NYG Postgame (vs. Eagles) Transcripts: Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 29, 2019
Opening Statement: So Penny, Elijhaa, was out early with a back. It kind of took us out of some groupings when your fullback goes out, but we made do. Then Pio (Jon Halapio), they are looking at his Achilles. I donít have any information on that. End of a long year. I think you watched all our guys fought and battled. We had a couple of mistakes there in the second half that kind of let the score stretch out, but they continued to battle. Iíve talked about that all year. Weíre not a good enough team yet to win those close games, but someday we will be. Iím proud of those guys. I told the young players that by the way that the roster was structured this year, it was a gift. It was a gift to them to be able to, because they were our best players, to be able to play as much football as they did. At some point here in the middle of February, theyíll be sitting on their couch and theyíre going to look back or shake their head and say, ĎHoly cow, what happened?í Then they need to use it as motivation to have a great offseason and come back stronger than ever so that in these close games we can find a way to make enough plays to win them. I had no problem with the way they trained. All year long, you didnít get a chance to watch these guys practice. They practiced hard, they practiced intentionally. I had no problem with how hard they play. Weíve just got to find a way to make more plays and win more in the critical situations in games that are critical to winning. I think this group as we come together and add more pieces will be able to do that. With that, Iíll take your questions.
Q: Have you heard any assurances from ownership that youíll be the head coach next year to see these guys get better?
A: I havenít had those types of conversations. If and when I do, Iím not going to talk to you about it. At some point, what is said will be revealed. If Iím back, Iím looking forward to working with this young talent. If Iím not, whoever is coaching this team has got a great group of young players, the dead money goes away, thereís going to be cap space, weíve got picks. So, thereís ways to improve the team. If Iím not here, thatís what the new coach has to look forward to. If I am here, I canít wait to get back to work. Thatís about as honest and clear as I can make it. But, I will say thisó I donít have anything planned to talk to ownership at this point. Typically, thatís what you do when the season is over, and I will never share with you what those conversations reveal.
Q: What would be your strongest defense on why you deserve to continue coaching this group?
A: Thatís, again, my conversation for ownership when we have those conversations. I think weíve, we didnít win enough games, right? I own that. I donít make any excuses for that. But, I do know that thereís things that happened this year where this team improved in a lot of ways. I feel like itís only going to get better. The structure of how weíre built, weíll be able to improve now, quickly, and you saw a lot of young players out there playing hard that will only improve with time. So, thatís where weíre at.
Q: Can you talk about the growth of Daniel Jones?
A: No question, certainly. I think in our tenure here, we took a quarterback in the second year, and he was able to play 12 games against really good competition and battle and do many, many good things; many good things that are only going to help him next year and beyond.
Q: Whatís one thing you would work with on Daniel? What would be the top priority in the offseason?
A: Well, I think you work with everything. From his footworkÖyou know, the fundamentals of playing a position you work on every day. You just continue to do that. I think heíll be able to sit back and look at all of the plays that we called in situations and maybe think about where the ball might go or if it should go someplace quicker or if I shouldÖ all of the things that you look at. So, itís a big basket of things I would say.
Q: Youíve mentioned often about the young players on the roster and things like that. Very often they are the best players you had. Given the youth of the team and the fact that this was a rebuilding situation, is it fair to just look at the wins and losses and say this is who stays and this is who goes?
A: Because of the wins and losses? Well, weíre all part of this and we all own the fact that we didnít win enough games. I think we evaluate what this team looks like moving forward and make the changes necessary and move on. I think thatís what any team does. Weíre one of the 20 teams that arenít in the playoffs. The goal is to next year to be one of the 12 so that youíre in the position to compete for it all. There are 19 other teams, 19 other locker rooms, very similar to this. Mightíve won a couple more games than we did, but the reality of it is just like us, where this was their last game. Thatís where itís real. The evaluation of who goes and who stays, I donít know. Weíve got to figure that out. It sounds like by your questioning it might start with me. So, weíll figure that out as we go.
Q: When John (Mara) spoke before the season, he talked about needing to see progress. What do you say to the progress youíve made?
A: Iíll talk about what that means when we have a chance to visit. Thatís what Iíll say. Iím really not going to share anymore along those lines at this time publicly.
Q: Would you say youíre surprised that these questions about you being back next year are coming up at all?
A: No, not at all. This is a Ďwinsí businessó I get it, I get it. Weíve been talking about this for, I think, about six weeks. Youíve been asking me the same questions for six weeks. So, I donít know if Iím getting good at answering them, but Iím answering them a lot. But, thatís the reality of this business. When you donít win, thatís the line of questioning. Listen, I get that, I get that.
Q: Do you have a problem with the fact that youíre the only one available to answer those questions?
A: Nope. Not at all. Weíre playing football now. The way this works is I visit with you five times a week. So, no, thatís just the way this goes.
Q: What did you say to your team after the game? They obviously know that the future is uncertain.
A: Again, I wonít shareÖ Iíll share bits and pieces of it, but the general message aside from the fact that tomorrow weíll exit, theyíve done everything, theyíve tried to do everything right all year. So, letís do tomorrow right as well. Again, I will say this about these settings, including the locker room, thereís a lot of faces in there that I donít recognize. Most of my messaging to the team is internal, so when we get back to the building, some of what I want to expound upon, Iíll share with them then.
Q: Youíve said that before, who are you referring to?
A: Have you ever been in there? You can barely move there are so many people with cameras and microphones and all that. I donít think, I think there should be a little bit of intimacy to a locker room after the game, and itís just not the case. So, if thereís something that I really want to share with the team, I do it in private. Thatís why. They ought to invite you in sometime.
Q: How much solace do you take from the fact that this group played hard for youóis that something that you can hang your hat on?
A: No, there are no moral victories for me. My thoughts were when we scored, Saquon had the long run, we scored and went 17-17, Ďokay, how are we going to win this thing at this point?í Thatís where Iím at.
Q: So, you would say that based on what Iíve heard you say right now, that you left the team better than you found it?
A: I think so, I do. These guys battled. We can talk about the dynamics of how the team was built and where itís going. Weíre building a team. A lot of dead money this year, a lot of cap space next year, and some prime picks where we can use the draft wisely and make decisions on making this team better with impact players. You need to have a quarterback, you need to be able to play defense, you need to run the ball. On defense, you need to have impact players that when they game is on the line can do things. We have some strung throughout this roster and weíll have a chance to go get more. I think thatís exciting.
Q: As the head coach, why donít you have control over whoís in the locker room when youíre talking to your team?
A: Because this is the NFL, thatís all.