Jets' OC Dowell Loggains Quotes 6.26.20
COURTESY OF NEW YORK JETS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Brian Costello, New York Post: Hey Dowell, I know this might be a little tricky since you guys weren’t on the field all spring, but from the virtual meetings and everything you did, what signs of progress did you see from Sam (Darnold) this spring, during those meetings? The best thing about the virtual meetings were you really got to go back, and film scout and go through all the cuts, where sometimes you don’t get a chance to do because you want to get on the field so fast. So, from that standpoint, to be able to go back and watch every play of last year’s season and be able to talk through it and fix the things that we need to fix, improve the things we need to improve. Have Sam pick the next step and ownership of the offense, ownership of the protection. It’s been really beneficial that way.
Rich Cimini, ESPN: Just another quarterback question, with Flacco coming in late and also it looks like he’s not going to be able to practice fully for some time, how tough is that going to be to get him up to speed for the start of the regular season? How do you juggle that with Fales and Morgan, what are your quarterback plans? Hey Rich, hope have you had a good break and good summer. But, the one thing that always helps when you bring in a veteran quarterback is he has so much experience. He’s been in different systems, which sometimes helps a guy than just being in one system the whole time. I mean, obviously, those guys that have had a chance to play in one system for a long period of time, the (Tom) Brady’s, the (Drew) Brees’, those type of guys, (Aaron) Rodgers up until the last couple of years, it is beneficial. But, when you bring a guy who’s going to come with a backup and he’s seen so many different things. He’s experienced so many different things in different systems, different offenses, different language. He’ll bring a different perspective. Maybe able to even branch and be able to talk to Sam about, hey, this is my experience with this play, this is my experience with this protection, and be another voice in the room. They can also help Sam as he gets himself ready to play. I don’t anticipate a huge learning curve. It is more vernacular and language. Everyone does the same stuff. Some people emphasize a different scheme more than other schemes. But, his knowledge and experience is going to be able to help him be a quick study and get caught up quickly. He’s been impressive in the meetings. As far as the how we rep things, that’s definitely a better question for Coach Gase. He’ll decide how we organize the quarterback rotation and we have to see what practices look like at that point. But, the number one thing is getting Sam ready to play and we have a good backup. We have guys behind Sam that we are really comfortable in playing, if they needed to play.
Charles McDonald (New York Daily News): Hey Coach, I asked Coach Gase the same question a few minutes ago, but I wanted to get your take on it. If we get to a point where coronavirus is forcing us to knock off weeks of preseason and training camp, how do you see that affecting the way that games are played once the regular season starts? Are you expecting more mistakes or a longer drive until you get into the “mid-season form” that we kind of talk about in the media? I definitely don’t know what that will look like and I don’t think anyone does. The good thing is all 32 teams will deal with the same issue. I think we do have an advantage having Sam in the system for a second year, so his experience and what he went through last year should definitely help him going forward with knowledge of the offense, being more comfortable in the offense, understanding protection, being able to speak the language, able to be an extension of the coaching staff. Obviously, we do have a bunch of new players, we have a new offensive line. We have some the new receivers and we’ve made a lot of moves to improve our roster in the offseason. Joe Douglas and Rex Hogan deserve a lot of credit for the improvement of the team, but all we can do is control the things we can control and whatever we’re given, maximize that time with our players.
Kimberly Jones, NFL Network: I’m just wondering, as a coach, in this environment and this offseason, what’s it like to know that in Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims, you have two really, really promising rookies, but it would really, really help your team if they can be good out of the gate, which does seem to be a challenge, especially given the times we’re living in? Yeah, we’re really excited about those two guys. They’re guys that when we went through the draft process that we identified as being good players, that could definitely help us, that are about the right things. They have the physical traits we’re looking for, the mental traits we’re looking for and we’re really excited when we do get the opportunity to get on the grass with those guys, that’s where coaches can help players the most. To this point, we’ve had to make the best of it, just like every other team in the NFL, and use virtual meetings to help them know what to do. And then, once we get on the field, we’ll teach them how to do it, then they have to go do it under pressure. Both guys are coming from programs where they’ve been successful. They’ve played in a big, loud stadium. There will be an adjustment like there is for everybody coming to the NFL, but we’re really excited about their ability, how they’ve approached the offseason to learn everything they could to get themselves ready to play when they tell us go.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Dowell, what stood out to you about Frank Gore during your year with him in Miami? Oh my Gosh, I knew on this one, for a long time, he goes so much further than what the one year in Miami because the guy has an incredible resume that he’s built over playing for a long period of time. I have tremendous respect for him, he’s going to be a future Hall of Famer, but when you really get to be around him for a year, and watch him work and watch the intensity that he prepares with every day, this guy has the ultimate chip on his shoulder. He still feels like the guy that is trying to survive and make it one more year. Outside of his God-given talent, I think that’s what has made him really special in the NFL is this guy comes to work every day with a chip on the shoulder to prove himself, and to max out his ability and be the best player he can be, the best teammate he can be, be a leader in the locker room. He holds people accountable and he’s just a really special, unique guy that matches the mental makeup and the physical ability, that’s going to put him in the Hall of Fame one day. So, I’m really excited that we got him. He’s going to help our team. He’s going to help our running back room. He’s going to help our offense. He’s going to be a guy that every defensive player, when you guys asked them about him, they’re going to love Frank Gore because of his intensity, his work ethic, how he goes about competing, his passion for the game. He’s really a special individual.
