Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur

Q.  What stood out on film when you watched Sunday night's game?

COACH SHURMUR:  There's a long story to what happened.  We got behind early.  We contributed offensively with a couple of three‑and‑outs.  We go down 21‑0.  It's 21‑10 at halftime, we're starting to move the ball.  Into the third quarter we go up 24‑21.  In that part of the game, going back and forth, we had two turnovers.

I think from an offensive standpoint, that made the difference.

*           Q.  Pat, turnovers happen, don't happen.  What do coaches do to search for answers?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Well, we keep coaching not turning the ball over.  We keep coaching ball security.  We keep coaching all the things that we know are necessary.  It's a key factor in winning and losing ball games.  I've been places, and everybody on our coaching staff have been places where there were years you didn't turn the ball over much, you got turnovers on defense, the ratio was good.  Then there are years they happen and you keep coaching against it.

*           Q.  What did Dallas's guys do up front that was a little different from the Thanksgiving game?*

COACH SHURMUR:  There wasn't really anything new that we didn't predict.  I think early on we didn't move the ball well.  We found a way to move it and score points.  We kind of got in a little rhythm.  As I mentioned, it was just the turnovers.

That's sort of what it was.  It wasn't anything they did different, that we didn't expect.  It wasn't part of the package.

*           Q.  The big lanes, the explosion there.*

COACH SHURMUR:  We just probably didn't execute as well.  But I don't think it had anything to do with them doing anything that wasn't part of that package that they run.

*           Q.  After the game, QB Mark Sanchez was very hard on himself about his performance.  What specific coaching points did you give him the last couple days to get ready for this game against Washington, close out the season on a high note?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Well, it hasn't been a couple days.  It's only been one.  That's first off.

*           Q.  What coaching points have you given him?*

COACH SHURMUR:  We talked.  We talked about every play specifically.  The key is to not lose your confidence and keep playing.  There's certain parts of the game where we just got to do a better job of taking care of the football.  I think that can be said about everybody.

I think he had some really good throws in the game.  Then the one that just comes to mind was the interception.  When you throw the ball in the middle of the field, tipped balls and overthrows are the reason why the ball is picked off.  We had Ertz open and we just missed on it.  I think that was the error that comes to mind.

Then so it's just a matter of going back to the fundamentals, going back to going through the progressions, trying to get better each day.

*           Q.  Did you find out watching the tape if there were opportunities deep that were missed?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No, we didn't have any opportunities deep where we didn't take a shot.

I think the coverage on the back end was pretty loose.  We were looking for ways to run up the field deep on the outside.  They were playing a little bit looser on us.

*           Q.  Have you seen Mark be a little bit less aggressive, gun shy, the last couple weeks, and how has his blitz recognition been?*

COACH SHURMUR:  His blitz recognition has been good.  No, I haven't seen him be gun shy.  I don't think I'm seeing him pull the ball down and not throw it deep when it's there.

*           Q.  If you don't make the playoffs, is it possible to look back on this season as progress towards a Super Bowl run?*

COACH SHURMUR:  We got to play these next two games, specifically this first one, and that's probably a conversation for later.

*           Q.  Having RBs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles on the field together at the goal line, one yard line, was that a new wrinkle?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No, we've had them on the field together in the red zone.

*           Q.  Would McCoy be the lead blocker?*

COACH SHURMUR:  I mean, there were a couple options to that play, certainly.  It just worked out by the way they lined up that we ended up doing that.

That was a new formation that we used.  But in terms of a grouping, it wasn't.

*           Q.  Pat, given the stakes Sunday, given they didn't do anything new, why were the first several series so bad?  Why couldn't you get anything going?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Well, I think, again, they didn't do anything we didn't expect.  There were a few new things, but nothing drastic.  Again, I think we've seen that at times.

It was the total opposite of the first time we played them where we jumped up by two scores.  We just got behind.  So we didn't execute as well in the first couple series.  We got it rolling.  Then that's when we scored what amounted to be 24 straight points.

It just comes back to execution.

*           Q.  You had so much success with running back screens specifically last year.  Haven't been able to get them going this year.  What have the issues been?*

COACH SHURMUR:  We talk about running them each week.  Some of it has to do with who we have on the field at all positions.  Some of it has to do a little bit with how they're defending us.

*           Q.  Everything comes back to execution?*

COACH SHURMUR:  You probably get tired of hearing that, right?  There's really no magical answer.

