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Transcript: Head Coach Brian Daboll

Eric from BBI : Admin : 11/22/2023 4:02 pm
Head Coach Brian Daboll

November 22, 2023

Q: (Wide receiver) Darius Slayton?

A: He won’t practice today.

Q: Is it a long-term thing or is it a chance he can play?

A: Mmhm.

Q: Anyone else…

A: Anyone else?

Q: That’s not practicing.

A: (Running back) Saquon (Barkley) will have a rest day, (tackle) Evan (Neal), (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson) will be back, he will be practicing noncontact. (Inside linebacker) Bobby O(kereke) won’t practice and (defensive lineman) Dex(ter) (Lawrence II) won’t practice and (running back) Eric Gray will – we’ll open Eric Gray’s window today.

Q: He’s still in the concussion protocol? Adoree’ is? Technically.

A: He is. So yeah, it’ll be a non-contact one today. Making strides, hopefully we’ll get him out here.

Q: Was Dex and Bobby O rest as well?

A: No, Bobby’s – both of them have a little something. Dex has a hamstring, Bobby’s got a hip, rib kind of throughout the season.

Q: Did he have x-rays after the game? Bobby.

A: He did, yep.

Q: And…

A: I’d just say he’s got a sore hip and a sore rib.

Q: Do you think that either of those two guys are in danger of missing the game on Sunday?

A: We’ll see. Yeah, we’ll see. Day-by-day.

Q: How surprising is it to you – having been in that organization to see the Patriots at 2-8? And do you treat them any differently than you would any other 2-8 team because of who the coach is?

A: I’d say you never treat any team differently regardless of their record when you’re preparing for a game. You do the best job you can each week to try to put a good plan together, have a good practice and play a good team. You watch those games, there’s five games they have – Philadelphia, opening game, they’ve got an out route. He gets his foot in, they’ve got a chance, 24-17. They played Miami the next week, 4th-and-four, get three yards. (Patriots tight end Mike) Gesicki flips it back. Played Washington, goes through the receiver’s hands, they intercept it on the last drive to at least get a field goal. Play Indianapolis, get an interception down (in) the redzone. The Raiders game was 19-17, under two minutes, 3rd-and-15, (Raiders defensive end Maxx) Crosby goes ahead and gets a sack, now it’s 21 and they get the ball back. That’s five games right there, a few plays here or there, it’s a different story. Got a lot of respect for the people in that organization, the players, the coaches. Just got to prepare and try to do our best to play a good game.

Q: How would you characterize – you always say in the offseason you talk to other coaches and whatnot, ideas and what not. Is (Patriots Head Coach and General Manager) Bill (Belichick) one of those guys and how would you characterize your current relationship with him?

A: Yeah, it’s good. I haven’t talked to Bill for a while but a good relationship. I see him, say hello to him. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot. He gave me my first opportunity in this business in the year 2000, it’s a long time ago. Got a lot of respect for him and everybody. (Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert) Mr. Kraft, (Patriots President) Jonathan (Kraft), Dan, Josh, the Kraft family. They gave me my first opportunity.

Q: Have you spoken to Bill since you’ve got this job?

A: Yeah, I’ve said hello to him. Yeah, we played each other in preseason last year. Yeah, I said hello to him.

Q: With everything that went down with that lawsuit and the text message he sent, did that strain you guys’ relationship at all?

A: No, I’ve got a lot of respect for Bill.

Q: Bill said this week that he told all of his quarterbacks to be ready. Does that change your preparation at all?

A: Well, it adds to it. Went back and watched 2019, played December 22nd. December 29th against the Colts and the Saints, so watched (Patriots quarterback Will) Grier’s games there and then watched his game against Las Vegas where he played pretty good after they made a trade for (Cowboys quarterback Trey) Lance in San Francisco. Watched (Patriots quarterback Malik) Cunningham’s snaps, 60 offensive snaps, a lot of them at receiver, some at quarterback. Watched last year when (Patriots quarterback Bailey) Zappe played and went 2-0 – was it Detroit and Cleveland? Also came in in the Green Bay game, came in a couple times. Obviously, the Indianapolis game at the end of the game there, they took (Patriots quarterback) Mac (Jones) out, so there’s a lot of tape. Some more than others. Mac has played a while for him. I’ve had experience with Mac when he was a true freshman at Alabama. I thought he did – all of them were really good college players, Mac had an exceptional senior year. Fought through playing behind (Dolphins quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) and (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) with the right approach, right attitude, the right mindset and had a really good senior year, broke a lot of records. I’d say Zappe goes to Houston Baptist then he transfers over to Western Kentucky and has over 60 touchdown passes. Grier was at Florida then he transferred to West Virginia, had a good West Virginia (career). There’s some tape to watch with all those guys. You spend time watching them then you watch their offense and you see what (Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach) Billy O’(Brien)’s doing. They’re a good plan team, this is a good game plan team anyways whether it’s defense, offense, special teams, a lot of tape to watch.

