Head Coach Pat Shurmur
October 3, 2018
Opening Remarks: Looks like we’re going to get more guys out there practicing today, I don’t know what that will mean for the game but we’ll have more guys out there. (Sterling Shepard) had a little thing taken off the base of his back that is just going to take him a day or so to get back from, otherwise he’ll be fine. If you have specific questions I’ll try to answer them, otherwise we should have more guys out there practicing at least closer to get to the game. We’ll figure it out as we go.
Q: Something taken off the base of his back?
A: Just a little cyst. It’s fine.
Q: Who are some of the guys that you expect should be back out there?
A: You might see (Olivier Vernon) out there practicing a little bit, (Eli Apple), I think those are the two you typically ask about.
Q: It seemed like (Eli Manning) was rolled out less this game than maybe he was against Houston when you guys had success with doing that.
A: Maybe a couple times less. That’s always part of what we do. We get to it more or less depending on what we’re doing. We actually had more, believe it or not, hard action in the pocket down the field throws called than movements, believe it or not. That’s not quite what the narrative has been, but that’s what it was.
Q: Are you having the success you are looking for on play action? Are you seeing it have its effect?
A: I think so. I think so. When you’re running the ball, it has its effect. I think what it all boils down to is we need to score more points. There are elements of what we’re doing that is good, and there are many things we got to get better at. We’ve got to be more explosive, more efficient and we’ve got to score more points. That’s the reality of it. I was talking about it yesterday. Whether you throw the ball 60 yards or you work the ball down the field, we need to score touchdowns.
Q: It seemed like (Janoris Jenkins) followed Michael Thomas around last game more so than just having a side of the field. How did you think he did, and is that something you can see him sticking with when you play other big time receivers this season?
A: That’s a tactic that you use depending on who you’re playing, so I certainly wouldn’t reveal that, but yeah. You can take one of your corners and match a wide out, or you can play sides. We’ve actually done both.
Q: How’d you think he did in that?
A: I thought he played well. Like everybody, there’s a couple things he’d probably like to have done better.
Q: Do you think the way your defense is set up, if you can get Olivier Vernon back – you haven’t had him at all – that it can help with the aggressiveness, it can help with a lot of things scheme-wise, having him there?
A: Yeah, I think when you have a fresh body that has the talent, the skill, and abilities of a pass rusher, it helps your defense. Certainly adding him back to the mix will help. Having him out there, whether it’s aggressive – a better player on the field is a good thing.
Q: What have you seen from B.J. Hill and why has he been able to make such an impact early here?
A: B.J. is a fine football player and he’s playing better than what you would expect from a rookie. He’s tough, he’s competitive, he’s got really good instincts, and he plays hard. When you’ve got a guy on the inside of the defense that plays hard and plays tough, then they find a way to contact the ball and I think he’s done a good job.
Q: Will Hernandez seems to be getting better each week. What have you seen from him and what do you think has been the key to that?
A: Part of it is just playing more and more. Some people say you need 5,000 snaps before you get into it, he didn’t have the benefit of that. He’s getting better. I think it was his best game, still has his mistakes but I think all in all, it was his best game, which is good, so we hope it just continues to go like it is.
Q: Chad Wheeler seemed to hold up pretty good against (Cameron Jordan). Can you talk about his game?
A: Same thing. I think he played better this game than he did last game. The thing I appreciate about him is, he walks around pretty quiet sort of Monday through Saturday, but on game day, you can see the emotions and you can see him playing hard and competing, and he works hard in practice. For a guy that plays with emotion and then he works hard and he competes, then he’ll continue to get better because he has a good skillset. Just like Will, we’re hopeful that he has a better game than he did last week. He’s going to get another tough matchup, so we’ll see how he does.
Q: What discernable differences do you see in Cam Newton from last year to this year so far?
A: It’s the same player. He’s big and he’s physical, and you’ve got to really make an effort to get him to the ground. He’s a big 260-pound guy. He plays above the rim, he can see what he’s throwing to because he’s so tall. I think (Norv Turner) is doing a good job of featuring him as a runner, a lot of structured quarterback-type runs. There’s a lot of eye candy to that to try to get you going one direction, then they’re willing with him to pull it and run. They’re doing a good job with that, they’re doing what works for them – fake it to (Christian McCaffrey), let him run, give it to McCaffrey, let him fake it, those type things.
Q: Sounds like you’re expecting a lot of zone read again?
A: It’s part of what they do. Really, all the teams that we’ve played to date that have had kind of mobile type quarterbacks, these guys to date have featured it more than the teams than we’ve played. It’s just part of what they do. It’s just taking advantage of the skillset of Cam.
Q: Why do you think teams have been attacking you that way so much this year?
A: I think it’s a good way to control the gaps, take advantage of the numbers. Everybody does it, and if you have a quarterback that has a skill set, just like last week they put #7 (Taysom Hill) in there to try to do it, then you try to utilize it. It has to do with the players that you have.
Q: Is it fair to say that part of the problem is the tackling? Some of the tackles that should be made closer to the line of scrimmage are being made several yards down the field?
A: I don’t think it was missed tackles. I thought we tackled pretty well, we’ve just got to keep doing that. Teams that are going to run the ball, like all teams do, you want to minimize the effect of long runs and try to keep them to short ones obviously.
Q: There’s a lot of cross pollination between these two organizations in terms of players and coaches, stuff like that. Does that make it more difficult, more challenging or is it a little easier?
A: I don’t know. Every time I’ve ever been in this scenario where we really know this team or really know that team, you overthink it and I think it’s important that we don’t do that. I worked with Ron Rivera in Philly way back when, know him very well, I worked with Norv (Turner), I worked with Scott (Turner), and obviously the guys from Carolina that are here. There’s some generality, some things you think about and try to apply, but what’s really important is watch the tape, prepare for the team that we’re playing based on what we see.
Q: Is their offense with Norv much different, drastically different than what Mike (Shula) had with them last year?
A: There’s a lot of similarities, but again I think they’re featuring the quarterback run, kind of a zone read type game probably more than they did a year ago.
Q: You have a short week next week, does that play into your scheduling this week at all?
A: No. All our focus is on Carolina, I’ve obviously thought out what we’re going to do when we prepare for Philly, I have it in the books, but we won’t talk about it until we get back from Carolina.
Q: If you have some players who are on the cusp of coming back, with another game on Thursday, that’s a hard turnaround, are you going to play them when you can this game or do you have some thought to Thursday as well?
A: In our minds, there’s no tomorrows, so we get ready for this one and then we sort it out and get ready for the next one.