Head Coach Brian Daboll
Good to be here. Got in last night. Looking forward to a good practice, very appreciative to the Detroit Lions, the Ford family, (Lions Executive Vice President and General Manager) Brad (Holmes), (Lions Head Coach) Dan Campbell, who I have a good relationship with. Looking forward to having a good competitive couple of days here. Excited to be here and with that, I'll open it up to questions.
Q: How much do you think these two days will help you get an assessment of where your team stands?
A: I think it's kind of the next step for training camp when you practice against another team. I think there is competitive juices, the coaches have it, the players have it, but we are going to try to practice the right way against a really good team. I think the program that the Lions have and what Dan and Brad have been able to do has really been outstanding so it will be a good test for us.
Q: You said the right way, what does that exactly mean and why sometimes do these joint practices not go the right way?
A: Well, you have a bunch of competitive people that are hitting each other every day but we are going to try and take care of one another, keep people off the ground, stay away from the quarterback. Just practice the right way like you are practicing against your team but again the competitive juices flow but do a good job of respecting them and look forward to that in return.
Q: Is there anything you can learn about your rookies and your young and inexperienced players in this setting that you can't maybe in practice?
A: Sure, I think there is more competitive juices flowing when you are at another place, against different people, with a different scheme. That's the next step for them and I know they are excited about it.
Q: Dan mentioned getting a lot of defensive looks thrown at him, is there anything that you are particularly excited to look or excited to see?
A: I'd say everything. I love practicing against another team during training camp. Again, it's different looks, it's different matchups. It's a very competitive two days of practice that I am looking forward to.
Q: As competitive as you are, how much do you adjust to what you see in practice or do you stick to kind of your script as to what you do?
A: You are still in training camp mode, so you are trying to develop as a team. You're not really scouting in terms of getting ready to go to practice. You are running your plays and maybe trying a couple different things but seeing how the players react in a competitive situation I think is important. Nacho, (DL Rakeem Nuñez-Roches), he won't go today.
Q: Anybody else won't go?
A: Not (tackle) Evan (Neal), he is still in protocol.
Q: Just those two?
Q: What about (defensive lineman) A'Shawn (Robinson) and (offensive lineman) Marcus (McKethan)?
A: They are going to kind of ramp up. They won't be doing any team stuff, but we are going to get them in the individual and some of the stuff that we do so get those guys ramped up.
Q: You and Dan Campbell have known each other for years, what's your respect level been like for him and how early did you know he had the ability to be a head coach?
A: I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dan as a coach and as a person, him, and his family. He is an outstanding, outstanding guy. He's got high energy. When we worked together back in 2011, I think it's well documented his interview. The players I think have a lot of respect for him. He's a high energy, just a really good coach, a good guy that I have a lot of respect for.
Q: (Outside linebacker) Kayvon Thibodeaux here in his second camp now, second year going and what are you expecting to see out of him that you would like to see as the next step for him?
A: Just get better day by day. He's had a good camp. This will be good competition for him, Detroit has got an outstanding offensive line and just take it day by day and improve at his craft.
Q. When you have your some of your younger guys going up against some of your premier players on this team, I'm thinking of when (center John Michael) Schmitz (Jr.) goes against (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II) or anybody who goes up against (tackle) Andrew (Thomas), when you get into a setting like this, is it almost like, 'You know what, we saw them against our guys, it's even more interesting to see them against other guys who might not be at that level?'
A: Yeah, I think it's just the next step of our process of this is why we planned on doing it, to get good work, to evaluate them against different players. There's a lot of players out here competing for an opportunity and for a job and we'll be evaluating all of them.
Q. Do you like the fact that this is against a team that seems to be on the rise? They're picked to win the division, so it's a test in that way, too.
A: Yeah, look, this is an outstanding football team that I think has done a really good job the past few years they've been here. They've added a lot of great pieces. I think their draft class, the players that they drafted, we did a lot of work on them, and it'll be interesting to see those guys. They're all smart, tough, dependable guys that were really good football players, dynamic. (Running back Jahmyr) Gibbs is an unbelievable player, and (linebacker Jack) Campbell, and (safety Brian) Branch and (tight end Sam) LaPorta... I mean, they did a really good job and I've got a lot of respect for how they're doing their things.
