Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 5, 2019
Opening Statement: You got the injuries, so I have nothing really to add. I’ve got the same sheet you got. I’ll take your questions if you have them.
Q: Is Golden (Tate) out of the (concussion) protocol?
A: He’s working through it, but he had a full practice today. He’s on the road to recovery.
Q: Is there anything to be said for Daniel (Jones) just taking a step back and observing before he gets back in it, if it comes to a point where he could play?
A: Sometimes that’s part of the narrative when a young guy plays for a while, then for whatever reason, he doesn’t play and he comes back. I think anytime you observe, it’s always best when you’re playing. But in this case, he’s forced to step back, so I think he’s going to continue to learn.
Q: Have you seen it help young quarterbacks?
A: That’s hard to say. I’ve had quarterbacks that have played the whole year, and then they kind of realize what happened to them in the offseason when they have a quiet moment. Everything is different. I don’t know. I guess you’d have to ask a coach that has had a young quarterback play, then not play, then get back in. But they continue to learn all the time. Even though he has a boot on his foot, he’s in there preparing just like he would be if he was going to play. The learning doesn’t stop just because you’re not taking snaps.
Q: Doug Pederson just told us he thinks having Eli (Manning) on the field will ‘jazz up’ the team. His term, ‘jazz up.’ What does that mean to ‘jazz up’?
A: I don’t know what ‘jazz up’ means. Eli has played a lot of years at a very high level. We’re super fortunate that he was able to help Daniel in the time that he played this year. Eli will be ready to go.
Q: What can Eli do, and this is not meant as a knock on Daniel, but what can Eli do for Saquon (Barkley) and the running game with his experience? All of Saquon’s best games are with Eli as the starting quarterback.
A: Well, most of his best games running the ball were last year, and then a couple games this year before he got hurt. That’s just a function of that. What can he help do different than what Daniel can do with the run game? Not much. If you want to correlate it that the best was when he was in there is… This year is prior to being hurt. That’s sort of the narrative I would say.
Q: I guess I just meant in terms of diagnosing defenses, where players are coming from, audibling, checks.
A: No, Daniel has been good with the run checks all year.
Q: Was Daniel’s ankle any better today?
A: Yeah, he’s getting better. He’s making improvements. He’s a fast healer, from what I can tell.
Q: Is there still a chance he could play on Monday?
A: I don’t know. As you get further and further toward Monday, if he’s not out practicing, the chances would be very slim.
Q: I don’t know if you’ll tell us this or not, but with Daniel injured, I’m assuming he’s not going to be around on the sideline. Unlike in the past when he was on the sideline and able to hear the calls, get in the little huddles with you and Eli and whatnot, how is that going to be handled?
A: Yeah, well, I do make exceptions for injured players when they’re quarterbacks, because typically they help with the management of the game, helping the other quarterbacks and they’re very insightful. I would anticipate that you’ll see Daniel there. That’s part of it.
Q: Do you have a level of optimism at all that Daniel will return this season? Is that possible?
A: Oh sure, absolutely.
Q: Do you think he’s definitely going to return this season?
A: I don’t know that. We’ll have to see. But I’m optimistic that he could.
Q: You always talk about parallel tracks. Winning is one and developing is another. With Daniel not on the field, does that sort of stall the overall offensive development for the players who are going to be out there?
A: No. No, because Eli is an outstanding quarterback. We’re going to put in a guy that’s going to be able to go out there and execute and help the guys around him play well. So, I don’t think that stalls anything. Every week, we tend to have a different set of skilled players out there. They’ll just continue to do what they can to improve. Not lost on me is the fact that we have to put a winning effort out there.
Q: When you look at the Eagles this year, are they kind of a head-scratcher because they’ve been so up and down?
A: No. I think they’re outstanding on defense, they have really good skilled players and they have a very veteran offensive line. I recognize a lot of the players from my days when I was there. I don’t know what to think about that. When I watch them play, I know they’re an outstanding football team.
Q: When you play a team twice in 20 days or whatever it’s going to be, does that change the way you go into the first game?
A: No. I think you approach the first game standalone, division rivalry and doing everything you can to win the game. Then when the game is over, you reassess and get ready to play them the next time. Certainly, things change. When you play a team twice in a year, you tweak things.
Q: When you look at (Carson) Wentz and the jump he made from year one to year two, in what ways is he kind of a good example of how that can be a big springboard? That second year, how did he kind of make a leap there that other guys can hope to do?
A: You always hope to see that. I would anticipate, if you want to compare that to Daniel, Daniel’s going to make great improvements from year one to year two, as well.