home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 6, 2018

Brian Daboll

Atlanta, Georgia

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Good. You know, it's been a normal week, regular. You don't have a month off to prepare, so you got to really get on your opponent. Not a lot of sleep, which I'm sure both teams are going through in terms of their preparation an all of the things you got to deal with, but players are focused. We still have a few days to make sure we straighten everything out and get things -- you know, things where we want them, but good focus and just keep on grinding it out.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, well, Coach Martin, Coach Tucker do a wonderful job with their scope, present a lot of different issues. They are very strong down the middle with Atkins and obviously Smith who made a ton of tackles if you don't get ahead on him, he pretty much disrupts every play. Reed and Sanders have six picks at safety. Multiple system, multiple fronts. Very good players, good edge rusher, instinctive, do a good job of playing the offensive plays. They've held five teams to seven points or less this year. Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech. Their top fav in store scoring, top five in yards, play good situational football. Only gave up 20 point three time this year, so it will be a huge challenge.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, yeah. Obviously they're here for a reason. They've been very successful this year. They play outstanding defense. Both of those coaches are -- a lot of respect for them. I was a graduate assistant with Mel. We've played each other for years when he's been at Chicago, Jacksonville and Cleveland. You know, they've come up this system, so, be a huge challenge, you know?

Q. Have you stayed in touch with them at all, text them or anything?
BRIAN DABOLL: No. I mean, throughout the years, but yeah, but obviously not this week or recently.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Really, everything. He's a very, very smart player. He's got great instincts. He knows when to take chances. He's a very good tackler. They put him on the edge and rush him as well. He's a very productive player. He's over 120 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks. I think he diagnoses plays very well. He can cover, he can rush, he can tackle. There's a reason why he gets all those accolades.

Q. How disruptive is he?
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think no matter what system you run he's a disruptive player because he's such a good player. You got a lot -- you watch him on tape. You watch good players on tape you have a lot of respect for what they do and their abilities. He's a big time standout and big time player.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. Any comparisons similar between the two?
BRIAN DABOLL: Look. They're very detailed and demanding in what they ask you to do. Everybody in the systems and organizations has a role to do. I just have a tremendous amount of respect for both of them. I couldn't ask for two better mentors.

Q. How have they really helped?
BRIAN DABOLL: Really, everything. You know, start with the football aspect of it. They're brilliant football minds in all three phases of the game. But they're exceptional leaders and managers of organizations. And I think one of the things that I've learned from those guys is how to lead in good times and in bad times. You know, they're pretty much unbelievable in every aspect of the organization from what you do after a win, what you do after a loss, how to motivate different guys. You know, they're just -- it's been a blessing. 14 of my 20 years I've been able to work for those two guys.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No. I mean, I just -- I got enough to worry about with Georgia and getting ready to play this game, you know? You only have a few days to get ready and a lot of things to prepare for, so my focus is on Georgia and this week.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Sure. Have a lot of confidence in those guys. I think Coach Key does a really good job with them just like any position throughout the year, you try to develop and improve. If you can do that, you have a chance to kind of keep on growing and doing the things you need to do. Have a lot of confidence in them. Last week, I thought they did a pretty good job against a really good defensive line. You know, but last week really doesn't matter. We got another one coming our way, and it's kind of what have you done lately for me.

Q. Along those lines, where have they made the most progress?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think in all areas. That's kind of how you develop as a football team in offense.

Whether it's double-teams, combination blocks, communication or protecting inside out. I think those are the things you try to work on every day at the offensive line position, and, you know, if you're not improving you're getting worse and then you have issues.

Q. Just kind of expanding on that, with your offensive line. Talk about how they match up against Georgia defense. We know up front they can be -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: It's a tremendous challenge with their front guys. They rotate a lot of guys. Again, strong down the middle. Leadbetter, Clark on the edges. They play multiple fronts. So, sometimes they'll play a three-four front. Sometimes they play a four down front. They have good edge rushers with Carter, Bellamy, and it's going to be a good challenge for those guys. They have very, very good players. They have a very good scheme. They are well coached. That's why they're here. Just a tremendous amount of respect for that entire organization.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: You know, I don't even -- I try to enjoy myself every day, and I'm blessed to be here, and I'm blessed to work in this profession. It's a great profession, but you're not really thinking about, you know, fun or not. You're just going to the next deal. You're such a creature of habit and routine.

