Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- November 9, 2018
Q: How was your bye week? What did you spend it doing and how do you take that and use it to move forward?
A: Typically we do a little bit of self-analysis and then catch our breath a little bit, and obviously get ready for our upcoming opponent. It came right obviously at the halfway point, so we’re nowhere near where we need to be but we feel like basically in a lot of areas, we’re close. We know we’ve got to get better, we know that’s not good enough either, but we also want to keep things in perspective a little bit. That’s important in this profession, and where you don’t necessarily lose track of things, just do things a little bit better and get going as opposed to doing something different because it hasn’t worked.
Q: When you say keep things in perspective, the consistency all season has been not enough points which is really the only metric for when you’re losing. So is sometimes perspective too reasoned, as far as looking and saying we need to do things?
A: Right, that’s the only judge you’ve got. You look at why, but you can’t generalize. That’s the other thing I’ve learned over the years is it’s important not to generalize. Yeah, we’ve got to score more points or we’re not good enough, we know that. So, why? Why on this drive? We did a lot of good things, but we got into a second and long situation, might’ve been after an explosive play, we were down there in the low red zone and had a negative play down there. I think it’s just a little bit of everybody – coaches, players – just doing their job a little bit better and more consistently. Obviously we all know when we’re moving the ball and moving it toward the goal line, even though it might not be a drive that we scored on, we’re doing a lot of good things, we’re staying out of second and long. Offensive football takes all 11 guys on every play. That’s kind of been the theme for our guys, not just for them but for us as coaches, just everybody to be consistent and do their job better, more consistently.
Q: There was a lot of talk this preseason that you were going to be a run first, physical team. Saquon (Barkley) hasn’t had more than 15 carries since Week 3. Is the offensive line not giving you a chance to be that team you wanted to be?
A: I think we’re working toward that goal. It’s kind of like a lot of everything else. One of the things we’ve talked about is he’s very explosive, as we’ve seen. We’ve just got to continue to give him opportunities and part of that is if you get a negative play, it kind of takes you out of rhythm, takes you out of maybe a potential one or two carries. Those are things, we want to be balanced, we want to utilize him the best we can, get him as many touches and we think he’s going to be a big asset for us in that regard as we move forward.
Q: How much worse has the offensive line been than you thought it would going into the season?
A: I don’t really have predictions or things like that. I know we all wish we could be at a better record right now, and we’d all wish we’d score more points to help us do that. We don’t want to make excuses at any position or anything, we’ve all got to do our job better and it’s 11 guys, it’s not just five guys, as well as coaches.
Q: Does it make it tougher as an OC when there’s so much transition in the offensive line, especially when you bring in Jamon Brown this week and (Spencer) Pulley two weeks ago? Does it hurt continuity in terms of having to call the same plays week after week?
A: To answer that question, I would say number one is you get faced with that each and every year as a coach. That’s part of this game, whether or not it’s bringing guys in and out or injuries, so that can’t be an excuse, you’ve got to find a way. That’s one part of the answer. The other part of the answer would be the obvious one, sure, you keep those same guys in there every week and you’ve been together as a staff and all that, yeah, you would think that’s definitely going to be helpful.
Q: How has Kyle Lauletta carried himself the last week or so coming back?
A: Yeah, I read all the things you have asked Coach Shurmur and Kyle about. He’s been great, a lot of it has been said already. He messed up and he’s got to prove that he’s going to do the right things each and every day, going to work that way, and obviously as we all know at that position, you’re held to a higher standard and that’s what you sign on for, that’s what he’s got in his mind moving forward.
Q: Does your routine change as a coordinator for the second half of the season knowing you might be getting more than one quarterback ready to play?
A: We come to work every day just trying to coach our guys and get them better, and help our guys at every position to help them help us win games.
Q: How much do you feel you have to get guys more first team snaps, though, if they’re going to eventually get into the game at some point?
A: Like I said, as position coaches, we get all our guys together, make sure they’re prepared as well as they can be to play whether or not they’re getting all the snaps, not getting any snaps, getting some of the snaps at every position across the board.
Q: Pat (Shurmur) said he talked with Eli (Manning) and had several conversations with him throughout the past weekend about how it’s going to go moving forward and what he expects from him. What has been your message to Eli throughout this?
A: We’re focused – basically like my answer was to the very first question. We just had our bye week, we know we’re not where we need to be, catch our breath, and just get ready for San Francisco.
Q: What makes Alex Tanney a good number two quarterback?
A: He’s a fast thinker, he’s got a great demeanor. He hasn’t done it like some of the other guys have done around here, but he seems like a guy that can go in and play without a lot of reps and be on point. He’s shown that in practice, and he’s got some experience.