Head Coach Pat Shurmur
August 9, 2018
Opening Remarks: First one is in the books. I mentioned before the game, itís important that we learn about our team in these preseason games. You want to win the games, and itís always the same in the locker room when you donít win. You get that feeling of disappointment that you didnít win the game, but on the flip side, there were moments, there were stretches of this game that were positive, there were things that we did that were positive. Running the ball, I wanted to run the ball especially early with Saquon to kind of get him going, I thought he had some nice runs in there. And throughout the game, I thought our running backs did a good job. I thought we did a good job run blocking, but we had a stretch there in the middle of the game where we didnít get it done in the passing game and I was trying to throw the ball a little more than the law allows with Davis Webb in there. I thought our run defense was good and then I told the team, we were tight in coverage, but at times we just didnít make enough plays. I think thatís what it comes down to in a 20-10 ballgame. But, thereís a lot that we can learn from, the players can all learn from. I think the guys that played today got better in some ways, all the young players played, and now weíll go back and watch the tape and get ready to play Detroit. With that, Iíll take your questions.
Q: What was your assessment of the quarterbacks, especially Davis Webb with some high throws.
A: Davis gets a little amped up at times and thatís what causes the ball to sail a little bit, but he had his moments. He had some good plays in there.
Q: What did you see from Saquon Barkley and his first game? What was your first impression of him?
A: I loved his first run. If only they all could be like that. You could see, it wasnít too big for him. Heís probably played before bigger crowds at Penn State. It really wasnít too big for him and I think he took the next step in his progress to get ready for the season.
Q: What do you want to take from film like this? As youíre building toward the season, how important is the film that youíre going to see tonight?
A: Yeah, film is very important. I told the fellas that weíre still in training camp, weíre in training camp mode. Weíve got to look at this just like we played a scrimmage against ourselves. Correct all the little mistakes so they donít show up again, and just come back and try to be better each play next week.
Q: What did you see on the sack, Eliís last play where he got sacked?
A: They just had a cross dog pressure. They got a little loose between the center and the back, two guys in the middle belong to the center and the back and they got a little loose. It happens all the time. Unfortunately, they got us that time.
Q: You started the second half with a hurry-up, was that something to try to calm Davis Webb down a little bit?
A: No, I use it periodically. Being able to go fast, sometimes it puts the defense on their heels a little bit. We got moving there a little bit, and then we had a third down throw in the flat that we missed on that couldíve kept that drive alive, but the good news is, and again this is something I didnít mention, but we got a turnover. We caused a turnover on the punt, and turnovers are important, but what you do with them is extra important. So, we got the turnover, then we touched it in and scored. That was a good segment of the game, so we just have to build on that.
Q: What did you say to Davis [Webb] at halftime?
A: I just tried to settle him down, thatís all.
Q: Did you see better results in the third quarter?
A: Like I said, he had moments out there that were pretty good so weíve just got to go back. Heís no different than anybody else, he has to go back and clean up those plays that there were mistakes on.
Q: Odell Beckham didnít play. Is that because heís coming off injury?
A: I want to be smart with his recovery coming back, and I never intended to play him in this game. I didnít reveal that to you, but I never intended to.
Q: How much of that has to do with the contract?
A: Nothing. He is coming back from injury, I want to be smart with him, and I never intended to play him in this game.
Q: How about for yourself? You havenít been a head coach in a while. How did it go?
A: I thought the communication was good. We had one substitution there at the end on the punt, but we were able to hold it, we didnít panic, we had a guy out there in time, and actually had an excellent punt. But the communication was good on the sideline. Thereís a few things we could clean up as coaches, but for the most part, our process was actually a little better than I thought it would be for the first game.
Q: On Saquonís first run, how much did he make something out of nothing there and what did you think of how it was blocked? Can you describe what the play was intended to do when it happened?
A: I thought it was a good run. It was well blocked and he made a couple nice cuts.
Q: You talked about the coverage and just not making plays. They seem like they do a lot of back shoulder out there.
A: Those can be tough at times when youíre in pressed man. They hit on a few of them early, you saw later in the game, if theyíre not thrown just perfectly, they can be incomplete or you can get a hand on them. I would say we defended those balls better at the end of the game than we did in the beginning. So thereís something to learn from. They probably didnít see many of those in practice and we saw it now in the game, and itís now something we can work on.
Q: How would you assess your defense? Anybody stand out?
A: Itís hard to tell. Typically if you play good run defense, everybodyís involved. So I thought we did a pretty good job on the run for the most part. You didnít really see any runs slip out. A couple scrambles, we lost contain a couple times on Mayfield with the extended drives. Thatís what a guy with good feet can do. For the most part, I thought the run defense was good. There were no breakdowns in coverage, there werenít guys running wide open, we just didnít make enough plays.