How difficult is it to establish any kind of continuity in the offensive line? **
COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think we're better here than most places I've been because we get so many reps in practice, in our training sessions, that the guys that are going to fill in, just like the guys that did on Sunday, have a better opportunity to do so.
So everybody deals with it. It's rare when you have to put two new guys in a game. We've all dealt with having to put in one but the guys that went in did a great job and I think it's a function of our culture and how we practice that they were able to do it so well.
For today's practice, left guard, right tackle?
COACH SHURMUR: All the guys that are active have a chance to play and we could make a roster move at the end. So we'll just sort it out as we go.
Can you talk about today's practice?
COACH SHURMUR: You can look. Anybody that's active can start. So that's the way we're going to take it.
How much more do you have to stress on QB Nick Foles now because of the issue on the offensive line to get the ball out a little bit quicker and make the decisions a little bit quicker.
COACH SHURMUR: I think what's important is that we all do what we're supposed to do. We have progressions, you know, get the ball out on time, regardless of who is playing offensive line, so those are the things that you work on. Just making sure you go through your progressions, get the ball out in a timely fashion. You don't hold the ball any more or any less depending on who is blocking for you. You just go and play quarterback and I think that's what's important.
How long does it usually take for a guy to come off the street
COACH SHURMUR: [G] Wade [Smith] is a veteran guy. He's played a lot of football. Our interactions with him have been great. He's very sharp. He's picking things up quickly. So again we'll just have to see.
Dennis Kelly played guard in camp. What have you seen from him development wise
COACH SHURMUR: He developed a lot. He made great improvements especially near the end of training camp and I think that's just because he kept working at it. He's played tackle. He's played guard. He's like all of our guys that don't start. They are multiple and so if he ends up playing guard for us, he'll do a good job.
Do you expect T Matt Tobin to practice today or this week?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, just have to see. I don't know.
You said he's done well but can you explain, is it footwork, technique?
COACH SHURMUR: Run blocker and a pass blocker. It's like you have a baby, it's a boy or a girl. He's done both. He's done both.
When you watch Indy's game against Denver, Julius Thomas kind of lit them up. How did they have success against the Colts defense with their tight end?
COACH SHURMUR: I think they do a very good jobtheir running scheme is very similar to ours in a lot of ways. They are a one back running scheme and they did a good job of mixing up what they do with the one back run and the playaction. He's a tremendous player and they created some good matchups. You know, I think you see the Denver Broncos getting open against most defenses.
But this defense here, they have got veteran players on all levels of the defense, from [DE] Corey Redding to [LB] D'Qwell Jackson to [S] Mike Adams. Mike Adams, D'Qwell and I were all in Cleveland together, so I know they are very professional, poised guys.
This is going to be a tough defense for us to attack. If they can get you, they like to play five on the line, if we are going to stay in base personnel groupings, and they are very fundamental in what they do. They don't mind playing man to man coverage, which you saw the other night, and so it's going to be a challenge for us.
Would you consider keeping Todd Herremans at guard?
COACH SHURMUR: There could be any combination of guys in there. He's certainly played tackle and done a good job but right now he's playing guard.
WR Riley Cooper and WR Jeremy Maclin missed certain parts is chemistry anything to do with the struggles in the first half with the receivers?
COACH SHURMUR: Not at all. I just think we didn't execute in a way that we needed to. We found a way to pull it together, and you know, we did something maybe we wouldn't have done in games last year. We pulled it together and won the football game. I think anybody involved with that game, players and coaches, there's plenty ofthere were plenty of errors to go around and we've got a lot of corrections we've made to this point and we move on and get ready to play the Colts.
Your assessments of Nick's play in the first and second half?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, we all played a better second half and I think that could be said for Nick, as well. There was nothing really revolutionary about halftime. Just felt like we were getting the football. We needed to just settle down and do what we do better than we did in the first half, and then it played out. Felt like if we could get the first score, regroup and then move on, that's what we needed to do.
Why did you struggle so much in the first half
COACH SHURMUR: I think you've got toyou talk about each play specifically. I think we all had first game things that we didn't do well. But, hey, Nick Foles was our starting quarterback and helped us win a football game and that's not easy to do in the NFL. I give him credit for that.
Seeing so much zone when last year a lot of guys played man against you, and I know you worked hard this summer on different ways to beat man. Does seeing so much zone take them, not probably by surprise but not as much work?
COACH SHURMUR: No, actually they were a team. They were a single safety team and they played the majority of their single safety snaps were zone and that's what we practiced against when we were training for them. So we weren't surprised by it.
Every game plan we have, we have ways to attack zone and man. And we've just got to call better plays and execute them better.