You have so many things you got to try to accomplish and you have such a small time to do it. That's where your focus needs to be.

Q. Were are your players the same way? They don't have the ability --
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I think the only thing we're focused on, our preparations and practice. If we focused on anything less, we would be doing ourself a disservice.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: We're in a competitive business, so, you know, anything that happens on the sideline or practice, you're in a competitive business. You got a short memory, you move on, and you go to the next deal.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I mean, it's really not a big deal.

Q. TV cameras caught it. I thought I'd talk about it.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. No. That's okay.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I mean, this is a young man that is -- he works extremely hard, both in the classroom and football wise. You know, in the classroom as a student, tries to do the right thing. Impressive young man, works really hard. Obviously he's a very athletic player and tries to improve, good teammate, so, has been a good, young player to work with.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No, I mean, your job as a coach is to tell the players what to do and show them how to do it and really work with them to improve. Whether that's Jalen, Tua the running backs, that's kind of our mantra.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think, look, there's two teams here at the edged of the year that are obviously both deserving to be here that are very talented. You know? Have a lot of respect for one another, and it would be, you know, it would be a very competitive, hard fought game with a tremendous amount of respect for the opponent that you're playing.

Q. Is it significant to you at all that the other team -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: It's the next play mentality of, the next team mentality. You know, that's -- again, both teams deserve to be here and we've got a big challenge ahead of us.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, we like all of our backs in space. You know, we like them inside, outside. You know, you have to pick and choose what you do based on game plan and things like that, and, you know, we really like those guys inside, outside, pass game, tosses, hand-offs, you know, they've done a good job for us.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, you're just in a professional business, competitive business. I mean, look, I've Ben doing this for 20 years. You just -- it's no big deal.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. What obvious similarities -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. That's a good question. Look. There's a lot of, with Coach Smart and coach Tucker and Coach Saban and Pruitt, there's been some common things that you see. Every coach is a different coach. Every coach has their own philosophy and those coaches at the University of Georgia have a wonderful scheme. It's hard to prepare for. You know, we have a week to do it. It's unlike the previous game that we were ready for. So, they have a lot of challenges, not just with their scheme but with their players.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't know. I think that -- look. I think that your focus, when you're playing in any game, is just to concentrate or on your job and do the things that you can do and for that particular week. Again, it's a week to prepare for. It's kind of like a normal week. So, if you're not focused on the things that you can do in your job, and you're concentrating on other things, that's a distraction. Look. I've been raised in this business to eliminate distractions and focus on your job and that's what I'm going to do.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: What I've done my entire life. It's not anything different.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think Coach Saban does a great job. He's our leader. He sets the tempo for us. I think that these guys have been coached hard and been coached the right way and I think they're really focused on the things that they need to do.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Doing your job. Yeah. Doing your job to the best of your ability. Everybody has a job to do in the organization. I can't do theirs, you can't do mine. They can't do another job. Everybody has a job. Focus on your job and help the team out any way you possibly can.

Q. What changed from the team coaching from the Auburn game?
BRIAN DABOLL: Each week is its own entity. You focus on each week. So from week two to week three, from week 10 to week 11, or from his game to the next game, everything. It's such a different game. You're a week-to-week game, and that's your focus and that's how we approach it.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I mean, you do whatever you can do for that week to try to put the best plan together. And, again, they're -- they do their own stuff. I mean, is there some similarities? Sure. But I think any time you play, you know, against someone that has some common deals, there's always going to be something that's similar. But there's also going to be a lot of things that are different, too. Because, again, each one of those coaches have their own identity and their own fingerprint and what they want to bring to the table and obviously they've done an amazing job with that football team, and, you know, their scheme. It's just -- it will be a big challenge.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No. Because every -- look. They didn't play for them at Georgia. So, you have to do your due diligence. You have to try to study as much tape as you can and try to put the best plan together and have the best week of practice that you can. Thanks.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: He's -- whatever we have for -- whether it's drive starters or first and ten plays, early down, he's capable of doing it all. I think that -- I think his comfort level is good with the entire offense. So whether that's an RPO, or quick drop-back or a longer development drop-back. I think I have confidence in all of them.

