Q. You guys emphasize ball security so much. Is that just one of those days? Do you emphasize it more? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think it continues to be talked about all the time. Any time you turn over the ball like we did it’s going to be tough to win any type of game obviously.
We have to take care of the football as much as we can, because ultimately that is a lot of the determining factor in winning football games in this league, is taking care of the football and creating the explosive plays.
Q. The last offensive possession, what went wrong on second and third down? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: On second and third down, yeah, we were backed up there. I think there were like three minutes left and I went 13 personnel there. They showed some tendencies on tape from a coverage standpoint. I thought we would get the first to [TE] Dallas [Goedert] on a shallow; they didn’t play the coverage we thought.
Looking back, probably want that call back there in that situation.
Then third down, just didn’t convert. Got to execute there, starting with myself.
But we’ll get better from it, and we will learn from it.
Q. Speaking of TE Dallas Goedert, obviously that’s a big loss from a personnel standpoint. You were just talking formationally, does that affect you there as well? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think any time you lose a player like [TE] Dallas [Goedert] it’s going to hurt. He is hard to replace. He is one of the best tight ends in the league.
It’s a good opportunity for [TE] Jack [Stoll] and [TE] Grant [Calcaterra] and [TE] Tyree [Jackson] to step up, so looking forward to those guys getting the reps this week and we’ll go from there.
Q. How is TE Tyree Jackson doing? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Doing good. Obviously, he is getting back into the flow of things and we’ll see how it goes, but he has been progressing well.
Q. As far as the way you use TE Dallas Goedert, is it unique to him or is that role in the offense? I ask specifically about the tight end screens. (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: [TE] Dallas [Goedert] is a special player. You can pretty much do whatever you want with Dallas. Obviously, we throw him screens, we throw him verticals, we throw him intermediate routes. We do a lot with him because he’s a special player.
So, when you have that type of talent and you’re able to do a lot of different things, you’re going to utilize those talents in every way you can.
Q. Part of TE Dallas Goedert’s game is the run game, blocking in the run game. How are TE Grant Calcaterra, you know TE Jack Stoll can do it, how are Grant and TE Tyree Jackson? (Ed Kracz)
SHANE STEICHEN: [TE] Grant [Calcaterra] has been progressing. Obviously, he will probably get some more reps. He’s been battling in practice. It will be a good test for him this week. We are going against a really good defense. I believe they’re fifth in total defense. They are really good on third down. I believe they are fourth on third down.
I got a ton of respect for [Colts Defensive Coordinator] Gus Bradley, the d-coordinator. Worked with him for four years in LA. Hell of a football coach, hell of a human being. Looking forward to the challenge. I know our guys are excited for it.
Q. Saw a lot — not a lot, but a fair amount, of throws to RB Kenny Gainwell last year as a rookie; not as much this year. He had another drop on Monday night. Is that what’s holding him back and why you’re not using him as much? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: No, not necessarily. I think obviously you add a player like [WR] A.J. Brown, [WR] DeVonta Smith, you got [TE] Dallas Goedert, I mean, you got guys that you need to get the ball to, and [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] is part of that, too, but obviously those are our threes guys that we got, and obviously [WR] Quez [Watkins] had some big catches in the game.
We’ll continue to look at those things week in and week out with Kenny.
Q. That jump pass we saw, it seemed like that was a play that was set up, that you guys did most of the year. How far in advance do you think of those wrinkles, and how did that one unfold? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: We’re always doing that. After every game we go through when we’re watching the game, [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] does a heck of a job always going through like, hey, what can we marry from last week, certain things throughout the season. We are always looking at different wrinkles to put in. And obviously does it fit that week. That fit versus the coverage down there they were playing, and we got the exact look that we thought we would get, and it worked out pretty well.
Q. Jeff asked about RB Kenny Gainwell particularly, but really you guys haven’t thrown to the backs much at all this year. We’ve seen RB Miles Sanders have a 50-catch season earlier in his career. Kenny obviously; RB Boston Scott can catch the ball. Would you like to get the backs more involved, or is kind of the way you all… (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think right now, the backs, we’ll have stuff up for the backs, but sometimes those catches happen organically. Right now, like I said, we got three, four really good players on the outside that we’re getting the ball to in the pass game.
