Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Initial Comments ... “Game 3 in the books here. I’ll start with the injuries. Anderson (LB Jonathan Anderson) with a knee — we’re getting it checked out. Rod Smith with an adductor — that’s already checked out and he’s fine. He went back in and played. “It was good to win the game. When you look at the game in total, we did enough to win. The long punt return kind of put it out of reach. But we didn’t take care of the ball enough. We had a fumble. We had some untimely drops. Some of the throw-and-catch and stuff, we’ll clean that up. The guys competed hard like they did the first two weeks. It was just a little bit sloppier than we would have all liked to have seen. The one good thing about this game is we played everybody and we got a chance to evaluate everybody doing what they do. That will help us as we move forward here picking our 53. I’m glad the way it played out. I got the ones a bunch of work, which they needed, and nobody really got hurt. My thoughts on the next preseason game will be a little more traditional for a fourth preseason game. The guys that what were in after the ones took full advantage of the reps they got.”
What did you think of QB Daniel Jones’ touchdown drive, and the response to taking that hit and bouncing right back?
“You take hits, you know. He came to the sideline and said, ‘That was a good one. I’m sure I’ll get hit harder than that at times.’ He was fine. He did a good job. He got us in the end zone and made some really good throws. The couple of deep balls he threw were with the defenders in close proximity, and he gave our receivers a chance on the ball. Those were two of the results on a couple of his deep balls. He sees things well. He moved forward in his progress in being ready to play. Each week he does things. I mean, he’s into it. I adjust on the run quite a bit and he can handle it, which is fun when you’re calling plays and trying to make adjustments to attack what you see on defense. And he can handle that.”
What percentage of the playbook is he working with?
“All of it. It’s a long list, a big sheet of plays. He knows them all.”
He doesn’t throw many incomplete passes ...
“That’s a good thing, right?
Is that what you thought he’s going to be eventually?
“That’s what we thought he was when we drafted him. It’s fun. About every six or seven days now, I’ve been able to tell you that’s what we saw when we drafted him. He just has a feel for playing the position. He’s steadily getting better each time he takes the field, whether it’s practice or games. That’s what you’re looking for with a young player, especially one that’s as talented as Daniel is.”
Is there something you’ve learned about him that maybe you hadn’t seen yet?
“He just re-confirmed in my mind that he’s tough. In a sport where that’s demanded, he’s got that and he knows how to compete. Quarterbacks need to know how to get completions and throw the ball accurately, and he’s displayed the ability to do that.”
This is the third game in a row he’s made throws in tight windows. What makes him so good at that?
“He’s an accurate passer. That’s not easy to find in a guy to be able to do that. That’s what he is. Like I said, you can ask me all you want why I like him. I think it’s time to start asking the people that didn’t like him what they think, quite frankly.”
What did you think of QB Eli Manning’s drive?
“He did a good job. He did a really good job.”
Did you like Jones enough to give him a shot at the job?
“I’ve said it all along. Daniel, when it’s his time to play, is going to be ready. And we’re going to continue to get him ready. We’ve got a couple weeks left before we play Dallas.”
What did you think of WR Brittan Golden tonight?
“He made a great catch before the two-minute warning. We would’ve liked to have seen the ball get spotted quicker so we could have killed it there — that’s something else with it. It was an excellent, excellent catch. The ball was up in a position where only he could get it, and he made a great catch on that one. Brittan Golden is another tough guy. He’s very competitive, and that was a great return. Now we obviously don’t want to follow it up with a fumble. But he’s a tough guy, good player and obviously has the ability to return kicks.”
QB Daniel Jones
Quarterback Preseason game No. 3 for you this week. Was there anything new for you? What was kind of your next step, what were some of your goals and what did you see out there?
“Just kind of the same goals — move the ball and score points. I wanted to protect the football and take care of the football. I had one loose ball out there, and that was something to continue to work on. Yeah, I think just (working on) protecting the ball and scoring points. I was trying to find a rhythm out there, and I was glad we were able to score at the end of the first half.”
