Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: We just saw the seven names of guys you released. You guys releasing anybody else today? Will you wait until tomorrow? How will you structure practice tomorrow?
A: I think that'll be it for today. And we'll do the rest tomorrow. I think we have until 3:59. So, these were the immediate guys that we talked to this morning, and then we'll have some more discussions as we go throughout the night and into tomorrow.
Q: So, do you foresee practicing with whatever it is, 73 guys tomorrow, and then making the cuts after practice?
A: We probably will do it before. We probably will do it before.
Q: With (Kicker Ryan) Santoso getting waived, I presume (Kicker Graham Gano) Graham's good to go for Week 1? Is it not official yet, or just trending in that direction?
A: It's trending in that direction. Yeah. Santoso – he did a good job yesterday.
Q: Any further update on (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor)? How did he come out of it after sleeping on that?
A: Sore, but again, I think it's really what I said yesterday: He'll be okay. I think it'll take a few days here. He landed pretty hard. He's just sore.
Q: What do you want to accomplish this week? It's kind of an in-between week. You're going to be on the field for a couple of days with the team. I'm sure there's still going to be roster movement. But you're not really focused on the Titans yet, it sounds like.
A: We're going to continue to focus on our fundamentals and do things we need to do to improve as a football team and make corrections off of the tape and compete against one another for this next week.
Q: You'll be in pads and like training camp practices? Or how –
A: One of the days we may be. I'm going to revisit that with our sports science guys later this afternoon. So, that was the plan. But we'll see how we ended up and where we're at with the guys before we make the final decision.
Q: And is it going to be scripted toward cleaning up the things that you saw that you think you need to work on?
A: It'll be a combination of both. That's what we usually do is we do a couple of walk throughs to fix the things we need to fix from whether it's the game or the previous night's practice. And again, the big thing is going to be about fundamentals. So, tackling, fundamental drills on tackling, throwing, catching, blocking inside-out. All the things that you need to be good at particularly in the early part of the seasons.
Q: Obviously every training camp there's injuries and what not. I'm just kind of wondering how debilitating this rash of injuries you guys have had this summer has made it for you to try to evaluate, and obviously a lot of these guys have not been able to play in some of these games. And I'm just kind of trying to get an idea of where you feel you're at a week, a week and a half, two weeks away from game one.
A: Anytime the player has been out there, we've evaluated him. You certainly like them to be out there every practice and have all your guys available. There hasn't been a training camp in the 20-plus years I've been in the league where that's the case. I think guys are getting more healthy. And the coaches have done a good job of – whether it's drill time or the preseason games – of really hunkering down and communicating with myself and (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) with the evaluation process.
*Q: As you guys trim the roster, obviously everybody else is doing the same thing. And you'll be looking at the waiver wire. Do you have to balance the number of guys that you bring in off the waiver wire versus actually being able to be ready to play in a week or two? *
A: I think when you bring these guys in, the sooner you bring them in, the better. Throughout my years of coaching, there's been times when I got players as a position coach on a Wednesday and had to get them ready to play on a Sunday. So, I think our coaches are well versed on that. The biggest thing is to try to improve and upgrade at as may spots as you can, whether that's one guy, five guys, however many that is. It certainly puts a lot on a position coach and a coordinator, but that's our job.
*Q: This all comes in phases, right? For a first-time head coach, the OTAs, the preseason, the evaluation period – how anxious are you and would you say (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) is and (Offensive Coordinator) Mike Kafka is to start doing what you guys are used to doing in these games, which is game planning to beat another team and doing what you think you do very well. How anxious is that next step for you? *
A: Well, it's important. But I'd like to try to get our roster as set as we can. I know our coaches are upstairs working on a lot of different things right now from players that could potentially be released to people on the street to some Tennessee stuff. I mean, there's a lot of things to do in this particular week of the season, getting ready for your opener plus managing and putting together your roster. I'd say it's always good to get into the regular season and start a normal week, but you've got to take care of the things first that get you there.
Q: I know there's no such thing as a final 53, but when you have that 53 that you're pretty sure you're going to go into the first game with, is that going to be kind of a – I don't know if relief is the right word – but eventually you're going to need to work with the guys you're going to work with. So, are you really anxious for that period also?