And then when it comes time for those guys to catch it, they will.
Q. As you think back to the Chargers game last year, how does DT Linval Joseph affect the game plan? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: [DT] Linval [Joseph] is a big human being. I got a chance to be with Linval in LA in 2020. To add him to the defensive line with the rest of those guys we got up front is going to be special. He’s a hard human being to block.
Q. You guys saw Indianapolis Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue last year and he gave you fits. What’s the key to trying to slow him down? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think we just have to be fundamentally sound with him and just knowing his rush lanes and where he’s trying to get to. I think we’ll have a plan for him going in. He is a really good football player, someone we’ve got to be prepared for.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts has run much less in the past four weeks or so; is that by design or is that just sort of how the game unfolds? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: That’s kind of how the game has unfolded. We always have runs in for him, and obviously we’ll look at that week in and week out. If it gives an advantage to run — I mean, I know we popped a big one to start the game with him. If we have those tendencies and we can get big runs with him running the ball, we’ll do that.
Q. How did you view your play selection in the first half? I know it was kind of a funky half with the time of possession and everything. What was kind of your takeaway from that? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah. I think just looking at it in total, I don’t know exactly the run-pass ratio. We had 21 plays I believe, and then three of those were that two-minute drive. Obviously, the defense did a heck of a job to start game to get the turnover and you go three plays and score, and then we had the good drive on the second drive to go down.
We hit the third down to [WR] DeVonta [Smith] for, I don’t know, a 15-yard gain, and just in my mind I was like, hey, let’s go after him here a little bit and tried to take the shot. We threw the interception, but that was just kind of the thought process.
Just attack early in the game. Try to get the lead early. That’s what I was thinking there.
Q. Do limited snaps affect the way you call a game? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: Not necessarily. Any time we get the football, we’ve got to execute and we’ve got to score. No matter whether we have 70 plays in the game or 40 plays in the game, it’s our job as an offense to go score.
We did at times, but then we didn’t. So, we’ve got to execute at a high level. We had an opportunity to go score in two-minute drive and we didn’t execute. We went three and out and punted it back. So, we’ve got to be better in that situation.
Q. How has TE Grant Calcaterra developed behind the scenes? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s doing awesome. He’s a good learner. Studies his butt off. He practices hard. [Tight Ends Coach] Jason [Michael] does a heck of a job with him. It’s a good tight knit group in there. Those guys take advantage of their opportunities on the practice field, and it’ll be good to see him Sunday.
Q. WR A.J. Brown rolled his ankle pretty early in the game. Did that affect the way you guys called it? He clearly wasn’t his typical self. (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: He wasn’t 100%, but, still, you’ve got to take that into account when you’re calling things. There are certain things, you know, we hit that post to [WR] Quez [Watkins], which was good. Threw some things to Quez there.
But [WR] A.J. [Brown], he’s an ultimate competitor. He’s going to want the football. We want to give him the football. And even if a 90% A.J. isn’t 100%, he’s still pretty darn good, so we got to get him the ball.
Q. How did you view that interception? Did QB Jalen Hurts do the right thing? What’s kind of the coaching point? The one that was down to WR A.J. Brown. (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, I think pre-snap the safety was pretty low, and then A.J. was running that post and the guy was right there. I mean, it was a bang-bang play. It was a good play by the DB. It was a tight window throw.
Q. What does TE Dallas Goedert’s absence mean, not just for the other tight ends, but for WR Quez Watkins and WR Zach Pascal with the opportunities they might have, particularly, Zach with some opportunities in the passing game? (Jimmy Kempski)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think it’s what you said. Any time you lose a premier player another guy has got to step up. Obviously, DeVonta, A.J., Quez and Zach and all those guys are going to need to step up, and obviously the tight end room will step up as well. We’re looking forward to the challenge.