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What He Said: Brian Daboll on Josh Allen, wide receivers and more

Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Q: Brian, what is it about Marcus Murphy that has made him so successful this preseason?
A: Yeah, Marcus, he came here somewhere between week eight and nine last year. [He’s] done everything right; this guy is a young player, but he practices the right way, he prepares the right way. Obviously, he’s had a good training camp, but the success that he’s had in these first couple games is a product of what kind of kid he is, how hard he works, the preparation [and the fact that] he’s serious, how he finishes in practice. There’s numerous clips out there [showing that] he just does the right thing. He’s very dependable, and hopefully he just continues to get better.

Q: Coach, Chris [Ivory] is obviously a veteran who is currently backing up LeSean [McCoy], but [we’ve seen] Marcus flash. Is it the little things that he has to do to jump into that number two backup role?
A: Are you talking about Chris?

Q: Marcus Murphy.
A: There’s roles for everybody that is a good player. I’ve been part of teams that have four, five running backs active in a game. Everybody has a different skillset, whether it’s size, speed, quickness, pass protection. It’s good to have a variety of skill guys, particularly at that position that can do different things.

Q: Where have you seen Josh [Allen]’s biggest growth from July 26th until today?
A: Yeah, he’s still learning. He’s still learning and this was a really good week for everyone, myself included, coaches included, to really hone in on the routine, more than plays or anything like that. This is a week for him and he’s going to prepare like he’s the starter, go through the routine, figure out how coach [Sean] McDermott handles Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. Same goes for me being new, of learning how we do things here, the practice reps that we get, the time in between scout team where we can go work on some other things. It’s a good experience in terms of the routine for him and myself and all the new guys around here.

Q: He was talking yesterday about putting in extra time to [establish] new motor memory and his new mechanics. Can you give us an assessment of where he is in that process and kind of eliminating any bad motor memory and establishing better motor memory?
A: Yeah, I think for any young player, you come into a new system and you learn how the coaches want things done and then you as a coach, you drill it. You drill it pre-practice, you drill it during practice, and there’s different techniques for each position that everybody wants to work on. He’s been grinding like those other two guys of working on pre-snap stuff. It starts pre-snap; everything with the quarterback starts pre-snap. Setting the table before any play is even run. Making sure you call the play properly, making sure the receivers are lined up, making sure we’re good on the play clock. Moving into the whole mechanic issue, after the ball snap, it goes into reads. Who are you looking at, the footwork, our movement in the pocket, our ability to reset [and] keep our shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, keep our eyes down field, know when to run. These are things we work on every day.

Q: How coachable of a person is Josh?
A: He’s very coachable. All the guys in that room are really fun to be around. They work really hard, they take the coaching, they try to go out the next day and do it better. It’s a good room.

Q: Brian, when you assess quarterbacks, not only the three here, but in past stops, do you ever pay that much attention to completion percentage? Is that an important part of the evaluation? How much value do you [place in that]?
A: Yeah, the job of a quarterback is to make good decisions [and] lead your team down and score points. That’s the philosophy that I grew up underneath; that’s the job of a quarterback. If the best play is to throw the football away, the best is to throw it if there’s a certain coverage, [that’s what he should do]. His job is to get in the huddle, command it, move the football down the field, make good decisions, and score points.

Q: Coach, have you reached a decision personally on where you’re going to reside come the regular season?
A: Yeah, I’m going to be up in the box this week. It’s been a good process. I have a lot of confidence in the coaches out on the field. All of those guys have a lot of experience, so I’ll be up in the box again this week.

Q: But you’re undecided for the regular season?
A: Yeah, we’ll take it one week at a time, but it’s been a good process with the coaches down on the field. They do a good job with those guys being able to see things upstairs. You can still get the call in quickly, so it’s been good with the assistant coaches.

Q: What are you looking for most when it comes to Josh? What are you looking to see from him in this game?
A: Improvement from week two. That’s our mantra; that’s always going to be our mantra. There’s some things that we did well [and] there’s some things we can improve on top down from all of us. Again, making sure we’re in the huddle, making sure we control the clock, making sure we do the pre-snap stuff before the things start. That’s just as important as after you see a play and moving in the pocket and throwing. If we don’t do those things properly, usually the play doesn’t have a chance to be successful. He’s working really hard; it’s no different than any of the other days. He’s out there grinding, doing good in the meetings, on top of his reads and in the film. That’s what we expect from all of them.

Q: Coach, can you give us an overview of what you’ve seen from Dion Dawkins? He’s a young player in a very important spot on offense.
A: Yeah, I think Juan [Castillo] and Andrew Dees do a great job with him, with all the guys. He’s young, he’s athletic, he’s got good size, he can bend, he can move, he can run. He has a very good skillset. Again, he’s still young in the process, too, so there’s certain things that those guys don’t see. That’s a tough position to play, tackle in general, but then you have to be on page with the left guard, the center. It’s really the ultimate team right there on offensive line. [He is] competitive, works hard, athletic. He’s got to keep improving.

Q: Is that a good lesson that he’s learned from Myles Garrett? He had a couple good plays [in the game].
A: Yeah, that’s going to happen. That’s why those [defensive] ends are pretty good in this league, and some of them are really good. That’s a challenge that all the tackles, I think, have to rise up and be ready to play against the very best, particularly at that position. Look, are you going to get beat once in a while? Sure. They’re pretty good players, too. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Dion.

Q: Brian, what’s going to decide the center battle ultimately?
A: Who we think is best for the team to start. That’s the simple answer, but that’s the answer. Those guys are both still competing, doing a good job, smart, work extremely hard. At the end of the day, I know [for] coach McDermott and the rest of the staff, whatever we think is best for the team, that’s what we’ll go with.

Q: Brian, what have you seen from Zay Jones?
A: Good question. [He’s] smart, he’s a smart player, and again, I talked about this the last time, I think, there’ a difference between being in the classroom and not being able to operate on the field and knowing all the answers and then getting out on the field. I think he’s got to continue to build stamina. He’s in good shape, but he’s a little bit behind where some of those other guys are just because he hasn’t practiced to no fault of his own. [He] understands things very well, he can see the big picture, runs crisp routes. He’s a good, young player to work with.

Q: The same [idea] with Corey Coleman: he came in late [so] where is he at [in his development]?
A: He’s, like I said before, that’s a tough deal when you’re coming in new and you haven’t been here, but that’s the life of the NFL. [He’s] really a good worker. He’s been here, stays late with the coaches, trying to do everything he can do to pick up the system. That first week, he [played] a team that he just got traded from and then we’re past that now. He’s moving in, he’s growing in the system, getting more reps, learning some different roles. We’ll just keep on building him.

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