Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Interim Head Coach Pat Shurmur

580App-Shurmur-123115.jpg

**

COACH SHURMUR**: First, happy new year.

Q. What have these last couple of days been like for you? Obviously, there's a lot going on.

COACH SHURMUR: Well, it's been a unique week, as we all know. I really didn't know what was going on. I was called down to Mr. Lurie's [Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie] office on Tuesday afternoon and I walked in really not even knowing what had happened. And so then he looked at me, and said -- You know, I was a little confused, because it's not very often you get called down to the owner's office. And then he said, 'Well, you haven't heard have you? And I said, 'No, I haven't heard.' Then he told me that he had let Coach Kelly [former Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly] go, and then we had a conversation from there regarding coaching the team in the last game.

Q. What's your plan? Obviously, you're your own guy. Are you going to do your own thing on Sunday? Are you going to do a lot of what Chip did? Are you going to mix-and-match?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, I think we started something in motion here. The players are used to doing things a certain way and very many of the things that we're doing are right. So we're going to try to keep it as business as usual as it can be in a very odd week and go out and put our best effort forward to beat the Giants.

Q. In terms of personnel, are you going to play younger players or change anything with the lineup?

COACH SHURMUR: No. We're going to do what we have to do to win the game. I wouldn't give you the details of my message to the team, but basically I just told the team that we're all very proud, competitive guys and men making a living. We're just coaching and playing a game that we've loved since we were a kid. It's very important to show respect for ourselves, for our teammates, for our organization and for the game itself, to go out and fight tooth-and-nail and try to beat the Giants and that's the reality of it. That's sort of the moment that I tried to paint for them as we got ready to train this week.

Q. Do you want to be considered for the full-time head coaching job and do you think you will be?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, at this point, my focus is on Sunday. You know, we all know change is in the air and we'll just have to kind of talk about those decisions as we move forward. I'm certainly excited to help finish out this year. It's very unfortunate that Mr. Lurie felt like a change was necessary, but we're going to do what we can to play the Giants.

Q. Chip came in here and brought his own offense, but how much of the ideas ended up being yours?

COACH SHURMUR: I think any time you put guys together -- coaches that haven't worked together -- there's a collaboration. So it became the Philadelphia Eagles offense. Percentages of whatever, certainly Coach Kelly was the inspiration for the running game and a lot of what we did and the passing game. And then I had ideas; other coaches in the room had ideas and what we did became the Philadelphia Eagles offense. As you watched our offense through the years, it was much different in year one when we started out with [former Eagles QB] Michael Vick than it is now playing with [QB] Sam Bradford. Offensively, you do what you can do with the players that you have and try to get the best out of them, and that's why offenses change year-to-year. Even though you may call something the same, you utilize it differently based on the talents of the players.

Q. Wherever you coach next, whether it's here or another city, how much of Chip's offensive philosophies will you take with you?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, I've been greatly impressed by these three years. I certainly learned something new every day. You know, I'd like to think that a lot of what we've done here is right. I really do. I certainly have a strong philosophy that was developed under [former Eagles and current Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach] Andy Reid and then working for [Giants defensive coordinator] Steve Spagnuolo [in St. Louis] and then, my goodness, the time I spent with [former NFL head coach and former Cleveland Browns President] Mike Holmgren. You're talking about Hall of Fame guys. I learned a great deal from them. So that was the core of my former life. And then in these last three years, certainly I've learned a lot of things that I really, really believe in and I think there's a good blend.

Q. With that said, you've had Bradford in two different offensive systems in St. Louis and here. Have you been able to get a sense of which type of offense fits him best?

COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think Sam is an outstanding quarterback and can play in any scheme. I think we've seen him improve throughout the year. Some of it's been physical and some of it is getting used to what we do. But I think he certainly can function well in our offense and he's functioned well in the past in other offenses.

Q. How difficult is this situation for you personally? Not knowing what your situation is going to be going forward.

COACH SHURMUR: I think that's the reality of it. We as coaches know that. I think our families are used to it. When you get to this time of year when change is made, we're sort of used to it. We've all been around the block a few times.

Q. Have you spoken to Chip since he's been fired?

COACH SHURMUR: I did. I did.

Q. Can you convey the sentiment of the conversation?

COACH SHURMUR: No, we spoke like we do on a daily basis. No more, no less. He kind of told me what happened in the meeting because it was very brief with me and certainly with Mr. Lurie as to what was said. We wished each other well and that was it.

Q. How was your working relationship with Chip?

COACH SHURMUR: I think it was outstanding.

Q. Did you see some of the things that Mr. Lurie told you as to why he was let go? Did you understand some of the reasons --

COACH SHURMUR: There wasn't much conversation of the whys, because I had to turn around quickly and start getting going on the week. I think those are conversations for later.

Q. Do you think this is an attractive place for whatever head coach is going to come in here next? Do you think he'll look at this and say, 'Yeah, this is among the top places I want to be?'

COACH SHURMUR: Absolutely. I have very strong feelings for this organization. This is the end of my 13th year here and I've grown to really appreciate how strong this organization is. As you go through years, you win games, you lose games and you work with some really fine people in the building. Every year as you put a staff together, you have a new combination of coaches. All my years here have been terrific. Now, we haven't won every game, but all my years here have been great and I certainly think this is an outstanding opportunity for anybody that wants to coach here.

Q. Does some part of you look at Sunday as kind of an audition?

COACH SHURMUR: I've sort of looked at every day of my life as an audition. It just so happens that the last game of the year is against the Giants in the Meadowlands, and that's about it.