Q. Is there anything that some of these players can do in the next two days that will affect the way you use them on Friday? If you've seen enough, you don't need to see as much, that kind of thing.
A: I'd say I'm worried about today and we'll revisit that in the next couple days.
Q. Last year you did the joint practices with the Jets, you ended up picking up (safety) Jason (Pinnock) and (tight end) Lawrence (Cager) off of their roster. Is there an added bonus here as well that you can potentially scout guys that could be a part of this team?
A: Yeah, absolutely. You get a look at a whole other roster. So, I know our scouting department will be here and be evaluating the players, not just our players how they do, but also Detroit's players. I think it works well for us.
Q. How's today going to be structured? Is it going to look like a typical practice?
A: Yeah, it'll be on the two fields. We'll start out on our field, and they'll be on their field and then the defense will travel to their offensive field, their defense will come over to our offensive field and it'll be pretty similar to what you're used to seeing at our practices. We worked well together in terms of coming up with a structure that we think will serve well for both teams.
Q. I've seen some joint practices that have 1s versus 2s, that kind of thing. Do you believe in kind of going 1s on 1s?
A: Yeah, no, you'll see that. You'll see that.
Q. Did you and Campbell have lots of discussions about how you want to do it today?
A: Yeah, you talk about that in the spring a little bit once you find out you're playing in the preseason and what we want to do and then sports science gets involved and my assistant and his assistant. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of trying to get as a productive two days as we can.
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q. How did you feel it went out there?
A: I thought it was good. Certainly, some things that we can sharpen up and clean up execution wise but overall, I thought we made some plays here and there. (We've) just got to be more consistent and take advantage of some of those opportunities we had.
Q. Do you feel like the deep throws were just something that you couldn't get to click today?
A: Yeah, I just missed a couple of them that normally I feel pretty good about so just got to be sharp with those and make sure we're taking advantage of the opportunities that we have.
Q. Things get more competitive against other teams, and you see different coverages. Did you assume that what you were doing back home wasn't going to make it's way here, like those deep throws?
A: I don't know. I think obviously, it's an extremely competitive situation to go and practice against another team but I think it just comes down to hitting it and taking advantage of the opportunities when we have them. Maybe it's a little bit of a different feel to practice practicing against another team but at the end of the day, you've just got to hit it.
Q. The one to tight end Darren Waller on the right side, is that one?
A: Yeah, I think that's definitely one that I'd like to have back.
Q. You've hit that a lot in practice and training camp, right?
A: Yeah, that's a play we've hit several times, had a lot of success with so I know I can do it. (I've) just got to hit it.
Q. For (wide receiver) Jalin Hyatt, did you have to adjust to his speed? Is that something that you guys have to work on?
A: I think every guy is different so you're trying to – that's largely what this time and training camps about. Learning your guys and learning their speed, how they're coming in and out of breaks, how they're accelerating. Yeah, Jalin's fast, he can run so try to get out there for him.
Q. What's the value of working against different teams in these joint practices?
A: I think just seeing different looks. Going up against different guys that you don't know as well. I think the competitive nature of these practices speeds up the game a little bit in certain situations. I think just seeing a new look, seeing a new team. You get used to practicing against your guys – your defense and what they do and to see another group is helpful. It's valuable time.
Q. Did if feel a little bit more competitive or intense today?
A: Maybe a little bit. Yeah, it definitely feels a little different going against another team and maybe the speed of the game increases a little bit but it's a helpful time.
Q. Is it accurate to say that you've been processing different in year two? Do you feel that way? How does that show up?
A: Absolutely. I think having run a lot of these plays now for a year and seeing a lot of the looks, gotten through the reads. I think the more you do anything, the more repetitions you have, the better you get at it. Still a ways to go and things that I've got to sharpen up but I think that we all feel better in year two in the system.
Q. You were a weapon in the run game last year. Can you see that part of your game elevating more?
A: Yeah, I think so. There's always opportunities to improve. I think I'll continue to look for those opportunities and when I have them, try to make the most of them.
Q. Is it more in the offense now than it was last year?
A: Maybe here or there, somewhat, but overall, it's a lot of the same stuff and I think we'll find different ways to get to it. But we certainly added a few things here and there.
Tight End Darren Waller
Q. Do you sense things obviously getting more competitive and maybe rougher and slowing down a little bit? You are not running as freely in a practice like this as opposed to back in New Jersey?
