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Shurmur: It's Been A Unique Week


It's been a whirlwind of a week at the NovaCare Complex. For most people in the building, however, the job remains the same this week, as the Eagles prepare for the regular season finale against the New York Giants. The one person whose responsibilities have been changed the most is Pat Shurmur, who takes over as the Eagles' interim head coach for Sunday's game.

Speaking for the first time since Tuesday's decision, Shurmur met with the media on Thursday to talk about the past few days and what's next for him and the rest of the team.

Here are five takeaways from Shurmur's press conference …

1. On Being Named Interim Head Coach

Shurmur was going through his typical day of work on Tuesday until the afternoon, when he was asked to head into Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie's office. At the time, Shurmur was unaware of the change that had just been made regarding the head coach.

"It's been a unique week, as we all know," Shurmur said. "I really didn't know what was going on. I was called down to Mr. Lurie's office on Tuesday afternoon. I walked in really not knowing what had happened. He looked at me and I was a little confused because it's not very often that you get called down to the owner's office. He said 'You haven't heard, have you?' and I said, 'No, I haven't heard,' and then he told me that he had let Coach (Chip) Kelly go, and then we had a conversation from there regarding coaching the team in the last game."

Asked about how much will change over the course of the next few days leading into Sunday, Shurmur explained that things will remain status quo.

"We started something in motion here, the players are used to doing things a certain way, and man, many of the things we are doing are right," Shurmur said. "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."

2. On Younger Players Seeing More Time On Sunday

On Monday, Chip Kelly said that if younger players were going to see significant playing time on Sunday, they were going to have to earn it, just as the case has been all season long. On Thursday, Shurmur echoed those sentiments, saying that coming away with a win over New York remains the top priority.

"We're going to do what we have to do to win the game," Shurmur said. "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, men making a living. We're just playing and coaching the game that we've loved since we were kids, and it's very important to show respect for ourselves and 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. That's really the tooth and nail of it, and that's kind of the moment that I tried to paint for them as they get ready to train this week.

"I don't know (if the gameday 53-man roster is going to change) yet, because we have some guys that may not be ready to go."

3. On Shurmur's Future In Philadelphia

On Wednesday, Lurie said that current coaches on the Eagles' staff are under contract for next season. With that being said, Shurmur may have the chance to interview to become the team's next head coach, but that's not something on the top of his mind at the moment.

"At this point, my focus is on Sunday," said Shurmur. "We all know that change is in the air, and we'll just have to talk about those decisions as we move forward. I'm certainly excited to finish out this year and it's very unfortunate that Mr. Lurie felt like a change was necessary, but we're going to do our best to beat the Giants."

4. On Sam Bradford

While Kelly's departure means a change is coming for the Eagles at head coach, it also means that the quarterback situation remains unclear after this season. Shurmur has had more experience with Sam Bradford than anyone else on the Eagles' staff, dating back to his time with him in St. Louis, and he re-affirmed his confidence in Bradford on Thursday.

"Sam is an outstanding quarterback and can play well in any scheme," Shurmur said. "I think we've seen him improve throughout the year. Some of it is physical and some of it is him 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."

5. On Philadelphia As A Head Coaching Destination

Whether Shumur returns to the Eagles in 2016 or not is unclear at this time, but when asked about whether or not Philadelphia is a place that coaches will want to come to, he gave the organization a glowing review as he looked back at his decade-plus experience with the Eagles.

"I have very strong feelings for this organization," Shurmur said. "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, you work with some really fine people in the building. Every year that you put a staff together you have a new combination of coaches, and so all of my years here have been terrific. Now we haven't won every game, but all my years here have been great and this is certainly an outstanding opportunity for anyone who wants to coach here." 

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