Q. What do you think of the whole RPO, coming from the NFL?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, it's been kind of cool to learn that deal.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think, look. The game is ever evolving. For me, it was good to learn that aspect of it, you know? I think there's definite advantages, but you have to execute them. You know? You have to be able to execute them.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. How does that help get the defense spread to maybe create lanes for running?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Look. You got five eligible receivers in on every play. There was times we try to get five out quick and try to make a quick pass and discourage some of their disruptive front. You have some plays where you use them as play action runners. I think our backs are capable to line outside, inside, and they're talented in the run game and passing game. So they're going to have to play well this game.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: He works extremely hard to -- in all aspects of his game. There's a lot on the quarterback position, you know, and there's a lot on him in terms of the stuff that we do, too. Not just in the passing game but in the run game, whether that be run checks for him, whether that's, you know, read runs. There's a -- he has quite a bit on him, and he works really hard at trying to improve every week.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Same deal. Those guys great in the meeting room together. We work every day to improve. That's our mantra, is just take one day at a time, you know, work on the things we need to work on. Sometimes that's a week-to-week deal where we can improve on one thing from the following week. Really good camaraderie in there. They do a good job.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: A lot. I'd say very disruptive, very well coached by Coach Tucker and Coach Smart. Play a lot of unique and different fronts. Sometimes they are in three-four. Sometimes they can go to four-three, do a lot of different things on third down. Very good cover player, strong down the middle. Obviously, with Atkins and Smith, who is as disruptive a player as we played, you know 120 plus tackles 5 1/2 sacks. They can line him off the ball. They can line him on the ball. He can cover. He can rush. He's very instinctive. Reed and Sanders do a great job reading the quarterback. Good man players on the outside. Can rush. They've given up seven points or less in five games: Mississippi State, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Auburn. You talk about a team that top five in scoring in yards, situational, well coached. Bigtime challenge.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No. No. I mean, we just go to work and try to improve, and, you know, everyone has a job to do and that's what we try to do.

Q. With Jalen -- (indiscernible). What's been the biggest thing to be able to protect him?
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, decision making at the quarterback position. You got to make a good decision maker. Every play has a risk and reward to it, right? So, you know, what am I going to gain from this play versus what can it cost us? He's a good risk-reward manager with the football, does a good job of protecting it in the pocket with two hands. He's a runner, too, so that there's some times where he's running through the line of scrimmage around the perimeter. But that's obviously a huge component in terms of offensive football is doing a good job protecting the football, and we're playing a team that is really, really good at getting it out. Like fumble recoveries, 11 interceptions, multiple other opportunities that they had to get the ball out. We're going to really have to be good in that area.

Q. (Indiscernible.) What stood out about the way he handled that?
BRIAN DABOLL: I would just say that he's a very consistent, mature young man who just focuses on one day at a time, one play at a time, and he's just, you know, he's very even keeled.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No. I mean, just when I got to know him and building our relationship. He's a very even-keeled, mature young man.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think the players that have been there are good football players, too, but they also have good football teams that are surrounding them. Good defenses, good skill players. It's not as much to me as a one position as it is a collective team.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: This is my first year recruiting, so --

Q. That's true.
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Good question.

Q. The seven on seven --
BRIAN DABOLL: I mean, it's a year-round deal.

Q. They know they're more advanced in passing.
BRIAN DABOLL: Obviously the guys I talked to, I'm very impressed with those guys.

Q. (Indiscernible question.) Yeah?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, I think it's the evolution of football. Thank you.

Q. Coach, what really jumped out. Can you see some things you can explain on that defense?
BRIAN DABOLL: This defense is an outstanding defense. They are well coached by Coach Smart and Coach Tucker, have a very difficult scheme. They've only gave -- there's five games that they played in that they gave seven points less: Mississippi State, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia Tech. They've only given up 20 points three times. They are top five in points, they're top five in yards, they're good on third down, they're good on red zone, play good situational football, have very good players at really all three levels, but they are strong down the middle with Atkins and Smith, although the accolades and the things he's received is well deserved. 120-plus tackles, 5 1/2 sacks. They line them up everywhere. He's a very instinctive player. If you don't block him, he's going to make the play. He diagnoses plays really well. Strong at the safety position with Reed and Sanders. They have six interceptions. They can cover man-to-man, they play zone, they pressure, they line up in different spacing on the fronts. They keep you guessing, do a good job of keeping you off balance. Tremendous amount of respect for that school and organization.

