Q. In watching the film and what we have seen out of QB Carson Wentz in the last two games, it seems like there’s times when he’s overly aggressive and times where maybe he’s too timid, for instance in the red zone against the Rams when he didn’t throw into the end zone and maybe missed TE Dallas Goedert the one time. Why are we seeing this dichotomy with Carson right now and is it a problem? (Jeff McLane)
PRESS TAYLOR: I think you’ve got to take every play into its own and understand why things are happening within each play, whether we miss a read or whether we miss a route or converted something we weren’t supposed to convert and take everything in its own. We are not going to throw a blanket over this whole thing and say, ‘This is what’s going on.’ We’re going to investigate everything and do as much research as we can into why this is happening and what is happening. Are we efficient in this play and did we put in the time, did we script it versus the right looks, did we make it clear as coaches. When we come back and we review our process of the game and how we prepare for a game we look at everything. We uncover everything that we can whether it’s from our preparation, the way we coached it, the way we installed the play, the way we repped the play, all that. We uncover everything we can to determine what’s going on in each play.
Q. I understand what you’re saying there but in doing that process, have you picked up any trends as far as – I mean we are seeing QB Carson Wentz do things we haven’t seen him do since he has been here as far as missing open guys and decision making. What is your process or what conclusions have you drawn through that film process? (Reuben Frank)
PRESS TAYLOR: I’ll keep a lot of those close to the vest of what we are doing in term of how we are moving forward and progressing with some of these. I will say we try to do a very thorough investigation of ourselves as coaches, our offense in general, everything, we continue to do that. I wouldn’t say there’s one common trend that’s going on in things. But just in general as an offense as a unit we know we need to play better and we need to sharpen things up and there’s been that.
There’s been this sense of urgency. There’s no panic within this organization and within this unit, any of that. It’s just a sense of urgency to get things right and to put our best foot forward every time we walk out there.
Q. I’m sure there’s enough on a rookie quarterback’s plate talking about QB Jalen Hurts in terms of learning the offense from a quarterback perspective, and now he has some extra responsibilities like we saw on Sunday. How is he handling both of that and is it a juggling act? (Dave Zangaro)
PRESS TAYLOR: He’s done a great job. We feel like all our quarterbacks they are responsible for knowing everybody’s role at every single time. If there is a time, we throw Jalen in there, we don’t look at it as he’s a receiver. We look at it as we are getting two quarterbacks on the field. We are threatening the defense in some way, shape or form, either with what we are doing or what we could possibly present to the defense in some way, shape or form. So every time we do something like that it’s purely to give our offense an advantage and threaten the defense another way.
Q. It seemed like the offensive game plans were pretty different from week one to week two and I’m sure what the Rams defense was doing had a lot to do with that. Which of those two is closer to what you think the identity for this team is; and given the personnel you have, can you be as explosive as you want? (Bo Wulf)
PRESS TAYLOR: Yeah, I certainly think we can be as explosive as we’d like to be. We want to be a balanced offense. I think everybody would say that. And when I say “balance,” I don’t mean we want to be 50/50 necessarily. We want to be balanced in that we can do what we need to do that week to win, whether that is run the ball 60 times; throw the ball 60 times. That’s the balance we want, where we can go dictate: We can be on the attack; we can be moving forward on attacking the defense the best way we see fit to win that week, and every single week that may change.
You obviously want to be making sure you’re doing things you’re good at and putting your best foot forward in terms of what we are asking guys to do, what they are really good at. But we’d like to be balanced in the sense of we can do what we need to do to win that week.
Q. You and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor have followed similar paths. What’s the dynamic been like as you’ve followed in his footsteps and you’ve done a lot of the same things in your career? (Ben Baby)
PRESS TAYLOR: It’s definitely a cool experience, being the younger brother, being able to follow in his footsteps. Like you said I followed him in high school. I was five years younger than him, so I was always — he had gone through something and he was somebody I could lean on as I was going into the next stage of whatever he had just gone through.
So whether that was high school football, junior college football, college football, coaching in college, coaching in the pros, I’ve always had somebody that I trusted more than anybody ahead of me doing these things. So I could lean on him for advice, ask his opinion, and we’ve always had a very good relationship in terms of that, the communication. There’s nobody I trust more in this business than my brother. He’s always been that person for me that I can lean on.
