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Quotes (8/18): Coach Shurmur conference call

GIANTS HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR

Q: You mentioned in your post-game and I saw when you were talking to your players that there are three things: if we take care of the ball on offense; if we disrupt the ball on defense; and if something bad happens, don’t make it worse. Is that something you came up with? Did you take that from someone else? Is this the way you want your team to play every time out?  

A: No, it’s just philosophically the way I’ve developed over time. I’ve always believed if you take care of the ball and on defense if you take it away from them, that’s the obvious, and then if one of those things happens to you and you’re on the bad side of it, you’ve got to keep them from scoring or if you get a turnover, you need to score. That’s the mindset, and it’s kind of a totality of the things I’ve learned over the years. 

Q: If I’m right, your quarterbacks haven’t thrown an interception yet in the preseason. What do you attribute that to?

A: Our big focus is always about getting completions, obviously. And also within that, being able to drive the ball down the field and get big plays. Every once in a while an interception will happen, but we are always going to coach for a high completion percentage and do the best we can to get the ball in our playmakers’ hands. 

Q: Obviously it was kind of a scary moment with Jalen Simmons last night. Any update on him or any of the other guys who left like Russell Shepard or Calvin Munson or anybody else?  

A: Yeah, I guess I can comment on that. Jalen had a concussion and he’s actually doing well today. At least the reports are that he’s doing well. He’s moving around, he was actually moving around last night, so we’re just going to take it day by day with him and see how he progresses. Calvin Munson also had a concussion, so they’re both involved in the protocol and certainly we don’t ever want to put a player on the field that shouldn’t be out there, and so we’ll let this thing in both these cases, we’ll let them come back as they can.   

Q: I have a question about the kickers last night, specifically the kickoff. Was the objective with the kickoff to keep the ball in play or were you looking to have them kick it as far as possible, because it looked like (Aldrick) Rosas’ kickoffs were a little shorter than Marshall (Koehn’s)?

A: Yes, very perceptive of you. That was by design. We wanted to test our players and see who was good in coverage, and so the design was to kick the ball as high as we can and try to drop it down in a fashion where they would return it. You saw the one where Marshall came out and just to get him loose, we let him bang one through the end zone. But aside from that one kickoff, the design, our plan last night was to see who could cover.  

Q: We’ve seen (Alec) Ogletree give up a few big plays in the passing game, just curious as to what you’re seeing there?

A: It was two, actually. Any time a linebacker gets matched up on the back, it’s something that we all work on. Actually the sack, what would have been a sack but was actually an incomplete pass, we were doing the same thing against their linebackers, so it happens at times. The key is if the ball gets completed, then we have to get it on the ground. It’s not secret, all teams try to do it.

Q: Would you comment on the performance of your starting offensive line last night?

A: Yeah, I thought they performed better than the week before. Aside from the one play where the ball potentially got knocked out of Davis (Webb’s) hand, I thought the protection was pretty good. I thought we did a decent job run blocking. There’s certainly plays in there where we can do better, but for the most part, I think they battled. I think they had 25 snaps together, and there were really no communication errors. So it was a solid performance. There’s plenty of areas where we can get better, but each week they’re doing some things better and better.

Q: Was there a problem with the timing with (Jon Halapio’s) snaps on the shotgun? It looked like he was late on one and maybe on another one, or is that just a miscommunication of some sort with the quarterback?  

A: No, that was actually us working our operation. We were in silent count, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get it done because of the communication and how we do it. It’s great because we had to practice it and Davis (Webb) was involved as the starter, so it’s just a little bit different than having Eli (Manning) in there. It’s all good in a preseason game. We were fighting the clock a little more than I wanted to, but those are the things you learn by being in silent count in an away arena.

Q: What did you think of the Mark Herzlich penalty when you went back and watched it? What do you say to a player now moving forward after watching that and the whole new rule and how do you interpret the rule and everything?

