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Head Coach Brian Daboll
Q: Injury updates?
A: Injury. Yeah, that’s okay. That’ll come out on Thursday. I’ll just say everybody has been rehabbing, they’re getting better. I’ll give you an update on Thursday but we’re making progress with everybody who has been on that report or missed, we’re making progress.
Q: Is (guard Ben) Bredeson in protocol still?
A: No, he’ll be good to go. Ben will be good to go.
Q: What is (running back) Saquon (Barkley) able to do today?
A: Well, we’re doing kind of a jog through, so I don’t think he’ll do much today. But he’s really now, I’d say, in the day-to-day category. Feels a lot better today but we’ll kind of take that all the way throughout the week and see how he improves.
Q: (Tackle) Andrew (Thomas) a lot better?
A: He’s better, yep. Again, we’ll get here Thursday, get out here and give them a couple more days but I’d say all of them are making progress.
Q: Nothing from the game is long term?
A: No. Nope.
Q: If Andrew returns, do you have some decisions to make about offensive line and how you want to configure it? I think you’ve had three different configurations in three games.
A: Yeah, I’d say if those guys are back, it’ll look like it looked when Ben and Andrew were out – when they were back playing. But again, we’ll see where they’re at. I don’t want to make a decision right now. We’ll see where we’re at Thursday.
Q: Does that mean you’ll stick with (offensive lineman Marcus) McKethan at that other guard spot?
A: Yeah. Yep.
Q: What has he shown you?
A: I think he’s done a good job. Again, he’s only played a couple games, he was out all last season. Improving. Big body, moves well, so again, the experience that he’s played in the first couple of games will help him.
Q: You guys were, I know it’s a different year but very effective as a running team last year, especially early in the season and it helped you guys a lot. Is there part of you that wants to get back to that this year and obviously it’s difficult to do against a team like Seattle, who is very good at stopping the run.
A: I’d say again, each week we’ll look at the team, we’ll do what we need to do. We really need to improve in every area so that’s certainly one of them.
Q: How do you feel about the way the cornerback configuration has worked out after three games? Moving (cornerback) Adoree’ (Jackson), getting (cornerback) Tre (Hawkins III) in there?
A: I’d say again, much like the run game, everything’s a work in progress. We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas and that’s what we’re going to try to do.
Q: But you’re comfortable with it? Nothing you would change.
A: Yeah. Look, each week we’ll go into it and we’ll look at how guys are doing. They’ve been competing but there are a lot of improvements that need to be made.
Q: When you come back after a little longer break, do you treat it in terms of with the players as a reset a little bit?
A: Not really. They’ve had a couple of days off, been grinding on some things as a coaching staff. Again, this week is its own week, like every NFL week, and we’ve got to do everything we can to get ready to play a really good team that’s won the last two games, scored 37 points in each game, and continue to work on our process, refine things that we need to refine, improve things we need to improve and have a good week.
Q: You obviously embrace the process every week, process over results, but there is also urgency I’d imagine. I know you attack every week with urgency but the next time you take the field for a game, it’s in October already. The season flies by very quickly. How do you in your communication with the team express that on the daily basis?
A: You have to live in the moment in our profession and you have to address the things that need to be addressed each week. Every year is different, every week is different. It’s a week-to-week league so stay in the moment, focus on the things we need to improve on, all of us, and that’s what we try to do every week. There’s urgency every week. This is a one-game season – every game is a one-game season. You just focus on doing the best you can do each week, prepare the right way, and then ultimately go out there and perform the right way.
Q: Seven days between when you’re playing, and you said you’re doing a walkthrough today —
A: Yeah, so we’re going to make it a normal week leading up. We’re going to get an extra day here with our mental reps. The guys have been in working in the weight room, doing their conditioning stuff. We’ve been working on Seattle, so this is a really good day to go ahead and implement the game plan, the first and second down stuff. Come out here and have a good mental day and then we’ll treat it (like) the normal week. So tomorrow will be like a Tuesday and Thursday will be like a Wednesday.
