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Quotes (8/25): Coach Shurmur conference call

Q: After looking at the tape of the run game, how much of it was a matter of what the Jets were doing with bringing the safeties up into the box and how much of it was the line calls? What did you see in the breakdown of the running game?

A: Early on, especially through the first half when we were in bigger personnel groupings, they had extra people near the line of scrimmage, which makes it more difficult; but nonetheless, we need to do a better job in all areas, whether it’s getting on the right people. There weren’t really missed assignments, so to speak, but we’ve just got to get off the double teams a little quicker and then just hit it up in there and give the runner a little bit more room to get his feet going.

Q: Can you carry a primary returner who doesn’t necessarily contribute in another aspect of the game, or does your returner have to be contributing at wide receiver or running back or one of those positions?

A: Yeah, we could carry a returner certainly that if he’s dynamic enough where he can change the game by being a returner. Certainly all returners fit into some personnel or position group. I was in Minnesota with Marcus Sherels, he was a returner and he was a corner but really didn’t play corner all that much. It may have changed this year, but at least when I was there that’s what he did.     

 Q: How is Evan Engram doing today? Any sort of update on him at all?

A: No, he’s in the protocol. We’ll just see where he’s at. I really don’t want to add anything to that, but nothing’s really changed from last night. We’re moving him through the protocol. 

Q: How about (Rhett Ellison)?

A: Migraines, I guess it was. He’s fine. He’s better today.

Q: Why was the play action so successful yesterday?

A: First off, I got to it a little quick early in the game because they were playing the run, and the good news is, some of our play actions were a bit believable and that allowed us to get down the field a little bit with a little extra protection, and then hit on some of our deep balls. There’s some games when it’s more effective than others. They were making a very strong effort to stop the run, so the next phase of it is try to take advantage of that a little bit.

Q: Were you surprised by what you saw from (Jhurrell Pressley) last night? I know he’s been with you before in Minnesota, but considering he walked in, no OTA’s, only a few practices, for him to do what he was able to do last night, did that kind of surprise you?

A: No, I know what his skillset is and I thought (running backs coach) Craig Johnson did a great job of getting him up to speed. He was probably able to connect the dots a little faster than some because we had some history together, but really it was just based on the amount of work he and Craig did, getting themselves ready to go, and then (offensive coordinator) Mike (Shula) certainly directing me toward the plays that he was comfortable running. Then I think when you’re a running back, you get the ball, (and) you sort of do what you do. He had a couple of nice, long runs there that really helped us end the game the right way.     

Q: When you were studying Eli Manning when you got the job and reviewing (him), were you especially conscious of looking to see if a 37-year old quarterback could move the way you want a quarterback to move, and how much do you think Eli’s legs will play a factor in what you want to do?

A: I believe that every quarterback needs to use his legs to some degree. I think if you do enough other things well on offense, and I do believe that you have to move the launch point for the throws which sometimes means the play action game or moving the pocket, so I believe in that and I do believe that any quarterback can do it to some degree. Eli moves around well enough where he can execute some of that stuff. 

Q: We didn’t really get to ask you last night about Davis Webb. I know he didn’t play as much this game as last game, but what did you think of his performance? 

A: I thought it was solid. Even when you have some good plays, most quarterbacks will come back and there’s a handful of things you want to do over for whatever reason. I think that’s fair to be said for his performance. 

Q: Where do you stand on the free safety position at this point and what did you think of the guys that were in there yesterday?  

A: I thought the guys that played in there yesterday did a good job. I thought that Curtis Riley did a nice job at the free safety spot and William Gay got in there at the end, Double A (Andrew Adams) was in there playing, so we got to see them play quite a bit and show what they can do. Obviously, I thought Landon was pretty solid. We were able to see more and help us decide as we go here who that free safety is going to be. 

Q: How close are you to figuring that out at this point?   

A: I would say we’re getting close. I wouldn’t say we’re unsettled there, I would say we’re getting close. 

Q: Do you expect Darian Thompson back this week?

A: We are hopeful. It’s hard to say. I think it’s pretty well documented that he has a hamstring (injury). This thing on him, it’s really lingering, so we’ll just have to see when we start practicing again tomorrow.

 Q: Do you have thoughts on Jonathan Stewart after watching the film?

A: He’s a veteran player and he’s played really well for a lot of seasons. There’s always a reason why things don’t go well. If you just look at the raw production, and say “oh my goodness”, but we just have to take it for what it is. I know he can play football and play at a high level, and we are just counting on that.

Q: On the plans for this week – it’s a short work week, it’s also the last opportunity for guys who might be on the border regarding a roster spot. How do you approach this week as a coach, as a teacher? Do you kind of amp up your teaching at this point to help these guys more, or how does that work in your role?

A: Here’s there deal. There will probably be some guys that won’t play in this game, and it goes without saying. What’s important is we’re still in training camp, so what we’re going to do is, the guys that we know are going to play in the game, and I’m not going to talk about who they are or who won’t play, but the guys that are going to play in this game, we’re going to use a portion of practice to get them ready to play the Patriots. It’s important that some of the guys that might not be playing in this game, it’s like training camp, so the padded practices are important and the work that we do is important, especially the Giants-on-Giants phase of things. It kind of runs parallel, so we will structure the practice sessions to reflect that.

 Q: What did you think of (Aldrick Rosas’) game last night in the first half with those four field goals?

A: It was terrific. When you make your field goals when we’re stalling out like that and you get points on the board, it’s huge. I think sometimes we forget if you miss those kicks, then they’re presented with immediate good field position going the other way, so I was very pleased with that. His kickoffs were good and solid; he’s a big, strong guy. I think both of our specialists Riley Dixon and then Aldrick, they look like football players to me. They’re big strong guys and I thought they executed kicking and punting very well.

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