A: I have a very strong opinion of that play. We’re going to send that play in to get evaluated and we’ll see what they say, and what they do tell me, I won’t tell you. I don’t think it’s necessary to get fined in the preseason. Here’s the thing – we want to teach a physical, safe game, played by the rules, and things happen fast in games, and we all certainly see things differently in real speed, so sometimes it gets left to interpretation when you replay it in HD very slowly, so we’ll just see. Part of the preseason is everyone getting used to the new rule. Not only how to play the game, but how to officiate it; and I’m hopeful I’m going to get an answer on that play.

Q: How are you going to deal with the players, what are you going to say to the players, are you going to sort of let the rule play itself out?

A: No, we are going to watch the tape and we are going to talk about what we saw with the players. Anything that needs to get said in real time, we will talk about then as well.

Q: Did Ereck Flowers have a problem with Lions LB Devin Kennard?

A: No, I don’t think so. I thought Ereck did a good job last night.

Q: What took so long getting home last night?

A: Weather, I think. Weather (was what) we were told. The plane never arrived. Because of the weather in the east, the plane never arrived until 2 a.m. Then we took the flight home from there.

Q: Any delays after it arrived?

A: Nope, just getting on the plane. We had to adjust, no big deal. Sleep is way overrated, by the way. I tell my players to sleep. Other than the players, for the rest of us, it’s way overrated. 

Q: How are you going to handle the running backs situation this week? You seem a little shorthanded.

A: Yeah, we will just manage it. I think we have ways we can get into different personnel groupings. We have quite a few (running backs) and we will get what we can out of them. We have a fullback in Shane Smith that can take someone’s running back work. We’ll make it work. Again, that’s part of adjusting. We try to adjust in-game. We weren’t running the ball as well as I wanted to early and then we made some adjustments and found a way to do it later. It’s just like your practice plans, too. I think what’s important is you make adjustments to them. I have a certain amount of work I think we need to get done and certain things we want to practice, but if you have less of this player and more of another in terms of groups, you just feature those guys in practice.

Q: I was wondering if you could comment on Jerell Adams. It looked he got an ear full for messing up on a play. What did you see from him and how is that tight end battle shaping up at the bottom of the roster?

A: You are very perceptive. I got a little animated early in the game, but I thought Jerell played much better than he did against Cleveland. By our standards, he had a winning performance. In terms of the tight end group in general, they are all battling, and we are just trying to use them to do the things that they can do when they are in the game. Certainly when Evan (Engram) is in there, we use him as more of a pass receiver. When the other guys are in there, they can protect a little bit better because of their size, skill and ability. 

Q: Do you consider the third preseason game a dress rehearsal?

A: I don’t know. That goes in that category for me of halftime adjustments. I think what’s important is about this game is whoever is in the game is in there to put good football on tape, and help us win the game. As I’ve mentioned all along, we are going to do our very best to find out who our initial 53 guys are. So I don’t know, I don’t look at it that way. I think people say that because typically in the fourth preseason game, a lot of your starters don’t play. I think it’s better said that this might be, for some guys, the last real good opportunity to get game experience before the first game. I think that’s the way I like to look at it. But, I’m a little different, as you all know.

Q: Would Odell (Beckham Jr.) be one of those guys getting game experience?

A: We’ll see. 

Q: Are you able to see what (defensive coordinator) James Bettcher sold to you about this defense upon hiring him?

A: There was no sales pitch. When I put this thing together, I had a coordinator in mind that I wanted because he was hard to play against. So, I saw on tape, by playing against him, what our defense should look like, and he’s just trying to implement that. There was no sales pitch. I think I’ve been pleased with how hard they’ve played, especially the first couple of groups. We’ve been able to kind of control the run, and at times get pressure on that quarterback, and that’s what you want to do, but he didn’t have to sell me. I think just having played against him and knowing that he was available, I wanted to bring him here in New York.

Q: Are players completely off today, and are you watching film tomorrow? How does that work?

A: It’s a typical off day for the players. Anybody that was hurt or has a little boo-boo, they have to come in so we can evaluate them. A lot of the players will come in on their own and get kind of a maintenance lift and go over the recovery modalities. We as a coaching staff came in this morning, or late morning, and watched the tape. We just finished our long personnel meeting to talk about how the players played and ranked the players, and now we’re preparing ourselves for tomorrow’s practice. But the players – there’s a lot of players that do come through, but it’s basically on their own basis.

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