Opening Statement:
 “I would just start with this, later this afternoon we’ll be putting Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker and Austin Bryant will go on the COVID list. And so, that will be coming down the wire. And then look, I know you’re going to ask about Jared Goff, so we’ll see where he’s at. He’s improving. He’ll run around tomorrow and see how that feels and then we’ll figure out if he’ll be able to practice Wednesday, what it will look like and just kind of move on from there.”
On WR Josh Reynolds’ outlook to return from Reserve/COVID-19: “He should be ready. He’s a lot better today than he was certainly two days ago when we were getting ready to leave. So, we would expect have him back. He should be good to go.”
On managing the losses of T Taylor Decker and T Penei Sewell in practice this week: “I think you’ve got to prepare like you’re not going to have them. I mean, we thought we would have Josh (Reynolds) and I was being hopeful, I was being optimistic with it and we didn’t get Josh Reynolds. So, lesson learned there a little bit. Now, we were ready. (KhaDarel) Hodge got those reps, it was all good. But, I think – yeah, (Matt) Nelson has got to be ready to go and Will Holden and those guys. In the meantime, the good news is – for example Taylor, if he’s able to go, he’ll be good. Mentally, he’ll be on it. He’ll be doing the virtual meetings. He’s played a lot of ball, so I think he’ll be ready to go. I think Sewell can handle it too as long as they’re physically ready and back from COVID. So, it’s doable.”
On QB Tim Boyle’s performance yesterday and his progression from his previous starts: “Well look, he ran the offense well again. I mean, he does great with communication with those guys. I mean, we had a lot of kills in, a lot of checks and he handled it great. That’s something we feel like – he doesn’t have any problems with any of that stuff. I thought he read coverages pretty good, there again. I thought he made some really good throws. I mean, it’s kind of like what you guys saw, there were ups and downs. It was inconsistent. You make a really good throw and then maybe on another one he wouldn’t quite get his feet set and he’s making an off-platform throw when really if he just sets his feet, it’ll be more accurate there. So, those are little things where – you love the fact that he plays fast, but you’ve just got to calm some things down. That will help him. And, I bring this up, he’s – and it’s easy to look at it and three interceptions and I know, but there is something about this guy and I think he’s going to get better. I think these reps are invaluable for him. And look, he got put in a tough spot. Now, that’s what he was charged with, we all were, but that’s not the type of game we envisioned. And I don’t care who you are, you don’t want to get into those type of games. That’s hard on a quarterback. Even through all of that, I did see improvement and he plays fast, he’s efficient and it’s just some of those things, we’ve got to calm him down. He and (Tom Kennedy) TK, the one interception they had, it was just body demeanor as far as, ‘Is Kennedy running out of this or is he tight turning? And, if you just hold just a minute, just a tick longer, you’ll feel what he’s doing.’ But, he’s trying to get that ball out of his hand and they’re not on the same page and it’s a pick. Look, I’m not discouraged, I’m not. He knows better than anybody, he’s got to learn from this and he’s got to cut those things out. But, there is some stuff in there that I’m pretty encouraged by.”
On how he can help QB Tim Boyle slow down in games: “I think a lot of that is what he learned under the guy (Aaron Rodgers) he was with in Green Bay. The guy plays pretty fast, so I think that’s been the clock in his head and I think he – look, he practices that way and a lot of those times in practice, you’re giving him the looks you’re going to see in the game. It’s competitive, but yet you try to give him that look, ‘Here’s what we’re playing for.’ And so, it’s cleaner, it can be cleaner. So, sometimes in a game when it may get just a little bit fuzzy, while he’s still on, the clock in his head is telling him, ‘Go, go. Throw it. Throw it.’ And, if you hold just a tick longer, it will help you. I think that’s what he – he plays so fast that him just slowing down a little bit is going to do a lot for him. Whereas, some other quarterbacks, if you slow down more than you already are, we’re going to be in trouble. That’s a sack. But no, I think there are some good things in there, I really do. I think he’s a quick thinker and I think he’s going to learn from this and be better for it.”
