Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.10
Opening Statement: Chazz Surrat, he’ll be out this week. Billy Turner, he will also be out this week. The surgery went well, but he will be out for this week. We’ll see what happens next week. Then Will McDonald came in this morning. You guys are going to see him on the did not participate in practice, did not practice report. We’ll see how it goes. He’s dealing with an ankle. Again, he finished practice yesterday, but it popped up this morning.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: With (Billy) Turner, I know it’s a finger, where was that?
Yeah, he broke a, I’m not going to give the exact details, but I couldn’t even tell you anyway, but he’s dealing with a surgically repaired finger.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Was he playing through that? When did that happen?
It happened during the game.
Neil Best, Newsday: So what do you think your offensive line looks like?
We’ll see on Sunday. No, we’ve got a good plan. Like I said, the individual pieces on our offensive line, love all of them. You just wish you would get some continuity, so they can play together and learn how to play off one another. So, we love the five that are lining up, we just need time for them to get that continuity.
Neil Best, Newsday: You don’t know the five that are lining up, do you?
No, we do. I’m just going to hold on to it.
Neil Best, Newsday: What can you tell us about Duane’s (Brown) status?
Duane, it’s going to be another week for Duane.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: With (Mekhi) Becton, I mean there were so many questions about him coming into the season and will he get pulled up and all that through training camp and he’s been one of the few consistently “been there” guys.
Knock on wood. No, he is doing a great job. Mekhi has done a really nice job. We’re only eight games in, there’s still nine games left. I know he’s battling through some things and he’s battling through, working with us too and just making sure that we take care of him in terms of the maintenance overall, but he’s grinding, he’s doing everything and more to prepare himself to play on Sundays and he’s doing a nice job. He’s playing at a high level and we’re fortunate that he’s finding his stride.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With (Randall) Cobb, what went into him being a healthy scratch last week?
You know, he was still dealing a little bit with the AC, but obviously he could have played, but when you get into that spot with (Justin) Hardee down and you’re dealing with some injuries on the defensive side of the ball, like Chazz Surratt, special teams comes into play. Again, trying to get Irv (Irvin Charles) up, trying to get Malik (Taylor) up. Those guys are big special teams players for us. So, it really was more of a special teams decision.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With someone like that, he’s accomplished what he’s accomplished in his career. Is that a tough conversation to have?
Yeah, especially with how hard he works and the type of leadership he provides in the locker room. Love Cobby, love everything about him. You can see why he’s had so much success in his career and it’s never easy, but his story definitely is not over here with this team.
Neil Best, Newsday: Running backs and quarterbacks sometimes can kind of take over a game, but receivers, even more so than those positions are kind of depending on other things happening. A guy like Garrett (Wilson), do you have to sometimes remind a guy like that, just stay within your lane, do your job, you can’t do this by yourself because he seems very prideful obviously about the offensive struggles?
Yeah, no, that is an awesome question and great insight because receiver is one of the more uncontrollable positions on the field because you are reliant, you’re reliant on one, the play call, two, the o-line (offensive line) protecting, three, the quarterback delivering the ball, and four, the defense giving you a coverage that allows you to get the ball or at least gives you a chance to win so you can get the ball. So, there’s a lot of things that have to go right for a receiver when he’s just out there running his route, so you just focus on the main thing. That’s the style of play, your effort, your technique, your violence, when you get the ball in your hands, what are you doing with it. Sometimes you can see it and I think that’s why and it’s League wide, when you see frustration on the sideline, it’s usually coming from a receiver because like they want to be a part of the game, but when you’re so locked in on the things you have no control over, and this is human nature, all heck breaks loose. When you’re trying to control an uncontrollable aspect of life, chaos ensues, but if you focus on the things that you’ve got control over, then you’re satisfied with the result because you know you gave everything you’ve got. He is a competitive young man, he’s a tremendous young man, a tremendous young man, and he’s a fierce competitor. He just wants to help, he just wants to be a part of it. It doesn’t come from a selfish, I-need-mine mentality. He just wants to help. So, you can deal with that and just continue to work with him and he’s going to continue to challenge everybody to get him the opportunities he needs to help. Then obviously as coaches, it’s our job to find ways to get him the ball.
