Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- July 28, 2019
Opening Statement: Training camp Sunday. This will be our last day before they have their mandated day off tomorrow. Just pushing through it and trying to have another good day. Iíll take your questions.
Q: What are your impressions of Dexter Lawrence?
A: Heís a big man, obviously. Heís had an impact already. Watching the one-on-one pass rush, you can see that heís a guy thatís going to be able to get some pressure. We feel good about him being able to play on all three downs. A lot like the rookies weíve spoken about already, he hasnít disappointed us in any way and heís continuing to get better each day.
Q: How does RJ McIntosh look? He made a few nice plays yesterday.
A: Yeah, heís gotten a lot better. We crossed that bridge last year. He was way behind for most of the year. Heís caught up, and heís doing a good job. Last year was like year zero. This is more like year one. So in some ways, heís like a rookie going through it. I think heís done a good job so far.
Q: Going back to Dexter. What about his skillset makes him the right fit to line up on the end of the three guys, versus the middle, like the nose tackle position?
A: He can line up on the nose. He can line up as a 3, and he can line up as a 5, on the center, guard or tackle because of his size, his quickness and his length. Generally speaking, as you get further from the ball, length is more important, and because heís got such great size, he can do that for us.
Q: Is that where Dalvinís [Tomlinson] flexibility works too? If Iím not mistaken, he played on the defensive end when Snacks [Damon Harrison] was here, and then moved in the middle.
A: Yeah, exactly. The goal is to get really, really good athletes that are very big and very long. But we all fall somewhere in the middle. But yeah, a guy thatís more multiple and can play on the center, guard or the tackle is a good thing.
Q: For Dexter, the further out he gets from the ball, is there more learning? He didnít do a lot of that in college, right? He was sort of an anchor guy.
A: I think everythingís got to be defeat your blocker, be gap sound, and when itís time to rush the passer, get after the quarterback. So there is more to learn, but I think heís capable of learning it.
Q: The last couple of days, it seems like Jabrill [Peppers] has been pretty effective up near the line of scrimmage. What do you like about his skillset up near the line of scrimmage?
A: Well, he certainly can play the deep part of the field. Heís an active player that does a good job of tackling. He does a good job covering. A lot like most safeties, they do a better job covering when they can find the space a little bit. Heís very active. I think heís probably more of a strong safety type guy.
Q: You guys didnít get a lot of sacks last year, but did you get enough pressures?
A: No. Neither. Neither situation. You want to get more pressure, and then certainly sacks. You know, it starts with pressure. There are a lot of times when you can get pressure on a quarterback, disrupt him enough where it affects the throw, without sacking him. You need both. Then obviously winning the one-on-one battles, or whether we pressure to scheme it, we just need to do better in all areas.
Q: Do you see the potential for more this year?
A: I do. I do, because of the second year in our system. Plus weíve added some guys that have a history of sacking the quarterback.
Q: What have you seen from Corey Ballentine? He had an interception yesterday, and just in terms of his football stuff, what have you seen from him?
A: Heís very smart, heís very instinctive. Each day, he looks a little bit more comfortable. I would say itís running parallel with two things. Obviously, coming back from the gunshot. And then also just becoming more comfortable in the defense. He made a play yesterday which was good, and heís generally been in the right spot. Heís been competing. Weíre sort of pleased to this point with his progress.
Q: Do you leave his story outside of the building or is it something you talk about?
A: No, weíve moved on from it. Itíll always be a part of who he is, but we donít talk about it.
Q: Do you have any update on Sam Beal?
A: Yeah, heís got a groin and a hamstring heís just dealing with. Itís nothing serious. We anticipate heíll be back soon. Maybe not today, but soon.
Q: What about Darius Slayton?
A: Same. Heís made really good progress the last couple of days. Heíll be back soon.
Q: First day in pads yesterday. Were you happy with the linemen, and the way your injured guys, or guys that had surgery like [Nate] Solder and [Mike] Remmers, came through?
A: There were mistakes upfront, obviously. I mean, they competed. It was a little sloppier than I would have liked to have seen, but thatís part of it. The last time they were in pads was when we played the Cowboys in the last game of the year. Itís hard to believe, but thatís just the way the world works now. So, theyíre getting used to their pads, getting their sea legs, you know, thatís part of it. With regard to Solder and Remmers, they both held up pretty well.
Q: With Julian Love, for a guy that seems like heís learning both inside, outside and now safety, I know heís intelligent, but what about him gives you confidence that he can handle everything youíre throwing at him?
A: The one thing about Julian is heís got good spatial awareness. The game sort of makes sense to him. Thatís why he can play at top down. The safety thing is not unnatural for him. His skillset fits the nickel spot, so thatís sort of where we played him. He certainly can play outside as well. But heís a smart, instinctive player. Weíll keep trying to give him what we can and see where his best spot will be.
Q: Weíve seen Daniel Jones make some strong plays the last couple of days. From your vantage point, as you watch his progression, what have you thought about what heís done at practice?
A: To your point, I think he has made some strong throws. There were a couple of times yesterday in the blitz drills where the rush got on him a little bit, and he was able to snap it off and make pretty much an all-arm throw, which youíre looking for. I know weíre sort of taking his temperature every day, but I really feel like heís making progress. Each day is a new install. Each day is like 50 first dates. You start over, but youíve got to move on. He does a good job with that. Heís making progress. Iím pleased with where heís at after three days of practice here.
Q: Correct me if Iím wrong, but youíre seeing his eyes donít come off downfield?
A: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, heís done a good job with that. Now they (the QBs) know theyíre not getting hit. But still, to have your eyes downfield with people around you, I think, is a good thing.
Q: He had a nice high point throw yesterday to [Alonzo] Russell. Thatís an NFL throw. Were you impressed that heís able to have that kind of ball placement on a deeper pass this early?
A: No, because Iíve seen it and we knew he could do that. Weíve seen him do it in our drill work. As people get to know him, and they recognize more the things he doesÖ we expect that from him and we think he can do those things.
Q: A lot of times, people want to talk about Grant Haley and use the word ďfeisty.Ē Is that accurate? And is that good for a slot corner?
A: It is. He is very feisty. I think heís a tough, competitive guy. I think you want that at all positions. Because heís a little shorter, they give him credit for being feisty, but thatís just part of his nature. I think thatís why heís going to have success. You have to be able to compete. You have to be tough, have to be competitive. Heís all of those things. Because no matter how talented you are, if you donít have those things, you have no chance. I was around another guy that was like that. Buster Skrine, when we were in Cleveland and now with the Jets. Competitive, tough guy, and he had success. Thatís part of his charm. Heís feisty.
Q: Heís kind of like the nickelback. A lot of those guys are short and alike.
A: I donít want to put him in a box.