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Transcript: Head Coach Brian Daboll

Eric from BBI : Admin : 10/18/2023 2:46 pm
Head Coach Brian Daboll

October 18, 2023

Q: How’s (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) doing?

A: He’s doing better. He’ll be out here today at practice doing some stuff. We’ll see where we’re at.

Q: Has he been cleared for contact?

A: Well, he’s cleared to throw, so that’s what he’s going to do today is throw.

Q: He’ll be limited technically?

A: Limited, yep.

Q: What does he need to do to be cleared for contact at this point, and how does that work throughout the week?

A: Whenever the doctors tell me he’s cleared. Right now, he’s able to throw, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Q: Is there a day that he has to go back to get checked where he can get cleared for contact?

A: I think he gets evaluated pretty much every day, so when they tell me he’s cleared, that’s when he’ll be cleared.

Q: Is it your impression that he has to be symptom free to start that clearance process?

A: I’ll just say when the doctors and the trainers tell me that he’s ready to go, that’s when he’ll be ready to go.

Q: The update that NBC gave on his injury and how he was feeling it into his shoulder, does that reflect it’s more serious than we initially understood?

A: No, he’s out here today, he’ll be throwing, and I would say he’s eager to come back. He wants to play, but obviously, just like any player, if you’re not ready to play based on the doctor’s evaluation, we won’t put him out there, but he’s getting better. That’s why we’re going to have him out here today.

Q: Is he going to take team reps today?

A: No. Nope, he’s going to come out here, throw, do some individual. He could do some stuff on the look team as a quarterback, but we’ll see where we’re at with that.

Q: Are you convinced his season is not over?

A: Whose? Daniel’s?

Q: Daniel’s.

A: Yeah, it’s not over.

Q: When he’s healthy, he’s definitely your starting quarterback, correct?

A: Yeah. Yep.

Q: How about (tackle) Andrew Thomas?

A: Andrew Thomas will not participate but he is getting better. He’s going to be doing stuff with the trainers. He is getting closer. I’d say same with the other guys, too.

The people that won’t practice, just an FYI, are (tackle) Evan (Neal), he won’t practice, his ankle; (tackle Matt) Peart; (center) John Michael (Schmitz Jr.); Andrew; and (wide receiver) Wan’Dale (Robinson) with his knee, which is kind of a preventative thing coming off of the game.

Q: John Michael, what happened there? What’s going on?

A: He’s got a shoulder.

Q: So, he hasn’t practiced in two weeks and still not practicing?

A: Has not practiced, no, and won’t practice today.

Q: And Neal is that –

A: His ankle.

Q: I mean, he played.

A: Yeah, he played. It’s swollen a little bit, so we’re going to rehab him.

Q: Is Schmitz an IR candidate?

A: Don’t think so.

Q: Is (guard) Justin (Pugh) now your starting left tackle?

A: We’ll see. We’ve got a bunch of new guys today. Replaced one (offensive lineman) Josh (Ezeudu) with another (tackle) Josh (Miles), we have Pugh, (guard) Tyre (Phillips) is back, so a lot of new faces today that we’ll put in there and start working with.

Q: How do you think Pugh did at left tackle? When you looked at it.

A: I thought he did some good things. Again, he hasn’t played tackle in a while. We talked about it, like I said before, but we’ll give him obviously some reps out there and make sure we get him ready to go.

Q: But ideally, you’d like somebody – he said he’s under 300 pounds – bigger at that position.

A: He’s a pro. He’s played a long time, so he does a good job staying in front of the guys, got quick feet. He can get to the second level. He’s got a lot of experience. So, as long as they can do their job.

Q: Does Ezeudu have a shot to return this year?

A: I don’t know. Yeah.

Q: As a guy who deals a lot with offense, what can be done to improve yards after catch? Is it guys just have to break tackles or is it just–

A: Oh, it’s a combination of everything. It’s getting up field, making a guy miss, ball placement, everything plays into it. If you’re beating man coverage, escaping man; if you’re in zone, splitting defenders. That’s about what it is.

Q: How important is that for an offense to kind of, you know–

A: Yards after catch?

Q: Yeah, just getting something out of nothing or something out of–

A: You always want to stay in favorable situations, so a five-yard pass, you’d like to turn into an eight-yard gain, a nine-yard gain. First down, make it second-and-one. Second-and-five, make it first down. Definitely important.

Q: Why hasn’t (defensive lineman) A’Shawn Robinson been playing very much the last two games?

A: We’ve been in a little bit less base. We’ve been playing more nickel with the guys. That’s kind of the reason but we’ll work with him, put him in some different little spots here based on how we’re getting played to make sure he gets in there more.

