Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- August 3, 2019
Opening Statement: Saturday. They’re off tomorrow. We’ll get a good padded practice this afternoon. Move the ball period in there, not unlike you’ve seen already. Just hacking our way through training camp. I think the guys are handling it pretty well. I look forward to having a good day. I’ll try to answer your questions.
Q: Did you limit the reps of the threes yesterday just because of a lack of bodies?
A: We changed it up. It was a plan. Some of the twos were with the ones, and some of the threes were with the twos. Early in practice, we did. Later in practice, we didn’t. Just trying to get the guys the work that they needed.
Q: How close is Darius Slayton to getting back (on the field)? It’s been a pretty prolonged absence now. How far has he fallen behind?
A: I’ll answer the first part of it. How close is he to getting back? He gets better every day. He’s making progress. As far as anytime you’re not out there, you’re certainly missing things. But he made great strides in the spring. I anticipate when he comes back that he’s going to continue to do that.
Q: Is anyone close to returning? You have a bunch of guys (banged up), especially in the secondary. (Grant) Haley? (Henre’) Tolliver?
A: We’re managing some of those guys. I know because we’re all together in the same spot all the time, we focus on our guys. But I’ve tried to do research in my spare time, and in everybody’s camp, they’re dealing with guys that they’re managing. Some of these guys will be out today, some will be competing today. Some will be out. Hopefully by Monday, we’ll get some of them back.
Q: Sterling (Shepard) played a little bit yesterday without the yellow jersey. Was that just an oversight?
A: No. When we’re in competitive situations, he puts the yellow jersey on. Not an oversight. But yes, when he’s out there competing with the defense in front of him, most of the time he’s in a yellow jersey.
Q: Am I missing something. He was out there, caught a pass?
A: Yeah, that’s fine. He’s fine.
Q: Even without the yellow jersey?
A: Yeah, it was fine. They’re aware that they’re not supposed to hit him.
Q: Oshane (Ximines), is he battling anything there?
A: X-Man, we were just giving him a little bit of time. Probably a little leg soreness, but he’s fine. He’ll be fine.
Q: Yesterday, Coach McGaughey was talking about Riley Dixon needing to be more consistent. What have you seen from him, and where does he need to be more consistent in his play?
A: Dixon? The punter? Punting the ball.
Q: Is it placing the ball?
A: I think it’s everything. When it comes to a punter, it’s like the quarterback. There’s the game within the game. With a quarterback, it’s accuracy. So even though it’s a completion, did you put it on the right side of the body? The same can be said for a punter. Even though you punted the ball down the field, making sure it’s the right type of punt if it’s in a pooch scenario, or certainly, placing the ball if we’re trying to kick it right or left. That’s probably when you talk about, generally speaking, the punter… You’re always, always trying to make the get-off time be consistent and quick. You don’t want to rush it, but you want to be urgent. So, all of those things. I’m certain that’s what he (Coach McGaughey) was referring to.
Q: Obviously, there’s the suspension hanging over Golden Tate. But what have you thought about what he’s done so far, on the field and in camp?
A: He showed us what his reputation was. He has a way of getting open in the short area. Even though we’re not tackling to the ground, you can see that he’s got good run after catch. He’s very smart, so we can move him around. All of the things that are necessary to play in our offense.
Q: Do you have to temper your enthusiasm because of the situation (with the suspension)?
A: Not really. I wake up enthusiastic every morning that they’re all going to be there and be at full strength. We’ll just kind of deal with it as we go.
Q: Along those same lines, do you see benefits when you have a younger guy like Julian Love out there matched up against Golden? Seeing Golden, having to guard him in that situation and cover him, works as a benefit for Love. So, having Golden with the ones is not necessarily just about Golden. Maybe it’s for the other side of the ball? Is that fair?
A: No question. That’s why I think if players are smart, that’s why I prefer going good-on-good all the time, because iron sharpens iron. When you’re playing against the better players, so to speak, you get good work. Julian has made great progress with regard to being able to cover. We’re asking him to play safety and the nickel, so he’s playing in two critical spots on the inside of the defense. To go against a guy like Golden, who’s a nifty route-runner, Julian is learning a lot.
Q: How is Julian handling that, a rookie learning two spots at the same time?
A: He’s doing a very good job. You saw the practice that Grant Haley went out of. Then he (Julian) stepped right in and he got some valuable reps in maybe a scenario that might happen in the season. I thought he handled it very well.
Q: How are things going to change next week when you come back and have a preseason game, you have a game week. Are you going to change the focuses of the practices?
A: No, the focus will be the same. We’re going to go to a morning practice schedule when we come back on Monday. So, we’ll do a morning practice and an afternoon walkthrough. That will probably be the way I do it throughout the rest of camp. That will feel different to those that are watching. But in terms of what we’re trying to get done, we’ll still work on all of the situational football. There will still be padded practices. But with the games on the horizon each week, we’ll take the pads off as you get near game (day), to get the guys that are playing ready to go.
Q: Will you still do stuff off the cards?
A: Some. But that will be later in the week. We play Thursday. We’ll have our mock game on Wednesday. Then Tuesday, we’ll do some card work. Monday will still be Giants vs. Giants.
Q: Where is Avery Moss at right now. His first two years kind of went backwards, you could say. He played a lot as a rookie, and then was on the practice squad for all of last year. Where is he at right now?
A: I think he’s made progress within our system. But he’s just been dealing with injuries. Last year, he had an injury that kept him out. He did a nice job for us as a practice squad player. He’s been competing out here. He’s just dealing with some of the camp soreness that you have. But he’s working hard. He’s making improvements.
Q: What have you thought about C.J. Conrad’s progress?
A: Good. He’s a tough, competitive guy, and I think those are necessary traits to play our game. So that’s where you start. He’s a good learner. I would say he’s a notch better blocker than he is a route-runner at this time, which is a good thing. He’s becoming a little bit of a fan favorite out there. He’s made some nice catches in practice. But then he’s also made his mistakes. I like the way he competes, and I think he’s a tough guy. I think he has a bright future.
Q: From top-to-bottom, is tight end your deepest position? Is it the position you feel most comfortable with?
A: I don’t know. I’m optimistic about all of the positions. I wouldn’t say I’m standing here saying one’s better than another at this point. We’ll just have to see when we get to game day.