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Quotes (10/21): Pat Shurmur, Daniel Jones, Golden Tate

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Opening Statement: Obviously, we went through it all. Coached it up with the players, and can't have turnovers like we did, can't have penalties that negate long plays. I think early in the game, we have to do a much better job against the run. That contributed to them scoring. They had a couple of long runs that became scores, and those were off of turnovers. I think there were 17 points there. It put us behind a little bit. We fought our way back into it and then didn't get it done. We have to coach better, we have to play better, and we have to do everything necessary to tidy that up and get ready to play Detroit. That's where we're at. I'll take your questions.

Q: Is there anything with regard to Daniel's (Jones) ball security? Is there anything you're coaching him as far as two hands on the ball in the pocket when he's getting hit that is not carrying over or things that you maybe have to reinforce or change about getting that message through?
A: Yeah, we have to continue to do that. Certainly, ball security is primary, especially for the quarterback. He got it swatted out of his hand on a screen. He was trying to hold off, Saquon (Barkley) popped a little bit late. But generally speaking, yeah, he has to secure the ball better.

Q: When you studied him, was that something you looked at and said he was a little sloppy with that in college or has this kind of cropped up?
A: I think as you study quarterbacks, they all have issues at times. But it's certainly something that we've got to get fixed.

Q: Do you have to get him to get rid of the football quicker? It seems like it's been a trend the last couple of weeks, he holds onto the ball in the pocket. He had the three fumbles yesterday.
A: Yeah, the one I mentioned was on a screen. He was trying to hold it off and then the edge on the opposite side got him. Then there was another one where we had seven-man protection and two deep routes. But yeah, that's always something that they have to do. They have to get the ball off on time, and most of the time he does. But those couple of plays he doesn't, we have to get those fixed.

Q: I'm curious, when you make the decisions, the third and 18, the fourth and 15 at that time, how much is your decision-making analytics and how much do you incorporate feel into that?
A: I think there's both. Then you think of the players involved. It's all part of it. It's all part of it.

Q: How do you factor in the analytics part of it in that short time span? Do you have someone in your ear talking about that kind of stuff? Do you go over it beforehand?
A: We do it beforehand, and then certainly as we play the game out, it happens in real time.

Q: What did you see on that third and 18 play? Not the decision but the actual play. Why did it only go for three yards?
A: Well, that was a draw play. It was a pass that went into a draw if the look was clean. I felt like it was… Saquon took that same play and went for 68 yards against Dallas last year, so I wanted to make sure he stayed involved. It popped through the first level. We didn't probably block it as well as we needed to at the second level, and then that created a minimal gain instead of a large gain.

Q: One thing I think some people, I guess me included, would say as far as the third down and the fourth down, when you say 'We're going for it. This is two-down territory,' is there nothing that could change you or shake you off that after the third down play did not gain that chunk that you wanted?
A: Yeah, anything could change anything as you go along. The flipside of it is if you punt the ball away, you may never see it again. That's the flipside. The reality of it was we didn't make it, so I'm here standing here with the scrutiny of not making it. I get that. But the reality of that was we then stopped them. We had two timeouts and the two-minute warning. We did stop them and made them kick a field goal, and we still had another opportunity to go in there and win the game. I get that. We all live with the decisions we make. The ones that we make that don't work, we have to live with it and you try to learn from it.

Q: Would you do the same thing the next time?
A: In the moment, that's the decision I made. When you sit back and you look at it after the fact, you always evaluate it. That's hypothetical right now.

Q: What do you like about Daniel? Where has he improved? We see a lot of things where it seems like he's regressing a little bit. Where do you see him improving?
A: I think he made a lot of nice throws in the game yesterday. Obviously, that was a tight throw to Rhett (Ellison) in the end zone for a touchdown. He's aggressive. He made another one down the sideline to Evan (Engram) that would have put us in scoring position. He made some other really good throws. He's tough, he's resilient and I think he has a bright future. That's what I like about him.

Q: Do you see growth in his decision-making over the past five games?
A: Yeah, I do. I see growth in everything. I think that's part of playing as a rookie. There are going to be some things that pop up that you see for the first time and you react to it.

Q: He's been making a lot of those tight throws, like a really high percentage of tight window throws. Is that just a product of him being aggressive? What other factors do you put into that?
A: No, he is aggressive, and I think he has a downfield focus, which is good. That's sometimes why he holds onto it, because he's waiting for his guy to get open. But there's a fine line there. There are times when we've all talked about quarterbacks that will just quickly check it down and not look down the field. Then there's criticism that goes with that. We want guys that are aggressive. It all comes back to the players and them trying to get the most out of every play. But also being smart, and I think he'll learn as he goes along here.

