by Scott Mandel
|Head Coach Pat Shurmur — October 14, 2019|
Q: How did Saquon (Barkley) look today?
A: He was practicing.
Q: We saw Sterling Shepard out here a little bit during individual drills. Where does he stand after the concussion and how did he look?
A: He was out here practicing, doing what he can do. That’s it.
Q: Is he still in the (concussion) protocol?
A: He’s in the protocol, yeah.
Q: A lot of that is out of your hands…
A: It is out of my hands. We have our doctors… Anytime there’s an individual in the protocol or coming back from a concussion, the doctors will let us know when they’re allowed to be playing. So, that’s where we’re at. I really don’t have anything to add. I understand the interest in all of this, but there’s really nothing that I can add.
Q: A player being out here, if he’s very symptomatic, he’s not going to be out here, I would think, right?
A: Yeah. That’s fair.
Q: Do you know where he is in the protocol?
A: I can’t talk about that. I know where it’s at, but that’s not really something for public consumption. He’s in the protocol, and when he’s able to play, our doctors will let us know that and he’ll be playing.
Q: What does Saquon have to show you to play on Sunday?
A: He has to handle practice well and be ready to play. He practiced today, so we’ll see when he comes in tomorrow, how he feels. Then the next day and so on and so forth.
Q: Right now, what are your hopes for him playing on Sunday?
A: We’ll just have to see. I’m going to let the week kind of determine that.
Q: Did you watch any football this weekend?
A: I watched a lot of football. Most of it was Arizona, getting ready to play them, but I did see some of the games, portions of the games, especially the later ones.
Q: Your division is very bunched up between one, two and three.
A: That’s what they say. Our focus is on Arizona. You control all of that by winning games, and that’s our focus.
Q: What made now the right time to add a guy like (Javorius) Buck Allen, and in hindsight, do you wish you had a veteran the last two games?
A: No. We made the decision to do it now, and we’re glad he’s here. He was available, we worked him out and we’ll get him going as quickly as possible.
Q: How much was Evan (Engram) able to do today?
A: He practiced. He did a lot.
Q: We noticed he did not participate in the walkthrough you had last Wednesday. Was that a situation because you had already decided that he would not play Thursday, or he wasn’t ready to participate?
A: Each week is the same. You go through the week, and guys that are coming back from injuries, you try to determine whether they can play. It just so happened we had to kind of determine that through walkthrough settings. This week, we’ll be able to see more because they’ll be out running around.
Q: Last week, it didn’t seem like he was moving like his normal self. What did you see from him today in that regard?
A: I would say he’s better.
Q: It didn’t look like (Sam) Beal was dressed for practice. What’s the plan with him?
A: You can expect to see him on Wednesday.
Q: Why not today then?
A: Because we felt like starting him on Wednesday was better.
Q: So you’ll activate him off the IR for this week?
A: No. He has to go through… There’s a certain protocol that he has to… There are 21 days here. There’s some practice involved. We’ll just see where he’s at.
Q: What was sort of your Monday message, since the guys haven’t been here for a few days?
A: We’ll get back to work. I think that’s the important thing. Get back to work, put all of our efforts into winning our next game. I think that’s what every coach’s message always is. You just do everything that you can to win the next game. All of that other stuff outside, standings, where you’re at, all that, none of that matters. You have to put all of your efforts into winning the game, and then the rest of it will take care of itself.
Q: Did Wayne (Gallman) practice today?
A: He was out here. I can’t tell you exactly how much he did.
Q: One of the things that Saquon said when he was hurt and has said since is that he wanted to come back fast and then also come back and be better. He said 10 times better. It seems like he’s going to accomplish the first part. Can he be better than he was?
A: Yeah. He’s a young player still, so every time he comes out here, he has an opportunity to get better. I’m glad to hear those are his comments. I didn’t read them or I didn’t hear about those. But when you hear a player talking about trying to get better, and better by a large margin, I think that’s great.
Q: So Wayne Gallman is still in the protocol?
A: Wayne, yeah, he’s working his way through it. I really don’t want to talk about all of this, guys. When the guys that have concussions are ready to play, I’ll be made aware of it and so will you guys.
Q: As of last week, you guys had the fourth-youngest defense in the league. Obviously with roster shuffling, that could change a little bit. But it’s a young defense and a young team in so many ways. What have you noticed from them in terms of their personality or the group they’re kind of learning to be and becoming as the season moves along? I ask that knowing you had a long weekend to kind of catch everyone’s breath.
A: That’s a good question. We are young. Sometimes when you say young in this league, or you say injured in this league, it’s people making excuses for you. What’s important about our young defense is that I think they’re improving each week. Our young players have made significant contributions. Some of your young players can be your best leaders. The message to them is to continue to improve. I think we know from experience also that sometimes your youngest players make the most improvement as they go through it for the fifth, the sixth, the seventh and the eighth time. I think that’s where we’re at.
Q: You said you watched the Cardinals. What did you make of (Kyler) Murray? Is he just different than any other quarterback really coming through the league?
A: He keeps every play alive with his feet, certainly. They’re doing a lot of good stuff on offense. You see the reason why he was a dynamic player in college. He can make great throws from the pocket, but when the field gets spread out, he can take off and run with it. Especially in situational football where it’s third and short, or some of the third downs, or you get down in the red zone, they take advantage of his legs and his ability to move around. Not to minimize the fact that he’s an outstanding pocket passer. I think that’s what makes him dangerous.
Q: It was widely assumed that he would be the first overall pick, and obviously, you guys weren’t there, but how much work did you guys do on him leading up to the draft? What was your read on him entering the draft?
A: We did a lot of work on him. We weren’t surprised that he was the number one pick.
Q: Why not?
A: Because he’s an outstanding player. That’s why.
Q: What was your read on him scouting him as a college prospect. You kind of mentioned some of the things that he’s done in the NFL. What did you like about him coming out of college?
A: I think you’re seeing in our league all of the things that he did in college. That’s what makes him dynamic. He’s an outstanding athlete, can throw the ball extremely well and when things break down or he has a chance to move around, he does that probably as well as anybody.
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