Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Statement: Again, not much to add from last night. It’s disappointing that we didn’t make enough plays to win again. We’ve just got to take advantage of this time we have here, go back and look at some of the things that we’ve done well, because there were a lot of things we did well. But, we certainly made mistakes in that game that cost you and we’ve got to find a way to eliminate those. We’ve got to keep getting some of these guys that are out there playing for the first time to be more consistent throughout the game. So, that’s where we’re at. Our focus is obviously to improve and do what we can to win our next game following this bye week. I’ll take your questions.
*Q: We saw Saquon (Barkley) went for an (X-ray), what can you share about where he’s at with his injury? *A: Yeah, he was in today. He’s feeling much better. He’s fine.
*Q: So, the (X-ray) came back okay? *A: I don’t know how you’re going to write it, but I saw him today and he said he was feeling a lot better.
*Q: Have you even talked about or considered shutting him down for this season or is that not even a consideration? *A: Absolutely not.
*Q: You mentioned going with the younger players, a lot of them for the first time. What is that challenge, and I’m not making an excuse—how difficult is that to play with such young players and try to be competitive? *A: Well, the decision to go with them, in most cases, there is no decision. They are the best players at the position. The challenge is for anybody that does anything for the very first time. They are talented players, but anybody that does anything for the very first time, there is a lot to be learned. There’s, I guess, pains that come with growing and we’ve just got to be very consistent, we’ve got to raise them right, we’ve got to coach them hard, and we’ve got to do like you do with any player. But they have the ability to get experience, and we all know there is no substitute for experience.
*Q: Did you have any kind of conversation yet with ownership, or any kind of state of the team type of conversation with ownership and Dave Gettleman about where you are, where you guys are going and the state here? Have you not gotten that far yet? *A: Obviously, we are less than 24 hours out from the game, this is the second time you’ve asked me this question in less than 24 hours. If I would’ve had that conversation, it’s not obviously something that I would share publicly.
*Q: Some guys said you didn’t really address the team last night and you were going to do it, I guess, today or tomorrow. Why did you decide to go that route and how unusual is that for you? *A: It’s not unusual for me. I just feel sometimes I like my thoughts to be shared with the team, and only the team. Sometimes in those locker room settings there are a lot of people that I don’t recognize and I like my message to be for the team. That’s why.
*Q: I’m just wondering, I know every week we ask you if there’s a common theme behind the mistakes that are being made. Having looked at it closely, do you think there might be something more with the fundamentals? I know it’s a challenge working on fundamentals in the practice time you have because you’re trying to get ready for the game, but do you think that could be behind some of the problems you’re having? *A: When you look at mistakes, sometimes there are physical breakdowns, and that happens. A guy just gets beat. In any situation, you’re always working on the fundamentals. It’s something you work on all the time. There is a lot of really good fundamental play, and then there are times when you see somebody do something right three or four or five times, then the next time it doesn’t come out the right way. That’s what you have to just keep working on.
*Q: What do you want to accomplish in the last six games? What do you need to get done? *A: Put a winning effort on the field, starting with Chicago, and then build on that.
*Q: Along those lines, what do you want to accomplish over the bye week in terms of your own self-reflection, where you’re going and how you can get better? I know it all starts with each individual, so what do you want to accomplish? *A: That’s what I’ll drive the team to do. Obviously, you dig into the situational football. We have two good practice days tomorrow and Wednesday. The league mandates they get their time off, so it’ll be time away. We as coaches always reflect on where you’re at and where you want to go. I think that’s natural. I’m always looking for things that I can do better to help motivate the team to play in a way where we play winning football. Each year, you’re faced with different challenges. We have some unique ones this year. We’ve got to fight through it and put an effort on the field to win.
*Q: Janoris Jenkins left the field yesterday. I’m just curious his status after the game and if you guys are considering making any wholesale changes in the secondary? Getting (Sam) Beal on the field, maybe Julian Love at safety, just kind of where you guys are at there? *A: (Jackrabbit) went out with a concussion. So yeah, Beal got 10 snaps there. He actually did a pretty good job the first time back, competing on special teams a little bit. Yeah, we’re constantly working all the players. When Beal was in there, our starting three corners were a guy that didn’t play last year and two rookies. Certainly, Julian Love gets work at safety for us. We’ll just see as we move forward.
*Q: What did you think about Nick Gates and the job he did after watching the film on him? *A: I thought he played well. Listen, he’s a tough, competitive guy. We were looking forward to seeing him play because we feel like he has a chance to be a good player. He battled. One thing about Nick Gates, he’s tough, he’s competitive and he tries to do things the right way. He had a lot of really good plays out there.
*Q: Janoris is in the protocol? *A: Yes
*Q: Is there any update on Sterling’s (Shepard) situation? *A: He’s still in the protocol, but he’ll be out there practicing (non-contact).
*Q: You said after the game that you were not thinking about any coaching changes. With a night to reflect, do you still feel the same way? In your history as an assistant and as a head coach, do you find that these kinds of changes during the season can help or are they just window dressing? *A: That’s a two-part question. Having slept on it, no, I am not going to make any coaching changes. It’s important that we coach and play better, period. In terms of coaching changes during the season, I think you have to look at each one independently. Some situations they help, others they don’t.
*Q: What’s the bye week to-do list you are going to send Daniel away with? *A: He has already been here, so first and foremost, we debriefed the game. We are going to practice for two days and he’s going to go through the same process we as coaches do. I think of quarterbacks in that way. He’ll go through all the situational football, he’ll look at the things he’s done well. He’s thrown 15 touchdowns, he’ll look at the eight interceptions, and look at the fumbles. You basically go through everything that you’ve done, and you try to sit back, take a breath, and try to do the things you need to do to correct them. Which we’ve been working on all along, you are just able to sit back and do it in total.
*Q: Some quarterbacks wear gloves to help protect the ball, either on their throwing hand or their non-throwing hand. Eli has done that for the last couple of years on his left hand. Is that something you would consider with Daniel, and suggest that he do that? *A: I have never heard of that in terms of the ball security piece. The ball got ripped out of his hand the other night, he has to certainly secure it, though. I guess it’s something to think about. Since you brought it up, I will mention it to him. Some guys are just more comfortable wearing a glove and some guys aren’t. Regardless, he has to secure the ball.