*           Q.  Doesn't that come down to practice?  If so, do you have to examine yourselves?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No.  I think when you look at it, there are weeks when you sit back, you may not talk about it in a group, where you didn't train quite as well, you go out and play extremely well.  Then there are weeks when you train very, very well, and for whatever reason you start slow, whatever.

Part of it has to do with the team you're playing against.  You're not playing against the orange cones now.  They're trying to defend you, do the things they do.  That's where it becomes a matchup thing.  It takes a minute sometimes to get going.  That's why you play 60 minutes.

*           Q.  When you looked at the tape, the few throws that stand out that sailed, he was making some of those throws in the first few games?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Typically when Mark misses a throw, it's high.  It's a matter of going back to the fundamentals, keeping your front shoulder down, all the things that we know.

*           Q.  You are using RB Chris Polk more in the red zone.  Why?*

COACH SHURMUR:  We had him in there close.  We had a package that we use with specific players.  There were two runs that come to mind, the two goal line runs.  He's a good, forceful runner.  I think he's done a good job when we put him in there of getting the ball in the end zone.

*           Q.  At this point in the season, how frustrating is it for you as a coaching staff to constantly go back to the fundamentals with Sanchez?*

COACH SHURMUR:  I think you always go back to the fundamentals, regardless.

*           Q.  Isn't it too late in his career for that kind of stuff?*

COACH SHURMUR:  You're always working on the fundamentals.  I think that's the part that maybe these answers get hard to hear, but you're always working on the fundamentals.  That's why you train.  I think all quarterbacks do.

So I don't find it that crazy of an answer.

*           Q.  At the beginning of this year in camp, QB Matt Barkley talked about last year, coming off the shoulder surgery.  Mark had that missed year.  Is he still kind of getting back?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No, I mean, I think you start talking about all that, that becomes excuse making.

He's healthy and fit.  He's an NFL starting quarterback.

*           Q.  The receivers only caught I think eight passes total.*

COACH SHURMUR:  We only had 53, I think, official snaps.  We were targeting them as much as we normally do.  We just didn't connect on them.

*           Q.  How far has KR/WR Josh Huff come along?*

COACH SHURMUR:  He's made progress this year.  The two plays that come to mind obviously were [WR] Jeremy Maclin's long run and Huff's long run, which incidentally were very good plays by the quarterback.  He had to move around on both plays, fit the ball in a tight area, we were able to catch the ball and run with it.

That was a big play.  That got us jump‑started a little bit.  He's an explosive player.  In a lot of ways he looks like a running back to me.  He's an explosive-type guy.  I think he's got a bright future as long as he continues to improve.

*           Q.  Does Huff have a future as running back?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Receiver.  Yeah, he's a receiver.

*           Q.  When you compare him to some guys you scouted, because he made that change from running back to wide receiver, just for having a natural field position, is he a little bit behind guys?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No, to the contrary, guys that have played other positions, it helps them in their new position.  You see quite frequently where guys were high school quarterbacks, they become receivers, and so on.

So a guy that's played multiple positions throughout his career, I just think it helps him be a better all‑around player when they settle in on a position in this league.

*           Q.  I'm talking about from a route‑running standpoint.*

COACH SHURMUR:  He's no more behind than any rookie in this league.

*           Q.  This is the time of year where organizations start making some head coaching decisions.  You're focused on what's happening here.  Do you think about getting another shot in that capacity?*

COACH SHURMUR:  No.  I've never really thought about that.  I worry about doing my job.  If somebody thinks that you're the guy they want to lead their organization, they'll tap you on your shoulder and ask you what you think.  At this point we're worried about the Redskins.

*           Q.  Jim Haslett is a blitz defensive coordinator for the Redskins.  They have nothing to lose in the game.  How much have you coached Mark and your offense up about going against a blitzing team like the Redskins?*

COACH SHURMUR:  That's a good question.  Really, as we know, with Jim Haslett, blitz is part of his DNA.  We coached it up a great deal when we played them the first time.  You see a lot of the same concepts that's carried through the year since we played them early in the year.

Our guys are well aware of it.  We'll call a game that will reflect the ability to attack the blitz.

*           Q.  What did they do effectively to take out McCoy in the first game?*

COACH SHURMUR:  Thinking back on it, I think at that point we really weren't getting it going yet with the running game.  We probably could have executed a little bit better.  We were a little unsettled at some positions.  I don't think that was one of our best games in terms of actually running the football from the running back spot as well as up front.

Comes back to execution.

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