Q: Have you spoken to Daniel (Jones) about what happened on Friday night? What was your reaction? What, if any, discipline do you plan to hand down for that?
A: Yeah, I’ve spoken to all of the individuals involved as well as the entire team on what happened this past weekend. We’re going to deal with things internally. The only thing I’m going to say on that is this group of guys has been very responsible from the very beginning. They’ve tried to do the right thing the entire time. Based on the conversations and the information I’ve gathered from our players, I believe they were trying to do the right thing as teammates with going out and having dinner together the other night. We have to make sure that we’re just conscious as an organization in everything we do. But anything else on top of that, we’re going to deal with internally.
Q: You’ve had a chance in every game this year except for maybe the 49ers game. Is part of the challenge with this team learning how to win and believing they can win?
A: Again, I don’t see the obstacle with believing they can win. I see these guys have confidence in each other as a team by the way they work on a daily basis and attack each game. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the learning how to win to me is really more about learning how to execute for 60 minutes consistently throughout the game. Really, it’s the sum of what you do throughout the game that that leads to the totals right there. We’ve had opportunities, we have to make sure we make more of them. We have to clean up some mistakes that have put us behind in the past. Look, we have to maximize every chance we get out on the field. These guys have competed, they’ve improved as a team every week. I’m proud of the way they fight, I’m proud of the way they prepare on a weekly basis. I love the way they play for the man next to them. I’m very proud of this group. But at the same time, we have to improve as a group by cleaning up some mistakes. We have to do a better job coaching, and we have to execute for 60 minutes on the field.
Q: I just want to clean up one thing from last weekend. Are there any injuries that came out of the game?
A: Some normal bumps and bruises. I don’t think anything really significant. Today will be the first time for us to put guys on the field. We expect to have everybody out there in some capacity moving around. We had the benefit of having that long weekend after Thursday, and then the long week heading into Monday, so that should help with a couple of the bumps and bruises going forward.
Q: I have to ask you the question I get about five times a day on Twitter. Do you have any update on Xavier McKinney?
A: You know what, he’s doing a really good job in his rehab. I know the trainers are pleased with the progress he’s making. Obviously, everyone is on their own individual timetable, but I do know I see him in the weight room making progress. This guy’s in good spirits. He does a tremendous job for us in meetings, staying engaged, staying up on scouting reports of other teams. We give him some projects internally to make sure he improves his own football IQ in terms of how to look at the other teams, that he’s mentally preparing and mentally advancing while he can’t physically be on the field for us. But him, along with all the other guys that are on that IR basis, they’re doing a good job working, doing everything the trainers ask them to and they’re making daily improvement. We’ll see where he is in terms of the long-term, getting him back on the field. We’re all very optimistic and eager to get him back on the grass.
Q: I just want to go back to that video for a second. Are you saying the optics of it were something that maybe were not good, but the actual reality of what they did was fine?
A: I’m not going to go into all of the different things of the optics and all. I’m just going to say these guys, look, we have to make the right decisions. I think what they try to do as a team on a night off, kind of assimilate a bye week if you would, go out to dinner and try to hang together as a team, that’s something they were looking to do, kind of stay tight with each other. I’ve had a lot of in-depth conversations with the guys involved, as well as the rest of the team. They understand kind of the consequences of anything you do right now in this COVID environment, as well as the public eye, of how they’re looked at and how we have to be careful. We have to make sure we make the right decisions.
Q: There was a little something in that video, I don’t know if you saw it, with Saquon (Barkley) on a bicycle. What was your reaction to that? Obviously, he’s going to have surgery soon.
A: I’m not going to comment on anything specific on that. Saquon is out in LA readying for surgery. Actually, riding a stationary bike has been part of his rehab prepping for surgery. In terms of Saquon and where he’s at, I know he’s getting ready for the surgery right now. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with him.
Q: Just one quick follow-up. With Saquon and Daniel, obviously, these are two faces of your franchise, very important guys. From what they did, there’s nothing that you see from this that you look at and you say, ‘this really did not paint us in a good light’?
A: We’re just going to deal with everything internally right now in terms of that part of the situation.
Q: I’m sure you’ll give us a complete overview of the Bucs a little later in the week, but just in terms of Tom (Brady), you worked with him for a long time, alongside him. What do you see from him right now? Is there anything you can sort of draw from your experiences with him to now maybe use against him?