Q. Zac Taylor said this week is like any other game. How is that possible when it’s your brother and you both have the roles that you have? How often do you typically talk to each other during the season and how often have you spoke this week if at all? (Zach Berman)
PRESS TAYLOR: We typically talk two or three times a week, probably, whenever we can. Our schedules, they are obviously very busy in season, but this week we have not really had a chance to connect, but I think that’s been on purpose. Really, this summer, we always spend some time together in the summer, but we kind of left football away because we knew this was coming up early in the season. We didn’t want to put each other in that situation, anyways.
There’s nobody I’d rather compete with more than my brother honestly. It’s one of those things with your family, you’re always rooting for them, but if anybody beats them, I want it to be me. That’s something, it’s obviously a friendly competition that will mean something more to us later down the line but right now, it’s all about our teams, this game and putting our teams in a position to go get a win.
Q. We talked about this before, but the adjustment with your added duties and we talked to head coach Doug Pederson this morning, he mentioned game day you are kind of the filter between him and the rest of the offensive coaches. So just what has been that kind of adjustment through those first two weeks and that’s a lot of added work. How has it filtered down to you and worked for you? (John McMullen)
PRESS TAYLOR: It really doesn’t feel like it’s been a lot different on a game day experience. Obviously, my perspective is different, sitting in the box versus down below, but even last year, Carson and I were on the phone communicating. Now we are just sitting side-by-side going through the same, seeing the pictures together, communicating and in between series, getting together with the other coaches and making sure we are all on the same page with adjustments.
In the Rams game, we were getting some different looks front-wise. We made an adjustment. Changed our run game. Had some success in the run. That’s more just making sure we are getting Coach Stoutland [offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland], we’re getting through the quarterbacks and the offensive line: Here is what we are looking for; here is the adjustments we need going forward; this is something to feature, and then spreading that throughout, so the receivers, the tight ends, the running backs, they all kind of know what to expect if there were adjustments going through.
A lot of times you don’t have to be side-by-side to somebody because we are all connected through the headset, but obviously Coach Pederson is on both sides of the ball. In a series, where we are all on the sidelines and the defense is on, a lot of times, Coach [Pederson] is out by the sideline; we’ll make sure we get everything right amongst the assistant coaches and even the players on the field, and then we’ll get to Coach [Pederson] and make sure he gets those adjustments or what we are thinking what we are talking about and where we are going in the next series as we go.
But that’s been a pretty good transition, I believe.
Q. We’ve noticed in the passing game that the targets haven’t been as spread out as of late, you have had WR Jalen Reagor, WR DeSean Jackson, the tight ends. But how do you get more out of the slot receiver position? How do you get more out of the other outside wide receiver positions, especially with Jalen Reagor sidelined? (Mike Kaye)
PRESS TAYLOR: I think that’s letting the coverage dictate where the ball should be. Obviously, we have an idea who our primary is on certain calls, but doesn’t all work that way, and that’s kind of the adjustment you have to go on some things. There’s been some times those guys were featured and maybe the coverage dictated the ball goes somewhere else. And then there’s a lot of times even with the slot receivers, we are in a lot of 12 personnel where both our slots end up being tight ends quite a bit. So the target’s going to those guys. Sometimes if we were in a different personnel grouping, that would be a different player sometimes, and sometimes you’ll dual-list personnel groupings on a certain play, and based on what we are getting out of the defense, we would like to be in ‘this’ versus ‘that’.
So that can kind of evolve through the game. We certainly go through everything. Have an idea of who is getting what target or what the primary is, at least, but everything is going to adjust off coverage. We are not going to force balls on certain people just because we believe that’s who the ball should go to on a certain play or when we call a certain play. You have to adjust with what the defense gives you as well.
Q. How big a loss is losing Jalen Reagor for the couple weeks you’ll be without him and what have you seen from some of the young wide-outs who will presumably get more snaps? (E.J. Smith)
PRESS TAYLOR: Obviously we are disappointed for Jalen. We felt like he was really growing into his role, and they are still young players. They miss an off-season of these physical reps — they are learning every single day as they go and they will, and this is obviously unfortunate for him but these other guys have done a great job. They have attacked this week of work. They are ready for it. We are really excited for what [WR] John [Hightower] and [WR] J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside] have been doing on the field and what they are going to do in their expanded roles, as well. Obviously more snaps go around as Jalen recovers a little bit, but those guys have done a great job. They are attacking their work. They are studying the playbook. They keep getting better and they keep growing every day.