Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- October 23, 2019
Opening Statement: Saquon (Barkley) was limited today. Just some game soreness. I expect him to play this week though. Iíll answer that question for you. (Corey) Ballentine didnít go. Heís still in the (concussion) protocol. (Cody) Latimer went. He had just a little thigh bruise. If thereís anybody else you have questions on, Iíll try to answer it. Obviously, (we are) buried in the preparation for Detroit. I think theyíre an outstanding football team. They know how to score points. They have really good, talented players on offense. Theyíre very physical on defense. They challenge really upfront and in the backend, so we have to do a good job of challenging them and doing what we can to get the ball in the end zone. Then we have to get positive contributions from the special teams, like we have for most of the year, and try to eliminate the bad plays there. Even though weíre playing the Lions, a lot of this comes down to itís all about us, making sure we play consistently physical and do all the right things. Iíll take your questions.
Q: Sterling (Shepard) is still in the protocol, right?
A: Oh yeah, Iím sorry. Yeah, Sterlingís still in the protocol.
Q: Is he feeling better? I know you guys are being cautious with him. Is he showing signs of improvement?
A: Yeah, heís been out there practicing pretty much full. But heís still in the protocol. Thatís kind of a unique answer to the question, but thatís where heís at right now.
Q: How quickly can (Deone) Bucannon get acclimated here? He obviously knows the system.
A: Yeah, he knows the system enough to get up and running quickly. Weíll try to get him ready to go for this week if we can.
Q: What did you like about him? Why did you bring him in?
A: Well, heís tough, heís physical, he has some familiarity. He played at a high level in Bettchís (Defensive Coordinator James Bettcherís) defense, so we felt like heíd be a good fit. Another guy to add to the inside linebacker group.
Q: Why now? He was available last week, too, I think. What made now the right time?
A: Because as we go through it, we just felt like it was the right time.
Q: Do you think that he can help out with your coverage in the second level?
A: Yeah, thatís why heís here. We feel like heíll understand where he fits on the run, and then he has the ability to cover.
Q: Whatís your understanding of why things didnít work out for him in Tampa? He had some familiarity there too.
A: I donít know that. I couldnít answer that question. We obviously have coaches in our building that have familiarity with him. He was available and healthy. We worked him out and we liked him, so we brought him in.
Q: How much does that resonate, when Bettcher has a player, or you or (Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula) or anybody has a player that theyíve worked with and you guys talk about it, that you can kind of vouch for him because you know him?
A: I think the more you know about people, the better the situation is, to the good and to the bad. This is just one of many players that weíve brought in. Itís probably a coincidence that he and Bettch have crossed paths. Obviously, Bettch had some conversation with us as to what was good and bad about him as a player. The positives and the negatives. Then you factor it in and you make whatís best in terms of a decision for your roster.
Q: How can he help Alec (Ogletree)?
A: I do think the inside backers work in pairs. I think in terms of their run fits and who theyíre covering, much like the safeties work in pairs. I donít know. A veteran presence in there, obviously. If you believe in experience, thatís certainly something that might help. Thatís not to minimize the play of the other guys there. Itís just the guy that we added to that group.
Q: When you give up eight sacks in a game, itís going to shine the light on the offensive line. Overall through seven games, have they met your expectations? Have they underperformed in terms of your expectations?
A: Iíve mentioned it before, itís like stopping the run. Itís a team thing. Avoiding sacks is a team thing, and there were a few of those sacks that you would have to attribute to Dan (Jones) trying to make a play downfield and holding onto the ball. One was on a screen. There are reasons why they happen. I think itís fair to say we need to do everything better on offense than we did last week. But in terms of our expectations, weíve fallen short and we just need to be more consistent in all areas.
Q: It seems as if the Patriots and the Cardinals both played a lot of two-deep, shell coverage against Daniel. Patrick Peterson said that they saw that on film and thought that was something that they could exploit. What makes it so difficult for a young quarterback, and how do you kind of get him over learning and diagnosing those sort of things?
A: Yeah, I mean I donít thinkÖ Itís good when they play shell coverage for some things. Then shell coverage is not good for other things, especially when youíre trying to come back and get balls down the field maybe. I donít know what heís referring to there. I think quarterbacks have to diagnose all of the secondary contours, whether itís one-deep zone or man, two-deep zone, two-deep man, quarters, inside rotation, corner cushion. The quarterbacks have to diagnose all of that. Thatís just something that they have to do.
Q: How do you expect Daniel to respond coming off this disappointing game for him?
A: Well, the disappointment that he should feel should be in the ball security piece. We have to secure the football. The turnovers are the thing that we obviously have to get a handle on. There were throws in the game, in less than ideal conditions to throw, that he made some really good throws. He made some good reads. There were some things that he missed that heíll continue to improve on. I havenít seen any change in his preparation from the lead up to Tampa, the lead up to Washington, and then the last few.
