Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula -- December 6, 2019
Q: How does your new quarterback (Eli Manning) look so far?
A: He looks good. He’s had a good week. He always has a good look in his eye. He’s been great for me as a coach, to be around. I’ve learned a lot from him. I look forward to watching him on Monday night.
Q: He’s never had to do this before. After six, seven, eight weeks, 10 weeks I guess, of sitting around watching and getting ready. What’s the challenge for him to do that?
A: I don’t really think there is one. Obviously, he’s practiced every day. He’s gotten himself ready mentally and physically. It’s just a matter of getting back out there. We’re going to be on the road, obviously, and so just the communication probably. He hasn’t done that in a while. But other than that…
Q: How has Daniel (Jones) handled this week? He seems like a guy that doesn’t want to be on the sideline.
A: Obviously, he wants to play. He’s upset that he’s hurting and probably won’t (play). We talked to him about, ‘Hey, get healthy as fast as you can. In the meantime, prepare this week just like you’re going to play.’ But he’s been good. We have great guys in that room, like I’ve said all year long.
Q: We saw him go into the tent during the game, so obviously we knew he was hurt then. Did he express to you how much pain he was in or did you know what he was playing through?
A: Well, we kind of watched like everyone else watched. He’s very quiet. The fact that he’s quiet and he’s new, it’s kind of hard to… there are lot of things to get to know. We watched him in college play with some tough injuries and get back early. He’s a tough guy and he’s a quick healer from what I’ve seen.
Q: How close do you think he is to getting back on the field? He’s not in the boot.
A: I just listen to the trainers. We listen.
Q: What changes are there in the play calling from Daniel to Eli?
A: Just like Coach (Pat Shurmur) said, very few things. We might not have him running the ball like we did with Daniel on the one. But other than that, really nothing. Eli obviously knows our offense so well, and Daniel is really doing a good job of, even when he wasn’t playing, just of… We’ve given him probably more than we’ve given any other rookie as far as volume, putting things on his shoulders more so than other rookie quarterbacks.
Q: Do you believe that time off could help a rookie quarterback, sitting and watching for a week or more?
A: I believe playing really is the best way to continue to learn. But I think you can learn in all areas, and he’ll take full advantage of that.
Q: What about for Eli, the sitting so to speak? What kind of effect do you think that will have on him, a guy who’s never done that before?
A: Yeah, I don’t really think so. I don’t think it won’t be, I just think it’s a matter of getting back out there, getting that first snap and going. It’s kind of like, probably the same question you would ask me if we had taken a break from the end of OTAs to training camp, that type of thing. But like I said earlier, probably being on the road, the communication, making sure we’re really, really detailed, loud and clear and things like that.
Q: It looks like you’re finally going to have all of your receivers with Golden (Tate) and even Evan (Engram) likely coming back. How do you see that playing out, and Darius Slayton sort of fitting in the mix with those guys?
A: Yeah, I think what it does is it allows us to not necessarily go and feature one guy. I think it presents, hopefully for the defense, it presents a personnel grouping of, ‘Hey, we need to be careful here because if we focus our attention on this guy, then we have a one on one on that side,’ or ‘If we try to go split safeties, two-deep shell, where we’re trying to umbrella coverage or we’re trying to help out in cover, now we have to be careful about Saquon (Barkley) running the ball.’ Hopefully, that’s what it presents. That’s obviously why they’re here and what we’re trying to do offensively. But it’s a matter of us, more so than anything else, just executing what we have and guys making plays when it’s their turn. We’re going to have some one on ones. We have to win the one on ones, just like every coach tells every player every week. Then take advantage of any kind of looks that they might give us.
Q: Does it cut into Slayton’s plays or usage a little bit, his playing time because you have those three guys together?
A: I don’t think so. Sometimes, it might happen during the natural course of a game. For the quarterbacks, I think it’s helpful that we have all our guys because now you don’t worry about… you just kind of go through your reads and find the one on one, or find the zone areas where guys aren’t favoring that side, things like that. You can try to keep balance across the field.
Q: What has Kaden Smith showed you?
A: He’s done a good job each week getting better. He’s still learning the offense. He knows the offense, he’s a smart guy. But just all the kind of little adjustments that you make last minute or just coverage tweaks or things that the quarterbacks might be looking for. I think he’s, from what we’ve seen, just going to continue to get better. He’s proven that he can make some plays and catch the ball, make contested catches and hold onto it. Hopefully he’ll stay on that trend.