Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula
September 20, 2018
Q: How unsettling is it when you have to change an offensive lineman? I know injury necessitates it, but when you have to put a new guy in there, is there any concern about the chemistry, maybe gelling taking kind of a little step back there?
A: Thatís part of it. I think all of us realize that. Ideally you keep everybody healthy and nobody gets hurt, but you have to plan for changes, for sudden changes. The difficult thing is you canít get everybody equal reps so guys are going to have to step up, but guys are professional. Itís part of their job to be able to produce without a lot of reps. Injuries happen, unfortunately, but you deal with them and move on and next guy up.
Q: How do you look at the offense? In Game 1 it looked like you guys were close, there were plays to be made there. In Week 2, what would you take away from that?
A: It hasnít been good enough, but itís Ė but close I think is a key word and you donít want to use that as an excuse, but I think thereís a fine line in everything that we do for us in our world with perception and reality. I think that perception is weíre not there, itís not good enough. It hasnít been, but reality is we think weíre really close and we do a couple of things here and there throughout and everybody does things more consistently. We are going to stay on the field, we are going to put points on the board because I think weíre too talented and get back to where we want to be.
Q: The line has obviously gotten a lot of heat the last two weeks and itís obviously more than just them, but specifically them, what have you seen? Is it a matter of a bunch of new guys in there trying to be on the same page?
A: Without sounding too boring, I should say, I think itís a little bit of everything. Itís not just one thing here, one thing there. Itís just a combination of all of us. You asked about the offensive line, itís hard Ė with the way I look at it, itís all of us and we just do things a little bit better, a little more consistently. It takes all 11 to do things right, our guys realize that and theyíre trying like crazy to do that. We just got to do it better.
Q: One of the things that jumped out at me when I looked at the league stats was first downs. it was like 2.55 yards per play, which is last in the league. You have to be more creative on first down or what?
A: No, just got to Ė everybody do their job better. I think thatís consistent kind of where weíre at on some other downs as well. I know coach has talked about this, donít wait until third down to make a first down. Letís be productive, efficient, productive on first and second down. Letís make first downs on first down or second down, so the good news last week was we were better on third down, we had too many of them, but they helped us stay on the field at times. Unfortunately, it wasnít good enough to come up with a win or get enough points.
Q: Being a guy that works with the quarterbacks so closely, is there anything a quarterback can do when itís a jailbreak situation where he turns around and thereís a guy standing there, which happened several times in the Cowboys game?
A: Well hopefully it doesnít happen, number one. Every situation is different as far as getting the ball out or is that what youíre talking about? I mean the obvious thing is to get the ball out, donít take the sack, donít take the hit and Eli (Manning) has done a great job. The thing we talk about with Eli and our quarterbacks is just keep working. You play, in my opinion, Iím a little biased, one of the toughest and greatest positions in all of sports and you have to make split second decisions whatever they are whether or not you take a sack, donít take a sack, miss a read, see a hot, get to the right guy. All those things in regard to pressure, moving around, buying time in the pocket. All those things to keep us where youíre making decisions to keep us on the field or to keep us out of a play. If itís a bad play, hopefully itís not, but keep it from being worse.
Q: Is the inconsistency offensively preventing you guys from even getting into what you game planned for a specific scenario?
A: I think at times, yeah. I think probably anybody on offense, or defense, would say yes to that question. I think that we keep striving for that and weíre seeing some signs of it, nowhere near what we think we can be and not good enough yet to put points on the board to help our team win. We are getting closer and I think thereís not one person in this building that feels otherwise.
Q: When you look at the Texans, they have some pretty good pass rushers. How much is J.J. Watt, obviously heís coming back from major injury, still the guy you have to when you lineup you say, okay, heís over here on this side.
A: He is still the guy and you have to know where he is, we have to know where he is at all times. Heís productive at all the spots, too. Itís not like heís just outstanding on our right side outside. He can play outside on our left and inside or play over the center. I mean heís just so, not only talented and explosive, but his awareness is off the charts. Then you add in (Jadeveon) Clowney on the other side or when theyíre together, so thatís why theyíre really good on defense. We just got to continue to focus on ourselves, number one, and obviously be aware of those guys and execute our plan and like we spoke earlier, stay out of the long yardage situations, make first downs on first and second down and then finish in the red zone.
Q: How can you make sure that Odellís (Beckham Jr.) workload and targets are more like Week 1 versus last week?
A: Yeah, we want to obviously get him involved. He's such a productive player for us and get him involved early, so I think itís just Ė the easiest thing to say is yeah we got to game plan that, but he and Eli, they have such a good feel for the game. Just continue to utilize, not just their talents, but their awareness and their intelligence to be able to get him the football whether or not itís short passes, inside passes, outside passes, all that kind of stuff.
Q: Are you suggesting improvise or use your chemistryÖ
A: No Ė yeah that, and also have multiple ways to do it, I should say.