Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- August 26, 2019
Opening Statement: Good practice. (We did) Thursday things today. We did red zone, we did a little two minute (drill), which was good. Very spirited and competitive today. I think we got a lot done, and so we’ll push forward tomorrow. We’ll try to scheme it up like we would on a Friday for the most part. It’ll have a training camp feel to it, but it’ll be like a Friday and then we keep rolling. I’ll take your questions.
Q: Off of what you just said about today being spirited, that reminds me, there hasn’t been any kind of fight, brawl, the type of thing that you normally see in training camp. What does that tell you about your team?
A: No, we’ve had our fights and scuffles, because that’s part of it (training camp). But I think what’s important is that we are able to practice together, so we can all get better. Boys will be boys. But you’re right. In these last few settings, certainly, the last couple of weeks… This time of training camp, too, they’re kind of tired. They’re kind of grinding through it, so some of that little extra emotion doesn’t show up.
Q: Is that organic or is that something that you try to bring out of them to lift their energy level?
A: The competitive part of it? Let’s assume that most of the one’s won’t play this week. It’s important that they get good, quality work in practice. Like you’ve seen all along, I like to go one’s vs. one’s, and we did a bunch of that here in the last couple days, which I think the guys needed.
Q: Was (Darius) Slayton the same hamstring?
A: Yeah. We’ll just see where he’s at. He’s making good progress, so we’ll just see how this little thing affects him.
Q: What do you hope to see out of (Daniel) Jones in this last preseason game?
A: Steady progress. I think it’s important that he goes in and executes well. For the amount of time that he’s in there, it’ll be good to be on the road, like we were last week against the Bengals. There’s a lot to be learned going through how we do the cadence and whatnot. But just steady progress like he’s really been doing here for all of camp.
Q: Has he surpassed your expectations so far?
A: I expect him to execute at a high level. I think he’s doing a good job. He’s making really good progress.
Q: In your mind, is there any benefit down the road for him to be out there for the first series, as opposed to being out there for the second series like he’s been doing this preseason?
A: When he’s gone into the games, he would go in behind the first (offensive) line, so that’s probably it. I guess there may be a little bit to the first three or four plays. But he has to execute them just like he would if he went in for the second (series). So, possibly.
Q: For guys on the bottom of the roster, do they have any chance of making the team this late in training camp? If so, is there anything in particular that you need to see out of them in Thursday’s game?
A: Well, the bottom of the roster… Right now, we really don’t have a depth chart, so I wouldn’t say who’s at the bottom of the roster. I will say this. We sort of know who’s at the top of the roster. Everybody beyond that, and especially all of the guys that play in Thursday’s game, certainly have a chance to impress us in a way where they can make our football team. I think that’s still where we’re at roster wise. We have a lot of guys competing for the 53 spots.
Q: Where does Chad Wheeler stand? He’s kind of been battling the back (injury).
A: Yeah, he’s been plagued by that little back injury. So we’ll just see. He hasn’t been able to get the quality practice reps over an extended period of time. But he’s out there practicing. We’ll just see where he’s at. He’s out there and he’s practicing, so maybe we’ll get him in this week. Hopefully we’ll get him in this week.
Q: With the veterans that are not going to play on Thursday, are you starting to work on Dallas stuff?
A: No, it’s Giants vs. Giants. But all along, you sort of change the names to protect the innocent. You just keep practicing. I think that’s what we do.
Q: Will Golden Tate play?
A: He’s coming back from that concussion, so he’s getting back into it. There’s a chance he won’t (play). We’ll just have to see where he’s at.
Q: But because of the concussion?
A: Yeah, that’s more or less what it is. If he wasn’t in the (concussion) protocol, then certainly he’d be out there.
Q: There was a play today in practice where Daniel (Jones) threw an interception and he chased the guy down the sideline. It looked like he ended up on the ground. Was that a tackle attempt or was that a slip?
A: He was trying to get the ball out. That’s the reaction of a good football player. Now we obviously don’t want him to get hurt, but yeah, he was trying to get the ball out, which I think he did, didn’t he? It was right over there near you guys. So, that would have been a really good play.
Q: What does someone like Alonzo Russell have to show you this week and in the game? He’s made a lot of plays, it seems like he has a strong chemistry with (Daniel) Jones already. How big of a week is it for him?
A: I don’t know what he has to show us. He’s impressed us to this point. Just continue to play good football and make plays. He’s a tough, competitive guy, and I’m very fond of him because of that. As a receiver, certainly, you have to make your catches when you’re targeted. All of those things.
Q: Would you say (B.J.) Goodson is kind of in the middle here this last week?
A: No, he’ll be out there playing.
Q: In terms of his spot on the roster.
A: I don’t know that. He’s out there competing to make our team. That’s where I’d say he is.
Q: What would you say about his summer?
A: I thought he’s had a good summer. He’s stayed healthy throughout, for the most part, and we’re looking forward to him competing well on Thursday.
Q: How do you view punt returner? Is that Jabrill’s (Peppers) job? Obviously, he hasn’t been back there in the preseason. Is that still open?
A: We’ll sort all of that out once we get to the 53 (man roster). We have a lot of guys back there working on returning punts and kicks. We feel good about a lot of them if they’re given the nod, so to speak. We’ll just see where it’s at when we hit the 53.
Q: I’m not sure if there’s a draft pick we’ve talked about less than Chris Slayton. What have you seen from him this summer?
A: He’s done a good job. He’s quietly in that interior defensive line group in terms of conversation about him. But I think he’s made good progress. He’s made some good plays in practice. He’s had some really good reps in the games. I think he’s made steady progress.