Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 18, 2019
Opening Statement: If you have any questions regarding any of (the injuries), I’ll try to answer them. There’s nothing new, other than this is a good first day back. They’ve been gone for a couple of days. They practiced fast today, which is good. They’ll have their normal day off tomorrow, then we go back to work officially getting ready for Chicago on Wednesday. I’ll take your questions.
Q: Any of the guys that were in the (concussion) protocol come out of it? Sterling (Shepard) or Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins)?
A: No. They’re still going through it, so we’ll see what the week brings. But we’re encouraged that they’ll make it through.
Q: Any update on Mike Remmers?
A: He practiced today.
Q: Where’s Evan (Engram) at in his process?
A: He’s out of the boot and he’s trying to get back going again.
Q: Has he been running yet? Is he at that point?
A: A little bit. We’ll just have to see what the week brings. I really don’t want to try to guess on who’s going to be here on some of these guys that are coming back from injury. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Q: Obviously, injuries forced some lineup changes on the o-line last game. Any of those potentially permanent, or do you think you’ll just go back once everyone’s healthy?
A: No, I think if everyone’s healthy, they go back to their spots. But until that time, there will be guys in there playing.
Q: Did Nick Gates kind of show you that he could start, and that you can have confidence in him as a starter?
A: Yeah, he did a good job. We anticipated that he would go in and battle. He’s played guard and he’s played tackle for us in the practice settings and certainly the preseason games, so we felt like if he went in, he would battle like he did.
Q: If Nate (Solder) doesn’t clear, does Nick move to the left side or do you put Remmers there or what?
A: Yeah, we’ll wait to let that reveal itself. We’ll see.
Q: Why not give Nick a shot, though, if he showed you that he could do well? He’s a younger player, kind of see where you are moving forward.
A: We’ll just see. He may get a shot. Let’s just wait and see what the week brings.
Q: Did Daniel (Jones) come back sharp from the bye? Did you put him through anything to check that or to see how he’s progressed or what he worked on?
A: Yeah, he was sharp. He did a good job in the meetings. He completed a bunch of passes out here today, checked us in and out of a couple of runs, so yeah, he looked good.
Q: What did you see when you went back and looked at yourself during the bye week?
A: I see what I’ve been talking about all along. There are stretches of games where there’s a lot of really good football that we’re playing, and then there are mistakes that we make that for a team like us, mistakes that cost you to lose games. The challenge is to become more consistent in all areas. That’s sort of what I saw.
Q: Do you anticipate making any changes? I know the bye week is a chance where you can revisit schemes, personnel, or do you kind of just keep rolling with what you have?
A: Well, you never just keep rolling. You’re always trying to do the things your players do well, and do more of that and less of the other. I think that’s fair to say. As you watch trends in the league or you’re watching opponents against who you’re going to play that next week, you can start to see the things that trend that are good against that opponent. Then you just have to try to do the things that your team matches up well with that opponent doing.
Q: What is logistically reasonable to change up, though, on your bye week with regards to scheme and even personnel? Is it possible to make sort of overarching changes or is it sort of like minor tweaks in such a short period of time?
A: Yeah, big time changes… Let’s think about it for a minute. What does a bye week entail? You come back from your previous game, you clean that up, you have a couple days of practice and then the league mandates that they’re off for four or five days. Then you get ready for your next opponent. The important thing is to go back and look at the things and try to clean up the things that you’re not doing well, and keep building on the things that you’re good at. I guess my point is there’s not as much time as everybody thinks to make these wholesale changes that sometimes people think may happen.
Q: When you say things that you’re not doing well that you want to clean up, can you give us an example of one thing that you’re looking at? Maybe third down runs or third down whatever.
A: Along the way, you’re playing good football and all of a sudden, you give up a third down. Or you’re playing good football and you give up a big play. Or all of a sudden, you’re moving the ball and somebody misses a block and you have a sack fumble. Those are the kinds of things you have to clean up. That’s just doing the same, being consistently good throughout. I think those are the things that when you look back on it, you say, ‘Okay, this is the handful of things that created a bad situation for us.’ Then you do what you can to eliminate those.
Q: From your experience in the league with bye weeks, have you found that more often than not, the teams are sluggish coming back out of the bye, and if so, how do you guard against it?
A: I don’t know that. I think each team is different. I think it depends on the players. We obviously have to start faster in our games. We’ve had a couple games where we’ve gotten down in the last month. We can’t do that. I don’t know if you guard against that. You just have to come out and play better early. I wouldn’t say there’s any trend after the bye, before the bye or anything like that.
Q: When you’re dealing with a quarterback, when does his rookieness end, I guess? Daniel’s had eight starts here. Do you consider him a rookie through the next six games?
A: Yeah, I mean he’s a rookie. He keeps fighting through it and he keeps improving. I think he’s doing a lot of really good things. He’s like everybody in that he has to clean up the mistakes. He’ll be a rookie throughout the season. I don’t think he’ll be able to fully internalize what’s happening to him until he has time away here in the offseason where he’ll look back and say, ‘Wow, what was that?’ I think all rookies go through that. But at this point, he’s in it and he’s competing to help us win games. Yeah, I guess chronologically, he’s a rookie.
Q: We saw Big George (Asafo-Adjei) out here on the bike. Is there any optimism that he could get snaps later in the season if he progresses well?
A: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s his first day back. He’s making good progress, but we’ll just have to see. Put him through the paces here and see how he does.