SHANE STEICHEN: I’ll just start to kind of rehash the game a little bit. Obviously, we’ve got to be better offensively. We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds early in the game with the penalties that we can’t allow to happen.
You get into a 3rd-and-2 situation and get a penalty there, it puts you in a 3rd and long, and then next drive we started going pretty good, and then you get three penalties in a row, puts you in a 1st and 35, and we almost overcame that.
Then the third drive I thought we were moving the ball, did some good things, had three 3rd down conversions and then you get down inside the tight red and we had the mishap with the snap which puts you in 3rd and goal at the 10, which is tough to convert.
I thought the guys fought hard at the end, and it isn’t always going to be perfect, and the way our guys played with grit and toughness to finish the game I thought was tremendous. When we needed to make a play, we put the ball in the hands of our leader [QB] Jalen Hurts, and he got it done for us.
Q. What led to all running plays after the RB Miles Sanders penalty? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think we had some momentum there, so we got the big penalty, felt really good. When we got that, I felt really good that we were going to go down and score there, and I think that happened with a little bit over three minutes there. I was like shoot, if we can control this clock here and leave them as little time as possible with the ball back, that was the thought process going in.
We ran it good. [QB] Jalen [Hurts] had a hell of a play on that 4th down, 4th and 2 to get us there. They did some line stunts inside, so he was going inside and then he popped it and got the 1st down. Hell of a play by him, and then obviously to end the game with that 3rd and goal at the 7 with the quarterback draw, it was huge.
Q. You’ve talked about the touchdown run, but the 4th-and-2 play for him, what went into that call, and what went into the execution of that? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, 4th and 2 really was just trying to spread them out a little bit right there, and we did, but again, they did a really good job defensively with the defensive line. They did some stunts inside, so we were going to try to get inside the tackles there and then it all just squeezed down and then he popped right back outside that thing and found a way to get it, so hell of a play by him.
Q. You’ve seen the league over the years, the guys that are MVPs like Packers QB Aaron Rodgers two years in a row. Where does QB Jalen Hurts belong in that conversation in your opinion? What do you think? (Bob Grotz)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, the way he’s playing right now, absolutely. Obviously even with that game, right, not all games are going to be perfect, but when we needed to come up with big plays, he did it for us, and that’s what great players do.
He’s continuing to grow and getting better every single day, but we’ve got to keep grinding away. It’s week by week, and we’ve got to continue to grow.
Q. You used RB Boston Scott in some high-leverage snaps there. Hasn’t played a lot this year. What was the thinking? What went into that? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think some of those, too, we were going fast a little bit and we weren’t subbing there so it was kind of we just kept rolling with him there a little bit there at the end. But I love [RB] Boston [Scott]. Everything he stands for, the way he goes about his business.
I love the running back room. All three of those guys are capable of getting it done.
Q. Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue said they weren’t alerted for that QB draw there because you hadn’t showed that look with the running back in the backfield for that. Kind of what went into that behind the scenes during the week and also the decision to deploy in that moment? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think there obviously it was four-down mode right there, so kind of the thought process there was hey, hopefully they play their 3rd down coverages in that situation, which they did, which was awesome, and it was like hey, if we can get this down even to the 2- or 3-yard line, it gives us a chance at 4th and goal from the 2 or 3. But yeah, we did it out of the 3-by-1 set which everyone saw. It was just a different way of doing it because we’ve been doing it from different sets, but just to give it a little different wrinkle from that look and it worked out well.
Q. Do you find yourself during the game saying, oh, man, we could have used TE Dallas Goedert there, we could have used Dallas here? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Not during the game you don’t, because obviously during the week you have your preparation and what you’re thinking about. Obviously losing a guy like [TE] Dallas [Goedert] hurts. He’s a tremendous player, but you’re not thinking about that during the game. You have that preparation going through the week that you know he’s not available.
Q. You seemed to really pare down the personnel groups second half versus the first half. Is there a reason behind that? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: Not necessarily. Not necessarily.
Q. You talked about — we all know QB Jalen Hurts is fast and he can run, but can you touch on during the play, his vision, his awareness and his ability to make that decision in the middle of the play to kick it outside? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: No question. I think the really, really good players have a great feel for the game, and obviously he’s got a really good feel for the game and where the holes are and the vision. Obviously, you see one of the great running backs, how they have vision to hit holes and stuff, but as a quarterback to see that, that’s very impressive. Obviously, he’s been doing it all the way through college and now in the NFL, but he’s got a great, tremendous feel for the game.
