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Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, QB Tommy DeVito, QB Tyrod Taylor

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: Where are you at with the quarterback position? (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) or (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) this week?

A: Tommy will start. Tyrod, obviously, we brought him up to see where he is by the end of the week. Hopefully he'll be ready to go. If he is, he'll be the backup and Tommy will be the starter.

Q: What went into that decision?

A: I think Tommy's done a good job; he's improved in each of the games he's played. I thought he played well the last two games, made good decisions, was accurate with the football and earned the right to play.

Q: Do you feel he gives you the best chance to win?

A: Yeah, every decision we make is for that reason.

Q: Could you ever envision that two or three weeks ago when Tommy was kind of emergency put into the game and that he would earn the starting job even when Tyrod was healthy?

A: Yeah, didn't think that far down the road. Just take it one day at a time and trying to get ready for the game that he was getting ready to play but I think he's done some good things the least couple games and I think he's earned it.

Q: Did Tyrod practice in full yesterday?

A: We did a walkthrough yesterday. So, we'll do stuff today, kind of like a Wednesday and he should practice all the way.

Q: Proving he's healthy doesn't change the decision for Monday?

A: No, Tommy will start.

Q: What went into making the decision now as opposed to kind of letting it play out?

A: I just thought Tommy earned it. Went back, watched all the tape, thought he played two games, good games, and obviously, things we can all work on. I thought he earned the right to play.

Q: In terms of what Tommy has been able to do on the field now, what would you consider his best quality and why he gives you that opportunity?

A: I just think he's played well. He's made good decisions, he's thrown the ball where he's supposed to throw the ball, he's been accurate with the ball. He had two good games, we won both games and he played well.

Q: Does any of the juice that some of guys say he brought, would that be a hard thing for you to take off the field?

A: He's on it, so again I've got a lot of respect for both of those guys, really all the guys who have been in that room. He's playing because he's earned it.

Q: What was Tyrod's – I'm sure you've shared that with him already, how did he respond?

A: He's a pro. Those conversations are never easy, regardless of who it is, but he's a pro whose been in this league a long time. Had a good conversation with him and it was about what you would expect. He's a true professional.

Q: I think you've told us that you've worked with Tommy for an extended period of time now, making sure he was up to speed and that kind of thing. Did he prove to you to be what we would call a quick study? Did he impress you at that level?

A: Again, he was in a different spot as the third quarterback. Not getting a ton of reps, a lot of one-on-ones. Obviously, you're devoting a ton of time to the guys that are either the starter or the backup. He's obviously in the meetings with (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka), so it's been a process. He's still a young player, we've still got a lot to learn, but he's done a good job with his opportunities.

Q: Where are you at health wise? Anybody that won't practice today?

A: There's two guys that won't practice. (Defensive lineman) Dexter (Lawrence II), he won't practice. He's getting better. Hopefully we'll have him out here soon. "Soon" might be this week and (tackle) Evan (Neal), he still will not practice. Other than that, we're in pretty good shape.

Q: What about the guys on IR? You activated Tyrod, what about (tight end Darren) Waller, (tackle Matt) Peart and (running back Gary) Brightwell?

A: I'd say Waller's making progress. As of today, not ready yet. The other guys are doing well.

Q: Making progress as in he has a shot this week to come back or are you still looking further down the line?

A: Too early right now, but I would still probably lean more "no" than "yes", but don't want to rule it out.

Q: Do you have a third quarterback? Is (quarterback Matt) Barkley back on the practice squad?

A: Not yet. Not yet.

Q: You're hoping to bring him back, I assume?

A: We are, yep.

Q: Has to clear waivers?

A: Yep.

Q: There are reports that Syracuse is targeting (Running Backs Coach) Jeff Nixon as their OC. Is that something you would give your blessing for him to pursue?

A: Yeah, absolutely. I worked with Jeff back in 2011, got a lot of respect for him and his family. Something we've talked about. He hasn't made that decision yet but an opportunity to be a coordinator, whether it's in the pros or Division I-A, those are hard to come by, so we'll see what he decides with that but certainly, yeah.

