Transcripts: Brian Daboll | Jeremy Pruitt

What impact has Brian Daboll had on the offense and on Jalen specifically?

I think Brian’s done a really, really good job. He’s a good teacher. I think the players have a lot of respect for him. He’s very enthusiastic about what he does. Systematically, we’ve carried over a lot of things that we’ve done in the past, but the new additions that we’ve made, he certainly has great teaching progressions for. He does a great job of helping coach the other coaches so that they can do a good job of coaching players.

“I think he’s a very, very good quarterback coach. I think he’s helped Jalen mentally. I think he’s got a better understanding and confidence, especially in the passing game, of what he needs to do and what’s expected of him. I see a lot of improvement from that standpoint.

Coach Daboll’s background and organization skills seem to mesh with what you do as a program and as a staff…

“I think that’s exactly what we want them to do. We want to be well-organized in our presentations and how we teach the players. I think conceptually that helps players understand and learn more efficiently and effectively. And, of all the people that I’ve ever been with, Bill Belichick probably does this as well as anybody. For Brian to have been in that system and that organization for a long time, I think, is reflected in his organization and in his teaching progressions that he has for the players.”

What are some differences from the pro game to the college game that Coach Daboll has to learn?

“I think that there are some differences in our game. I think the biggest thing is the rule about being downfield, being able to throw RPOs, kind of play-action passes are a little bit different because the linemen can be 3-1/2 yards downfield. But I think because we have a good staff overall, and we’ve made some additions with some people who have had a lot of success with that type of offense, it’s been fairly easy to learn and implement into our system that we’ve had in the past, for Brian to learn it and implement it into the system that we have now. I don’t think it’s a big issue. It’s all football and it all comes down to ability to execute, which is fundamentally how you block, how you tackle, how you run routes, what the quarterback reads to get rid of the ball, how we pass protect.

“Those things are pretty much the same at both levels, so the one thing is probably the thing that’s a little bit different. But that’s not something that we’ve had an issue implementing.”

Will Trevon Diggs play both offense and defense this season?

“We’re not really going down that road right now. We’re really focused on trying to develop him as a corner on our team, so we’re not going down that road right now. We really feel good about the young receivers  we have, so we’re giving them as many reps as they can. And hopefully at some point this season they’ll be able to make a contribution but I think right now Trevon is focused on one thing, which I think is important, especially with young players, to define a role so that they can be effective in that role.

“Can I be off the wall for a minute? Are we WIA over there with the crutch? You know what that means right? Wounded In Action. What’s up?”

I’m questionable for next Saturday.

“You better not miss treatment then.”

Have you looked at using some defensive linemen who might be able to help in short yardage or goal line like you’ve done in the past?

“We have some guys that probably do (have that skill-set). Right now, we haven’t even done goal line and short yardage yet. That depends a little bit on the players that we have on offense, but I do think we have a couple of guys defensively that can do that. We played around with it a little bit in the spring. We’ll see how it goes here in the fall.”

How does Brian Daboll’s background as a defensive player influence his offensive strategy?

“I think any good offensive coach really understands defense. One of the things that I see in a lot of offensive coaches is they’re very systematic in terms of what they do but their knowledge of defense and how they attack things … If you’re playing a certain coverage on defense and you really understand how that coverage is being taught and implemented and what they keys are for the defensive players, then you have a better chance to exploit that by how you attack it with the patterns and what gives it a problem. The contribution that I’ve been able to make to our offense is my experience of being a secondary coach for more years than I want to admit to. I can always say, this is the hardest thing against that. I think that when you’ve been a defensive player and you have that understanding, I think that only helps you be able to do that effectively.”

What’s the update on Shaun Dion Hamilton and how is he progressing from his injury?  

“He’s worked really hard. I think he’s doing really well. He’s done very well in the two days of camp. I think he’s confident that he’s healthy. I think any player that’s coming back off of an injury is going to make day to day progress in terms of getting back to 100 percent, but he’s very close to that. He’s got a very, very good understanding of our defense, what we do, the concepts and how we play things. I think that’s going to benefit him, but I also feel there’s some other guys at linebacker that are really making some nice progress. So the competition at that position, I think, will help everybody get better.”

What are the benefits of opening the season with an opponent like Florida State?
“I think it’s challenging to get your team ready to play anybody, but obviously when you play a really, really good team, they present a lot of challenges. That’s why they’re a good team. That goes without saying, in my opinion. But the positive side of that is the players are more into it and more focused because they understand who they’re playing and they have respect for the quality of team they’re playing. I think the benefit of it is, it helps the offseason program, it helps spring practice, it helps summer conditioning because the players are really looking forward to playing in a game where they have a tremendous amount of respect for their opponent. On the other side of it, it goes a long way to tell us as coaches and our team where we are in our progression of where we’re capable of getting to because you played a really good opponent. Sometimes if you play a not-so-good opponent in the first game, maybe some of the things that are real issues and problems don’t surface. Therefore you don’t address them. I’ve always liked playing a good opponent because of the effect it has on the offseason. I think the players have really good focus in fall camp getting ready for that game and I think from a coaching standpoint it certainly tells you where your team is when you play a good opponent.”
How does continuity on the defensive staff help and how has Jeremy Pruitt taken the ‘next step?’
“I think Jeremy was a very good coordinator at Florida State and Georgia playing a similar system to what he sort of learned here. I don’t think it was a tremendously difficult transition for him to implement what we did here, but I think he did a fabulous job. I think statistically, we were better in a lot of categories than even the year before, granted we had a lot of good players, but he got the good players to play well and I think that’s the key. I think that the fact that we have all the coaches on defense, the continuity on defense, the understanding, how we coach things, how we do things, it’s probably a benefit. It’s probably a benefit with all the young players that we have and all the players that we have to replace that, hopefully, will enhance the development of those players so that we can get them where they need to be to play effectively this year.”
How important is player development when you look at great coaches and staffs?
“I think that’s what makes a good coach. I’m not talking about myself now, but I’m talking about the people on your staff that, first of all, can relate well to the players, can get the players to buy in to the things that they need to do to be all that they can be and to sacrifice the things they need to give up so they can do that to invest in themselves so they have the best chance to be successful. I think it’s important that you’re a good fit on the staff. When I say that, I mean you get along well with your peers, you buy along with the system you’re trying to teach so everyone is committed to the same goals and aspirations. It’s just as important for the coaches as it is for the players. I feel really good about the staff we have right now and hopefully we’ll be able to build and grow and help our players develop because of the staff that we have.”