Q. How have you grown personally? You've worked with the greatest NFL coach of all time Bill Belichick. You're working with the greatest college football coach in Nick Saban.
BRIAN DABOLL: About 20 pounds I think. No, I'm privileged to have worked for those two men and couldn't ask for better mentor, 14 of my 20 years I've learned, not just football from them but how they run organization. Their readership style. How they handle different things. So, I could -- you know, it's been an unbelievable experience to be able to learn from those two. Again, not just football, but how to run an organization, how to lead when things are well, how to lead when things aren't so well, how to stay focused at the task at hand, you know, doing your job, everyone in the organization has an important role. So, you know, just been blessed to be able to learn from those two guys.

Q. Talking with Jim Chaney earlier, this game has unique with Kirby Smart and Pruitt knowing the entire roster of both of these teams, you can have Kirby what all do you know about these guys?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think when you're playing an opponent that has common, whether it's coaches, players, you do your due diligence and try to do whatever you can do to give yourself as much advantage as you can, whether that's scheme, personnel. But at the end of the day, you really got to hone in and do your work on the tape and look at the things they've done, and study their players, and study their scheme. Again, you got a normal week to do it, so we've been burning the midnight oil here.

Q. Is it kind of a unique situation or you find it's all part of coaching?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. It's part of the -- it's part of the next game. There's plenty of games I've been part of you play guys that you know or have former players that go to different -- in the national football leek so it's really what do you got to do this week to try to give yourself the best chance to win.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Have a great amount of respect for my players and what they do and how they go about their work and everyone has a role. And you never know when that one particular play is going to come up where you need to answer the bell and they've worked really hard this year. They've put themselves in this opportunity, good opportunity, so, it's been a pleasure to work with these guys.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Jalen is like all of the guys we have. I mean, from where we were in August to where we are now, it's night and day. You know, that's why you put all of those hours of work in in the classroom. That's why you put all of those hours of work on the practice field. Good teams try to improve as the year goes along. It's not always perfect but very good mind set, works extremely hard in really all facets of the game?

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. You do that in the offseason but our focus right now is really just on Georgia and things we need to do and getting prepared for them. There will be time for that later.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yep. Yeah. I'd say really good players on all three levels. Well coached, excellent scheme, strong down the middle, too. You know, Atkins, obviously, Smith, I've talked about at length with his ability, his instincts, 120-plus tackles, strong down the middle with the safeties. Reed and Sanders with six total interceptions and do a really good job of diagnosing routes, reading the quarterback, getting jumps on the ball, good man corners that can play man in zone. They roll some guys in there. There's a reason why they're top five in offense or defense. They're top five in points, basically top five in yards, good on third down, good in the red zone, great in interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, have held five teams at seven points or less. Four of them were S.E.C. teams. One was Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn. You know, three times they've given up 20 points or more, so there's a reason why they're here. They're very well coached. You got to do your due diligence in everything, man, so will be a huge challenge.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't know. I just -- look. We got a big day ahead of us in practice. The game unfolds how it unfolds. Our job is to try to go out there and do the best we can.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Look. There's always going to be some similarities with people that have worked with one another, and are there similarities? Sure. But there's also some differences, too, because, again, Coach Smart and Coach Tucker they have their own thoughts and their own visions on how they coach their guys. Again, tremendous amount of respect for those guys and the job they've done. Melted and I were G.A.s together for Nick 20-some years as, so it's an interesting deal.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. You know, that's the coaching profession. You have friends and move on and different guys are at different places so, yeah, tremendous amount of respect for Mel.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Look. It's just about playing well. I mean, that's what it is. That's what every game comes down to, is going out there and executing your assignment, and being able to operate. Your job. That's really what it comes down to.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, you don't really have too much time to over think right now. You have a short time to go ahead in a normal week, so, you know, you do the things that you think are going to give you an advantage, and you really try to focus on the scheme and their players and go out there and do your job the best you with do it.

Q. Back in the G.A. days, did you eat a lot of peanut butter jelly and switches?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. A lot of work, a lot of work, yeah. But wouldn't change it for the world.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: You know, it was just an opportunity that came up, and it was brought in by Coach, and just sat down and talked with him, and my wife, and fortunately got the opportunity to do this and I just thought it was a great organization, with a great leader, and, you know, made that decision to come here.