A: Yeah. I think it's an exciting time. Anytime you're starting out a season and you're putting together a team, it's certainly exciting. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. We know it's never final. You're always trying to manage your roster and upgrade the best you can, but I think all of us are ready to get going here for the regular season.
Q: Where do you consider yourself with the wide receiver position? We saw (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) play last night. Guys like (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard) 'Shep' didn't play in the preseason. We haven't seen (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) on the field that much. (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton's had kind of a tough summer. How do you view that position as a whole?
A: I think it's a competitive spot. I know we'd like all of them to be out there but circumstances, they couldn't. I think those guys have picked up our system well. I think there's different skillsets in that unit. I think they're smart and I'm excited to work with them.
Q: How confident are you that Kadarius is going to be ready for the season at this point?
A: I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful. We'll just take it one day at a time. He's been getting better, I think he's getting close, so I'm hopeful.
Q: How do you balance the numbers with your roster? You have certain opponents that you have to gameplan for and you want to have certain numbers probably if you are facing a run-heavy team versus a pass-happy team or do you just strictly go on performance?
A: I think where we're at, we are trying to find the best football players we can to keep on our roster. Could we be heavy at one spot and light in another? Sure. I think our goal right now is to just find players that fit the mold that we are looking to bring in here and if that's a certain amount at one position and a little less at one position, I think that's okay. Are there ideal numbers? I'm not sure there's exact numbers but I would say the best thing we can do is to try to get as many good football players that have the qualities we're looking for in terms of intelligence, dependability and toughness.
Q: When you go through the cuts, at some point you are going to say, 'Well, what can he do for us on special teams?' How do you view players who are primarily on special teams? Not the specialists but guys like (Inside Linebacker) Cam (Brown) and (Inside Linebacker) Carter (Coughlin)? They seem like they have more of a special teams role than they might on defense. How much do you weigh that into these decisions?
A: I would say heavily. Guys that can contribute on four phases and that help in that area of the game are very important for our team, they're important for every team. I'd say we place a high premium on those type of guys that really contribute in the kicking game for us.
Q: Do you think it's important to have players who are dedicated to that role? Guys that can step in in an emergency. Is there a budget on the roster for that kind of a spot? Just a special teams guy.
A: I think when you're team building – obviously the more people that can do different things, the better off it is because maybe you have one guy that is a backup safety that's a four-core teams guy. Those are great guys to have. In other cases, maybe these guys are just so good in the kicking game that you can give a little bit on defense or offense because of their ability to play on fourth down for you.
Q: With regard to (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), what are the things that you've learned most about him this summer as you've gotten to know him and what is your comfort level even though you haven't had all those parts together with him, as you obviously would prefer to, as you get closer to the first real game?
A: I think he's very consistent in his approach and how he does things. He doesn't get too high or too low, which it's easy to in training camp. He's got a really good mindset in terms of staying even-keeled. He's very competitive. He's a good leader. He's a tireless worker, he's always in here – he's in here early, he stays late, you see him after practice working with his teammates. I think he has a lot of good qualities that we look forward to working with and helping him develop.
Q: As a follow to that, obviously this is an evolving process, and you haven't had everybody out there that you want in practices because of injuries, but what is your comfort level as you get close to that first game knowing what he does best and the way you want to do things with your offense?
A: I think that's what we've developed here since we started back in April. We're still working on that. It will be a work in progress here. Each day and each week, you feel a little bit better about the identity of what you're trying to build, the plays that he feels comfortable with, the plays that you want to take out because maybe he doesn't feel as comfortable with them. You look at your skill guys and what works for them. Each day, that's what we've been trying to build on.
Q: How active do you expect the team to be in the trade market, waiver and free agency? Adding players that aren't on the roster now.
A: I think that's a really good question for (General Manager) Joe (Schoen), I'll try to answer it the best I can. I think that we're open to really improving our team in any way we can. Whether that's active in those areas that you asked about, we're looking to improve however we can. I think Joe and his staff, we've been meeting all morning on different things. They've been doing a really good job of their communication, talking to the coaches and looking at different players to evaluate. I think Joe is open for business.
View the best photos from training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.