Robert Saleh, 10.29

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Do you know who’s been ruled out for Sunday yet?

As of now, no one’s been ruled out. Corey (Davis), obviously, he showed up on that injury report yesterday. It’s not looking good, we’re still holding on for hope, but it’s trending in that direction.


(follow up) That happened in practice yesterday?



(follow up) What does that do to your offense if you don’t have Corey on Sunday?

Obviously, he’s a stud. Gives Denzel Mims an opportunity to step into that Z role and along with the rotation that we have with Elijah (Moore) and Keelan Cole, so it gives guys opportunities to step up.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Is that potentially a long-term thing or do you guys not know or…?

We’ll see, it’s day-to-day. We’re still holding on for this Sunday, like I said, but we’ll see as it goes.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, (Tevin) Coleman, (Bryce) Huff, (Trevon) Wesco, are you hopeful on those guys?

Coleman’s out. Wesco is going to be out and so is Huff.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Jarrad Davis, will he be coming off IR for the game?

Yeah. He’s playing.


(follow up) Will he have a pitch count?

Yeah, obviously we’ll not necessarily leave it up to JD (Jarrad Davis), but just with great communication. He has not played in a while, so we got to be able to spell him. Quincy (Williams) is going to return from concussion protocol, so we feel good about that. So, we’ll be able to get him at least some reps in there to give JD a break.


Andy Vasquez, The Record: With those guys like JD and then obviously C.J. (Mosley), you got the game on Sunday and then you got a game on Thursday. So, how difficult is that to manage?

It’s tough, especially on short rest. Especially with JD, we have to be conscientious to the fact that he is going to play a game for the first time in a while and then have a four-day break before we just got to jump into Thursday. So, there’s a lot of gymnastics that are happening behind the scenes to keep these guys ready, not only for Sunday so they can be there best, but also prepare for Thursday.


Andy Vasquez, The Record: With Zach (Wilson), you talked about needing to evaluate him a little bit over the course of the week to determine what to do next. Where are you at in that evaluation and have you made a decision on whether or not to put him on IR.

We’re still there, we have until tomorrow. He’s been improving, he’s walking around the building, he’s in great spirits. So, he’s been doing everything he needs to do as a professional. Again, we’ll finish today, tomorrow and then from there, we’ll be able to make the decisions.


Mark Sanchez, New York Post: Has Joe Flacco arrived here?

Yeah, he’s here. In the building. Happy he’s here. He’s an awesome individual. So, get him out there in practice and we’ll be ready to roll.


(follow up) Do you expect him to have him on the sidelines Sunday?

He’ll be on the sidelines. Not looking like he’ll be active. So, it’s going to be Josh (Johnson) and Mike (White).


Brian Costello, New York Post: Curious Robert, you said regarding the Flacco trade, you wanted three quarterbacks in here. Does it happen after the trade deadline? Would you guys have signed a veteran free agent then or was this more the opportunity that presented itself with Flacco, so you made that move?

We’ve always had three.


(follow up) So, theoretically if it happened after the trade deadline, if Zach had happened after the trade deadline, with the injury, (would you have signed a quarterback).

Yeah, absolutely.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Ja’Marr Chase, what do you say about what he’s been doing?

He’s a stud, man, which everyone knew coming out. What he’s doing for this Cincinnati team is very similar to kind of what Deebo Samuel did for San Francisco his rookie year when he just kind of unlocked a lot of different things offensively for the rest of the guys and everyone’s gotten better. They’re already good, but they’ve gotten better because of his presence. Tight end is having a heck of a season, (Joe) Mixon looks fantastic, (Tee) Higgins, (Tyler) Boyd and then obviously Joe (Burrow) is delivering the football where it needs to do. The o-line’s holding up so they’re hitting in all cylinders, they’re a problem.


DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: Obviously with Mike White starting this week, do you feel defensively that the defense side of the ball kind of has to elevate and raise their game just to help Mike White out and take the pressure off of him. 

