Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula
October 4, 2018
Q: How similar is what theyíre doing on offense (Carolina) to what you did while you were there last year?
A: Iíve been watching their defense.
Q: When you look at their defense, theyíre struggling a little against the run. What can you exploit there?†
A: Theyíre defense is all based on gap control, speed, not giving up big plays. When they have given up (big plays), itís probably because one or two guys maybe has been out of their gap, which is stuff that all teams work on, but theyíre pretty good.
Q: (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) hasnít gotten into the end zone in four weeks to start this season. What do you attribute that to, and how do you change that?†††
A: I think that just comes in a natural play of the game. I donít think if we try to start forcing the ball to get anybody touchdowns, I think you run into some risky business, so to speak. I think that heís very talented. Heís going to get the ball. Heís going to get us in the end zone. Heís going to get in the end zone. More importantly, we need to score more, however we do it. Whether or not itís Odell, or (RB) Saquon (Barkley), whoever it is. We just need to get down there number one, and finish drives. Itís all about scoring points. On the drives that weíve been successful, for example, the first drive last week, we really didnít do anything fancy. Everyone just did their job, and stayed out of the negative plays. I think thatís probably our focal point. In this day and age, we all get it. Everybody wants touchdowns, everybody wants great stats, but our guys do a good job of just realizing what the most important stat is in winning the game. We just got to do a better job of putting ourselves in positions to do that.††
Q: (QB) Eli (Manning) is completing over 70 percent of his passes, but is only averaging 6.9 yards per attempt. Why isnít that consistency translating to bigger plays or more efficient plays?†
A: Thatís a good question. I think that weíre close. It hasnít been good enough yet. I know coach has mentioned this, too, I know Eli has mentioned it, weíve had some†plays that have set us back penalty wise, or a negative play that has maybe been one of the reasons why weíve stalled the drives. The completion percentage is big. Obviously, you want the ball caught every time and thrown to the right guy. A quarterbackís job is to do three things: throw it to the right guy, get the ball there on time, and get the ball there accurately. Whether or not that guy is 20 yards down the field or five yards down the field, just keep the chains moving forward, and then we feel like if we do that and stay on the field, with our athletes, weíre going to get the ball in the end zone. Those are all things that we look at, and not necessarily say oh, we have to get the ball down the field, just are we making good decisions, and are we moving the football.
Q: Are you comfortable with his risk-reward ratio with taking more chances down the field?
A: I think just in general, weíre all going to be more comfortable when we get points on the board. We got to finish drives. We got to get the ball in the end zone, however we get it in the end zone.
Q: In a tough time for an offense, do you coach an experienced quarterback like Eli a little differently that you would two-year guy, or someone with little experience? Do you leave it more in his hands? Do you coach him as if he were any other quarterback?
A: I think regardless of age, I think you coach everybody differently, so to speak, based on their personality, and based on not whether or not thatís on experience, or make-up. Our job as coaches, as we tell the players, when itís good enough, make sure our players know itís good enough, and when itís not, make sure they know itís not, and why, and how we can get better. Eli is great, as you guys know. Heís always the same guy, day in and day out, and thatís kind of what you want in your quarterback. He takes a lot of responsibility and a lot of pride in what heís doing. He leads this team in his own way, as you guys have known him a lot longer than I have, by showing up every day being the same guy and knowing that you can count on him. Heís hungry, weíre all hungry for a win. Just keep doing the things that weíre doing well, continue to do those, and the things weíre not doing well enough, fix them and get them fixed quickly, and get the ball in the end zone.
Q: How much does this game mean to you?
A: We need to win, thatís what this game means. We need to win.