Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka
Q: Have you spoken with (tackle) Evan (Neal) regarding his frustration and stuff and how do you handle that as a coach to try to curb that frustration coming out?
A: I think Evan came out with a statement today and obviously he's remorseful about it. But I think as a group, as an offense, we're all working, looking to improve and give something our offense, our organization, the fans something to be proud of.
Q: How do you feel about the "boos?" That's obviously what upset Evan was that the team and the offense was getting booed. As the play caller, how do you feel about it?
A: We've got to keep on working to improve and that's what we're doing this week.
Q: How difficult is it to get ready when it seems like the offensive line – you don't know exactly what it is. It hasn't been great to begin with but now you don't even know what you're going to have and now here we are Thursday on a short week. How difficult does that make your job in terms of getting the offense ready?
A: I think right now it's just part of being in the National Football League. There's injuries everywhere, we have to be able to adjust and have the next man up mentality and our guys have been great. That's why we've kept them all through offseason, OTA's, training camp and building that foundation with the guys so the next guy who's up, he's ready to rock and roll and that's who we give our trust into.
Q: After a game where (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) gets sacked 10 times, what are your conversations like with him?
A: Any week, good or bad, we're always looking at anything we can improve on. So, whether it's routes, whether it's protection, whether it's decision making, whether it's play calls. We're really hypercritical on all of those areas and we're always looking for ways to improve. So, as a staff, we'll go through it, we'll dissect all the things that kind of came down and what we saw, what we could've done differently and then we work on that throughout the week of practice and try to improve on those.
Q: How do you prevent those comments and the fallout from being a distraction from what you're trying to accomplish?
A: I think you just keep your mind focused on the task at hand, that's today. Today is the most important day, we get in there and put together a good day of work. Had a great meeting time, had a great install and had the opportunity to review some of the tape and get on the film against Miami. Those are the things that we're focused on today.
Q: Did Evan say anything to the offense or the team today regarding this?
A: I think he made a comment already, a post --
Q: I meant internally.
A: Yeah, I'll let (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs answer that. I'm not going to get into the team stuff, but I know he came out with a comment today and he said what he said. I think that's where, as an offense, we've got to continue to find ways to improve.
Q: How difficult is it to curb that frustration, typically for young guys who haven't been through it as much, to handle the boos and handle the frustration on social media and what not? As a coach that's been around for awhile, what's your advice to try and handle that?
A: You find the right guys. Guys that are mentally, physically tough, tough minded and I think we have a lot of those guys on this team. That's why they're here, so they can handle that kind of stuff. Good or bad, you've got to be able to handle the highs and the lows. I think we have guys on this team that are the same guy every day. Whether it's they're never too high, they're never too low and you have that consistency. I think you build that, that builds confidence, that builds up yourself. I think the more that you work at that, the better you get.
Q: You were a player in this league once. Has it changed or been amplified – the pressure that's on the players from outside, from the fans and obviously social media is a significant part of that?
A: I think as a competitor you're always looking within. I know for me, personally, I'm always looking from within. How can I do a better job? How can I do a better job when I was a player? How can I do a better job as a coach? And always be hypocritical on all those little things I can improve on.
Q: How does Daniel make better decisions when the pressure is coming? How does he maintain his poise and stick with the system and at the same time know that these ferocious guys are coming? How tough is that?
A: I think when I look at the offense, we look at an 11-man operation. It's never just one guy that's responsible for it. It's all 11 guys have got to be on the same page, so we've all got to be working in unison. When something breaks down, obviously bad things can happen. We've got to make sure that we minimize those things, we work on them, we study them, we prep for them and then we go out on Sunday and execute.
Q: What's the impact on (tight end) Darren (Waller) when (tight end Daniel) Bellinger isn't on the field? Which we saw a lot on Sunday.
A: Bellinger, Waller, those guys are tight ends. Obviously, Bellinger – they all have their different roles and they're all important, very important roles, so we have to have flexibility and be able to adjust and adapt when things like that happen.
Q: Did that make Waller have to block more? Did he have to block more in that game then he had in previous games?
A: I don't know the exact numbers on that but in that position, you're going to have that responsibility to block. On the line of scrimmage, downfield or run/passes.
Q: When a quarterback is struggling, it kind of becomes open season for criticism. This is something that a defensive coach said about him and your scheme that Daniel has the easiest reads and the easiest concepts, and he still doesn't throw the ball accurately. That seems like not just a criticism of Daniel but of what you're doing. Would you argue that?
A: I'd say each and every week is different. We've got to make sure that we've got our schemes tied down, things that we want to do offensively. Whether it's moving people around, whether it's changing things up in the run and pass game so we can build confidence. That's what we work for every single week.
Q: Why has Waller not been as involved? Is it something that you guys haven't figured out how to get him the ball enough? Is it the protection issues? Is it a combination of all those things? Because obviously you brought him in here to make him a big part of the offense, which he hasn't been yet.
A: Every week's different. I think we want to get everyone involved in the game plan and in the game and get them touches and I think that's a high priority. You want to get all your playmakers the ball so that's again, what we do every week and try to really hone in on that and give us schemes and offensive plays we can do that with.
Q: I know you don't go against their offense, clearly, your game planning for their defense, but in a week where you know what they can do on the board, I mean, you don't put 70 up every week. Does that shape the way you attack a game or put together a game plan? At least in the back of your mind, you know what's happening on the other side of the ball.
A: Yeah, you have to play complementary football, that's every game. Really doesn't matter the opponent but you have to play complementary football with offense, defense and special teams and that's doing our third of it. So, we're focused in on today, focusing on practice and getting the things corrected that we had from yesterday, from the previous weeks, and we're working to get better at those.
Q: On the third-and-11 run, Daboll said there was a miscommunication, and a pass was called. How does a miscommunication like that happen with the quarterback?
A: Miscommunication, and for me, I've got to make sure that I communicate that clearly to him so that there isn't any of that. We obviously don't want those type of things happening on critical situations, third downs, things like that, so I can do a better job of that.