Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula
April 4, 2018
Q: What has it been like working with Head Coach Pat Shurmur?
A: Well, itís been great so far. Weíve known each other a long time and weíve had mutual friends. I did speak with him a few years back regarding a quarterback position when he was at Cleveland and Iím really looking forward to it. Iíve got a lot of respect for him and what heís done on the field as a coach, and then as a person now that Iíve gotten to know him.
Q: What is your vision for this offense?
A: Well, weíre still working through all that and I know you guys have talked to Coach about that and, basically, my vision is going to be Coachís vision and I want to be an extension of what he does for the offense. And without getting into specifics, we want to use multiple personnel and make the defense defend the whole field and like a lot of other offenses, get the most out of the guys that you have, put them on the field and find out who can do what and put them in positions to make plays for us. So, obviously we want to be productive and we want to be balanced and be as unpredictable as we can be.
Q: What can you learn about quarterback Davis Webb and his development based off of his practice tape from last season?
A: Yeah, itís been a little bit harder for me to evaluate Davis. Just getting here so late and then as soon as I got here, weíve been at the Combine, weíve been on the road. Iíve looked at him, I got a chance to meet him in the cafeteria and Iím looking forward to finding out what heís about. And I think coming up next here in the next few weeks with our veteran minicamp will help us gather more information on him.
Q: Have you spoken to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and how do you envision using him?
A: Yeah, he came up to the room, we had a nice visit. This was probably about three days into the job for me. You know, God, heís such an explosive player. Weíve watched what everyone else has seen what he can do on the field and Iím really looking forward to being able to work with a guy like that. Again, what you see on the field and talking to the guys that have had to defend him at Carolina and just how explosive he is and how he can get the ball in the end zone. So, weíre going to try to continue to build on that.
Q: Do you build an offense around Beckham, or do you build an offense nonspecific to the players?
A: Well, again, as we still work through this with Coach Shurmur, I think that heís obviously a vital part of our offense and when you have guys that can make plays and put points on the board, you want to try to feature them as much as you can. But, you also have to realize that youíve got other components and hopefully some more as we more forward into the offseason and the draft, where we can put players on the field and weíre not going to be predictable. And if teams want to try to take Odell away, then weíve got other answers, and good answers.
Q: As the Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors began to swirl around the last couple of weeks, were you paying attention and worried about losing a weapon on your offense?
A: Yeah, I kind of learned over the years to try to avoid the swirls and just kind of focus in on the things that Iím responsible for and at the time, Iím responsible for doing that. And right now, itís just helping the Giants to get ready for the draft and learning the offense and coming together as an offensive staff and then together as a full staff. So, we really donít have as much time Ė I hate to say it like that, but right now weíve been focused in on those things in the immediate future.
Q: Is it unsettling for you that the offensive line still may not be a done product?
A: No, not unsettling at all. In fact, to me, itís exciting. I think weíve got so far since Iíve been here and Iím one of the last guys to get here. Itís exciting, some of the things that weíve done. Iíve been around [General Manager] Dave [Gettleman] and Daveís done a great job, did a great job in Carolina and I think heís done some exciting things for our organization already and again, being around Coach Shurmur here for the last month, in and out of the office and the vision that he has for not just us offensively, but for this organization, with the players and the staff. Thereís a lot of good communication going on. Itís an exciting time, not an unsettling time.
Q: How much did you study quarterback Eli Manning last year? Did you go game-by-game, snap-by-snap?
A: No, not really. Again, I have looked at him obviously and Iíve watched him from game tape, whether or not it was last year when I was coaching at Carolina or other years, but Iíve seen a little bit of him.
Q: Is it a different dynamic as a coordinator coming to a team that has a quarterback entering his 15th year as opposed to a quarterback entering his first or second year?
A: Well, yeah, itís a different dynamic. Iím getting ready to coach a guy that has great experience, that physically is in great shape, that has won two Super Bowls, won a bunch of playoff games. Iíve watched him stand at this podium here and answer questions and be able to handle all of those things. I can remember going back to a few years back and admiring him for the way he is handling questions, not ever getting too high and too low. We talk to our players about that all the time. Whether or not itís in the game, with the media, when you walk into the building, when youíre out of the building, and I think he does that probably better than anybody and thatís one of the many reasons why heís had the success that heís had.
Q: How big of a change is it going to be from last yearís offense to this year?
A: Iím not sure to what degree as far as the players that have been here.
Q: What about Eli (Manning) in particular?
A: I think there are going to be some things terminology-wise that are going to be different, but heís been around and seen a lot and been exposed to a lot. So itís just going to be a matter of he may have called things differently, but itís really the same thing. Or maybe heís been taught to read it a little bit differently, so little things like that that itís just going to take some getting used to. Thatís why itís important once we get going that weíre really clear on exactly what we want to do and I know heís going to pick things up well and lead us in that aspect as far as understanding the whole offense.
Q: What were your impressions of (Sam) Darnold and (Josh) Rosen?
A: I think both of those guys are going to be really good quarterbacks. I think theyíre talented, theyíre a little different in the way they go about things, but I think itís an exciting time in the draft because of the guys that are coming out. Itís exciting to have an early pick, but hopefully this will be the last time we have an early pick.
Q: How much is also being the quarterbacks coach going to impact your time with everyone else?
A: Iíve done it before, I havenít done it in a while. Itís just a matter of managing your time and Coach (Pat) Shurmur is obviously very involved in the offense. Like I said in the beginning, I want to be an extension of what he wants us to do and make sure that everything that comes out of his mouth is echoed by me and if I have questions or if other coaches have questions or if players have questions, I can be the guy that says, Ďhey, letís make sure we get this and that weíre all on the same page here.í In regards to coaching quarterbacks as well, time wise youíre going to spend a lot of time together with other positions and then you break off individually and detail it out by position. Again, since Coach Shurmur is involved, itís just a matter of getting back and getting used to it.
Q: What do you try to get accomplished when you bring in the quarterbacks for visits next week?
A: Itís about what you think. You just keep gathering information in every aspect. Whatís their personality? Whatís their demeanor like? You can talk a little football. Weíve seen them workout now. Just re-establish that relationship. Those guys have been pulled in every different direction by a lot of different teams from the end of the season, obviously, especially since the combine, physically and mentally. So itís like anything else, when youíre looking and getting ready to invest a lot in somebody, you want to find out as much as you can in every aspect of their life.