Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 21, 2018
Q: How close Odell (Beckham Jr.) was to being ready Ė
A: Heís closer, heís closer. He did more this week, heís able to do more field work, so weíll just have to see what the next couple days bring so weíll see.
Q: You guys scored 40 one game without him and 0 one game without him, so how do find the balance?
A: Two different scenarios, two different scenarios. I think I would say we didnít do anything that we needed to do against any opponent with any player on the field last week. We didnít do enough on first down, we didnít do well on third down, we turned the ball over in a tight game, so it doesnít matter who was on the field. The week previous we did all the things necessary, so thatís how I balance it in my mind.
Q: Evan Engramís role seems to increase a little bit knowing Odellís not there. How much do you have to get more out of him when you donít have a playmaker like Odell on the field?
A: I donít think thatís true, actually. I think heís going to always get his touches. Itís not like because Odellís there that weíre going to look to him more. I think they all have plays where theyíre primary and just so happens that we hit on some this past weekend.
Q: You would be more inclined to pull plays where heís the primary when you donít have a weapon like Odell?
A: No, I think itís important we spread the ball around. Even when Odellís in there, I think itís important that six or eight or nine guys touch the ball. I think thatís the way you need to play offense.
Q: When youíre evaluating people as far as for next season, what is the most important thing for you to see in these last two weeks just from a player routine?
A: I think they need to stay in the moment like Iíve been preaching throughout the year. Like today was a really good Friday practice. There was good energy, attention to detail was good, I know youíre able to practice the whole plan to some degree, they were moving around crisply. Thatís what I needed to see today and certainly doesnít guarantee a good performance on Sunday, but it gives you a chance and then on Sunday we just got to go out and play the game like nothing the next day matters, really. Just go play ball and looking for guys to have a good performance just like I wouldíve if it was early in the year.
Q: The other team has a lot to play for. I think someone described it as itís going to be a playoff type atmosphere. Can you guys benefit from that and is it going to be different for you guys too?
A: I donít think the motivation to play should be any different. Certainly theyíre still in the hunt and they have played well of late, but weíre going to go on the road and Iím sure itís going to be a loud venue like it always is on the road, so weíve got to handle the crowd noise and just play good ball.
Q: I know you donít expect a letdown or anything, but obviously the media, the fans always wonder if thatís the case after a team is eliminated. In your career have you seen Ė
A: Why? Iím curious about that because I donít know why. Letís assume you have a finite number of games that youíre going to play as a football player. Letís assume that. I donít know why you would let down. On the rare occasion when youíre in the playoffs and that next game means nothing, I see resting guys, but in this case here, weíre coaches and players. Weíre paid to play and it just so happens that our profession is our hobby. I donít Ė Iíve never understood that. Thatís part of the narrative that I donít understand because as football players, coaches Ė sometimes you play poorly. We didnít play well last week in some areas and we lost, but it wasnít because we went in there and let down. I donít get that.
Q: So you have never seen it in your career guys who just didnít seem to give an effort the next week or anything?
A: No, I havenít.
Q: With you guys eliminated, do you expect to try to get (Kyle) Lauletta active again and get him into games?
A: Weíll have to see. Again, weíre going to try to do everything we can to win the game, and Iíve said all along heís got a bright future and weíll just see where his participation is and when.
Q: What goes into that decision this week in that regard?
A: Iíll decide based on what I know about him and what I know about our team.
Q: John Greco will start at center?
A: He will start at center, yeah, and then Evan (Brown) will be active and back him up. Evan Brown.
Q: You had a special visitor (Santa) at practice (inaudible)?
A: Oh yeah. You saw that, huh? Same as when heís not wearing the suit. He carries the pads well. Carries the suit well.