Q. Was that Nick calling you directly?
BRIAN DABOLL: Like normal. The end of the year, a lot of things happen, and, at the end of the day, I'm here and I'm happy.

Q. You may have already answered this.
BRIAN DABOLL: That's okay.

Q. How does preparing for a Super Bowl different or similar?
BRIAN DABOLL: Really preparing for any game is kind of the same -- you're such a creature of habit when you're in this profession on the things you need to do, so when you start out and have a normal week, you know how you're going to start the week, and you get third down and red zone and get to two minutes and two-point plays and it's just you're a creature of habit and you have a routine and try to prepare that hard every week. You know, every game is important.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: You know, that's -- I don't know. I don't even think about that, really. It's -- whatever situation we're dealt with, that's the situation we got to execute, you know? So whether it's four weeks off, two weeks off, whatever that may be. It does you no good to concentrate on that.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: We approach it like a normal week. Obviously Coach Saban has his hands on everything we do. He's our leader but we have a process and a routine that we go about and that's what you try to do on a week by week basis is stay consistent with the process.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think you lean on the head coach in all of them. Whether it's a month off or week off, it's not focusing on those things, it's focusing your preparation and practice and going about your day on a day-to-day basis with your normal routine.

Q. What do you guys do different than their guys?
BRIAN DABOLL: One more time?

Q. What do you guys do different than their guys.
BRIAN DABOLL: Different than what?

Q. Different than their program, or -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I think you got to give the players a lot of credit, too, you know, that work hard and have the talent, in terms of preparation for the next level. I just think the way Coach Saban operates and the process that he goes about, I think is a very professional process. But, you know, in terms of developing players for the next level, I think that, you know, they put the time in. They work hard. They have the talent and then you have a head coach and a leader that, you know, I think I focuses on the University but he's there to help those guy us in any way he can.

Q. How different is compared to this game versus -- (indiscernible)?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yep. That was -- you focus on -- each week, it's its own game. So, it's not -- you know, you're playing the Georgia Bulldogs. You are playing against their defense. You're game planning those personnels. You're game planning against those coaches, and that's where your focus is. And whether it's Super Bowl, playoff game, the third season, you try to be consistent in what you do and consistent with the players, because it's the next game, you know? And that's -- you know, it doesn't matter the stage of the game, it matters the -- it's the next game and the respect for the opponent and the work that you got to put in.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. I'm kind of curious, what is it about Nick that separates him from other coaches?
BRIAN DABOLL: I would say that Coach Saban is a tremendous leader. I've been privileged to learn from Coach Saban and Coach Belichick for 14 of my 20 years. He has his hands in all facets of the organization. He's extremely smart. He's dedicated. He's disciplined. He demands a lot from everyone in the organization. He clearly defines roles and expectations. So, you know, those are some things that I really hold high regard for him.

Q. (Indiscernible). Is it as simple as that?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. They're smart. They work hard. They're good leaders. I mean, yeah. They run an organization well. I could go on and on about these two guys, but, those are some qualities that I've taken from them.

Q. When is the first time you got the opportunity to work with --
BRIAN DABOLL: 1998 at Michigan State.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: He's a pretty consistent man. So, I was a graduate assistant for him. Your role is changed but how he handles people in the organization in his business, I -- he's a pretty consistent man.

Q. Are the meals still the same?
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't know. I'm eating more of them, but that's all I can tell you about that. Thanks, appreciate you.

Q. Is it harder or easier to game plan against someone that's so familiar with the program in Kirby Smart. You don't have that interaction with Saban.
BRIAN DABOLL: I think your process, you stay true to your process each week and your game planning, really doing a good job trying to drive into your personnel, your scheme. There's familiarity with the other coaching staff and some of the other guys recruited some of those players but you go through that usually on a week-to-week basis where you've worked with someone or not someone. So you really have to hone in on the players and what they do well and the systems that they put in place, which, are there similarities, sure, but there's differences. Coach Smart and coach ticker do an incredible job on defense. They added their own touch own things. And have a tremendous amount of respect for them as football coaches and as men and what they've done for their team.

