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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (October 20, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY PAT SHURMUR PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 27-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Statement: Obviously, we went through it all. Coached it up with the players, and can’t have turnovers like we did, can’t have penalties that negate long plays. I think early in the game, we have to do a much better job against the run. That contributed to them scoring. They had a couple of long runs that became scores, and those were off of turnovers. I think there were 17 points there. It put us behind a little bit. We fought our way back into it and then didn’t get it done. We have to coach better, we have to play better, and we have to do everything necessary to tidy that up and get ready to play Detroit. That’s where we’re at. I’ll take your questions.

Q: Is there anything with regard to Daniel’s (Jones) ball security? Is there anything you’re coaching him as far as two hands on the ball in the pocket when he’s getting hit that is not carrying over or things that you maybe have to reinforce or change about getting that message through?
A: Yeah, we have to continue to do that. Certainly, ball security is primary, especially for the quarterback. He got it swatted out of his hand on a screen. He was trying to hold off, Saquon (Barkley) popped a little bit late. But generally speaking, yeah, he has to secure the ball better.

Q: When you studied him, was that something you looked at and said he was a little sloppy with that in college or has this kind of cropped up?
A: I think as you study quarterbacks, they all have issues at times. But it’s certainly something that we’ve got to get fixed.

Q: Do you have to get him to get rid of the football quicker? It seems like it’s been a trend the last couple of weeks, he holds onto the ball in the pocket. He had the three fumbles yesterday.
A: Yeah, the one I mentioned was on a screen. He was trying to hold it off and then the edge on the opposite side got him. Then there was another one where we had seven-man protection and two deep routes. But yeah, that’s always something that they have to do. They have to get the ball off on time, and most of the time he does. But those couple of plays he doesn’t, we have to get those fixed.

Q: I’m curious, when you make the decisions, the third and 18, the fourth and 15 at that time, how much is your decision-making analytics and how much do you incorporate feel into that?
A: I think there’s both. Then you think of the players involved. It’s all part of it. It’s all part of it.

Q: How do you factor in the analytics part of it in that short time span? Do you have someone in your ear talking about that kind of stuff? Do you go over it beforehand?
A: We do it beforehand, and then certainly as we play the game out, it happens in real time.

Q: What did you see on that third and 18 play? Not the decision but the actual play. Why did it only go for three yards?
A: Well, that was a draw play. It was a pass that went into a draw if the look was clean. I felt like it was… Saquon took that same play and went for 68 yards against Dallas last year, so I wanted to make sure he stayed involved. It popped through the first level. We didn’t probably block it as well as we needed to at the second level, and then that created a minimal gain instead of a large gain.

Q: One thing I think some people, I guess me included, would say as far as the third down and the fourth down, when you say ‘We’re going for it. This is two-down territory,’ is there nothing that could change you or shake you off that after the third down play did not gain that chunk that you wanted?
A: Yeah, anything could change anything as you go along. The flipside of it is if you punt the ball away, you may never see it again. That’s the flipside. The reality of it was we didn’t make it, so I’m here standing here with the scrutiny of not making it. I get that. But the reality of that was we then stopped them. We had two timeouts and the two-minute warning.  We did stop them and made them kick a field goal, and we still had another opportunity to go in there and win the game. I get that.  We all live with the decisions we make. The ones that we make that don’t work, we have to live with it and you try to learn from it.

Q: Would you do the same thing the next time?
A: In the moment, that’s the decision I made. When you sit back and you look at it after the fact, you always evaluate it. That’s hypothetical right now.

Q: What do you like about Daniel? Where has he improved? We see a lot of things where it seems like he’s regressing a little bit. Where do you see him improving?
A: I think he made a lot of nice throws in the game yesterday. Obviously, that was a tight throw to Rhett (Ellison) in the end zone for a touchdown. He’s aggressive. He made another one down the sideline to Evan (Engram) that would have put us in scoring position. He made some other really good throws. He’s tough, he’s resilient and I think he has a bright future. That’s what I like about him.

Q: Do you see growth in his decision-making over the past five games?
A: Yeah, I do. I see growth in everything. I think that’s part of playing as a rookie. There are going to be some things that pop up that you see for the first time and you react to it.

Q: He’s been making a lot of those tight throws, like a really high percentage of tight window throws. Is that just a product of him being aggressive? What other factors do you put into that?
A: No, he is aggressive, and I think he has a downfield focus, which is good. That’s sometimes why he holds onto it, because he’s waiting for his guy to get open. But there’s a fine line there. There are times when we’ve all talked about quarterbacks that will just quickly check it down and not look down the field. Then there’s criticism that goes with that. We want guys that are aggressive. It all comes back to the players and them trying to get the most out of every play. But also being smart, and I think he’ll learn as he goes along here.

Q: Would you like him to check it down a little bit more though?
A: I don’t want him to hold the ball and take a sack if that’s what you’re saying. Sometimes, the right thing to do…

Q: I’m just saying, did you see opportunities with those sacks where he could have done check downs?
A: A couple of times, yeah.

Q: Just because it’s been floated out there in a couple of quadrants, would you consider a quarterback change if the turnovers don’t improve or the play doesn’t improve?
A: No. I think Daniel is going to learn from everything that’s going on. Just like all the other rookies and their playing, they’re going to learn from the things that happen. But you have to learn and you have to win games, and I’m well aware of that. I’m totally well aware of that.

