Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 5, 2018
Opening Remarks: Iíll start with the obvious, some of the injuries: Lorenzo Carter, he didnít play in the game; Tae Davis probably wonít participate today, and then weíre all aware of Landon Collinsí situation. Heís got a shoulder injury that most likely will require surgery. That hasnít one hundred percent been finalized, so heís going through that process. Heís been trying to get that evaluated for the last couple of days. Evan Engram will be out there in a limited role, B.J. Goodson, Sterling Shepard. You knew about Evan and you knew about B.J., and I think Sterling had ribs from the game. Those are the guys that will be out, or out there, and I can answer any further questions if you have some. Otherwise, getting ready to play the Redskins, second time around, last time was a close game, we just didnít make enough plays to win and so weíve got to get that fixed and play against a really good opponent. Iíll take your questions.
Q: Can you elaborate on the timing of Landon? You didnít seem overly concerned with him on Monday.
A: No, Iím always concerned about anybody that gets banged up. I think I said he was in and out of the lineup. By the time we had spoken on Monday, we hadnít gotten the final as to what it was.
Q: Just to double check, Olivier Vernon Ė no worse for wear (after Sunday)?
A: No, heís not on (the list). Heíll be out at practice today.
Q: What did you make of Landonís season? I donít want you to eulogize it, it may or may not be over.
A: Landon displays what he is, heís a very tough guy, very good tackler, heís made a lot of plays for us, especially close to the line of scrimmage. Iíve said it numerous times, in a sport where toughness is required, heís got a lot of it, so thatís what I appreciate about him.
Q: You asked him to do a lot of things in coverage. Was that (one of his skills)?
A: All safeties have to cover. If you play any form of man, then a safetyís either got to cover in most cases a tight end or a (running back), there arenít many choices beyond that. So we asked him to do that, we play man like every other team, so heís required to do that.
Q: You said the shoulder (Landon) is still getting evaluated. Whatís the breaking point here as to whatís next?
A: Whatís next is he wonít be playing this week, heís out this week. Weíll just have to see moving forward. Thatís that, but itís an injury that potentially could require surgery.
Q: Youíve talked many times about operating parallel, here and now with this game and then the parallel of looking forward. When you look at your offensive line and you said how much better you think theyíre playing, the parallel portion of this, is this a group you think that can sustain and be your offensive line?
A: I think so. I think this group has played well together, so when you have a group of guys out there playing well together, then the important thing for them to do is to continue to get better. Weíve got some young players in there, weíve got some new players, and I think we all understand that between the first time you do something and the second time, thereís huge improvement. That could be said for seasons, too. At some point, Will Hernandez is going to be in the middle of the offseason and heís going to go, ĎWow, I played a whole season and I didnít know what I was doing.í Heíll have an Ďah-haí moment that will help him, because if you think about it, rookies playing, they really donít know how this is going to play out. We dumped him into the unknown, and heís been in there battling and getting better. To answer your question, I think when you have a group of guys that you feel good about working together more and more and more, I think theyíve got a chance to get better, sure.
Q: On team roster building in the offseason: You evaluate people, do you also evaluate how they work with the guys who are here, or do they get evaluated individually?
A: No, this is the ultimate team sport, so a guy obviously has to have the skillset to do his job, but then he also needs to be a good teammate, how he fits on the team. Thatís what youíre looking for when you build a team. Weíre building a house, and I think everythingís connected. I mentioned it last night on the radio, but everything is connected. We took over a 3-13 operation, we need to learn how to win again. Moving forward next year, and this is not looking toward next year, but moving forward next year, a lot of these same guys are going to be with us Ė hopefully, most of them. Thereís a lot to be learned about battling through adversity at the end of the season and fighting to win games. I think you create a memory bank of stuff that helps you moving forward.
Q: When you look at the Redskins and the injuries theyíve had, how much harder is that for you to evaluate them and try to anticipate what theyíre doing because different quarterback, different strengths? How much trickier is it for you?
