Head Coach Brian Daboll
August 29, 2023
Long couple of days here, obviously made some cuts. I’m not going to talk about who was released today. It’s kind of still a fluid situation right now, so really all-encompassing the roster, whether it’s the practice squad, who we have so that’s really more for tomorrow. Other than that, open it up.
Q: What about the activating (receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson)?
A: Yep, he’s activated.
Q: What have you seen from him? Obviously, he hasn’t participated because he’s on PUP. What is your projection for him for the opener?
A: I’m not going to go – just going to see how he looks today and take it one day at a time.
Q: How impressed were you with how quickly he was able to come back? That seems pretty quick for an ACL.
A: I think the trainers have done a good job with him. It’ll be good to get him out on the practice field and doing some individuals with (Wide Receivers Coach Mike) Groh and then we’ll kind of slowly put him into some of the other drills but it’ll be his first day out here.
Q: Was there any thought that if you would’ve keep him on PUP that it would’ve been six weeks?
A: Yeah, there was a lot of discussions about that relative to when he might be ready, when he’s not ready, what’s the best thing for the player, what’s the best thing for the team and today we decided to bring him up.
Q: What do you think of the perception that you have a small wide receiving corps and it’s a lot of slot receivers?
A: We just try to keep the best guys for us.
Q: What impression did Wan’Dale make on you guys when you guys drafted him and what impression did he make on you last year before he got hurt?
A: I thought he was improving. Obviously, the game he got hurt he was having a productive game. Again, he was a rookie receiver, learning a new offense. I think he’s got the right mindset, had good speed, had good quickness, was productive, obviously, the game he got hurt and, unfortunately, he was out for a while.
Q: Where do you stand on having a receiver emerge as a “number one?” Do you care about that?
A: Yeah, I’d just say that I’ve coached receivers for quite some time early in my career, back in ‘02 and ’03. (Former Patriots receivers) Deion Branch, Troy Brown, David Patten and David Givens, that was one group. I’ve been a part of some other places where (former NFL receiver) Brandon Marshall was there or (Bills wide receiver) Stefon Diggs. So again, it’s really all about just doing your job and contributing to the team in the role that we need you to contribute in.
Q: Will (cornerback) Aaron Robinson start on PUP?
A: That’s the plan. Yeah, that’s the plan.
Q: What about (outside linebacker Carlos) Boogie Basham? What are you getting in that regard?
A: A young player that has good size. He’ll be in the outside linebacker room, and we’ll get him here and start working with him and put him in our system. Our system is a little bit different than Buffalo’s system so we’ll get him out here in the field and (Outside Linebackers Coach) Drew (Wilkins) will start working with him and try to get him up to speed.
Q: From last year to this year, where has (wide receiver Darius) Slayton come in your eyes? Obviously, at this time last year he was pretty much on the bubble of making the roster.
A: I’ve been very pleased with Slay, a true pro. I think he dealt with some adversity when we first were here, obviously in training camp and in the early part of the season. Has had nothing but a great positive attitude, a team first player and has had a good training camp for us.
Q: Boogie Basham, how much does it work to your advantage, obviously (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) was part of the group that drafted him. You’ve obviously seen him a lot at practice.
A: I’d say it’s a new system for him. So, let’s just go back and talk about (wide receiver Isaiah) Hodgins for a minute, right? He was really in our system, understood our terminology, kind of pretty seamless transition. This is just acquiring another player from a different roster with a different – we know the player a little bit, the person and stuff like that but, again, he’s got to learn a whole new defensive scheme, so it’s probably a little bit different situation than, like say, Isaiah.
Q: How do you guys look at (cornerback) Darnay Holmes? Obviously, it’s a tough thing to lose a job but he’s still here and had to take a pay cut. How do you look at him?
A: Good team player and he’ll be productive in whatever role we ask him to be.
Q: Have you determined who your starting guards are?
A: We’ve got some time here, but those guys have had a good camp. I’m not going to get into who’s starting, who’s not starting, who’s the punt returner, who’s the linemen. We’re just going to come out here and focus on us for these next three days and we’ll have 11 guys out there.
Q: Other than the guys that you put on IR, any other guys like (defensive lineman) Ryder (Anderson), for instance, will he go on IR?
