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Post-Game Transcript: Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Eric from BBI : Admin : 8/25/2018 12:12 am
Head Coach Pat Shurmur
August 24, 2018
Postgame at Jets

Opening Remarks: Preseason (game) 3. I felt like, it goes without saying, we got off to a slow start. I talk to our guys frequently about energy and enthusiasm. We didnít really have that to begin with, and then you saw how one phase of the ball can pick you up. That punt return was just the spark that we needed and it was a terrific run, it was well blocked. There were a couple situations, a couple of blocks on that play where guys pulled off and it couldíve been penalties, so really smart play, an explosive play that got us going. (We) got better on defense, we found a way to score enough points, and ultimately win the game. Thereís plenty to clean up. I was pleased with the way we threw the ball, especially with the ones. Not pleased with the way we ran the ball, certainly. But at the end, we found a way to carve out enough yardage running the ball to make it acceptable. We need to run the ball for our offense, but also for our team, and then we need to be efficient throwing the ball. In terms of injuries, I think the two that were talked about (were) Evan Engram with a concussion I think is what they said, and then Rhett Ellison with an eye. Beyond that, I donít think thereís really anything else to report. With that, Iíll take your questions.

Q: Do you see any consistency with why the run game is struggling?
A:†This is the second or third time youíve asked me about the run game and to your point, itís a team thing when you run the ball well and when you donít run the ball well, itís also a team thing. So, weíve just got to go back and look at it and I think itís important that weíre running the right paths and blocking the right guys.

Q: What do you make of a guy like Jonathan Stewart, a veteran who has 10 carries in the preseason for minus-five yards?
A: Yeah, weíve just got to look at it. Heís a veteran player, heís played football a very long time and heís an outstanding player. So, weíll just look at it as we go.

Q:† Did you like the way Eli (Manning) moved? It seemed like you had him running a lot of play action.† It seemed like he was handling that well.
A: Yeah, very well. Heís very fit for a 37-year old. Thereís no reason he canít run boots and nakeds. I think any quarterback, you need to be able to change the launch point and I think sometimes that helps the quarterback get completions outside the pocket and thereís absolutely no reason he canít do that.

Q:†You got some deep completions today with Eli. The one real deep one to Cody (Latimer), could that have been (a touchdown) - Cody had the man beat - if that was thrown out a little deeper?
A: No, I think that was a good throw. He got behind him and it was a big play action with a post and a deep cross, and the post got behind the defense and we connected on a very long play.

Q: How do you look at Hunter (Sharpís) night? He obviously had the explosive night on special teams and seemed to struggle on offense.†††
A: He had a throw on the boundary on the left side early in the game which I think weíll just have to look at it, Iíd like to be able to complete that. Then we had one later against pressure that kind of hit him. Iíve really liked what heís done through training camp. Those are two isolated plays, but he also got us in the end zone on a punt return, so thereís a lot of good things he did tonight.

Q:† You said your return game was ďunsettledĒ earlier this week, that was the word you used. Do you feel like heís settling it?
A:† Did I say that? I donítí really like that word. Or did you say it and I agreed?††††

Q: Actually, you said it twice, also about the offensive line.†
A: Yeah, remind me not to say that word. I just think we want to make sure weíve got the right guys doing the right things, and he obviously scored a touchdown today, which is kudos to him.†

Q: What went into the decision to not play (Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley)?
A: Just not quite ready yet. We want to be safe with Odell. Heís doing a lot of great things, and just wasnít quite ready.

Q: How much different is the play calling given that you donít have Saquon and Odell?
A: Weíve got a lot of runs on the card and got a lot of passes, then I guess as a play caller you want to start finding things that get you (what you want). You want to make yards and you want to move the football, and we found a way get some chunks throwing the ball and also complete the ball and extend drives, so as thatís working, you just kind of lean on it a little bit, donít get away from the run, but just kind of work towards whatís working.†

Q: How about as an evaluator of the offense? Do you project what it would or could be like with those guys in there?
A: Yeah. You project what their effect might be but you just watch it for what it is as the guys are in there with the idea that those guys might be playing for you.†

Q: After that first drive, what changes did you make defensively?†
A: Not much, same play calls. I think we just played a little tighter in coverage. I felt like we did a good job of getting pressure and then it just felt like whether we were creating it, it just felt like they were kind of going backwards. You can see the effect penalties have on an offense where you get in those third and longer situations Ė we had one today, we hit the post late. But theyíre tougher. Thereís a reason when youíre third and 11-plus, the average is about 18 percent that youíre going to get it. Thatís why you want to be in shorter down and distances and thatís why getting completions on first and second downs are important. Thatís why positive yardage in the run game is important, so that you can have shorter distances to go.

Q: In the fourth quarter, you sent in a play from the sideline. Did they not line up right, because it looked like you went ballistic a little bit?
A: Yeah, I donít know. Weíll have to look at it. Maybe I got upset, I donít know. You just want to win and want our guys to perform well, so I was probably mad at myself.

Q: You said Odellís not quite ready yet?
A: I just felt like we didnít want to put him in there.

Q: I know but do you have any concern he may not be ready for the regular season?
A: Weíll see as we go. Being smart with him.†

Q: With (Rhett) Ellison, I know you said eye (injury). Do you have any idea what happened?
A: No, I donít know. Just a little bit blurry with his eye. Ronnie (Barnes) said it was his eye.

Q: What did you think of Ray-Ray Armstrongís performance as he looks for a starting spot?
A: Ray-Ray did a good job. Itís a good question, and Iím glad I get a chance to talk about him because heís caught our eye. Obviously he had an interception last week which was outstanding, and heís playing good football and heís getting better and better. I mentioned before, heís long and heís athletic, and he has what youíre looking for in a linebacker, and I feel like heís done a really good job.
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