On if he had an issue with Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll’s play-calling at the end of the game: “No. I mean look, the way I look at that is, ‘Well, if you don’t like it, you better stop it.’ Hey man, kudos. To be honest with you, if they would have ran it in at the end, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that either. It’s up to us to stop them. There are 60 minutes on that game clock, so if you’ve got a problem, then why don’t you stop it? Otherwise, they’ll just keep piling it on. So, no, I don’t have any problem with that.”
On the defense’s effort in stopping the Seahawks run game: “I would say this, when you look at it, it wasn’t effort. There are a few things, number one, I thought they did a really good job over there, Seattle. They had a really good game plan and I felt like they really exploited our youth. They did a lot of things that I felt like forced us to be very detailed and very gap-sound. Man, you had to have disciplined eyes on a lot of things. They are bringing these Casper motions, these turbo motions with the receivers and they’re booting back this way and then here comes the over and now they’re doing the same thing and they’re running it. And there again, I start with this, when you’re able to get a gash run, all of a sudden you start building some things off of it with the keepers and all of those – especially with that quarterback, it creates a lot of issues. When you go through there and you start watching, I felt like there were a lot of things where we got exposed on. We got exposed on a little bit and some of it looks like the first time we’ve seen it with some of our – particularly, with some of our young guys. And then there again, there were two or three of them in there where we’re fighting to hold a gap and we’re kind of in there, the back cuts up and we try to overplay back the other way thinking he’s going to go to that gap. And then, he puts his foot in the ground and goes right through. (Rashaad) Penny is a good runner, but it’s like ‘Ah.’ You’ve got to trust it, put your guy in the gap if it’s not you and then play back when he decides he’s truly committed there. And so, we got all out of sorts. We got pushed around a little bit, feet not under us. It was sloppy.”
On if the game film from yesterday will be a good learning experience for younger players: “Well yeah, it better be. It’s got to be. It can’t be in vain, I know that. But yeah, they’re going to have to learn from it because look, Green Bay is going to do that stuff to us and then every opponent who we get ready to play next year is going to look at the same thing and want to do all of that stuff. This is a copycat League. Everybody is going to do what you get exposed by until you show that you can stop it.”
On WR Amon-Ra St. Brown having the mentality of being focused on team goals rather than personal goals: “Look, we like what Amon-Ra is about. It was one of the reasons why we selected him and why we had him targeted. It’s just his – it’s kind of his demeanor. He’s always been – he’s a little bit more mature than most rookies. There is an intensity about him. We’ve said this really kind of from day one when we started in camp, but he’s cut the right way. He’s all about business and he’s competitive. He’s really a total player, run game, pass game. Hell, you see him carry the ball. He’s smart as a whip. Which by the way, I have no idea where that term came from, but I’ve used it all of my life because my dad has. So, if any of you guys want to tell me that one – I’m sure you’ll look it up – but, I have no idea. He’s smart and when you have a guy that is that competitive, that smart, that versatile, the sky is the limit and it makes it fun for us as coaches because you feel like you can start tinkering a little bit and you can do different things with him and find different mismatches in the defense. But no, look, we love his attitude. He’s all ball, he’s all business and he’s tough.”
On his feelings on the sideline when he sees the team continue to fight despite being down in games: “It’s a good feeling because you feel like you’re getting momentum back, like we have a chance. I mean look, we score, we get the onside kick, which was a great job by (Riley) Patterson and Bobby Price. That was a hell of a job. And then, Godwin (Igwebuike) coming up there with the recovery. And then, we score again. And then – obviously the play you just talked about that was the second score. And so, you feel like you’ve got some momentum. And so, you just believe you’re going to go out there and your defense is going to get a stop or we’re going to get a turnover. And then all of a sudden, we’re going to go down and score again because we had the feeling – when we were getting the ball and moving it, getting it down there, we’re scoring touchdowns, which that was a positive. We weren’t having to settle for field goals. That was one of the silver linings of yesterday is offensively when we got some first downs and we moved the ball, we were getting touchdowns, we were getting seven. So, it was like, ‘Man, if we get a stop here and get it back, we’re going to move it down and score seven again. So, the vibe – that’s the feeling. That’s the good feeling is, ‘Yeah, this is working.’ But, you’re also turning the tides and we just couldn’t – we couldn’t get it turned our way. It was too little too late and we dug ourselves in a ditch. And then, we couldn’t get it back.”
