Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: Can we start off with the injuries? Anything notable?
A: Really the same as what I talked about the last time. Yeah, pretty much the same deal.
Q: (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) said last week on the radio that (wide receiver) Wan'Dale (Robinson) could be coming off PUP. Is he getting close?
A: I think he's making progress, but we'll see where we're at.
Q: So not today?
A: Not today.
Q: Is Cole Beasley banged up or is he just getting rest?
A: He's got a little something.
Q: What does he have?
A: He's got a leg.
Q: Will he practice?
Q: What did you see out of (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) the other day?
A: I think he's made steady improvement since he's been here. It's a lot to learn at that position as a rookie. All the things that you have to do to play quarterback before you even have to play the position – get the play call, communicating, knowing who's in the huddle, who you're playing with, knowing what they're doing on the other side. All the stuff pre-snap, I thought he did a good job with and then he made some good decisions, made some nice throws and he did a pretty good job for his first time out. Then he got to throw a pass to another Don Bosco guy (tight end Tommy Sweeney).
Q: Is there any element to him to where he feels like he belongs?
A: Yeah, I don't know. I think he's just come out here, he's gotten better. I think the room that he's in with (quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ and (quarterback Tyrod Taylor) Ty is helpful. Two good vets that do it the right way, so I think he's made progress since he's been here.
Q: You've spent time dealing with a lot of quarterbacks. Can you teach instinct or improvisation at the quarterback position?
A: I think instinct overall, regardless of position, is really a tough thing to teach. Some guys just have it, whether it's a quarterback, a defensive back, a receiver – 'why'd you do this here?' and they just felt it – 'I just felt it.' I think instinct is hard to evaluate. You're always looking at different things on tape and seeing, 'do you think this guy is really instinctive?' but until you get somebody in your program and you see them on a day-to-day basis, it's a tough thing to evaluate. It's a really good thing to have.
Q: Where is Daniel on improvisational instincts?
A: He's good. He sees a lot of things, he's athletic so that helps, too. He makes good decisions. He's done a good job.
Q: Better now than last year at this time?
A: I don't know. I think we've made progress with really everything so far in training camp but always more work to be done.
Q: How many quarters do you intend to play the starters?
A: We'll talk about that after.
Q: Do you intend to?
A: We'll talk about it after.
Q: We're not going to talk about it after with you.
A: I know but we are as a coaching staff. Just the same thing as during the regular season, that's what we'll do. We'll go through practice, meet with the medical staff, meet with the coaches and then make our decision.
Q: After having one game under your belt, especially at offensive line, what do you think of your offensive line and how it's playing now?
A: Just like all the positions, I think they've made progress. We shuffle guys in but that's, like I said, what we do always every training camp. Got to put guys in different spots and see where they're at, see if they've made strides and we'll just keep on grinding away.
Q: Do you know of anybody right now who definitely will not be able to play in the game?
A: I do.
Q: (Defensive lineman) Ryder (Anderson) won't, right?
A: He won't be.
Q: Anyone else? I mean, (tackle) Evan (Neal) depends on the protocol but anyone else?
A: I think Evan's trending in the right direction there.
Q: Anyone else other than Ryder?
A: Yeah, there's some. Again, we'll talk about all that stuff tonight. I don't want to give you something and then they actually can go, so let's go through this practice and kind of see where we're at. Again, I'm not saying that to say that. I don't want to say one thing and then the next thing is different.
Q: How important is it for (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep to get in before the beginning of the season?
A: It'll be good to get him out there, get some live action. It's always different when you can get hit so again, he's another guy that we'll talk about here after practice. He's actually going to get a down day today. Just kind of see how he's feeling, where he's at relative to his rehab plan and make a decision.
Q: Does he lobby? Does he want in?
A: He always lobbies. He lobbies every practice, but we've got to do a good job of taking care of him and he's come back from a couple of injuries, he's got a great mindset, he's a competitor so the training staff has done a good job with his rehab deal.
Q: Will Evan Neal practice today?
A: He is.
Q: He's out of the protocol?
A: He's trending in the right direction, I'll say that. But he's practicing.
Q: You and Joe always talk about alignment and you really rely on your assistant coaches during the scouting process. You've already got late round rookies such as (cornerback Tre) Hawkins and (defensive tackle Jordon) Riley to contribute. How big of a part is that for you?
A: Good question. I think we work hand in hand. Joe, his staff, all the scouts and then myself and all the coaches, we really work well together. We don't always agree on everything, but I'd say there's very productive conversations during March and April before the draft. We send a lot of coaches out to do workouts, we bring some guys in on visits. Tre was brought in on a visit, just specifically talking with (defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson) Rome. They put a lot of work in so really our focus after the season – we kind of evaluate our team and see where we're at, that's the most important thing for us. Once we get on to whether it's free agency or whether it's the college process, I'd say that there's a lot of interaction between Joe, his staff, college scouting directors, scouts and then all of our positions coaches that again, Joe, we send them all out. Their input is always valued and there's a lot of really good conversations that happen from them. The scouts might have a few things that the coaches didn't know. The coaches might see some things. Really good give and take but that's the process that we go through and what we think works for us.
Q: There was a point in practice yesterday where (running back) Saquon (Barkley) carried the ball and got knocked over. He got up and went after whoever knocked him over. I know you don't like the extracurricular stuff but did you kind of like seeing that?