Q: Would you like him to check it down a little bit more though?
A: I don't want him to hold the ball and take a sack if that's what you're saying. Sometimes, the right thing to do…

Q: I'm just saying, did you see opportunities with those sacks where he could have done check downs?
A: A couple of times, yeah.

Q: Just because it's been floated out there in a couple of quadrants, would you consider a quarterback change if the turnovers don't improve or the play doesn't improve?
A: No. I think Daniel is going to learn from everything that's going on. Just like all the other rookies and their playing, they're going to learn from the things that happen. But you have to learn and you have to win games, and I'm well aware of that. I'm totally well aware of that.

Q: From a developmental standpoint, it seems like there are two sides to the coin right now. You have to win games, but also you're developing a young quarterback. How do you deal with the growing pains but not accept them?
A: Well, you look for mistakes that aren't repeated. We've highlighted one that needs to get fixed, and that's ball security in the pocket. So, we'll just keep working on that. You just get back to work and try to fix all of those things. But we live in the real world. The real world is you need to win football games, and I understand that. I'm well aware of that.

Q: A couple of players talked about how slow of a start you guys had. What do you attribute to that yesterday?
A: They had a long drive. As the game started out, I think it was like seven minutes they took off the clock on that first drive. The offense doesn't get out there, and then we had to punt. We really didn't get any negative plays in that first drive. They were kind of just a little bit methodical, and then they would execute their third downs. Then they scored, obviously, on the run. That's not something that we want. Then certainly, we have to get them off the field so we can get out there and play.

Q: What did you see in the pass protection that contributed to eight sacks?
A: There were times when Daniel has to get rid of the ball. Then there was just a mixture of things. Nothing significant. Nothing that you could point to, 'Hey, it was this guy or that guy.' I think everybody kind of had their mistakes.

Q: Do you need your edge guys to play better though? I'm talking about your tackles.
A: Our guys have fought all year long. Giving up sacks is just like stopping the run. It's just like being good in the run game. It's a team thing. It's all coordinated. Guys have to get open, guys have to block, the quarterback has to make good decisions.

Q: They've given up 50 pressures already, the two tackles. How detrimental is that to a quarterback's development? Is there anything you can do to maybe give those guys some help on the tackle spots?
A: Well, we try to at times. I'm not aware of that stat. But I think what's important is, and again, I don't know how people characterize what a pressure is. Sometimes the ball gets out and the guy gets touched, so I don't know. I don't know how to answer that. We do do things to change up the protections and we'll continue to do that.

Q: When you look at teams, you look at records. When you talk about Daniel being young, how much of that, of the record, is the whole team being young?
A: Oh, I don't know. I think we've all made that point, that we're very young. There are a lot of rookies out there. I don't know. We have to win games, and we have to find a way to do it this week.

Q: As you review and evaluate, do you need to make any major personnel changes or schematic changes? Does something drastic have to change in your mind to change the results?
A: Well, we're constantly making changes to everything. I don't know how drastic they would be. We're always looking at making changes personnel wise. We're always looking at things schematically. The touchdown throw was a new play that we hadn't run yet. Then there are other plays that we have run that we executed well, and other plays that we have run that we didn't execute well. There are coverages and pressures that we ran. Some we executed well, some we didn't. We constantly go through that process.

Q: I was talking about adding players or selling off players, something like that.
A: You'd have to give me specifics, because we work with the players that we have and try to get them, as coaches, in the best position to have success.

Q: When you watched the film, did Saquon look like Saquon?
A: Yeah, he did a lot of really good things yesterday. I thought he did.

Q: How does he feel today?
A: I think he's a little bit sore, what you might expect for a first game back.

Q: And Evan Engram, his knee?
A: He's fine. I think he's fine.

Q: (Lorenzo) Carter?
A: He had an ankle, but I think he's going to be okay.

Q: Was he the only one?
A: I think so, yeah. There were not really any injuries to speak of from yesterday.

Q: What did you think of Golden Tate not making an effort for that ball?

A: That was tight, that was a hole coverage and the hole player was there. We have to be better at throwing and catching that, both sides of it.

Q: Is Sterling (Shepard) still in the protocol?

A: He is.

Q: In hindsight, are you still okay with (Darius) Slayton taking that ball out and not knowing if you get a touchback there, you possibly get in two plays before the two-minute warning?

A: I'm okay with it because it was one yard. The reason I say that is, I do believe in the players and their ability to make a play. If that was way deep in the end zone, then absolutely, we stay in. Had he run it back for a touchdown, we'd all be talking about something else right now. The things that happened at the end of the game did not work out in our favor, so we'll evaluate it and move on. I do believe in our players, I trust that we are going to try to put them in position to make plays and I trust that they will.

Q: (Chase) Edmonds is not a brand name back in this league and he had a career day. Does anything concern you, particularly how the defense took the field yesterday, knowing you guys had a few extra days off?