Q: Would you expect him to finish out the season?

A: I would. Yeah.

Q: How do you go about testing whether a quarterback like Tyrod can take contact? Because obviously you don't do that in practice.

A: That's a great question. They cleared him, so that means that he can take it, but we're not going to line up and hit him in the ribs or anything like that. He should be ready to go. Hopefully these next couple of days, he's good to go.

Q: Based on what happened last year, everybody came back healthy from the bye week?

A: Everybody did. Yeah, yep.

Q: Did you have to give a message going into the bye? Or was that fresh enough in everyone's mind?

A: You always mention it when you have a little bit of time off, you always mention it. Be as smart as you can be, so it's good that everybody's back.

Q: The timing of the bye week is when it is. You know how late it is. Maybe if it's early in the season, you're looking at your offense and saying, 'we can do this, we can do this differently.' Do you still come out of this bye week expecting to tweak some things offensively or is it just fix the things that you have not done well.

A: I mean, you do a lot of studying. You do that every week though. You're always trying to fix the things that aren't going as well, whether it's technique, whether it's the scheme, whether it's the decision, so we do that every week. You've got a little bit more time to do it over the bye week. Certainly, try to do everything that we can do to be more productive.

Q: Did the quarterback decision weigh on you at all?

A: I would just say that I have a lot of respect for both of those guys. Obviously, Tommy is a young player and particularly for Ty, I've got a ton of respect for him. He's been in this league a long time. You have to make a decision, that's the decision I ended up going with and again, Ty was a true pro about it.

Q: Is there a long-term element to this decision? Or is this purely about this game?

A: I'd just say let's get ready to go this game and then we'll, like we do every week, revisit things but Tommy's going to be the starter.

Q: Did you watch the Packers-Chiefs game, and were you surprised by how well the Packers played?

A: Yeah, I watched it. I watched it on TV, then watched the coaches' copy.

No. They've got good players. Got a lot of respect for (Packers Head Coach) Matt (LeFleur). He's a heck of a coach. I think (Packers quarterback Jordan) Love has done a really good job of improving week to week. He's a very talented player. Really an ideal system. Relative to, go back all the way to, what, '92 or '91, where (former Packers quarterback) Brett (Favre) is traded (by) Atlanta and plays for however many years, 17 there or 16, and had one losing season. Draft another guy in the first round who's a Hall of Famer, too. Got to sit a little while and watch him and then took over, and maybe get two or three, I don't know. So, 30 years, three guys.

I'd say he's accurate. He's got quick feet. He can throw the ball wherever it needs to. He seems like he's really in control of the system. I'd say the young skill guys are good players. (Packers wide receiver Romeo) Doubs is a good player, (Packers wide receiver Jayden) Reed from Michigan State, you see where (Packers wide receiver Christian) Watson is after that reverse he ran, (Packers tight end Luke)

Musgrave I know is out… Good core, young nucleus, athletic, can get open, create separation. I think he's done a good job as you watch him throughout the season of improving at his craft, but he also has a lot of talent, too.

Q: Where do you think he's progressed the most, I guess, the last couple of weeks for that to kind of come together?

A: I mean, I just think he's a heck of a player. Again, young, was able to kind of see how one of the greats have done it. He's just got really good feet, he's got good vision, he can make loose plays. He can run if he needs to, he can throw the ball vertical, he's looking to take a bunch of shots. You can see he's in full control of the system with the different signals and the checks that he makes. And then the guys around him are good players. They've got two good backs, we'll see if one of them is back. Like I said, with the young receivers. So, I'd say he's in pretty good control of that system.

Q: Just as a philosophical question… The NFL doesn't work that way where guys get to sit at the quarterback position. Do you still like that philosophy if it's possible?

