Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula
August 6, 2018
Q: What do you think of Davis Webbís camp?
A: Davis has done a nice job, weíve talked about him in our staff meetings. Heís like a lot of guys, striving for consistency. When you watch practice, you see big plays by him or on the other side you see interceptions and itís like one extreme or the other, but thereís a lot of things that heís done since day one of the OTAs where heís working and has gotten the negative plays minimized. Heís still got some work to do there but heís more consistent in making sound decisions.
Q: Thereís a lot of practice tape on Davis (Webb) but not a lot of game tape on him, are you really anxious to see him on Thursday?
A: Yeah, for sure. He works so hard at it and you can tell it means a lot to him, and it does with a lot of guys, youíre always rooting for those guys. I think the biggest thing that Davis, as well as any other young guy going into their second year, is donít try and do too much, just make sound decisions, decisions that help keep our offense on the field. Sometimes those decisions are throwaways so we can go play the next down, but yes Iím excited because he prepares hard and heís talented and heís shown some really good things out there.
Q: How has Kyle Lauletta progressed through this camp?
A: Heís done a really good job as well. Heís kind of got a calmness about him, especially for a rookie, that you donít see a lot in young guys. Iím anxious to see him, as well, just to see the whole transition, I think, for the same reason you guys are. Coming from Richmond, when I first saw him and heard about him, every time Iíve seen him heís continued to get better. In the Senior Bowl he looked well, in the (NFL) combine he looked well, heís been here, started out doing well and has gotten better. So weíre just going to try to get him in with a lot of the other young guys and give them the things that theyíve had the most reps on and let them go play.
Q: The big question with him (Lauletta) coming in was arm strength. Is that something that you can develop at this point?
A: Yeah, I think so, especially young guys. Now he might not have a cannon but heís accurate and gets the ball there on time. Thereís a little bit of a difference with a guy being able to throw it 75 yards or a guy having good arm strength on all of the intermediate levels. Even some of the deeper throws, heís probably completed as many deep balls as anyone has at this camp so far. If someone would have asked you that, you may have said, ĎNo, heíd be the last guy Iíd think of for that.í
Q: I know in the past, Coach Shurmur has said that arm strength is probably down on this list of things you should look for in a quarterback. Why is that and what is more important?
A: Itís throwing to the right guy, getting the ball there on time and getting the ball there accurately. So arm strength doesnít mean youíre going to get the ball there on time. If you look at the guys throughout the league, thereís a lot of guys who donít have extremely strong arms but those guys that are playing in the NFL that donít have that have great anticipation, great timing and great accuracy, and I think he is in that mold. Now, heís a young guy and heís only played in college but I think he fits that mold, heís got really good anticipation, good accuracy and good touch. Thereís been a lot of very, very successful quarterbacks in this league, Hall of Famers, that havenít had cannons but have had those other qualities.
Q:† Youíve been managing some snaps with some guys at practice, Saquon (Barkley) and some offensive linemen. One of the guys youíre not doing that with is your 37-year old quarterback, what has he shown you and how are you preparing him physically?
A: Thatís a good question, we do have to continue to monitor that and we do that verbally as well saying, Ďhey, youíve got to be honest with us, make sure weíre not giving you too muchí, but Eli does such a good job of taking care of himself physically, he starts in the offseason and just knows how to get his arm ready for the grind now, heís done a great job. Like you said, weíve pushed the envelope a bit with his reps just because of the newness of what weíre doing, we want him feeling really good, not just about what heís doing but just getting him together with the guys that are going to be there on Sundays, the timing and all of the little adjustments that theyíre going to have to make.
Q: Do you think Eli (Manning) is mobile enough to extend plays and extend them, especially, when the protection is not perfect to make the throws that he needs to in this offense?
A: Was Dan Marino mobile enough to extend plays? I think he was. The first thing that comes to my mind when you ask that is, youíll see those guys Ė Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip (Rivers), they just navigate that pocket just enough to extend the play where itís going to allow a receiver to get open. Maybe he didnít get open on time because it was press coverage, now, if itís out there out of the pocket and heís running aroundÖ our point for him (Manning) as well as all of our quarterbacks is making good decisions late in the downs. Whether itís in the pocket late in the down or once you get outside, I think he knows what he can do and what he canít do once he is outside of the pocket.
Q: There seems to be a lot of movement from the QB position in this offense.
A: Weíll have that as well. Now we probably wonít feature that, but weíre definitely going to have that enough to compliment what we do. I think guys like Eli (Manning) and some other guys that maybe arenít known for their running ability, it becomes more deceptive for you as an offense because teams arenít looking for it as much.
Q: When you have as strong an arm as Davis (Webb) has, sometimes thereís that temptation, ĎI can fit it into any windowí, is that a good thing, do you like that swagger or can that get you in trouble?
A: Yes to all of that. In all seriousness, obviously you like a guy with a strong arm but, again, the most important thing is that youíre getting the ball to the right guy, getting the ball there accurately and getting the ball there on time. If itís through anticipation or maybe you canít anticipate it because of something but you can still get the ball there because of arm strength, thatís good. In my experience with guys that have strong arms, the biggest thing is donít let that be the reason for you to think you can fit every ball in there, where itís a dangerous throw or a tight throw, where something exciting is going to happen, a big catch, an interception or someone getting hit hard. We donít want to live in that world. We want to pick and choose when we have those really good looks. Other than that, make a good decision somewhere else.
Q: You obviously came into camp with an idea of what Saquon (Barkley) could bring to this offense. Is there anything over the first couple weeks, a play or something, where youíve kind of gone back and said, ĎI didnít think he could do thatí?
A: Not really. The thing that sticks out the most with him is his ability to be a total back. With everything weíve asked him to do, he just looks really, really good. And thatís hard to find in a lot of backs. As we know, in college, he wasnít just good at all those things, he was really good at all those things. That is kind of what were looking for - for him to pick up where he left off.
Q: Is there any example of a mistake youíve seen him (Barkley) make, and correct, and that he has not really made again?
A: Yeah, thereís a lot, probably, with blitz protections, and it might not have been his mistake, it might have been someone elseís where he made sure he wasnít going to make it again. It wasnít really a mental mistake but there was one (play) in OTAs where we were in the red zone and he was coming out to catch the ball and had a chance to catch it and it dropped it and it was an interception. The very next play he came back, it was a similar route, and he caught it and scored a touchdown. So he didnít let that play affect the rest of practice.