Q: Those details are remarkable to me. I mean, that’s all just off the top of your head.

A: I’ve spent a lot of time here the last couple days looking at a lot of film.

Q: You spent a lot of time in your formative years working under Bill. As a head coach, how much do you lean on things you learned – I don’t mean any specifics – that you have brought from those days?

A: I’d just say when I first started, I started as a defensive assistant. Didn't get paid very much but had an opportunity to learn from some really good coaches. Obviously, Coach Belichick being one of them, Dante Scarnecchia, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Ivan Fears, a lot of lot older guys, Brad Seeley, that have coached for a long time, Eric Mangini. Just learned to do your job and be part of the team. You learn a lot of football. You learn a lot of things organizationally, if you pay attention. So, I've learned a lot from them, and I've also learned from a lot of other guys that I’ve worked with. Tony Sparano, God rest his soul. So, you take experiences with you from every place you've been. I was there for six years or whatever it was, seven years, and left and then went back. So, again, a lot of good coaches, a lot of good mentors that I've had, but you take a lot from a lot of those older coaches that have done it for a long time.

Q: You said they like to be game-plan specific. You like to be game-plan specific as well offensively. I’m curious, last week, did you find things that after all the inconsistencies for the first 10 or so games that your current personnel can do well that you can take forward now and try to build around that, rather than it seemed like very week was kind of a search?

A: Yeah, well, I think you do it each week. You sit down, you see kind of how their defense is, just offensively speaking, the same thing defensively, and try to come up with what you think will be good, how to play the game, and that will never change, how we do things in terms of looking at the opponent. But you’ve got to make sure you try to do things you do well, first and foremost.

Q: How much do you think things change for your quarterback now that there’s more tape on him?

A: I think the more tape there is for a player, and again, he's had two starts, this’ll be his third one. I know he's played a little bit in some other games, but more information, more to look at. So, the more tape you have as a coach, the more things you can see. I'm sure that as he plays, teams will decide to game plan however they want to game plan him, whether it's a different way to rush him or different coverages and things like that. Again, he’s so young right now with only the two starts. We’ve really got to focus on him and the things he does well.

Q: Because of the business you’re in, do you get any time to enjoy the holiday with your family or is tomorrow a regular day?

A: Happy Thanksgiving to you all, you and your family.

Yeah, so we'll practice tomorrow. We'll bump it up a little bit. I talked to the captains last week relative to how they wanted to approach the week, if they wanted to push it up and practice on Tuesday, give them off on Thursday. They wanted to keep it a normal week. So, we'll push up the time that we start, and then they'll get out a little bit earlier than they would. Fairly normal.

Q: Is the wife cooking?

A: I hardly talk to my wife right now (laughter).

No, she did tell me right before I came out here we’re going to stop somewhere.

Q: What’s non-negotiable? What do you need on the Thanksgiving table?

A: You see me. There’s not much that I bypass (laughter).

Q: What are you thankful for?

A: I'm always thankful for my family and thankful for the people in the organization, friends. So, I’d say those things.

Q: What was your message to (cornerback) Deonte (Banks) about the postgame video he did in the locker room?

A: I understand the question; I’ll keep that private.

Q: I mean, social media is obviously a big part of things. Do you have a general—

A: Yeah, we don’t want to do that.

Q: Just because you were a little less than concrete on Bobby O. I mean, what would it mean to not have him on the field?

A: We’ll see where he’s at today. I’d say he’s trending in the right direction.

Q: What would you say about the immediacy of the impact he made coming in?

A: How he’s done?

Q: Yeah.

A: He's done a nice job for us. He’s made a lot of plays, smart player, he’s a very good teammate. I'd say it's not always easy to become a leader when you're in the first year of a program where you come in as a new free agent. He’s done that. He's been a good leader for us, not just on the defensive side, but for the entire team. He's consistent with his approach. Smart, instinctive. He’s been good for us.

Q: He seems to be able to punch the ball out. What is it about him that makes that…

A: Yeah, I'd say just that. You got it. He's crafty at doing it, got long arms, he's got good timing on it. He's done a nice job with it, but some of it is just his natural ability and his instinctiveness as the play’s going on.

Q: Did you know that beforehand?

A: Yeah, no, you see it on tape. He’s pretty good at it.

I’m thankful for that: turnovers on the defensive side of the ball (laughter).
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