Q: DPI (defensive pass interference) challenges. Youíre 0-for-4 this year. I think since Week 3, 27 of 28 calls on the field were upheld. Is it getting to the point, I saw what happened with (Janoris) Jenkins last week, it looked like it was nothing there and they still called interference. Is it starting to get to a point now where thereís no point in even challenging DPI unless itís like a Saints-like infraction?
A: I donít know that. I trust that the system is in place to help fix errors. I guess thereís the human element involved with whatís egregious. I think as a coach, when itís a play thatís a big chunk of yardage that could potentially eliminate a score if itís changed, then you consider it. I think last week, there were four challenges and none of them were overturned. I get the data. But when youíre out there competing, if itís one in five and itís a bigÖ I still believe in the system, that itís thereÖ I think what happens though isÖ Weíll just have to see how it plays out in the long run. But to answer your question, I still think itís worth it if you feel like you have a chance to get it. Now we do know theyíre very unlikely to change it. I think itís like 17% in total. I understand that.
Q: You guys are eighth in the league in sack percentage in terms of your defense. What have you thought of your pass rushers? That was obviously a big storyline coming into this year. How have you been effective? Whatís been your assessment?
A: I think the guys on the edge have probably exceeded what the outside expectations were. I think I mentioned it throughout, I thought Markus Golden was a guy that has sack potential. I really felt like Lorenzo (Carter) was going to get better and have production. Weíve got guys on defense thatÖX-Man (Oshane Ximines). You talk about just the edges, and then some of the interior stuff has been good, too, with some of the younger players. I donít know what to make of it other than weíre comparing something now that was the perception of those in the offseason just looking at the roster. I donít know what to tell you there.
Q: When coaches look at teams, they always say, ĎNext upí when thereís an injury. When you look at the Lions and they trade a guy whoís a starter, do you sit there and say, ĎWell, heís next up, letís test him,í or do you just go with your game plan?
A: Your game plan always involves testing guys. Thatís just the way it is. Every team is game plan specific in terms of trying to do the things that work against the team youíre playing against. Thatís part of it. I canít speak to the trade thing. That had nothing to do with me. But theyíre going to put the next man up, and weíll just try to do research on the guy thatís playing, see what heís good at and what he doesnít.
Q: I donít know if you saw this but the Jets, they were upset with a micíd up comment that got out from Sam Darnold. He said he was seeing ghosts on the field. They thought it was unflattering. NFL Films cleared that. Where do you fall as a coach having these discussions with players knowing things are micíd up on what gets out, what doesnít get out, whatís appropriate for that stuff?
A: Well, you might expect my answer when it comes to mics. Iím not fond of them. I think there are things that get said and corrected during the game that should be internal in my opinion. I know thereís aÖ Outside, itís kind of interesting and nice for broadcasts to see that stuff. Itís hard to play quarterback in this league. Heís a tough, young man. But if you ask me my opinion about mics, Iím not fond of it. Plus, when you have a mic, then some of what youíre communicating at the line of scrimmage now becomes public record. Thatís just my opinion of that. What happened in the game, I donít know.
Q: When you look at Daniel Jonesí ball security issues, how much of it is technique versus not having a good feel for the pressure around him, and if the pressure is whatís maybe causing more of these, how do you simulate that in practice knowing that he canít be hit, he canít really be touched. So, how do you go from that?
A: Well, we do work on it. We practice it in drill work. Weíre constantly talking about two hands on the ball in the pocket. One of the sacks was him holding onto it, trying toÖ Saquon was breaking late on a screen, and heís holding it, holding it, holding it just with the idea that heís going to (throw it to Saquon), and then he had it knocked out. In all scenarios, itís always super important to have two hands on the ball when youíre in the pocket because you canít always count on the fact that they are blocked for a very, very long time. Thatís just stuff you work on. Itís part of what a young quarterback goes through. As time goes on, that gets better. But obviously, we want it to get better fast.
Q: Are you comfortable with where you and your group are with in-game adjustments? I ask that noting that the (Chase) Edmonds runs had some similarities, and Chandler Jones was obviously a problem all game.
A: I am. We constantly make adjustments. We change the protection frequently. We do things all the time. In terms of the runs, they were familiar but not the same. They happened in ways that if thereís somebody that made a mistake, it may not be the same guy each time. But youíre constantly looking to adjust, which you do.
Q: Darius Slayton played all but, I think, two offensive snaps for you guys on Sunday. What have you seen from him since training camp that has him on such an upward trajectory?
A: Heís obviously playing more. Heís healthy. We donít have as many wideouts as we would have in someÖ I think heís doing a good job. Heís getting better. Heís found a way to make some plays. I think Daniel likes throwing to him. He trusts that heís going to be where heís supposed to be. Again, heís another young player thatís out there. He sees things each week that heís maybe seeing for the first time. The fact that heís getting a lot of reps will help him get better faster.
Q: What did you think of the promotion of Kyle (Shurmur) out in Kansas City?
A: Yeah, thatís good. Iím happy for him. Maybe he wonít be charging us for Uber drivers now. He can buy his own Ubers. No, Iím happy for him. Thatís good. Get an opportunity. Heís up. If he gets in the game, Iím sure heíll do a good job.