Head Coach Pat Shurmur
July 30, 2018
Q: What happened to Donte Deayon yesterday? He had some problems with his hamstring?
A: Yeah, heís fine, it will just be a short time before he is back out there.
Q: Howís the center competition shaking out?
A: We have Brett Jones and Pio (Jon Halapio) and we have some other guys in there working as well. They are doing a good job. We talked a lot yesterday about how itís important for the center to communicate and communicate well, block their guy and certainly work in conjunction with the guards. I think those guys are doing that. They are going through the first phase of padded practices, which are important. Weíll get through the second phase after the day off tomorrow and certainly the preseason games will be the final piece of that evaluation.
Q: What have you seen from Olivier Vernon?
A: We all know he is a dynamic pass rusher, but he does a very good job playing the run as well. He was here all spring really engaged in everything weíre doing, learning the new defense. I have a great appreciation for what a pro he is.
Q: You mentioned you are a hard marker on centers. What about quarterbacks, because you work with them so much, especially a rookie like Kyle Lauletta?
A: We have expectations and demands, we have standards, so when youíre out there watching them play, to the naked eye it may look like something was a good play when there is maybe some things he could have done better. Thereís always fundamentals to talk about in terms of taking a snap, dropping back and throwing. There is constant communication there. The one thing you mentioned, the fact that Iím hard on quarterbacks, I donít know about that. We are very demanding. If you have been around enough quarterbacks, they are hard on themselves. They are driven to get it right.
Q: When you evaluate him, in your head is he the 4th round pick from Richmond or he might as well be a 1st round pick?
A: Heís a New York Football Giant and we are trying to get him ready to play. Really anybody on our 90-man roster could be out there playing against Jacksonville. You see we get reps for the 1ís, the 2ís and the 3ís and we certainly do a lot to get the quarterbacks ready, so I really donít care where he was picked.
Q: What did you think of Eli and Davis Webbís play yesterday? They both seemed to have a good day?
A: I think they have consistently performed well throughout the camp. Iíve watched it with a little different vision of what we want to get done, but they threw the ball well, they did some good things. Whatís good about our practice sessions is we get a lot of different blitz combinations and concepts. Itís the real mental gymnastics that quarterbacks need to go through and I thought they did a good job of sometimes knowing if they were blocked properly, if there was an extra guy or making adjustments necessary to fix a problem.
Q: You mentioned the blitzes and the concepts, does that put your offensive line at a disadvantage this early in camp?
A: I donít think so. Everybody is giving play by play, day by day analysis of whatís going on, I get it. Thereís a craving for that type of information. ĎBoy, the o-line is doing great.í I get that. I see it differently, I get that itís important that we go out there and work on certain things. If weíre only running one play against one defense and everybody is getting it right all the time, then weíre not getting enough done. The more that we can see in practice, the better weíll be against Jacksonville, Houston, Dallas and so on.
Q: What are you working on with the offensive line that we donít see?
A: Everything. Thirty-one other teams are doing the same thing. All the fundamentals that are necessary to play the position, involvement in all the schemes we want to run, and then you match that against the different variations of defenses and pressures that you get. Thatís basically it.
Q: Are you encouraged by what you have seen from the offensive line?
A: I am and, again, I donít have anything from a year ago to compare it to, but Iím encouraged by what Iím seeing from the guys that are in there. Youíve already written a lot of articles and done a lot of interviews about how we made a big change up there. I like how they are working together.
Q: What are you looking to gain from the offensive linemen in the 1 on 1 drill?
A: The drill work tends to be skewed to one side or the other. When we are going 1 on 1 against the defensive backs, thatís sort of skewed to the receivers. There are times when the 1 on 1 pass rush drill is skewed toward the rushers. Within the drill, you may not see it, but on this day, Will Hernandez will be working on short setting. He may do three or four well and then get beat on one. Maybe on this next drill, heís working on vertical setting. Theyíre working on their techniques within the drills. I think you have to be really, really careful, and I know there are a lot of evaluators that will say, Ďboy, he did a great job in 1 on 1.í Well, we play the game 11 on 11. The drill work is one thing, but thatís why itís so critical to see the 11 on 11 drills, the pre-season games, and when we scheme it up and play real football.
Q: You mentioned yesterday that the idea is to have a three down tight end. Is Evan Engram that guy already in his career. Weíve seen him make great catches obviously, but howís his blocking?
A: Yeah, we feel like heís a three-down tight end. Heís improved his blocking, he works on it constantly. Obviously, his redeeming quality is as a pass receiver, and he works on that constantly. [For] tight ends, itís every day. Itís like a quarterback Ė you say, OK, what does the quarterback do? They get the play from the coach, they make sure everybodyís lined up, they execute a cadence, they take a snap, they either hand the ball off or drop back and throw it, and then when things donít go right, they fix it. Thatís what a quarterback does and so then, throughout his day, he works on those things. As a tight end, you work on run blocking, you work on running routes, catching passes, and pass protection, and so they work on all those things. Theyíve been doing that.
Q: Youíve been out here four or five days with practice, a couple days with pads, what have you seen from Odell as a player coming back from a serious injury last year?
A: I see what I expected to see when we started to communicate back in February. This guy loves to play football, he trains extremely hard, heís totally engaged in the meetings behind the scenes, the things that the world is not aware of, and heís got a lot of passion for the game. We were just out in a walk-thru and I saw three or four times when he was talking to different players about certain techniques within the play. Thatís all good stuff.
Q: Weíve asked you a lot about the offense and the defense, but we havenít really asked you much about special teams. Is that still kind of scattered right now, or are you starting to get an idea on your core guys and how thatís going to shape up?
A: Yeah, we have an idea of who our core guys might be within the 90-man roster here as we get ready to take it to the 53. [Weíve] got a pretty good idea on the specialists, and we just keep working on it and owning it. Some of it will be determined Ė there are guys that will make this team because of special teams, and really, theyíre going be fourth down players first and then weíll find a role on first, second, and third downs. So, thereís going be a few guys that do that. Then there are other guys that are first, second, third down players that will contribute on special teams. Every guy has their role and has to do their job well, so thatís sort of how weíre practicing.