Head Coach Brian Daboll
November 15, 2023
Q: How’s (quarterback) Tommy’s (DeVito) shoulder?
A: He’ll be okay.
Q: How’s your cornerback situation?
A: Well, (cornerback Deonte) Banks, he’ll practice today. He’ll be limited. (Cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) is still in the concussion protocol. (Cornerback Cor’Dale) Flott will be limited.
Q: Has Adoree’ made progress? Usually we get through several steps, we didn’t see him out on the field at all last week.
A: He’s still in the protocol so not yet where we need him to be.
Q: Who will not practice?
A: (Wide receiver Jalin) Hyatt, Adoree’, (outside linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux, all three of those guys are in concussion protocol. And (tackle) Evan (Neal).
Q: And Tommy’s going to be your starter Sunday, right?
Q: (Tackle) Andrew’s (Thomas) okay?
A: Andrew will be limited.
Q: (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) told us last week that he didn’t believe his injury was going to be season ending. Where do you kind of stand on that and what kind of progress is he making?
A: Making progress. Again, we’ll see. Each day, he’s making a little bit of progress.
Q: Is there anything that would say that he won’t be ready when he’s eligible at this point?
A: I just know from the trainers and the doctors he’s making progress, so we’ll see where it goes.
Q: Do you expect him to be back this season?
A: I’ve got to wait until what the doctors and trainers tell me, but he’s making progress. That’s what they tell me.
Q: How much has their defense changed since they traded away (Bears’ defensive end Montez) Sweat and (49ers defensive end) Chase Young?
A: I’d say (Commanders defensive end Casey) Toohill and (Commanders defensive end James) Smith-Williams, he had a hamstring, so (Commanders defensive end) Efe (Obada) could potentially be in there. They worked out some guys. Those are two good players, high picks that they moved, but I think they’ve done a good job. Again, I’ve said this before, I’ve got a lot of respect for coach (Commanders Defensive Coordinator Jack) Del Rio and how they play but obviously, those were two good players for them. They’ve still got those two guys inside who cause plenty of issues.
Q: Do you believe in the rookie wall? Is that a thing?
A: It’s a long season for them, yeah. College football’s getting close to kind of ending, the championship games coming on. So, this is usually the time you’ve got to really stay on these guys in terms of their preparation and the consistency and fighting through some things because it’s a long season for them. Everybody goes through it. Whether you’re a staff member and you haven’t been involved in pro football, or a player, there’s definitely long days, it’s a long season so you continually work with those guys.
Q: DeVito is still your starter?
A: Did you just get here?
Q: Didn’t you say his shoulder was okay?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: I didn’t hear anybody ask about it.
A: He is, that’s alright.
Q: Why is he still your starter?
A: I think he’s a good, young quarterback to work with, so you know, try to improve him this week from last week.
Q: Does he give your team the best chance to win this week’s game?
A: Yeah, he’s done a good job. Improving, he’s a young player, he’s a young quarterback so a lot of things you go through. We’ll see if we can get him better this week than he was last week.
Q: You mentioned about the rookie wall, Deonte’s a guy whose played a lot of snaps. What do specifically look at a guy like him to see, ‘okay, is there any signs?’
A: I just think you just keep on working with him, practicing, meetings. The length of the season is different for those guys, but he’s been a pro since he’s been here.
Q: The one thing you guys liked about him is to move on. He just seems like a “move on” guy. Does that help with a rookie when he doesn’t kind of do well on things?
A: Yeah, it particularly helps at a position like that, too, so he’s got the right mindset. Good young man, works hard and I’m glad he’s on our team.
Q: Particularly with how the Dallas game went, did you have any different communication with your players after that with whatever it might be? Obviously, you have to move on. That kind of thing?
A: Again, it’s try to be as consistent as you can. So, here’s what we’ve got to do better and let’s get ready to go out there and have a great week.
Q: Have you addressed with your team as a whole just that in general, these types of seasons tend to have tension, right, and there can be infighting and splintering? Have you gotten out in front of that and addressed that with the team and said, ‘Stick together’ or anything?