Q. (Indiscernible question.) Talk about your message for players? Is it going to be the same thing you told -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't think you tell them the same thing every week. I think each week presents a new challenge: new schemes, new players. But we're not at that point. We'll be at that point here soon enough. We've got a big day ahead of us today. Try to tighten some things up and having a good practice and you just kind of take it day by day.

Q. Talking about Coach Belichick and Coach Saban, were they as demanding?
BRIAN DABOLL: Look. They're exceptional leaders. I think that -- everybody last a job to do and you heard that all years there. You go out there and you do your job. There's expectation, whether you're a receiver coach, coordinator, quality control, you know, the people that take care of the building in terms of, you know, the trash and things like that that are really an important part of the organization, people that cook for us, the equipment managers, you know, I can go on and on. The operations guys, everybody has a job to do and you just focus on your job and that's the thing that they always preach is don't concern yourself with other things. Take care of your job. Be responsible for what you need to do and help the team out in any way you can.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. My focus is on Georgia. Got enough issues right now trying to decide what we need to do against this defense and these coaches.

Q. You were around Tom for a long time in New England. Do you see any leadership qualities or any other intangibles that Jalen kind of shares that he brings to the position?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think Jalen is his own entity. He's a good leader. He's very calm, composed. Very mature for a young man, works really hard in doing the things we ask him to do. So he's his own man, and I think that that's the most important thing.

Q. Did you spend any time with Kirby when he came to up from the Patriots?
BRIAN DABOLL: No, no. Nope.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No, no, I haven't. Malcolm and David Andrews and those guys, you know no. We've kind of been in a bunker here, which is a good thing. That's where I'd like to be.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: We're kind of all a product of our environment, but you're also your own man and your own coach, and you have your own vision and things that you would like to do. So these guys run their system. That's their system. Is there similarities, sure. You can say that for a lot of different schemes and places people have been around, you know, with Coach Tucker and Coach Smart and the guys that they have. I think they do an awesome job. Obviously, the stats show it, you know. I've said this before, I'll say it again. They've held five teams to seven points or less. Four of them won in the S.E.C with Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Auburn and Georgia Tech. That's not an easy thing to do. Three teams have only scored 20 points or more on them this year. Good in the red zone, good situational football, instinctive players, good players. You know, there's a combination. That's why they are where they're at. That's why it's going to be such a tremendous challenge.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: He's really good. He shows up. Every tape you watch, he's instinctive. He can run, he's got good short space quickness. He can cover. They can line him up on the edge and rush him. He's got over 120 plus tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, disruptive in reading the quarterback, instinctive in the running game, shoots gaps, that's why he's got all of those accolades. Well deserved.

Q. Did Nick make the daily routine for you, Coach, pretty easy. Is it pretty similar to what you're going through with his mentors?
BRIAN DABOLL: I think that -- again, you talked about with Kirby, they have their own unique way of doing thing. Is there a routine? Sure. There's a routine. If you ask me what I'm doing 5:00 Monday or Sunday, or what you're game planning for. I think there's -- of all of the people I worked for, you have to have a routine. We're creatures of habit in this business. You only have so much time, and so many things to do. You want to give your guys the best chance you can, so you work extremely hard to do the things you need to do. But there's a structure in place, there's a process in place and we follow it.

Q. Is it kind of funny, the story this week, Bill is telling the guys no excuses for being late even with a blizzard. Is it kind of funny to hear stories like that from him and then you worked for him and with Nick?
BRIAN DABOLL: I worked with Nick at Michigan State, too. Look. That's the job of being a professional. These guys are young professionals, and learning how to be them. Be on time, show up, work hard. Do the things you're asked to do. That's really, in any job, if you want to be successful, those are the thing us need to do. So, we follow suit.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I mean, every play is important. That's what you go out there, you go out there and try to execute every play you can. It doesn't always happen that way. Obviously you don't want to be in third and 15 the whole night. Those are tough to convert no matter who you're playing. So, they do a good job of creating negative plays and putting you behind the chains a little bit. You got to be productive on early downs, you know, whether you skip some third downs or keep it third and manageable. That's always your goal every week. It's really no different this week.