A: Well, it's been a good philosophy for them. So, I think every team is different. Every situation is different. They've had three, really, quarterbacks since '92, or was it '91 that they traded Favre, Atlanta? '92 or '91, what year was it? Somewhere, '92 or '91. So, yeah, Coach Holmgren (former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren) with Favre and then (quarterback) Aaron (Rodgers) was there, and he did an unbelievable job. Two of the best to ever do it.

I'd say Jordan is just—he's a heck of a player. That's why he was selected high. You can tell he's learned a lot from the coaching staff. I think, again, Coach LeFleur runs a good system, puts him in good spots, but you can see he's learned a lot from the people that have been in front of him, and now he's letting his talent shine.

Q: Are you a believer that a good quarterback can come from anywhere? Usually, they're drafted really high. Are you a believer that pedigree is important, but only so important?

A: Yeah, I'd say every situation is different. I've been around guys that have been drafted in the second round, first round, sixth round, free agents, third round. So, I think it's first up to the individual player and how they develop, but it's also about the cohesiveness, the scheme and the people around him. It takes a lot of people to develop a quarterback, but it all starts with that player in particular, whoever that player may be

Quarterback Tommy DeVito

Q. How are you feeling after finding out you're remaining the starter?

A: I feel good. The same process throughout it all, kind of the same mindset. I just had to know how it was going to go but my mindset going to stay the same either way.

Q. How did it happen? This morning did (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs call you in? How did that work this morning?

A: It happened – Dabs told me yesterday. He just mentioned to me 'This is what we're doing' and that's it.

Q. Did you have any preconceived notion that it's going to go this way or it's going to go that way?

A: No, I didn't know. Throughout the bye week, they said they're going to have to sit down, make a decision, talk and whenever they have an answer, they'll let me know.

Q. Do you feel you earned it?

A: Yes sir. I think – at the end of the day, it's not my decision. My decision is to just go out and play football so that's what I'm going to try to do every day.

Q. How was the bye week for you? Did you get a lot of calls saying come and do this, do that? I mean, did they try to capitalize on your popularity?

A: They reach out to my agent; they don't really reach out to me. I don't deal with any of that. My bye week is my bye week. Tried to enjoy it, tried to get away for a little bit, and just relax before getting back into it. But I'm sure everybody is at this point. I don't handle any of those logistics outside of football. I'm just worried about being in the building today.

Q. What did you do?

A: I did a signing or an event for the hoagie place in Wayne, and that was good. There were a lot of people out there, that was a really cold day, so I made sure I got everybody whatever they needed because I appreciate everybody coming out and showing support.

Q. What was some of the reaction from your teammates when they found out the news as well?

A: I mean, regular. I don't know. Everyone said congrats but I've kind of been starting the last couple of weeks, so it wasn't anything crazy.

Q. (Quarterback) Tyrod's (Taylor) obviously disappointed. I mean, you can understand that, can't you?

A: Oh 100 percent. That's like my brother now. I mean, been with him for this long. If it would've gone the other way, right? Which I'm sure it could've, I would've been right there supporting him the whole way like he is me. That's the relationship that we've built this far, and he's been in the league a long time. This is my first time being in the league, in a situation like this or however it was but at the end of the day, no players make decisions, it's all up to the coaches so just going to continue to support each other how we always do.

Q. How excited are you to keep this ball rolling? Keep this streak going?

A: Just trying to keep it going one game at a time, one practice at a time. Just trying to get better every day and push everybody around me to be as well.

Q. Did you watch the Packers on Sunday night?

A: Yeah, I watched the first half of it.

Q. Any thoughts on their – were you looking at their defense saying 'I see this', or I see that?

A: Not too crazy. Was watching it as a fan when I was watching it on TV just enjoying it. Just watching football then after, when I'm home doing everything, I can actually watch on the iPad and do all that when I'm back, but I was kind of just enjoying it as a fan.

Q. I'm sure you answered this before I got here, I'm sorry Tyrod was talking at the time. Were you surprised by the decision? How did you take the decision when Dabs told you that you were indeed the starter?

