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Pat Shurmur Speaks on Gocong, Saturday’s Practice

(Opening Statement)- “It was another good practice. You are probably going to ask about Chris Gocong who left. They are evaluating his ankle, and we’ll see so I’ll know more here at some point. I’m sure it will get released if there’s something extended to his injury. It looked like, from what we could tell, he just jumped up in the air, and then came down on it so we’re having it evaluated. With that being said, I thought the practice was good. There were a lot of coachable moments out there. We saw some big plays. We saw a couple big plays that we have to make. We saw a situation where a receiver caught a ball then stopped running when he could have scored a touchdown. He’ll never do that again. You don’t go through it unless you practice it. I think that’s something that we can learn from and that’s why you do these things. We got some situational work in. I really felt like, again, we made some progress today.”

(On if he thinks Chris Gocong’s injury is ankle related)- “We’re hoping that whatever the injury is that it’s not a long term thing, but we’ll know here. He’ll be sent for an MRI and we’ll know for sure if it’s something that we have to deal with more than a couple days.”

(On if Kaluka Maiava and James Michael Johnson play either outside position)- “Yeah, they are very flexible position wise. They really can play inside as well, Kaluka, JMJ, and some of the young linebackers that we have on our roster. Anytime there’s an injury, it’s unfortunate when it happens. It’s the unintended consequence of playing this game. As safe as you try to be sometimes it happens. It drives the coach nuts for sure. I worry about that when we come out here. You don’t want to see guys get hurt. I think the important thing though, is when that happens, you quickly get your eye right back on the ball and you get guys in there that can compete. It’s also a lesson to guys that play behind people, it’s a play away from being in there and being in there full time. That’s what you have to learn from that.”

(On Craig Robertson and L.J. Fort possibly getting more snaps)- “I think those are two guys that have also caught our eye. I think they are both guys that if they make the club here, are immediately going to be special teams contributors in a big way. They’ve both made plays, obviously in the scrimmage drills. They are two young guys that we’re very hopeful for.”

(On what he’s seeing from Kaluka Maiava)- “Kaluka is obviously a very fine football player. He first established himself as a special teams player and he’s very effective in scrimmage downs as well. We anticipate that he’ll be one year better in our scheme and one year better as a player.”

(On how Maiava compensates for being a smaller linebacker)- “He’s bigger than you (joking). There are a lot of linebackers in the league, although they may not be tall, they’re not small. He’s kind of a thickly built guy. Even though he’s not tall, he’s pretty powerful.”

(On if he will look outside to get another linebacker if Chris Gocong is out for a long time)- “I think we’re going to have to evaluate that once we know the final outcome if this is a major injury.”

(On if he thinks the team bounced back after Gocong’s injury)- “Yeah, I think they did. I think we have enough veteran guys around here, and quite frankly anybody that’s come to our team has played enough football where they’ve seen injuries happen. As I mentioned, it’s the unintended consequence of this game. I thought they bounced back fine.”


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