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What He Said: McDermott on QB decision, injuries, White's reaction to Gronk hit

Opening Statement: Okay, I apologize for being a little late here, had a couple things to take care of. Good morning, we’ll open it up. Just [going] to give you an update injury-wise: out for the game will be John Miller, still dealing with that ankle. We’ll go from there.

Q: What is the status of your quarterback, who will be your starting quarterback?

A: Yeah, we’re still working through that. Tyrod [Taylor] will be limited today. He’s going to continue to work. It’s one of those things that’s going to end up being a game-time decision.

Q: Is Tyrod going to partake in team drills today? I know he didn’t yesterday?

A: Yeah, we’ll see, he’s going to get some work in there, and then we’ll just see how practice flows.

Q: In terms of it being a game-time decision, is that whether Tyrod is active or whether Tyrod starts? In other words, is there a chance that Tyrod is active but is the backup?

A: Potentially.

Q: If he’s [Taylor] not fully practicing today, how much does that factor into your decision?

A: A little bit. You always want players getting the full complement of reps through the week. Tyrod though, that said, he’s built up a tremendous amount of reps, muscle memory, and timing with the receivers. You saw him out there throwing yesterday with the receivers. I don’t worry about it all that much because of the work he’s put in up to this point in time.

Q: What’s the next hurdle? Is it pain, is it mobility, what’s the next step that you need to see to feel comfortable with him as a go?

A: Yeah, right, just feedback, and how he’s feeling - the pain, his ability to function. Just like it is with most any position, just the give and take of the communication, then, being able to put my eyes on it and seeing him execute.

Q: How do you feel about Kelvin Benjamin’s chances on Sunday?

A: I feel pretty good, yeah, I feel pretty good. There’s a bunch of guys in that bucket, really, that they’re progressing towards playing. We’ll see, again, how today looks.

Q: Would Cordy [Glenn] be in that bucket as well?

A: We’ll see, he’s going to be limited. I thought he made some good progress this week so far, so we’ll see.

Q: What about Kyle Williams?

A: Kyle, I would put a little bit on the further end, upper end of that bucket. He [was] a little bit sore the other day, [I] expect him at this point to play.

Q: With Tyrod, you said the pain and where it is, and that you have to monitor that. How is he today as compared to yesterday?

A: Right, I think every day he gets a little bit better. Like any injury, there is some soreness immediately after a game. Then, as the week wears on, you get a little bit better each and every day. Our trainers do a good job with that too.

Q: Where is Travaris [Cadet] with protocol right now?

A: Right, he’s cleared the protocol, and he should be ready to go come game time.

Q: With it being a bruise with Tyrod, is there any concern that if he plays, it could get worse, it could get injured more, or is it just again that pain?

A: Well, I’m not a doctor. And not to move by the question, but we’re not going to put him out there if it’s something that he could hurt worse. There’s always a case with anyone that things could take another hit in that area, so we’ll just see how it goes.

Q: Is there anymore you can tell us about the nature of the knee injury that landed Jordan [Matthews] on IR?

A: It’s more of a general type of situation there.

Q: What was Kelvin Benjamin maybe able to gain taking a step back? I know obviously, he’s not able to practice, but him getting thrown in mid-season, was there anything that benefited him taking a step back while being injured?

A: There’s positives in any experience you go through. I think for Kelvin personally, just another situation of adversity that he’s come through, and that’s a positive. He’s an extremely mentally tough individual, he’s bounced back before in his career, he’s had moments where people have said ‘well he’s not this, he’s not that,’ and now he comes through another one. I think that’s just a credit to who he is as a person, which is good to see.

Q: In practices and in meetings, what have you seen different from Nathan [Peterman] as opposed to the first week that he was named starter?

A: The great thing about Nathan, one of the great things, is he continues to be poised, composed, and has a great deal of balance in his life. He’s steady, which is a little bit unusual for a young player, in particular at the quarterback position. When I say steady, I mean mentally. He’s been through things before over the course of his career, over the course of his life that have equipped him to handle different things now in his life. We all know you get tested in this league. We’ve talked about it at the team level what happens. He’s done a good job up to this point, and I’m confident he’ll continue to do a good job in that area.

Q: At that position in particular, is that a little different to see out of a first-year player?

A: I would say overall, that mature approach. He has a set of core values that really steady him as well as great support from his family [and] his wife. At that position, you can really be – it’s the center of attention for every team, so he’s done a nice job there, yeah.

Q: Tre’Davious White had some strong words yesterday regarding what happened on the hit from Rob Gronkowski. He talked about the potential of having his neck broken, in reference to being a dad and the threat to his health and safety. With that in mind, does it concern you at all that a player is, and perhaps rightfully, consumed with something like that, when you know that your job as a coach is to keep everybody focused and looking forward?

A: I think in the context of the question that he was asked, he gave a rightful and honest answer. I understand that part of it, he [White] was the one on the ground, he’s the one with the child. I can empathize and understand that. To your question, really, we have moved forward, and we play a game in two and a half days here. We have to be focused on the Indianapolis Colts, and the rest of his response was such, that he was moving on, and had moved on.

Q: Connect to that then, have you felt the need to have a specific conversation with him, in addition to whatever you said to the team?

A: Not one at any length. He’s a guy, much like Nathan - I think if you look at our draft class this past year, this past draft, you’ll see that: Nathan Peterman, Tre’Davious White, Zay Jones. You see a steadiness about these young players that we’ve brought in, a maturity, if you will, at an early point in their NFL careers that bodes well for their future and our future.

Q: With a stark moment like that, with Tre’Davious especially, are you worried at all that it’s going to harden him, change how he is on the field as a player because, I mean he even said it yesterday, ‘I could have been paralyzed and no one thinks about that’? Does an event like that potentially change someone in how they react and respond to situations on the field?

A: In a similar response, like I shared earlier, it’s because of his foundation and where he is as a person off the field, I don’t worry about that maybe as much as I would with some other players. Again, I think these moments, our players, because of who they are, will use these to the betterment of themselves and eventually for the betterment of our team moving forward. You go through things in life, just like you go through things during the course of your NFL career. I go through things during my first year as a head coach that are valuable lessons, valuable learning opportunities to make me better. I’m sure that Tre’Davious will look at himself and say ‘hey, this is only going to make me better, it’s only going to drive me more towards my goal and what I’m trying to accomplish.’

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