Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- September 25, 2019
Opening Statement: Redskins week. First, Iíll start off with some of the significant injuries. As you know, Saquon (Barkley) will be out for an extended period here. Heís getting a second opinion on his ankle. Most of the information you already know. Iím not breaking anything. Tae Davis is in the concussion protocol, and then (Alec) Ogletree with the hamstring. They didnít practice today. Then Russell Shepard with the foot, and Olsen Pierre just had some soreness from the game. Those are the injuries of note.
Weíre getting ready to play. I watched the game (Monday night). I think Washington tried to do all of the right things. The game was much closer than you might see by the score. Theyíre a good football team that weíre getting ready to play. I think Jay (Gruden) does a great job on offense. There were a lot of thingsÖ the pressure got to them just a little bit, but they were trying to do the right things against the coverage they were facing. I have a lot of respect for what (Coach Gruden) does on offense. Then on defense, they have a lot of very talented players that present problems in the front, as well as in the secondary. Then their (special) teams are very solid every year. I have a lot of respect for this group. We split with them last year. Itís going to be a challenge for us as they come to play us this Sunday. With that, Iíll take your questions.
Q: With Saquon, is that just standard operating procedure, or is it something that was concerning about the first one?
A: No. Thatís typical of what you see these days. Most often, guys get second opinions. Theyíre just not as public as this one is.
Q: Is he considering surgery at all?
A: I donít really have anything to add. You take in all of the information and weíll see what happens.
Q: When you lose your most dynamic offensive player, how does it impact everything going forward in terms of your preparation?
A: Well, we just keep going. We put Wayne Gallman in there, then we get ready to go and get the offense ready to play. Thatís the reality in this league. Itís not clichť, itís not coach speak. But it really is next man up. You donít cancel the games because one of your guys is not there.
Q: What is different about Wayne Gallmanís abilities and how youíll run certain offensive plays with him?
A: Heís kind of a twitchy guy. He does a good job of getting it up in the hole. He has good collision balance. Heís improved catching the football. Heís pretty good with our pass protection. Heís a good all-around player, and heís going to be asked to do more.
Q: You talked about the pressure that the Bears put on Washington. Obviously, you donít have Khalil Mack on your roster, but do you feel like you have the tools to do the same thing?
A: If you go by last weekís game, I thought we were more disruptive with the pass rush, especially in the second half. I thought our edge players last week had their best game. Well, really their best half in terms of getting pressure. Thatís what you need to have happen. Dexter Lawrence had his best game, which kind of creates pressure on the inside. Weíll just continue to get those guys better, and try to put the pressure we need on Case (Keenum). I have a lot of respect for Case. I was with him the one year we were in Minnesota, we went 13-3 and had the Minneapolis Miracle thingy. I have a lot of respect for Case. I know when Teddy (Bridgewater) and Sam (Bradford), when those guys got hurt and Case was there, he stepped in and he was a warrior. He was a significant reason why the Vikings that year won as many games as they did. I certainly know that he can play extremely well, because Iíve seen it firsthand.
Q: What, if anything, changes for Daniel (Jones) now that the opposition has an entire game, real, live, regular season action to look at?
A: I donít think it changes. I think the big thing for him is to just stay in the moment. Keep planning and preparing to play the next opponent like he does. He has to play well, and the players around him have to play well.
Q: Is it more of a challenge because not only is the mobility and everything on tape, but Jay (Gruden) obviously did work on him pre-draft, so he knows him pretty well. Whatís the challenge going from Sunday to this week?
A: We just have to stay in the moment and do the things we think work against the Redskins and try to put him in the best position we can to help him have success. Jay did a lot of work on him. We all did as offensive guys, as play-callers and quarterback guys. We all did all of our work on all of the quarterbacks, and so weíre all aware what we think their strengths and weaknesses are.
Q: Have you noticed anything new from the game until now to suggest that Daniel had a lot of success in the first game? Anything youíve noticed from him and his demeanor, the way he carries himself or anything like that?
A: Youíre asking if he has a big head? Is that what youíre asking? No. No. Not at all. I see the same player I saw last week preparing to play his first game.
Q: Do you see a change in his level of confidence?
A: I think itís hard to see by his demeanor if heís not confident about anything. That was what was great and on display last week was his toughness and his poise. Those are things we saw ahead of last weekís game. You just have to build on it. We all know this is a game of consistency. Sometimes itís four, sometimes itís six, sometimes itís seven, sometimes itís eight days, you play another one and you have to be at your best. Heís aware of that. He played a lot of football in college for a really, really fine coach (David Cutcliffe). He understands the process, and thatís part of his charm, too.
Q: They have a rookie quarterback on the bench who didnít play a lot of football in college. Dwayne Haskins obviously only played the one year. How much stock did you put into that experience when making that decision with Daniel as a three-year guy? Did you feel like he was much more ready than the other quarterbacks in the draft?