On when he decided to implement a seven offensive linemen package in the offense: “That was this week and that was by necessity really because we lost our tight ends and had two new tight ends. When your two tackles are two of your better athletes between O-linemen and tight ends, you’re tempted to want to throw to them. But, they did a good job. They did a good job and Taylor (Decker) did a hell of a job. That was a hell of a catch. I mean, it really was. Look, we’re trying to find a way to move the ball and anything that looks like the same sets that we run the ball out of, you just try to use some of those if you can find a little nugget in there.”
On where he feels he has grown as a head coach since his hiring: “Shoot man, I would just think the things here as it pertains to organizing the schedules, scheduling, practice schedules, daily schedules. I think in-game management I’ve gotten a wealth of experience. And, it’s one thing to get as a head coach, but then just as a play-caller, I felt like I’ve gotten so much more comfortable with calling an offense, but also still managing the game. That was an area I felt like four or five weeks ago that was a big learning curve. But, I felt like everything has started to begin to slow down now as far as that goes. My confidence is a lot better. I just feel like I see things a lot more clearer. Look, just from my own time management doing what I do has improved. Nobody is really going to see that, but just having a handle on obviously our offense as I call it, but then defense, special teams throughout the week and catching up on the film and making sure I’m on top of the opponent, the totality of what they are. I think those things I feel like I’ve grown a lot.”
On if he had help in making adjustments as the season has progressed: “Look, you’ve got help from everybody here. I mean, you can’t do it – that’s the thing, you can’t do anything alone. So, I give credit to the whole staff. The minute you think you’re doing everything by yourself, you’re crazy because you can’t. So, I credit the staff, everybody around me. Support staff as well. Everybody’s got a hand in that.”
On how the team keeps track of positive COVID-19 tests with the new protocols: “I guess since the rule had changed – whatever that’s been, a week or two ago now – it’s up to you as a player. Unless you’re unvaccinated, you still have to test certainly. But, it’s really up to you and I would say that – look, that’s their personal call if they want to do that or not. And, I’m telling you, you get torn between, ‘OK, if I do test and I’ve got this, there’s a good chance I don’t play. If I’ve got this and I don’t report it and I’m spreading COVID to my teammate and he’s got a family at home –’ it’s a balancing. And I’m telling you, there are a number of players that are that way. I feel like it’s a hard call. And so look, I don’t fault anybody for it. That’s your call and what you want to do with it and how you look at it. And so, that’s kind of where we’re at with it.”
On T Penei Sewell’s growth over his rookie season: “I feel like the most growth has come in his pass protection is what I would say because I feel like the run player has been there, almost since he’s stepped onto the property here. But man, I think you saw the growing pains a little bit, him going against some really good rushers in preseason and early in the year, he’s left, he goes back to right. He’s dealt with some damn good rushers and he had some ups and downs and I feel like over the last – really, the last half of the season, he’s really grown and you feel like – there were about three or four different sets in there yesterday where you watch him on Carlos Dunlap, who’s still a good rusher and he’s long, Sewell’s doing a few things that you see out of a pretty crafty, wily, eight-year vet that’s a pretty good athlete. Like, you’re watching him do some things where he’s trapping hands and he’s just – he’s learning at an exponential rate and the fact that he’s such a dang good athlete. I just bring it back up again, he’s a great athlete and he’s 330-something pounds. Those guys, they don’t just fall off trees. But, I think that’s where he really has improved and that’s the hardest part of his job, of that job, playing tackle. And so, that’s encouraging.”
On what makes T Penei Sewell a good run blocker: “I will say this, let’s start here, any good run blocker has got it between their ears. So, if you choose to be a good run blocker and you’ve got a little bit of an attitude, that’s going to go a long way for you being pretty good. That’s what he’s got before anything else. And then, certainly once you add that ability and his explosiveness and size, then that’s a force to be reckoned with. But, he’s got the demeanor and the attitude and he’s had that. You know what, you can’t coach that. There again, that’s another reason why we love this guy and why we picked him where we did.”

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