Q: After the game some of the 49er’s players said “yeah, we knew that they were going to blitz, and they were going to keep blitzing.” (49ers quarterback Brock) Purdy ended up saying something like “it’s a four-quarter game” meaning that they were able to adjust. Do you have any concerns about the level of blitzing or the fact that when it doesn’t get home what happens?
A: I think each week you go into a gameplan with the things you need to do and throughout the game you’re always adjusting. So, it’s not just the first quarter, second quarter, maybe it’s a different blitz, maybe it’s not a blitz. Focus on the things we can improve on and keep improving.
Q: Does the CBA allow you to have a practice today or are you only allowed to have like three practices?
A: The way we set this up was come back, have this right here, have this walkthrough/jog through, have some good meetings. Take tomorrow to go ahead and as a coaching staff, kind of adjust things that we’ve talked about and then just have a normal week. That’s the way we’ve planned it out.
Q: Obviously, the tackling has been a problem, right? The missed tackles in the games. What can you do during the season, how much can get guys in pads, how much do you believe in getting guys in pads and working on that throughout the season?
A: Yeah, we’ll be in pads Thursday. And again, you are always focusing on your fundamentals, so we do that every practice, whether that’s press coverage, tackling, ball disruption, shedding blocks. Those are things that you work on. Same thing with the offense, double teams, pass protection, games, pass protection for the backs, press releases, those are things that you constantly evaluate. Leading up to a week and getting ready for, in this case Seattle, you always adjust practice and things individual wise or maybe team wise of things that you are really putting an emphasis on.
Q: So, you plan to do more practicing tackling wise with what you can?
A: We normally, like during the early part of the year, we normally practice once a week in pads and that’s an important day for us.
Q: (Defensive lineman) Leonard Williams said last week before the game, so that with context, but the idea of if you don’t have sacks defensively and you don’t have takeaways, sometimes you chase that and was very conscious of saying we can’t do that. Do you see that a little bit defensively that maybe guys are starting to chase things, that you kind of have to reel them back in again and focus on what you need to focus on?
A: Yeah, I think it’s important that we all do our job. And. Again. those are points of emphasis every week of creating some negative plays or getting turnovers and we’ve got to continue to work them during the week and ultimately we’ve got to get them done on Sunday. Monday.
Q: Do you think too much pressure can cause a quarterback to see it when it’s not there because it’s just so often happening that they have to get sped up in the process.
A: In the pocket?
A: I think there is always an element to that. When you can affect the quarterback, I think it speeds up things. Again, there is always when you are game planning, shorter routes, get it out quicker, less of the protection. You want to run deep routes, you have some more protection in. So, definitely an area that we’ve got to improve is making sure that we give our quarterback a clean pocket and it’s not just always the line. There is backs involved, there is timing in the passing the game, there is receivers getting open, so it’s really a collective thing when it comes to that.
Q: Is there anything you can glean from last year’s game against Seattle or is it two completely different teams?
A: No, you certainly look at it. They have the same coordinators. That’s something that you go back, like you are playing a team that’s right there in your division. They are in our conference, we played them at their place, hard place to play at, obviously with some noise and things like that, but certainly some matchups and things that they’ve done. (Seahawks head coach) Pete’s (Carroll) done a heck of a job; he’s been there for a long time. Some of the same players, obviously some different players, but yeah that’s definitely a game you watch and evaluate.
Q: Is there anything you can do as a coach to get your team to start faster? I think the number is 77 to 6 or something like that.
A: Yeah, not very good. So, we are working on it, yeah, we are working on it.
Q: Can you open up like in a no-huddle offense or just things to put an offense …
A: Yeah, you can do a lot of different things. Something we need to do better collectively and something that will be, it’s always a point of emphasis, hasn’t shown up, understand that. No excuses for it, so we are working on that.
