Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.2

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Opening Statement:

Real quick from an injury standpoint, there’s no changes. Still working day-to-day and trying to get to Thursday to see where we’re at.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: So, how will you determine their availability, Robert? Will it be game day, go through a workout?

For Thursday games, we have a 4:00 deadline with regards to calling up practice squad guys and all that. We’ll have work outs in place Thursday morning to see if we’re ready to go, so everything has to be in by 4:00.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Robert, can you talk a little bit about the decision to add John (Beck) to the coaching staff?

Obviously, John has a lot of history within this system being in Washington with (Mike) Shanahan and all that stuff, but the biggest thing for us was really, with Zach’s (Wilson) injury and having these four weeks and the rest of the season to kind of regroup and get Zach to, we talked about it, right? I think I said it to you guys, to replay each week, so he’s going back through each week as he’s been off, go through practice scripts, go through the install, watch the game, watch all the practices, alright go to Week Two. Reinstall it, watch every practice, go back through the week, watch the game, next. And on top of it, as it pertains to his rehab and working back, getting his knee strong again, maintaining his fundamentals and the mechanics as it pertains to his throwing motion and all that stuff. Just another piece to add. Those specialists, if you want to call them, those quarterback guru’s and all that, John’s fantastic. He’s got a lot of really good quarterbacks in this league, but at the same time, these guys all have a chance to talk to him. They have dialogue throughout the week. Just piecing it all together, thought it would be really good to have John in our building, learn the verbiage that we’re teaching along with the things that are being asked of all our quarterbacks, so when he is having those conversation, on-the-side conversations, everyone’s speaking the same language and he can tie in what he does as a quarterback guy to the students.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: So, does John work then primarily just with Zach and then if other guys need him, he talks to them as well? Or is he like another quarterbacks coach?

He’s another quarterbacks coach in there. Obviously, because we have (Rob) Calabrese, we have (Matt) Cavanaugh and we have Mike (LaFleur), he’s able to do more of the side jobs as it pertains to, like I said, keeping Zach connected. Zach is still in the room learning all the game plans as it goes, so he’s just another set of eyes.

 

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: How did this come about and kind of what was the genesis of this move in terms of, maybe who brought it up first?

Just going through discussion. It was the Bye Week, (Wilson) went to see John and we were just talking, and I was like, ‘Well, why not just bring him here.’ So, we just started talking about it and then one thing leads to another and now there’s just a really good plan in terms of how to get him through the rest of the year and keep himself connected and keep everything tight, because at the same time, a lot of people could look at it and say, ‘Well jeez, you got a lot of guys in the quarterback room.’ And for us, it’s more consolidating voices for him so it’s all in one building. Just the idea was to really, it’s really like we said, we’re going to do everything we can to help the quarterbacks, not just (Wilson), but the quarterbacks. Obviously, everything that we do, every decision that we make, every transaction that’s made, it is what it is, it’s for the quarterback room. It’s to try to make sure that room is always at its absolute best, which is no different than the rest of them. Obviously, we all agree that the quarterback can be a game changer.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: So, it’s a full-time position for the remainder of the year?

Correct.

 

(follow up) So he’s here Monday through Saturday in addition to Sundays?

Yes.

 

(follow up): And also, I mean, it kind of gives the impression that the guys we had here weren’t connecting with Zach for whatever reason, like he wasn’t performing well, and that you had to go outside to help him.

No. No, not at all. It’s not an indictment on anyone whatsoever. It’s more and more you’re starting to see players have specialists, specialty coaches. I’m not going to name who John works with, but these quarterbacks all have their quarterback guys that call, the Tom Houses of the world, and they’re talking to them throughout the week. You have kickers who have kicking specialists, you have basketball players who have shooting specialists, it’s not an indictment on the coaching, it’s just a very specific person to make sure they’re staying connected to the mechanics of it all. So, with John, the idea was, well shoot, (Wilson) talks to him all the time. He’s a young man, he’s an information gatherer, so why not bring him in to kind of consolidate all that information to help him really simplify this game and at the same time, keep everything tight with regards to his mechanics. It’s a win-win for everyone. Credit to John Beck too because he’s got a really, really good business and he cares so much for his quarterbacks that he dropped everything to come help out, and so it’s a win-win for everybody.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Is this something with John where he’s going to be with you guys next year and for the foreseeable future or is this just a one-year thing?

He’s got a business. This was more for, obviously, we’ll talk about it at the end of the season, but this right now is until the end of the season.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: When did he start, Robert?

Right after the New England game.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Is there any worry, I mean you said he has his own business, now he’s in here giving all your guys’ tips and tricks and secrets, so he could potentially leave after this year?

Well, no different than any coach who might get a job somewhere else, but not worried about any of that. There’s no, I know it seems like coaches are always paranoid about the secret, there’s no secrets in football. There’s so much tape, it’s so easy to access other people’s tape and all that stuff. It’s there. If you know football, you know exactly what people are trying to get done.

