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Transcript: Shurmur Addressed the Media Monday

Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur

Q: What have you seen from Bucky Hodges?

A: I think he's improved steadily throughout when he first came here. Obviously, for a guy that was involved in a pro system for the first time it was a little slow going. As time has gone on, we've seen steady improvement in each practice. I think it carried over into the game the other night. He's a tall guy that runs real well. He made a couple nice catches in that two-minute drill.  

Q: How do you think the offensive line performed against Seattle?

A: I thought it was a better performance, obviously, than Week One. I thought the guys, for the most part, blocked the line of scrimmage pretty well. It was a different scenario, we got a bunch of twists. Those guys were in there playing pretty active. The protections were good. I thought early in the game we ran the ball well, you could see guys getting to the second level. I thought they fought hard and were active.   

Q: Does that make you reevaluate some different combinations?

A: No, I think as we go through it, we're really not doing the math there yet. We're just trying to get everybody to play better. We saw some guys that had a better performance certainly than the first week.

Q: Is Pat Elflein a better center or guard?

A: I think he can play both. I think he's a good football player.  

Q: What do you think of the rookie class thus far?

A: Well, I think the guys that we brought in this year certainly have made an impression on us. I'll only speak for the offense, certainly. We've talked a lot about Pat [Elflein] and Danny Isidora, certainly Dalvin [Cook]. Our two young receivers have done a nice job – Rodney [Adams] and Stacy [Coley]. Also, we just spoke about Bucky. So, they're getting better. This training camp is a journey. You just keep playing your way through it. It's kind of like a four game little journey to get as good as you can get before the first regular season game. That's where we're at right now.

Q: Would you feel comfortable having rookies starting in key spots?

A: We're training everybody that we keep on the 53 to go in the game and play. Those are the guys that we'll trust to be in there.  

Q: What do you think of Case Keenum's performance thus far?

A: I think he's done a good job. I think he's really sort of impressed me here as we've got into the game situations. He's very engaged, you can tell he's a guy that's played a lot of football. He's been able to move the team. He does good things with his legs as far as moving around and extending plays. I've been impressed with his performance so far.

Q: How important is it to keep three quarterbacks?

A: That's for the final roster decision but I think it's extremely important that you're always developing quarterbacks. You just never know how it's all going to play out. You just want to keep developing the quarterback position throughout the season and especially during training camp, so that if for some reason you need a guy, you have a guy ready to go. Again, the final roster decision is a couple weeks away so we'll just have to wait and see.

Q: What did you think of Dalvin Cook's performance on Friday?

A:  I thought he displayed good vision. He's trying to do what we're coaching him to do yet he's very natural in his ability to run the football. There were a couple seams he hit there that were pretty tight that became almost explosive runs. You see a guy that's disappointed when he doesn't make the safety miss. That's a good thing because one of those times when the safety does miss, that could be a touchdown. We've been impressed with what he's done. He continues to work and get better every day, that's what he needs to be doing.

Q: From the short sample size that you have, what are the biggest differences between Dalvin Cook and Adrian Peterson that you've seen?

A: It's hard to say. I obviously was not around Adrian as much as other people, but he was a downhill, explosive type runner, one of the best of all time. We've got Dalvin here who's got the traits to be a really good football player, so we'll see how that plays out.

Q: Kyle Rudolph has said that he was pleased with his receiving numbers last season, but more than that with his progression as a blocker. How did you see him adapt to being a more all-around tight end?

A: Unless you're the quarterback, blocking is part of everybody's job description on offense, especially the tight end. I think he made improvements, he focused on it last year and I think there's an even deeper focus on it this year. I think he's done a good job. He understand his role, he understands at times the ball is not going to come his way and he just needs to do what he can to help us win.

Q: Is that something you've emphasized for him?

A: No, I just emphasize that he does his job well, and when he's asked to block, block well, and when he's asked to run routes and catch balls, do that. I think he's a pro, and he understands that in his job he really has to do both.

Q: Are you pretty set with Alex Boone and Joe Berger at guard, or could the loser of the center competition potentially compete there?

A: We're going to have to see how that all plays out. We've got a couple more weeks. We're going to put the best five guys in there, as far as we're concerned.

Q: From what you've seen out of Pat Elflein and Nick Easton, could they do the job?

A: What we want is a bunch of guys so it makes it a very tough decision for us. We want a lot of guys in there that are playing well. That's sort of what we're looking for. But I can't tell you right now how that's all going to play out yet.

Q: What did Nick Easton specifically show you when he got that start at guard?

A: I thought he did a good job. Again, he was very active in there, he moved his feet and did a good job of getting to the second level. He did a good job in our screen game but yet was physical enough to block on the line of scrimmage. He passed off a couple of twists real well, so all the things you're looking for.

Q: What are your expectations for Latavius Murray in this week's game, and what does he give you that Dalvin Cook maybe doesn't?

A: We'll see what happens. I mentioned it already this week that we'll just have to see what happens by the time we get to game day who's out there playing. When he's in the game we just want him to play good, efficient football, run the ball and try to create explosive runs if he can, and when he's asked to pass protect to do the same thing. We want him to get in there and get his feet wet and get playing again. That's what we're looking for.

Q: Is Latavius more of a short yardage guy that Dalvin is?

A: I think they both can play on all three downs. From a play calling standpoint, that gives you great flexibility. It doesn't matter who's in there.

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