Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- June 4, 2019
Opening Statement: First day of minicamp. It was very competitive and very spirited. Very typical of the way the OTAís have been. We got a lot done today. A lot of red zone, a lot of third-down stuff, situational things we need to work on and have been working on. It is just a continuation in my mind of the OTAís to this point. It felt that way as well.
Q: What have you seen from the defensive line?
A: There is no contact, so it is really hard to fully evaluate both lines until we start banging around a little bit. We like the way they are moving around. There are some youthful guys that are in there and doing a good job. They are picking up the system really well. We are pleased with what we are seeing.
Q: What did you see from DeAndre Baker?
A: It was fast out there, so it was hard to see who was making the plays sometimes, but he has been doing that on a pretty steady basis. I think he has made a play or two at each practice. Again, just learning how to compete at this level. Unfortunately, you canít do a whole bunch of bump and run and press coverage, so the corners are at a little bit of a disadvantage. However, you need to learn to play off and for him to be able to make plays in those situations is good.
Q: Daniel Jonesí option run?
A: Just a normal zone read. He took off running. We have had them in our offense depending on who the quarterback is and his skill set. That is always available to us. He looked good. Looked like he scored.
Q: His teammates seemed to appreciate it?
A: They did. I think it is fun. He has a red shirt on, so they arenít going to hit him. The initial part of the zone read was good. He got himself out in space pretty quickly.
Q: He did a bit of that in college right?
A: Yes, he obviously moves around well. He is down there around the 4.6 mark. I think he had 17 rushing touchdowns. He can move around and that is a huge part. If a quarterback can move around, not so much on just structured runs but the ability to be able to create a play within a passing play, I think he can do that.
Q: Is Evan Engram banged up?
A: Just a little sore. He is fine. He will be ready to go here soon.
Q: You had a bunch of guys on the bikes today.
A: Just minor things. No one long term. We feel good about having everyone back here soon and definitely by the time we start camp.
Q: Anything you look for in particular in a minicamp?
A: Yeah, it needs to be competitive. If one side of the ball is making all the plays, then I donít know what type of team you have. When the quarterback is trying to be aggressive with the ball and the defense is getting their hands on the ball and both sides of the ball are making plays and competing, it is a good thing. That means your team is coming together. I feel like at least till this stage of the offseason, we have done a better job in the practice settings, getting our hands on balls when we play defense. That is probably what I have seen.
Q: What have you seen in Jabrill Pepperís development in terms of leadership?
A: It doesnít really apply to Jabrill because his leadership was felt immediately. He has a very charismatic personality and he loves to play the game. He picked up quickly what we were doing on defense well and he is extremely smart. He is very tough and very competitive. When you see guys like that on the field, you feel their presence immediately. He got to it quickly.
Q: Do you like the trash talking at your practice?
A: I do. It is all in good spirits. They are competitive. If you get into it, compete and are smart about it, it is a good thing. I donít mind it.
Q: What is realistic for a defense that is as young as yours is?
A: We made a lot of changes. You have all documented it pretty well. We have made a lot of changes the last year and a half and a lot of the guys we have added are young. They have fresh legs and are good players. They are spirited guys that are out there competing. We are just going to go out there and play ball, see what happens.
Q: Do you have to accept that the young guys will make mistakes?
A: Nope. We donít accept mistakes, but we understand at times they happen. The mindset here, regardless of how old you are and how experienced you are, is listen, you play fast with no anxiety, you make a mistake, you admit it and you find a way to correct it and move on fast. That is the message for the guy that has played plenty of years, just like it is the message for the guy that just got here.
Q: What are you seeing from Paul Perkins?
A: I think he is doing a good job. He is just getting back into it. There are a lot of running backs, so he is sharing reps, but the things that he has done out there, it looks like he has good body control and he handles the ball well. I have been pleased with his route running and the few carries he has had; it appears he has good vision.
Q: Where is RJ McIntosh in terms of progression?
A: He is caught up. He is doing well. With defensive linemen, we will see more once we can get in more hitting situations. He is moving around well and has gotten much stronger since he has gotten here. He fits well in the defense and looks like he is getting himself right for training camp.
Q: Golden Tate? Rod Smith?
A: He is a pro. Much like I mentioned when I was speaking in regards to Jabrill, he fit in immediately. He is smart, has picked up what we are doing offensively and finds a way to make plays. He is a real veteran presence. He has made a heck of an impact. Rod Smith, same thing. I think he is a pro. He came in and he has learned our offense pretty quickly. There is less and less mistakes in each practice setting. He does a good job with the ball in his hands. He is a big presence and we all know a lot of what he does is on special teams. He is getting himself ready to go there.