Q: With Saquon how much do you factor or how much have you talked to him about, he’s had ankle injuries before, right? He’s had that before, he’s come back, hasn’t played at the level that he’s like and then in retrospect has basically said I might’ve come back too early, so how much have you talked to him about that and how much do you factor that in?
A: Yeah, again, to me I think every injury is different, even though it’s the same body part. Let him rehab, let him get with the trainers, get a feel for where he’s at. Let’s talk to the trainers and see where they are at with his injury and then make the decision when it comes time to make the decision, but he’s getting better. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: Do you see (offensive lineman) Josh Ezeudu now as a swing tackle or is he still a reserve guard or a reserve tackle?
A: I think he can play four spots for us. So, both tackle spots and then he can also go inside and play, having done that some, so I think he’s done a good job of filling in, but he has, I’d say, four-position flex for us.
Q: Is there as much value or maybe even more value in Ezeudu playing that role than it is to, you know what we’ve got to get him to as one of our five guys. I mean I know you would play him if he was one of your five, but the value of having a guy like that, that you know if someone goes down you can plug him in four or five spots, I would imagine that’s pretty high in this day and age.
A: That’s why we move guys around a bunch during the preseason and training camp months because you can. If you’re not starting five, you better have some position flexibility to play multiple spots, so certainly an important aspect for us.
Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson
Q: Have you talked to (Seahawks safety Julian) Love lately?
A: I talked to him, what was it, two games ago. I talked to him, yeah.
Q: Do you think he’s going to be spilling the beans to the Seahawks about what you guys do?
A: I hope not, but then again at the same time that’s the team he’s with and at the end of the day he’s going to do what he needs to do for them to get the best chance to win. As a person, knowing, playing with him, I hope he wouldn’t but at the end of the day that’s his new team, that’s who his loyalty is with so I’m just excited to see him and play.
Q: What do you look at this defense and pinpoint what’s your primary concern, why haven’t you played up to I’m sure what your own standards are?
A: Just execution and doing our job, that’s pretty much what it boils down to and comes down to. Just tighten it up in the week of work and just going after, like I said the smaller pictures of doing your job, executing, alignment, assignment, and technique and just go from there.
Q: When you blitz as much as you do and then you hear two sacks and zero takeaways, how much do those two numbers hurt knowing how much you guys, it’s your intent to go pressure. How much does hearing those numbers hurt right now?
A: I wouldn’t say they hurt, it’s one of those things where we know it’s still early, we keep going, keep clicking, keep just coming with the same intention, the same mentality and just trying to improve as well, we know those things will come. Obviously, we want more turnovers or more sacks, but with this being so early you just never know how this league turns. Like I said, we were 7-2 and we didn’t have too many sacks or too many turnovers like that really. We know that things are going to change, we know that this league is every Sunday, so we know things will change in our favor.
Q: Do you look at last week and say that’s a perfect example of that, the Cardinals beat the Cowboys. There were upsets last weeks…
A: I did see that game, but they are a good team. When I say any given Sunday, any team in this league can win. You just never know what’ll happen, you never know what you may get on that Sunday, Thursday, Monday, even Saturday’s when they play games. I don’t see teams as being underdogs, really, because I feel like anything can happen. Even when you get to the playoffs, a wild card team or whatever it may be can beat the number one team. An instance when I was in Tennessee, we went down there to Baltimore, and they were the number one seed and knocked them out. I don’t really look at being an underdog as a thing.
Q. What’s the most difficult part of being a part of a defense that does blitz a lot? Does it put a lot of pressure on defensive backs? What is the pressure like for you guys when you blitz a lot?
A: I think the benefit of blitzing a lot is you know what to expect. I don’t really think of it as – you know you’re blitzing; you know the ball might come out or however it may be, you know what to expect. At the end of the day just line up doing your job. Just doing your one-eleventh. So, I don’t see it as pressure and if it’s pressure, I mean that’s what you’re expected of and people expect things from you, and that’s a good thing.
