Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur

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Q. How is WR Nelson Agholor doing? Will you have him this week?

PAT SHURMUR: He'll be out there training, so he's just getting better each week, so we'll just have to see. I don't know whether he'll be back or not.

Q. How about WR Riley Cooper?

PAT SHURMUR: Cooper should be out there.

Q. Is Cooper's foot okay?

PAT SHURMUR: I think so. I think so, yeah. But he should be out there today. He seems fine.

Q. How was the o-line able to make their adjustments to playing new positions against a good defensive front?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, I think we trained well. I think we have a scheme where guys know, you know, that we're going one direction on the zone plays and we're man blocking, and I think our guys get a lot of reps in our training sessions, and then they've been trained to play multiple positions. I thought the guys up front executed very well.

Q. They moved Cowboys DE Greg Hardy around and G/T Dennis Kelly had to deal with him a good bit. What did you think of the way he played in a tough situation?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, I thought Dennis played extremely well. Dennis is a big guy, and if he gets his hands on you, it's really hard for the defender to separate. I thought our offensive line sort of felt challenged, and they went out and they did a terrific job. Dennis did a really, really fine job. You know, I thought where he really showed up, too, is on some of our quick throws, you know, where he short set guys. And then also in the run game I thought he did a nice job.

Q. Kelly's played mainly guard, played some tackle in 2012, but he always seems to play well at tackle. Why have you had him inside at guard so much?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, he's a backup. He's been a backup player, so the sixth and seventh guys have to really overlap either at center-guard or guard-tackle, and that's why that's been the case. And so when you're forced into duty having had limited reps at one or the other, you've got all that memory bank of reps that you've already done to draw from. He's a quiet guy, he works hard all the time. He's not a real flashy guy. But like I said, he's big, and if he gets on the right angle and gets his hands on you, whether he's playing inside or out, you know, he does a really good job.

Q. Why was that the way you went on the offensive line as opposed to moving G/T Matt Tobin over to left tackle?

PAT SHURMUR: Just because that's the way we wanted to do it. We moved [T] Lane [Johnson] over and then put him at tackle. That was our best combination, and we felt like that was the best way for us to try to win the football game.

Q. Is Lane your future left tackle?

PAT SHURMUR: I think Lane can be. He displayed -- I think he had a winning performance this past week at left tackle. But if [T] Jason [Peters] is back, [Lane will] be the right tackle.

Q. What did Dennis show you before the game that gave you confidence that he could go out and play right tackle when he had never really played right tackle before?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, he's done it for us, and so we've seen him do it. He's got length. He's got size. You know, the fact that he went out and had success is not a surprise to us because we've seen him do it.

Q. You guys have rushed for over 150 yards in four-straight games. Do you feel like the running game now is something you can really draw up whenever you need it?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, I don't know that. I think it starts with us running the football because then your play action is meaningful, and you know, we've got all these running backs you keep talking about that we want to hand the ball to. I'm wondering if we're going to get the combination of reps question this week because we've got them all in there.

Q. You guys did it right this week. (Joking)

PAT SHURMUR: We did it right this week? Okay. But no, we always feel like running the ball is what we need to start with, and I thought our guys did a good job. I thought our running backs ran hard. You've heard me say it before, there's times when they are dirty runs, so you try to get the math correct, but when they're playing man-free like they do, there's always an extra guy lurking around, and our guys ran hard, they ran downhill, they broke tackles. Even though we had the right number of guys covered up, sometimes it takes a good, physical run to take a 4-yard run and turn it into an 8-yard run, and I thought our guys did a good job of that, as well.

Q. Are you getting the production that you need out of your outside receivers? You typically have two out there every snap and they're not catching passes.

PAT SHURMUR: I think so. I think so. Each game is different. We had a game here where we talked about we ran the ball. We had a game where [WR] Jordan [Matthews] came alive and made some plays, and it was kind of that run/play-action type game where a lot of your focus can go to the inside receivers. There will be games moving forward where the focus will be the outside receivers, and then they'll get their production.