Take us through that deep throw you had to WR Darius Slayton. You had some pressure in your face and still got the ball off to the back shoulder. What did you see on the play?
“I was just trying to give him a chance to make a play. I kind of hung it up a little bit, and I asked him what his vertical was (laughs). It was a really good play by him in a one-on-one situation, and I was just trying to give him a chance to make a play.”
Pat Shurmur has said all along that when it’s your time to play you’ll be ready, and there’s still a few weeks until Dallas. If the regular season started today, would you feel confident to go out there?
“I don’t know. What I’m focused on right now is continuing to learn, and continuing to take the right steps forward. I think there’s a number of things that I still need to work on. There always will be. There’s certainly a lot to work on.”
From a confidence standpoint, with what you’ve done the first three weeks, do you feel confident that maybe it isn’t as big of a leap as you thought it might be?
“Just the experience of playing in an NFL game, that gives you some confidence and comfort. There’s still a lot to learn and a lot I need to improve on. I’m just trying to be aware of that.”
You got hit pretty hard on that sack-fumble. It seems like that’s the first time you’ve really been hit in the first three games. Take us through what happened there ...
“Yeah, that’s part of the game. It’s part of football. I could have just stepped up in the pocket, and that’s something I’ll take from this week is moving up in the pocket.”
Sometimes people say you need to get hit like that before you feel like you’ve arrived. Is that the hardest you’ve been hit so far?
“Yeah, it’s probably the hardest I’ve been hit. I’m not sure I really felt after that like I was more comfortable necessarily. The way I see it, it’s just part of the game.”
If it’s part of the game, then the next throw was the throw to Slayton. It seemed like you brushed that off pretty quickly. Did you feel like when you got back in the huddle that you just had to move forward?
“Yeah, I think so. That’s something the coaches talk about a lot — having that ‘next-play’ mentality. It’s part of the game, so I was just trying to give Darius a chance to make the play.”
You’ve said that you didn’t need to go out there and prove anything to your doubters. But following the comments from Browns QB Baker Mayfield this week, were you thinking of this any differently?
“No, not really. I didn’t think about it a whole lot. At the time, I didn’t really think about it a whole lot. I don’t think my week changed because of it.”
What did Baker text you exactly?
“Just that it was a miscommunication and a misrepresentation of what he said. I appreciate him reaching out. I told him it was all good and no worries, and that it was nothing to worry about.”
Did you have his number already?
“I didn’t have his number. He just texted me and I figured it out real quick.”
How did you feel about it? There’s nothing about it that bothered you at all?
“Not really, no. I appreciate him reaching out. I realize he said that a long time ago and that’s not exactly how he said it, and I appreciate him reaching out.”
RB Saquon Barkley
Did Baker reach out to you or did you reach out to him? (with regard to a Baker Mayfield quote about QB Daniel Jones)
“Baker reached out to me. He sent me a text, and asked for Daniel’s number, and asked me to make sure he received the text he sent.”
No big deal?
“At first when you see the quote, it looks crazy. I understand that sometimes you say things, but you can’t control what people write. I’m not coming at you guys (media). We can say what we want to, but you guys are the ones who put it on paper. From me talking to Baker, he sounded sincere and he apologized to Daniel. It was taken out of context. It was fun for the media but it wasn’t a big deal in the locker room.”
Does Daniel Jones look like a winner to you?
“He does. I’m happy for him. He has continued to get better every single week. He’s a competitor and you can tell he loves the game. Whenever his opportunity comes up, I know he’ll be ready.”
Were you surprised with how he handled his first bit of controversy?
“No, I wasn’t surprised. That’s why we drafted him. I think he handled it the right way. When the media asked him about it, he always kept it about the team. We’re trying to build a team who competes and wins games. Kudos to him. There will be a lot more stuff said about this team, but the only thing that matters is the opinion in the locker room.”
If he keeps playing like this, maybe people outside of the building will think like you guys?
“I don’t care what people outside the building think. That’s what I keep saying. I love the way he handled things. We know what we have with this team. We have a lot of talent and can be special and compete this year.”