Quarterbacks Coach Jerry Schuplinski
Q: So what was that week like for you?
A: I would say professional-wise, it just sucked. It's a low point when you feel like you can't be in-person with the team. I thought everyone on the support staff and everyone on our staff really chipped in to make my experience as good as it could be in terms of meetings. I was still able to do all the meetings through Zoom and handle all of that stuff. (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Nick Williams was kind of like carrying the iPad around and then (Chief of Staff) Ryan (Hollern) was carrying it around in practice, so I really got to be involved in everything from the confines of the room. I got a little bit of cabin fever doing that, but those guys were awesome in letting me do that stuff and letting me really be a part of it, and then it really hurt – it hurt when you find out that I didn't get a negative in time to be at the game. That was really tough to take. That was tough to handle, but it is what it is, and we move forward. It was hard watching the game on TV.
Q: How were you feeling?
A: I felt pretty good. I would say that I was a little congested, but this time of the year it wasn't anything major or serious. I just thought maybe it was the plane ride, maybe it was the dry air. I tested positive and then the next morning when I was in the shower, I got out of the shower, and I realized I couldn't smell like the deodorant. I was like, 'OK, it's definitely true,' so that's when I knew for sure. Just a few minor – a little congestion, a little bit of minor stuff, but I felt OK.
Q: Did they type what you had?
A: I have no idea to be honest with you. No clue.
Q: So you ate room service seven days in a row?
A: Yeah, well, they were great. (Director of Sports and Performance Nutrition) Steve Smith, our nutritionist, sent me a bunch of water and they were great. (Vice President of Team Operations Jim) Phelan and everybody made sure they were sending – I had more food than I needed, I can say that. I felt bad that I wasn't able to even eat all of it, but they took good care of me in that regard.
Q: So did you eventually fly home?
A: I flew home yesterday, yeah. I flew home yesterday morning, and I was able to get here for the afternoon.
Q: Did you have to go through any extra steps to watch? Was the game on TV in the hotel? How did you watch it?
A: No, I used my dad's – I borrowed it from my dad, let's just put it that way. I watched it on my iPad. They didn't have the game on at the hotel, so I had to borrow it from my dad.
Q: You and (Offensive Lineman) Wes (Martin) flew private then?
A: No, we just flew on a commercial yesterday morning.
Q: Did you actually test out, like test negative or did the 10 days end?
A: Yeah, I had to at least wait until – I would've flown home today, but we both had tested out at the same time and so we were able to get back yesterday morning and make it here for, I think we landed about one and we were able to get back here around two.
Q: Did you contemplate driving back at some point?
A: I did not. I think Wes did. If it was shorter, I think I would've, but work-wise, you really do lose a lot of time in the car and then in the meetings. So I felt the best thing for me to do and for work-wise and all that was to be there to be able to be a part of all the meetings to do everything I could and get prepped for once that was done and those guys were on to the Chargers in the game, then I could kind of get ahead a little bit on Dallas and all that stuff. It was a lot other than missing two, three days of driving would've been crazy.
Q: What was it like being the floating face on the iPad and having to try to coach that way?
A: You'd have to ask those guys, but I would say the fact we did a lot of stuff through Zoom last year and then the fact that we're still doing stuff through Zoom like this morning and all that with the players, really it wasn't much different. I was probably a pain in everyone's ass cause I was like, 'Hey Nick, make sure I'm good on this iPad, make sure I'm set up.' So they were great with me. The quarterbacks were great. Those guys were awesome. It's hard not being there in person and then the game was really the hard part. You get through the Zoom meetings and all that stuff, but the game was the hard part. My wife said, 'aw, it's too bad you weren't at home, we could watch it together,' and I was like, 'yeah, I don't know.' My thing cut out after the first drive and so I was trying to get it on, so I FaceTimed her and was like, 'hey, turn on the game.' She's like, 'oh hey!' and I'm like, 'turn on the game, turn on the game' (laughs). I'm like, 'we'll catch up later, just show the game right now real quick until I get this iPad going.'
Q: How long did you have to do that for?
A: Oh, just for like two minutes, three minutes. We were on defense at the time, so it wasn't anything offensively really.
Q: You had to stay how long in a hotel room without leaving, six days?
A: Well, I was in Tucson there and then when the team left on Saturday, Wes and I drove to Phoenix to a different hotel.
Q: Why's that?
A: Because it was close to the airport, so then as soon as we tested out then we could get going.
Q: Besides being in the car, you were in a hotel room for like a week straight?
A: Yeah. We were able to get some fresh air outside and get outside and walk around a little bit and stuff, but I wasn't just totally sequestered in there. But for the meetings and all that stuff, yeah.
Q: Obviously, you weren't around but you were talking to him and what not. How close is (Quarterback) Jake Fromm to being ready to play?
A: I think he's inching closer and closer. He's done a nice job. I've been really impressed with him. He's a great kid. He's really mature. I think we knew that coming out in the draft with him, really smart. Again, I think early on a couple weeks ago when I was talking to you guys, he was really just learning the terminology of everything. It helps a little bit that I have some familiarity, I think, with how he's used to in that system and so I could relate a few things to him. But he's done a great job picking everything up. He's growing by the week and getting better and better.
Q: How difficult is it for a kid like that? Fans are already clamoring for him to play, because he's the backup and all that, but you've got a lot of other guys that depend on the quarterback. How difficult is it for a kid to come in and pick it up in two or three weeks?
A: It's a pretty good challenge, but it's part of the deal. It's part of the profession. Jake's certainly not the first and won't be the last to do it. We do it at every position. It may be a little more difficult for a quarterback, just because so much is on your plate, and you really have to know so much at that position. I think he has a foundation in place even if it was from a previous system. It's just a matter of relating that information to him and then him learning our terminology and doing it. It's a challenge, for sure, but he's done a good job with it.
Q: You talked about your frustrations, how is (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) handling his frustrations?
A: I think he's doing a pretty good job with it, as good as he can. I don't think any of us really don't like not being a part of it. I make sure I stay in contact with him, even last week, just calling him on the side and seeing how he's doing and stuff because you couldn't be there in person. But he's done a good job. I'm impressed with him. He's taken on, like continuing on that leadership role of really trying to stay in all the younger quarterbacks' ears, whether it's Jake or (Quarterback) Brian (Lewerke) or even helping (Quarterback) Mike (Glennon) during the game a little bit with some stuff that he sees. I think he's frustrated. He wants to get out here. He's a really good competitor, but he's doing the best he can with the situation he has right now.
Q: How do you prepare for a guy like (Cowboys Linebacker) Micah Parsons? How do you prepare for him?
A: It's a great challenge. He's a great player and I think their defense is great in general. (Cowboys Defensive Coordinator) Dan Quinn's done a great job with that. Those guys are physical, relentless, they attack. They get on you real tight in coverage. They're really good across the board. I think going along with Parsons, they've done a nice job. He's a unique guy. He can play in the middle. He can play on the edge. He can play lined up over the center. He can line up over the three-technique as we saw last game and run the pick games and the stunts and just straight rush guys. He's a real challenge. You've got to know where he's at on every play, but they've got so many good players, too. That helps him get isolated a little bit, too. So it's a challenge all the way across the board.