A: I don't know if the days off mean anything. When you strap it up and play a game, it doesn't really matter how many days you've had prior to the game. I think they hit some explosive runs and they were for different reasons. I'm concerned when we have a slow start but defensively, we found a way to settle down, especially in the second half.

Q: At some point, do you have to make decisions based on what people are doing on the field rather than your hope for what they will do?

A: I think you keep it all into consideration from analytics, to feel, to the players. Handing Saquon the ball can be a really good thing. We had executed some long third downs, we executed a fourth down in the game. I think you just trust the players all the way through it. You try to make decisions that are best, and I think we all as coaches understand when things don't work out, you are open to criticism. When you don't win games, you're open to criticism. We get that. The only thing you can do is get back to work and try to win the next one. I think that's the real deal.

Q: What do you see from your players these days when you are going over film sessions? Is it anger, or business as usual?

A: They are very matter of fact about it. They're very good about saying, 'Hey, I screwed this up,' or 'I could have done this better.' We do the same thing on our end as coaches.

QB Daniel Jones

Q: Do you feel like you're making progress in the last few games?

A: Yeah, I think I've made progress in some senses. In some plays, in certain situations, I've made progress, and in others, I haven't. So, that's the challenge, to keep making progress and to make progress throughout the game, throughout the situation, whatever it is, to continue to improve on everything.

Q: Pat (Shurmur) was saying how he thinks one of the issues is working on ball security--how do you do that? How do you take care of the football and avoid some of the fumbles and turnovers we've seen become an issue?

A: I think just making sure I have two hands on the ball in the pocket is a big thing, just not letting myself get lazy with that at all, just making sure I'm consistent with that. And when I'm running, keeping the ball secured, I think all those little things that you've heard for a long time that are just kind of fundamental to anyone holding the ball I think are things that I need to do better.

Q: Have you looked back at your turnovers and said, "There's an example where I didn't have two hands on the ball, there's an example where I was loose with the ball?" Sometimes there's a blind side hit and there's nothing you can do about it, but are there enough issues there that you can look at it and say, "That's the reason?"

A: Yeah, I think so. I mean, you want to avoid all of those. I think if you have one, it's too many. So, I think yeah, I've just got to do a better job of all of that.

Q: On the first one, did you feel him coming? Were you thinking that you just had time to let that screen develop, or did you not feel that he was that close?

A: I felt him. Yeah, I thought I could get it off, or else I wouldn't have tried to. But yeah, that's something I've got to feel better and sense better and get rid of it quicker.

Q: A lot of young quarterbacks say that they feel a need to make a play on every play. Do you have a timer in your mind where if something's not there, you have to get rid of it? Or is that something maybe you don't think about when you're out there?

A: No, I think that's important to always have that in mind, and I think I need to do a better job in a lot of cases of just sensing when that timer is going off or when maybe I do have an extra half-second. I think kind of just developing that, continuing to learn in those situations, and I'll be using that to help me progress and help me in the next situation. So, yeah, I think I need to do a better job with it.

Q: Do you get down on a day like today? Do you need to be picked up a little bit?

A: I mean, I'd say we're all disappointed. When we put a lot into it, we expect to win. I think we're all disappointed, but Coach (Shurmur) has said it before, we're not discouraged, we're not at all going to allow it to affect this week's preparation and what we look forward to getting done this week.

Q: What's it been like watching the film the last couple weeks?

A: You never like to watch film when you're losing, but there's stuff to learn from it.

Q: Are there plays to be made that when you look at the film you sit there and say, "Yeah, now I see it?"

A: Yeah, there's always going to be a few of those. Yesterday there were certainly a few. So, just trying to learn from those, understanding when those opportunities are going to be there and what you can see to get you there in the progression or help you see it earlier.

Q: What do you think you're doing better now than a month ago?

A: I think there are certain throws, certain areas in just managing the offense that I understand better and I'm doing better, but the challenge is to do everything better.

Q: Coach Shurmur said that the touchdown to (Rhett) Ellison was a new play. So, when you execute a new play and score big with a touchdown, is that something you put in your memory bank and say, "That's a good one?"

A: Yeah, I think we run a lot of new stuff every week as part of the game plan, it's a lot of what we do. So, yeah, good to be able to execute that.

Q: Have you ever had a stretch in terms of ball security in your career where things just seem to be going against you, and if so, how do you attack it? How do you go after it? Is it a film study thing, or do you just live through it?

A: I think just working on it and making sure I'm always mindful of it. I think the situations when you're not thinking about it, you just kind of lose focus on that and start worrying about something else, like I said, letting yourself get lazy with it or holding the ball too long, I think it's kind of those situations where you need to remind yourself. You need to kind of practice that throughout the week, I think that's big, so you do it naturally and it's something you don't have to think about as much. But yeah, I think that'll definitely be a focus of mine this week.

