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Quotes: Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur


Q. How would you assess where the offense is relative to where it started this year and over the three years that you've been here?

COACH SHURMUR: I think there are some things -- the offense has changed a little bit as we go through it. The offense always evolves. We certainly have not done enough things well enough this year to win the number of games we wanted to. We certainly made too many mistakes; we haven't made enough big plays; we haven't scored enough points to beat our opponent, and that's why we are where we're at.

Q. Do you have enough talent?

COACH SHURMUR: We feel like we do. We feel like we do. I think what's important is that we continue to improve as an offense. We had a lot of new pieces we were working in this year. We need to make sure we're communicating and communicating effectively; that's number one. And then we've got to eliminate those pre-snap errors and those errors that keep us keeping drives alive and essentially keep you from scoring points. That's sort of what's happened to us this year.

Q. With pre-snap penalties, or generally penalties on the offensive line, do you think tempo is ever a part of that, especially having a lot of new pieces in places?

COACH SHURMUR: No, we play with tempo. So we practice to make sure we do it effectively. And I think anytime you make mistakes, we don't want to make excuses for them, we've just got to do what we do better.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you got a lot of new pieces this year and you guys really have never used that as an excuse, but how much do you think that's been a factor this season in the mistakes that have been made?

COACH SHURMUR: I think getting guys going and getting guys used to playing with one another is one thing, making errors is another. I don't think that has much to do with it.

Q. If you look at the running game, you've regressed from 160 yards in 2013, to 109 yards this year per game, and that's with the emphasis of the new players in the backfield. Why can't you guys get a running game going consistently?

COACH SHURMUR: I think it's been different each week. I think this week we ran the ball and we did some good things running the ball early. When the score gets away from you a little bit, then you tend to throw the ball a little more. We certainly felt like we could throw the ball on these guys start to finish. And so each game is different. I think what's important is when you run the ball, you want to be effective. And you want to also try to create big plays. I think that's what we did with the run game early on in the first couple of years, is not only were we effective running the ball, but we also got some explosive plays out of it. I think that's something that we just have to continue to work on.

Q. The personnel has changed since then. Do you have the players to make those explosive plays?

COACH SHURMUR: I think we do. I think we do.

Q. Who are they?

COACH SHURMUR: The guys we have on the field, yeah, we do. We feel like we have the right players here. Collectively on offense from coaching to playing, we just didn't do a good enough job this year.

Q. Obviously, a lot of drives have been stopped because of drops.  As a coach, how do you go attack that and eliminate drops?

COACH SHURMUR: If it was one player you could just take them off the field and that would fix it. I think the challenging thing for us is to continue to find ways to not have it happen. We practice catching the football in more creative ways here than any other place I've been. We've emphasized it more here than any place I've ever been. And it has just got to stop. When the ball comes to you, you focus on the small point. It's all about your eyes, fingers and using your hands and focus on the details of catching the ball.

Q. There have been times this season where players have mentioned that the opposing defense knew what was coming. Do you feel like defenses now, after three years with Chip Kelly, have a good book on what you guys like to run and how do you stay a step ahead of opposing defenses?

COACH SHURMUR: I don't really believe that. I think we do things that counter what they think they're seeing. We still move the ball, for the most part, effectively, especially the last game, we threw it for 380 yards. We just made mistakes, and I don't think the defense knew we were going to make mistakes. We made mistakes that stopped us. I think we have an offense -- and we always go back and quality control and try to do things better and become better playmakers and be more efficient, so we'll constantly look at things. What we're doing now is really extremely different than what we did in Year One because our personnel is different. So I hear those comments. There are times when a defensive player will say that after a game. We're constantly looking at why they might say those things. But we feel like we still have an offense that can move the ball and keep the defense off balance.

Q. Two of the new pieces were both starting guards. How did G/T Allen Barbre and G/T Matt Tobin grade out this year?

COACH SHURMUR: I thought they battled through the year. I am frequently teased for saying that, but I think every position can play better. It's an important position on our offense because of the way we like to run the football. I think that they both made improvements as the year has gone on. But offensively none of us have done enough to win enough games to be where we want to be right now.