Q: What have you seen from (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt? You mentioned the other day that you want to play your young receivers. What have you seen from him that makes you think he’s ready for it now?

A: I think he's fast and that he's got to play. You can go out here and practice and do that, which is important, but you’ve got to get some game reps and run routes against DBs that are playing in the NFL in a competitive way. I think each week, he's gotten a little bit better. There’s a lot to learn when you're a young player, but he’s done a good job of practicing the right way, of preparing. I think he's got some good talent, and we’re going to play him.

Q: How did (running back) Saquon (Barkley) come out of Sunday night and is there motivation to get him to be more than a limited participant in practice, or do you think that’s kind of the way this thing is going?

A: No, I'd say right now we're going to make sure he gets to the games the way we need to make sure he gets to the games. He’ll be a limited guy today, but he'll do stuff. I'd say the ankle wasn't any worse off, just natural bumps and bruises from not having played for a while. So, I'd say he's in a good spot.

Q: What did he give you Sunday maybe that you hadn't had in previous—

A: Big-play runs.

Q: Does that allow you to be more balanced as an offense?

A: Yeah, I mean, like I said, we were, I don’t know how many carries it was for not many yards. Again, if you’re able to stick with it based on how the game is being played… He gave you some big runs that you skip two or three third downs when you get 25-yard runs. That’s important.

Q: I guess my question is, when you have him, does that make it easier to say we're going to stick with this?

A: It depends on the situation of the game, too, based on the score. But sure, when you give him the ball, again, he didn't have many yards there at first, but the game was competitive and control of the game was good, and he made some.

I’d say the line blocked. Some of those long ones, there were some good-sized holes.

Q: With Jalin Hyatt, what took so long? I mean, he’s been fast since he got here.

A: I mean, you're a rookie. It's a hard position to play, receiver. I coached it for six years. There weren’t many rookie receivers that I’ve had that have played right away. (Wide receiver) Deion Branch comes to mind as one of them. But it's a learning experience when you’re a young receiver. There’s a lot of different things that happen that maybe didn't happen to him in college relative to whether it's press coverage, certain adjustments, things like that, and that happens for most. The position, when I coached receivers, it takes a little bit of time for younger players.

So again, he's a young guy that's still learning, and he'll get some opportunities.

Q: Do you plan to make any changes to your offensive play calling?

A: No.

Q: You mentioned the physicality part of it for Hyatt. He’s not the biggest guy. Is that one of the biggest challenges, do you think, for him personally?

A: No. I just think just as coaching the receivers, it's really everything in this league. Whether it's press coverage, the disguises that you're getting, the verbiage that you're hearing, there's so many things that go into it for a young player, for a receiver. I’ve dealt with it firsthand when I coached them for six years, whatever it was. It's a challenge and every spot is challenging coming from college to the pros, but receivers, there's a lot. Just the play calls, too, in the huddle are a little bit different. Not much different than the younger guys that I've been around. We’ll just keep bringing him along.

Q: Is the plan to bring (tight end Lawrence) Cager back on the practice squad?

A: Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.

Q: One of the things (defensive lineman) Leonard Wiliams said he wanted to talk to the younger players in particular about is that the season isn’t over. Do you know if he addressed the team?

A: That’s probably a locker room conversation, something to ask Leo.

Our focus is on this week, and we’ve got a good division team coming in that’s 3-3 that just won their last game against Atlanta, a close one. Had a close one against Arizona the first game and a close one against Denver. Took Philly to overtime. The Chicago game was what it was and the Bills game, but they’re doing a good job. They’re 3-3 and coming off a win.

Q: Is it a hard sell to convince guys that everything’s still available to you?

A: No, we just focus on the stuff that we can control, and that’s where our focus is.

Q: Do you regret letting (Commanders center) Nick Gates out of the building?

A: Things happen every year. You never get everybody back. That’s the nature of the NFL, free agency, stuff like that. Nick’s a good player, tough guy, appreciated his time here. He’s doing a good job there.

Q: (Commanders quarterback) Sam Howell, what are your thoughts on him?

A: They throw it a lot. They drop back and pass a lot, and he slings it. He’s not afraid to turn it loose, stands in the pocket, has a good arm. He's not afraid to fire it. So, he's a tough competitor. Liked him coming out, and he's done a good job there.

Q: What’s so challenging about the Commanders’ defensive front?

A: There’s four good first rounders out there. They’ve been together for a while. Coach Del Rio (Commanders Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio) does a good job. We’ve played them a bunch since I’ve been here or at Buffalo. Talented guys from Bama inside that are talented, and the edge players are top-notch players. They can get pressure with four, cover with seven. They’ll mix in pressures; they certainly did against us the last couple of games. So, good team.
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