Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- October 26, 2018
Q: No (Alec) Ogletree? What does that mean for the defense?
A: We’ll put the next guys in.
Q: Who are the next guys?
A: It will be a job share.
Q: Does B.J. (Goodson) at least take the helmet and he’s the defensive caller now?
A: B.J. will be in there much more than he has been. He’s done it before, so we are confident he’s going to do a good job.
Q: Even though there’s a lot of distance between you and the Redskins, in some ways because they’re a division team and because it’s a division leader, is this almost the perfect opponent to have to come in here?
A: Any time you play a division game, it certainly has got everybody’s attention, not that we don’t take every game one at a time. They are an outstanding opponent, and a year ago, I think part of the narrative for them was they got injured and they lost a lot of players. They found a way to stay a little bit healthier, especially in their front, and they are playing extremely well. Even though you play teams and you know teams, each team is a little bit different each year, depending on which players they have healthy and which new players they’ve added.
Q: I’m thinking of the two-point conversion, but I’m not talking about the two-point conversion. The analytics – how much have you embraced that, and how much does that go into general things you’re thinking about? Not just two-point conversions, but analytics and what you’re thinking about.
A: Yeah, it always has been part of our game. Whether you go for two or not, that’s part of it. Whether you go for it on fourth down or not, and there’s some really smart people that express the percentage of doing things and how it relates to winning. That’s why you make educated decisions. Sometimes you do things on a hunch, but in that case, especially going for it near the end of the game. Sometimes earlier in the game when there’s a lot of scoring, you wouldn’t consider it, just like you wouldn’t consider going for two early in the game; but, in that case, the numbers support going for it there.
Q: Are analytics a much bigger part of your thought process now than they were seven years ago, first time you were a head coach, just because of how much popularity they’ve gained?
A: It’s not popularity. At one point, we all thought the world was flat, and then you learn. At one point, nobody would allow the players to drink water – we’ve talked about water, right? In the old days, hydration wasn’t an issue, or it wasn’t a concern. Same thing, as we go forward, there’s new things added to our game. Analytics is certainly part of that, intuition is the other.
Q: Do you have people in the headset devoted just to situationals?
A: I like to think that we try to have shared situational awareness, so there’s conversation going on. Any time we’re in a position to either score or there’s conversation about they should go for two, or we’re in a go-for-two situation, so we’re ready for those things. Whether I choose to do it or not, at least I’m armed with that information, much like the challenge we had the other day. There’s people upstairs trying to see stuff, and then people on the field see things, and in that case there, that could’ve been a critical down. It was close enough where it’s a turnover.
Q: On Monday, you sent the kicking team out, so when they went to do the review, there was a discussion, I assume?
A: We discussed it prior to it, and then we finally decided not to.
Q: Bill Parcells used to always talk about the psychology of results, that was one of his buzz words. Can you assess that?
A: What did he mean by that?
Q: Just in terms of where a team is based on whether it’s on a winning streak, losing streak, that kind of thing. Just kind of where its psyche is. I just wonder how you would assess the mood of your team now and what one win could do for you?
A: I don’t want to speak to it, I guess I don’t quite understand what Coach Parcells was saying there. The mood of our team is they’re looking forward to playing this game. I think what’s right is right, and we haven’t won enough games, but it starts by winning this next first one. That’s where we’re at there.
Q: What can winning one game do for you guys?
A: It could start us in the right direction. That’s what we’re looking for as we trend toward the back half of this season. Then you just keep playing them out and see what happens. Every team, and really all the teams in our division have dealt with some adversity already, so we’re going to all see how we respond to it.
Q: You guys had a 57-yard field goal made against you and a 63-yard field goal made against you in a league where kickers miss chip shots all the time. I know as a coach you want to believe in preparation, do you just chalk those up to bad luck?
A: No, it’s probably good execution on their part. We’ve been good about making our field goals, too. No, I don’t know if it’s bad luck. Sometimes, things happen. I’ve been on the other side of it where you make them. You just play and you’ve got to do what you can to keep them from being in a position to decide whether they’re going to kick those field goals.
Q: This summer we saw Saquon catching the ball down the field, wheel routes – why do you think we haven’t seen as much of that in the season?
A: He’s caught a lot of balls. There’s just been times they’ve covered him down the field on the wheel route. At some point they won’t, and we’ll throw it to him. We did see him catch, on third down, we saw him against Houston catch a big one down the field. We’re making an attempt to do it when it makes sense. He’s doing a lot of other things, too, which is good.