November 19, 2020

On WR Mohamed Sanu: “Mohamed Sanu’s been awesome. I’ve obviously competed against him for a long time. I have the utmost respect for him as a player, competitor. Everything that he brings every single day has been great. It’s been great to be around, and I think he’s worked really hard, obviously, just trying to learn as fast as he can in our system and really just learn the team and go out and work every single day. He’s run some really good routes on the practice field, he’s done a good job of helping us on both sides of the ball and helping the defense get ready in some situations, and obviously stepping in on offense. I think he just is continuing to learn and just grow and (I’m) just really pleased with where he’s headed right now.”
On his expectations for what QB Matthew Stafford will do at practice: “I think we’ll just kind of see how it goes when we get out there from that standpoint. He’ll be out there and we’re just kind of taking it day-by-day, which is great. That’s really good for us. It’s a little bit of a – rest is good, but reps are good. So, trying to balance that all the way out.”
On how much QB Matthew Stafford has thrown the football the past few days: “I’m not going to get into specifics of what he’s done and what he hasn’t done. He’s definitely – obviously the quarterback position is such a huge, mental preparation game. I’m pretty confident in his skillset throwing the ball. It’s about being able to see the picture. I think Carolina, honestly, they do some things defensively that are just different. They play some field and boundary looks, and they’ve got some three-down looks and some four-down looks and they mix in a lot of sub groupings. They play a lot of different – what we call – dime and nickel packages. From that aspect of it, that’s really the biggest part right now for us, is we don’t really know this team very well, so we’re studying very hard to learn the team.”
On what’s different from QB Matthew Stafford’s injury now after he played with it Sunday: “I think you just always are amazed at what guys can do in the moment. I think you always just stand there and marvel at that, and certainly with Matthew Stafford, you do that because sometimes things happen in the game and you’re like, ‘This guy’s still going.’ It’s unbelievable. But then when things calm down – like we say, adrenaline is a beautiful thing – but when that stuff calms down, you want to be smart, you want to look at it and just do the right thing.”
On what he learns from playing a quarterback in a game that he wouldn’t be able to tell otherwise, like QB David Blough playing last season: “It’s a really good question. Jeff Driskel, too. We put him into action – both of those guys. I think obviously, especially at the quarterback position, so much of that is going to be leadership, and so much of that is going to be command. And certainly, you’re talking about a guy that’s going to touch the ball on every play. So, from that, I thought it was great to just watch those guys last year step in. I thought their teammates did a phenomenal job of walking into that huddle with those guys and supporting those guys when they were out there on the field. I thought those guys stepped up to the challenge. You saw the leadership come through, you saw the preparation. You saw the mental work that goes into going out there and playing. I would say this – for the quarterbacks, with Chase (Daniel) and David, they approach it like that every week. That’s really the mindset of those guys. I think it’s just different than if you’re the sixth safety on the depth chart or something like that where maybe there’s a couple other moves that are going to happen. I think when you know you’re a one position backup and that one position is the only guys that are in that position, you have to prepare and be ready to go. I thought those guys did a great job of it last year. I think Chase and David do a great job of it this year, but that’s just the nature of the backup quarterback position.”
On the difficulty of preparing for a backup quarterback who has little game tape: “Obviously Teddy Bridgewater will be No. 1, but when you look at those other guys – we have a phenomenal scouting department. We have a lot of information on these guys through the course of the year of what they’ve been and the evaluation of who they are as players, then we’ll certainly go through whatever tape you can find available, and kind of get that assessment and see if that still stacks up and is accurate to where they are now. From there, you try to project, ‘How does it fit in to the schematics of what they’re doing offensively,’ and try to do your best to prepare for that.”
On Panthers WR Robby Anderson and WR D.J. Moore: “Different scheme here offensively – one of the most explosive offensive skill set group in the League. They’re Top 5 as far as explosive plays. D.J. Moore, he’s fast, he can go vertical, he can really get behind the coverage. Robby Anderson, we certainly know he can do that, too. I think the thing with Robby that’s been impressive to me is to see his development. Obviously remember him back at the Jets, but his development now with his route running – I think he’s doing a really good job of getting in and out of his breaks, finding the space in the zones and really working some of that stuff. But speed is the first thing that stands out – and don’t forget about Curtis Samuel. This guy is kind of the Swiss Army knife of their offense, and he can go vertical, he can run over routes, and then he’s going to be in the backfield lined up in the home position to run the ball. So I think that’s the one thing for them that you see right away, is just the speed, ability, for them to really stress the defense. That’s probably the biggest thing.”
On what makes Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater difficult to defend: “First of all, his mobility is really difficult, and I would say more than just when he gets out into open space. He does a great job in the pocket. I think those are – quarterbacks that move really well in the pocket and kind of have that strength to move around and not get pulled down by an arm tackle or knocked down by maybe some pressure from one side or the other, and his ability to move, to get into some open space, and then redirect his eye downfield, I think that’s where he just becomes very dangerous. Now look, he can take off and run and then you have a bigger problem when he’s in space, but I think that’s the part to me that’s the most impressive, is when he moves within the pocket, finds that – I’ll call it that little open space for him to settle in – and then get his eyes downfield and find his receivers.”
On WR Marvin Jones Jr.’s The Players’ Tribune article: “Marvin Jones is an amazing, amazing person. Just my love that I have for him and the support, and I’m just so proud of him for where he is now and the strength, to me, is just amazing. As far as the last year, I just wanted to be there for him. You love a guy like Marvin Jones. He lights up a room every time he walks into it. From that standpoint, just support him, love him and just proud of him.”
On how WR Kenny Golladay looked at practice yesterday: “Looked good. We tried to get him back in to, obviously, some formations and catching the ball, and kind of some of those fundamental stuff. Really, I think that’s where we’re focused on right now is just fundamentals. We’ll see what it looks like today. Certainly we know there’s always the situations where you haven’t done stuff for a while, and you go out and you do something and then next day, you just try to be smart. I would say, certainly for us, we’re very conscious of the fact that we have two games here back-to-back in close proximity of a timeline that we’re just trying to put all that into the equation here as we work through it.”
On if there’s something he needs to see out of WR Kenny Golladay or is it a medical decision: “Great question. I think really in general, with all that stuff, it’s kind of a collaborative conversation. We have a lot of different – call them ‘monitoring devices’ – that we can tell a guy’s strength or speed or heartrate, all that stuff is kind of back into the range of where they need to have it in order to perform, and also to make sure we have enough sustained efforts in that range, so that when you get into a game, that something doesn’t happen in an unpredictable way. Certainly on top of that, it’s just getting back into the football shape, football routine of consecutive plays – especially guys that have to run a lot: vertical, fast, movement, skill players. Guys that do that, you just really want to be careful because you just don’t want to throw them out there and crank that thing all the way up without really knowing what you’re going to get.”

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