Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: How's everybody doing? So, looking forward to a good practice today with the Jets. Try to improve our football team. We should have a good, competitive day out there.
Q: How will you structure practice? Will it be similar to what you usually do or are you changing things up?
A: So, this field right here – field one, closest to the building – that will be the Jets offense and the Giants defense. And then the field on the other side will be the counterparts. First half hour will be Jets on this field, Giants on that field. That will be special teams field – field three. But it will be similar to a structured practice.
Q: Throughout the league we hear about all the joint practices, right. And you hear these reports 'there was a big brawl,' 'there was a big brawl,' 'there was a fight,' 'they had to stop,' 'they had to stop,'. Is that like this can't happen today? Or is it like, 'Well, we'd like it not to happen, but if it does, so be it,'?
A: All we're trying to do is get better. Improve our fundamentals. Compete against another team that has different skillsets, different scheme. We're not looking to go out there and fight.
Q: Did you go make that known to your team? Make any special instructions for today?
A: Yeah. We talked about it in a team meeting. We talked about it. Look, the season's getting close, 16 days or whatever it is away. I think it's important to be able to practice with one another. We'd like to do this for a while without anything happening like that again. I've been part of these, too. I understand how it goes. But we're certainly going to try to do what we can do to just have a good, competitive practice.
Q: Is there any particular matchup you're looking forward to seeing today, or just a general overview of what your team is going to do against another team?
A: No, not in particular. We're just trying to improve our fundamentals, our techniques. It good to practice against a different scheme, different players and just try to get better.
Q: By "do this for a while", do you mean you want to make this an annual thing? Is that what you mean?
A: Yeah, I mean, down the road hopefully. It's good to have a team right here across the way to compete against. But again, you got to do things the right way, I think. Show respect each other, work hard together to improve and play football. Not interested in going to see a UFC or boxing matches or anything like that, although I love both of those (laughs). Just good, competitive football.
Q: What are your thoughts right now on how much, if at all, your starters will play in this game?
A: Not there yet.
Q: Does (New York Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh) Robert's decision to play his starters affect any of that or it just...?
A: No. It has no effect. Nope.
Q: What's going on with (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT? We saw him out there yesterday. He was grabbing his leg. It looked like he was struggling a little bit.
A: Getting better. I mean, he's getting better. He's rehabbing. Hopefully we'll do a little bit more today. We'll see how that goes. I think he's making strides every day, and hopefully we'll see a little bit more today. We'll see how much he does relative to team periods and things like that. But hopeful that we'll see a little bit.
Q: How much of it is related to the knee that he had this offseason?
A: I'm not getting into (that). I'm not getting into (that). Good question. But no answer for you.
Q: I know you weren't big into 12 and 13 personnel in Buffalo, but what's your overall thought on the tight end depth that you have right now?
A: There's not a lot of it. There's a bunch of young players that are competing. They're improving every day. You know, (Daniel) Bellinger and Chris (Myarick) and Austin (Allen). We just added another player. So, it's a good opportunity for those players to go out there and prove and earn the right to play.
Q: Is it kind of frustrating being in the preseason and having all the injuries that you guys have been having?
A: I said this the other day. Injuries are part of the game. You deal with whatever comes your way as a coach, as a player. It's an unfortunate deal that people get hurt. But it's a competitive sport. There's high speeds and collisions. And unfortunately, yesterday, (Wide Receiver) Collin Johnson. I'd hate to miss this. What a great person. He was making a really strong case for himself in camp and had a non-contact injury where he just kind of slipped and popped his Achilles.
Q: How did (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep come through yesterday, and do you expect him to continue to progress?
A: Good. We'll just keep ramping him up. You won't see him in a lot of competitive periods today, but we'll just keep ramping him up. So, we're getting closer to the season here.
Q: Because of how physical the pro game is, in a perfect world, would you rather bring your 90 guys into the regular season?
A: Whatever the rules are, are the rules. We got to abide by those and do a good job of having a plan if something does go – if somebody gets hurt, bring another guy in.
Q: Is (Outside Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeaux doing his rehab here? Like is he here today? Was he here yesterday?
A: He is. Yeah. He is.
Q: What's your history with Saleh? How long have you guys known each other? How did the discussion start about doing this?
A: I've known him just from coaching in the league. But I met him at the owners' meeting in March or April, like I said. Good person. I always had a good amount of respect for what he did as a coach and then got to meet him as a person. What a great person him and his wife are. His family. And then we just started talking about it a little bit to see if it could work. And have a lot of respect for him and what his culture is. And thought we could get good work together.
