Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- November 15, 2018
Q: Was there something you guys did differently that allowed Eli (Manning) to kind of have maybe his best game of the season?
A: I think just everybody just did their job better. I think the bye helped us just kind of catch our breath, go back and take a look at the things we were doing, guys just kind of maybe have spent a little more time watching ourselves or each guy watching himself technique wise and how to do things better and I think because of that, everybody played better, including Eli.
Q: There was a lot of talk about the line having their best game as well. I think that was the fifth time that you had a new combination upfront. Did you feel like with this current line that you have a chance to finally build some continuity?
A: Well, we hope to every week play with the same guys, but for sure I think probably one of the best things we did was pass protect. Now that was one game and guys did a really good job in all the down and distances and against some pressure as well. I think it goes back to not just them, but getting the ball out on time, guys getting open on time, things like that, but the continuity is important and hopefully we can have some similar results this week with the same guys.
Q: Why do you think that was? Why do you think you were so much better pass protecting?
A: I think guys just really, like I said, they had a chance to go back and look at what we were doing and what each guy was doing. I think we practice really well and guys just really made it a point that, not that they hadn’t been doing it before, but hey, we’re going to – I’m not going to let my guy get to the quarterback and I’m going to get the ball out on time and I’m going to get open on time. We’re going to make sure that the backs are protected, I’m going to get my guy, things like that. I think it was a combination of all those things.
Q: When you look at the Bucs, is JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) pretty much staying on one side or are they moving him or what?
A: Yes. The minute you think he’s just kind of staying on your left side, then they move him. They do a good job of moving him around and on first and second down, not just on third down. Then on third down even more so. They got some good combinations with some really good pass rushers, especially when he and (Gerald) McCoy are on the inside, so we got our hands full with those guys rushing the passer. It kind of gets back to each and every week. Obviously you want to stay out of third and long and hopefully not have too many third downs. Hopefully we make some things happen on first and second down where you’re not waiting for every third play is a third down.
Q: You guys used more heavy personnel, more Eli Penny and I think more Rhett Ellison. Was that part of the self analysis from the bye? Maybe something you guys will use going forward more of that kind of personnel?
A: I think we look at that every week and just see how what the best plan of attack is, but I think overall, yes. You want to have a mix, I think, for a few reasons. You don’t want to just have somebody look at you and be one person (inaudible) and then as guys are getting used to our system, Eli’s (Penny) just getting used to what we’re doing, more familiar and being able to do more things with him and not just kind of have him as a lead blocker so that helps. Now you’re not just doing certain things when he’s in the game and again, I think the more you can do that with different personnel, I think the more things defenses have to do.
Q: What do you like about Corey Coleman? He came in with probably a little bit of a reputation, a little bit of baggage, but what have you seen from him in the couple of weeks?
A: I think he’s just come in everyday and wanting to learn. He’s got a smile on his face. He’ll do anything you ask him to do. He’s been in a few systems, so obviously it’s – sometimes when that happens, sometimes you kind of think back like, okay, we did it like this, then all of a sudden we’re saying the same thing, but it means totally opposite to him so those are the things that as time goes on he’ll continue to learn and feel more comfortable with what we’re doing. As we know, as you guys know, he’s very talented, he’s fast. We saw that in the return game, but he’s got good hands and I think the biggest thing now is just to kind of put him in situations that he’s comfortable with, not give him too much too soon and then just see how he grows.
Q: What have you seen from Saquon (Barkley) as far as taking yards that are there as opposed to trying to make a big play?
A: I think every running back in the league gets better with experience, especially the young guys. I think that he’s very physical. I think he showed that on some runs. I think there might have been one or two that maybe he could’ve continued to kind of push it up the middle instead of cutting back, but the minute you say that and say hey hit it up in there, then all of a sudden he cuts one back for 25 yards and then you say, hey, great run. I think he’s going to continue to feel more comfortable with what he’s doing with more reps and the good news was that we were able to make some first downs, stayed out of second and long and third and long and stayed on the field and gave him more carries.
Q: With some of the games you guys have been trailing and scored late or the Texans game and this week, Eli’s kind of at his best when you guys are playing up tempo there at the end. Is that something that you’re going to implement more in the first three quarters of the game?
A: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think that we look at that each and every week and I think there’s times that I think we always want to be ready to do that. We want to have that ready for coach Shurmur at any point to do that early in the game. We have been good at it. Unfortunately, we’ve had a little too much of it at the end of games when we’ve had to do it as opposed to when we want to do it. I think that’s the most important thing, but we got Eli with a lot of experience who’s got a fast mind and gets everybody lined up in a position that makes quick decisions, so that’s good to see. Whether or not we do it or not do it, we want to have the ability of when we are called upon to do it to be successful and get the ball moving.