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Quotes: OC Pat Shurmur

Posted Jul 31, 2014

Nick Foles and some of the receivers yesterday were talking about the back shoulder throws he's been working on. It seems like he's so committed to trying new things and really working on it. How important of a throw is that for him to really kind of work on?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, it's part of the game. I think they can be very effective if they're thrown with the right timing and at the right spot. So it's just one of the things guys work on. We try to take advantage of every opportunity to get the ball down the field, and that is just another way to do it.

How's it going for him?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, it's been good. It's been really good. I think Nick's done a good job of kind of understanding the receivers and what they're good at, and trying to blend that with the route concepts we're giving them and the types of routes that they're running. You can see them moving it around. There are some times when if you just watch practice, not really knowing what we're doing, you might say well, that was not a good throw or that was a bad route. Really you're just kind of working through things. I think he's done a good job of that.

LeSean McCoy is one of the league leaders each year in broken tackle. What about his running style makes him difficult to bring down and is there any concern about the toll it takes on his body?

PAT SHURMUR: No, I mean, breaking tackles doesn't affect you. Getting tackled is what hurts, I think. No, actually, he's a very shifty runner. He has that ability to make a guy miss. That's why through his career he's been able to get so many yards. He's got great vision. He's really come into camp in great shape. You can just look at him and see he's leaner, and he's had some great sessions so far.

You had a lot of success running with two tight end sets last year. With Zach Ertz’s expected maturation and improvement, does that make that set more difficult for defenses because you really don't know if you're going to run or pass, especially at first and ten, because he can do both?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, for sure. I think the tight end group in general has really improved as a unit. When you look at each guy, Brent [Celek’s] very veteran, but he's in great shape. He looks terrific. James Casey kind of does everything we ask him to do, whether it's run block, pass block. He's really good even out of the back field at times. Then Ertz has probably made the biggest improvement because he's the youngest guy. I think we can use any combination of one, two or three of them at any time. Really, we train our guys. Receivers and tight ends, they're all just skill players to us. Now certainly we don't attach our receivers to the front, but we can put them in any position whether they're attached in the slot or outside.

Have you been impressed by the rookie tight ends?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, I think Trey Burton and Blake Annen have both caught our eyes, especially in the spring. They're both very good pass receivers and now they're getting banged around when it's run blocking time, and they've actually both had some good reps.

You mentioned Celek is a guy I think it's his 8th year now and you mentioned his fitness level. What's it say about a guy like that this deep into his career that he’s still able to be in that kind of shape and doing what he does out there?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, he's always been that type of player. I think I watch him on a daily basis because he's kind of the guy that's really, really bought into our training, recovery, restoration. He's a guy kind of later in his career that's really bought into what we're doing. He's seen the effects of it. So he reminds me every day that what we're doing is working.

What have you seen out of Josh Huff in his first camp? He seems to have a base knowledge of the offense. What have you seen from him so far?

PAT SHURMUR: I think he's done a good job. We're working him inside and now we're working him outside, both. He walked in here thinking, ‘Hey, I know this offense.’ He'll be the first one to tell you there are a lot of things that have changed and been added from what he did at Oregon, which he just really had to do. We see a lot more defense. We see a lot more man coverage in the NFL than they did in college. So we've got a lot of the traditional things in the passing game that you would run at this level.

So, that kind of shocked him I think initially that this isn't exactly what we did at Oregon, but he settled in. He's done extremely well. He competes every day. He's very good against bump and run. He's a strong, physical body. He almost looks like a running back because he's kind of a powerful type guy. And he's doing a good job.

Allen Barbre was the top back-up, depth-wise, last year on the offensive line. He's with the ones now. How's the depth at that spot?

PAT SHURMUR: I don't know about depth, but I think he's done a great job playing tackle for us. He's obviously our back up at a lot of positions. He's a physical guy. He kind of makes his presence felt in the running game because he's a bigger, thicker type guy. But he's also done a nice job with the passing game.

