Pass game coordinator/wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea (6.13.24)

Amari (Cooper) not being here, how did that impact your installation during OTA’s?

“Yeah, we had so many guys that we’re working so hard through the process and it was nice to see the guys that were here really make a lot of improvements, learning some of the new language and learning different ways to do things, which was really nice to see them work extremely hard and make a lot of progress. It’s just we really concentrate and focus on the guys that are here, and I can’t say enough about the way those guys have worked on the field and in the meeting room. We’ve spent a lot of time in the meeting room, invested a lot of time with the quarterbacks, and a lot of communication that occurs to try to get on the same page. So, the guys that have been here have worked extremely hard.”


Last year with Elijah (Moore), it seemed like during the off season program, he was doing so many things and there were just all these wrinkles that you guys seem to be trying to incorporate with him and this offseason program, it feels like a lot of that has just been scaled back and maybe a little more just kind of back to the basics, what was your view on his first season here and what you hope he’s able to do this coming year?

“With all the receivers, there’s a balance in using their versatility and doing a lot of things with them and then narrowing down their focus so they can really concentrate and be really good at the things that we narrow down for them. We’re very fortunate with Elijah that he can do a lot of things really well, but it’s also important for him to concentrate and focus on the things that we narrow down and say, ‘Hey, here’s a specific role for you.’ So, he’s really – I can’t say enough about his progress, his improvement, the way he’s worked on a daily basis has been just very impressive. He’s provided leadership to our group; I’ve really seen him grow in that role of providing leadership. So not only does he provide a skill set on the field, which is versatile, one of the things he’s provided for our group is leadership. So, we’re going to always ask Elijah to do a lot of things and wear a lot of different hats because we think he can handle those things. But Elijah’s really performed well because he’s really concentrated it on the basics, and it’s been really impressive to see.”


Chad, off of that question about Elijah (Moore), not only did you guys move him around a lot early last season, but, through his career, he’s gone through a lot of quarterbacks, a number of offensive coordinators. For a receiver trying to get established in the league, how much can that stunt someone’s growth or, you know, impact their development?

“Yeah, in a lot of ways, the development of the receiver, you benefit from being exposed to different ways to do things in different systems and learning how to play with different types of quarterbacks. So it’s oftentimes an advantage, the way we see it to where, time spent and different ways to do things and maybe catching passes from a different guy – although you don’t have continuity, what you do learn is a lot about that player and their ability to adapt, which is that’s one of Elijah’s strengths, is his ability to adapt and be versatile and play different positions. But certainly, I think anytime a player is in your system, in your building, call it the second lap around the track, there’s some comfort for that player to be around the coaching staff, and obviously he’s learning some new guys now, but being around coach (Kevin) Stefanski and being around the building and the support staff is probably comforting for him and allows him to be a much-improved player going into his second year with us.”


How has Mike Woods looked with everything that he had to go through last year?

“Yeah, I mean, there’s different players deal with adversity throughout their career in different ways. Whether it’s injury, you know, it can be a lot of different things you deal with from an adversity standpoint. Mike (Woods) has embraced that. You know, he’s come back really strong off of his injury, an injury that’s a tough and difficult injury at that position. But I’ve been impressed with Mike, the way he’s worked, he’s performed very well on the field this spring, and Mike has always brought a mental ability to function in multiple roles for us. He’s very smart and that allows him to have more of an increased role, but from a physical standpoint, been very impressed with how hard he’s worked, and it’s really a tribute to the guys, our training staff in this building, our strength and conditioning staff. Shaun Huls, those guys have done a great job with him of getting him from his injury out on the field, performing at a level that I think is very competitive.”


Do you think it could be more difficult when you have an injury like that cost him a whole season that early in his current right, like he had to establish himself and then get hurt?

“Yeah, I mean, it’s like if you’re a boxer and you get punched early in the rounds. And I think that’s kind of what happens to a player early in his career. But regardless of when that happens, the resiliency of the players, what’s most important, and the great thing about Mike Woods is we believe that he has the trait of resiliency, and he’s going to fight through it. And it’s been really impressive to see his improvement coming off the injury.”


