Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- November 27, 2019
Opening Statement: I think you were made aware of the injury report. We still have Rhett (Ellison) and Evan (Engram), and then Jabrill (Peppers) and Golden (Tate) from last week’s game. Those guys, we’ll see if they can make it back and we’ll move on. Getting ready for the Packers. They’re an outstanding team and it’s going to be a big challenge. I’ll take your questions.
Q: How’s Evan doing?
A: He’s still on the report, so we’ll just see. We’ll just have to see.
Q: Is he running and cutting?
A: Yeah, I mean he’s making progress. But we’ll see if we have enough time with regard to this game.
Q: We’ve talked a lot about (Aldrick) Rosas, but what about (Zak) DeOssie? It seems like a lot of Aldrick’s misses are off rolling snaps or off-center snaps. Where is he at right now?
A: Well, you know, snap, hold, kick. It’s a coordinated effort. I think there are areas this year where we could have been better in. Obviously, the snap and then the kick. But we’re working on being consistent. It’s just like anything that you do in football. You just have to keep working on it.
Q: What was the thinking in bringing in a bunch of kickers yesterday?
A: Just kicking the tires on guys, just to see what’s available, guys that are out there. That’s all.
Q: If Peppers can’t go, do you figure (Julian) Love will be back there, like he was in Sunday’s game?
A: Yeah. We’ll have a combination with Love back there, Michael Thomas. We’ll fill in. I thought Love did a good job with his first extended action last week. He’s displayed a lot of the things that we thought he might have. We’ll just try to build on that if for some reason Jabrill can’t make it.
Q: You’ve said a couple times that it was pre-planned to do the (DeAndre) Baker (Sam) Beal thing. What did you like about that when you actually saw it?
A: Well, it was good to see Beal on the field. His first action, so to speak, playing defense. He played the week before, but extended and planned. He did a good job. What I liked about it? I liked seeing… they’re young players, and if we add Love, we have another rookie out there. You can make the case that really Sam is a rookie. Last year was like year zero for him, because he didn’t get a chance to compete at all. But he competed. First, he got lined up properly. He knew, generally speaking, what to do and he competed. It’s always good to see a young player get out there and get something done.
Q: Do you expect to stick with that rotation?
A: Yeah, they’re both going to play. So, probably we’ll stick with it.
Q: Kareem Martin, he was out there today. Is he somebody that you’re thinking about…
A: Yeah, we started his clock in terms of getting him ready to go. He’s out there practicing for the first time. We’ll see how he responded. Certainly, Ronnie (Barnes) and these guys will see how he did physically from that. Then we’ll just kind of keep him going. He’ll be available to us, I think, in the next three weeks.
Q: With the Beal and Baker rotation, obviously, there’s a benefit to get Beal on the field. Did you gain any benefit with DeAndre, maybe having his snaps decrease in a sense? Did you see anything different from him?
A: No. I think it was good to get Beal on the field. DeAndre… It’s always good when there’s a competitive setting, too. I think I mentioned it earlier in the week on the conference call, but when he was out there, he competed hard. When he wasn’t in there, he was standing there, watching and in-tune with what was going on. Hey, they’re young players. There’s a lot to learn for all of them. We’ll keep them all going.
Q: We’ve talked a lot about the running game, or the lack of it moving as well as it can. I’ve talked to the linemen before and they said, ‘Eli (Manning) always put us in the right spot to get us going.’ Does Daniel (Jones) not do that as well, or is he learning that?
A: No. We have run plays and adjustments. Daniel’s done what those guys said Eli did for them. I don’t think that’s the issue.
Q: We obviously know Aaron Rodgers is a great player. But when you look at him, what is it that he does that sort of separates him and makes him so difficult to defend?
A: It always starts with these guys that have those off-schedule plays that end up becoming explosive gains. I often refer to them as ’60-yard check-downs,’ and they have ways of getting them. They get you offsides and they all take off, and he’ll throw it deep. He does a really good job if the rush goes beyond him of sliding up, staying alive and then finding somebody downfield. Those off-schedule plays, guys that can do that, that’s hard on a defense because you have to play defense all over the field the full down. Then he also does a really good job at times of getting the ball and dealing the ball quickly so that you can’t get to him. Then he’s obviously really good at all of the other elements of playing quarterback.