Q. Have you been surprised at all by RB DeMarco Murray's ability as a pass catcher?

PAT SHURMUR: No, no. We feel like all of our guys have good hands. You know, and I think that's important when you're a running back. I'm not surprised by it. We've seen it in the past. We saw it before he came here, and he's displayed it for us on the practice field, as well.

Q. When you look at the Dolphins defense, is Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh making the impact he did in Detroit?

PAT SHURMUR: I think so. He's a dynamic player, and you can see his presence felt throughout the games he's played where you see plays where, 'Wow, that was tough to stop.' So yeah, I think you see and you feel his presence. Teams have to do certain things to try to minimize his impact on the game.

Q. You guys put a lot of emphasis on wide receivers being able to block. Other places you've been, has it been that kind of emphasis or more so here?

PAT SHURMUR: No, we talk about it a lot here. I think you ask your receivers to block on run plays every place I've ever been, but it comes up in conversation outside of our building more here because we do try to focus on running the football first, so that's an important piece.

Q. But even downfield blocking --

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, no, I think it's coached and demanded in all offenses. We talk about it quite a bit here, and our guys tend to do a good job of it.

Q. Have you had a chance to look at the Dolphins offense?

PAT SHURMUR: I've watched them periodically on crossover tapes, yeah.

Q. Does it look a lot like what you guys run here?

PAT SHURMUR: I see plays. I see concepts that are similar. I think my understanding is they function differently. They're a huddle-based offense, but again, I wouldn't know the details of what they do. You can look at an offense and you can see plays that are similar, but when you evaluate how an offense is run, you have to talk about it from a whole operation standpoint; are they no-huddle? How do they line up their guys? What combinations do they use, 11, 12 personnel? How are they using it? And I think there are differences in what they do.

Q. Have you seen Head Coach Chip Kelly's influence beyond the Dolphins and around the NFL?

PAT SHURMUR: I see concepts that are similar. I see things that we do that other teams do, and I see some things that are sort of the things that we do that are kind of leaking around the league, as well. You know, we tend to watch a lot of film, and we're all in favor of plays that work well and are good plays, so if we can see something around the league that will fit with our system and tend to work well, then we'll try to do it in a way that fits for us, and I think other teams are the same way.

Q. Chip was asked yesterday about third down completions short of the sticks. You had a bunch of those on Sunday night. He talked about defenses playing high and low.

PAT SHURMUR: Right.

Q. Is it optimal to continually run the low guy so far short of the sticks?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, it depends, and that's a good question. If you put yourself in longer third down situations, there's less and less combinations of things you can do to throw the ball behind the sticks, because time and distance is a factor. And so then you require -- there are some concepts where you have to catch it and run for it, you know, and we had one specifically, Jordan Matthews caught one and was one yard short. That play is designed to get -- it's not a pick. We try to rub through there, so to speak, and the defender did an excellent job of playing over the top, where in most situations, you saw later in the game where we ran the same play and he ran for a couple long ones. So that's the game you play. When you're playing teams that play a lot of man-to-man like Dallas did, there's a few ways to beat them. You beat them just straight up the field and throw a lower percentage pass, you can run slant routes or you run across the field and try to do the things that we do which have been very effective. So yeah, to answer your question, there are times when you complete the ball below the sticks and then you have to run for it. That's just the reality of it.

Q. Do you feel like the slow starts are something that -- is there any one thing that you kind of see that seems to take you a quarter to kind of get going?

PAT SHURMUR: I don't know. We move the ball. We hurt ourselves with a couple of penalties. We didn't convert. So if you've got a three-and-out and a four-and-out, I guess we always say, 'Okay, that's a slow start.' I felt like our guys were playing hard. We were starting to get to some of the things that we wanted to get to. I think one of the critical drives in the game is that first scoring drive where we went down the field and we were able to -- we were able to get to some of the fun stuff everybody wants to see because we were moving the ball. We were converting on second down, which takes the third downs out of it, you know, playing Canadian ball. That's even better. You don't even get to the third down list. And then we can get to some of the fun stuff we want and then blend in our tempo plays and then put more heat on the defense. So that's what we're doing.

