Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- October 31, 2019
Q: Is Sterling (Shepard) out of the (concussion) protocol?
A: Heís still in it. He was full, but until heís finally cleared, heís in (the protocol). Youíre either in or youíre out.
Q: It seems like thatís all thatís left though.
A: Weíll see. Again, until heís cleared fully by the people that can clear him, heís in theory in the protocol. Not in theory. Practically, heís in it.
Q: Iím just saying I know thereís some steps that guys have to take. You have to practice, get through the practice. Heís cleared those steps, itís just the doctor part now, I think?
A: I would assume so, yeah.
Q: What did you see out of Daniel (Jones) in Detroit? (inaudible)
A: Daniel Jones? I thought he did a lot of good things. I think he took a step forward in his development. He made some really good throws, did some good things in the pocket. He got hit and went backwards on that first sack, whatever that bad play was. But he stayed in the moment and kept playing. I think he just reinforced for me that heís tough, resilient, tries to do the right thing and has an aggressive approach to playing the position.
Q: Do you get a tangible feel from the guys in the room about how excited they are about how he has developed? (inaudible)
A: I think all of the players want to be surrounded by good players. I think thatís fair to say. So, when they see a young player thatís making improvements and has displayed an ability to at least perform well, Iím sure thatís uplifting for them.
Q: What does Saquon (Barkley) need to do in terms of pass protection? It seemed like (inaudible)
A: I wouldnít say that. In that case there, the guy kind of delayed blitzed on him. He took off. Thatís what happened there. Heís physical in his protection. I think he understands what heís doing. He just has to continue to improve like everybody does.
Q: The Dolphins and the Steelers wouldnít let their players wear microphones during Monday Night Football. Will you let your players wear microphones?
A: Iíd prefer they donít. Iím already on record, Iím not a big fan. Iím not a mic fan. Pat (Hanlon) teases me for that. Not Mike, the name Mike, either.
Q: So, when ESPN comes and asks you, youíre going to say no?
A: Iím going to say no.
Q: Does the buck stop with you on that one?
A: Weíll find out.
Q: In the past, what has your answer been?
A: In the past, my answer has beenÖ They will have micíd certain players. But in this case here, Iím going to say no.
Q: Because of the (Sam) Darnold thing?
A: Because, first off, I believe that a lot of the communication that happens game day and in the heat of the moment, that should be a little bit sacred. Thatís why I donít like it.
Q: Was the Darnold thing a tipping point for you?
A: Well, I think it brought light to a problem that could occur.
Q: In the last three games, Dak (Prescott) against you guys has gone something like 68-of-101 for 1,053 (yards) and nine touchdowns. Is he just a tough matchup for you guys?
A: Ouch. Well yeah, heís a really good player. Thatís something that we have to get fixed this week when we play them. Heís an outstanding player. He has outstanding players around him. He has people that will block for him. Oh by the way, when it breaks down, he can run. So, heís a challenge, and certainly, thatís a big part of what we have to do to defend them is kind of keep him in check.
Q: Why do you think itís been such a matchup against you guys?
A: We just have to get it fixed. I donít know. I think heís had success against other teams, as well. But just from our standpoint, we need to get it fixed.
Q: You brought in a left-footed punter (Sean Smith) for the practice squad, obviously to get ready for Monday. Whatís the biggest difference for how the ball comes off for a returner to make that adjustment
A: Well, it spins opposite. That goes without saying. Depending on where the tip of the ball is, up or down, how it drops away from you or carries away from you, is absolutely opposite of a right-footed punter. Thatís why in this case, we brought in Smith to simulate that.
Q: Weíve seen Russell Shepard on the sideline the last couple of days. Is the plan to designate him to return?
A: Weíll see. I mean, heís just going through it. At some point, weíll possibly start his clock here. But I canít tell you that at this point. But heís in a position where he could if we want to.
Q: Did Sterling look rusty at all today coming back in his first full practice?
A: No, because in theory heís been practicing. No, I wouldnít say heís rusty. Heís been practicing all along here in the protocol.
Q: We asked you about Dak. How important are matchups between quarterbacks and division opponents? Iím asking because this is Danielís first game against them, a divisional opponent.
A: Well, I think itís important. As you go along and you play the team multiple times, then you get a feel for them, they get a feel for you. But youíre right, this is the first time theyíre playing against Daniel as our quarterback. He actually did take a couple snaps, but nothing of note in the first matchup. But heís on tape having played the games heís played, so Iím sure thatís what theyíre looking to try to defend.
Q: Is starting against the Cowboys a big step for a rookie quarterback, or starting against a big division foe like that? Is it different than just any other start?
A: Heís played against the Redskins, a division foe, and heís played against some really outstanding defenses along the way here. Heís played on the road, heís played at home. Heís just clicking them all off. This just happens to be the first time heís playing against the Cowboys, who happen to be a division foe and an outstanding defense.
Q: Where is Grant Haley, and does that necessitate you making a Sam Beal move?
A: Grant Haley is practicing. I think his knee was a little sore, but he pretty much did everything today.
Q: What do you think is the ceiling on the offense with all of the skill guys healthy again?
A: Well, weíll find out. I think we all need to go out and play well together. Again, this is probably the first time theyíll all sort of be out there together. Our new version of things. Itís important that they just go out and play, do their jobs and try to execute. If the ball is thrown your way, catch it. If youíre supposed to block somebody, block him. If we hand it to you and you run with it, make yards. I donít mean to try to minimize it or boil it down too much for you, but they just need to do their jobs.