Q: You obviously went against the Jets twice last year. What stands out about a Robert Saleh defense?
A: They play fast. They play physical. They play some zone. They play a little bit of man. They have usually a four-down rush with some blitzers. We haven't really studied them for this practice, but he's competitive. We played him when I was at the Bills. He was at San Francisco, and I just got a lot of respect for how he handles things.
Q: You guys are both kind of self-made in a way, you and Robert in terms of you weren't really handed anything in this league. You came in and had to really grind at the lowest level to get to where you are now as a head coach. Is that something you guys bonded over? Similar paths.
A: I don't think we talked about that. We kind of met each other and hung out by the pool a little bit and just started talking football. And just have a lot of respect for him as a man first and then as a coach second. And got to meet his wife, and just really good person.
Q: With practice today, do you ramp it up because it's another team? Or do you practice the way you always practice?
A: We're going to try to practice the way we normally practice. Again, there's competitive juices out there. We all understand that. But we're not looking to cheap shot or do anything to – it's practice. So, what I told our guys is, 'Let's treat it, our offense, treat it like it's our defense. Our defense, treat it like it's our offense. Stay away from the quarterback. Try to keep guys up. You know, thud tackle. Don't be grabbing and holding. Don't put guys on the ground. Try to improve our techniques. Get in good position. And get something out of it.'
Q: Is there anything they do schematically on defense that's going to prep you guys or mirror what you're going to see in Tennessee?
A: I just think we come out here, we practice against a different look than we have been seeing every day. And that's the advantage of practicing against another team. The looks, and they're not really scouted looks. You just go out there and trust your rules and assignments and then also the players. The different levels of ability that those players have and the challenges that they would create, so it's not the same guy you're going against every day is, I think, what we're trying to get out of it.
Q: Are there any benchmarks that you'd like to see (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) hit during this joint practice today?
A: No. Just go out and have a good practice. Keep getting better.
Q: Are there advantages that you'll see during the joint practice that you might not be able to analyze in a preseason game?
A: No. I don't think so. Look, the game, it's live competition. That's the best way to evaluate your players. Tackling and blocking and cleaning pockets and doing all those things. I just think it's good to get out here against another opponent and see a different color jersey and see different players out there and have to block different looks. I think that's what helps the most.
Q: Is there a scouting component to it, too? Like you're going to cut 27 guys next week. They're going to cut 27 guys next week. As much as you're coaching your guys – whether it's live or on tape – will you be watching their guys to say, 'If that guy shakes free, he fits here,'?
A: Yeah. I think you always do that. That's another advantage. You get a whole other roster to look at. I don't want to speak for anybody else, I'm sure that's what happens at most practices. You're able to go against people. See people that maybe not fit their scheme that they move on from that might fit your scheme or you want to take a look at. So, I think that has its advantages, too.
Q: You've seen a few of these joint practices turn sideways because of the emotions. Did you have to give your players a reminder to not let that get the best of you?
A: Yeah. We talked about that. We talked about it in our team. Again, I've been part of these practices. You do your best job you can. You want to treat it, it's not a game, but you can't go out there and fight and brawl in a game, either, get pissed off and do something you wouldn't do in a game. You want to try to treat it like a game atmosphere without taking guys to the ground, doing all those things you'd only do in a game.
Q: A guy like (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), will he get full go today out there?
A: Yeah. I mean it's practice for us. Again, against another team. But it's practice, and we'd like to get really good work today.
Q: What did you think of your team's conditioning yesterday? It was a pretty heavy practice.
A: Yeah, it was hot. Yeah. We did it for a reason. Had a couple days off, so I elected not to run the cross fields. Some of the coaches did (laughs), so it's really the period after the conditioning where they got to hear things and go fast and get lined up and make sure they're not letting fatigue get the best of them. That's why we do that.
Q: Did you ever do it when you were an assistant coach?
A: I did. I ran. Not very fast, as you know (laughs).
Q: What do you think of (Jets Cornerback) Sauce Gardner as a player? I'm sure he's a guy you scouted quite a bit going into this draft.
A: Yeah, I haven't seen him play in the NFL. But certainly, a good player. Good man skills, long, lengthy, good player.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Can you talk about your offensive line today? It seemed like a clean pocket a lot of the time.
A: Yeah, I thought they did a good job. That defense has a good front, their aggression, their speed off the ball is something they emphasize and something they do really well. Our offensive line did a great job handling it, communicating, and protecting. They've had a good camp and they were good today.
Q: Did you feel sharp? Did the offense feel sharp? The ball didn't hit the ground very much.