Q. How hard is it to work on tackling in season? Is it something you think you can really even work on?
A: I feel like just wrapping up, thudding up. Good angles to the ball, 11 hats to the ball, just the little things – effort, running to the ball, angles, thudding up and wrapping up.
Q. You say effort. Why do you even have to say that at this point? Do you think that hasn’t always been there? Or is that part of why you guys have struggled tackling?
A: No, I just think 11 hats running to the ball, effort is just something that everybody does. Regardless of what may happen, 11 hats to the ball, effort, I don’t think of it as a bad think, I’d say. Just do it. It’s one of those things, you just get it done.
Q. When you look at this defense, you’ve given up 98 points. Do you sit there and say we’ve played a couple of the best offenses in the league? Or do you say we’ve got to be a lot better?
A: No, I just sit there and try to be better, do better. Regardless of who the opponent is it’s always faceless, nameless opponent. Just got to go out there and just have to do better, execute better.
Q. Do you care what the public perception is about you? You’ve obviously played two primetime games; the entire nation has seen you lose those by 58 points. I think I heard on the Monday night broadcast the other day, they were just like, ‘the Giants, they are struggling badly.’ Does that resonate with you? Does that mean anything to any of the guys in here?
A: No, I don’t think so. I know for me, it doesn’t really bother me, doesn’t really get under my skin at all.
Q. Why not?
A: Why not? Just don’t. I really don’t care about other people’s perception, other people’s thoughts, really. Anybody’s perceptions, thoughts and expectations can’t compare to what I have, or we have of ourselves so what anybody else says – I don’t want to say it doesn’t matter, everybody’s opinion is valid and they’ve got a right to it but for us in here, it doesn’t really bother us.
Center John Michael Schmitz Jr
Q: How has your adjustment been with (offensive lineman) Marcus (McKethan) being on the right side now?
A: Marcus, I feel like he’s been a great addition. Stepping into his role, competing, yeah.
Q: Did you play much next to him in training camp?
A: I’m not going to comment on injuries or stuff like that, but he was just getting involved with that. That’s all I’m going to say.
Q: Just having so much rotation next to you for a rookie, is that difficult? Not having it set, sort of, the two guys next to you?
A: You’ve got to be able to adjust. You never know what’s going to happen. You’ve got to be ready to just go out there, whoever the five that are out there, and go and compete.
Q: Have you started watching film of Seattle yet?
A: Yes. Yes, I have.
Q: Very good run defense?
A: Yeah, I mean, really good defense. The games I’ve watched already, we’re going to have a tough battle against them. Just ready to go compete and put our best foot forward.
Q: With the focus being a day-to-day, play-to-play kind of thing, as you’ve kind of said, when you know that you’re going to take the field on Monday night and it’s already October, does it feel like a month of your career has gone by so far?
A: I was always told just to live in the moment. To answer your question, no. I mean, it’s just been… Yeah, I don’t know.
Q: How much communication has there been on the sidelines when the defense is on the field among you linemen? Obviously, getting on the same page—I’m not saying you’re not on the same page, but making sure you’re on the same page and that sort of thing.
A: It’s my responsibility to communicate on the line, making sure everyone’s on the same page. We’re seeing five as one, know who we’re blocking, know who we’re going to, our assignments. When you get on the sideline, you talk about it, you say, ‘This is what they did,’ and at the end of the day, we want to get things fixed. There are no pointing fingers. Not saying anyone did anything wrong, we just want to get it fixed so we can get things rolling.
Q: One of the things that seemingly has been missing for the offense is getting going in that first half. Is there a common theme that has been missing?
A: We’ve just got to start fast. That’s it. We’ve just got to start fast. We’ve got to come out with great energy. We’ve got to execute at a high level. We’ve just got to go.
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