Q. In the two years that you've had Jordan Matthews, is there anything unique about him in the way that he works through the slumps he's been going through?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, you know, it's a long season, and you've heard me talk about how [QB Sam] Bradford is getting better and guys fight through things. You know, I was impressed with Jordan's comments. He said, 'Hey, I was just doing my job,' and that's really his mentality. Jordan is a guy that works at things, and if he drops a ball or two, he's going to come out here and train to get better, and he's got that mentality, and he trained great last week. He knows that if something doesn't go his way, he works hard to do it, and so he's got that process built in. That's why it's no mystery that he went out and had success. You've probably heard me say this before, there was a player in Cleveland that was a very talented player. He never really had to work at things very hard, then he got himself in a slump. So then he had to try to work his way through it, and it made it worse, and Jordan is not that guy. I think he's what you're looking for in a football player, and he's here because we've seen him catch balls and make big plays and help this team win, and he certainly had that impact on the game Sunday.

Q. Browns WR Josh Gordon?

PAT SHURMUR: [WR] Josh [Huff], and we're probably focusing on the one pass, but he did a lot of good things in the game.

Q. No, was the player you were talking about Josh Gordon?

PAT SHURMUR: I thought you were talking about Josh Huff, sorry.

Q. Was Gordon the player you were talking about?

PAT SHURMUR: No, no. He was a good player and he did a lot of good things when we were together.

Q. Which player were you talking about?

PAT SHURMUR: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. (Laughter.) Neither of those two, quite frankly.

Q. Do you guys script any of your early stuff?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, and we continually go through it, so between series we're talking about the next kind of groupings of plays that we want to run, so it's a continual, continual thing.

Q. Comparing it to the way that former Eagles Head Coach and current Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid would do it?

PAT SHURMUR: Similar. Similar.

Q. What have you seen from RB Ryan Mathews in terms of his vision?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, well, for Ryan, it starts by -- he's a very downhill runner, so when he's running downhill, he doesn't get turned a lot where you really kind of cut off anything that might happen backside. He gets the ball and goes downhill, so then when there's daylight left or right of him, he's able to hit it, and I think we saw the one cut-back, the ball wasn't designed to cut all the way back to the left, but he just felt everything press. You know, he hit the afterburners and hit it. And I think it starts by being a downhill runner. You can make those types of cuts, and that's within his natural instinct of running the football and his vision takes over.

Q. It looked like Sam Bradford had one of his better games in an Eagles uniform. What are you seeing from him?

PAT SHURMUR: I think he's played better each week. You've heard me say that, and I think what happened the other night was the fundamentals were even better, and then the guys around him made plays, as well. And so, you know, it was a good team win starting by the fact that I think he played better. This is a long journey and you're trying to play your best football at the end and just keep ramping up. This is a sport you have to train and practice, and you know, Sam got here in year three. You know, Sam has gotten here in year three, so there was a lot of catching up for him to do along with training his injury. He's another guy that works at it, and that's why I think you'll see that he'll have a better second half of the season than he did in his first.

Q. All of the coaches talk about running backs finishing off runs. How is Mathews at that, and what does that do for a running back?

PAT SHURMUR: You always want to fall forward if you can, or you want your momentum to take you for extra yardage, and a lot of times what that means is it puts a little bit of punishment on the tacklers. Certainly just the math of it all is you gain a couple more yards, and we've seen that from him. There are times when a runner will get hit and get bounced sideways because his pads are too high or he's just not naturally able to do it, where Ryan now, when he hits it down in there, I think we all saw there were some real physical runs at the end of the run just because he's going that way.

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