Head Coach Brian Daboll
July 31, 2023
Q: Any injuries coming out of yesterday?
A: Yes. So, (offensive lineman) J.C. (Hassenauer). He’ll be out. He’ll be out long term. He got a tricep. He’s going to end up having surgery, which is too bad. Other than that, it’s the same. (Tight end) Ryan (Jones) will still be down. (Linebacker Jihad Ward) Haddy will still be down. And then everything else Is the same.
Q: Will Nacho (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) still be out. It looked like he had that red non-contact jersey on?
A: Yeah, he will be doing more today. So, he will be up.
Q: Is Nacho still in the concussion protocol?
A: He’s doing stuff today then he’ll be looked at post practice
Q: How did Shep (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) look the first day out there for you?
A: Good first day. He’s been working hard over there, running routes. It’s probably good for him to go against some people. What we will do is, sorry, we will keep him down today. We will keep Shep down today. That’s the rehab plan for him.
Q: Every other day or?
A: I’d say down today, then we will just monitor it every day. After this first one, we wanted to give him a day off the next day.
Q: What have you seen from tackle Tyre Phillips to warrant him getting reps with the first team?
A: He’s done a good job. He’s done a good job since we got him last year. He’s big, he’s long. He can bend. It goes back to the position flexibility. Play outside, swing tackle, play some inside. So, we thought we would give him an opportunity to look at him inside. I guess we will find out a lot more here for the big guys. It’s hard to evaluate, but being able to do that, communicate with different people at a different position, we thought that would be good for him.
Q: Is it tougher to evaluate a guy when you get him mid-season when you’re not doing all these evaluations, practices and getting ready for games?
A: It’s different. You can still evaluate them, but it’s a different evaluation because you are. The stuff you are doing now is broad. There’s a ton of things. We are trying out a lot of different things. Once you get to the situation where you are in-season and things are cut down, it’s a little bit different. But you still can evaluate.
Q: What have you seen from cornerback Trey Hawkins?
A: He’s done a nice job with the opportunities that he’s given. He’ll get some more. A lot like the young guys, some good, some stuff to improve on. Good young man who works hard. So, he will get some more chances.
Q: Would you say that it’s a myth when you have a player coming from a small-school program, jumping into the NFL. A lot of people say they have a bigger gap to bridge. Is that a myth in your opinion?
A: I think each person is different. Where they went to school, when they come in. Every situation is different.
Q: Wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins was not a typical in-season pickup for you because you knew him. He wasn’t brand new to you, but the way he came on late in the season. As a coach, can you admit you were surprised? I mean, these opportunities haven’t been there with Buffalo or here before that.
A: I’d say nothing really surprises me. I think he made the most of his opportunity. He’s out there, he’ll compete right now. He plays multiple spots as well, not just one spot. But, obviously, having a relationship with him and him understanding some of the things we did offensively, not exactly the same, but I think it allowed him to pick it up a little bit quicker. He made the most of his chances.
Q: You always say one season doesn’t affect the other. You were hot at the end, it doesn’t mean you are going to start out hot. He was hot at the end of the season. Can that help him in his head? I did it, I can keep going here.
A: I would say that’s probably a good question for him.
Q: As a coach, do you look at him and say ‘okay, that’s the way he ended. So, he can start that way, too?’
A: No. He’s got a foundation to build on, but we start back over. There’s different competition in the room. But he’s got a good mindset.
Q: Does linebacker Darrian Beavers still have a lot of rookie to him because of all the time he missed?
A: I’d say it’s not his first year because he knows how we run things, our program. But obviously being out here after that injury that happened in training camp. Still a young player, still has a ways to go. He’s done a good job since he’s been out here. Obviously fighting through that rehab and now getting an opportunity, he’s done some nice things. We’ll see when we get going here.
Q: Is he on a pitch count?
A: Yeah, we manage him.
Q: You’re rotating a lot of guys, particularly with the offensive line, where people talk about the need for continuity. Is there a point in time where you would really like to settle that?
A: I think it will be settled by the players once we figure that out. Seems like that’s a question I’ve had since I’ve been a coordinator, then last year. Our job is to give people opportunities to go out there and compete, use different lineups. See how they react to different things, whether it’s from tackle to guard, guard to center, center to guard. I think every place I have been we have always done that with the offensive line.
Q: With tackle Tyre Phillips, did he do any guard with you in practice last year, I know he did as a rookie?
A: I’d say (offensive line coach) Bobby (Johnson) does a great job, whether even if it’s on the look-team during the week, rolling guys in. Just to try to create much flexibility as we can.
Q: Shep said yesterday that you remind guys that the playoffs isn’t the only goal. To go even further. Is that important…
A: Who said that?
Q: Sterling Shepard. Is it important to talk about those things before you can achieve them?
