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Transcript: Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kafka

Eric from BBI : Admin : 11/16/2023 5:07 pm
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kafka

Q: Where have you seen growth from (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito)?

A: Each day. I think each day he comes in to work the right way. In the meeting room, in the classroom, in the install on the field. He's growing every day, he's learning. I think he's taken steps in the right direction as far as his footwork, the huddle command, going through his progressions, even the protection game, so there are a bunch of elements of his game that he's improving each day.

Q: Is there any – you know the conundrum of running backs, they only have so many carries in their career. Is there any thoughts of limiting (running back) Saquon's (Barkley) workload down the stretch here so that he's fresher for later – next season or whenever games are more meaningful?

A: I'd say our training staff, they do a great job of taking care of those guys throughout the week so that they're ready to go on Sunday so they can go and give maximal effort.

Q: Do you have any long term – long term thinking doesn't go into your short-term plan?

A: I think we're just mostly focused on today and how that works. I know the guys are getting their prehab and trying to get their bodies right for this week.

Q: When you evaluate guys coming out of college or things like that do you take into consideration their workload to know what their career longevity could look like?

A: I think there's – short answer, yes. You look at that, you see how many touches they've had and that kind of stuff. I think every player is a little bit different. Some guys can take that, some guys you've got to manage. It's on a player-to-player basis.

Q: Is there a way to tell? With all the numbers that you guys have on the GPS tracking, is there a way to see like, 'this guy might be on the decline,' because this number dropped, or this specific number dropped?

A: That would be probably a little bit better question for the sports science guys, but I do know in talking with them and in the conversations we have, I know with our own players as we're managing through training camp or even in season right now, we're looking through their workload, what their GPS numbers are and that's all kind of built into the science of how we script practice and how we go through each week.

Q: Everybody gets second guessed at some point. I mean, on the play that most people talk about in that game, the 4th-and-2, what was the reasoning behind the call and why did it go wrong?

A: You know, I think that call, it was one of those plays on fourth down, you want to try to give you as much flexibility you can. Whether it's a run or a pass so it was kind of one of those RPO categories, we just didn't get it done.

Q: There's been a lot of young rookie quarterbacks playing this year. What does that mean for the league?

A: I'd say it's always good to have young players in. I think it's a youthful league, I think guys are younger, but I don't think at the expense of guys getting hurt or knocked out. You never want to see players get hurt. But I think it's just a testament to the players and to the coaches that they're getting those guys ready to go and stepping up and playing meaningful games.

Q: When you were in the league it was still the 'you draft a rookie, he sits for a year or two, then he plays.' Now, it's you draft him and play him right away. Have you seen from when you were a player to now the game planning and the playbooks adjust to the point to where maybe it's more easily digestible for a younger guy?

A: Yeah, I'd say every offense is a little bit different with that. Whether their terminology, I know how we do it here. We try to limit those words so guys can just play fast, get in and out of the huddle, get set, evaluate the defense, so from that standpoint, you're seeing that. You're seeing that trend kind of throughout high school, college and even into the pros.

Q: Have you contemplated coming down to the field? I know you like being up top, but have you thought about making a change and helping down below, I guess?

A: Yeah, I like being up top and really, it's to the preference of the head coach where he wants me, and I fully support that.

Q: So, he wants you up there? He was –

A: Yeah, I mean, it was a combination. We both talked about it, we both agreed it's probably the best thing to do just to get the space. Have some quietness down there when things are going crazy, so I think it's fine and I like it up there.

Q: Understanding that in the heat of the moment, you'd want players, I'd assume, to be frustrated and to want to do more or to do better. But during this week, how have you seen the offensive guys, maybe particularly the wide receivers, acclimate to – they have a new quarterback, it may be not going as well as they want but the frustration may or may not be helpful.

A: I think it's about just getting on the same page with the quarterback, working with him and then communicating and understanding how he sees certain looks, how he sees certain routes and just getting on the same page. That's just like any week, really, so it's just that process that we're going through.

Q: Why did you guys suddenly throw the ball a ton to (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep on the last drive? It seemed like you were really making a point to try and get him the ball.

A: Gave Shep a couple opportunities at the end and he capitalized on one. Other than that, we were just rolling receivers.

Q: How hard is it to evaluate your receivers this year with the offensive line problems earlier in the season and now obviously playing your third quarterback?

A: I think I talk about this every week, and I really just believe it, offense is an 11-man operation so it's never just one person, never just one group, so we all have to be firing and executing at the same level.

Q: Are you excited about possibly having the same starting line for two weeks in a row?

A: Yeah, it's always good to have some comradery in there and have the guy's kind of communicating and you can see it throughout the week, you can see it in the walkthroughs and throughout practice as well.

Q: You said you were up top; you were watching. I know we're up top watching. Was it a level of surprise for you when either you were told or saw (tackle) Andrew (Thomas) getting ready to come back into the game considering how he left and what had happened on the field? And what does it speak about him to fight back?

A: He's a tough kid and absolutely, you see him go down like that and just walking off the field. It's never a good thing when you see a guy hurt like that, so it was great to have him back and great to get him back in the lineup and obviously, I think the o-line kind of feeds off that too.
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