Offensive Line Coach Pat Flaherty
November 16, 2015
Q: You had to move some guys around last night, how did you think the guys that came in did?
A: The guys that stepped in did their job and as you well know, thatís our attitude in the offensive line room, next guyís got to be ready.
Q: Are you hopeful that Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg will be able to be back for you when you get back?
A: Youíre always hopeful of that. I donít know what the situation is. I think throughout this week, the bye week helps. If we were playing next week, that would be a concern of mine, but we have a week to see how things go and I hope both of them get healthy and ready to go.
Q: How concerning was Justin with not just his loss but it seemed like he was doing better and then all of a sudden he wasnít?
A: Justin has been playing well. Played very well down in Tampa, played hard down there and it took a great effort from everyone to win that game. Then the complications he had afterwards, I know it was disappointing to him.
Q: Was he back in here this morning? Was he feeling better?
A: Yeah, he was in all the meetings and I had a little bit of an opportunity to ask him how itís going and he said better, whatever that means. I didnít go into great detail with it. Tonight in the staff meeting weíll get a little bit more information from Coach Coughlin.
Q: Youíve had a couple of months now with Ereck Flowers, whatís your assessment of him?
A: As I said in training camp, working with him a little bit in the spring, then we get a chance in the summer, I really like his attitude, his play strength, he wants to be a tackle in the NFL. His technique was something that we knew needed to get better. I think you see flashes of his technique. As a coach, I donít see enough of it yet, but thatís coaching more than playing and heís got to learn to trust the NFL technique. Itís really difficult for young player when he gets inóheíll do it in practice, he works hard at it in practice, heís the kind of guy you love to coach, but when you get into a game situation, a lot of times the young players revert back to what theyíve been doing and thatís the thing weíreógoing into game 11 here against the Redskins coming up, thatís where we have to show more than flashes, we have to see the improvement.
Q: Is it his footwork, his handwork?
A: Itís a combination and, really, most of it becomes one thing on top of the other, it happens when heís very technique-conscious in the beginning of the game and then something happens that gets him out of whack because heís playing against good players that have been playing a long time. Then I have to settle him and we talk on the sideline and we settle down a little bit and then itís gone almost series by series from that standpoint.
Q: The original plan was to start him at right tackle?
Q: Would some of this have been mitigated a little bit if he got the start there?
A: I donít think so. I donít think thatís the reason at all. I think that itís more of the getting the experience in the NFL, learning on the job type of thing. Heís going to get better and as I said, I want to see as a coach and I want to do a better job of getting him better each week.
Q: He had some struggles yesterday going against a very good player, but how much did not having Justin Pugh next him affect that do you think?
A: I donít think that affects him. I really donít. I mean Justin is a good football player, John Jerry is a good football player and these struggles that happen with Ereck, as it did happen with other guys throughout the game, was more of a one-on-one situation.
Q: Do you have to grade his performance on a curve because he is going to have the ups and downs of a rookie, but you also know who he is playing against?
A: Thatís a great question and a curve probably has to be handled by a smarter offensive line coach then me (laughs). The only curve I know is you get the job done or you donít get the job done. What I tell the players is if your job isnít getting done, I look to myself first and then they have to trust the technique Iím teaching them and then go out and do it. Itís learning on the job that we all understand. He brings energy to the game, he loves playing the game and a lot of times when he goes out and plays, heíll play out of his technique more so than with good technique.
Q: If Will Beatty had come back, would he have gone to right tackle?
A: Thatís a great question. When he was practicing, as I told him and the offensive line when he was practicing and first started out on the scout team, I said that he has the right to play any position but center. So we used him on the right side and it looked like he was progressing fairly well there, even some at the right guard position. Just kind of to see where he might fit best and be able to handle the injury that he had.
Q: How has Weston Richburg progressed in your mind?
A: Weston, in 10 games at center, is progressing well. Heís going to be a very, very good center here for a long time, I really do believe that. Heís got some growing pains, as they all do when they're playing a new position. Itís totally different. Although he was inside last year, heís got more responsibility now, but heís handling it. He works hard at it.
Q: With the running game, you guys have had a couple strong games but last night wasnít good, especially in the red zone. Do you guys have to put that on the offensive line now?
A: The running game is a combination and Eli does a great job in putting us in the right situations. We have to execute better and to execute, it starts with the offensive line and then the tight end position and the running back position. As I mentioned to the offense this morning because we showed some clips, I said that it really starts with the offensive line because it starts with me. The next few days, when theyíre healing their bruises and everything, Iíll be dissecting the run game and find out what we can do better and how. I really believe our techniques, the scheme that we go in against each week are going to benefit our offense to run the ball. It has not worked out that way. So when it doesnít work out that way, I first evaluate what weíre doing and what formations weíre using and who weíre using at the point of attack. When you see an effective running game and you see flashes of it, but when you do the consistent part of it is the offensive line are straining through their techniques and we have not been as consistent with that.
Q: Have you had consistency issues due to the fact you guys are using four running backs?
A: No, no it really isnít. I think that from the outside looking in, it that may be something that people believe. I donít think that has because all the running backs and all the linemen and all the tight ends are being taught the same thing. So itís just a matter of them fitting together. I donít think it has anything to do with the running backs. Our running backs, we have quality running backs. To have four quality running backs, weíre fortunate that any of them at any time will execute any run that we have as long as we block for them.