It’s easy to say that DJ, but the reality is, the goal of every individual is just go out there and just give it your absolute best, period. You don’t have to be Superman, you don’t have to make any plays that you’re not being asked to make. You make your plays, do your job, do it to the best of your ability and if we collectively do that, we’ll play our best. That’s all you can ask for. Then on the other side of the ball, offensively, everyone, just put out your best effort and do exactly what you’re being asked to do, do it to the best of your ability. Mike’s going to be fine and we’re not asking anyone to do more than they need to because you should already be doing as much as you can, if that makes sense. It’s a cliche type deal when you talk about other teams, other groups have to step up because the reality is, they should always be playing at their best, anyway.


Brian Costello, New York Post: We told you so much on the Bengals offense, but their defense is playing very well, too. I’m curious, you guys were in the market for a pass rusher, right, did you guys do a lot of work on Trey Hendrickson in the offseason? What have you seen from him on the film now with the Bengals?

Yeah, he’s exactly what Cincinnati purchased, basically. He’s a fantastic player, plays with a lot of effort, strain, he’s plants a flag in the middle of field in terms of what you want out of a football player but we also felt that way about Carl (Lawson) and Carl on his own right, is a disruptive force. It’s unfortunate that he ruptured his Achilles because we would be talking about him in the same light.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: When you look at the Bengals, are they kind of a good example of where you guys are now and where they were a couple of years ago and kind of put some pieces together. They got a quarterback, defense…

Yeah, I hit on it earlier in the week. This (Bengals) team in 2019 went 2-14. I was on a third year San Francisco team that beat them 41-17 in their building. They’ve been steadfast with regards to continuity, building it the right way, bringing in the people that they need to match not only what they do schematically, but the youth, allowing the youth to grow, and together, they’ve grown together. They get a couple of pieces that unlock the entire thing with Ja’Marr, (Tee) Higgins, (Tyler) Boyd. They get some play makers in there and I feel like we’re right there. We’ve got a very young football team and we’ve got a lot of really cool pieces to work with and we got a mixture of veterans that we can grow with that aren’t like they’re over the hill. Like Corey Davis is, what is he, 26 years old, so he’s got a chance to grow with us too and there’s a lot of guys like that. They’re a pretty cool blueprint to look at, with regards to how to build an organization, how to build a roster and get it back on track to where you’re winning consistently.


Mark Sanchez, New York Post: Against the Falcons and the Patriots, you didn’t get to quarterback, I guess enough, and they had a lot of rush yards against you. What have you seen from the defensive line the past couple weeks, because that’s really been a strength of the team otherwise?

It’s easy to say, from a run game standpoint, I’m always upfront and honest, and I’ll say the same thing to you guys that I tell the defense, that we will win and lose games by the way our d-line plays, period. But, with that, everyone needs to do their job. So, when it comes to run fits and all that, linebacker have to fit it right, get it to the right players, and the on-block players got to make a play. From a pass rush standpoint, I felt like we rushed the passer good against Atlanta, I know the sack numbers don’t show it, but Matt (Ryan) was getting rid of the ball in record time. Last (week), I think I speak for everyone where we all know it could’ve been better. It could’ve been better from a game plan standpoint, creating more one-on-ones for our guys, could’ve been better form a player standpoint in winning those one-on-ones, so it’s collective. And it could’ve been better in the backend standpoint, to get that hitch for the d-line. You never want to pinpoint one thing to why something doesn’t work out, but I know the d-line has been very consistent for us all season, and one hiccup doesn’t define what that group is. And I’m excited for them to get back on the field on Sunday.


Kim Jones, NFL Network: Robert, are there specific team leaders that you count on right now to kind of keep the, buoy the spirits and give the younger players the perspective about a long NFL season and how this team can stack getting better, even if it’s not yet stacking wins?

The group is awesome, they are. For the most part, these guys are resilient. They know that every time they step in between the white lines they got to go. It’s the NFL. But at the same time, and I’ll always say this, the best coached teams in the world are player coached teams. So, the teams that are the best coached, are the teams that coach themselves. It’s when the locker room takes it over, and we have a really good group. We have a great group of high character young men and we have a young group that is really trying to figure its way through everything and they’re really just trying to learn each other, there’s been a lot of turnover the last couple of years. It takes time to build that continuity, that bond. Obviously, winning seals the bond a little bit faster and those are things that we’re trying to get done.