A: I thought overall it was a pretty good day. I thought we executed well against their stuff, going against a new defense. I thought we executed well. There were some things we've got to clean up, get on the same page here and there but overall, I thought it was a pretty good day.
Q: How much did you notice that you didn't throw an incompletion until your last pass today?
A: I didn't notice that. So how much? Not much.
Q: It's been almost exactly a month since camp started. How much more comfortable are you in this offense now than maybe you were July 25th and in what ways do you think in particular are you more comfortable?
A: I think we're all a good bit more comfortable. That's the process, that's what happens. As you get reps, you get time on task, you run plays, you correct them, you move on. Going through that whole process, you get more and more comfortable. We're able to get a feel for putting guys in different spots and what guys do best. I think we're all a good bit more comfortable. With that being said, I think we've got a good bit of work to do here before our first game in Nashville. That's what we're focused on now is continuing that process and getting more and more comfortable.
Q: For you, is the biggest point of progress terminology knowledge with this scheme? Has it been the flow of your leads? How would you assess that?
A: I think you learn the terminology. That's step one to learning any system is the terminology. I'd like to think we covered that early on and then it's more about seeing the reads. Understanding against what coverages how this play is going to look, the timing of certain reads. I think the high-level stuff happens over time and that's kind of what we've been focused on.
Q: Was it more intense? Less intense? More physical? Less than you thought than a typical practice with your own team?
A: I thought it was probably, overall, a little bit more intense. I think that's natural when you go against another team. With that being said, I thought guys did a good job practicing the right way and taking care of one another for the most part. I thought that was good. I think going against another team is good because the tempo does pick up a little bit and you're going against guys you haven't seen and against looks you haven't seen as much.
Q: You were throwing up to (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay), that he went up to get. I'm sure you'd like to see that repeated pretty often?
A: Yeah, he made a nice play on the ball – and that's what he can do for us is go up and get the ball.
Q: With the joint practices, both coaches said they'd like to make this a routine or regular thing. What do you, as a player, think about that? Not only the fact that they are doing the joint practices but with the team that you share a city with?
A: I think it makes a lot of sense, we're really close in proximity. It makes a lot of sense for those reasons. I think when you get to this point in camp, you're going against your own team a lot and you're used to a lot of that stuff. Going against a new team with different players, different looks – I think all that is helpful for the process.
Q: Does it being the Jets mean anything to you in that regard? Rather than just a random AFC team?
A: Not necessarily. I think obviously we share a stadium, share a city with them, so you get to know some of those guys. Like I said, I think guys did a good job of practicing the right way and taking care of one another.
Q: Is there a bit of a camaraderie between you and the Jets? You wouldn't necessarily see the Rangers and Islanders practicing during the preseason as comfortably…
A: I don't know, I think you get to know a couple guys, but I wouldn't say there's a great – I don't think everyone knows everyone by any means or there's an intense rivalry where a fight is going to break out every second. I don't think it's anything like that. Like I said, I think it was a healthy practice atmosphere and guys took care of one another.
Q: Being on your third offense now in four years, how are you handling learning the new offense and is having to learn a new offense almost an old hat for you - like you know how to do it at this point?
A: I think I do have some experience with it now, so that's helped in the process in learning it. I think the toughest part is that it takes time, it takes the reps, it takes practice, it takes meetings, having the conversations, correcting things, getting on the same page, moving guys around. All that takes time, there's a process to it. That's what we've been doing, and I think we've done a good job up to this point. Like I said, the next couple of weeks are important for us before we kickoff in Nashville.
Q: What has (Running Back) Saquon Barkley been like?
A: I think he's looking good, I think he's played really well. I think you see his explosiveness, his ability to make plays in the run game, in the pass game. He's dealt with a lot in the past couple of years as far as health, and it is fun to see him back practicing and playing like you're used to seeing.
Q: You have a connection with (Wide Receiver) David Sills. Can you explain what you've learned about him?
A: Yeah, I think he's done a great job for us this camp. He's an extremely hard-working guy who you can count on to be in the right spot. He's a smart football player, he knows how to get open, he's talented from a route-running standpoint and someone who I have worked with a lot. He's been here for a few years, and I've really enjoy working with him. He made a lot of plays today, and he's made a lot of plays this camp.
Q: Do you approach this as a normal practice, or did you also raise your intensity because of the environment you just described?
A: I think my approach was fairly similar. I think you prepare a little more for their looks, so there is some level of preparation and film study that goes into that. As far as my preparation or my approach or my intensity level, I think it was very similar to how I approach any practice or game.