A: I wasn't surprised but at the same time, I didn't know what was going to happen. I was told during the week, the bye week, that there was a decision that was going to be made and as soon as it was made that I would be made aware, and I was. I'm happy about it but at the same time, it's still a job. You still have to go out and perform and do everything. It's not like you're at the top now, which is completely far from but just going to try to go out but just going to go out and try to get better every day and try to earn the respect of my teammates and my coaches and try to do that every play.

Q. How much do you and your teammates have in the back of your mind – or the front of your mind, really, that you're still in this thing? You're not in a great position but you certainly aren't out of it yet.

A: Everything that we want is in front of us but at the same time, we just take it one week at a time and try to focus on this week. If we start looking ahead and we miss one there's nothing going forward. Let's say just one at a time, focused on this week.

Q. How was the decision presented to you? Was it you guys whole as a quarterback room? Did he talk to you guys one-on-one?

A: No, it was one-on-one.

Q. What do you say to Tyrod when you guys know the decision afterward? Do you feel like you have to say anything to him at that point?

A: No, I didn't. I feel like it was – he's been in this situation before, I really haven't but it was like, we don't control the decisions. Nothing that I could've done, he could've done at the time to, I guess change or anything like that. So, just roll with it and try to play my best football.

Q. Was there a conversation?

A: I was just told.

Q. Was it that short of a conversation? Just a few words?

A: It was short. Yeah, it was a short conversation.

Q. Inaudible

A: Yep.

Q. He said he has a conversation every week, and he did. What has that been like? Not only this week but even when you weren't the starter, what were you getting from those conversations? What kind of stuff would you talk about?

A: I mean, it's been great. We talk about a lot of things. Not only what's going on with the team but other teams. We watch a lot of film, good plays, bad plays, we pick each other's brain and I'm learning the way he thinks about certain playing situations, and he learns the way I think, and we've just been trying to build that bridge since I first got here. It's been very beneficial, I think, and we're going to continue to go with it.

Q. I was just wondering how unique, or do you find that unique? The fact that when you were the third string you had that weekly meeting with the head coach to go over these kinds of things.

A: I did at first then he explained to me how, obviously, when you're a one or two – well really, the one getting all the reps, the two really didn't get much, the three, there wasn't too much conversation. There was conversation between me, (Quarterbacks Coach) Shea (Tierney) and (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka) and Dabs but not at that extent. So, Dabs says he likes to take guys and have those conversations with him so I'm getting some kind of rapport with him.

Q. Do you think that's one of the reasons that you're standing here as the starter today? That Dabs too that one-on-one interest with you?

A: I'm not sure. I mean, I know he has some kind of faith and belief in me. I'm going to continue to go out and try to earn that every time on the field but at the end of the day, it's just going out and playing football and executing and winning games.

Q. I'm sure your family knows the decision, but have you had a chance to talk with them yet?

A: No, not really. I knew yesterday, I didn't say anything when I walked in the house either. My dad was like 'How was your day?' I was like 'Good, same old deal' so they didn't talk about it much, but I assume once he announced it and once it got blown out, I'm sure it's more now.

Q. Today doesn't seem like the same old deal.

A: It is the same old deal to me but I'm sure they would probably say that.

Q. How much does it mean to get a start on Monday Night Football in front of the whole country, at home? It's got to be something you may have dreamed about growing up, right?

A: Yeah, it's an awesome opportunity. It's just like any other game except on a Monday night, right? But yeah, it's an awesome opportunity to be the only game on and just enjoy and go play football.

Q. What is it about your personality that allows you to not be surprised? Kind of seemingly take some of these decisions in stride. The idea that you are going to start now. Maybe if someone had told you this a month ago or two months ago, other people wouldn't have believed it, I'm not sure if you would have but just the idea of 'I'm not surprised here, I belong here.