Q: Will you do more ball security drills this week, or will you do the same amount this week, or different ones?

A: I would imagine I'll do more.

Q: Do you feel any pain after being sacked eight times, or is it just how you got hit that registers the pain? If you get hit hard once, is it any worse than getting sacked eight times?

A: Not really, I think it just depends on the hit. I feel fine today.

Q: How do you rate as a run blocker?

A: Not great (laughter). It needs improvement.

Q: You will not be practicing that a lot this week?

A: I don't think so, no.

Q: Who do you turn to when you have football struggles? Is there someone you reach out to?

A: Not necessarily, I think certainly here with Coach Shurmur, Coach Shula, Eli (Manning) and Alex (Tanney), all those guys who I've worked with a lot and have helped me a lot, so I'll continue to lean on them and learn from them.

Q: A lot of guys in this locker room have talked about how from the moment you stepped in here, the idea of being aggressive is one thing they like about you, it's one of your best qualities. Is it a fine line between being too aggressive at times, or is that part of this whole struggle, you don't want to lose what you do really well, but also you want to focus on what needs to improve?

A: Yeah, I think that's constantly something to evaluate and to improve and understand how you can do better--when to try and take advantage of opportunities and when to be smart, take care of the ball, throw it away, or whatever. I think just kind of understanding that, learning from when you don't do it well and using that to help you the next time. So, yeah, I think there's plenty of room for improvement there.

Q: Obviously you're not the first rookie quarterback to have a rough patch—do you take any comfort in the fact that plenty of guys have gone through a stretch like this and come out better on the other end?

A: Yeah, I don't know if I've thought about that a whole lot, I think kind of the focus right now is to improve, is to fix what we need to do better, and try to get back on track this week. But yeah, I'm certainly confident in myself, I'm confident in the team that we will fix it and hopefully get back on track this week.

Q: You have a guy in the room who went through that—Eli when he was a rookie.

A: Yeah, so I think like you said, there's plenty to learn from everyone who I've mentioned—Coach Shurmur, Coach Shula, Alex and Eli, all those guys. So, like I said, looking forward to getting back on track this week.

Q: Has this experience matched your expectations at all? Did you know what it would be like going through this?

A: I think I didn't have a whole lot of expectations for this. I didn't obviously expect to be in this position, and I don't know. I think, like I said, we're not going to lose confidence and I'm confident that we will fix what we need to and get back on track.

WR Golden Tate

Q: As an offense, how frustrating was it to not be able to move the ball late in the game on those last couple of drives?

A: Yeah, it was. We had two opportunities late in the game there to do something. We just couldn't get anything going, unfortunately. It's tough. We want to be better, we will be better. We just watched the film and tried to be very, very critical because expectations are very high around here— especially in our room. I know, just speaking for the receivers, we have to be better.

Q: Have you played with a rookie quarterback before in your career? With Russell (Wilson)?

A: Yeah, I played with Russell (Wilson). It would've been my second or third year, so we both kind of didn't really know what was going on.

Q: Are there certain allowances that you have to accept when you have a rookie quarterback?

A: I think yeah, there are, but it's nothing that you make verbal. You don't want to bring down his standard. You want to teach all young guys the correct way to do things and what the expectations are. But mentally, you know that there are going to be mistakes made, you know there are going to be things that pop up that they are just not familiar with. I'm definitely not going to lower my expectations for DJ (Daniel Jones), and I don't think he is, either.

Q: Have you seen growth from him in the last few games?

A: Yeah, I have. I think he's doing a better job at reading defenses. It's probably hard to see those because we came off such a tough loss, but just looking at film, you see some growth. You see him doing a lot of good things, making a lot of good plays. There are just a few that we all have to clean up. I think it's pretty easy just to look at DJ and try to blame him for a lot of things. Receivers have to run better routes, backs have to do better, the tight ends have to be better, the offensive line has to be better. I think we'll get this thing going.

Q: Any emotions for you going back to Detroit?

A: I literally just closed the book on last night about eight minutes ago. I'm going to try to keep my emotions where they've always been. I don't want to be too high, I don't want to be too low. It's going to be good to see those guys, but I'm there to do a job. We definitely want to win this one. We have a great opportunity to go on the road and do something special up against a good opponent, despite what the record says. I don't want to make this about me, I just want to go back there and win any way possible.

Q: Is there a feeling in the locker room that the losing has got to end?

A: I can speak for myself, absolutely. I didn't come here to lose, I came here to help get things turned around and help us win a bunch of games. I still believe that we can do that, we just need to be a little bit better. Looking back at that film, I don't think it was as bad as I thought it was. I think there are some things we definitely… one guy does one thing a little bit better, that could be a big play. Looking at it, I don't think we're light years away from being a really, really, good team. I just think we're a few plays. Just do a few things a little bit better, and I think we're in a better situation late in the game.


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