A: Yeah, I mean it's a lot more physical out here. A lot more things to take into count, somebody is going to come and put a forearm in your ribs when you run over the middle of the field even though it's just a 7-on-7. Just getting more acclimated to game-like situations and knowing that it's a physical game at the end of the day. It's not always going to be 7-on-7 and people tagging off on you. It's a good acclimation.
Q. Do you find it went well as far as the two teams were in sync in what they both wanted?
A: Yeah, guys play so physical it's tough to get that perfect blend. Some guys are going to maybe go over the line a little bit, hit somebody a little too hard or try to get you to stay up off the ground but guys are trying to make plays so you understand that but I feel like for the most part guys have a mutual respect and want guys to be able to get to the regular season and be healthy.
Q. What do you want to get out of this individually for yourself?
A: This camp or this practice?
Q. Just these joint practices this week.
A: Just repetitions. Going against another team, the way that they disguise coverages is like a mini way to game plan for a couple days, see how they change coverages, what fronts they are in, adjustments you have to make at the line of scrimmage, post snap. Things like that, just getting those game reps in so when it comes to the season when you've got to adjust on the fly, it doesn't feel new to you. This is something that is one of the most valuable parts of training camp because practice, you can simulate game situations, but this is really like a game-like environment, getting another team out there, new bodies. It's an exciting time and it just challenges everything you have done so far.
Q. Do you like that, at the end of red zone when their sideline is chirping a lot. Does that kind of feel more game like?
A: Yeah, it's really competitive. It doesn't get more competitive than this. It'll be competitive on Friday for sure, but you know this is the first taste that each of us had of a new opponent and you want to put your best out there. You want to have confidence and some swagger when you do it, so you've got to love football.
Q. Now that we've been watching practice with pads and everything else, how have you fit in so seemingly seamlessly to all of this?
A: I just try to come in and not really make a lot of noise, but just try to be excellent at my craft. Some days, it looks like you're taking steps forward, some days look like a step back, but really, it's something that you can learn the most valuable lessons on those days. Really, I just try to come in and do my job as well as possible, be an example for younger guys because I am one of the older guys on the team now, and just keep that into account. Just the little details of my day, no matter what it may be, just do it with intentionality.
Q. Do you feel there's still a lot of moving parts? You're new, (wide receiver) Parris (Campbell) is new, (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt) is a rookie. Does it feel like that, where you guys are still a work in progress?
A: Absolutely. This is our first day for the three people that you just named in a new offense against an opponent who does things differently than our defense has done all training camp. So, there's always going to be a learning process, including throughout the whole season. We're not going to be masters at the system. We just continue to grow, continue to gain reps and over time, it starts to sink in and become more second nature. You start to do things without thinking. So yeah, we're definitely learning right now but I feel like there's a lot of progress that's been made, too.
Q. There was a lot of talk about your injury history when you came here. It seems like, maybe one practice you were held back, but you've been practicing a lot. How do you feel? What's the plan going forward workload wise?
A: Yeah, I've felt great this training camp. Just getting more reps, the reps increased today as we get into more of a game-like environment. So, yeah, just continuing to go. I was telling some of the coaches I don't think I've gone through a full training camp just being out there with the guys without one, like, a turf toe, or diving for a catch and spraining my AC joint. Just being here for a full training camp throughout the whole process has been fun and it feels good to feel fresh and just get out and just be able to run every day and do everything you're asked to do.
Q. What happened with your finger the other day?
A: I popped it out of place a little bit, popped it back in. You know, football stuff.
Q. Lots of hype based around this Lions team and kind of a rebuilt secondary. What kind of a measuring stick does this defense feel like for you guys just through one practice here?
A: They've got a lot of talented guys like (defensive lineman Aidan) Hutchinson up front, trying to pass protect against him, he's real freaky up front. You've got (cornerback Emmanuel) Moseley and (cornerback Cam) Sutton, guys I've played against that have been solid corners. (Defensive back C.J.) Gardner-Johnson is a really good player; I've played against him as well. So, a lot of good guys. Athletic linebackers. They're going to be a good team. They've got a great roster, they've got a lot of confidence, and it shows.
View photos from Detroit, where the Giants and Lions held joint practices ahead of their preseason opener.