If something were to happen to an offensive lineman, how's the depth?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, it's simple math. I think the guys that we had last year, [Matt] Tobin and we got [Andrew] Gardner, and we've got [Dennis] Kelly. We've got a host of guys behind them that are going to have to fill in if we have it. That's just the reality of it. When we get Lane [Johnson] back, we'll fit him back in there.

It seems that very few rookie receivers jump onto the scene and have seen big numbers immediately. There are a handful of them. What do you think are the attributes that allows for that select group to have big numbers early and do you see Jordan Matthews possessing them?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, well, I think our guys are getting a lot of reps, number one. First of all, you've got to be a really good player. In this league, you have to be able to defeat bump and run coverage, and you have to be able to catch the ball. The guys that we brought in can do that. That is the starting point. So they work on all the skills necessary. Learn the system, which they've done, and then go out and compete. So I like to think that our guys are going to have great success. We're training them for that reason.

Do you expect defenses to change the way that they defend you without DeSean Jackson on the offense?

PAT SHURMUR: I don't think so. I know Coach [Chip Kelly] addressed it at one point. But we've got a lot of man-free coverage. That's not a play on words. Everybody plays man, and somebody's free. So they just play you man to man, and we feel like that will be the same. We'll get our mixtures of zone, so to speak. But it's rare. It's rare, really. There is a lot of conversation about guys getting doubled and all that business. But it's rare. Everybody's got to do their part, run their routes and get it open.

What about some of the guys working on the second and third team o-line?

PAT SHURMUR: I think that young group has all done a good job. Then you add, as I mentioned, Andrew [Gardner]. He's done a good job. [Matt] Tobin's done a very nice job for us. So we've got guys backing up there, Julian [Vandervelde] has been good. He missed a couple days but he's done a nice job. That is a really good group. In the years that I've been around in this league, that second group of players that we have, that's a really good group.

Who is in the center spot behind Kelce and how has David Molk looked?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, he's competing and doing well. He's really benefiting from Julian being out. He's getting more and more reps. When you're in there directing it, we count on the center to start the whole process. He's kind of executing quicker, getting more familiar with what we do. I think he's done a really good job of taking advantage of the second string reps where he was running the third team prior to Julian.

Beyond Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews, what have you seen from the rest of the wide receivers group?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, they're all competing well. The guy that comes to mind, [Arrelious Benn], he's done a good job. He's another big, physical guy that's done a nice job. But all the receivers, you know. We kind of move them around. They're interchangeable. That group as a whole has really made great improvements because there are a lot of young players that you can see steady improvement from, and just in general a lot of guys that are in there competing. I thought Brad Smith's done a nice job. He's taking most of the first team reps when we're in three receiver sets. So you add that to his special teams play, and I think he's had a good camp as well.

What advantages do you see from Jordan Matthews inside as opposed to running on the outside?

PAT SHURMUR: I think he can play anywhere. He can play outside, inside. But as a slot receiver, he's got size. He's good against bump and run coverage. His space-ial awareness is good. There are different combination of things that can happen when you're inside as opposed to outside. He kind of has a good feel for that. You've seen throughout camp he's been able to get open and make plays. Then the other advantage is he's young and he's got courage, so he can run around in there and catch the ball with people around him. I think that's important. Then really the last thing, and it's really what happens at the end of the down. Once he catches the ball, he sets his hair on fire and runs. If we didn't have fences around here, he'd run into the street. He's one of the best finishers we have. So all those things, you know. He's smart, he's eager, he's big, he can catch, and he's done a good job.

What's it like to have your son Kyle out here as a ballboy?

PAT SHURMUR: It's one of the great things about being a coach's son is you get to come to training camp. Fortunately he's been coming to camp with me for a very long time, with Andy [Reid], and [Steve Spagnuolo], then Cleveland and now here. It's been great. It's been really great. I think it helps these guys grow. It helps give them confidence when they're hanging around these highly competitive players that when they look at them they say, hey, this is just a regular guy, and I think that's been great. You've got Carter Musgrave out here, and Jake Stoutland, and Danny Williams. Kyle and Danny have been friends forever, and Danny's going to be going to Stevenson college here in a couple weeks to play baseball and football. I think it helps our guys grow up, and it's really fun to be at work and have them around.