A: They have elements of what they do, run the ball, play action. Theyíll make decisions how theyíre going to move forward with the players that they have in there. I was with Mark Sanchez for more than a year, so heís very capable of leading a team to victory. I watched it happen. Theyíre going to try to do what Mark can do best, and try to play to the strengths of their team. I know theyíve got probably a soon-to-be Hall of Fame running back, so you can just connect the dots and see what theyíll probably do on offense to compensate for some of the injuries they have.
Q: Have you ever been around a team thatís had two quarterbacks break their leg in the same season?
A: Not that specific injury. Iíve been around teams that have had Ė one year in Philadelphia, we had Donovan McNabb that went down, Koy Detmer came in and played, blew out his elbow, and then A.J. Feeley came in and won six games for us and kept us alive. Iíve been around situations where youíve had to play three quarterbacks, but not two legs, I guess, is the point.
Q: Didnít that happen to you in Minnesota, too?
A: Yeah, not to mention recent memory. We had that. Getting to Case Keenum Ė you go from Teddy Bridgewater to Sam Bradford to Case Keenum. That overlapped a year, but still nonetheless, and thatís the challenge. It puts a stress on your system, it puts a stress on your team, and you have to really evaluate what you do well and try to play to your strengths.
Q: Youíve talked about what you like in Eli (Manning). Everything you just talked about in the last two questions, the idea that his durability never seems to come up. From your perspective, are you amazed by it?
A: (Knocks on wood) I am amazed by it, but I have an opinion on that that sort of holds true. (This) wasnít the case with Alex Smith, but a lot of times quarterbacks get banged up running around outside the pocket. Like Colt McCoy, he was running around outside the pocket and clicked legs with Malcolm Jenkins, and thatís not something Eli does. Heís got a lot of other strengths that make him an outstanding player and so the fact that heís been as durable as he has for all these years is a credit to him.
Q: Mark Sanchez. Obviously, people in New York know a lot about him. What did you learn about him when you were with him in Philadelphia?
A: Heís extremely competitive. Heís an emotional guy, he really gets into it emotionally. He trains extremely hard. My sense is, heís been one of those guys thatís first in the building, last to leave, always looking, studying. Heís one of those guys that can be able to finish a play call as it comes in. Heís got a good set of legs in terms of being able to move around, boots and nakeds and extending plays from that standpoint, so I think thatís the good in him.
Q: Last week, he didnít have the whole play book, heís the third guy. Do you expect this week theyíll get him up to speed more so?
A: Just like RJ McIntosh was, heís way behind on their system. Thatís the reality of it time wise, and so theyíre going to try to find a grouping of plays that works against our team that he can execute. Thatís the challenge as you put a plan together with a third quarterback.
Q: On Scott Simonson and the job heís done stepping in with the increased role with Evan out:
A: Iím fond of him for the reasons Iím fond of football players. Heís tough, heís competitive, heís resilient, he does everything we ask him to do, and heís a battler. This is my first experience with Scott. We have guys in the building that have been with him in a previous lifetime, Mike Shula and Dave Gettleman and those guys. Itís their opinion that heís playing his best ball, so thatís a credit to him.
Q: With Landon, are we talking about a tendon, an AC joint?
A: Shoulder. Iím not going to get into it, itís a shoulder. I donít want to misspeak, and as we all know, Iím not a doctor.
Q: How do you replace him?
A: Weíre going to do it with the guys that have been playing. (Sean) Chandler will be in there, we still have the guys that have been playing, and weíll just try to work the next man up.
Q: What do you think of Grant Haley? He saw some extensive work in this game. What is your opinion of him as a player and how heís coming along?
A: He was a guy that we certainly knew enough about and liked enough to make the team, and then he steadily got better and has had an opportunity to get in there and compete. Heís one of those young guys that is getting better each week, so weíve got the arrow up on him for sure.
Q: Thereís a report that says Landon has decided on surgery and is going on IR. Just want to make sure you said itís not definitive yet?
A: Thatís a fluid thing thatís going on right now. Thereís conversations that may be happening right now as Iím up here. Certainly in the event he has surgery, and I may be late to the party because we just finished walk-thru that he was out at, and he may have gone upstairs to speak to Dave, I donít know Ė but in the event that he has surgery, then certainly heíll be on IR.