Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 2, 2019
Opening Statement: Sterling Shepard and Corey Ballentine have cleared the concussion protocol, so theyíll be available and ready to go.
Q: How big is it to get (Sterling) Shep back?
A: Itís always big when you get your players back. Heís looking forward to getting out there and competing.
Q: Is it crazy to you that it will be game nine and the first time youíll have (Evan) Engram, Shepard, (Saquon) Barkley and (Golden) Tate together?
A: Thatís just the way it worked out. Weíll see how we do.
Q: Do you have to do anything with him to keep a closer eye on him during the game with the concussions and the history and all?
A: No. Heíll be out there playing. Itís a case for all players really. If theyíre exposed or something happens to them, then we have people upstairs that see it. We try to see it on the field. A lot of times, players get banged around. Weíll just put him out there and let him play.
Q: How did Leonard (Williams) kind of assimilate this week, and how much does the fact that he just saw Dallas a few weeks ago help for you guys?
A: Well, from a matchup standpoint, that helps. The way that he assimilated for us was heís used to playing in a five-on-the-line defense that Todd Bowles drafted him to play in, and then he did play in for many years. I felt like he jumped in andÖ he probably got as fast of a start as anybody that you would bring in at the deadline.
Q: How much does having him there kind of help somebody like Dexter (Lawrence) or B.J. (Hill) or the guys next to him because now thereís somebody else to command that attention from the linemen?
A: Everybody has to block their guys, and everybody has to defeat their blocks. But I think what he brings to the room is hereís a very experienced guy thatís been to a Pro Bowl thatís also very young. Heís much like them, just a couple years ahead of them. Heís very accomplished. Heís practiced well, and I anticipate heíll play well in the game. I think when you add a player like that to any unit, it helps boost the guys.
Q: Any decision on Sam Beal?
A: Not yet, no.
Q: We know you donít have to do it until Wednesday. Is there a chance heíd be ready before then?
A: Thereís a possibility. More likely next week.
Q: Back to Leonard. The criticisms of him were everybody who watches film or watches the games see how hard the guy works. He always seems to be on the cusp of making impact plays but the sacks werenít there. How do you measure that sack wise?
A: Listen, you can pressure the quarterback and not get the actual sack. As Iíve already mentioned, when I watched the game against Jacksonville, I saw him sack the quarterback. It just didnít go down as a sack. I think you can have an impact as a rusher and have a big impact on the quarterback if you get inside push. Heís an interior defensive lineman. I think itís just the people that crunch the numbers that probably have issue with him more than the people that coach the game and watch the game.
Q: How disruptive are their linebackers? (Leighton) Vander Esch and (Jaylon) Smith, the way they can really just be all over the field?
A: Very disruptive because they can run real well. Thatís part of what their defense is all about is getting off blocks quickly and then running to the football. I think all linebackers have to do that. Certainly, thatís part of the trademark of who they are as linebackers.
Q: What do you like about the emotion that Jabrill (Peppers) plays with during the games and the way heís able to harness it?
A: I donít know about harnessing it. I like it.
Q: Channel it, maybe?
A: Yeah, channel it, thatís good. I think itís positive emotion because I think that he loves to play the game. Thatís what you want in a football player. We see the same thing out here on the practice field thatís probably pretty evident on game day. Thatís what you want. You want guys that love to play the game, and I think that can be said about him.
Q: How much more challenging is it to stop (Amari) Cooper when heís playing in the slot, and maybe double teaming him out of there?
A: Heís a challenge whether heís inside or outside. How we choose to cover him, that will reveal itself. I think because of who he is as a player, and they do use him inside and outside, we have to have a plan for both.
Q: Does it make it more difficult to double guys out of the slot though?
A: No, actually itís easier to double guys in the slot because you can do it with two inside players. The whole doubling concept, there are ways to do an inside guy and an outside guy.
Q: You mentioned earlier this week how it seems like thereís always rumors about Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins), and he is still here. Anything different from him on the practice field, good or bad, this week, or same old guy?
A: No, and I saw the same guy leading up to the deadline, too. Again, I think I commented on that earlier in the week. Thatís more outside conversation. We try not to make it inside conversation. Along the way, I watch the demeanor of all the players as they practice and work. I didnít see anything different in how he prepared for this game.
Q: How much of different does the Dallas offense look with Kellen Moore calling the plays than in the past?
A: Well, it was different initially. I think now that theyíve played half a season, heís done a really good job. Theyíve added some plays to their offense that they didnít run a year ago to complement what they have as personnel in terms of their quarterback, how they use the running back, how they choose to throw it to the receivers, and I think heís done an excellent job of running their offense.