A: I’d say Shep maybe confused that with ‘let’s go out and have a good practice.’
Q: What did you think of the cornerback (Jason) Pinnock interception?
A: Yeah, it was pretty impressive, particularly when you pause it at the high point where he’s got it
Q: And you did that?
A: Well, when we were watching it as a coaching staff. I mean, it was a good play.
Q: Does he still get credit for it even though you blew the play dead?
A: That was kind of an impromptu type deal where I got leaders on the team wanting to do one more play, which is good. It’s good competition. So, of course, yeah.
Q: With the wide receiver competition, is it the same philosophy as the offensive line in terms of no timeline?
A: Yeah, it really is. That’s what training camp is for. That’s why we are out here. I think everybody deserves an opportunity. Those that deserve the opportunity should get the opportunity. Then, what they make of it is up to them. Maybe they want more opportunity than they’re getting and I’ve talked about this at the start of camp. You got to control what you can control, whether that is five reps, 10 reps, whatever it may be. You don’t get any balls one day, you just got to stay mentally focused on doing your job and when you get an opportunity, make the most of it.
Q: I know you said wide receiver Sterling Shepard might have misinterpreted your message, but I’m curious, in your mind has the rhetoric or message changed in year two because you are at a different point in the progression?
A: No, we are day-to-day. We got a long way to go. This is a different year; I have said it a million times and it is. It’s not cliché, it is. I have been a part of teams that had finished the way you wanted to finish then didn’t finish the next year the way you want to finish. They are two different teams. You’ve got to really stay focused.
Q: Now that it’s a different year, do you alter your message?
A: I think you always as a leader and presenter, you always have to evolve. I’ve spoken to a lot of, again I’ve said this, business executives, head coaches, not just in football but in other sports. You’re always trying to improve, self-improvement. It really is a new year. The focus has to be laser and you have to continue to just block everything out and improve each day.
Q: What has changed in year two for you?
A: I kind of keep all those notes from the people I’ve talked to private, but there’s a lot of things I can improve on. I’d say first is my weight, which I really haven’t done a good enough job of (laughs). No, it’s leadership, it’s communication. It’s practice scheduling, it’s dealing with other people in the organization, whether it is equipment staff, training staff. There are constant things that go on each day that maybe last year was the first time it ever happened to me. If it comes up this year, I can lean on some experience. But I’m kind of like the players. It’s all new right now, relative to training camp and trying to build a team. We’ve certainly got a long way to go.
Q: I know it’s early, but to the amateur eye, we’ve seen cornerback Deonte Banks get beat a few times. What have you made of what he looks like so far and where he needs to go?
A: I think he’s done a good job. A young player, competitive. We kind of throw a lot at them, whether that is throw a lot at them on defense, throw a lot at them on offense. He’s a good young player. But he falls into the category of all the young players that we talked about. Tre, you guys asked about. Or (Darrian) Beavers or some young receivers. That’s what this time of year is for.
Q: Did you want to go right at him at the get-go? No like kid gloves. You want to challenge him.
A: I think we try to challenge all our players. We are jumping right in, it’s not like walk into the pool, we are jumping right into the deep end right now. Everybody’s got to compete it out.
Q: What do you like about how quarterback Daniel Jones has started camp?
A: Consistent, which is probably a good word to describe him, is consistent since I’ve met him and have been around him. He’s done a nice job.
Q: In general, there seems to be more down field shots yesterday. What do you attribute that to?
A: Scheduling, scripting. Again, we’re always trying to work on different things. Maybe it’s the short passing game, maybe it’s third-and-short where you’re not throwing a bunch. We try to be well thought out in our practice plans, see different things. Yesterday was just normal down and distance, but obviously we threw It down the field yesterday, I’d say, quite a bit. Which is good because you’ve got to see some of that for your evaluations. It’s building a team, it’s scheduling, it’s improving each day, which is always about evaluation and testing different things out.
Q: How do you see Wink interact with a rookie corner who is clearly being scheduled to start? How do you see Wink in that role?
A: The same that I see him with all the players. I think he does a great job of interacting. He’s honest, he tells the players what they need to work on. He’s a good communicator and has good leadership about him. So, it’s not just with (cornerback Deonte) Banks, it’s the veteran players, too. He just got a really good way about him that the players respect. He’s been doing this a long time, so he’s been through a lot of different experiences, probably a lot of different conversations with a lot of different players, so it’s good to have him.
Q: What have you seen out of linebacker Bobby Okereke and how good of a combination can he be with Beavers?
A: Bobby O has been a good addition. He’s got good length, speed, practices hard. I think someone asked about his leadership. He’s done good in that regard. He’s been playing both spots. Someone asked about that as well. We’ll see where it goes.