Q: From a developmental standpoint, it seems like there are two sides to the coin right now. You have to win games, but also you’re developing a young quarterback. How do you deal with the growing pains but not accept them?
A: Well, you look for mistakes that aren’t repeated. We’ve highlighted one that needs to get fixed, and that’s ball security in the pocket. So, we’ll just keep working on that. You just get back to work and try to fix all of those things. But we live in the real world. The real world is you need to win football games, and I understand that. I’m well aware of that.

Q: A couple of players talked about how slow of a start you guys had. What do you attribute to that yesterday?
A: They had a long drive. As the game started out, I think it was like seven minutes they took off the clock on that first drive. The offense doesn’t get out there, and then we had to punt. We really didn’t get any negative plays in that first drive. They were kind of just a little bit methodical, and then they would execute their third downs. Then they scored, obviously, on the run. That’s not something that we want. Then certainly, we have to get them off the field so we can get out there and play.

Q: What did you see in the pass protection that contributed to eight sacks?
A: There were times when Daniel has to get rid of the ball. Then there was just a mixture of things. Nothing significant. Nothing that you could point to, ‘Hey, it was this guy or that guy.’ I think everybody kind of had their mistakes.

Q: Do you need your edge guys to play better though? I’m talking about your tackles.
A: Our guys have fought all year long. Giving up sacks is just like stopping the run. It’s just like being good in the run game. It’s a team thing. It’s all coordinated. Guys have to get open, guys have to block, the quarterback has to make good decisions.

Q: They’ve given up 50 pressures already, the two tackles. How detrimental is that to a quarterback’s development? Is there anything you can do to maybe give those guys some help on the tackle spots?
A: Well, we try to at times. I’m not aware of that stat. But I think what’s important is, and again, I don’t know how people characterize what a pressure is. Sometimes the ball gets out and the guy gets touched, so I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer that. We do do things to change up the protections and we’ll continue to do that.

Q: When you look at teams, you look at records. When you talk about Daniel being young, how much of that, of the record, is the whole team being young?
A: Oh, I don’t know. I think we’ve all made that point, that we’re very young. There are a lot of rookies out there. I don’t know. We have to win games, and we have to find a way to do it this week.

Q: As you review and evaluate, do you need to make any major personnel changes or schematic changes? Does something drastic have to change in your mind to change the results?
A: Well, we’re constantly making changes to everything. I don’t know how drastic they would be. We’re always looking at making changes personnel wise. We’re always looking at things schematically. The touchdown throw was a new play that we hadn’t run yet. Then there are other plays that we have run that we executed well, and other plays that we have run that we didn’t execute well. There are coverages and pressures that we ran. Some we executed well, some we didn’t. We constantly go through that process.

Q: I was talking about adding players or selling off players, something like that.
A: You’d have to give me specifics, because we work with the players that we have and try to get them, as coaches, in the best position to have success.

Q: When you watched the film, did Saquon look like Saquon?
A: Yeah, he did a lot of really good things yesterday. I thought he did.

Q: How does he feel today?
A: I think he’s a little bit sore, what you might expect for a first game back.

Q: And Evan Engram, his knee?
A: He’s fine. I think he’s fine.

Q: (Lorenzo) Carter?

A: He had an ankle, but I think he’s going to be okay.

Q: Was he the only one?
A: I think so, yeah. There were not really any injuries to speak of from yesterday.

Q: What did you think of Golden Tate not making an effort for that ball?
A: That was tight, that was a hole coverage and the hole player was there. We have to be better at throwing and catching that, both sides of it.

Q: Is Sterling (Shepard) still in the protocol?
A: He is.

Q: In hindsight, are you still okay with (Darius) Slayton taking that ball out and not knowing if you get a touchback there, you possibly get in two plays before the two-minute warning?
A: I’m okay with it because it was one yard. The reason I say that is, I do believe in the players and their ability to make a play. If that was way deep in the end zone, then absolutely, we stay in. Had he run it back for a touchdown, we’d all be talking about something else right now. The things that happened at the end of the game did not work out in our favor, so we’ll evaluate it and move on. I do believe in our players, I trust that we are going to try to put them in position to make plays and I trust that they will.

Q: (Chase) Edmonds is not a brand name back in this league and he had a career day. Does anything concern you, particularly how the defense took the field yesterday, knowing you guys had a few extra days off?
A: I don’t know if the days off mean anything. When you strap it up and play a game, it doesn’t really matter how many days you’ve had prior to the game. I think they hit some explosive runs and they were for different reasons. I’m concerned when we have a slow start but defensively, we found a way to settle down, especially in the second half.

Q: At some point, do you have to make decisions based on what people are doing on the field rather than your hope for what they will do?
A: I think you keep it all into consideration from analytics, to feel, to the players. Handing Saquon the ball can be a really good thing. We had executed some long third downs, we executed a fourth down in the game. I think you just trust the players all the way through it. You try to make decisions that are best, and I think we all as coaches understand when things don’t work out, you are open to criticism. When you don’t win games, you’re open to criticism. We get that. The only thing you can do is get back to work and try to win the next one. I think that’s the real deal.

Q: What do you see from your players these days when you are going over film sessions? Is it anger, or business as usual?

A: They are very matter of fact about it. They’re very good about saying, ‘Hey, I screwed this up,’ or ‘I could have done this better.’ We do the same thing on our end as coaches.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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