Read the full transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on August 26, 2023.
Head Coach Mike McDaniel (transcribed by Jacksonville Jaguars)
COACH MCDANIEL: The collection of the two NFLPA representatives, Doug [Pederson] and myself made the right call in that the two teams agreed that football shouldn't be played anymore tonight. And without a shadow of a doubt, I know that was the right call. So, I'm proud of the collective group for doing the right thing. Our guys are hurting but relieved.
What's the process from here? I assume he'll [WR Daewood Davis] stay here overnight. Is that correct?
COACH MCDANIEL: I believe that's protocol. There was a lot of individual players that I was attending to. So, I haven't crossed that T with Kyle [Johnston] yet, our head trainer. But that will come in the looming moments.
How would you describe the atmosphere around the team, how shaken his teammates must have been?
COACH MCDANIEL: The emotional roller coaster was real just because there was a lot of guys in the game, including himself, that people — really his teammates were pumped for, to be in the game and get opportunities to make plays. And there's not really a playbook for things of that nature. You could see in the collective faces of both teams their mind wasn't on playing football at all. So (I) thought it was inappropriate to play football.
You decided to play the starters today. What did you see with the offense with Tua [QB Tua Tuagovailoa]?
COACH MCDANIEL: You know, I saw some good and some bad. Overall, I thought as a unit there were some good things. There were some individual shortcomings that you hate to see for that group because they don't get the whole game to make it right. But I think I was happy with the intent, but overall, you try to score on every drive. So, that wasn't the case. We have some good tape to learn from.
On the fumbled snap in the first drive and if that has been an issue during training camp?
COACH MCDANIEL: It's something that you have corrected because it doesn't matter what anyone does on the play if that's the case. Since the last preseason game, every first play of practice has been in the shotgun to try to give him reps at that because he's obviously — you know, there's like 600, 700 shotgun snaps in the season — so he obviously executes it well. But it's just something that he's working through. And I think that the silver lining, it's better that that happens in the preseason, but it's a non-negotiable correction.
Can we some other injury updates on players? We saw Elijah Campbell [DB Elijah Campbell] carted off and Salvon [RB Salvon Ahmed] take a shot to the head and didn't come back in. Do you have any updates on them?
COACH MCDANIEL: With regard to Salvon, he cleared the neurological test after the game, but he'll be getting more tests tomorrow. And I'll actually get some feedback on Elijah tomorrow as well.
What did you see on that final play?
COACH MCDANIEL: You know I didn't really see it at all. Since it was a catch/PBU point of attack, I took my eyes immediately down to the call sheet probably before he went to the ground because I was planning on going it on 4th-and-2. And then I actually heard someone say he wasn't moving. So that's when I immediately ran out there. So, I didn't see any of the impact on the ground at all.
We obviously saw you and Doug [Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson] and Christian [DT Christian Wilkins] out there conversing over what to do. Was the league also consulted?
COACH MCDANIEL: Yeah, they're talking to us through the headset of the referee. And we brought the PA (player's association) reps out there and mutually agreed, both teams mutually agreed to end the game at that point, which we made the league aware of.
What can you tell us about Daewood [WR Daewood Davis] as a person?
COACH MCDANIEL: He's a great — he's a great spirit, first and foremost. He had a rookie show — not a rookie show, in one of the offensive meetings early on in camp, he did, you know, a rookie event. And you could see the rest of the — he kind of sang a little song and then told a story — and you could see the rest of the offense from that point on really — he's magnetic. He's got a cool personality to him. And guys really saw that from then on. The receivers already knew it. But from then on, he was a guy that his teammates really root for. That tells you everything about a human being because you can't, in a locker room of individuals that spend so much time together, there's no hiding the good things and the bad things. Really who you are is really put out there, and he's a popular guy amongst our team because of how he works. And I've had such a pleasure in his development process and was excited for a couple of opportunities he was going to get. But more than anything we're just hoping for a full recovery and have had some good news and hope to have some even better news moving forward.
Might not know too much about the similar situation in Cincinnati last year. After this moment, what did you say to the team? Can you share what you said?
COACH MCDANIEL: I just wanted to make sure that the guys knew that there's no right way to feel. And we all sign up for the sport. (We) love the sport and it's conflicting when you see one of your brothers go down in that fashion. And I just wanted to make sure that they knew that there is no way to feel, but to make sure to tell your loved ones you love them and not take your teammates and your relationships with them for granted at all because that's what you lean on. You just don't want people to internalize things and express it to each other. I basically told them to lean on teammates and gave them an update. But there's nothing right to say or feel.
Is it your understanding he'll stay here tonight or is it too early?
COACH MCDANIEL: That's my assumption, but I have not verified that yet. Things were moving pretty fast and furious