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Friday Media Transcript: Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/27/2018 5:01 pm
Head Coach Pat Shurmur
July 27, 2018

Opening Statement: Yesterday was a great day. Day two here, weíre looking forward to another really good day on the practice field. Driving in this morning, itís a somber day up in Minneapolis. Tony Sparanoís funeral is today and he was all about family, all about football. [He] lived a really good life and made the world a better place, so I think theyíre going to honor him today and theyíll move on, as well. I felt like I needed to say that, I didnít say anything on Monday, although I did release something on Sunday. When you work with guys early in the morning until late at night, you go through adversity, you quickly become friends and that certainly was the case with Tony. That being said, Iíll try to answer your questions.

Q: Was Snacks [Damon Harrison] limited yesterday?
A: Yeah, we had a plan for him coming in, so weíre going to stick with that and I think youíll see him out there this weekend.

Q: Why the plan?
A: I think this is typical of how heís approached other training camps. We just have to be smart about the amount of work. Again, guys are all along that spectrum of experience and the key is to get them the work they need and get them to the first game, so thatís why.

Q: Is that something with him that you want to continue throughout the season and youíre going to kind of manage him or is that specifically for training camp?
A: Yeah, weíre just going to try to get every guy the right amount of work and thatís really what it is.

Q: Is that hard to do, though? You only have a limited number of practices and a limited amount of practices in pads, so I imagine you want to get guys as many reps as you can.
A: No, thereís no question. Again, younger guys can handle and need more reps. Older guys, more experienced guys, can get the right amount of work with the reps they get and weíre not quite in pads yet. Weíre working with him behind the scenes and weíll anticipate him out there this weekend.

Q: Howíd Odell [Beckham Jr.] respond to his workload yesterday?
A: Good. I mean, heís running around. You see heís very energetic on the practice field. He had some production yesterday, caught a couple balls from Eli [Manning], in there blocking a little bit, and involved with the punt returns. Heís actually fun to be around on the practice field. Everybody locally knows him better than I do and itís very obvious to me that the guy loves to play football. When youíre in a practice setting like that and you see that, itís pretty obvious.

Q: Is that different than some stars of his magnitude? I mean, itís kind of a clichť to say that everybody loves football, but is that a little different?
A: I think the true stars, and I donít know who youíre referring to, the true stars Iíve been around embrace the work. I think thatís what you see from Odell [Beckham Jr.].

Q: John Mara said yesterday that Saquon [Barkley] is probably the most hyped rookie this franchise has ever had. Youíve talked a little bit about that, showing him where his locker was, where the field is. How cognizant are you of keeping his enthusiasm up?
A: Well, you answered part of my question. He needs to go through the process and he was the second pick in the draft. Certainly, we know what we expect from him. Heís also a rookie and thereís certain things that you have to do. The good news is he understands what he has to do and heís doing it. Thatís what we keep track of.

Q: You think heíll embrace the fact that heís a rookie? Some guys try to fast forward the whole process.
A: I donít know that. Heís a New York Football Giant now and thereís certain things that weíre going to ask him to do and weíre going to train him to do it.

Q: Is he getting treated like a rookie?
A: Heís going to get treated like a Giant. And Iím not trying to be funny. I actually donít think Iím ever funny [laughs].

Q: Can you talk about how he fit in with the offense with the whole team out on the field yesterday.
A: I thought he did very well. He took the reps, he shared them in there with Jonathan Stewart. I think the important thing, when you watch the way we like to train here, a lot of team plays, we like to get the first, second and third group work. He handled his workload very well.

Q: You donít have a lot of guys splitting reps like that at their respective positions. Whatís behind that approach for you guys with that position with him and [Jonathan] Stewart.
A: Weíre trying to train the whole roster. The unfortunate thing about the NFL is injuries. You need new players and so the guys we train, if they donít make our squad and if theyíre trained up properly and they almost made it but didnít, then those are guys we want to go back and get at some point. The work that they get helps them develop. As coaches, we game plan and develop players. The best way to develop a player is to give him a rep to do it.

Q: Did Landon [Collins] have any limitations yesterday?
A: No, he did pretty much everything. He had a good day. But again, weíre still managing him. Behind the scenes, weíll go in now and talk about it as we move forward towards practice and after practice, Ronnie (Barnes) will come to me so we sort of tweak it as we go. We have this global plan of how much we want and how much we want guys to get, but then things happen and we need to adjust. Thatís why sometimes youíll see a guy do maybe a little bit more. Iím assuming somebody here is counting reps, whoís out there and whoís not. As you go through that process, it kind of goes like this a little bit.

Q: How long do you wait on making judgments on players? Day one happens, and do you have in your mind this guy is impressing me and this guy isnít or do you give it some time before?
A: I think we tend to judge as coaches and we fight that being instant evaluators. We need to see guys playing football and the true game of football which happens after the pads. Thereís some guys that are timed really fast and theyíre fast in shorts and then when the pads go on they look very different. We will constantly evaluate the players, but really the final evaluation on all the players doesnít come until we hit the 53 [man roster].

Q: All head coaches want an experienced, proven kicker they donít have to worry about. Whatís your sense with [Aldrick] Rosas? You didnít have him last year, heís a young guy.
A: Well, I saw a lot of good things in the spring. Based on what Iíve seen, [heís] got a very strong leg. He improved, in my opinion, his field goal and extra point mechanics through the spring. Hopefully weíll see that continued improvement.

Q: Sterling Shepard was saying yesterday that this offense wonít be predictable which does represent a change here. When the play caller in you, when you look, you have Evan [Engram] right, Odell [Beckham Jr.] in the slot, Sterling on the other side, Saquon [Barkley] in the backfield, how limitless, if they are, are those opportunities in terms of a play caller?
A: Youíre right, you mentioned a lot of really, really good players. It starts by getting them blocked and protecting the quarterback and being able to run the ball when you want to run it and really when they know youíre going to run it and then all that other stuff will take shape. Weíre looking forward to putting it all together and everything looks good on paper and now we just have to get trained up and ready to go.

Q: It seemed like Odell [Beckham Jr.] was in the slot quite a bit and playing inside. Is that just where you want to start him out?
A: No, I think we train our receivers to play receiver so they could be detached by themselves, detached with somebody inside them, or in the slot. At this point, itís conceptual learning. That way thereís flexibility, so that when itís time to play the game and we actually specifically game plan, theyíve got experience in all areas.

Q: His workload yesterday, was that something you intend to maintain or youíre in a build up process with him?
A: Same thing, weíll just kind of mark it as we go. Itís important to get out there and practice and embrace the heat, make it our friend, and continue to improve as a team. I think thatís the same thing with each player.

Q: Is this position-less football mindset of having every receiver learn every spot so that way, like you said, when you start to gameplan, you can really target a certain matchup and everyone could do the same thing?
A: Iíve never said position-less, but thatís a good word. I might start using that. Being able to put a player, a specific player in different spots, I think itís important and I do feel like that puts a little pressure on the defense. They at least have got to have a meeting and decide how to cover a certain player. But you canít just do that game week, you have to train that throughout and it really has got to be part of your DNA. Then when we decide what we want to do against Jacksonville and Houston and Dallas, as we move through the season, then youíre just kind of fine tuning it instead of revamping it, and so thatís the idea.
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