The mechanics of the play call, is it Chip Kelly? Is it coming from you? What's the process?
COACH SHURMUR: No, Chip's the play caller. He calls the plays. He and I are in constant communication, so if there's things that I see that I can help him with, I try to give him suggestions but Chip calls the plays and sends them.
And you're upstairs?
COACH SHURMUR: I'm upstairs.
From first day of camp to today, do you feel like your hurry up sessions have gotten faster?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think our operation has gotten smoother each practice, or each training session. So, yeah, I think we are a lot quicker than we were, I think back to when we first started doing this stuff in the spring, and we were moving at a snail's pace. Now I think we are not where we need to be yet, you know, I think we would all like to play faster and faster and be efficient and run good plays. But I think we are much closer to where we need to be when it's time for the real games.
In the no huddle, what can the quarterback hear from the sideline?
COACH SHURMUR: In the no huddle? Certainly he can hear what the coach or what Chip is sending in. But typically the way it works is you get the quarterback going, you give him the play, and then he's trained to see and react to what the coverage of the front dictates. And so, you know, there's not as much conversation as you might think. The advantage of the communicator is you can give the quarterback a clue or two.
But then again, it's a personal preference. There's some quarterbacks that want the play and don't want to hear anything, and then there are other guys, of course, that welcome any kind of a hint you'll give them.
What is it that separates Jason Peters from the other offensive tackles and other offensive linemen?
COACH SHURMUR: I think just watching him and again, I haven't really seen him in games, other than watching him on tape. You know, he's physically unique. He's an outstanding athlete and he's very strong and he's very broad and he moves his feet extremely well and I think those are all reasons why he has a chance to be dominant when we get him out there.
This is I Mike Vick's fifth offensive system in 11 years and he's picking it up really well, what have you seen and are you surprised how quick he's been able to acclimate?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, it's new for all of us. I've said this phrase before, there's a lot of parallel learning. But I've seen him get better each day and he's made comments that he feels comfortable out there on the field. So when he's saying those type of things, it tells me that he's understanding what he wants to get done based on what we are trying to do. So I think that's good.
Did you have to learn the system, too?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think we as coaches are familiar with concepts but of course how we function as an offense, there was a lot that I learned. You know, I think -- I've always felt this, but I wish I knew now -- or I wish I knew 20 years ago what I know now. I learn something new every day, and I think if we function the right way, we have a chance to do good things.
You've been around quarterbacks or quarterbacks who have been in competition, is there a benefit to them one way or the other?
COACH SHURMUR: No, I think competition is good for everyone. I think we all need to be challenged regardless of whether it's within a position group. I think we all feel challenged to learn and not make mistakes. I think that's natural and good, and I think that's what training camp is -- you have groups of guys out there doing the same things, and they try to get better individually and then they naturally compare themselves to their teammates. And so I think that's a good thing.
A lot was made of Mike holding on to the ball too long in previous years and whether that would be something he would be able to adapt to in this system of getting it out quickly. Do you think that was just a product of what he had to do in the past or something specifically you're working on?
COACH SHURMUR: I was never around Mike. I left and I was gone by the time he came here, so I wouldn't make the statement that he holds it too long. Based on what I've seen, when he knows what he's doing, he gets to the ball in a timely way and that's what I've seen.
What about the running backs, they take a carry -- what are the big differences there?
COACH SHURMUR: In terms of accepting the snap, the hand off? Well, you know, you're obviously close to the quarterback when you're next to him. You're not as much downhill as you might be if you're in the I-formation.
But it's much like quarterbacks come into the NFL, they are used to being in the shotgun. Same with running backs. Most of these guys have functioned in their college offense from the gun so they just get used to it.
Is there something about the offense and the spacing of it that really capitalizes on Jason Avant's strengths?
COACH SHURMUR: I think Jason has been productive all his years as a player. I think he's a true pro. He's one of those guys in the building, like right now, he's shooting jugs machine to his teammates. He's one of the guys in the building that you hope all young players, you encourage them to watch pros like Jason, but you hope they really listen and do it, because he does everything right, he's a tremendous competitor.
There's times when we want to take him out of a drill where he resists, which is rare for a guy with as many years in the league as Jason.
I just admire how tough he is. So I don't know if it's a function of the offense. I just think he's an outstanding player.
Third down -- getting the ball to him on third down, especially when the match up is right?
COACH SHURMUR: You know, he plays in the slot for us quite a bit although he will play outside. There's times when those matchups are where you're looking when you need to get a shorter third down distance.
Chip referenced how he's never had a third preseason game before and that's where someone like you or Bill Davis comes in -- what insight do you have?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, we've talked and we've talked constantly about the players and personnel and how we intend to use them. We did it all the way up to the first preseason game and then the second and we have an initial plan now of what we want to do here in the third preseason, but I'll kind of let Coach reveal that when the time is right.
I think we are so far away from the game right now -- we like to get in a mode where we prepare like a week, but we are also still in training camp where we are trying to get better, going Eagles against Eagles.
Learning the players -- how about a guy like Clay Harbor -- learning a new position --
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think Clay has done a great job. He's done everything we've asked. I think the way we structure our passing game, you know, you learn the concept based on being in the first, second or third spot, and so instead of being in the second or third spot, we are just putting him out at one.
So there's a carry over learning there and he's taking to it. And I've seen him improve, really being an outside player, he's improved in every session since we put him there.
You've dealt with young quarterbacks -- and last year with Brandon Weeden, not asking you to compare, but where is Matt Barkley now as far as his first camp?
COACH SHURMUR: He's made great strides. I think when you notice Matt, I think the truth can be said about his work in the games. As he settled down, he played better, so I think it's just a matter of him playing more and more and more.
