Read the full transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on October 15, 2023.
Q. Was the 14-0 hole something where you had to tell the team something or did you just let the players…?
MIKE McDANIEL: No, that was – I told the team after the game, it was a special week of practice for us. Just trying to focus on getting better as a team and not looking behind or looking ahead; looking square into the day. I thought this game was a special game for us because fell short of expectations early, and so you learn a lot about your team in moments like that, and what I saw was a team that nobody was giving rah-rah to each other at all, but no one was questioning, hey, guys, we've got to pick it up, insinuating there was a lack of effort. They just went and did their jobs, the same way I would expect them to do it if they were 14-0. What happened was the tide turned a little bit, and we took advantage of some opportunities, but you never know until you're in that situation what's going to happen with your team. That shows the composure and really that's what you see from winning teams, is that confidence and other – it was a good maturation day for us for sure, so I was fired up about that. I couldn't have written a better script.
Q. What's the cool thing for you personally when you look at moments like that and compare them to last year and say, okay, this is how much we're improving in X, Y, Z?
MIKE McDANIEL: It's everything. It's one of the reasons why I focus on it with the team after the game. It's one of the reasons I digress on that point with – just because it's everything you're looking for, and you know that you can't force that. You can't tell them to do it and then get it done. That's something that's an accumulation of hours upon hours of very direct, deliberate work. It's second to the win, but it is the next most important thing that we got from this game for sure was that – half of NFL football is controlling your emotions. Do you get panicked or do you go in the tank when things don't go your way, or vice versa, do you let off the gas when you have a two-score lead early. Those things are ever present in my mind as the team develops because I know to get to where you want to go, you have to be able to play football for four quarters and have circumstance be irrelevant. It was a big day for our football team and I think the guys knew it. They didn't bat an eye. They didn't go at each other. They didn't question calls. They didn't do all the things that when it's the first time that you've put forth maximum effort and you have enough talent on your team, the first time that happens, it's not that easy. You kind of create adversity yourself when there doesn't need to be. So I thought guys really played appropriate football, didn't panic, and you could see – the only time you could see the frustration of the game manifest itself because when it was a celebration of something good. You could tell the guys had some pent-up energy. Outside of that, we played good team football.
Q. What did you think of Tyreek's backflip with phone in hand?
MIKE McDANIEL: Missed it all. Just got notified that there was a penalty and something that I was deducing retroactively. Yeah, once I heard there was a prop, I just went and told him that, and he said, 'but it wasn't my phone.' I'm like – but it was in the heat of the moment, and he definitely didn't want to hurt the team with a celebration consecutively, so he felt ultimate guilt. I kind of understood what he was talking about when the prop penalty was really circulating in the media. It was a couple guys that had a pen in their shoe or something and they had a phone – I think it was a flip phone if I remember correctly. I understood where he was coming from, but it didn't void that being a prop.
Q. These first six games you all are 5-1. One that is not an Oreo or caramel sundae, what do you think of these games will do for the rest of the schedule knowing that you're facing an Eagles team
MIKE McDANIEL: You know, was it happenstance? Are you in my brain? You just said my two favorite ice cream sundaes. Caramel and Oreo. (laughter) I was totally distracted. I believe your question was – it is a journey, the NFL season. Your team has to adjust through injury. Your team has to adjust through your strengths and weaknesses, and any time that you can find valuable lessons, you can have different things happen to your team, it's a residual win. It better prepares you for what's in store for you. I think this team – I really get a sense, the thing I could be most proud of, that would be it eliminates – win, lose or draw, I'm connected strongly to this team because they have found their work ethic through the week. They're looking for ways to improve it, but they've found how important it is to fully invest yourself into the weekly plan and the weekly opponent, and that's going to prove dividends as we move forward for sure. The one thing you learn in this league is you can't all of a sudden turn up. You'd better keep it up or you'll have a rude awakening. The games will get tougher. We'll have good teams every week really is the way I look at it. Building to be your best self each and every week and raising the standard of what that is.
Q. I wanted to ask you about CB Xavien Howard. I know you just came off the field, but he had a groin injury last year that derailed his season a little bit. Was this a situation where if the game was closer he could have come back in? How is he doing?
MIKE McDANIEL: I think he was working through that. I don't have that much information. I think if the game was closer, who knows. It is something that we're going to have to evaluate, so the relative severity of it is kind of up in the air. You guys know me. I like to acquire information before I insinuate. We'll take a look at it tomorrow and see where we're at from there.
Q. The league-owned network reported that CB Jalen Ramsey could return to practice this week. Without making any promises, is that possible?
MIKE McDANIEL: Why are you stipulating the league-owned network? (laughter) Does that legitimize it? You know, I think he's doing great, guys, and I guess you'll have to tune in weekly on Wednesdays to see whenever things take a next step. Weekly. So when is that? It's on a Wednesday. But what Wednesday it'll be, again, I'm not just being annoying with timelines, I'm trying to be real with – I think it's getting ahead of yourself especially in situations like this to all of a sudden jump ahead a couple months, a couple weeks, whatever the timeline is, but when he's ready to go, he'll be a loud voice in my ear.
Q. Jerome Baker and Chris Brooks, how are they doing?
MIKE McDANIEL: Chris didn't want to – he wanted to get off the field sooner. I don't know what that means, but it seemed like it – I don't know, my minor is in medical advice. Seemed like it was his ankle. But we'll evaluate that further. Then 'Bake' (Jerome Baker) had to come out of the game. But we'll get more information on him the next day. Literally I've just come from talking to the players to talking to you guys, so sorry I'm not providing…
Q. You guys will be playing on – you've earned the right to play on a bigger platform, next Sunday's game against Philadelphia. That's one the franchise hasn't been on for a while. What are your thoughts on as the season goes on, your games are going to get bigger if you keep winning?
MIKE McDANIEL: Yeah, that's the ultimate objective, isn't it. You do things the right way, and you give reason for people to pay attention to you. You score a couple nationally televised games and hope you earn more. I think the bigger thing is that we're a football team that's learning to win different ways, finding some balance, and I think a lot of guys are getting better within the respective systems. We'll be moving forward the way that we would hope, which is with games that matter on big platforms because that's why you do it in the first place. Those are going to be obstacles and/or positives of any type of success, and we've had a successful first six games. We're hoping to make that a season by way of next week's opponent, which I don't even know yet. I think you just gave me a hint.
Q. I want to get your thoughts on the efforts of Raheem Mostert. So far he has 11 touchdowns this season.
MIKE McDANIEL: Yeah, it's really cool to watch. The guy is hungry for every opportunity, and I think you see his will in the way he runs the ball. Down around the goal line, a lot of times the perfect play doesn't exist, and it's a battle of wills, and he's not a guy that a lot of people want to tackle. I'm happy for him, as always. He was a big player for us today and will continue to be such moving forward.