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Monday Media Transcript: Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/6/2018 2:27 pm
Head Coach Pat Shurmur
August 6, 2018

Opening: Weíre gonna go in pads today and deal with the heat, which is important. Thereís a lot of teams practicing in weather hotter than this, so this is apart of training camp. Weíll start working our way toward Cleveland. I know you probably have a lot of questions in regards to how Iím going to play the players. Iím gonna hold that for right now, weíre still in discussions with certain guys and just want to be smart about where guys are physically and if they play and how much they play, so I wonít really have an answer to give you with regard to that question at this point, so if that was somebodyís question, you might have to move on to something else.

Q: What was the reasoning for Saquon Barkley to not have any reps on Saturday?
A: Just, again, weíre managing workloads, we take a good look at what theyíre doing and heís fine if youíre asking. Physically, heís fine.

Q: That was the second time in three days that he didnít do as much as he usually does. Is thereÖ
A: We do a lot of things behind the scenes also that youíre not aware of. Again, I understand Ė everybody wants to know how many reps and if they were good ones and I get that. I know thatís part of your job and you all have a very keen eye for that stuff, but weíre trying to give the guys the workload that they need.

Q: What have you thought about his progress through training camp and what has impressed you the most about Saquon?
A: Well, I think he plays extremely well so it doesnít look like, at least in the training sessions, he doesnít look like a rookie to me, so thatís good.

Q: You called everybody into a huddle the other day after Eli [Apple] and [Evan] Engram had that little scuffle. What was said there? What was the point of it?
A: Thatís between the coach and the players.†

Q: Howís Eli [Apple] doing, physically?
A: Excellent. Heíll be out here today. Heís already out there, heís fine. I know there was a lot of conversation, along the way there was a play-by-play in regards to Eli. Eliís fine.

Q: Thereís a lot of talk when you switch offense and defense and you go into a 30 front itís the big rave. From an offensive line perspective, what unique challenges does playing against a 30 present to an offensive line?
A: Well, thereís certain runs Ė when you put five men on the line against 21 and 12 personnel, basically, thereís certain runs that work well. Thereís certain ways you need to protect. You donít really want your back getting caught blocking those outside rushers who are basically defensive ends. Those are pressure players and really when you look at those outside linebackers, they have three jobs to do: one is set the edge on the runs, two is pass rush and then the rare occasion we ask you to drop. So youíre looking at edge setters and rushers and so thatís part of the dilemma, so your protection schemes change some, how you run the ball changes some. So for us to be able to get that in practice is huge when we play teams that play five on the line. That being said, most of the time when you go to nickel, teams will show up in a four-man front so we get that part of it as well and itís very rare you donít see a team go four down linemen. If you do the math right, you got an extra defensive back, so you take out a lineman.

Q: Iím sure guys have been flashing during camp. How much do the preseason games weigh in your evaluations?
A: The games are weighed Ė itís a huge piece for us. Youíve heard talk about 11-on-11 drills because theyíre uncontrolled and then the 11-on-11 drills where theyíre not on the scripts and theyíre called like we did Saturday and then obviously the next phase of that is doing it in a game.

Q: When you put together your plans for the preseason games, is that really an extension of practice? I know thereís no game planning per se, but how do you kind of approach what you want to see and how you go about getting players work you want to see?
A: Yeah, thatís a good point. I like to see the whole roster. We want to have enough information on the guys that are playing for us to decide are you one of our 53. So we need to see them in games and thereís certain guys we need to see and so itís very important. We also need to remember that weíre still in training camp and so guys are only going to play a portion of the game. Theyíre not getting quite as much rest leading up to the game as they would as if this was during the season where youíre really managing that the best you can. Itís kind of weíre in training camp yet weíre playing a game and theyíre playing partial amount of snaps as compared to a regular game, so you just deal with it.

Q: When you said Saquon [Barkley] doesnít look like a rookie, is it just looking at mistakes that he does or doesnít make or is it the total picture?
A: Some of it is not making the mistakes. He still makes mistakes, but all players do. You donít see him repeating mistakes and thatís good. Sometimes you see rookies get in the feel for things and they just donít quite get it yet. Thatís why itís important that you practice because when mistakes happen you can correct them so you can move on. If you donít practice and all of a sudden youíre making them in games, youíre saying, Ďwell, we didnít get a chance to teach him that.í Players tell you what they need to learn by some of the mistakes they make and then you get them corrected so they donít happen in the games.

Q: Is any of that decreased workload with him, is that management? Is that all set up becauseÖ
A: I donít see it as, I donít mean to cut you off, but I donít see it as a decreased workload. Thereís nothing wrong with Saquon [Barkley]. Weíre just managing his reps like we would any running back.

Q: But is some of that, youíre comfortable with the reps heís getting because heís not repeating the mistakes so you donít need to see it over and over and over again.
A: Thatís good, thatís right. Thatís very fair.

Q: One of the toughest assignments for a rookie running back is picking up blitzes. How has he progressed in that area?
A: Heís done a very good job and because of our style of defense and pressure is in our DNA on defense and theyíre practicing it, heís getting a good opportunity to see lots of blitzes and lots of different types of blitzes. Heís done a good job with that.

Q: So youíre comfortable with him?
A: Oh yeah, for sure.

Q: With [James] Bettcher, thereís a lot out there on how frequently he has blitzed in the past. Is that something you wanted in your defensive coordinator? That aggressive Ė did you want a 3-4 or did you want a person?
A: I was looking for the best teacher. Again, youíve heard me say this, itís the players not the plays. That includes the schemes. I think there are advantages to the way weíre gonna line up and play. I basically told him keep them out of the end zone.
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