Q&A with Brian Daboll

Posted Feb 7, 2012

New Chiefs Offensive Coordinator

Q: Your history shows both sides of the ball. What brought you to the offensive side from the defensive side?

DABOLL: “Good question. When I started out, I really started out as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State after William & Mary for a short time. Then, I got to New England and I took a quality control job. They call it “20/20” – 20 hours a day for a little less than 20-grand a year. So, I worked a few years there with a bunch of the coaches, and when a spot came open on the offense, Bill [Belichick] brought it up to me, offered me the position to move and that’s kind of how I got started on the offensive side.”

Q: What was attractive about this job? Romeo [Crennel] said that you had some competition and other teams were interested in you. What was it about this job that you liked and decided to come here for?

DABOLL: “I believe in the leadership of the organization from top to bottom. I think they have a good plan. I think they’re organized. I think they understand what they want to get accomplished. And, there are good people here in terms of working with these people, I think it’s important to work with good people, have good relationships, build something strong together, do it together collectively, and those are some of the factors that made my decision fairly simple.”

Q: What type of offense would you like to run here?

DABOLL: “I think the first word I would like to use is attack. When you’re an offensive football coach, you want to try to really set precedent and attack the defense. Sometimes that changes week-to-week, based on things you might get. You have a set package as an offensive system where there are 1,000 plays, but you kind of pick and draw based on the weekly deal, what you’re getting defensively. I think it’s important to be balanced to help the quarterback out in the run and the pass, utilize different personnel groups, different formations. Sometimes we’ll move and shift, sometimes we’ll be stationary. I think you need to have ability to get to an up-tempo scheme where you’re in a no-huddle package, threatening runs, passes, all those types of different things. You have to try to keep a defense as off-balance as you can.”

Q: You’ll make the fifth offensive coordinator the Chiefs have had in four years. How important do you think it is to establish some continuity for you and for anybody to stick around now for a while?

DABOLL: “It’s very important. You look at the teams, for the most part percentage-wise, that have been successful over the years, and that’s one word that I think that is sometimes overlooked is continuity. When you can have a system in play and you understand the roles that your players are going to be in that system and they understand the roles, I think that gives you a little bit of a jumpstart. So, we’ve got some work to do here installing our staff, and I look forward to it.”

Q: You mentioned the plan that was in place. What is the plan that’s in place that you see that was attractive?

DABOLL: “I think it starts with the people. I think these guys understand what it takes to win. They have certain things that they believe in that are important to them that they want to stress to the players and stress to the people in the organization of what it takes to win. I think there are core characteristics that are important when you’re looking for individuals, and those being smart, tough, competitive, selfless, hard-working and football is important to them. If you get a group of people that display those characteristics and then can really focus and finish and communicate with one another, I think you have a good chance to be successful.”

Q: In the last week, we’ve talked to a lot of people in Cleveland and Miami in the media that worked with you, and really high reviews from a lot of the local people. However, when you Google Brian Daboll, one of the first things that comes up is a Mike Silver article about harsh treatment of Colt McCoy. Can you maybe talk about your relationship with Colt and if the article was fair and if so, why there was that dynamic?

DABOLL: “The relationship with most of the players that I’ve coached, I have a very, very good relationship. Colt and I have a good relationship. It’s not a bad relationship. I think there are certain times when you’re a coach and sometimes emotion can get to you that maybe you step back and say, ‘Boy, I would rather have handled it that way rather than this way,’ but I think the job as a coach is to tell the players what to do, show them how to do it and really not accept any excuses. It’s an emotional game, and just like certain things in my life, not just football, some things I wish I would have done differently here and there, but I have a lot of respect for Colt as well as the other guys that I’ve coached. I’m a high energy, up-tempo guy. I expect perfection. I know that’s not possible all the time, but I think we need to all hold ourselves to a high standard of really setting the tone and expecting the highest detail and the highest execution from all of ourselves.”

Q: How much different do you expect the Chiefs offense to be this coming year than it has been? With [Matt] Cassel having so many coordinators over the years, I would have imagined your familiarity is pretty valuable. How much do you expect it to be different than what he is probably used to?

DABOLL: “I think that’s a good question. I think that we’re kind of working at that right now. I think that one of the most important things that you can do as a coach is to really try to put your players in positions where they do things very, very well, and until you’re out there and watching them on the practice field and seeing their dynamic skills here or maybe they do something a little bit better differently here, I think it’s your job to adjust the things that you want to do and put them in the position that you think they’ll serve best in. I’m not one to just have one play and this is how we’re going to run it. Sometimes that doesn’t fit with the players that you have. We’re going to wait and kind of evaluate and do a really thorough job of watching these guys and being in OTAs and being in the mini-camps and put together the best thing that we can put together collectively.”

Q: How do you view yourself as a coach and with your personality? People in Kansas City are trying to quickly figure who you are and what your style is. What do you see from yourself in terms of how you do your job?

DABOLL: “I’m going to try to be as hard of a worker as I can, exhaust all resources in terms of game planning and understanding what the defense is going to do and give our guys, hopefully, the best chance that we can give them. It’s not just me; it’s the other guys on the staff that I’ve been able to talk to. It’s Mo Carthon, it’s Jim Zorn and it’s Nick [Sirianni] and it’s Bernie Parmalee. I think that it’s important that you have good staff cohesiveness and you guys are all pulling in the same direction.”

Q: When you look at the personnel you’re inheriting, what sticks out to you about the Chiefs offensive personnel?

DABOLL: “I think at the skill spots, we have some young, dynamic players with [Dexter] McCluster and [Jamaal] Charles and [Dwayne] Bowe is a UFA, but he’s a heck of a receiver, and then the [Jonathan] Baldwin kid from Pittsburgh, big, he can make acrobatic catches, and Tony [Moeaki], who’s been injured, but I remember looking at him coming out of college from Iowa, I think he’s a very skillful tight end. I have a lot of confidence in Matt. I’ve known Matt for a while. He’s a smart player. Skill-wise, I think we have some stuff to work with, and then there’s some young linemen there, [Jon] Asamoah and the [Rodney] Hudson guy. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with these players.”

Q: You mentioned Matt. The Chiefs have said really for the first time since he’s been here that they are open to some potential competition at the quarterback position. As the offensive coordinator and coming into a new place, how important is it for you to be effective that you determine as quickly as possible who your starting quarterback is so that you can have him in mind when you’re building the offense?

DABOLL: “Good question. I think with all the players your job as a coach is to see where they fit. Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a lot of confidence in Matt Cassel. I’ve watched him on tape, I know the player and I’ve also been on different teams that have played against him and heard some of the things that the defensive coordinators have said about him. I think that your job is to go through these OTAs and go through the different practices and get a bird’s-eye view of the 11 guys, or the 15 guys with the different personnel groups that you’re going to be in and out of, and determine who’s the best and will give you the best chance to win.”

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