Q. If I could rephrase a TE Dallas Goedert question. Obviously, you know he’s a big loss and you know you have to replace him with a lot of different guys. How did you think it worked out? Was it as serious as you thought? Was it tougher than you thought? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: Like I said, anytime you lose a player like that, it’s not going to be as easy as you think. You’ve got to adjust things as you go throughout the week, but everyone has got to step up. [TE] Jack [Stoll], obviously he’s been doing a good job. He played a good game for us, and then obviously [TE] Grant [Calcaterra] stepped in there and [TE] Tyree [Jackson] had a few snaps.
Every group, when you lose a really good player, everyone around you has got to step up, and I thought those guys did at the end of the game to go win it.
Q. When you watch QB Jalen Hurts on film, do you ever have a comparison that pops in your mind? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: I don’t like to compare guys, to be honest. I wouldn’t do that. [QB] Jalen Hurts is Jalen Hurts, and he’s playing good football.
Q. What have you seen from CB Rasul Douglas of the Packers? (Chris Franklin)
SHANE STEICHEN: Shoot, he’s long, he’s rangy. He’s got really good vision. He plays the ball well. He’s a good player.
This is going to be a tough challenge for us. I know they’re hungry for a win. Up front, too, defensively, they’ve got [Packers DL Kenny] Clark and [Packers LB] Preston [Smith], which are really good players, and then they’ve got the rookie linebacker [Quay] Walker from Georgia who’s playing good ball, and then [CB Jaire] Alexander at the corner position. They do a lot of good things defensively that we’ve got to be ready for. It’ll be a big challenge for us. Again, one we’re looking forward to on Sunday night.
Q. You guys added a couple wrinkles to the quarterback sneak, having different looks and personnel. What’s the process like finding that stuff and adding it in? (EJ Smith)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, we talk about that up in our meeting rooms all the time, and [Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni] is always like, how can we get these different looks, how can we add wrinkles to it. So, we’re always looking through those different things to get a yard, and really it starts up front with the offensive line inside. Those guys are just so powerful up front that we feel very confident we can get a yard.
Q. What is that formation called? (Bob Grotz)
SHANE STEICHEN: We have a whole — we name them a whole bunch of different things, so there’s a whole bunch of different names for them.
Q. What’s Head Coach Nick Sirianni like in short red zone meetings? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Did he tell you about that the other day? That thing is a gauntlet in there. We come up with our red zone package, but it is good. We go through every little detail to get it right, and there’s a lot of stuff because we know when we get down in there tight, like teams might play us differently than most. So, we’ve always got to have a plan for what could happen, and those things go long, but we’ve got to make sure we get it right.
Q. Based on the results it seems like Quarterbacks Coach Brian Johnson is doing a very good job with QB Jalen Hurts. What is it exactly that shines through in your opinion with him? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: [Quarterbacks coach] Brian [Johnson] played the quarterback position, and he’s done a tremendous job. He sees the game really well, and so when he’s going through the stuff with him in the meetings, out on the practice field, just the way he communicates, he’s a great communicator with [QB] Jalen [Hurts]. He does a heck of a job getting his mind right to go execute on Sundays.
Q. You said not necessarily as far as if there was a big reason for paring down the personnel packages, but why were you guys more 11 in the second half than in the first half? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: I just thought we had some things on the call sheet that we felt confident with in the second half out of 11 personnel, and plus obviously you’ve got [WR] A.J. [Brown] out there and [WR] Quez [Watkins] and [WR] Smitty [DeVonta Smith], so those are three really good players that we feel really good about, and that’s where it went.
Q. After last week it looked like QB Jalen Hurts was going to have a chance to have a drive to win a game, and two times it got wiped away, with the fumble and then the penalty on defense. Were you looking forward to seeing him in that situation? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, it was awesome. I think anytime you can put the ball in the hands of one of your best players to go win it and see what he did there, it was awesome. Like I said, he made some big-time plays. Obviously, it takes all of us to go execute, but the way he operated in that drive, that’s what you want to see from a quarterback.
Q. WR Quez Watkins wasn’t called much through the first half of the season, but he’s got six catches for 102 yards the last few weeks. What did he show during that period, and what has he shown since? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s been awesome. [WR] Quez [Watkins] has been steady. He’s been very selfless in that situation. Obviously, you’ve got [TE] Dallas [Goedert], you’ve got [WR] A.J. [Brown], and when a guy goes down like Dallas, guys got to step up, and that’s what Quez is doing right now.
Q. You’ve got 10 games as a sample size. How much of an impact has WR A.J. Brown had on the development of QB Jalen Hurts in your opinion? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: It’s awesome. Anytime you add an elite receiver like A.J. [Brown] to the fold, it’s going to make your offense better, and that’s what he’s been doing, and we’ve got to continue growing as an offense. Every week is a new week, and we’ve got to be locked in and ready to go every week.