A: We felt like Daniel was the guy for us. We really, really liked Dwayne Haskins and what he had done in college. We had a very, very high opinion of him, and we spent a lot of time on him. We chose Daniel, but that doesnít mean that we didnít think very, very highly of Dwayne Haskins.
Q: Between now and Sunday, how will you address the running back position? Do you feel like you have to add someone behind Gallman?
A: Yeah, well weíre going to. Weíve got Jon Hilliman on our practice squad. Heís getting work at this point. Itís like any position. Youíre constantly looking for whatís the best fit. Sometimes itís a short-term answer, and then maybe as we move forward, there might be a longer-term. Weíll just have to see.
Q: Last week, Nate Solder really struggled with Shaq Barrett. This week, Ryan Kerrigan comes in. Heís pretty much a Giants killer. He has 10 career sacks against the Giants.
A: Thanks for reminding me. I was with the Eagles. He sacked us a lot, too. Every place Iíve been, heís sacked us. He sacked us in Minnesota, he sacked us everywhere.
Q: He seems to kick it up even more against the Giants. When you game plan now, is that a concern for you? Do you have to game plan for him?
A: Yeah. Obviously, weíre always aware of the guys that create the pressure. Obviously, heís been a very fine player for a very long time. Yeah, weíre aware of it, and we have to block him. There are tactics that will be revealed, but for the most part, everybody when theyíre one-on-one will have to do a good job of blocking their guy.
Q: When you spoke on Monday, it sounded like you were just caught up on Russell Shepard. Is that something that can be a long-term injury?
A: Weíll have to see. I donít know that right now. Itís a foot issue. But I canít tell you exactly.
Q: Is he here or does he have to go get tests?
A: Heís here right now. Youíre talking about Russell Shepard, right? Yeah, heís here.
Q: Is there anything ball security-wise with Daniel that concerns you and you can work on with him with specific drills?
A: The one time, he got tomahawked when he was getting ready to throw it. The ball security things, you can work on. Certainly, youíre always looking to step up in the pocket and do those things. Heís getting ready to launch a post and the protection kind ofÖ As they learn and get a feel for the full rush and all that, then they tend to step up just a little bit more. The ball security issues, certainly there is no excuse for it. We always work the drills, the two hands on the ball. Drills I learned back fromÖ They had quarterback drills from my Green Bay and 49ers days, and before they had computers, they were just copied. By the time I had gotten them, they were copied so many times that the papers were tipped. But it had all of those original drills with the ball security, two hands on the ball, things that we work on continually, and itís something thatís primary for the quarterback position.
Q: He completed 73% of his passes against pressure. I think his quarterback rating was like 132 against the blitz. How impressive is that, and how important is that for a quarterback to be that successful when teams bring extra pressure?
A: Itís very important because typically thatís happening in those third down situations. Theyíre not just going to stand back there and let you throw it. We realize that. Itís good. There are certain things that he did well. We have to just continue to build on them. Itís a one-game sample size. Weíre back to work trying to do Wednesday things, trying to get ready to play the Redskins.
Q: You had (Darius) Slayton on the field on that last drive, he made a big catch. What gave you the confidence because obviously he hadnít really had much experience to that point?
A: Well, we believe in him. The only thing thatís held him back to this point has been his injury, his hamstring. We got to the point, ĎHey, you play receiver. Get out there. Letís go.í He was part of that group.
Q: One of the reasons why you like Sterling (Shepard) so much is his blocking as a receiver. Can Slayton be that kind of blocker, too? We saw the one he had on (Evan) Engramís touchdown.
A: Yeah, I think so. He was running a route there. The awareness, as the ball cut behind him, to turn and blockÖ Listen. Unless youíre the quarterback, and it even happened once for him when we ran a reverse, blocking is part of your job description. It just is if youíre on offense. It seems pretty simple. So the receivers, there are times when they have to block the perimeter. The types of run youíre seeing now, the reduced, condensed-type formations in our league where they have to block more in the core. Itís just part of what they have to all do.
Q: Having coached Landon Collins last season, what do you expect from him Sunday?
A: I think heís a tough, physical guy. Last year, I gained an appreciation for Landon. He was a captain, and so we met every Wednesday morning. I got to know him pretty well. He was a valued member of our team. Now he plays for someone else, and we wish him well, just like anybody that leaves. But what I expect is for him to come and play hard and try to fight for his team.
Q: How much is he one player that you have to game plan around?
A: We have to certainly be aware of where he is. We have to know where heís at. We have an idea of where heís probably going to show up, but they change things up each week, so I donít know. Every week, you have something a little bit different. We just have to trust our rules and try to find him.