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Pat Shurmur defends Ereck Flowers, other Monday takeaways

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“He had a lot of really good plays and he had a couple that he’d like to have back.”

Much of Pat Shurmur’s Monday media availability was devoted to questions about the play of Ereck Flowers in Sunday’s 20-15 loss by the New York Giants to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shurmur said he had not considered removing Flowers from the game despite his struggles with penalties and pass protection.

“He’s like every player. I think I know where you’re going with this, he’s like every player,” Shurmur said. “He had a lot of really good plays and he had a couple that he’d like to have back.

“He had the tripping penalty and then on the hold, and that happens frequently, the quarterback scrambled, which was good, and unfortunately there’s times when those holds occur. That was the gist of it the first drive.”

The only reserve tackle on the roster is second-year man Chad Wheeler.

“We’re just going to try to get better. As you know, I’m fond of our roster. I’m fond of our offensive linemen,” Shurmur saids. “Ereck had a lot of really good plays yesterday, so what we’re going to do is try to help him with some of the technique work that he can improve on, just like every player, to eliminate some of those mistakes. You just keep working with him, and then we always rotate guys through in the event that we have injuries. You don’t see that, but that happens.”


Here are some of the other takeaways from Shurmur’s press briefing.

Wayne Gallman the only injury of note

It was apparent Sunday that Gallman is the backup to Saquon Barkley. Jonathan Stewart didn’t play until Gallman left the game with a knee injury.

“We’ll just see where he’s at. He’s questionable moving forward,” Shurmur said.

The last punt return of the game

Shurmur was asked Sunday and again Monday if he thought about using Odell Beckham to return the game’s final punt, which was muffed by Kaelin Clay. He said he would “possibly” do so in the future but had not considered it Sunday.

“Especially in that situation, I mentioned I didn’t because we were going for the block. Typically in that situation, the returner knows there’s a decent chance you might fair catch it. He (Kaelin Clay) did have a little more space than you normally have, he just misfielded it,” Shurmur said.

The play of cornerback Eli Apple

“I thought he played a really solid game. He was competitive in coverage, made a couple plays on the ball, and I liked it. It was a good opening game for him,” Shurmur said.

On the idea too many passes went to Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham had 11 receptions on 15 targets as Eli Manning threw the ball 37 times. That means the ball went in Beckham’s direction 40.5 percent of the time when Manning let it go.

“That’s the way the progressions were going. Fifteen shots to Odell. I think we might be here some day when he doesn’t get that many and you’re saying, why don’t you throw it to him 15 times?,” Shurmur said. “Again, every snap was not man and so there were some progression-related throws where, on a couple of those underneath throws to Odell, the initial read was maybe Saquon would run a wheel route. It just happens that way, and ideally, all the eligible receivers should get touches. I think that’s an important way to play offense, because I trust all the guys that are out there to make good catches.”