 

Kim Jones, NFL Network: Robert, knowing that the Thursday games create a short week for everyone, how has that changed this week in that your team’s coming off an enormous win, your players seem to have noted the excitement in the building and the optimism that comes from a win like that. How much does it help that the, yes it’s a Thursday, short week, when you have all of that kind of working in your favor still?

Yeah, it’s a lot easier going into a Thursday game after a win than it is a loss. But at the same time, the turnaround, the good thing is there’s no time to celebrate. You’ve got to get back to your body, you’ve got to get back to your health, you got to hydrate, you got to regen, you got to study, and you got to attack the week the best you can because it is a very, very quick turnaround. I mean, even for us, we don’t put pads on until Thursday, because of the amount of time it takes for a player to recover from a Sunday. So now, it’s amplified even more and we’re actually going to play a football game. So, the guys were awesome in the locker room, taking control of the regen and making sure that we all got some type of regen in on Sunday night and it’s pretty cool because the players kind of police themselves in that regard and have really taken on the challenge to get themselves ready.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: What stands out about Jonathan Taylor when you study the Colts?

When you talk about the Colts, I’m not going to single out one guy, but the entire group, I’ll start with offense. Carson (Wentz) is doing a heck of a job getting the ball down field, their run game is unbelievable, their o-line is nasty. Defensively, they’re very simplistic in that they line up, they get after it, they’re a penetrating front. DeForest Buckner, obviously I have recall with him, he’s probably one of the better players that I’ve ever coached. And he is an absolute problem. Darius Leonard is an absolute problem. So, from a defensive standpoint, the soundness of their scheme, the speed at which they play. And then on special teams, they’ve been together for a while now, they’re very sound, they’re very disciplined. This is a playoff caliber football team. And I know their record may say one thing, but this is a football team that’s going to be a big problem. And it’s going to be a great challenge on Thursday.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: Speaking of Buckner, a guy he may face a little bit is AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker). We haven’t even talked about him that much in these press conferences, but how’s he doing so far? Especially in that block he made on the (Braxton) Berrios touchdown. It seemed like a uniquely athletic play.

The double bump? Yeah, o-linemen never get enough love. But AVT is on track. He’s exactly where we want him to be. Obviously, he’s always going to have things that he needs to improve on, but every other day I walk into Joe’s (Douglas) office and thank him for being very aggressive in going up and getting him. It was worth everything. AVT is a stud, knock on wood, and he’s only going to continue to grow and get better. He’s made of the right stuff, he’s got the right mindset. Football is very, very important to him, and he’s definitely not one of those o-linemen that are going to read his press clippings. His focus is getting better and trying to find a way to be his best.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: You said he’s on track, what is he on track to become? How good can he be?

For me, for all these guys, the sky is the limit, but he’s going to be special.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Robert, did you notice anything in Mike (White) this week? Coming off the win and everything that people are saying about him. Or is he just, he seems pretty…

The same. He’s even keel. He’s got a big smile on his face, he’s very deliberate in the way he goes about his business. First walkthrough this morning was no different. He’s calm, he’s cool, he’s collected and I think he exudes confidence. So, it’s an exciting time for him. And it’s not often you get an opportunity like Mike is getting, and continue to take advantage of it.

 

(follow up): Is that what gives you confidence that he could, maybe not 405 yards, but that he can do it again? He could have these types of performances for you?

Yeah, again, with all players, just give them an opportunity, let’s see what happens. When players have an opportunity, it’s that whole A to Z concept I keep talking about. When they get these opportunities, they get reps, I’m not saying it always works, but it’s amazing what might show up that you never thought was even possible. So, with Mike, there’s an opportunity, he took advantage of it once, and now hit the reset button on Monday and let’s go do it again. It’s pretty cool to be watching, because any time these moments happen, and they happen throughout our football team every single year, every single week, but when it happens at the quarterback position, which is very rare, it’s always cool to watch.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: How did Jarrad Davis come through his first action? And is there a concern with him playing four days after the short week, for him, since he hasn’t played in so long?

So, we gave Jarrad a couple series off during the game, all with the mindset with trying to help him get to Thursday. And it’s going to be the same thing this week. I thought he did a really nice job, first game back in a while. Again, his playing legs underneath him and the speed at which he can play, his length, all that stuff, he’s a hard hitter, he’s a great communicator, and I thought he did a really nice job. And for him, again, let’s stacked it up, put a little bit more on his back and continue to build his playing strength.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: It’s about 45-ish minutes to go, but trade deadline, is it safe to say you guys aren’t going to do anything?

I know, Joe, he’s been working all morning. I don’t think I’ve seen him all morning. So, I don’t want to say anything that may or may not happen.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN: How close is Mekhi (Becton)? And is there a chance he can start practicing next week?

He’s going to be a couple weeks still. He’s getting closer. His knee feels really good. But the biggest thing is trying to regain some strength back in that knee and that leg. He is a big man, but he’s coming along good.

 

Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Is that a couple weeks away from practicing or a couple weeks away from playing?

From practicing.

 

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