into the meeting with the players and it’s just the coaches talking. That’s not really how we do it. We really want feedback from the players. Maybe it is something we ran that he doesn’t really feel comfortable with. Not just him. It could be any skill player or somebody on defense and then we come out and have a walk-through and maybe change it up a little bit. There’s good give and take. That’s what training camp is for. OTAs was for that. We still have a long way to go in terms of figuring all of that out. I would say he’s a very good communicator in that regard.
Q: He has an injury history. He didn’t play that much the last two years. You were very conscious of that last year. How do you expect to handle him in that regard?
A: That’s another thing we talk about, the four guys (Barnes, Weiss, Loecher, Coad) I mentioned early on. About some of the players we want to have a good plan for as we go through training camp. So whether that’s a little less reps, eventually a day off, however it may be. Now the schedule is pretty conducive to hopefully taking care of your body with the three days one, one day off. Certainly he is one of those guys we have definitely talked about.
Q: You talked about the rotation at center with Bredeson and John Michael. Are you going to do the same thing on defense at maybe the second safety spot, slot corner?
A: Absolutely. There is good competition at some certain spots. You will see it out there. We’re rotating different positions and giving everybody a fair opportunity to go out there and show what they can do. Offensively, defensively, different spots in the kicking game, whether it’s on the punt team, the kickoff team. That’s the time to do it, right now, to make sure you’re giving everybody a fair shot in a competitive situation.