RB LeSean McCoy had said that when you guys were in situations where you had gotten down 17, 20, it's not that big of a deal because you guys play so fast an offense and could score so easily. Do you agree that when you guys are in a hole, that this offense moves so quickly that you can just score almost?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, but we have to play well. Whatever the plays are that we're calling and executing, and whatever pace that we're playing at, we've got to do it better than we did in the first half. We've certainly displayed an ability to score bunches of points in a short period of time. But we've got to do what we do well, you know.
I think the one thing we can learn from this game is number one, there was plenty of mistakes we made, plenty of errors to correct but we were resilient enough to come back and win and I think you can learn from that.
You know, you could probably pick through the games last year that we didn't where we were in those situations and we didn't get it done. So maybe that's a little bit of growth for our football team.
The way the carries were split up between LeSean and RB Darren Sproles, does that go along the lines of the game plan and is that the same ratio that we should expect the rest of the season?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, it was pretty even in terms of touches, right and yards. But we don't feel like it's all that uncommon because we're going to play Darren at a running back spot. So we're going to call our offense regardless of whether Darren or LeSean is in there. We like to run the football. So whoever the back is that's in there, you're going to get a chance to touch the ball and you're going to get it handed to you, all right. That's safe to say.
We'll always have ways to throw them the football. I can't tell you it's going to be exactly even each week. It looks good and I guess we'll take credit for the design of it. But both guys went in there, did a good job with their touches.
How more important is the first game than others, because it's the first time all year the team is going four quarters, how different is that game than maybe going forward?
COACH SHURMUR: It's different. It's different. I think the first game, you think you know what you're going to see from the opponent, you've practiced all these new things, plus all these things that are really inherent to what you do. And it takes a minute to get going. You know, I think you've got to beyou've got to be slow to judge what happens in week one. There's a lot of improvements that happen between week one and week two, and we're going to be certainly no different than any other team.
What did G/T Andrew Gardner do to catch your eye?
COACH SHURMUR: I thought he did a good job. He went in there started out playing guard and played tackle. He battled. He's a tough guy and he's got a gritty style. I don't think it always looks pretty but he's very effective, and so yeah, he did a good job.
With the game TE Zach Ertz had Sunday, do you see that as a continuation of what he was doing the second half of last season? Do you see his role expanding even more?
COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think as you see him evolve as a player, we certainly wouldn't have gotten that out of him first game last year. So I think it's safe to say, he's made huge improvements. He did a good job blocking in the running game.
The way we were trying to run the football, the tight end cutting off the back side of the defense was huge and they had to do it against some big, physical guys and so all the tight ends did a good job from that standpoint.
So he's developed. It's safe to say he's really developing as a player.
To get this offensive line ready, two new guys on a road game while building, silent count
COACH SHURMUR: On the road, on a roof, in a parking lotnone of that really matters. Our culture is we have injuries right now in that group and the new guy has got to step up and play. We're excited about making that happen.
I think when you go through it and look at it, there's a lot of confidence that can be gained from [G/C] David Molk and Andrew Gardner going in there and playing the bulk of the game and helping us win the football game. I think that's what we're trying to do.
The key for us is to put a lot of good plays together, one after the other, score points and do what we have to do to win the game.
Darren Sproles' touchdown play came off really quickly. This crew, were they better than a lot of crews last year in allowing you to play tempo
COACH SHURMUR: I don't know if this crew, better or not as good as the other ones. I think officials come into the game knowing that's part of what we do.
I don't think anybody's intentionally trying to slow the game down. They have their mechanics that they go through, and you know, we called a tempo play in that situation. We didn't sense there was any hold up in terms of their mechanics.
You guys called screen plays a few timeswas that something they were doing
COACH SHURMUR: No it had nothing to do with the fact thatthey defended it in a couple different ways. I think from our standpoint, it was just merely a lack of execution. There was nothing that says we can't keep calling those plays. We just didn't execute them well.
Given the tempo and how you stressed conditioning, is it more challenging for someone like Wade Smith to come in and play in a game right away?
COACH SHURMUR: I don't sense there's going to be a huge challenge just getting to know him quickly, and then you read about him and he's a pro. He's been in a Pro Bowl. He's been in zone style-type running offenses, and he's displayed to us that he's going to gethe's going to get himself up and running here very quickly.
I don't think whether it's learning or conditioning, he'll get himself ready to play and we'll do what we can to help him.
Do you think the way you guys practice does make it harder to bring in guys off the street like that and try to put them in because they are not used to this tempo?
COACH SHURMUR: Not the right guys.
I know you're not scouting the Colts offense, but RB Trent Richardson is a guy you scouted and coached; what was your experience scouting and coaching him?
COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, certainly we really liked what he was as a player in college. He came in and in his first year with us, playing as a rookie, we had a whole bunch of rookies in there playing. He did a good job for us.
What happened after that, you'd have to ask their last regime, I don't know. But when he was there with us, he did a really good job. We thought a lot of him because we drafted him high in the first round, and you know, beyond that, I just kind of watch it like you do.