DJ Bien-Aime, New York Daily News: The running game hasn’t exactly produced the way you guys would have wanted. What do you guys have to do to get it going, going into Sunday?

We have to move the chains first, stay on the field, convert on third down to get opportunities, to have more than four or five plays in a drive first and foremost. You look at the game last night. Pretty good example in terms of Green Bay, they only had, I think, nine possessions but they were churning out 10, 12, 13-play drives so they were able to run the ball I think over 30 times in a really tight ball game. So, it takes moving the chains, staying on the field and getting those opportunities to run the ball. It’s something that I know our offense is trying to get done.


Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, I know you don’t like singling guys out, but watching the film, Greg Van Roten’s play is really hurting guys some times this season, including this Sunday, fourth-and-one, let the tackle come across the space, some other short-yard situations, do you need him to pick up his play at right guard right now?

It goes back to football being a one-on-one game. So, obviously you always want to win in your one-on-one battles, so when you do have a one-on-one, you want to win. But you’re not going to win all of them. I think for GVR (Van Roten), what stands out is, it was a critical fourth-and-one, so it’s noticed. It’s just exacerbated. He’s been fighting his tail off, he knows he’s got to play better, we got to coach better, we got to help him better and it’s the same thing I told the backs this morning. If the o-line blocks it for nothing, you got to find two. A really good example of it yesterday in that Green Bay game again, Aaron Jones stuffed at the line of scrimmage, o-line blocked it for nothing, he churned out two more yards. This is a team game and just like we’re trying to win one-on-one battles, the opponent is trying to win a one-on-one battle. So, not every one-on-one’s going to go our way, but can you find a little bit more? That’s where GVR knows it, I think everyone knows it and I think everyone from an individual standpoint, that’s where we need to get better in terms of those one-on-ones.


Kim Jones, NFL Network: Robert, starting that New England game with two runs from Michael Carter, just with the way the offense has gone all season, felt a little uninspiring, frankly, and I was watching from home. Have you taken maybe any more of a role in the offense or have you given any kind of directive that, I mean it just has to change and I can’t imagine that you would argue it can stay as it has. How do you convey to (Mike) LaFleur that it’s got to be different, maybe?

It’s a fair question, Kim. You know the first 15, always in communication with all three phases, right, that’s constant. That’s never going to change, not just because we’re winning or losing, or we’re doing well or not. It’s always challenging to find ways to stay ahead of the curve. The reality is in the first 15, you’re going to play your favorite, you’re going to run your favorite plays, period. Whether it’s run play, pass play, doesn’t matter. We ran the ball very well against them, first time we played them and so it was an opportunity, where from a game plan standpoint, we had our two favorite runs and you’d like to think that you’d either, A, get a first down within those two runs or B, have a third-and-manageable. Didn’t anticipate that happening the way it did, not going to talk about mistakes along the way, whether it’s from a coaching standpoint, player standpoint, doesn’t matter. It didn’t work. I’ll say it a million times, when things work, you’re pretty smart. When they don’t, it’s like you said, its uninspiring and we’re not very smart. It’s one of those deals where you go back to a process in terms of, those were the two plays you picked, why? Alright, here’s why you picked it. Alright, that sounds right. Did we practice it? Did we go through the process to give ourselves the best chance and let’s be truthful, why didn’t it work? Was it because we got our butts kicked? Was it because they gave us something that we didn’t? Was it because we busted? Was it because, you know what, that was just a really crappy design? You know, there’s truth to all of it so the most important thing is to go back and figure out what the truth was so you can make a sound decision moving forward. So, I understand the sentiment, especially when everyone is back home and they’re watching because that’s fact. It didn’t work, so it’s uninspiring. The why is what’s most important.


Jeané Coakley, SNY: How about the shirt?

Yeah, so absolutely. This is (for Coach) Zoran Milich, Montgomery Township High School. He’s in his 21st season. He’s the only coach in this high school’s history and has had a lot of success so he’s our coach of the week.