Q: Why was Love ready to play last week but not before that?
A: He was ready to play. He was ready to play, and we just made a decision coming off the bye week that it was time. That’s all.
Q: You mentioned offsides. That’s obviously something Rodgers likes to do. He had three of them last week. What do you do… How do you practice that?
A: You practice it, so we try to get them to jump offsides until they don’t.
Q: You can’t just have a special period for that, right, because then obviously they know it’s coming? Do you sprinkle them in throughout practice, maybe more during that week?
A: Yeah. Anytime you work on anything, you’re always trying to fix the mistakes from the week before because teams will try to exploit that. Obviously, that’s something that they do anyway. That’s always part of the training, is making sure that we’re not affected by the quarterback’s cadence.
Q: When you drafted Saquon (Barkley), you guys liked him as a player. But there was more to that, too. You talked last year a lot about his spirit. With all of this losing, do you have any concern that that spirit is taking a hit, that he might be diminished a little bit from all the losing?
A: No, because I think he’s a young player, and he’s grinding through the season. A lot of things went well for him last year, and he’s grinding through this season. I think there’s a lot to be learned from that. We all grind through it. At times, it’s about perseverance and trying to get it right until you can push it over the top and win consistently. That’s where we’re at right now. I think we all understand that. I think that’s something that we can be thankful for, and this is the time of year… By the way, Happy Thanksgiving. I guess we’re not going to be meeting tomorrow, so make sure I get that out. These guys know how to persevere. We’re young and we’ve lost a couple of close games because of critical errors that we need to eliminate. They get that. They see that. But they understand the perseverance part of pushing through it, and I think Saquon is learning that as well. I don’t think he’s any different than any young player that’s out there.
Q: We’ve talked a lot about Markus Golden as a pass-rusher. The play he made against the run on that third down to get you guys the ball back, maybe we don’t appreciate that enough. Is he a really complete edge rusher in terms of playing the run, too?
A: We feel like he’s a three-down player if that’s what you mean. He’s very active. He’s very tough. He has good instincts. He’s not as big as some of the guys, but he has a way of having an impact on the run game like he did there. If you don’t know him, as you get to know him, you’ll know he’s a very tough, competitive, spirited guy. I think he’s been a really good addition to our team.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you see out of this Packers defense?
A: They tend to be a little bit multiple in how they line up. They play just about every coverage concept. They have some talent, especially on the edges. They added the Smith’s (Preston, Za’Darius), and those guys can wreck a game if we don’t block them properly. I think they’re a very good defense and I think they’re… they can sneak up on you and make a play. But they can also do a good job of getting you off the field on third down. The longer the yardage on third down, the more it plays into their hands.
Q: Kaden Smith, what did you see from him?
A: I thought his first outing was pretty good. We liked him from the get-go. He was a guy we liked last year in the draft. The 49ers picked him up, and then when he was available, we wanted to make him a part of our team. He has good instincts, he’s tough. It wasn’t too big for him. Anytime you put a rookie in there for the first time, you wonder… You have all these things you think about a young man. Then you put him in there, you wonder if it’s going to be too big for him and it wasn’t. You walk away from that and say, ‘He did a lot of really good things. There are some things he could do better. But his involvement in the game, he handled it really well so you can build on that.’
Q: When you look at their game on (Sunday) night, do you sit there and say, ‘They got beat by a good margin, their confidence maybe took a little hit’? Or do you say, ‘They’re going to come in here angry’? Or you just throw out the game totally?
A: No. I think you look at the game for what it is, to decide what your tactics are going to be to beat them. Listen, everybody in this league is prideful. Everybody in this league fights every week to win a game. I think outside, everyone tries to kind of characterize what their demeanor is going to be coming into the game. They’re going to come in and try to beat us and do everything in their power to do that. That’s what our mindset is, and so you have at it.