Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Dowell Loggains, 12.10
Brian Costello, New York Post: What’d you think was the key to your success in the running game on Sunday?
I think the guys did a really good job of executing, the guys up front, especially getting a hat on a hat, played physical. And they stuck with it. It’s not always easy to run the ball against teams with that much size and length like the Raiders have up front, but the guys battled hard. The two young backs came, and they really played well. The tight ends played a part of it. The receivers as well. It takes 11 guys to run the ball for four yards and those guys deserve a lot of credit because they really executed and fought hard and they played with great technique.
Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What’s it going to be like this week? You know Jamal (Adams) well, being on your team, but now you got to go against him and that defense. What’s it going to be like?
Jamal is obviously a very good player and offers a big challenge to any team that’s facing him and we know the player from being here and it’s going to be a challenge for our guys and I think they’re up for it and they’ve worked really hard this week. So, we’re excited about the opportunity.
Connor Hughes, the Athletic: Dowell, did you learn anything or take anything away from coaching against Jamal in practice for a year and then even going against him when you guys were in Miami?
Obviously, going against him in Miami we had a ton of respect for how good the player is. And then you come here and you see the guy is a difference maker around the line of scrimmage, the way that he attacks the run game, that’s going to be a big part of us being able to get a hat on a hat and cover him up, but also how he rushes the passer. He’s really good at winning one-on-one. He’s got really good short-area quickness. He has a nose for the ball, especially getting turnovers on sacks and those things. So, it’s going to be a huge challenge.
Brian Costello, New York Post: On the fumbles on Sunday, the two fumbles, are those partly on Sam? Is it all on the protection? How’d you kind of see those fumbles?
As a quarterback coach I wanted to say, ‘Hey, it’s always our responsibility. We have to take better care of the ball,’ but those things happen so fast and they’re bang, bang plays and you’re getting ready to throw the football and you break your hands. And when you get hit, it’s not like he was running downfield with poor ball security. So, we need to be better in protection, obviously, but in those moments, in both those throws, those weren’t per him having poor fundamentals, he was going to throw the football and got hit. So, at that point, there’s nothing Sam (Darnold) can do.
Peter Botte, New York Daily News: Dowell, you mentioned the two young backs, what did you like specifically from (Ty) Johnson and (Josh) Adams in their first extended looks?
The really cool thing as a coach is when you see these guys, they get their opportunities for the first time and they maximize it. And Josh, obviously, led the Eagles a couple years ago on rushing, but it was the first time that we got to see those guys play some extended time. And they maxed out their opportunity and its really hard as young players sometimes to get opportunities because you play behind a future Hall of Famer in Frank Gore. So, you think you know what these guys are with no preseason and no training camp, those things, you don’t really have a great feel for them as a coaching staff until you get to see them go do it. I think it’s really important for those young guys to take advantage of those opportunities. And both those kids did it and I couldn’t be more proud of those guys for themselves, the way they played, the way they helped the team compete and make it a really interesting game. But I think it also goes to tell you what they’ve been doing when they haven’t been getting their reps, how they’ve been working on scout team, how they go about their business, because they stepped in there and did a really nice job.
Dennis Waszak, Jr., Associated Press: Dowell, as far as Ty specifically, when he became available what was it about him that you guys liked that you wanted to bring to this team?
When players get signed like that, a lot of times it’s the front office signing those guys and when they get here you start coaching them and seeing what they are and with Ty you could definitely see his speed. He’s got a very charismatic personality. He was loose during the game. We got down and that was what was impressive. You start planning these young guys and all of a sudden, GVR (Greg Van Roten) is down and Josh (Andrews) has to go play and these young running backs are playing and just how they were competing, how unselfish the wide outs were like, “Hey, coach. We’ll run the ball well. Let’s stick with it.” And it was really cool for those young guys to start seeing that, like Ty. Right before we go out on the series, I think we’re down like 11 points, or 15 points, something, whatever it was and he’s goofing around with me and like, “Hey, do you think you can call some runs for me?” And just how loose he was, how charismatic he was. You could feel his personality. And it was awesome to see as a coach, to see this young kid who’s a great competitor having full on maximize his opportunity.
Andy Vasquez, The Record: Just looking back on it, it seemed like (Mekhi) Becton had a few issues in this game. Just from your standpoint, how did you think he did? And what do you say to him when obviously, he’s been pretty good the whole year?
You’re probably definitely referring to pass pro that way because he was dominant the run game. He was a big part; we drove 96 yards and we kept running left. I’m sure you guys noticed as well, but the past pro stuff it’s a challenge to a rookie to keep doing play after play after play and doing those things. And he’s going to learn from every time he gets a rep in pass pro and he’s going to be a really good, elite tackle and he just needs those reps and get to go against different players and see different moves. And as he grows, which he is every day, every game, he’s getting better and better, that’s just part of his development.
Connor Hughes, The Athletic: Have you guys been surprised at all at the success you’ve been able to have from Pat (Elflein) over there at left guard, because it seems like he’s a big part of the success over there in the run game as well.
Pat stepped in and done a really nice job in the scheme. Obviously, being very intelligent, professional player who’s been in the league for a while, it obviously helps for him to jump in. It goes back to the first time he got playing time and he was there four days and learning the offense and didn’t make a lot of mental mistakes. And there’s communication obviously and he’s communicating next to a rookie, and those guys, for the limited mistakes they’ve made together, it speaks to his character, his football intelligence, his toughness and we’re really fortunate to have Pat here and it was obviously a great signing by the front office to get him in here because he’s a professional guy that’s going to help us.
Andy Vasquez, The Record: In terms of picking up blitzes, how much does (Frank) Gore, if he’s able to play, how much can he help with that? And is it something that can help with (Jamal) Adams, stopping him too?
Obviously, Frank has experience doing that stuff, but if Frank’s not ready to play, those young guys will be expected to go out and do that. And it comes down to technique and fundamentals. Obviously, identifying who they have to block, but then it comes back, they’re going to get an opportunity to face one of the best blitzing safeties in the NFL and I think they’re going to rise to the level of their training and go do a good job for us. That’s what we expect from them, I think that’s what they expect from themselves.