A: Again, that just goes back to what I said earlier. There’s kind of a fluid situation here. We’ll have more for you whether it’s tomorrow or Thursday when Joe and I are together.
Q: Will you have more than 53 guys out here today then?
A: Probably not.
Q: What about (tight end) Tommy Sweeney?
A: Yeah, same thing. With all of those guys, I respect the question, understand you got to ask it, but we are still in such a fluid situation right now with the roster.
Q: Who is not practicing today, injury wise?
A: (Running back Gary) Brightwell, (inside linebacker) Cam (Brown), (safety) Bobby McCain, he’s in concussion protocol, (cornerback Nick) McCloud, (cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott, G.O. (safety Gervarrius Owens).
Q: I know some of those, but with G.O. is that long term?
A: No, I’d say everybody is really day-to-day. Yeah, with all those.
Q: So, all those guys are on the initial 53?
A: G.O., yeah. I mean, good job, nice question. Again, I’ll go back to my original statement.
Q: Nick McCloud has been out awhile. Is there any sense that he’s going to be ready to play?
Q: How do you feel about your offensive line, not just the starters but the depth as well. How do you feel about that group right now?
A: I think they have all earned it. The players that we kept have all earned it. Smart group, tough group. They mesh well together.
Q: What benchmarks do you have for your three practices this week and then you go away for a little bit on the weekend, maybe not you but the players and then come back. What do you want to accomplish before this weekend?
A: I’d say there is a considerable amount. Look, you are going against one another in training camp for, call it a month, whatever it is. There is definitely certain things that we need to get practice, whether we didn’t get a certain look or we got too much of another look on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game so some of it will be competitive periods and others will be really let’s do some things that we need to see that we haven’t really seen as much from the other side of the ball, so it will be some carded periods that are just kind of let’s work on these type of things and then it will be some competitive periods.
Q: Does the heavy game planning for Dallas really kick in next week?
A: Yeah, after the break. I mean the coaches have been working on that for quite some time, but it can get stale for you too as a player. These three days we’ll focus on us and areas of improvement that we need, whether we need to see it or we need to do something better at it. Then, they’ll have the three-day weekend, the players, and then come back and kick it off with Dallas.
Q: What’s the value of (quarterback) Tyrod Taylor, a veteran like that being the backup?
A: He knows our system, he’s an experienced player. Been a productive player when he played. Great teammate, have a lot of confidence in him.
Q: He seems to be a guy that maybe some of the younger players might choose to gravitate towards for questions, how do you see that?
A: Yeah, they do. I’d say, start in the quarterback room, I think he’s really good for DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones), but I do think whether it is offense or defense or in the kicking game, there are a lot of players that, they watch how he works, they watch his routine. I mean he is in here as early as can be. He’s just a true pro in every sense of the word.
Q: (Wide receiver Cole) Beasley practicing today?
A: I’m not falling into that. Again, I’d say the rosters fluid.
We voted for captains, so again there will be 10. It was player voted and told those guys during walkthrough just a little while ago.
Q: Who are they?
A: Good question (laughs). I was just waiting.
Q: Fluid? Not a fluid? Captains are a solid situation.
A: No, this is it. The captains are (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), AT (tackle Andrew Thomas), (running back) Saquon (Barkley), (tight end Darren) Waller, (kicker) Graham Gano, (defensive tackle) Dexter (Lawrence II), (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams), (inside linebacker) Bobby Okereke, (safety) X(avier McKinney) and (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson). Those were all voted by their teammates.
Q: Did you separate it by offense, defense, specialists or did you just straight up?
A: So, the way we do it is I have six slots and I have all the players vote and then if you get a certain amount of votes, then you are named captain. I think there was 22 people on the team that received votes, which to me is good for our team in terms of the way players perceive other players in leadership roles. Just because you are not a captain doesn’t mean you are not a leader on the team. There was a considerable number of guys who got, maybe it was five votes or three votes. Some guys got over 50 votes, but that was all by the players.
Q: What does it say to you that two newcomers in Okereke and Waller immediately have that designation?
A: I think the players respect them and they have gone about their job the right way and performed out on the field, whether it be in practice or in some of the games and players that voted for them certainly have respect for them.