Head Coach Pat Shurmur
August 4, 2018
Opening: We’re going to have an afternoon practice. We’re going to have some more call-it periods, some less scripted situations which in my mind – 11-on-11 drills are uncontrollable. Obviously drill work is controlled and then when you have the call-it periods, now it really adds to it what happens in a game. It’s important we get substituted properly, players get lined up properly, all that stuff you need to see when preparing for games. We’re gonna do that today, this afternoon, and then as you’re all aware, they’ll have their day off tomorrow. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: When you say call-it period, do you mean kind of traditional down and distance when you guys are out there together?
A: Most of what we do out there is scripted so we put it on a script and everybody out there knows where they’re going. Throughout camp here, you noticed there will be times when either Mike [Shula] or myself will be calling the plays, so we’ll give the defensive personnel a call-it so it’s not on a script. That part is also good for the play caller to work on their game as well.
Q: Is that going to be a padded practice?
A: Today is padded, yes.
Q: Did you watch the Hall of Fame game the other night?
A: I did not.
Q: I was just curious if you saw those flags, a lot of people were surprised.
A: I’ve been told about two calls of note. One that I think everybody said was proper and then one that was questionable. I think that’ll be part of our education as we go. I think we always see that in the preseason when there’s a rule interpretation or a new rule, the officials work on how they’re going to call it in the regular season. I’m sure there’s going to be continual discussions through the preseason on how it’s going to get called.
Q: You said you had a video of plays you wanted the officials to go over. Did they and were your questions answered?
A: We got clarity on a couple of the ones we showed them, but there also was a league video they showed us.
Q: You were in Minnesota last year where a pretty much overhauled offensive line came together in one season. Obviously trying to do that here, what was the key to making gel so fast?
A: I think when an offensive line unit comes together, it’s because they’re together. I made note of it last night at dinner when the guys were pulling the tables together, there was a table of 11 of our offensive line and then there was another little table with the rest of them real close. They’re gelling in more ways than just on the field and I think that’s important. When you have a good, gritty group that cares about each other and spends time with each other when it’s not mandated, then you know that thing is starting to come together.
Q: It has been said that some young quarterbacks are impatient, they want to get the ball down the field, they want to make the plays. Are you noticing that your two young quarterbacks, [Davis] Webb and [Kyle] Lauletta, are kind of dialing it back and being more patient these days?
A: I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily being more patient. I think young quarterbacks, who knows what their mindset is, they’re out there learning it. There are some guys that are more cavalier in their approach and some guys that just want to get completions. I think what’s important is when we give them a concept and we’re trying to get something out of it that they try to do it the right way, so we’ll see as we go.
Q: We’ve seen a bunch of interceptions the past couple of days. What do you make of that?
A: It’s practice, it’s practice. Sometimes they are really good plays by the defense. There may have been a questionable read by the quarterback, could’ve been a tipped ball, so there’s many reasons for it. We go through each one and there’s no trending.
Q: You guys worked out Leonard Johnson before you signed him. What died you see there and why was there a need to sign him?
A: As we talked about, we’re going to do everything we can to improve every group on our team. He’s a veteran player, we liked the way he moved around, we like how he played a year ago and we felt like he was a good guy to add to our group.
Q: Is there any concern with the secondary? You have so many guys battling at free safety. Seems like there’s a lot of turnover there. Is there any concern with how many new guys are back there?
A: Not concerned. We’re gonna get them coached up and when we’re in base, we’re going to have four of them back there and when we’re in nickel, there will be five of them and then we’ll let it rip. We’re not concerned.
Q: Connor Barwin has been in the backfield quite a bit this first week, you know, getting to the quarterback. Is that a product of him maybe playing as well or is that the second-team offensive line having trouble with a veteran pass rusher?
A: I think Connor is an experienced player and he’s had some really good reps out there, which we expect because he’s a good player. I wouldn’t read too much into who he’s going against or how he’s playing. I think he’s doing what he needs to do to get ready to play.
Q: Back to the offensive line, what have you seen from John Jerry? It’s a little bit of a different position, different role.
A: John actually has had a really good camp. I think he came in good shape. He was ready to compete and we asked him to play a little bit of tackle, which he’s done. I think the more you can do, really the more you can do in any situation, any walk of life, the longer you can stay if you do it well. His ability to play tackle for us will be something that is important for him and he’s done a good job also playing guard.
Q: All that data you get on guys, what has it told you about Odell [Beckham Jr.] getting off a major ankle injury and what have you seen?
A: I mean, I wouldn’t share the data, but he’s out here and he’s sort of full go and we’re taking it slow like we wanted to. Yeah. we like what we’ve seen so far.
Q: Do you expect William Gay to miss significant time after the injury yesterday.
A: No, I don’t. I don’t think so.