Q. Are you calling plays?

COACH SHURMUR: Yeah.

Q. Who is taking your responsibilities in the booth?

COACH SHURMUR: I'm just moving out of the booth. We have good sets of eyes upstairs.

Q. Is it weird being back on the field?

COACH SHURMUR: No. I've been there [before]. It's really not weird. It's really not weird. It'll just be different for this year.

Q. How much have you previously worked with Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman?

COACH SHURMUR: Directly?

Q. Yeah, directly as a personnel guy.

COACH SHURMUR: Not really. I mean, I wasn't a holdover when Chip came here; I came here fresh. I just happened to have knowledge of the organization. And when I was here before, I was the quarterback coach. So I worked with the offensive coordinator and the head coach and the other coaches on the staff, so I didn't really have much of a working relationship. We're friendly, certainly, but we didn't work directly together.

Q. You were the tight ends coach when you got here prior to being quarterbacks coach.

COACH SHURMUR: Prior to that, tight ends. But when I left --

Q. There was a lot of optimism and success early, like you guys might have been on the cusp of something pretty special. How do you explain how it went from there to where it is now?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, at some point, Mr. Lurie felt like change was necessary. Along the way, we didn't win enough games. Let's just call it for what it is. This is a business where you need to win enough games to get in the playoffs, so you have a chance to compete to win it all and we did not do that this year.

Q. Does your personality change this week from offensive coordinator to being interim head coach?

COACH SHURMUR: No. Been a head coach before and I don't think my personality changed then. I am who I am.

Q. Is the 53-man roster going to change at all or are you going to put players on Injured Reserve?

COACH SHURMUR: I don't know that yet because we have some guys that may or may not be ready to go.

Q. Is there anything from your experience in Cleveland as a head coach that you've regretted or that if given an opportunity, you'd do differently the second time?

COACH SHURMUR: Oh, my goodness, yes. There's plenty of things. I think when you're doing something for the first time, when you're doing anything for the first time, you think you're ready for it. Then all of a sudden, you say, 'Wow, this is a little tougher than you might have thought.' When Mr. Lurie asked me to coach the team and I agreed to do it for this week, I immediately knew the things that I needed to do moving forward. That couldn't be said when you're going through it the first time in Cleveland. So that would be the example I would use.

Q. Does that include changes?

COACH SHURMUR: Moving forward, if those are the discussions in the offseason, yeah. Certainly there's things that -- we're doing mostly the same things we would do with Coach Kelly. By the end of the year here, things changed slightly. When you watch practice, you're not going to see anything noticeably different.

Q. Not winning enough games aside, the offense from 2013 to 2014 to this year became less and less efficient and explosive.

COACH SHURMUR: Yeah, I think in the first two years, we were a top-ten offense in most categories. This year, we're middle of the pack, which we fell victim to the turnover. We fell victim to the dropped pass. And ultimately, we didn't score enough points. Those in my mind are all things that can be corrected, but I think the core of what we're trying to do is right, especially for our team. We just didn't get it done.

Q. And defensive coordinator Billy Davis will still handle the defense?

COACH SHURMUR: No changes.

Q. Have Jeffrey Lurie or Howie Roseman spoken to you about what they want to see in Sunday's game or is it completely independent?

COACH SHURMUR: We just had a couple of conversations about what this weekend will look like. But they basically said, 'Hey, coach the team. Let's do what we've got to do to beat the Giants.'

Q. When you were with them, there were no conversations about you wanting to be considered for the position?

COACH SHURMUR: No. No.

Q. What have you noticed about players in practice yesterday and the reaction?

COACH SHURMUR: Well, yesterday, I think it would have been really silly for me to say yesterday was just a normal day. Let's not call that normal. It felt to me a little bit when we started practice like the first day after you cut down to the 53. You guys have all been out here and seen practice where it's a little bit weird. Some of the faces are not there. And so it started, in my opinion, a little slow, but by the end, they were all ripping and roaring and it looked like a normal day. I give the guys credit; they handled it in a very professional way.

Q. When you spoke with Kelly, did he indicate any regrets?

COACH SHURMUR: No, it was a conversation like we would always have. The only thing he did was kind of tell me more of what was said to him and certainly those are private thoughts.

Q. Chip was obviously a big tempo guy. Are you of the belief that it's all about tempo?

COACH SHURMUR: No. I do believe -- I think that is really hard on the defense if they know that you can play fast and get lined up quickly. It can be very, very hard on a defense. And I know there are other elements of offense that are important, too.

Q. Do you feel like staying pretty much one tempo the entire game gets predictable for teams?

COACH SHURMUR: I don't know that. I don't think we played the whole year in tempo every play. There were times when we didn't play fast. What we do do is we don't play from the huddle, so when you look at the pace of our play, we can control it the way we want because we're at the line of scrimmage.

Q. You mentioned there won't be a lot of big changes this week. Is that a product of there only being one week to do it? If there were like three or four weeks where you took over, would there be more changes?

COACH SHURMUR: I think I was faced with a one-week challenge here, and this team understands the direction we want to go and we're going to put it together and go get them.

Q. What's the status of CB Byron Maxwell and DT Bennie Logan?

COACH SHURMUR: We're going to have to see. It appears like they may struggle to get out here today.

Q. It's a Thursday before a Sunday game. Is it realistic he'll play?

COACH SHURMUR: We'll have to see.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising