Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- October 24, 2019
Q: Weíve asked you about ball security. Is there anything you specifically worked on this week to try to clean that up?
A: Well, we work each week on two hands on the ball, just like every other team does. I think more importantly than that is getting the ball out faster, before they have a chance to swat at it. There were a couple of times we could have done that. You canít turn the ball over. When youíre the guy that holds the ball every play, then you have to make sure youíre aware of that. Itís not just the quarterback. Itís all of us. We have to have plays where the ball is getting out, getting open on time, protecting and all of those kinds of things. So yeah, weíre working hard on trying to play keep away with the ball.
Q: When you say get the ball out faster, is that pre-snap that helps that, or is it youíre working on him mechanically getting the ball out faster, or just processing information?
A: I think itís all of the above. Weíll have plays where the ball comes out fast, our quick passing game. Then sometimes if we have plays where the receivers are more down the field where by nature, itís not quick game, then you still want to stay on rhythm, whether or not, as we know, you kind of go through your progressions. If oneís not open, get to number two quicker and then get to your outlet quicker. Things like that.
Q: Iím obviously asking this because itís kind of a big topic in the NFL right now. Do you with your quarterbacks, here or other stops, use the term Ďghosts,í and what does it mean when you say it, Ďseeing ghostsí?
A: Oh no. Iím not sure. No, we donít use that.
Q: Youíve never used that term?
Q: How big of a jump is it from knowing whatís wrong to fixing whatís wrong? Daniel (Jones) says, ĎI canít turn the ball over. I have to get the ball out quicker.í Itís fine to say it, butÖ
A: Sure. Just kind of like we were talking about two questions ago, I think that itís a fine line. Itís easy to say, ĎYeah, get the ball out faster.í But there are times, and thatís whatís really cool I think about this position, where you have to hang on to that first guy because if you do, heís going to come open and itís going to be a big play. Then thereís a fine line of, ĎHey, I canít, even though I know heís going to come open, I have to get the ball out because otherwise Iím going to get sacked or the ball is going to get stripped.í Those are constant throughout your career as a quarterback and as a coach. There are so many fine lines in that regard, and so we just keep trying to preach awareness. We talk a little bit greenlight. I think Iíve talked about that in the past, greenlight looks. When you get the look that weíve talked about all week, and itís the look that we want, sometimes you might want to hang on it. But if itís all of a sudden not the look, donít spend that much time with the first guy. Get it to the second guy or the third guy. I think itís constant, and I think with young guysÖ But I will say this. Itís the same thing with older guys in my experience. You just kind of keep preaching it, keep talking about it and good or bad, you learn from your experience.
Q: How much of that is a product of a young quarterback wanting to make a play on every play, and not wanting to check down or give up? Do you have to kind of drill that in to Danielís head?
A: Yeah, I think it is, probably more so overall. But like I said, you still see it in some guys that are older, that are experienced, that have won Super Bowls and things like that. Guys trying to make a play. We were watching a quarterback on tape the other day that was outside the pocket. There was really kind of nothing open. He ended up throwing the ball away, but he took a hit and he got knocked on his can. Where as if he had just thrown it away earlier, you save a hit. But heís trying to make a play late in the down. Again, thatís a fine line.
Q: How do you get a guy up to that? Next Gen Stats has Daniel as the most aggressive quarterback in the league, but then you have him holding the ball. There has to be a fine line somewhere, right?
A: Yeah, thatís exactly right. Again, you coach off experience from your own game experience, watching quarterbacks when youíre watching the team of the defense that youíre playing. Again, you play percentages in regard to, ĎHey, this is the look we want, and itís a one-on-one situation. Just give him a little more time.í A lot of it too is feeling pressure. You want to see coverage, feel pressure. That, I think, comesÖ Each quarterback gets better with experience in that regard too. Those are the things that you try to simulate in practice as much as you can. But obviously, you canít because the only way to do that is to go full speed, and because of the physical nature of our game, as we know, we canít do that.
Q: Do you need to put more time in this week with Daniel, with the line, with everyone on offenseÖ The indoors, itís pretty loud in that building. Itís really the first time that youíre in an indoor situation. More time spent on that you think in practice?
A: A little bit more. We have crowd noise out there during the course (of practice). But we talk more, like you said, in meetings on hand signals from quarterbacks to receivers throughout the offense and communicating. We talk about even little things as far as after the play is over, getting back to the huddle quicker, staying close to the huddle so youíre there when the play is getting sent in. Youíre right there, you can echo it. We also have things where if all of a sudden you canít hear, as a safety valve, he has plays in his mind that he can go to. Thatís usually the last resort. But yeah, all of those things come up, especially when itís in a dome.
Q: What is it about Golden Tate? Heís become sort of the security blanket, or the favorite target, for Daniel.
A: Just in general, I think that heís, as weíve seen before we brought him in here and when we were evaluating, I think as everyone has seen, he has such a knack for understanding defenses, winning on one-on-one situations, being in the right spot at the right time. Thatís kind of been exciting for us to see as heís come in, now that he has a couple of games under his belt. Hopefully, and I think he will continue. Heíll help us and weíll all continue to play better and win games.
Q: Your two tackles have allowed I think 50 pressures so far. Why do you think theyíre struggling on the edges, and is there something you guys can do to give some help?
A: We, obviously, look individually at how certain players are playing. We also look at scheme and maybeÖ There are a lot of times, too, that kind of just show up on stats where it kind of looks like itís a pressure by a certain guy but itís really not. Itís caused by maybe something over here, or itís caused by the quarterback holding onto the ball, or itís caused by maybe not a great play. We kind of evaluate. We talk specifically. But kind of in general, yeah, you do that if you have certain guys that are struggling. You want to have the ability to help them out. Thatís kind of, in general, not necessarily this week Iím saying. But just in general, you want to make sure youíre doing things scheme wise and matchup wise that give him, as well as everybody else, the best chance to go play well and play fast.