Q. (Indiscernible.) Was that a big deal for you?
BRIAN DABOLL: No. No. I've been in this business a long time. It's no big deal at all. You move on to the next play.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Sure. That's a good question. Yeah, I think that position flexibility and versatility is good at any position. It could be an inside interior lineman that can play three spots, a swing tackle that can use emergencies, it could be an outside receiver that knows inside receiver spots or early down back that plays the sub back. I think that we try to, you know, as a coaching staff we try to coach up as many guys that are versatile and smart and are able to do multiple roles. I think that really helps you at all spots.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I mean, we have confidence in all of our guys. They go out there, they work their tails offer every day at practice and the guys that are in there, we have confidence in all of them.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, he's a smart, tough guy. To play offensive line, you have to have those two qualities. You have to be smart. You have to be tough. You have to be able to work well with the guys that are beside awe and handle the roles you need to handle in terms of playing that spot. She's done a really good job working all year whether he's starting, not starting. He's a good, young professional.

Q. When you went for it on fourth and one -- (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Coach Saban is very decisive in situations so whether it's -- this is four down territory or not, you know, you try to stay on top of that. You take the lead from the head coach in terms of these situations and maybe that alters what you want to do on third down. Maybe that's a little different but you have to be decisive. You only have a few seconds to make a decision, so you work at that during the week to make sure you're prepared with the calls you want to have in practice. That's just normal procedure.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: I don't really think you think of it like that. Your job is go out there and execute the play. Obviously it's a big play on fourth down. You know if you don't make it you're going to turn the ball over on downs. Whether that's an early down play, a red zone play, a two-minute play, they're all important.

Q. You came in, you got guys that were wide-eyed. How much advantage does having experience have?
BRIAN DABOLL: Really, the biggest advantage is playing well. You know? I mean, I've been involved in some games, and one game really has no bearing on the next game for me. You have -- you have a preparation process. You have a practice process. You have a different opponent, different coaches, different schemes, different players. So, you know, you got -- you go to the next play and go to the next game and you do the things that you know you need to do in terms of the preparation process to try to give you a good chance, but do you learn from experiences? Sure, you learn from experiences. But it has no affect on the game that you're playing for that week.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Sure. I -- look. They've been well trained here from Coach Saban. And we know where our focus has to be.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Uh-huh. Yeah. I mean, look. He's worked extremely hard this year from when we first got here and started in spring ball to now. He's a very young, mature, you know, he's kind of even-keeled. Which is good. He's a good decisionmaker. Have a lot of confidence in him and his ability. Glad we have him.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Well, for some kid, yeah. For some kids, I mean -- I'd say my kids are young and mature too, sometimes. Yeah. Look. He's an even-keeled young man who just takes it one day at a time.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Not much. He looks the same, yeah. Kind of the same --

Q. He really does look the same.
BRIAN DABOLL: I wish I could say the same for me.

Q. But the mentality, the whole process-oriented mind set, is all of that in place at the time?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, look. I couldn't have asked for two better mentors, 14 of my 20 years from Coach Saban and Coach Belichick. I mean, there's a process in place, the way we do things that doesn't necessarily make them right, it just means that we have a strong belief in the principles and values that those two guys have set forth for us, and, you know, it's been a good --

Q. He told me that he looks for process-oriented guys. Were you like that before you worked for Coach Belichick or is that something that you developed?
BRIAN DABOLL: No. I was like that. I was raised by some, you know, by my two grandparents and my mother who -- you know, that's how you get your values when you're a young man, and I was raised a particular way, then you get into this business and, you know, look, you want to be smart. You want to do the right thing. You want to have respect for the people in charge. You want to do your job and concentrate on the things you need to do. I was fortunate to have three people that put those values in me, but you come to a big -- it was Michigan State with Coach Saban and had an opportunity to be at New England, not two better mentors that I could have learned from, in a lot of things, not just football. They're brilliant Xs and O guys. They're good men, they're exceptional leaders. I've learned to, you know, really -- how to run an organization the right way, that I believe is the right way, from two of the really unbelievable guys.

Q. Sounds like that's more than just -- (indiscernible.)
BRIAN DABOLL: No question. There's so many things going in. Look. You have to have good players, right? But there's also a -- my take, and what I've seen from, is a way to run an organization, and it starts with the leaders. And to be around those two guys, and even for me, the Kraft family at New England, just really blessed to see how very successful men do things and run things in a variety of circumstances. So, I owe a lot to all of those guys.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Roles and expectations.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: It's easy. You know, it's not easy -- it's hard. It's demanding. And, look, it's not -- it's demanding and you have a role to do, you know? You work long hours. Look, everybody works in this business, but there's clear expectations. There's clear roles, and you have a job to do, you know, and that's your job. Go out and do it, you know?

