Here are some highlights from head coach Sean McDermott’s recent press conferences.
Q: Back in training camp, we talked about almost like peer pressure helping in making sure that guys take the proper precautions to stay healthy, etc., because you have leaders on the team. Is that something you’ve been happy with, is there a unified message that you give to your leaders to keep that message going so that there aren’t issues when players are outside the building? Or that you can minimize those as best as you can?
SM: Well, I think the tail end of your question there, what we’re trying to do is minimize. It’s a challenge, it’s an uphill battle but we’re trying our best to minimize. That’s not to say that’s anyone’s perfect but we’re trying to improve our practices and habits and it’s a consistent approach, right? Trying to be as consistent as we can. And it just seems like when you let your guard down, or you start to get too comfortable, then this thing comes up and rears its ugly head. That’s the unfortunate piece about this thing.
Q: Obviously you’re the coach, you’re the leader, but coming from teammates can accentuate it, right? Have you seen that? Or is it an inherent trust in your guys?
SM: I think it boils down to ... within the realm of no one’s perfect, it boils down to leadership and accountability situation and I count on our veteran leaders on our football team, our coaches and everyone in our building to take a piece of the ownership of this and model the behavior that we want. And that’s not to say that I’ve been 100 percent with it either, just being human about it, but I’m trying to do the best that I can and I ask our team to do the best that they can. Even with that, could there be a positive that creeps in? Absolutely. That’s the unfortunate piece of this. That said, we’re trying to do the best job that we can by controlling the pieces that we can on our end here.
Q: For all the protocols that you and every other team are doing, even on gameday, do you find it a bit troubling that when the game ends, the teams come together, a lot of times with their helmets off, shake hands, hug, etc. ... it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Is this a problem going forward for you?
SM: I think it’s awareness, right? And trying to improve our practices and even for myself, I go to midfield and shake the other coach’s hand. It’s always been a sign of respect. Just like a lot of our habits have had to be adjusted with COVID, that is something that I know I’m considering, not that I wouldn’t do it, but maybe just be in and out and quick if we had to. So it’s just trying to improve our daily habits and our daily process to make sure that we do try to stay as healthy as possible.
Q: I get that it’s good sportsmanship and all of that, but do you think the league needs to step in and say, OK, go back to your locker rooms after the game?
SM: Well, I’ll leave that up to you, you can write that article. I just think it’s awareness for everyone and everyone improving our daily routines, our daily hygiene, our daily practices and habits and if that’s one thing that we can do to help, I know in our team that’s certainly what we would do if that’s what they prescribe.
Q: What’s your overall evaluation of the team a little over one month through the season?
SM: There’s been a lot of good. I certainly appreciate how hard our players work, how hard they play, how hard the staff is working in all areas of our staff. So good to be (where we’re at) and also with an eye on our growth and the future, right? We have to continue to grow and build our football team so we can complement one another, our offense, defense and special teams all working hand in hand complementing one another.
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