Q: Are you enjoying working with the quarterbacks as opposed to the wide receivers?
A: It’s been great. Obviously, a lot more goes into it. You’re more focused on the details of the run game. Some facets are a little bit different. Getting in a little bit more of understanding blocking schemes up front and talking about those and how things play out. It’s been a challenge, but it’s been a nice change.
Q: Is it strange working with just three guys instead of seven, eight?
A: Yea. The meetings become more of a discussion. There’s a lot of give and take. It’s got that coach feel to it because there’s only four guys in the room, including myself. It’s definitely different than having a group of fourteen guys in the room. It’s different but I found it really increases the amount of give and take between you and the players. So I’ve enjoyed it.
Q: After the season Eli had, how do you sit down and say look, you really need to improve on this?
A: I think every good player, great players like he is, Super Bowl MVP type of players; you almost don’t have to do that because they want to get better. He sits down after the season and says, ‘This is what I can improve on and this is what I need to do.’ And you just reinforce that. You bring another aspect to it: Hey did you think about this? Can we work on this? But those great players, they’re that way because they push themselves. So you’re not in a position where having to always point out to him. He comes to you with things – Hey, I want to work on this. I know I can get better here. Because he’s like that as a player, it makes that easy part of my job.
Q: Anything specific Eli is working on this training camp?
A: I think we spent a lot of time with our movement in the pocket, which is something he improved on last year. But we’re continuing to work on moving in the pocket and keeping our eyes down field and having good throwing mechanics when we’re ready to pull the trigger after we’ve had to move in and out of the pocket. I think he’s really refocused on that. We worked on that. It’s something he improved on last year. Always your decision-making and your ball security year-in-and-year-out for every quarterback in the league. Especially him, he’s very in tune with that and knows how important that is. It’s another thing we talk about all the time we work on.
Q: Can you talk about the other guys on the team. We know what Eli brings to the table, but god forbid an injury, how about Carr and Ryan?
A: I think David has done a nice job. David is an obviously talented quarterback but very willing to do his role here as the backup, which means he prepares himself to play every week. He’s prepared himself to be in that role so that if anything did happen, he’s prepared to step up and run this team to the best of his abilities, just like Eli would. I think he takes that very seriously. I think he’s done a good job of it. David brings a lot of athleticism to that spot – his ability to run and make plays and extend plays, stands out to you. He’s made some great throws in practice. We’re working with Dave day-in-and-day-out about decision-making and I think he’s taking it seriously and doing well with it. Ryan has got a strong arm. He’s an athletic kid who can move in the pocket really well. He’s working on his progressions and knowing where to go with the football. He does it. He works at it. He’s understanding coverages and where to go with the ball. I think he’s very focused in on making his decisions good and making them consistent. I think he’s worked at that.
Q: He seemed a lot sharper in the spring than he has the last couple of weeks here. I don’t know if you maybe agree with it or not, and does that have to do with just working with third and fourth team guys?
A: I think a little of that goes into it. There’s some confusions, sometimes, with the group he’s got. He’s with young guys who make mistakes. So sometimes, some things are his fault and some things aren’t. I think that plays into it. I think the one thing that Ryan is aware of and the one thing that we’re working on, is his consistency in terms of his accuracy. I think he knows that. There’s some mechanical things that he does that he’s aware of, that we’ve worked on, to try to make his throws more consistent. He’s made some great throws. He’s also missing guys as you’ve pointed out. He’s aware of it and we’re working on it.
Q: Martellus Bennett said that Eli’s really good about communicating to him how he wants things. It’s black and white – it’s clear what he wants. Do you see that with the communication between those two?
A: Absolutely. I saw it as much as a wide receiver coach as I see now. E would constantly come over to the wide receivers and say, ‘This is what I see. This is how I’m seeing this. This is the reaction I’m expecting and this is what I need to do.’ He’s very clear with those guys. He puts it in a way that’s understandable to the players. I think that’s a great tool. He’s definitely done that with Martellus; Martellus being new to the system. Just going to him and constantly reinforcing what Martellus is being coached on. But having that having that reinforced by the quarterback is always going to help because it makes you believe, ‘Hey, I got a good chance of getting the ball.’ I think he’s done a great job with that. But he does it with all the offense, but especially the new guys.
Q: Despite all the success that Eli has had and Jerry Reese said recently there’s still things he needs he need to improve on. Eli, himself, said I know there are things to do better. How coachable of a guy is he even though he’s had so much success already?
A: He’s incredibly coachable. You couldn’t ask for a better guy to coach, to be honest with you. He never comes across as though he knows everything. He’s been in the system, now, going into nine years, there’s things that he knows. But every point that you make, even though he knows it; he takes it as, it’s just something he’s hearing again. It’s being reinforced again. Because he’s such a good player, and that’s what makes him part of what makes him a great player – is that, he takes it in again and everyday we do something that he’s done something maybe one hundred times, he tries to get something else out of it. He’s one of the most coachable guys that I’ve ever been around at any level.