Peter Botte, New York Post: On the flip side of that, what’s the challenge with Devante Adams?
Same thing. He’s an elite talent, obviously. Probably going to be in the Hall of Fame one day and he’s got a tremendous mindset. Everything I’ve heard about him, just obviously being connected to all those guys in Green Bay and with Coach LaFleur and all that, but he’s elite, elite in every aspect of football and an elite football player aside from just his athleticism. He understands the game, he can feel space, he can feel just his releases, just all of it. He’s somebody we obviously have to pay attention to.
Peter Botte, New York Post: What did you see out of (Aidan) O’Connell?
Did a good job, he’s very poised. A lot of times you see rookies looking at the rush and being nervous about the rush. So, they’re missing the reads, you might miss a guy that’s open, but you can see him keeping his eyes downfield and having subtle movements in the pocket. Does a really nice job. He plays smart. Again, he’s got a good running game, a really good running game to lean on. He’s got a darn good receiving core to throw to. I thought they did a really nice job last week.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Do you know Antonio Pierce at all? Like through the years?
No, I don’t know him.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Do you remember him as a player?
Just a little bit, but obviously, he’s doing something right and to be named the interim head coach, it’s an honor. It’s awesome that he’s getting this opportunity.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, I understand more the offense struggles aren’t just on Zach, right? But you can’t change out an offensive line, you can’t change the play call of any game. You can change a quarterback in a game, and sometimes that gives a team a spark. With the way things are going, is that on the table this week? Would you think about making a change in the game if these struggles continue?
That’s more hypothetical, and the reality is to pull a quarterback to spark change, it’s my opinion, it’s got to be crystal clear that it’s him. When you’ve got everybody with their hand in the cookie jar, it’s really hard to justify blaming one human. Yeah, you could say, well, blame it on somebody, and let’s just do something, but is it what’s necessary at that time to derail whatever it could be and just create all kinds of other problems in the future? So, there is a global aspect of it. Now, if it was as clear as one person, yeah, you make a change, whether it’s any position, but when everyone has their hand in the cookie jar and it’s coaches included, it’s hard to justify in my mind making a move just to make a move.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With the changes that the Raiders made last week, what does that do to your scouting process? Is their offense much different with Bo (Hardegree) calling the plays versus Josh (McDaniels) versus Jimmy (Garoppolo)?
Yeah, there’s obviously nuance. Got one game, one game’s worth of nuance to look at. Eventually there’s going to be a tendency, but that goes back to who we are. This is a typical game in the sense of we are who we are. This is how we play. You try to do your best to dictate based on your rules. So, it’s more representing our style and more about us rather than what they do.
Brian Costello, New York Post: (Maxx) Crosby, I asked about him the other day, but what’s kind of stunning looking at his numbers is the number of snaps he’s played. You’ve been clear about your philosophy of rotating guys. What do you think of him? I mean, he’s played 98% of his snaps.
Yeah and he’s like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps on going and going and going. Old school commercial for you young bucks. He is a freak in that regard. He does not stop and I think that’s why he’s so special. He gets a lot of reps at a very high level. He’s got tremendous instinct and feel and plays with violence. He is absolutely relentless. You can tell he absolutely loves the game of football, loves his teammates and he lays it all on the field every single time, every chance he gets.
Jeane Coakley, SNY: Got a school out of Connecticut?
Yeah, we’re going Connecticut with this one. Old Steve Young’s alma mater. We’re recognizing coach Anthony Morello of Greenwich High School. They beat a team they hadn’t been since 2004, long, long time. The defending state champs currently number one in the state. Coach graduated from Greenwich he was named head coach back in 2019. Good luck to all of you guys tonight.