Quarterbacks Coach Jerry Schuplinski -- August 23, 2020
Q: I’m curious after you got to see Daniel in a live setting on Friday, what were your takeaways? What turned it around for him in the second half of the scrimmage? Him and the offense seemed to get some momentum going there.
A: I was really happy with what I saw from him and all the quarterbacks. I thought they did a good job. We always want to try to get off to a fast start. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. We just kept plugging away and sticking with it. I thought he did a good job of that. We kind of really let them go and let them play, to see how they would answer a lot of the momentum swings throughout the scrimmage, if you will. He did a good job of sticking to it and sticking to the plan and kept doing the right things. I like what I saw from him and like I said, all the guys. The 11 on 11, Joe made a good emphasis on let these guys play. Let’s treat it like a scrimmage. We don’t have any preseason games so we’re trying to let that go. They did a good job handling everything from communication, certain checks and adjustments and all that stuff. Happy with what I saw, and the way it eventually settled down.
Q: Do you think pocket presence is something that can be developed? If so, how do you go about doing so?
A: I do. There is a natural feel to that for sure, with pocket presence. I do think it can be developed. We’re working hard on developing a lot of that right now with some of the drills we do. We’re trying to do the best we can up front with building a good wall up front, creating a good pocket and trying to get those guys to force them to step up in the pocket. We do a lot of drills for that with all the guys. Working on getting transfers, stepping up in the pocket and giving ourselves a clear throwing lane.
Q: It seems like Colt McCoy has gotten all the number two reps so far. I’m curious if you think he has solidified there above Cooper and Tanney. What is the value of what he brings as a guy who has been around the league and started games?
A: The rep thing is a little bit of a challenge with camp right now with a new offense and stuff going in for all these guys. We are trying to do the best we can with all those guys with the reps. We’re still definitely competing with everybody and everyone has a fair shot to compete. He has been taking most of those reps with those guys, but we are trying to switch those guys up a little bit. I think the thing that Colt brings a lot of is his experience. He’s seen the game from a couple different systems. He understands what he sees, he’s got good anticipation and he’s got good ball placement. He can read coverages pretty well, he brings a lot of that stuff to the room with his opinions but also as you can see out on the field, he does a good job of that.
Q: I think we only saw it on the first day, but we saw coaches running with the players after a mistake was made on the field. What kind of accountability does that build when a head coach instills that expectation in the staff and everybody buys in?
A: Joe’s point is well taken, there are consequences for mistakes that we make as coaches and as players. Sometimes it’s not only the players, sometimes it’s us. We have the wrong personnel in the huddle, we might call the wrong play or the wrong whatever and screw up the substitution. I think we’re all accountable for the effort, coaches and players. Who doesn’t like a little extra conditioning? I like to stay in shape myself, so I have to run, I have to run. That’s okay by me. I think the big thing we are trying to get across is being accountable for your mistakes.
Q: What about Daniel has surprised you? Anything that you didn’t know before you started working with him?
A: I don’t know if I’m really surprised by a lot. I have noticed his arm looks strong to me. I did some work with him when he was coming out in the draft when I was at a different place and it looked good. It looks even stronger now. I don’t know if that’s a testament to his work in the offseason and what he’s been doing. That’s one thing that jumped out to me, I guess.
Q: Is that something you believe that guys can increase their arm strength as they go along throughout their career?
A: I haven’t seen a whole lot of that. It’s usually quicken their release. I think as they continue to build good fundamentals, get their hips and their lower body involved, that could increase it a little bit. That’s something that’s been a little eye opening to me, working with him on the field.
Q: As quarterbacks coach, what numbers do you look at to analyze where a quarterback is? Completion percentage, yards per pass, what are the first numbers you look at after every game?
A: I’m not a huge statistics guy and I mean that wholeheartedly. I think the first thing we are looking at, as we do at every position, is how fundamentally sound are we. With our footwork, with our depth in the pocket, with stepping up in the pocket. The question before about pocket presence. Can we see the coverage, can we go to the right spot with the ball? Completion percentage is important. I think the accuracy part of that that is involved with the completion percentage, sometimes you can’t go totally off of that. A throw could be a good throw and it’s a drop. Sometimes it’s a catch but it’s a crappy throw behind him. I think the main thing we’re probably looking at is are we going to the right spot with the ball based on what the coverage is giving us. Are we getting the ball out of our hands quick enough? Sacks play a role in that, pressures, it’s not always on the line or the backs, or whatever the protection is. It’s up to us to get the ball out quick, too.
Q: Just one about this developing thing today with a bunch of teams getting a lot of positive tests back. It sounds like a lot of them are false positives. I didn’t know if you had talked to people around the league. Being a coach yourself and wondering if this happens in the fall, a game could get cancelled, a game could get postponed.
A: I just heard about it as I came up the steps for this. We’ve been in meetings all morning. I feel bad, I haven’t even facetimed my kids this morning, I have to get to that when I’m done here. I heard about that literally within five seconds. I hate to see it. It’s a bad deal. Overall, as coaches, I guess I’m not overly concerned by it. I think it’s just going to work every day, doing our job and hoping and praying for the best for everyone’s health. Hoping we get the chance to do it. I haven’t seen much of what’s going on, I just heard there was a bunch of them today.