A: Yeah, I mean, I've done that since last year. I think you're always coaching different things, not just the X's and O's but plenty of other things that go along with it in our meetings.
Q: Are the problems that are popping up on a week-to-week basis the same or different?
A: Each game is different. So, you’ve just got to get better at them.
Q: How much do you think the (Commanders quarterback) Sam Howell you faced several weeks back is different than the version you’re facing now? He’s obviously taking less sacks.
A: They’ve had a couple changes on the offensive line. (Commanders center Tyler) Larsen’s in there at center, and (Commanders guard Chris) Paul is in there at guard. I think Coach Bieniemy (Commanders Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy) does a good job with them. They're throwing a fair amount of quick stuff, a good amount of screens, getting them on the perimeter some, he's getting the ball out of his hand. I said the last time, I think he's a good young player. He throws on time, he's accurate, makes some loose plays. Last week, he made some big plays to (Commanders running back) Brian Robinson (Jr.) on some scramble situations, some even on three-step where he's scrambling out. So, I think he sees the field. He’s in the shotgun predominantly, it's mostly dropback pass. He’s done a good job. I think he's doing a good job of developing.
Q: You alluded to (Commanders defensive tackle Jonathan) Allen and (Commanders defensive tackle Daron) Payne. What makes them together so dominant?
A: I think they were well-schooled at the University of Alabama, number one. They’ve got a lot of good talent, they’ve got good size, quickness. They're very intelligent players up front. They can create problems in the run and the pass, they do a good job against double teams. You try to reach them, they do a good job on movement and seeing the type of blocks they get. They're pretty good inside.
Q: Do you look at them and say, ‘We beat them three weeks ago, why not again?’
A: No, we do the same stuff. We look at them, and here's what they're doing well, and here's what we’ve got to do better, and here are the matchups, here are the situations. Maybe some of the stuff changed like you alluded to and some of the quick-possession passes and getting the ball out of their hands, and defensively, here are a few things. It's a standard week.
Q: Are you a believer in, when a season’s going like this, the line a lot of coaches say, you're playing for your jobs? You’re playing for the tape, you're playing for next year, that kind of thing?
A: I’m focused on playing this week well and improving. Let’s live in the moment.
Q: Your job as a motivator, does it get a little different at times, though? When you're in a playoff race, the carrot is out there. This carrot is kind of not out there at this point.
A: I’d say not if you have competitive stamina and you’re a competitor. Each week, you prepare, and you go out there and try to win a game.
Q: How often do you have conversations with ownership and (President and CEO) John (Mara) about the state of things?
A: I have conversations with ownership, I have conversations with (Senior Vice President/General Manager) Joe (Schoen), conversations with the players. I’d say there’s good communication in our building.
Q: What was their reaction to the last two results?
A: What was their reaction?
Q: Ownership’s reaction to the results in Dallas and Vegas.
A: Kind of like everybody’s. Nobody’s happy.
Q: The popular term or phrase people use these days is “tank”, right? Everybody’s tanking, you’ve got to tank for this guy, tank for that guy. I'm not suggesting in any way you're doing that, but people are like, ‘Oh, they should tank this season, they should worry about draft picks.’ What do you think when you even hear that?
Q: Why? I know it’s self-explanatory but I’m looking for it in your words, more than just one word.
A: We’re in a competitive business. Try to compete in everything you do.
Q: Have you received any insurances from ownership that you will definitely be here next year?
A: I mean, I’m focused on Washington, guys.
Q: Any update on (quarterback) Daniel Jones and when he’s having his surgery?
Q: Did you think the last game was a competitive one from your guys’ standpoint?
A: We lost 49-17, so no. We competed until the end, but it wasn’t a very competitive first half. There’s a lot of stuff we’ve got to do better.
Q: I asked you last week in the wake of the Vegas game, are there any drastic steps you felt were needed or would take to try and correct that? Is there anything this week you feel?
A: We’re working at it. We’re trying to do everything we can do to improve.