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Quotes: OC Pat Shurmur

Do you expect to have Nick Foles quarterbacking today in practice?

PAT SHURMUR:  Yeah, Nick will be out there today, Nick and Matt [Barkley] will share the reps today.  So we'll just get a feel for where Nick's at.  He had a good day of meetings, and he'll come out and practice with us and we'll see where we're at.

Does the fact that Nick is practicing today, does that mean he's cleared his concussion test?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, he's gone through that phase of it, for sure, and he's back on the practice field because he's been cleared medically.  This is his first day back, so we'll just see how he responds to the reps he gets.

When you say share, 50‑50 do you mean?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, that's good.  50‑50.  Good. Unless we have an odd number, then one guy will get one more than the other.

Who would that be?

PAT SHURMUR:  We'll see.

Obviously, that game was a disappointment.  Have you had a chance to sit down and talk to Foles?

PAT SHURMUR: Talking about going back two weeks? Yeah, we've spoken.  He's had a chance to look through the game.  We've gone through the details of the good, the bad and the ugly, and he's ready to move forward.

Do you have any explanation for why it was such a ‑‑ you know, general manager Howie Roseman made the point that this was nothing like anything Nick's ever showed in college or in the pros in terms of just not being able to make the plays.

PAT SHURMUR:  Some of those plays specifically we've talked about why.  But then of course there are times when you just miss throws, and he missed more than his share.

Players come back after missing a week of practice, what comes back more quickly when you step on the practice field?  What comes back more slowly?  What do you expect to come right back in and timing and all of that?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, well, we expect him to come back and perform well.  It depends on the position you play.  Each guy's position, probably, you know, obviously asks them to do different things.  For a quarterback, getting back out there and getting the feel again for the receivers and just the total operation of playing quarterback.

Foles is the number two quarterback on the depth chart, so if he's medically cleared, what's keeping him from being the starter for Sunday?

PAT SHURMUR:  We're going to see where he's at.  We haven't seen him out here since he played in the Dallas game.  We've got to see where he's at.  He's medically cleared for us, but we'll see how he responds to the practice reps today.

You went through some tough times in Cleveland.


Especially for a coach early in his career when things don't go well, what do you worry about and what do you look for from your players?

PAT SHURMUR: I think what's important is, unfortunately, there are coaching changes for a reason.  So when you come in, there are a lot of things that guys are losing or learning in parallel systems: getting used to playing with one another, the competition of the opponents that you're playing against, the grind of the season.  So what's important is you're looking for your team to continue to improve.  If there are some games when you don't play as well as the next, you try to get it all refocused on the practice field because this is a game that you have to practice, and you try to find a way to practice better and get it to translate to Sunday.

Can it be easier said than done?

PAT SHURMUR:  Well, we just keep going through it.  We love what we do as coaches.  We understand that there are times where we don't play perfectly, and there are certainly times when we've got to play better.  And that is the case the last couple weeks.

Chip Kelly talked on Monday about how the defense is coming together, the cohesiveness, and that he was going to address the offense about taking something from that or taking their cue from the defense.  Is that possible?  Can one side of the ball do that?

PAT SHURMUR:  I think so.  I think we can learn from everything that goes on within a team.  We're one big team, but there are units within the team that have certain functions, of course.  And I think the defense has done an outstanding job the last two weeks.  We're constantly critiquing what we do in terms of our process, how well we practice, what we're doing. We always believed if we practice better we'll play better, so that's where we start.

Would you say Foles, if he's healthy and has a good week moving forward will be the quarterback?  Would you say it's a competition between Barkley and Nick?

PAT SHURMUR: I think Chip will visit that.  I'm sure you'll have plenty of questions as we go for coach.  But we just have to see right now.  That's where we're at.  It's Tuesday, and we'll be out here training.  He'll get a substantial amount of reps today, and then we'll just see how he responds.

Chip has taken a little bit of heat for some of the decisions he made in this past game.  How much input do you have in some of the things that are being called on the sidelines?

PAT SHURMUR:  Well, anything that goes on in the game we typically discuss, so I think the things that go your way, are good decisions and every once in a while, the things that don't go your way are bad decisions.

Sometimes some of the things we choose not to do are as important as some of the things that you do do.  You can't always predict how the ball is going to bounce, especially at the end of the game.  How would we have known we were going to have a sudden change where they snap the ball over the punter's head.  Now it's a one score game instead of a two.  So you just play the game and you make decisions based on what you think is best.  Coach [Kelly] is obviously in my opinion an outstanding decision maker.

