Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 18, 2019
Q: How did Daniel (Jones) look?
A: Good. Like I said, heís been making improvements. He got better last week, and then he was able to do much more today. He looked fine.
Q: Are you moving forward with the idea that heís going to start on Sunday?
A: Well, we donít know yet. We just need to see how his ankle responds to the added work he did today, and then weíll just take it from there. In the event he canít start, certainly, we have a very experienced backup behind him.
Q: How do you distribute those first-team reps though this week with him being back as a full participant?
A: Heíll take as many as he can take. He took most of them today.
Q: You said the other day, not read too much into it but just donít think too much, youíre thinking too much about whatís going on and whoís going to start, that kind of thing.
A: Overthink it, you mean? That would have been something I would say. Overthink it.
Q: Are we overthinking it that this is going to be a decision youíre going to make that isnít based on health, or is this decision strictly on game health?
A: Strictly based on health. Thatís been the case all along. When we committed to Daniel to be our starter, he was our starter. The last couple of weeks, he couldnít start, so Eli went back in there. Iíll double down on that. Letís not overthink it.
Q: Obviously, the team winning last week was important for everybody. How important do you think it is for Daniel moving forward, heís been riding a long losing streak with this team, to get a win before the season ends?
A: I think itís important for everybody to win every game they play. You only play one game a week. We play the Redskins Sunday, so we have to do everything in our power to win a game.
Q: For a rookie quarterback?
A: For everybody.
Q: Specifically, for a rookie quarterback going into an offseason?
A: Everybody that plays needs to commit to doing what it takes to win the game. Yeah, the quarterback is in there as well.
Q: You shut down Evan Engram.
A: He went on IR, yeah.
Q: Originally, he said it was 2-4 weeks (recovery). What happened that it ended up being something like eight weeks?
A: Iím not sure we said that. Again, players have different impressions as to how long their injuries are going to take to come back from. We felt like it was best to put him on IR, and then weíll just see here. Theyíll finish up the evaluation of what will need to be done to his (foot) to move forward. Iím sure when that information isÖ When we finish up with that, it will be made public.
Q: What have you seen from Kaden Smith in the absence of (Rhett) Ellison and Engram?
A: I think heís developed extremely well. I think I spoke about this a few weeks ago, but he was a guy that we liked quite a bit coming out of the draft. We were very fortunate that he was available. Since heís been here, heís really made steady improvements. Heís had production in the passing game, heís sort of a tough, gritty guy that takes his blocking seriously, and he has a good feel for things. Weíve liked the development to this point.
Q: How has (Darius) Slayton progressed, and is he doing things that you expected of him or is he kind of exceeding them a little bit?
A: Well, I donít know whatÖ I think itís safe to say you never really know what to expect from a rookie because you havenít worked with him. You canít always predict college success and then predict pro success. We liked him, we drafted him, heís come in and heís made an impact. We feel like heís done a lot of really good things this year. He has two more games to go out and to continue to improve. Then I think itís very, very important for him to have an outstanding offseason as he prepares for next season.
Q: Is the precision of his route-running something that impresses you?
A: Yeah, I think heís a very good route-runner. He finds a way to get open, I think he does a good job of catching the ball in a crowd, heís displayed really, really good ball skills, and he has the ability to finish in the end zone. Heís caught some short passes and run for touchdowns, and then heís caught some long balls in the end zone. For a guy that can have production and score touchdowns, thatís what youíre looking for.
Q: What do you see when you look at Dwayne Haskins?
A: I see a guy thatís improving. He was an outstanding college player, obviously. We did a lot of work on him. As he plays more and more, he has displayed the ability to get the ball out quickly. Theyíre embracing some quick concepts so that he can deliver the ball. I think Iíve seen a lot of improvement in his play each week, and I think thatís a credit to him.
Q: How much different is this version of him than the one you saw the first time? He was kind of thrown in there in the middle of the game.
A: Itís hard to compare because he just got thrown in there. Now, weíve had a chance to see him play, and thatís why, like I said, itís a credit to him. Heís made really good improvements and heís had a real positive impact on their offense. Theyíve got three young receivers (Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, Steven Sims Jr.) that heís dealing the ball to extremely well. They have Adrian Peterson, who I worked with, whoís running as hard and as physical and as nasty as heís ever run. Theyíre doing a lot of good things on offense.
Q: How easy or difficult was it when you were evaluating Dwayne and Daniel before the draft and you were making the call (of who to take)?
A: Theyíre both outstanding players. I donít know what you mean (by) how difficult. They were both highly-accomplished guys in college.
Q: I know sometimes itís a little bit of a popularity contest, but no Pro Bowlers on this team. What do you think that says about this roster?
A: I donít really have a response to that. Itís great when players are honored with being a Pro Bowl selection, but beyond that, I donít have any real response.
Q: Do you feel like thereís anybody on the team that should have been recognized?
A: You know what, every year that question is posed to me in some way. I donít know totally what goes into it. We just need to get better as a team, and certainly, we need to do things better. When youíre winning more games, then more of those Pro Bowl accolades come your way.