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Look. Yeah. Look. You can dissect 20 different quarterbacks and they all have their little intricacies of where they put the ball, how they hold it. How their release point is. I think some guys it can work for. Some of the other guys it doesn't work right.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah, look. We work on fundamentals every day in terms of foot work and decision making and understanding where to go with the football and mechanics. That's just as a position coach, it's no different than a stance of a receiver. A top of a route, hand placement. Punching off inside foot pass protection. Snap, the whole deal. Yep.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, we still have -- look, you try to exhaust every day you can to prepare as hard as you can. We have an important practice today. We're still a few days out so we still have more to do in terms of our preparation, our practice, and we'll go right up to game time.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)

Q. So, what is that one thing?
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, I just take it hour by hour here when you're getting ready to play in a game. You know? We'll finish up with this. We'll get back. We'll head to our meetings. We'll review practice from yesterday. We'll install the things we need to install for practice today. Get on the bus and go practice. It's just an hour by hour deal. Thank you. Appreciate you.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. Right. I just know from, obviously, from when we started to when we get here. Coach Pannunzio does a good job with those tight ends. Tight end is a tough position to play. There's a lot of things that go into playing tight end. You have blocking schemes that you got to deal with in a running game. You have pass protection responsibility that you're working with a tackle or by yourself. We have different movement spots. You're kind of like an offensive lineman in some regard and you're also like a skill guy. You can line up in multiple spots. I think, you know, Irv's a very smart guy, who's really improved week to week. Have a lot of confidence in him.

Q. (Indiscernible question.) What's the thing they got to do to see more plays?
BRIAN DABOLL: Well, they are like any other player. They have to perform well at practice, work hard. But there's so many technical things for a tight end. I mean they just have a lot -- there's -- and you don't have a lot of time in the meetings with these guys. They are pulled in differ directions, so, you know, but -- they did a good job for us. No, you're back here, you're doing your job, so --

Q. (Indiscernible question.) With Jalen and TUA --
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. We do that with all of our guys. You know, each week, we'll go in there, we work hard. We try to do the right thing and those guys do a good job of working that practice and they're all ready to play. The guys that are out there practicing that are studying the game plan, whether it's a receiver, running back, quarterback, everybody's ready to go.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I just think that every game is different. We got a lot of confidence in all of our guys. Thanks.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: You just be consistent in your approach, you know? Look. You install your offense, and you go through the drills that you need to do, and that's really at any position, not just a quarterback. I mean, look, your job as coach is tell the players what to do, show them how to do it and help them improve on a day-to-day basis. So that's kind of our approach.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. I think you have to adjust to the role you're in and rules and regulations that you have. So, whatever they are, we work through them and we do the best job we can with the stuff that we can do.

Q. (Indiscernible question.)
BRIAN DABOLL: You have -- you have different personnel packages, where all of the guys have a role, and, you know, how the game unfolds and transpires, you never know until you're into it. (Indiscernible question.)

BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. They have good hands, they have good hands. Sure, they can. I mean, they're where they are supposed to be. They do what they need to do. I have confidence in them whether it's really the run or the pass. Those two guys have done a good job for us this year.

Q. Is it a tough transition from coaching in the NFL to coaching in college?
BRIAN DABOLL: No. No. I mean, look. Coaching's coaching. You tell the players what to do. You show them how to do it. You help them improve every day. You do your part to work extremely hard on game plans and things like that. You try to be a mentor to these guys whether it's the pros or college, and build a relationships, which, you know, to me is extremely important is to have, you know, good working relationships with the guys that you're with on a day-to-day basis.

Heck, I see Jalen more than I see my wife half the time. So, you know, it's just -- it's -- you have things you need to do as a coach, and they have things they need to do as a player and you work together to try to get them done.

Q. What's it like working with Coach Pruitt?
BRIAN DABOLL: Yeah. He's been -- look. It's my only year with him. I think he's an outstanding football coach. Good person, good friend.

I wish him all of the best. Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297