NYG Postgame (vs. Buccaneers) Transcripts: Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 18, 2018
Opening Remarks: This was a similar blueprint to a week ago. Hard on the heart, I guess, but first Iíd like to say this is our first victory in front of our home crowd, this new group. We were thrilled, I was talking to the players about how thrilled I am to be able to do that, itís too damn late in the year for that to be the first one here at home, but thatís the way it is. Iím just glad they were able to watch a victory. It was a good team win, we had positive contributions on special teams. Again the return game is coming around, we did a good job with the coverage, we made a long kick, so weíre making progress there. We had a positive contribution on defense, four turnovers is out of sight, plus a stop on fourth down, which is essentially a turnover. That was awesome. Then on offense I thought we did a good job. Defensively, too, returning an interception for a touchdown, so creating points. Excellent. Then on offense, I thought we moved the ball effectively, we ran the ball, Eli (Manning) only had one incompletion, which is tremendous. He made some critical throws at critical times, Saquon (Barkley) touched the ball Ė letís all do the math here Ė 29 times, 27 runs and 2 catches, so thatís a pretty good day for him. We got production from most of our guys, you saw the big one there from Evan (Engram) at the end, which was huge to get the ball down the field, so we had positive contributions there. Thereís things weíve got to work on, a couple times we lost our composure, which we canít do that. When youíre playing a tight game, those are things that will kill you, but they kept battling. They were having fun playing ball, and we found a way to win against a team that we knew could move the ball. Again I think they had over 500 yards of offense and much like last weekís game, they fell victim to the turnover. Iíd like to think we caused some of them, but they fell victim to that. In terms of injuries, I donít know what you all know, but Kerry Wynn, concussion, so weíll just have to see as we go forward, and I think Landon (Collins) was examined for one as well. Great win, great to be able to do it in front of our home crowd, and back to work tomorrow to get ready to play Philly.
Q: Was your offense more jazzed up today? Do you think your offense had a lot of flow this week as opposed to being choppy?
A: I donítí know. I challenged the guys to start faster than we did last week, so we went up 14-shade, which is good. The game flows better when youíre ahead by two scores. Then obviously they did a good job of getting down the field and making it a one score game. At halftime, I challenged them to race to a two score game and we scored on defense. Thatís the way weíve got to do it, I donít know if itís flow or itís jazzy or whatever, but when guys are making plays and weíre making yards running the ball, itís easier to call play actions and itís easier to protect the quarterback against a pretty good rush.
Q: Eli only had one incompletion. Was that a function of Eli being especially sharp or the run game helping to open things up a little bit? What was your take?
A: Itís all coordinated and it all starts up front, but when youíre able to run the football early in the game, we took the long shot to Odell (Beckham) that got us down the field, that was a really good throw. I thought Eli for the second week in a row especially since the bye here, that was a winning performance by all accounts.
Q: When your offense is executing as well as they were today, how much do you like to balance creativity and discipline in your play calling? When youíre able to see the way Saquon was running the ball, the way the O line was protecting, and the way Eli was able to execute all his throws, youíre able to get more creative.
A: Yeah, it helps you. You feel better about calling some of the special plays. When things are working, you feel good about calling the Z reverse to Odell, you feel good about some of those shots when youíre blocking good. It helps. When youíre having success especially early, itís a confidence boost for the play calling for sure.
Q: What does it mean to string together victories for this group? Itís been awhile for some of these guys to string some wins together, so what benefits does that have?
A: Even though these are tremendous athletes, confidence kicks in when you do it back to back like this. You have to be confident in what you do and aside from getting this right as we move forward, we need to learn how to win again, so when you put a couple victories together, you can learn from that.
Q: You brought Mike Thomas over here for special teams. Now (James) Bettcher has put a load on him defensively. Can you talk about him and how much heís progressed?
A: Mike Thomas, as you know, was elected a captain, and I didnít know much about him, but very quickly gained a huge appreciation. Heís one of the adults in the room. Heís an outstanding person, he gets it, heís able to get it and he leads. He does the right thing at the right time for the right reasons and doesnít care about the consequences. Thatís Mike. Heís always got a smile on his face, heís very competitive. Every time we put him in there to do something, he competes. Heís the kind of guy you want on the field.
Q: Weíve seen Evanís snap count go down but the last two weeks heís come up with big plays in the fourth quarter. What does that say about how youíre using him and how heís adjusting to this new role?
