Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- August 14, 2019
Opening Statement: Alright. Nothing to lead with. Iíll just try to answer your questions.
Q: From an on-field standpoint, what do you do with Golden Tate now? Does he take less first team reps so the guys who are actually going to play the first four games can work with Eli (Manning)?
A: Heís going to work and get his work in. Heíll appear there with the oneís at times. Weíll just keep moving forward.
Q: Whatís your reaction to losing him for the first four games of the season?
A: It is what it is. This isnít the first time a player has been suspended. He went through the process to try to appeal it and all. We just wonít have him for four weeks, so you move on. You make adjustments, and then wait for him to get back in Week Five.
Q: You kind of signed him to fulfill a specific role, though. You got rid of Odell (Beckham Jr.). Golden was going to be the starter here. How do you fill that void now?
A: With another receiver. Thatís how we do it. Itís unfortunate, this situation. He will not be with us for a month, so weíll fill that void with another player.
Q: That seems pretty simple. There are not guys with his resume. You donít have five guys with his resume just sitting there, ready to throw in.
A: Itís just that simple. Itís unfortunate. There are times when you have injuries, and you have to adjust on the fly. This is a situation where itís a suspension, so we adjust on the fly. It is just that simple.
Q: Do you use multiple people to replace him on certain routes that are run better by certain guys?
A: We do. I think the players are somewhat interchangeable. Golden Tate is a player that obviously works well in the slot, but he also works well outside. We have other players that can do that. (Sterling) Shep is a guy thatís worked well outside and then worked well in the slot. You make adjustments. Really when you talk about skill players, you donít have the same skill players for all 16 games. Those are the adjustments you make each week. Weíre aware of the fact that we wonít have him for a month, so we adjust.
Q: With all of the emphasis on eliminating distractions, does this bother you going into the season with something like this?
A: You just move on. Itís just like anything that happens to a team. So, you just move on and adjust.
Q: For culture purposes, do you have to reiterate to players that this kind of stuff wonít be tolerated?
A: For culture purposes? Heís been very honest and open about what happened. Goldenís a great teammate. Yeah, obviously they need to be smart. Players need to always know what theyíre putting in their bodies. Itís a constant reminder, but I think they all know that.
Q: Several years back, Golden made a comment. There was a guy on his team that was suspended, and he called it Ďselfish.í I think thatís why heís saying Ďdo you have to address it with the guys,í maybe it can be viewed that way by guys on this team now.
A: No, I donít view it that way. I wasnít around him when he made that comment. I know what happened behind-the-scenes with this suspension. I think you have to look at these as separate incidents, and you move on.
Q: Different from an injury, though, are you disappointed that a guy, through a conscious action, put himself in jeopardy and now has to disqualify himself for a quarter of your season. When you guys signed him, there was celebration in your building about what he would represent to your team. Are you disappointed that through his actions he now canít be there for a month?
A: I think heís been very honest about why this happened. Unfortunately, he wonít be with us. Thatís really how simple it is, quite frankly.
Q: Do you believe him? Do you believe his explanation?
A: I do. Absolutely. I totally believe him. He told me exactly what happened, the timeline of things, and he was very open and honest when anybody asked him any questions behind the scenes. I do believe him.
Q: In terms of when you split Saquon (Barkley) out wide, what do you like about being able to do that? What about his skillset allows you to do that?
A: I think itís sort of the obvious. He puts pressure on the defense being outside of the backfield in a detached position, because they have to decide how they want to cover him. I also think he does such a good job of catching the ball that itís another way to get him in space.
Q: Do you expect any of the injured players to play Friday night? Alec Ogletree? Sam Beal?
A: Those two, probably not.
Q: DeAndre Baker?
A: Probably not.
Q: Is playing Daniel (Jones) behind the (starting) offensive line still a priority this week, or was that just a Week One thing?
A: Possibly. I do plan on playing all four quarterbacks, like I did last week. Weíll see. Iíd like to see Eli get a little bit more time. Weíll just see how that plays out. But thereís a chance that he could play behind the one (offensive) line.
Q: Would you like to get Daniel a bigger chunk of action than he got against the Jets?
A: Yeah. The plan, obviously, last week was to play him longer. But with the delay, I shut down that whole group and restarted with a new group. That was the idea. Ideally, the way last week played out would have been for Eli to play a few more plays, and then Daniel Jones to play a few more plays.
Q: When Corey Coleman went down, you guys signed TJ Jones. You still didnít know about Goldenís situation. Did you sign a guy like Jones, with his resume, with a kind of longer view, knowing that he could be a guy to step up with the ones during the first month?
A: To your point, we signed him because we liked him, regardless of moving forward. We felt like he was a guy that could come in, compete, and make our team, regardless of who we had on the roster. It was more of replacing Corey at that time. When you have a player thatís going to miss a month, then it kind of elevates the guys behind him. One of those guys may be a guy thatís here for a month until Golden gets back.
Q: You didnít bring him to be a camp guy. There are some guys who kind of just rotate at the bottom of the roster. Did you have higher expectations for TJ Jones?
A: We had high expectations. Yeah, but we also have a lot of young receivers that we felt like had a chance to progress from what they did a year ago and make our team. Thatís sort of the way our core is right now.
Q: Given how valuable Saquon is, how tempted are you to keep him out for the rest of the preseason games?
A: You make a good point. Heís a valuable player, so weíll just have to see as time goes on if heís going to play in these games. I gave you a clue on the quarterbacks this week. Iíll let that reveal itself.
Q: Saquon said heís comfortable not playing. He essentially did it last year. Does that factor in?
A: Yeah, I just want to be smart. I want to do whatís best. I think as we go through it, you see the good work heís getting in practice. We just want to continue to do that.
Q: In the third game, most teams play their starters longer than they do (during the rest of the preseason). Will this likely be Danielís biggest workload in the second week, given the circumstances and the situation?
A: I donít know that. I think Danielís going to play throughout (the preseason). Weíll just have to see how it plays out. I think itís important for him to compete in all four of the games, and certainly youíd like him to get as many reps as you can as he gets himself ready to play.
Q: When a team is learning how to win, how do you coach that? How do you coach learning how to pull out a close game in the fourth quarter, for example? How do you do that during training camp and practice?
A: We practice it and we talk about it all the time. As you get near the end of practice, you talk about, ĎOkay, now itís time to finish, so letís make sure the execution is good,í so on and so forth. Then when you do it, you have to just do it in the games. You learn to do it. I think you also bring in players that have done it before, so you have more guys on your roster that are aware of what that process entails. Then you put the ball down and you play. Thatís where weíre at.