I've said it before, we've seen him do tremendous things in college, and he'll pull the trigger. He gets rid of the ball quickly, which is a tremendous attribute for a quarterback, and he's like everybody else. He's learning the offense and getting comfortable with the plays we call, and I think you'll only see him get better and better.
Could he operate an NFL offense right now? Do you feel comfortable the way you did with Browns QB Brandon Weeden and Rams QB Sam Bradford?
COACH SHURMUR: He did it the last two weeks -- if we put him in the ballgame, we would have confidence that he could execute for us.
Second week of the preseason, having played two games, it looks like the offense has been exceptionally crisp. Why do you think that's been?
COACH SHURMUR: I'm looking at it from the detailed end of things. We made plenty of mistakes. We are doing some good things we can build on, but when you turn the ball over twice, and you have the penalties that we had in the first half, we all know you can't score enough points, and we left -- I'd like to say, we left a lot of meat on the bone. That's where the improvement has to come and that's what you work on.
Generally the guys know what's going on and know what they are doing, but then to be able to execute very efficiently throughout the game and not make those mistakes, that's what we are shooting for.
The option plays or package plays, where you have different options in each one, it seems like a very logical principle. Why are those plays uncommon in the NFL?
COACH SHURMUR: I don't know, I think there's -- you know, in the old days, the audible systems used to be to get you out of a bad play, not necessarily get you into the best play.
And then there are offenses where you've got run/pass options. You're just trying to do what's best. And so, you know, I think all offenses have certain percentage where you want it, or if it presents itself, you throw it.
We just package it up a little different, that's all.
Has the game evolved on this level?
COACH SHURMUR: I don't know. I know I've learned a great deal in the last six months, and a lot of things, as I mentioned, I wish I knew these things 20 years ago. So I think, you know, if you noticed the smile on my face -- I tell you what, I enjoy learning new things and this has been a lot of fun for me.
How is Riley Cooper coming along as the number two receiver?
COACH SHURMUR: I wouldn't call him one, two, three -- I think Cooper is coming along well. He's doing a good job.
Is he filling in for Jeremy Maclin at that wide receiver spot?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think he's playing the left receiver for us and he's doing a good job. I think he's had a very good camp and he's made a lot of plays out here. You know, he's a big body guy, catches the ball in the crowd. He does find a way to wiggle free, and I think he's an outstanding blocker. So he's doing what we ask.
How is he making the transition to wide receiver?
COACH SHURMUR: I think he's done a good job. I talked earlier about how we teach it, and he just really moved out, and he knew the concepts, although there was some residual learning. There was some carry over there, and I thought he did a good job in the game, and I think he's -- even the last two training sessions, has done even better.
Having the versatility to use him two different positions obviously, as with any player that can do that, gives you some roster flexibility, doesn't it?
COACH SHURMUR: It does, and I would say, though, you know, going back to what we ask our tight ends to do, they could play attached, they could play detached in the slot or they could play outside. So they have been learning that all along. But you have to be seeing what our final roster is, so we'll just try to use the guys that are available to us in a way that makes sense.
The route option seems a little different than the West Coast, being able to read and make adjustments. Is that accurate?
COACH SHURMUR: I don't know that. I think there are a lot of concepts that are very similar, very similar. There's curl flat and four verticals in everybody's offense and there's option routes in every offense.
There's a lot of passing concepts that are very familiar to my eyes based on what I've known for the years in this league. You just don't go out there and freestyle. Every route and every route combination has its parameters and basically you want to be able to wiggle free when you're man to man but I think our guys have displayed an ability to do that to this point.
Can you give us an example?
COACH SHURMUR: No. No, I'm teasing.
Just the way we function from how we practice to how we function from an offensive system standpoint. And then the communication that I have with the head coach, Coach Kelly, and then the other coaches. You've got a bunch of guys that really, a lot of us didn't work together that are all working together and we got a great exchange of ideas.
You know, when a good idea comes across the table and somebody says, yeah, that's a good idea, we confirm it, then we give it a shot. So that's been fun. And then obviously the parameters of this thing are how Coach Kelly sees offense and that makes a lot of sense.
Michael Vick seems to be comfortable, what is it about that concept for him, is it more time to see the personnel on the field or what's your gut sense of why he's comfortable in that?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, we've done a lot of things over and over and over, so he's been able to get a lot of reps. You know, by watching him function and him being able to actually do it, you know, we have been able to -- he's been able to develop confidence with at least a package of things that are within this offense.
And so it's because he's repped it a great deal and I think he's got some good players to throw to and some guys that are blocking well for him and so as you do something, you like it, and you have success with it, you tend to get more and more comfortable with and I think that's where Mike's at.
What are your thoughts on the offensive line?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think the guys up front are battling. The good news is we haven't talked about a rookie right tackle much. Usually when you don't talk about the linemen, it's a good thing.
You know, and [LT] Jason [Peters] hasn't played, but we have some young guys in there that are getting, I mean, reps that are invaluable for them. [T] Allen Barbre, he played left tackle for us and some of the other young guys that are in there playing have done an outstanding job.
I think that group's coming along well.
Are you in the coaches' box during the game?
COACH SHURMUR: I am.
Different perspective for you?
COACH SHURMUR: No, in my career, I've been upstairs, I've been on the sideline, I've had, as you all know, different roles. I think what's good is I've been up there before, so I know how you have to function in the box, and then I feel like I'm in a position where if I can assist Coach with the game, I can do that.
The young tackles, such unique circumstances -- have you seen a learning curve?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, big [T] Mike [Bamiro] is one of those guys that's really improved. He came in, you didn't know what to expect and he's one of those guys that each day he does something and you say, 'Wow, this guy's got a chance to be something some day.'