A: That was part of the bye week thing too, making him a little bit fresher so he can take advantage of some of the things heís good at. Much like the running back room, when it comes to your tight ends, it takes a village and they all have to contribute in ways. They were in there banging it out, we put Rhett (Ellison) and Scott (Simonson) in there, we had some three tight end stuff today. The first touchdown to Saquon was a three tight end look, so just try to mix it up and try to use them to the best of their ability, use their skillset. The last long pass on the last scoring drive, thatís something that of those three guys, only Evan can do Ė catch the ball, in the open field and run for a very long way. Those other two guys would have got hawked, they would have got run down, but thatís okay. They did other things well. Thatís the challenge each week to try to use them in a way that makes the most sense.
Q: The only incomplete pass of the game, it looked like you had exactly what you wanted with Saquon there Ė the one down the right side, the wheel route. It looked like maybe he just missed the ball in the air?
A: We just didnít connect on it. He was running wide open, weíve got to connect on that.
Q: It looked like it was a back shoulder throw, was that the design?
A: No, itís designed for him to get wide open like he was and to throw it to him so he can catch it. Iím making light of it, I wasnít that fired up about it when I saw it because that could have been a game changer too, but thatís okay. You move on, Iím sure some people night have been frustrated I punted the ball there, but it was just a little bit out of our range in terms of the field goal that we wanted to kick. It probably would have been a little less than a 50% chance of making it from there, which would have given them immediate field position. I didnít want to do that right before the half, so we elected to punt the ball.
Q: The Redskins losing today and no other team is above 500 in your divisionÖ
A: Crazy, isnít it? Thatís why I said through the first eight weeks, youíve just got to keep playing. You never know and so if we let the noise get to us and get us all dark and stormy and weird about things, then youíre not set up to do anything at the end of the season. Weíve got a long way to go, there are a lot of things weíve got to get better at, but if we can just keep battling and fighting, who knows? That would be a fun thing for everybody to write about.
Q: Was it intentional that (Aldrick) Rosasí kicks were short? Was that by design?
A: Part of it. Then a couple we didnít choose, he kind of got underneath, but that was part of the design on a few of them Ė not all of them.
Q: Saquon looked really fresh today. What did you observe about him today?
A: Early in the game we called runs where, I think I mentioned during the week those dirty five yard runs where itís grimy and tough and just hit it up in there, and he embraced that part of it. I think by doing that early in the game, it really helped him. Yeah, he was fresh and ready to go. We had a little seminar on how to pick the right shoes so no one would be slipping, theyíve got to figure out what shoes to wear and he didnít slip today, which was good. Those are things we went through with him.
Q: How much of a luxury is it as a head coach to have a (running back) like him?
A: Oh, itís a huge luxury. Heís an outstanding player and when you can throw it to him and hand it to him, that makes things terrific. Heís had a positive contribution in our three victories, and heís gotten better in each of the other games. Itís great for the New York Football Giants if Saquonís with us.
Q: Most Giants fans gulped when they had DeSean Jackson out to field that last punt. What were your instructions?
A: I was on the other team when that happened one time. I was jumping around saying, Ďitís #11í, so we just wanted to make sure he wasnít going to catch the ball. My reaction was the same as the people gulping, because I saw the other side of it once.
Q: How great was your interior offensive line play tonight?
A: I thought good. It was a winning performance. When youíre able to run the ball like we did, I think thatís outstanding. We had a couple dropbacks we got stretched out on, but for the most part, the pass protection was good. Again as those give guys play more and more together, our hope is that theyíre going to get better.
Q: You challenged Saquon to get those dirty runs, how does a young running back balance that and also being 27 years old and still playing, or as a young player do you sort of just put that out the window and live in the moment and not think about the future?
A: I think youíre bouncing around a little bit. Saquon is very coachable and thatís huge for a guy with his talent. Heís willing to listen when we say, Ďhey listen, if you do this, this will help you.í He had a couple he bounced today with good success, we donít want to take that out of your game but on a few occasions here, just do this and trust us, and he did it and did a great job with it.
Q: In terms of physicality at the position. Does a young player worry about that? I know those dirty runs are good butÖ
A: I donít want to get banged up, right. I donít know. Two or three years from now. we can re-visit that. Weíll see.