Dan Leberfeld, Jets Confidential: A question on James Morgan. Obviously, he’s got a lot of physical ability and a really good size. He’s 6’4, 230, rocket arm and all that. He did slip a little on the draft and there are obviously reasons. So, what does he need to do to take his great size and great arm, and become a complete quarterback who can compete on the NFL level? Through the draft process, we started watching him, we saw everything you just mentioned. We saw the upside. We saw potential. We saw a guy that has traits that you want to try to develop because he does have all of these traits that NFL starters have. Now, as we got in the draft meetings, you had those little 15 minute intervals, and you get to spend some time with him in the old train station and just talking about football, and what stood out the most was his passion. The guy loves football. He’s a grinder. He spends a ton of time on it. It’s very important to him and it’s the text messages, the questions, the meetings, the text messages about scheme and doing all those things he needs to improve on. He’s really hungry. When you’re looking for a developmental player that has the trait, number one, you need to identify the trait that he can make it in this league. He can play, he has the physical skillset. But, then when you put the mental aspect of it and the passion for the game, you know he’s going to put the time in. So, for us, we felt like he was a great prospect to bring in, and try to develop and see if we can max his ability out because he does have a lot of ability and he’s got the passion to do it.
Charles McDonald, New York Daily News: Hey Coach, I was wondering, you mentioned that you guys are pretty much rebuilding the entire offensive line. How difficult is it to build that chemistry and kind of make sure everyone’s on the same page without physically be there in person? Because it’s one thing to be there and have these Zoom meetings, but I think we all know that when you get on the field, that’s really how you build offensive line chemistry. So, how difficult is it going to be to build that chemistry without physically being able to be there together? It is a unique challenge. Everyone has the same challenge. There’s a lot of things that when you go back to the lockout, I was in Tennessee and we acquired a new coaching staff. In 2011, we went 9-7 and didn’t get to spend any time with our players until the lockout ended. So, the advantage we’ve had now is with Coach (Frank) Pollack and his meetings, and these guys have gotten to know each other and they’ve been able to talk. They’ve been able to communicate with each other, and learn the schemes and learn the language, which is a big part of it. Where all these guys, what you said is exactly right, they have to speak one language. They have to see the game through one set of eyes. The advantage of this offseason is virtual meetings. We’ve been able to spend a lot of time with these guys in these meetings, and teach them the scheme and teach them our expectations. They’ve gotten to know each other and it’s given them an opportunity, even outside of meetings, to connect, and talk and do those things that you have to go out of your way. One of the things that we really preached early on to all of our guys is make sure we’re connecting with our teammates outside of our Zoom meetings. Make sure that you’re calling two to three of your teammates a day, just to interact because you’re missing the bond of the locker room, the bond of going through something really hard together in practice. For the offensive linemen, that’s a special bond because it’s a really hard position to play because every day, you have to bring it. Every day, you have to be physical. Every day, you’re going to bang pads and compete against the defensive line. That creates that chemistry as well. But, what our guys have been able to do and what they have been able to take advantage of is learning the offense, learning the language that they’re going to speak and being able to create some relationships in the process. When we get on the field, and they’ll be able to go and compete, and get in the huddle for the first time together and get to play with each other with combination blocks. I think that’ll come with time. It is a unique challenge that we’ve never been able to go through, except for the lockout year would be the closest thing. But, you can use that as an excuse or anything. We’re going to look at this as a positive that they’ve had a lot of time in meetings. We’ve been able to teach these guys. From a knowledge of the playbook, they should be where we need them to be. We’re excited to get started with camp and see what that looks like. So, those guys can go compete and play stuff out.