Head Coach Pat Shurmur-- August 25, 2019
Opening Statement: Today is Wednesday in our world. By going Thursday to Thursday, we have a full week, so we were doing Wednesday things like we would normally do in a normal game week. Tomorrow then would be Thursday and so on as we get ready to play the Patriots. With that, Iíll try to answer your questions.
Q: Is that more of the focus this week? Getting into the routine rather than camp?
A: A little bit. Itís still camp. Itís sort of camp scheduling but what weíre practicing out there, today we did a lot of first and second down and base down type stuff. Tomorrow weíll focus more on third down and some red zone. Then on the final day, weíll do more red zone and then review all the others.
Q: You guys claimed punter Johnny Townsend last week. Do you have an open competition at punter or is that still Rileyís (Dixon) job?
A: Weíre just going to see what he can do. Weíre just kicking tires there. At this time of the year, this is a good time to do it. You get to see some live punts in preseason games.
Q: Any update on (Jonathan) Anderson?
A: He was out there today. He was moving around. I think heís okay. Heís a little sore from the game. There were a handful of guys out there that are a little bit sore from the game, but they were out there.
Q: Is Sam Beal getting close?
A: He was out there today for the first time. Heís closer. Weíll just have to see where heís at as we move forward.
Q: Would you like to see him play Thursday? Is that a possibility?
A: Iíd like to see them all play. Weíll just have to see where heís at. It would be good for him to play if heís healthy enough. But we donít want to put him out there too soon.
Q: Is it frustrating? Do you feel like you want to see him out there? He hasnít played in the last two years.
A: Iím not frustrated by it. Obviously, being able to compete through training campÖ Heís a second-year player, but last year was like year zero. This is year one. The work that he would have gotten had he been healthy would have been very beneficial.
Q: What would you like to see from him going forward?
A: Iíd like to see him get healthy and get on the field. Thatís what Iíd like to see.
Q: How did (DeAndre) Baker look today, and how encouraging was it to see him (on the practice field)?
A: It was good. He was out there again. I think for the most part he looked pretty good. He needs to get his sea legs back. Weíll see how he responds here in the afternoon after being out there, and weíll see how much more we can give him tomorrow.
Q: Next week, do you expect to be as active on waivers as you were last year once the cuts are done?
A: I wouldnít speculate on that. I would imagine no. We obviously flipped this roster quite a bit last year. We certainly like a lot of the players that we have on our roster this year. Iíve mentioned it all along, I think weíre going to have to make some tough decisions at some positions. Guys that have really competed and really earned a chance to be here.
Q: When you look back at the Bengals game, did Will Hernandez just have a bad game?
A: I donít know. I think when I look at the Bengals game, we made enough plays to win the game in total. But there were many coachable moments for all of the players that competed in that game.
Q: How would you evaluate Darius Slayton from the Bengals game?
A: He did a good job. It was a good first step. Again, heís another young player that would have benefited with all of the work he would have gotten up until that point. But it was a good first step.
Q: When you see Oshane (Ximines) have a game like he did against the Bengals, does that sort of bump him closer to getting more involved in the rotation opposite somebody like Lorenzo (Carter)? Or are there still some things he needs to build on?
A: Heís in the rotation. Weíre looking for guys to be disruptive and get pressure on the quarterback, which he displayed an ability to do.
Q: Iíll give you an opportunity to tell us what youíre going to do at quarterback on Thursday, but then also ask has Eli gotten enough work? Heís your starter, heís only played three series, has he gotten enough live work for your liking?
A: Yeah, I think he has. He wonít play on Thursday, so Iíll give you that right there. I think he has. Heís done a lot of really good stuff out here. Heís much more comfortable with what we want to do on offense this year than last year. I feel like as he gets the work he needs in practice, the game work heís gotten will help him be ready for the Cowboys. Is that what you need? So, he wonít play in the game.
Q: So Daniel (Jones) will start?
A: Daniel will start, yeah.
Q: Have you decided if youíre committed to keeping two or three quarterbacks? Last year, you told us you wanted a veteran backup. Does that change with how well Daniel has played?
A: Weíll have to see how we do that. The rest of the roster is dependent on that as well. Iíve said it all along, Iíd keep four (quarterbacks). Iíd keep five if the roster would allow for it, because I think quarterback development in our league is primary. You can only develop by playing and practicing. Iím fond of having lots of quarterbacks around. Thatís just my feeling. But weíll just have to see how it plays out when we get to the final 53 (man roster).
Q: Iím sure at some point you sat down with Kyle Lauletta, whether it was going all the way back to the spring until now, and put together what you want to see from him. What has he shown you in training camp and in the preseason games?
A: I think heís had a really good camp. Much better than a year ago. I think heís improving. I like the way he has competed. Thereís been a lot of conversation about the guy we picked this year (Daniel Jones). There are many ways guys could go with that, but heís come out every day, competed and gotten better. Itís a credit to him.
Q: I know itís not your team, but any thoughts on Andrew Luckís announcement last night?
A: I was a little surprised like anybody. Iíve always enjoyed watching him play. Heís a tough, competitive guy. For whatever reason, he feels like he just canít go anymore. Thatís a tough decision to make. I donít know him well enough to comment beyond that, but I wish him well.
Q: Is it a little surprising to you, or as a head coach, is that something that you have to be aware of? It seems like thatís happening a little more often than it used to. (Rob) Gronkowski retired, it looked like he still had some football left in him. Now Andrew. Guys that are sort of choosing, I saw the line last night on social media, Ďhealth over wealth.í Does that surprise you?
A: I donít know that. This is a very physical game. Unfortunately, a lot of players have had a lot of major injuries, which kind of adds up on a person. Nobody knows their body better than the guy thatís walking around in it. For whatever reason, he feels like he canít go anymore. Iíve always thought he played the game like a warrior. Heís played at a high level and took a lot of hits. Theyíve added up on him, and heís no longer playing.
Q: Does that make it all the more incredible to you that your quarterback has not missed a game due to injury in 16 years?
A: I think thatís unique to Eli. Iíve been around a lot of quarterbacks that have had a few injuries, and some that had a lot, like Sam Bradford. Yeah, thatís part of Eliís charm is that he can stay out there game after game. Being available and being able to play is huge.