A: Yeah, you know it's practice, competing out there. It was a good day to practice yesterday. As you get later on in practice, you've got full pads, you get stuff like that.
Q: (Defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) yesterday mentioned that he said in front of the whole defense to challenge (outside linebacker) Kayvon Thibodeaux to up his level of play in practice and Kayvon responded to that. What did you make of how Kayvon responded with how he performed?
A: I'd just say in general we try to do that with every player. Coach our players, tell them things that they're doing well, correct them on things they're not. That's what we do on the day-to-day basis. It's not specific to one guy, I'd say that's all of our jobs to do.
Q: How much of the thing with him is you want to see it on an everyday basis?
A: What's that?
Q: With Kayvon.
A: I want to see everything consistent with everybody. Coaches, players, but that's why we're out here practicing.
Outside Linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q. Is it different for you, being talked to like that directly by a coach?
A: I mean, it wasn't anything negative. It wasn't necessarily in a sense like 'oh' but I mean it's understanding that people; for a coach talking to for example, a great player and a coach talking to a player that he sees potential in, it's going to be different. So, him wanting to let me know that he feels I can be a Pro Bowler this year, he feels I can kind of take the league by storm, and me knowing that him saying it, really doesn't mean much, right? It's about what I go do every day, and that's kind of the conversation that we had, that I am the only one who can get me to the places that I want to be.
Q. Do you feel like you are somebody that responds to that kind of interaction?
A: He's just preaching to the choir. I am a guy who kind of preaches that stuff to myself, and I am a guy who tries to lead in that standpoint. So, yeah, we are talking the same language as always and just continuing to get better. I think that's the point of camp. It's easy when you get to practice 15, 16, 17, it starts to get complacent, it gets repetitive. Just continuing to stay fresh, continuing all that grind.
Q. How much do you want to be a better player than you were as a rookie?
A: If you are not growing, you are losing. If I don't become a better player, I am going to be out in three years. That's the truth to the NFL. Just understanding that if I want to be here for a long time, it has got to be a continuous growth. (Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac, he always talks about kaizen, which is the act of continuous growth. So just respecting the game and continuing to grow.
Q. What's it been like for you to have (outside linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) back?
A: It's been amazing. We try not to run into each other at the quarterback because we always like to meet there. Now it's building that chemistry, right? We know we have two good rushers, but now it's learning how to rush together.
Q. Do you welcome the opportunity to get some preseason game action in?
A: I mean this is football. Even last week, like dude we warmed, but it was like 'yo, you are not playing' like what do you mean, you know what I am saying? I wanted to go out there in shoes, but no, I mean, I am excited to play, I am excited to unleash what we have been working on, what I have been working on and continuing to use this game as a platform for growth.
Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams
Q. How much did you get out of the Detroit practices?
A: A lot, I mean sometimes going into it you are not the happiest about joint practices, there are a lot of fights and stuff like that that happens, but I think both teams did a good job of not doing that. Got some good competition and work in. We go against the same guys so much in camp, our own teammates, that it's good to switch it up and go against a different technique, a different scheme, a different team.
Q. What changed from year one, year two schematically for you guys up front?
A: I'm not sure too much has changed right now but overall, as a player I just feel more comfortable in the system just because I have had a year of it under my belt. I'm not so much focused on learning the plays, I'm more focused on how to execute the plays now. There is a little bit of a difference in trying to figure out where I need to be and now, I am figuring out what's the best way I can get to that spot, you know what I mean? It's a little bit different, I am more focused on technique and stuff like that, more than learning the playbook.
Q. (Defensive coordinator) Wink (Martindale) shared yesterday that he pretty much asked (outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) for more in front of the defense during a 'keep it real' period. As a guy who has been a premier player in the league on defense, if a coach does call you directly to step up, is that something that sometimes is called for, that you actually welcome as a player, for a coach to do?
A: I would say so. As a player, I have never wanted a coach to be a yes man. That's the coach's job is to push us and get the best potential out of us as they can. Sometimes it takes that little extra push and fire under us to get us going and honestly, going on nine years of playing, I have never had a coach keep it real like that before and I think the guys respect it, honestly. Sometimes in camp guys are trying to make the team and stuff like that and they don't really know how the coaches see them or where they fit on the roster and stuff like that. In those keep it real meetings, he goes down every single player. It's not just Kayvon, or not just me, or not just anybody. He addresses every single individual and lets you know exactly how he feels, and I think the guys respect it.
Q. By how much is Wink the realest coach that you have had?
A: I don't know by how much, but like I said I am going into year nine and that's the first time that I have seen that. It eliminates a lot of wondering, a lot of chattering, meaning sometimes guys will go into the locker room and be like, 'I don't know how coach feels about me' or 'I don't know how this guy sees me here' or stuff like that. He does these pretty often and he does them throughout the season, he does them anytime it's necessary. I think it's valuable for the defense and valuable for the team.
Q. Whatever it was that was bothering you early in camp that you took a few days, did that quiet down or do you feel completely healthy right now?
A: Yeah, I feel great. I felt great then. I think the coaches were just taking care of me, just going into year nine, got a little bit of vet treatment.
Q. Did you like that?
A: Yeah, I liked that (laughs).
Catch up on all the action from Wednesday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.