When it comes to football players on game day, Pat Shurmur believes they should be seen and not heard.
Monday night reinforced that conviction.
“You might expect my answer when it comes to mics,” he said of players being wired for sound that is then aired on the broadcasts or other outlets. “I’m not fond of them. I think there are things that get said and corrected during the game that should be internal in my opinion.”
The Jets provided a shining example of such a moment when quarterback Sam Darnold said from the sideline that he was “seeing ghosts” against the Patriots defense. A gatekeeper from NFL Films allowed that remark to be aired on the ESPN broadcast, much to the displeasure of the Jets.
The sound bite has become a bit of a punchline around the league. Asked on Wednesday if he intended to make Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones see ghosts on Sunday, Lions coach Matt Patricia quipped: “We’re pretty much trying to stick in the normal world.”
The Giants have two upcoming Monday Night Football games in which their players might be asked to wear a microphone: They host the Cowboys on Nov. 4 and are at the Eagles on Dec. 9. The Giants have not established a firm policy for such requests, but it’s clear Shurmur would prefer the team to decline them.
“I know that outside, it’s kind of interesting and nice for broadcasts to see that stuff,” Shurmur said. “If you ask me my opinion about mics, I’m not fond of it. Plus, when you have a mic, then some of what you’re communicating at the line of scrimmage now becomes public record.”
That doesn’t mean teams can operate in a cone of silence if they prefer. Teams are obligated to have at least two different players or coaches wired for sound by NFL Films for at least one game each every season, but that audio is vetted by the team before it is broadcast, a process that takes place after the game has ended. Shurmur, in fact, was wearing a microphone for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
No word whether he saw anything supernatural in that agonizing loss.
Notes & quotes: Saquon Barkley was limited in practice as he continues to deal with a sore ankle, but Shurmur said he expects the running back to play on Sunday. “Just some game soreness,” Shurmur said. That, of course, is opposite of last week when Barkley was a full participant in practices but Shurmur refused to say if he would play…CB Corey Ballentine (concussion) was the only Giants player who did not participate in practice. WR Sterling Shepard remains in the concussion protocol and was limited while wearing a yellow non-contact jersey…Shurmur said he is excited that his son, Kyle, was elevated to the Chiefs’ active roster this week. “Maybe he won’t be charging us for Uber drivers now,” Shurmur said. “He can buy his own Ubers now.” Kyle is backing up Matt Moore while Patrick Mahomes recovers from a knee injury. “I’m happy for him,” Shurmur said. “If he gets in the game, I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”