Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- September 5, 2019
Q: What did you think of Daniel Jones’ preseason?
A: I think he had a really good preseason. He was very composed, he had a real good knowledge of what we were asking him to do, and was productive.
Q: We hear a lot about what (Alex) Tanney brings to the QB room. Can you shed some light on that? Obviously, we’re not in the room.
A: He brings a lot to our team everywhere - on the field, in the room, in the quarterback room, on the offense and on game day. I think he’s one of those guys that a lot of teams in this league are looking for to have as a veteran, backup quarterback. He has a very fast mind. He’ll ask questions in the room, as we’re talking about the room, that brings up good points that might lead to other questions. He has a great relationship with the other quarterbacks and with the rest of the offense.
Q: You’ve gone against (Cowboys Defensive Coordinator) Rod Marinelli a few times, and Kris Richard. When you look at this Dallas defense, what jumps out on you when you watch them on film?
A: Their speed and quickness. They’re built for speed. They’ve always been. They get to the ball fast. They fly around, and because they get to the ball so quickly, they’ve created a lot of turnovers. Their scheme allows them to play really, really fast and they’ve drafted guys within that scheme that can be very disruptive.
Q: How much of an impact will not having (Golden) Tate the first four games have on you guys?
A: It’s like anything else. When you have guys that are in and all of a sudden can’t play, then it’s the next guy up. I think our guys in preseason have done an excellent job. We’re probably going to be, in the passing game, by committee. We’ll spread guys around. There’s not going to be… We kind of want to be that anyways. We don’t want to have teams feel like they’re going to dial in on one player or the other. A lot like towards the end of last year, we’ve had some guys that have stepped up and made some plays in critical situations against one-on-one, and hopefully they’ll pick up where they left off.
Q: You’re breaking in a whole new right side of your offensive line. You have DeMarcus Lawrence over there and a couple of All-Pro linebackers. What kind of a challenge are they going into Week 1?
A: Well, because of the reasons we talked about earlier, it’s going to be a great challenge. Dallas’ defense is one of the top in the league, and they’re really, really good at home, especially with having the crowd noise, their speed and their talent. Number one, we have to do a good job of staying out of the long yard situations, as we always talk about. But then if we’re in passing situations, we have to make sure that, whether or not we’re sliding our protection, using chip help or getting the ball out fast, we do all of those things well, because they’re really good rushing the passer and they’re also good against the run too. They bring movement. They have speed on third down, whether or not it’s up the field or change of direction, and they really, more so than other teams, do that on first and second down too. (They) are very coordinated with their linebackers to play the run.
Q: The entire preseason, we’ve talked about the offensive line. Suddenly, Remmers isn’t out there yesterday. You’re talking about a back again. Is this something that is a concern?
A: Obviously, we want our guys that were in all preseason and hopefully that’s going to be the case on Sunday. If not, we go in with our next guy. Whether or not all of a sudden, we need to tweak something based on someone on the offensive line not playing, we’ll look at it. But for the most part, we have guys on our team that we feel like can come and play and help us win.
Q: (Head Coach Pat Shurmur) has talked this whole summer about getting Daniel (Jones) ready for the Cowboys game. We’re three days away now. If he had to go in there, is he ready?
A: Number one in my mind, in the position I’m in, is to make sure all of the quarterbacks are ready. That’s kind of where my mind is. If they’re not ready to play Week 1, then I’m not doing my job. That’s all I kind of focus on. I think Daniel’s done a great job. There’s only one judge for us, and that’s winning but I think Daniel’s done a great job. From the other rookies that I’ve been around, and I’ve been around some really good rookies, he’s been as good as all of them. I would say that Eli (Manning) has had an outstanding camp, and he’s ready to go and help us win games. We talked about Alex being ready. Those guys, now their roles change. They have to be ready at moment’s notice without any reps. That’s a challenge for guys that are used to playing, especially for Daniel. Alex has been around, so he knows how it works. At that position, we have to go play productive football, as we know.
Q: Week 2 last season, Dallas’ defense seemed to have success kind of sitting back and keeping everything in front of them against you guys. How do you combat that? Is it run the ball well enough that you force them out of that?
A: I think a lot of the times they were doing that, we were in long yardage situations. Yeah, you have to have a little bit of everything. If teams are going to try to stay back and keep guys in front of them, then you have to be able to be patient. We call it with our quarterbacks being aggressively patient. When there are good looks there down the field, take them. If not, be patient and take things underneath. As the year went on, not necessarily against Dallas but just in general, when we saw those looks, because they weren’t the only team we saw them against, we were much better, when we got the ball underneath, of making yards afterwards. I think there were a couple of plays, even in our second game against Dallas, where Wayne (Gallman Jr.) caught a ball underneath and went for 15 yards. Saquon (Barkley) caught one underneath and went for… They’re really good in space. Dallas is really good in space, but we’ve got guys that are pretty good with the ball in their hands in space. I think all of us, and I said this throughout the offseason, the comfort level is much higher, so our guys should be playing faster now than they did at any point last year because of their experience in the system.