Q: When you get the timing going in this passing offense, we saw early in camp that you guys were working for that timing, and it just seemed like a second off. Today, it looked like the timing was spot-on. You knew exactly where guys were getting the ball out. Do you feel that rhythm as you guys are going in this offense?
A: I think so, yeah. It always helps early on in a drive or a period of practice, getting a couple of completions and feeling the rhythm – kind of get going and I thought we did that well today. I think this offense is largely predicated on that timing and knowing where and when guys are going to be open and getting off reads in time to get the ball to someone else. I thought we did a good job with that and like I said, I think we're all getting more comfortable.
Q: Do you have any early opinions on their No. 1 draft pick (Jets Cornerback) Sauce Gardner?
A: You see his size and length and talent level, you can see that pretty easily. I think we didn't go against him a ton, but he looks like a good player.
Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: How'd it go? How did the scrimmage go?
A: I mean, it was just a normal practice. We both understood we're out here to get better. Here to compete, make each other better; and obviously you want to win. So, that's kind of the mindset of the whole thing.
Q: Did it add a little bit more competitiveness?
A: Oh yeah, for sure. Just not going and beating up my guys up all the time. I have to beat up on some other people, which is fun, which is always fun. Just changing the tempo of practice, not making it seem like 'Oh, you're still in camp' kind of thing.
Q: The only negative – seeing (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) pull up a little bit in the sprints?
A: You say what?
Q: Seeing Azeez pull up in the sprints.
A: Oh, I didn't see that. I mean, probably just tired or something.
Q: You said it's good to beat up on other people for a while. How do you think you did? Obviously, this is not real live stuff, but how did you think you did matching up with them?
A: There's things in the last preseason game that I feel like I needed to work on, and the offense kind of did the same thing. So, my focus was to tighten up those techniques and just be dominant and get better at that form of run style.
Q: How ready are you guys to kind of put the preseason away and start focusing on...
A: You know, you need all the little bit of time you need. We're still learning each other. Growing. Learning how to communicate a little better. So, it's enough time for us to get where we need to be before the first game and come out blazing hot.
Q: You guys are pretty banged up right now. Azeez's injury was not good. How do you kind of as a team wrap kind your head around where you guys are at with injury-wise?
A: You don't want to see none of your guys go down. We need everybody that's in the locker room. So, nobody's fond of injury. Nobody ever wants to see that. So, you just got to make sure the next guy's ready and pray for a speedy recovery.
Q: Is there anything you've particularly learned from (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) or this staff that you think is making you a better player?
A: I'd say just as a staff, just having us be comfortable, having us learn our games more, putting us in the right positions. You know, continue to allow us to run the defense and allow us to be in control of whatever goes on. I really respect that about the coaches. They know it's a player-driven league, and the players are on the field.
Q: Is playing faster maybe part of all of what you just said, too?
A: Yeah. We preach run to the ball. We preach getting shots to the ball. We preach all 11 just going all out and playing for each other.
Q: What type of leader have you seen (Safety) Xavier (McKinney) evolve into?
A: He's always been a guy that's outspoken about how he feels about things and, you know, just a natural leader. So, nothing's really changed from what I've seen with him. I guess you all are kind of seeing different with that. But within, he's always been a guy to hold everybody accountable no matter what – no matter how he tells you. So, you got to respect a guy like that.
Q: He had a position group that had a lot of big voices and big personalities. Does that help his rise a little bit this year?
A: I mean, probably. I just always seen it from him. And you got to, as a rookie, pay your dues to your vets.
Q: I don't know if it's just me, but has your handwork improved any more this year? You seem to be...
A: I feel like that's just part of learning the position, learning how to use them better. I've always been strong. Just learn how to put them in good positions, manipulate shoulders of offensive linemen and continue to be dominant.
Q: Putting the scouting hat on, what was your takeaway from the Jets offensive line today?
A: They're strong up front. Savvy. It was good to go against them. You feel different things going against different people. So, it's good to have that kind of competition to where you know, 'Okay. I've felt this kind of block before. I've felt this. I've seen this.'
Q: So, their left tackle Duane Brown, I'm sure you know him, turns 37 at the end of this month. Can you just imagine – you're laughing – but is that almost unfathomable to you to be playing?
A: That's some age right there. It means he knows what he's doing. He's taking care of his body. Has a strong mental. So, I give all the respect to him.
Q: You won't play until you're 37?
A: Hopefully, if my body's willing.
