Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- September 19, 2019
Opening Statement: Injuries from yesterday. Bennie Fowler tweaked his hamstring a little bit. Weíre hopeful that heíll be ready to go. Itís sort of like (Cody) Latimer last week with his calf. Weíre hopeful weíll have him. (Sterling) Shep had a good day, and (Kevin) Zeitler will do more today.
Q: Is Shep cleared yet?
A: Heíll get the final clearance going forward here today, I think. But he had a good day and heíll practice again today.
Q: With Shep, is that just the independent clearance?
A: Yeah, thereís all of the clearing and the protocol that he has to go through. But he feels good and had a good day yesterday. Iíll take your questions.
Q: During the preseason, thereís a lot made of defenses only showing vanilla schemes. Iím curious, is that, in your mind, like the halftime adjustments thing or is there some truth to that?
A: I donít think so. In order to learn how to play your schemes, you have to play them during training camp. Obviously, there is some exotic stuff that everybody saves for the opponent that theyíre going to play. But I do think you can get an idea of how a team is going to play.
Q: Itís safe to assume that Daniel (Jones) will probably see some stuff on Sunday that he didnít see in the preseason?
A: Sure. Every quarterback does, and thatís why you have rules and things that you kind of live by.
Q: Do you think watching (Tampa Bay) defend Christian McCaffrey helps you prepare for how they might defend Saquon (Barkley)?
A: Well obviously, heís the focus of stopping Carolinaís offense, along with Cam Newton. Theyíre a very balanced attack as far as running and throwing. I would imagine that weíll see some of those same concepts.
Q: Do you get the sense that expectations for rookie quarterbacks are much different now than they were when you were working with Donovan McNabb, or even maybe 10 years ago? Were they much different, what people expect?
A: Expectations? Oh, I donít know.
Q: Maybe not the head coach, but whatís universally expected?
A: Thatís probably a better question for your colleagues, I would imagine. I donít know. I think we expect the players that we put in the game to perform well. We try not to make excuses for the fact that players are young. If theyíre in there, we expect them to play. I think that goes for quarterbacks as well.
Q: How much do you feel now that your wagon is sort of hitched to Daniel, and that your long-term success here and your future as a head coach is directly tied to that?
A: Iím a little bit like the quarterbacks themselves. I sort of stay in the moment. My focus is obviously finishing up our practices. Today, weíre doing Thursday things. Then finishing up our practices and flying to Tampa and playing the game. I stay in the moment on that.
Q: I know you donít think much about the career record thing, you personally, but do you feel more pressure now to win?
A: No, I donít. Iím here to try to inspire our guys to win. There are reasons why teams win and lose. As we move forward here and develop a winning team, itís going to change.
Q: Just because of the nature of the quarterback position, do you have to have more patience with rookie mistakes and learning on the job than you might with someone at another position?
A: No. We demand that they perform well. We understand when things happen and why they happen, and we try to correct the mistakes. But no, weíre going to put him out there and expect him to do what he needs to do.
Q: He has to kind of stay in, though, right? To endure the challenges he may face?
A: Whatís the premise of that question?
Q: With a linebacker, you might say ĎHeís not handling it well, weíll pull him out.í But with rookie quarterbacks, sometimes I think you have to just leave him in.
A: Weíre putting him in there to play, and we expect that heíll be in there playing for a very long time.
Q: Do you personally or maybe the team feel energized by this move?
A: I think itís exciting when thereís change. I think thatís a better question for the locker room. But as far as Iím concerned, we always put our best foot forward. We always give the players our best effort and put a plan together and call a game that will help them based on what their skillsets are. The game gets called a little bit differently for Eli than it does for Daniel. Youíre just trying to maximize the production out of whoeverís playing. Thatís really where itís at.
Q: Thereís a report that you cancelled your weekly spot with (Mike) Francesa on 660 (WFAN Sports Radio). What was the reason for that?
A: That was an organizational decision not to do that. Most people arenít aware of this, but I wasnít contractually obligated to do that spot. We did it as a courtesy and out of respect for our relationship with the radio station. We just felt like for a while here, weíll just put that to bed for a while and just not do it and move forward.