WFT Quotes 9/16/20: Scott Turner

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September 16, 2020

Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner

On the first game:
“So, I told our guys on Saturday night before the game that there was going to be adversity. It’s Week 1, it’s a
division opponent, Philly’s a good team. Now, did I think it was going to start the way it did and be down 17-0?
No, I don’t think that’s how I thought it was going to happen. But, it’s the NFL and stuff happens. I think
[Eagles defensive coordinator Jim] Schwartz did a nice job defensively and I thought they played good. Credit
to them that they played well. Then we had some plays that we were really close on or we didn’t quite get the
most out of. We just couldn’t get a rhythm going. I think [Head Coach Ron Rivera], what he said—and it’s
really more of a private conversation—but he just said basically what he said in the press conference: ‘Hey, it’s
not all going to happen in one play.’ We just tried to stack some positive plays together. The defense obviously
did an outstanding job. I thought we handled situations well. If you look at the first half, the two-minute drill,
getting a touchdown as well as our redzone. The one time that we didn’t score in the redzone was when we took
a knee at the end of the game. So, when you do that—and third downs weren’t very good. We put ourselves into
bad situations early in third downs, but then we had some huge conversions down the stretch on the third-and-8,
the third-and-9 and then obviously in the fourth-and-1 toward the end of the game. And four-man, we had a
four-man situation of getting the big chunk play that set us up for the field goal that put us up 10. It’s a fourquarter game. You get a certain amount of possessions. We were able to score 27 points, but we’ve got to play
better than what we did, especially in the beginning of the game.”

On if the fourth-and-1 call shows confidence to the team:
“Yeah, I think so. Coach is going to—we spent a lot of time studying those situations. It gets a little blown out
of proportion, but there’s math equations behind it and it’s about percentages and gets down to what gives you
the best percentage to win. So really, when you look at it that way it’s not an aggressive situation. It’s about the
numbers. Sometimes you go against the numbers. But, it’s a tool. You want to know what the percentages are
and ultimately that’s Coach’s decision. But I think the guys do feed off that they Coach says: ‘Hey, we’re going
to get this first down.’ [RB] Peyton Barber did a great job. We got a block that got it started and Peyton had a
great effort of running that DB over and getting over the top of him to get that first down.”

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s performance Sunday:
“I think it was a lot like the rest of our offense. He came out, I think he missed a couple things early. Like I said,
Philly did a nice job of taking away maybe some initial looks early. I think maybe once he settled in—practice
is one thing, but live football is different. Live football against a quality opponent, which everybody is a quality
opponent in the NFL, is different. I think once he settled in, started getting some completions, he started to
make some plays. I think that as an offense, and I told the guys, the first thing I do is look in the mirror and
think ‘How can I be better?’ But, offensively we left a lot out there. I look for us to improve as the season goes
on.”

On going for it on fourth-and-1:
“You know I know how Coach feels about me, so I was just ready to make a call in that situation. If Coach
decides to take a field goal, then I’m fine with that. Again, he’s the head coach and he’s going to make the right
decision about what gives us the best chance to win. I’ve got full faith in it. Obviously, you think about it. I
didn’t think about it at the time, but afterward I thought: ‘You know what, I’m glad that he did and I’m glad we
were able to come through.’”

On Haskins Jr.’s decision making:
“He didn’t put the ball in harm’s way, maybe a couple times. That’s something that we stressed. We had no
penalties. We had no turnovers. That’s a big thing and obviously that’s a good starting point for us offensively.
Dwayne’s the quarterback, he touches the ball every snap so obviously he’s a big part of that. I think there are
probably some decisions he’d like to have back. But, you’re never going to be perfect in that regard. Stuff
happens really fast out there. He’s got to see it out his eyes. The more he plays, the more he sees it and I think
the better he’s going to be at those types of things.”

On having a quarterback that can extend plays:
“I think there’s always been guys like that in the league. I think there’s more of them now. I think anything you
can do as a quarterback to help move the ball is a weapon. Obviously, it starts with throwing the ball. It starts
with being able to throw the ball down the field and complete passes. But, when you can move the stick with
your feet, when you can extend plays, when you can extend back and get big plays down the field, it just adds to
your book of tricks if you will.”

On Haskins Jr.’s mobility against the Eagles:
“He did a nice job. A lot of things are basically just to keep the defense honest sometimes. If we can pick up
five, six, seven yards with the quarterback then that’s good. There was a big third down in the first half that was
kind of a backed-up situation then we were able to get into field goal range. We missed it and that happens, but
that was big just to extend that drive on a third-down play. That’s where it shows up a lot, on third down
scrambles. There are some plays where it’s not necessarily a designed run but a read where he has the ability to
pull it if he gets a certain look. That’s just something that defenses have to account for.”

