Head Coach Pat Shumur -- July 27, 2019
Opening Statement: First day of pads, so I’ll try to answer your questions.
Q: Thoughts on Golden Tate’s four-game suspension?
A: I think he’s going to have an appeal. I think he released a statement, so I really have nothing to add to that. We’ll just see what happens with it.
Q: How about the state of your wide receivers now, with your top two guys going down, plus Corey Coleman?
A: We’ll just wait and see what happens with Golden and his appeal. You guys saw [Sterling] Shep running around yesterday out there. He’s going to be fine. We’ve got other guys that are competing to make our team. We just keep moving.
Q: What’s your confidence that [Golden] will be successful with his appeal?
A: I don’t know, because I don’t know much about it other than… All along, he’s been very honest with us about… When this situation arose, he’s been very honest with us. It’s just getting to the point now where I think he’s going to have his appeal.
Q: How long have you known about this situation?
A: We found out, it was certainly after we signed him.
Q: Do you plan on signing anybody that you worked out this morning?
A: Possibly. We’ll let the transactions speak for themselves. The guys that we worked out this morning are finishing up their physicals. So there’s a decent chance, if we can get that information relative to the physical, that they’ll be out there today. So we’ll have to make a couple of moves.
Q: Have you been assured that Golden’s process will end in time for the regular season?
A: I don’t know. I wish I could add to the statement. I really don’t know much more about what was just released.
Q: He can continue to do everything, right?
A: Oh yeah. For him right now, it’s business as usual. He’s out there practicing and getting ready to play. This really is between him and the league at this point. As an organization, we’ll deal with it as it comes down the road.
Q: There’s no reason for you to operate any different than business as usual with Golden.
A: No. Gosh no. He’s out there getting ready to play like the rest of the guys.
Q: You’ve talked about wanting to have an identity for the offensive line. What has [Kevin] Zeitler done for that?
A: He’s a very physical, very focused guy. If you’ve been around him at all, that’s one of the things striking about him. Super focused. He told me he caught a muskie this summer. I know enough about fishing where they say it takes 10,000 casts to catch a muskie. So that’s a pretty focused guy. Yeah, I think that’s part of his charm, is his focus. Really in every drill we do, whether it’s a walk-thru or practice setting, he’s into it. That’s a good thing.
Q: You’ve kind of thrown out the depth chart. You’ve been mixing in some of the guys who would normally be second-team, third-team and you’ve been mixing them in with the first-team. With that approach, what are you worried about with this team and those guys in particular?
A: We feel like we’ve got front-line guys. There are some guys that are competing for positions that it’s good when they’re going good on good. I think everybody rotates throughout camp, trying to get guys looks with the first group. We do that pretty much with all of the groups.
Q: First day in pads. How important is that for your guys, especially your linemen?
A: For the linemen, obviously, that’s where the focus will be. I think it’s important that we practice smartly. You want to get better, but you want everybody to walk off the field together. Our guys know how to do that. We’ve got a lot of pros out here. We’ll be out there banging around. But this is the first time for the o-line and the d-line, and really for the guys in the front seven, to be able to play what’s almost like a game. We don’t go to the ground. We don’t low block. We don’t tackle to the ground. I would say in most practice settings, it’s almost or as close to being game-like as it can be.
Q: What have you seen with [Kevin] Zeitler and [Mike] Remmers on that right side? How have you seen them interacting and coming together, almost like the way Will [Hernandez] and Nate [Solder] had to do last year?
A: I think it’s a solid, professional approach. These guys are pros. They’ve done it, and they’ve played winning football. They’re accomplished guys. You see that focused professionalism from both of those guys. They’ve worked well together to this point. They communicate well.
Q: Is it easier when it’s two veterans, as opposed to last year on the left side where there was a rookie and a veteran?
A: Yeah. I look at it, and I watch the way they’re working together… Listen, guys get beat once in a while. But I know those guys are working together and they know how to work together. I think that’s a good thing.
Q: Was that a predetermined thing to give Evan [Engram] some down days? Or was that in response to how he felt after the first day?
A: Yeah, we’re going to manage all of the guys. You saw out there that [Nate] Solder and [Mike] Remmers are getting most of the reps, but we’re rolling through. We want to be smart. I think we want to practice with the end in mind on some of these guys, so that we get them the work they need, and then also train some of the other guys.
Q: On Day Two, for him not to participate really at all in live drills…
A: Who’s that? Evan? No, he was in live drills Day One.
Q: I’m saying in Day Two.
A: Yesterday he did. That was just our choice. As you, well maybe you didn’t notice, but we had a much longer individual session yesterday where he got a lot of really good work. Because we did that, it’s just… And we’re going to do that. I don’t think that should be alarming for any player that may get a day here, because we’re not resting them. They’re out there. We’re just working the throttle a little bit.
Q: It just seems strange on Day Two to do that. Does it have anything to do with his hamstring? Is that something you particularly want to keep an eye on during camp?
A: No, I don’t think it’s strange, number one, because within all of that, if you’re charting it, we’re kind of moving guys around and getting guys the work they need. I don’t feel like it’s strange. But we’ll keep doing what we can to be smart with the guys. I hope I answered your question there.
Q: Is there something with the hamstring that you need to keep an eye on moving forward?
A: We’ll just watch him. He’s coming back from an injury, so we’re just going to be smart with him.
Q: Grant Haley limped off yesterday.
Q: Just cramps?
A: Oh yeah. Cramps. It was hot. He got cramped up. No concerns.
Q: Because Engram’s workload was managed, that gave C.J. Conrad some first team reps. What did you see from CJ?
A: Yeah, he’s done a good job. He’s kind of caught our eye as a rookie. He’s a tough, kind of gritty guy. I think the one thing about him, and you can say this about a lot of rookies, is he gets better with more reps. So he’ll benefit [from that]. And he’s a tough guy. He loves the reps. He benefits from it.
Q: Saquon [Barkley] seems a little more talkative just going through team drills this year. Is that something you noticed? Is that a good thing? What do you make of that?
A: I haven’t noticed it, per se. He was into it and talkative a year ago. But now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ll keep an eye on it.
Q: Dave [Gettleman] said you were going to have some guys in for a tryout today. Has it occurred yet?
A: It did. It happened this morning. The guys are finishing up their physicals. We’re hopeful that it’ll get finished up where we maybe make a move by this afternoon. So we’ll see. And who those guys are, I’ll let it reveal itself.
Q: Is it a situation where, with the workout this morning, that it’s as much a numbers game as anything else, where you’re not necessarily looking for guys that will immediately have a significant role at the top of the depth chart? Or can that be a possibility?
A: It can be. At this point, it’s always a numbers game, because you want to be able to practice. But you want to bring in guys that belong on an NFL roster and have a chance to compete.
Q: What are your recollections of [Kevin] Zeitler coming out of college? Do you recall?
A: I remember he was a very accomplished player. I remember, at least going through the process, that he had that same kind of professional focus and approach to his work.