Read the full postgame transcript from Head Coach Mike McDaniel's press conference on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.
(Transcribed by the Detroit Lions)
(On the growth of the team and the success they had throughout the game) – "I think when you get into games where the opponent kind of has a rush of success, a lot of times you can feel it on the other side of the ball, and you start pressing. And I think that's what was happening in the first half of the Baltimore game and (I) never felt that this game. We're starting to learn as a team that momentum swings happen and to have faith in each other and play complementary football when we can, so I was happy about that. I was happy about – they were triggering up front. Their front seven played very hard, and I thought we blocked pretty well. I was happy about that growth. I was very happy with the way the quarterback played and the decisions that he made, just playing within himself and making plays when they were there."
(On what he said to WR Braylon Sanders after the fumble) – "I would say – sometimes the best things that you can say are to say nothing. He's trying to hold on to the ball. You know that he is, it's his first – it might've been one of his first snaps. So you know that hits a guy hard. Sometimes what you choose not to say can let him know that we're not wavering and we have belief in him, which we do. So, I didn't say anything, strategically because I knew he was trying his best. He tucked it and was trying to make a play, and sometimes the ball comes out. (It's) something I think he'll learn from moving forward."
(On the adjustments he made throughout the game after trailing 21-7) – "Yeah, there's a – there's subtle adjustments and there's also guys making plays. The pass rush got involved a little bit more in the second half. We got some stops, but really, it's one of those things where if you get guys to keep playing you can survive a barrage of jabs to the chin. Keep your head down and just keep chopping wood and eventually our style of play will come out. There were some adjustments, yes, but more than anything we have a lot of prideful guys on that side of the ball, players and coaches included, and they projected their frustration in the appropriate manner."
(On how dangerous WR Jaylen Waddle and WR Tyreek Hill can be and how the offense works together for their success) – "A lot goes into their production – they work their tail off. They know how much they mean to this team, but it's also a collection of individuals working with them to – every person on our team knows they can score on every touch. So the stuff that we have to do upfront, some of the stuff that the other eligibles have to do, it is a full commitment for their success because they are so dangerous with the ball in their hands. It's something that we try to play to, but it's a full commitment by all players on the offense. They get excited when their stats are high, because they know how much they contributed to that. We had a bunch of key plays from Mike Gesicki, Trent Sherfield, (Raheem) Mostert and then the play that Tua (Tagovailoa) had today. That's a – if we can get that every week, that's a winning formula. That is tough to stop."
(On OL Liam Eichenberg's injury) – "I don't. We'll be – that's our process that we're getting pretty used to, aren't we? Where we'll figure it out on Monday? But he was playing really well, so that was disappointing, for sure. (My) heart goes out to him, but we'll be getting some information back tomorrow as to the severity of that."
(On the number of penalties they received throughout the game and what the team has to do to fix that) – "Yeah, I think there was eight declined in the first half. Well, there's certain controllables, and the ones that really irritate me, we knew coming into the game that we have to be mindful of our pre-snap alignment. Just knowing that we've been – people are looking to throw penalties on that, I think, around the league in general. So we went in making that a point and it didn't get done. Those type of things are controllable. Then, you look at – where and what type of penalties are happening? Same thing that we did – what was it? The Minnesota game we had a ton, and we were able to tighten it up against Pittsburgh. You just have to make a point of emphasis, take each penalty individually and coach off of it, so that we can improve and not put ourselves in such tough spots on both sides of the ball unnecessarily."
(On if there were any issues getting the play call into QB Tua Tagovailoa throughout the game) – "This particular game? Yeah, there was – we've been doing a better job at that, just me personally. I've done a better job of getting the play calls in sooner, so that if there's any hiccups, that isn't the case. This game, I think there were a couple of instances where I didn't get it in fast enough, so there's not time to repeat it. But I thought Tua (Tagovailoa) did a really good job of knowing the gameplan and piecing the stuff together because we didn't have – I can't remember a situation where we had an issue with running the correct play. But there were a couple of stressful situations that were happening at the beginning of the year, so that's on me to make sure that's completely minimized so the players have time to absorb the play call."
(On how much he credits the victory to fighting through adversity) – "That, my friends, is a good question. That's exactly what it is. I don't think you win this game if you don't go through stuff. That's why I believe and I think our team believes at this point that there's no such thing as adversity, more that it's opportunity to learn from a situation so that you can progress moving forward. I don't think the goal of any game is really perfection – it's more growth. I think this game, we were able to come out with a victory because of certain things that we've gone through in the past weeks. So, absolutely right. That's exactly the way I see it. And somebody give that guy a gold star – that's a great question."
(On what plays from QB Tua Tagovailoa stood out to him) – "There was the touchdown to Mike Gesicki because that was the first time we've ever hit that route on that concept. You rarely ever see it, and it's something that was No. 4 in the progression that he progressed through very quickly. There was the first long throw on third down to Tyreek (Hill) where he knows that we're going to be hot, they're in (Cover 0), he buys as much time as he can in the pocket and then throws a ball that's not easy to throw to a really fast guy. That one stood out. He had a lot of plays that I was very, very happy with. That was a game that we all know he's capable of. But it was his – he was relentless during the game with worrying about the right stuff. I didn't see him press and make forced decisions. He took what was there and protected the ball while being aggressive."
(On the preparation of the offense going into the game) – "That's a big collection of individuals. You talk about protection and being locked into – the Detroit Lions have a very good third-down rush package that can get your quarterbacks hit, so we had a good plan there. (It) started with the coaching staff and then lead into the players. The receivers and quarterback coaches, (Quarterbacks/Passing Game Coordinator Darrell) Coach Bevell, (Wide Receivers Coach) Wes Welker, (Assistant Quarterbacks Coach) Chandler Henley, they all did a great job at preparing the guys, and then the players took it upon themselves to make sure to meet extra for the third down, because they hadn't been happy with the results. So, instead of complaining about it, they did something about it. So you're talking about a lot of people committing to a very important phase of the game. So it was cool to see some positive results from that hard work."