Q. What in RB DeMarco Murray's skill set shows you that he's fit for this scheme?

COACH SHURMUR: I think number one, he was almost an exclusive shotgun runner in college. He's run the ball from the shotgun. He's made mention that he likes being able to run the ball when the quarterback's under center. I think he's got pretty good instincts as a runner. I think he catches the ball well, and I think he's good in pass protection. So for all those reasons I think he's a good fit.

Q. In your first exposure to QB Sam Bradford, you didn't get that second year with him. How do you think he would benefit from having a full offseason in a second year in the system?

COACH SHURMUR: I think where Sam's at a second year in any system is going to be important. This year he got himself to the start line ready to play. I think this offseason is going to be important for him because now he has a base understanding of what we're doing schematically. He knows, for the most part, the players he'd be playing with. And it will be a great offseason for him because now he can focus on Sam and getting his strength and his body and all the things to the point where he wants to be. Anytime you're rehabbing an injury it's sometimes hard to focus on all those other things, and I think this would be an offseason where he'll make great strides.

Q. Do you expect him to resign here and come back?

COACH SHURMUR: I expect him to. All along he has expressed to us that he enjoys what we're doing. He likes our offense and likes the culture here, so it's no surprise that that was revealed publicly. But, yeah, I hope he's here for sure.

Q. Do you see him as a franchise quarterback?

COACH SHURMUR: That term was thrown out. I do; I really do. I've seen the best of him when he was young. I've seen him improve throughout the year, and I certainly know a lot about him from working with him on a daily basis. I can just see that he's excited about what the future would hold here.

Q. From what you understand, why didn't T Jason Peters finish the game?

COACH SHURMUR: Like all injuries, he was hurting, he went to the trainer. The trainer came to us and said he couldn't continue. So that's what we know about it. And as we know, he's dealt with injuries throughout the year. So we certainly wouldn't question anything there.

Q. Are you expecting him to practice and play this week?

COACH SHURMUR: We're hopeful.

Q. In what ways has WR Nelson Agholor improved since he first got here?

COACH SHURMUR: I think he understands what we're doing better. I think he's back healthy, finally. He did some good things. He had the one noticeable drop that he's got to clear up, but he did do some better things. He caught the opening ball and he won on the edge. We got him the football and then he had some run after catch with it. So I think anytime a young player, especially a receiver, is injured early in the season, like coming back from injury and then catching up, it's like some of us that missed a class or two, then you go back to class and you're behind.

Q. Now you've seen --

COACH SHURMUR: That was a joke. (Laughter) Of course nobody in here ever missed a class, right?

Q. You've seen T Lane Johnson at right tackle and left tackle this year. How do you think he compares on the two sides?

COACH SHURMUR: I think he can play tackle on either side. He's obviously most comfortable on the right right now because that's what he's done the most this year, but certainly he's an NFL tackle. If there were ever a scenario where he played on the left, he would do well.

Q. All of the guys have said Bradford has been a lot more vocal probably over the last month and a half or so. Having been with Bradford in St. Louis, is he more vocal now than he was in St. Louis, or is that just getting more comfortable here in Philadelphia?

COACH SHURMUR: I think it's just getting comfortable. I think the vocal part of things is fun for everyone to talk about outside the building. Leadership comes down to courage, and he's displayed courage all the time.I think the more -- and part of it comes too with your success as a player. As you're playing better and doing more things right, then you obviously feel better about saying things. And so it's just all part of the process.

Q. WR Jordan Matthews is closing in on a thousand yards, which is a benchmark for that position. With the season he's had, what do you think of it?

COACH SHURMUR: I think he's had tremendous production for us. There was a stretch during the year that we all talked about where he had a couple of drops and he was struggling through it. I think he learned something about being a pro. I think when you're a professional and you do this long enough, you go through slumps and then you fight your way through them and he did that. I think you learn from that. When you're a professional, you go through having injuries or being hurt and fighting through that. All those things have kind of helped season him a little bit more. So when he comes back next year he'll have a little different perspective. And I think there's no substitute for experience. I think we would all agree with that.

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