On getting the offense into a rhythm:
“I don’t know. I felt like we weren’t in a rhythm at all in the first half. I thought we got a little good rhythm in
the first half right before the two-minute drive. I think it can come and go at times. I think just getting that
consistent feel. I can’t tell you. Hopefully it’s on Sunday. We’re playing a good team against Arizona, but I
think we’ve had times in practice when we did a great job. It was tough times sledding, especially early Sunday.
We’ve got a good group of young guys that work, that are going to continue to get better and grind and work.
The best thing that our guys did is they stuck together. Nobody panicked and we stayed with the plan and
everybody trusted what we were doing. Again, we got put in some good situations, but we finished drives in the
end zone. If we can continue to do that and do the stuff we did in the second half, I think we’ll get better and
better every week and every game.”

On if he expected a high level of play without the preseason:
“I always expect—maybe I’m just overconfident or you design the plays and you see them go in practice, but
you expect those guys. We hold these guys to a high expectation, and we expect these guys to execute. I’ll say
the same thing to the guys: ‘Not every play is going to come out how you like it. You’ve got to manage those.’
But, I expected us to play better than what we did. We fought through it and we finished. I expect us to play a
lot better this week and what we did against Philly.”

On RB Antonio Gibson:
“He’s a young player. I think that’s the biggest thing. As a rookie, you don’t want to overwork those guys or put
them in too much of a situation early. I think that his role will continue to grow. Again, we’ve got two other
backs. The way the snaps went, with Peyton we finished the game in a four-minute situation where we basically
ran the ball to use the clock at the end. That’s why his snap count was so high. We also had a lot of redzone
runs which we felt good about and Peyton was able to get it in the end zone twice, which was good. Based on
how the games play themselves out, that’ll dictate a lot of snaps. But Antonio, his game is only going to grow
and grow with the more experience he has. I think, hey, he got his first game under his belt, he got tackled, he
had a couple runs. Understanding the speed of the game, I think his comfort level will just increase.”

On WR Antonio Gandy-Golden:
“I think with Gandy-Golden, he’s another guy that’s going to grow. Just missing time in training camp, that was
tough. I think as we go on here, you’ll see him start to develop a role. Depending on how he handles that, it
could very well increase.”

On playing up-tempo during the game:
“Yeah, we’re fine with tempo. In the first half, we didn’t have much of an opportunity to do that just because
we weren’t getting first downs and we weren’t on the field as much. That’s part of what we do, and we’ll be
able to change that up.”

On being in the booth this season:
“Yeah, so at Carolina I was a quarterback coach and my dad [Norv Turner] was obviously the offensive
coordinator, so he was calling plays from the booth. He would just give them to me, and I would give them to
the QB. Because I was the quarterback coach, once I took over calling plays for the last four games of the
season I just stayed down there. But, no. The plan is to go from the booth, and I can communicate directly with
Dwayne from the box. So, yeah, that’s the plan.”

On adjusting to calling plays from the booth:
“No, I guess it is a different view, but you can see pretty well up there. It’s nothing that was difficult.”

On Haskins Jr.’s speech at halftime:
“I didn’t know anything about that until after the game because I was up in the box. It’s a 12-minute halftime,
so between me getting downstairs, talking to the coaches, addressing the team, kind of giving them the plan for
the second half and then I’m out of there. Obviously, we were able to come out and win. I talked to someone on
the phone when I was home and they said, ‘How about Dwayne’s speech?’ And I had no idea what they were
talking about. I heard about it. I think it’s cool. I think it’s cool that Dwayne being named the captain, I think
that’s great being voted on by his teammates and being made captain and then feeling comfortable enough as a
young guy in that situation to step up and kind of rally the guys. I think it’s a cool deal.”

On playing motion at and before the snap:
“I think anytime you can make a defense adjust, it’s good. It’s not always going to be like that every game, but
just to try to give them different looks and not always be set. I think you affect the defense in that way. It’s just
something that you look at. Anything that we can do to try to score points, get first downs, we’re going to do
that. Again, it could differ week to week. I think you look at historical data and it’s shown to be effective. It’s
not like we’re doing it just to do it. We see adjustments and we see things. It’s not like we just run a motion and
the play’s going to automatically work. You can do different things that way. You can make people adjust and
sometimes it can work out to your favor, hopefully more times than not.”
 

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