Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 23, 2018
Q: Anything to be concerned about with Aldrick (Rosas), why you brought Marshall Koehn back?
A: No, this time of year and you’ll see as we go through the season, we’re just kicking tires on guys. Obviously he competed well for us during camp and we brought him back in midseason, you just never know when you might need a guy, and kicker’s the same as any other position.
Q: Do you need your defense to play better this week to win to go up another level?
A: Yeah, I think all phases of the game need to play better than we did last week. With regard to the defense, I said it was a mixed bag because first to the good, we’re finally getting turnovers in a way that you need to get them in order to win games. We did give up some big plays at critical moments that we can’t have that happen, but we still need to do what we have to do to keep them out of the end zone. We need all three phases to play well, not just the defense.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve been building a little something the last two weeks, whether it’s a confidence level? Coming out of the bye, you changed a few things.
A: I feel like we’re building a team and that’s the challenge right now. We’re trying to build a team and beat the opponents we’re playing each Sunday. Fortunately, we did the things necessary to win the last two weeks. One game, we had to come from behind. In last week’s game, we played from the front and found a way to seal the deal. So yeah, maybe we’re building something from that standpoint. The challenge always is the next opponent, and obviously we know how good Philly can be.
Q: When you win a couple in a row, hope of getting things going starts filtering into the locker room, what’s the challenge for you to do what you just talked about and not look at more of the big picture? Obviously everyone’s thinking about the division has tightened up a little bit, you start thinking about those things on the outside.
A: We don’t. I think everybody else does. Certainly, hope is not a strategy. What we try to do is try to go and play good football, and that’s the challenge to go each week and do it. That really is the challenge, whether you win or lose, to be able to put the last game in your rearview, take the good from it, improve the bad things, and move on to the next opponent. It’s probably going to get old hearing me say that, but that really is the message. To me, this is Friday, we had an excellent Friday of practice, we’ll finish up what we do on Fridays, come in tomorrow, and try to work on what Saturday brings, then get ready for Sunday. It maybe sounds boring, it’s not worthy of writing a book about, but that’s really the message going forward. There’s probably no headlines there.
Q: It looks like they’re going to be short on the backend, bodies-wise. What kind of advantage is that for you?
A: I don’t know. Again, we’ll just have to see who’s playing, but they are a very talented team. The strength of their defense is still in place, the front, and they’ve done a good job of changing up what they do in the secondary. If you watch each game since we’ve played them, they played in the backend differently. Maybe that’s to compensate for some of the injuries, but they’ve done more coverage wise this year than they have in past years. That’s probably a better question for Jim Schwartz after we play, but we’re just going to try to do what we have to do to get the ball in the end zone.
Q: You have to like that matchup if you have Odell against a guy who wasn’t on the roster three weeks ago?
A: But there’s tactics and strategies. Certainly, you can double someone, and we see it all the time. They doubled Odell last time we played them – they’d either cloud him or if it was man-free, Malcolm Jenkins would double him. That’s why it’s important that other guys come alive. There’s ways to still get him the ball, certainly when he’s in a one-on-one scenario, but that’s why it’s a team. If they choose to take one player away, then the other guys got to come alive.
Q: Did you watch much of the Cowboys-Redskins game?
A: Yeah, I actually got a chance to watch most of it. It was a pretty competitive game for most of the game.
Q: When you’re watching and they start talking about the division, do you tune it out or do you listen to what you consider would be noise?
A: No, I obviously read the graphics just like everybody else, but I still try to stay in the moment and do what I was doing, sitting there watching it. But yeah, I guess human nature is you start rooting for things and you want things to happen when you watch a game. I was just like every blooded American yesterday, I was just watching it.
Q: It was pretty clear in one graphic that there were only three teams listed for the race for the division. One team was not. Did that just roll off your back?
A: Yeah, because the only thing we can control is what we do this week. If we start doing the things we need to, then we’ll slide up.
Q: Did you get the result you wanted yesterday in that game?
A: I don’t know. You would have to tell me. I had a good day.
Q: What have you seen from their running game with Josh Adams? Lot of yards per carry but not a lot of carries. And what’s your rush defense been like since the Snacks trade?
A: Yeah, two-part question. I think they’re trying to find their featured back of choice and he’s done a good job when given an opportunity to run the ball. They certainly threw the ball more than the law allows last week because the score got away from them. I’m assuming they’re going to think it’s going to be different this week in terms of how they play it. Then, in terms of our rush defense, I think it’s been good. Sometimes just because teams run the ball, it has nothing to do with the interior part of the defense. We’ve played good run defense most of the time, we still have to eliminate the big runs.
Q: Last time you were in (Lincoln Financial Field), some of us got to meet you for the first time. Anything of that come into your head when you head there this weekend?
A: Not really. I know we scored on the opening drive, and then on the third down, (Case Keenum) threw a pick six and tied up the score, and then things didn’t play out real well. But that was then, this is now.