Head Coach Pat Shurmur
September 7, 2018
Q: Did (Mr. Mara) give you any good advice?
A: Just normal issues of the day. Fortunately here, and that’s part of what’s great about working here is we get a chance because we work together on a daily basis to visit often, which is good.
Q: We haven’t seen (Olivier Vernon) out at all this week.
A: It’s safe to say he won’t make it this week.
Q: Beyond this week, is there a concern that it could be more?
A: We’ll just worry about it week to week. He’s making great progress, so we’ll just have to see.
Q: How big of a loss is that to not have him at least for this week?
A: We’re going to play with the guys that are healthy and we’ll see. Obviously you’d like to have OV on the field.
Q: What does (Lorenzo Carter) bring to your pass rush?
A: He’s an edge player. He was an outstanding pass rusher in college. I think he’s improved in that area through the training camp and he’s going to get his opportunity Sunday.
Q: Was he able to go full again today after yesterday?
A: He’s fine. He just had an illness. He must have had the fish yesterday or something.
Q: How do you fill that void? Are you looking for just one guy to do it or are you looking for a whole bunch of guys?
A: We’ll use the whole roster to fill that void. Typically when you put a roster together, there are guys that will have to overlap in certain positions – your fullback overlaps at tight end, your fullback can overlap at running back, so we do the same thing with the D line and the edge players.
Q: When you signed (Connor Barwin), (Dave Gettleman) said you were looking for quality snaps out of him. Can he still give you quantity snapsm too, whatever a starting workload is?
A: Yeah, we feel like quality. We’ll just see how much he’ll give us, but he’s healthy and ready to go.
Q: You’re a football lifer. Does opening day mean anything different to you than it did when you were a player or assistant coach?
A: No, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do this a very long time. I told the players, game day and game weekend never gets old. I love the rhythm of a Friday, I love the rhythm of Friday evening, the mock game on Saturday, the lead up to the night meetings, I’ve always enjoyed the night meetings, and then certainly game day has never gotten old for me. The anticipation when you wake up Sunday to play in the game, and I’ll bet you – and when I mention this to the players, they all start to nod, especially the ones that don’t play anymore – that’s what players miss. I think when they’re not playing anymore, I’m sure that’s what they miss. It’s important to stay in the moment and enjoy each Sunday.
Q: What about the flip side to that? You have probably four rookies that are going to play significant roles, if not start, on Sunday. Do you say anything to them about the moment and about how big it is, and not to make too much of it?
A: Yeah, I think the big thing is just try to keep them calm. Because it’ll be the first time in the shiny pants, the game uniforms, on a Sunday for real, I’m sure their emotions will run; but most of these guys have played in front of large crowds before in big games, so they’ll just lean on those experiences and then we’ll help them do it.
Q: It’s your first game. You saw last year the Eagles be super aggressive on fourth down and go for it left and right. I’m just wondering where you stood philosophically when it comes to that?
A: We’re going to try to make decisions each game to try to win the game, and if it requires going for it on fourth down, we’ll do it. If we feel like there’s a better choice, every once in a while you decide to punt it, get the ball down the field and stop them and get the ball back.
Q: Will you have someone specifically in your ear talking about those decisions?
A: We teach our staff, we have a shared situational awareness. We’re all connected on the headset so we’ll all talk about it.