Wide Receiver David Sills V
Q: You guys are out there with the first team with (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and the ball hits the ground once in an entire practice, I would imagine that's a good thing.
A: Yeah, I mean that feels great coming from a new offense that we are trying to all learn, everybody is trying to get the timing and everything down. We feel like we're kind of getting in a groove right now, I feel like we are on the same page. That's something that is very encouraging, especially going against someone other than our guys.
Q: How do you explain the chemistry between you and Daniel?
A: I think it's been a combination of putting in a lot of work over a long period of time. We've had a lot of reps at a lot of different routes in season and off season. So, I think he knows where I'm going to be, I know where he wants me to be. It's not perfect, but we're doing some pretty good things and I think we're going to continue to try to improve it and go out there every day and keep refining our craft.
Q: Could you tell early on that things were clicking in terms of the timing between the quarterbacks and the receivers?
A: I felt from that first 7-on-7 period, I felt really good about how we started. (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs always talks about starting fast. I feel like we kicked off practice with a good period and that kick started us throughout the whole practice. It was a good thing to see as an offense.
Q: Did you notice sometimes that the ball's not hitting the ground?
A: I didn't really notice it when I was out there. I knew the first 7-on-7 period was pretty good. I didn't see anything on the ground there and guys were excited about that. Like I said, starting fast is huge because I think it gives you momentum throughout practice and throughout the game. It was definitely very encouraging to see that. (We'll) try to carry that over to the game on Sunday.
Q: What were you talking about in the receiver room going into it. You know you're going to go up against (Cornerback) Sauce Gardner, you've heard people talk about the Giant's receivers not doing enough. What was the message you guys were talking about in the meeting room before you started?
A: Obviously, things are a little bit different when you're going against another team. It's not just going against (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson), (Cornerback Aaron Robinson) A-Rob, or (Cornerback) Darnay (Holmes) or something like that, we're going against new guys. Obviously, you want to put your best foot forward. There's a little bit more adrenaline. In meetings we were pretty hyped up, we had music going in the meetings, so guys were excited about it. I think we kept that energy throughout the whole practice. We did a good job feeding off each other. I know we had some guys limited today and they were really giving us motivation like, 'keep going, keep going.' It was awesome to see all of us pushing each other. We all have a really good relationship in that room, so it was exciting to see that today at practice.
Q: What did you think of Sauce Gardner?
A: I think he's a good player. He's got very good length, which is good as a corner, something that is really hard to find when you move that well as a big corner, so I think he's going to be a really good player in this league. I was excited for the matchup today. Like I said, I think he's going to be a very good player in this league.
Q: It seemed like he was trash talking, was he quiet today?
A: I think both sides, we were respectable. We knew we had a job to do, we were trying to get better, didn't hear too much of it. There's always a little friendly competition between receivers and DBs, I think that's going to happen wherever you go or you're playing. I had a great time going up against him today and I'm looking forward to going up against him on Sunday.
Q: He seemed to think that (inaudible)…even tackled (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) on the edge on one of those plays. Saquon kind of disagreed with that.
A: Yeah, I mean I'm going to have to agree with Saquon on that (laughs). But it was a practice so obviously we aren't tackling or bringing anybody to the ground. Saquon has been doing a great job hitting the hole and running strong, so I am very excited for how he's going to do this year.
Q: Do you miss playing quarterback?
A: Not when I'm having this much fun playing receiver (laughs).
Q: With all these media sessions, do you think you're going to renegotiate or anything?
A: I'm just trying to go out there and do the best that I can do. This all comes with it, but I'm trying to go out there and have the best practice I can have every day. You've got to take it one day at a time.
Q: When you guys do this extra work after practice pretty much every day, what kind of conversations are you having with Daniel? Are you working on this different redzone? It looks like he's showing you where he wants the ball maybe?
A: It's all timing and it's reps and it's things that I think we're just trying to continue to develop our game. Most of it is just DJ seeing it, seeing what we are going to do, us knowing where the ball is going to be. Obviously, in the red zone everything gets tighter, so if you can get on the same page in the red zone – which is really what we are trying to work on there at the end of practice – I think it will be a huge weapon for our offense. That's kind of the conversations of what our timing looks like, what we think if we get this look, what he's expecting if we get that look, what he's expecting. It's that constant communication back and forth between DJ and the receivers.
Q: You said the other day that Jets-Giants was important to ownership. How have you picked up on that through your time here?
A: Over the four years I've been here, I know I guess it's a rivalry between New York and everything. I kind of just can sense that it means a little something. We play them every year in the preseason, so we take a lot of pride in going out there and we want to win this weekend.