Head Coach Brian Daboll
September 30, 2023
Q: Where do we stand on (tackle) Andrew Thomas? Is he going to be out there? (Running back) Saquon (Barkley)?
A: Andrew won’t. He practiced a little bit in individual two days ago, just wasn’t feeling right, didn’t practice him yesterday. He won’t make the game.
Saquon will practice, do a little bit more. We’ll see where he’s at and take it right up to game time. Those are our only two people.
Q: Everyone else you expect to play, you’re saying?
A: I do. Yes.
Q: Do you expect the same front that you’ve had with Andrew out, except with (guard) Ben (Bredeson) coming back?
A: I do.
Q: What have you seen from (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) this week? Does he look like he’s fully ready?
A: Yeah, he's had a good week. He had good practice yesterday. Feels good, practiced well. So, unless something happens today, counting on him being there.
Q: How does his presence help your defense?
A: He’s a good player for us. We’ve got to get him into those situations where we can utilize his skillset, which he does a good job of rushing the passer, but we’ve got to play good team defense, good team football in order to get to some of those situations.
Q: We were talking to (Defensive Backs Coach) Jerome (Henderson) about some of the growing pains with young corners. What’s the balance with rookies being a little patient, but also, you have a standard?
A: That's a good question. I'd say any young player, starting with rookies, but even second-year guys, they have to play. There's going to be some quote-unquote growing pains at times with any young player. But I think as long as they're improving, and you can see it at practice, they get some more familiarity in game situations. They're good players. Put them into different situations. Hopefully the next time they react to a situation, whatever that may be, they learn from it, and they're able to execute it better than the first time that they did it. But I have a lot of confidence in our young guys. We’ll just keep on rolling along with them.
Q: As a coach, do you relish the chance to have a long week – you went from having the shortest week – just to prepare your team to have that extra time?
A: Whatever the weeks are, the weeks are. You get used to it as a coach being in the league for as long as you do. If it's a short week, you get ready a certain way. A long week, you have a couple extra days. But each week presents its own challenge, and the most important thing is doing well putting together good plan and going out there and then playing well.
Q: How do you game plan for (Seahawks safety) Jamal Adams, who is such a difference maker when he plays but you don't really know what to expect?
A: You hope you have a little bit of an idea, go back when he did play, and the three safeties, but you never really know. So, you adjust on the sideline if you need to do something a little bit different. But he's a heck of a player.
Q: We know from a coaching staff perspective and also you named captains and you have your leadership quality there, but is there value when guys kind of challenge each other in the locker room when you guys aren't there, and just the idea of being able to be a guy who's willing to step up and take that on his shoulders?
A: Sure. I think that's what you want in your team, whether you're a captain or not a captain. I think anyone can be a leader. A rookie can be a leader if they're doing their job well and they communicate well. I think (center) John Michael (Schmitz Jr.) is a good example of that for our football team. He does a great job in the offensive line room as a young player, and he's only played a few games. Anyone can be a leader and I think that you want player-driven leadership on your team, no question about it.
Q: It’s going to be your third primetime game basically in four weeks. What do you make of that? What have you seen from it, or what do you take from it, playing in those spots?
A: I just think you’ve got to play well in any game in this league. So, we just play them when they're scheduled and do the best job we can do to prepare, then ultimately got to go out there and coach and play well.
Q: Does Monday night football mean anything to you? Like the fact that it is the prime spot.
A: I think it’s obvious you’re the only game, usually. There’s been a couple here last couple of weeks but for us, we’ve got to get ready to play a really good team. We understand when it is, I think that’s a great opportunity for everybody, but we’ve got to do a good job.
Q: (Seahawks running back Kenneth) Walker will start this way then bounce around, he did it to you guys last year --
A: He does it to a lot of guys. Yeah, a lot of teams.
Q: Yeah, I know. How much do you have drill it into guys that you’ve got the back side?
A: You’ve got to practice it; you've got to give the best looks you can. You've got to coach it and he can cut it back at any time, he can bounce it out at any time, challenging player to defend so everybody’s got to be gap sound and the run force has to be good. You’ve got to run to the ball, and you’ve got to wrap the guy up.
Q: Missing Andrew again for another week, how difficult is that with just the kind of player that he is?
A: You want all your best players to be out there, that’s why we have the guys behind them. Have confidence in those guys. Obviously, no one is Andrew Thomas. We want (offensive lineman) Josh (Ezeudu) to be Josh and we’ve got to do a good job of coaching Josh and the rest of the guys. But, when you’re missing a good player, that’s the NFL. You’ve got to be ready to go with the next guy up.
Q: With Andrew, is it something that is probably week to week?
A: I’d say week to week. But whether he’ll be ready next week, I mean it’s –
Q: But it’s like you’re putting him on IR.
A: No. No. He went through a few little drills, didn’t feel right, we took him out right away and just want to make sure the player’s ready to go and do the necessary rehab and stuff. So, I’d say it’s week to week. Whether he’ll be ready next week, I’m not sure. Really week to week.
Q: What do you need to see from Saquon to give him the green light come Monday night?
A: Well, we’ll see how he looks today. I think he’s gotten progressively better and then it’s just a talk with Saquon, where he’s at, it’s a talk with the training staff. I think everybody’s got to be on the same page and again never want to put a guy out there that’s not ready to go, but he has gotten better. I think there’s a chance, but we’ll see where it’s at.
Q: Does he have to test with hard cuts? He’s such a hard runner.
A: Yeah, and he’s done some of that out here. We’ll see, we’ll get a little bit more of that today.
Q: We’ve only seen him obviously only in individual and some position stuff. Has he gotten any team stuff this week?
A: We’re working through that. What we’ve asked him to do he’s done a good job with. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt all the way up to as far as we can go.
Q: What have you seen from Josh in replacing Andrew? What are you looking for this week?
A: Just to do his job. It’s obviously a tough position in the NFL but he’s gotten better since we’ve put him in there each day. He feels comfortable so just go out there and perform his responsibilities to the best he can.
Q: Is there such a thing as “give us what you got?” Like oh, Saquon can play maybe 15-20 snaps or do you have to be able to play your full workload to be able to play.
A: I’d say we’re just going to let him go today and see where he’s at and then we’ll kind of talk –
Q: I mean generally speaking. Is there such a thing as give me what you got.
A: No, I’m with you. I think you take each situation different with each player based on the injury, how they feel, what their roles are, their responsibilities. Each position is a little bit different.