A: This guy is clearly one of the best to ever play the game. He’s playing at a very high level. You watch Tom, obviously, I had a little bit different of a chance this weekend being home for a little bit, working from the house, of peaking at the TV and seeing Tom out there playing. That, along with the coaching tape I’ve watched, this guy hasn’t had much drop off. He’s playing at a very high level. He has the guys around him playing at a high level as well. One thing about Tom is he’s a very intelligent player. He thinks ahead of the play, he’s always looking for answers, he’s very proactive in how he sees the game, he understands the personnel on the other side extremely well. He’s been in all of the situations, however you slice it up, as many times as you can possibly imagine, whether that’s through practice or games. This guy is fluent in football. Look, he’s a great player. I think the thing you have to always keep in mind with Tom is he’s as tough and fierce a competitor as there has ever been in any organized sport. This guy really is truly one of the great ones. Look, it’s going to be a little bit different being on an opposite sideline from him this time. But it’s a great challenge and look forward to seeing him on the field.
Q: What was that relationship like, especially you being the wide receivers coach? Essentially, he has been around longer than you, he’s older than you. What was that dynamic like and the relationship in general?
A: I thought we had a good relationship. I thought everyone in that building really kind of fed off each other and had good relationships. Everyone understood everyone had a job to do. Every player had a role, every coach had a role. We came to work every day and our focus was being successful in our role to help the people next to us do their job as well as possible. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Tom. I learned a lot of ball being around him. How he sees it through a player’s perspective. The things that come up in a game and how he handles it. Hearing the way he kind of picks receivers’ brains throughout a practice or things he may see pre-snap. I got a lot of knowledge just listening to him talk to other guys on the team. To me, one of the most beneficial things was you could go in during training camp and you put on the one on one period, receivers versus DB’s. A lot of times you run it as a coach, there would be other times where we would let the players go ahead and do it. You would let Tom go in there and talk to the receivers about what he’s seeing and what he expects on a certain route. To me, that made you a much better coach by listening to how the quarterback sees it and what he expects on each route. To me, there’s fine points in coaching but ultimately it matters how the players see it on the field. To be able to hear through the vision that Tom had, that was really an education in itself right there. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He was a ton of fun to be around. You really got to see one of the great competitors on a daily basis. Not only how he performed but more importantly how he prepared. I think that’s some of the things that gets overlooked. It’s not accidental this guy is playing this late in this timeline. Being 40 plus years old and still playing at this high level. The things that people don’t see aren’t the time on the field. The thing that people don’t see are the hours and hours behind, where he’s in the training room longer, he’s stretching, he’s getting nutrition, the way he takes care of his body meticulously. He set the tone for an entire organization. I’m very grateful for my time being around him.
Q: Obviously, we know the number one goal is winning and you’re not happy with the record. I would assume the secondary goal here with so many second- and third-year guys is player development. Are you happy with the way all your second- and third-year guys are developing? Do you feel like you have the foundation in place with all these young players despite the record?
A: When I look at this team long term and I have a vision for this team, I know where this team is going to go. I believe we’re fully on track and I’m proud of all the players and the way they work. The culture we’re building, the foundation we’re laying right now, I see improvement across the board from all the players on a daily basis. The way they come to work and the way they fight on a weekly basis is what we’re looking for. To me, there is always a big picture perspective you’ve got to keep in mind. To me, when I look down the road and I have my vision for what this team needs to be, how we need to work to be there, how we have to play for each other collectively and the foundation we have to lay, there are a lot of things that are getting accomplished. That being said, we’re still playing for wins. We’re not asking the fans to go ahead and be happy with mediocre results. We want to go out there and we want to win for the fans, we want to win for this organization. Our players work hard every week to have tangible results. I see improvement, they see improvement. We also understand as an organization, we have to do better to give ourselves the opportunities to finish all the games we’ve been in. Our guys have shown they can fight for 60 minutes, that they can play through adversity, they can play in comeback situations. We can get a lead, we have to fight to maintain and capitalize on those leads. There’s a lot of progress I see on a daily basis and on a weekly basis. I know we’re a better team today than we were 10 days ago. I know we’re a better team today than we were in Week 1. I know we’re a better team today than we were in training camp. So is every other team, so we have to keep making progress and developing long term. When you look at the players we’re building with, I see a lot of progress and I see us moving in the right direction.