What's it do for him football-wise?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, throwing balls to our guys is fun. [head equipment manager] Greg's [Delimitros] got them pretty busy back there in the equipment room though. So if they can find time to throw balls, they do. But it's neat to be able to throw to our guys. It's got to be a great experience. I wish I would have had it as a kid, and I know he sure doesn't take it for granted.

How's Nick Foles’ chemistry with the guys coming along?

PAT SHURMUR: His chemistry's good. I think it's good. As you watch the training sessions and as we work through practice there are times where there may be a guy open, but he wants to see what another guy's going to do in this situation. He's just constantly finding ways to get a feel for what our guys can do but he's benefiting from the first team reps and working with all the guys. It's a little bit more of a confidence scenario which, of course, he can handle because he's so balanced mentally.

You mentioned Benn, in his career, there's been one injury after another --

PAT SHURMUR: Well, we have a process we go through. We train, and we recover and go out and play. He's healthy, he's out here competing, and just keep them going.

How effective of a third down weapon can Darren Sproles be this season?

PAT SHURMUR: He can be a first down, second down, third down, fourth down, special teams. He's a weapon whenever he's on the field. I think you can see we're handing him the ball, we're throwing him the ball. We'll try to use him every which way we can. The nice thing about Darren, and this is the value added to him, he's had a great career. He's a highly productive guy. But he does absolutely everything right. He grinds on what he's doing, and he finishes every play. I would say he and Jordan. Jordan as a young guy, and Darren as an older player, those guys are finishers, and that's how they train themselves to be ready when it's game time.

Talking about the competition with Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez. Do you see Sanchez clearly moving ahead in that competition since he’s getting the majority of reps with the twos?

PAT SHURMUR: We don't. I mean, we really don't look at the numbers and the length of the lines right now. What I would say about Mark is Mark has picked up our stuff. I'm really, really glad he's here. The guy is a winner. He was playing in two AFC Championship games, and he's really taken advantage of this opportunity to be here. He gets better every day. He understands the game situation of football, and he's kind of one of those guys that just gets better every single day. Then I think the same could be said for Matt. Matt came back in great shape. The two guys that looked the most different when they got here were LeSean [McCoy] and then Matt. They got themselves ready to go, and he's had an outstanding camp as well.

Physically in shape?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, he looks great, he looks great. I think it's carrying over, he's playing well, and they're competing. As we get closer to the final roster and all that, we'll start talking about the order. But those guys are doing a really nice job.

What looked different about LeSean, did he lose weight, gain weight?

PAT SHURMUR: I don't know. You'd have to ask him what he did. But maybe it was just being away from him for a while. He just looked good.

There is an overall belief that DeSean Jackson’s speed affects the overall explosiveness of the offense. Now he’s not here. How do you respond to that?

PAT SHURMUR: I think we've got good players. We feel good about our scheme, and we're just constantly trying to find ways to get the balls to the guys that make the difference and then spread it around. We feel good about the guys we've got. Certainly DeSean is a fast guy and a good player and we wish him well. But we're going to do what we can with the guys we have.

How has Ifeanyi Momah looked?

PAT SHURMUR: Yeah, I probably should have mentioned Mo earlier when we were talking about the receivers. He understands our offense better just like anything. When you're more comfortable with what you're doing, he looks smoother out there. He's made some plays down the field and used his size. He's actually had a really, really good camp. I should have mentioned him when I was talking about the other receivers.

In your career what is the biggest difference from the offense going from year one to year two?

PAT SHURMUR: Well, in year two for the players that were here last year, you just have this memory bank of reps that you draw from over and over and over. So you start at a different point. I think that's the biggest change. Then we as coaches know the players better and how they fit, so we really focus on the plays that work with the guys we have, and then that's more of the starting point as opposed to putting in the whole system and seeing where it fits. Then we build on that based on the other things that we studied this winter that we think will be good.

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