A: Yeah, that's always been my mindset, even when I was a three. It's like your goal is to be the starter one day, even though, like you said, on the outside or anybody else might not have believed that but I've always been pushing to be that. I mean, I was not going to be surprised by it because either way throughout the bye week I was mentally prepared for it to go either way. Like I said, it was a tough decision, but I don't make those decisions so I'm just here to play, execute, and try to win football games.

Q. You've credited Tyrod throughout this process. What's kind of been the most important thing and best advice that he's given you that's allowed you to be in this position?

A: The best advice he's definitely given me is, 'Be yourself, you're more than enough.' I think you can take that 100 different ways, but it's really just don't do too much and don't do anything less, just do exactly what you've done to get here because that's what helped you get here. And that will be enough because sometimes you get stuck in a situation where you're trying to do too much and then you're playing out of character and not playing like yourself. You just can't try too hard to be yourself and I've taken that throughout this whole process. I owe a lot to him. He's helped me a tremendous amount to this point, I'm going to continue to lean on him throughout the whole thing.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Q: How are you feeling?

A: I feel good.

Q: Yeah?

A: That's the most important thing.

Q: Is there anything that you feel you still need to ramp up to at this point or do you feel like you are right back in the swing of things?

A: I feel like I'm right back in the swing of things. I don't know how you ramp up from a rib injury, but everything that I've done rehab wise has been positive. No setbacks along the last five weeks, five and a half, five and some change. Thankful for the progression, just God's healing throughout the process, but I feel good, feel back to my normal self.

Q: How do you know that you are ready to be able to take the hits? Is there a way to know that?

A: I don't really know. I mean, yeah, you can't really simulate it. Obviously, on the field quarterbacks we don't get hit, so there's really no way to predict it up until that point either, but I will say everything that they've tested, I've passed with flying colors.

Q: How did he explain the decision to you?

A: It was a conversation that we had yesterday.

Q: How? Like what reason did he give you?

A: Same reason he gave y'all.

Q: That it gives the team the best chance to win and (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) earned it…?

A: Is that what he said?

Q: Yeah.

A: That's what was explained.

Q: Do you agree with that?

A: Tommy has played, he's stepped in and played well within the opportunities given to him. Obviously, injury and time off is always tough. I would just say my injury, it just had bad timing to it. We've won two games – the last two games. Try to keep some momentum going forward. Obviously, yes, I want to be out there playing. Like I've told you before, I believe in timing and God's timing and everything happens for a reason, so I'll continue to keep trusting the process and taking it one day with the journey that God has put before me.

Q: Do you think you've been treated fairly?

A: I don't think life is fair, so I think that's an unfair question to be honest. I don't know if there's fair in this business. Some stuff happens that's out of your control and unfortunately this is one of them. In the grand scheme of things this rib injury was kind of out of my control. The main thing is that I've bounced back and that I'm 100% healthy and if the opportunity presents itself where I'm able to go out there and perform and help this team win then I'll be ready to do so.

Q: Will you be the backup on Sunday just to be clear?

A: Yeah, that's a conversation that the trainers and coach have to have. Obviously, we have a few more days of practice before we get there, but that's a conversation that they've got to have.

Q: Was there a conversation, I guess when you were talking with (Head Coach Brian) Daboll what it would take to win back the starting job?

A: No ma'am.

Q: Is that something you wanted to talk about with Daboll or you kind of wish it was brought up?

A: No comment.

Q: A lot of times people say you can't lose your starting job to injury, what do you think about that at this point?

A: I've had that happen a number of times. I'd say that statement is false. It's just the nature of the business. It's the nature of the business. Obviously, this league is a right now league, it's not what have you done or in the past time, it's about what makes sense right now. Coach feels that this is the right decision for the team, and I support the decisions that our coaches make, that our personnel, people who make decisions on personnel, I trust that day in and day out. I'm just on the other end of it.

I mean, it's tough. Obviously, as a competitor not being able to go out there once healthy – I mean, it hurts, but at the same time, like I said it's the nature of the business.

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