Do you expect Michael Vick to practice this week?

PAT SHURMUR: I don't know that.  At this point he's been in meetings, but he's also been spending time with the trainers, so we'll just have to see.

Your running game, I understand teams are keying on, but shouldn't you be able to say with Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and LeSean McCoy, we're going to gain four yards here.

PAT SHURMUR: Sounds like a good formula.

Why hasn't that happened?

PAT SHURMUR:  Well, I think much like if you have inefficiencies in the passing game, it's not always the runner.  It's not always the blockers.  We as coaches have to do a better job of dialing up the right plays.  First of all, practicing the right plays, having them on the plan and calling them the right way.  So it's a combination of all things, and we just need to get better.

*In what ways did you think Matt Barkley improved from the first game to the second game?       *

PAT SHURMUR: I saw him do some things from a progression standpoint where he checked the ball down a couple of times in the game, which is important.  You still want to be able [to do that] ‑‑ if you can't get ‑‑ if you're reading it deep to short and you don't have the deep.  I thought he managed getting us to the line of scrimmage. 

I thought he got us at a better clip than the week before.  He's done it.  He's played a lot of football.  It's just a matter of matching it up with our team against the new opponents.

In your experience, how late can you go into a week with quarterbacks taking 50‑50 distribution?

PAT SHURMUR:  We'll just have to see.  That formula, I've seen it go all the way up to the day before.  But I've also seen it go where you make a decision early in the week.

So what is the situation where it's gone up to the day before?

PAT SHURMUR: I can't tell you specifically.  But it's happened.  I think you can be successful doing that.  You're talking about young guys that each time they go on the field [they] get better.  The reps that they get in practice, even some of the things they don't do in team situations help them prepare for Sunday.

From a layman's perspective, the read option loses a lot of its effectiveness when there's not a mobile quarterback under center because you're honoring the threat of a run.  Why stick with that blend, when somebody like Michael Vick is not under center?

PAT SHURMUR:  First of all, I don't necessarily agree with that.  I think when you read a defender, you can do other things with the football if you can't run it.  You can flip it out on the perimeter.  You can run it with anybody.  You just may not get the same amount of yards you would get if a guy is a better runner.  And there are a lot of times when we're not reading it.  So that's my layman's perspective.

Does the running game have to change the plays that are called depending on the quarterback?

PAT SHURMUR:  No, we're going to run offense.

Are you finding that defenders are crashing down more upon McCoy in those situations when Vick is not in there though?

PAT SHURMUR:  No, we have ways to adjust to that, which we do on a consistant basis.

So watching it on television, the announcers or the color guy was making the point that the Giants were doing that.  You say in watching film you didn't see them doing that?

PAT SHURMUR: There were times when they did, and we flipped it out on the perimeter and made yards as well.  Then there were other times when we weren't reading it.  So you can't always ‑‑ unfortunately, I wish everybody that was broadcasting the game could know exactly what was going on.  But a lot of times ‑‑ I shouldn't say a lot of times, there are times when it's not reported in the way that we were trying to get it done.

*Because sometimes it looked like he didn't have the option to run the ball, right? *

PAT SHURMUR: That's a good layman's view.

When you were here in '02, the guys were down to the third quarterback --

PAT SHURMUR:  Sure.  [A.J.]Feeley and [Koy] Detmer.  Then we had years when Donovan [McNabb] was out and we had [Jeff] Garcia.  We've been through that a bunch here, for sure.

*Any similarities?  Like going into a playoff game, did you know that -- *

PAT SHURMUR: Well, first of off, you don't make excuses for the fact that you're not playing with the guy that started the season.  That's not new.  It's happening around the league.  So what the challenge is you don't make excuses.  You don't let other people make excuses for you.  The guy in the game has got to get trained up and play well.  That is the mindset.  All the guys that we have on our roster, we feel like they can do that.

What do you think has been the biggest issue offensively the last two games?

PAT SHURMUR:  I don't think we've played well enough.  We haven't executed well enough.  I think everything that's happening in the game, those are mistakes that are correctible and we've got to get to work today making sure it doesn't happen again.

LeSean McCoy said last night on his radio show there are a lot of things that were planned with the Giants game with Michael Vick that would have been really different and really exciting that you guys didn't do?

PAT SHURMUR:  Well, it may not have been because Michael Vick wasn't in there.  We had a couple of short third down situations that we didn't get, and when you think about it, when you obviously convert on third down, you get three more plays.  So some of it had to do with the fact that we just didn't convert on third down, and you don't get to do all those fun things you want to do regardless of who is playing quarterback.

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