 Just where have you seen Cedric Tillman grow the most?

“Cedric Tillman’s been outstanding. He has taken every rep and used that as an opportunity to become better. I see a lot of improvement in him in year two. Obviously, there were some things he did in year one we were very pleased with and so excited about his future watching him in year one but can’t say enough about how well he’s done on the field for us as far as his work ethic, making plays, I think he’s more confident in year two, which you would hope is the case with a young player. But Cedric, I just spoke to him and spoke to the group about how impressed we’ve been with him and how much he’s improved, and to see his development has been really great as a coach to see.”


From your perspective, these choice routes that are part of this new offense, how do you make sure that the quarterback and the receiver see things the same way?

“Yeah, I mean, choice routes and with other routes, it’s really time invested in the amount of time you can spend on the field with the quarterback that’s the most valuable thing you can do. You know, we can show film, we can get the playbooks out, and we can look at the playbooks and look at the drawings. But at the end of the day, what’s most important is the quarterbacks are on the same page with the receivers, and the only way to do that is to get on the field and work together. It’s been great to have Deshaun (Watson) out there throwing with the guys and really working to be on the same page because you have to see it through what we say, the same set of eyes. They have to be on the same page.”


Chad, one of the guys who’s gotten a lot of reps with Amari (Cooper) and Jerry (Jeudy) being out has been Jamari Thrash. What have you seen out of him?

“We were really excited when were able to draft Jamari Thrash from Louisville. We were excited because of his versatility. Very similar to Elijah Moore, where you can do a lot of different things with his skillset. The thing that I’ve been most impressed with with Jamari is offensively, or let’s say schematically, where they aligned him at the University of Louisville – they aligned him in one spot. He was on one side of the field. So, his transition to the NFL and to our offense, we’re now moving him around, he needs to learn formations, he needs to learn just getting into a huddle to hear the verbal communication. They’ve always been nonverbal at the University of Louisville, and to see a player handle those things as well as he has, that’s been most impressive. I mean, we all see his skill set; he can get open, he can catch the ball. But what doesn’t go seeing a lot is his ability of functioning kind of across the board when he wasn’t required to do that in college. So, he’s been able to do that because he’s worked really hard to be able to do that.”


How about how has Jerry Jeudy been able to stay involved and be on top of everything without being able to practice very much?

“Yeah, coach (Kevin) Stefanski’s structured our offseason program in a way in which, you know, a player can take advantage of walkthroughs, meeting time he’s structured for us. So, Jerry (Jeudy’s) made so much progress learning the offense, learning his teammates in a setting that just necessarily hasn’t been on the field all the time. So, we’ve gotten a lot out of having great walkthroughs in which he’s very attentive and trying to learn the offense, the meeting room setting, there’s been a lot of communication with him and the quarterbacks to be on the same page. So that’s been really neat to see that you don’t necessarily have to always jump on the field every day to make progress and become a better player and help our team win.”


What do you think he adds to that receiver room and how he fits with the rest of the guys inside this offense?

“Yeah, Jerry (Jeudy’s) another guy that’s going to bring versatility. That’s the one word we’ve used a lot with a lot of these different receivers, and that’s not by accident that’s what we’re looking for. The more you can have a guy function in different spots, it allows the other players to use their skill sets in different spots. So, that’s the one thing that we’ve always really liked about Jerry Jeudy is his ability to kind of play across the board, play in different roles. I would say his route tree is pretty big. So, we can do a lot of different things with him, both inside and outside. And again, that helps those other guys be in different positions to use their skill set because I can’t say enough about the work that those other guys have done on the field this spring and really excited about their ability to be used in different spots as well.”


Did you give Ced (Cedric Tillman) offensive MVP?

“Yeah, you know, we –  I’ll just say I’m so happy with Ced’s development and he’s, he really took advantage. He was in this building nonstop, he didn’t miss a day, He worked so hard. And I can’t say enough about the job he did.”


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