FRIDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 31-29 win over the New England Patriots:
Opening Statement: I really don’t have anything to lead with. Obviously, we are going through the final process of putting the roster together. I had a meeting with the players this morning at 11:30 to talk about the weekend and some of the final thoughts on the game and some final thoughts on training camp that I’ll keep between them and myself. I will say, I appreciate everybody’s efforts. I feel like we are starting to develop the type of team we can all be proud of, but we have a long way to go. This weekend’s process of trying to establish the first 53 will be very important.
Q: A couple of us were talking to Golden Tate yesterday after the game. He was saying he was going to speak to you guys today to try to figure out the plan of what he can and can’t do in terms of contact with the team, coaches and what not. What are those plans? How much is he able to communicate with everyone?
A: Yeah, I have spoken with Golden Tate all along as to what his plans are, and we’ll keep those private. He’s going to have to leave the building for a month, and he’ll be off training and doing what he can do. We’ll get him back when we can get him back.
Q: He wants to try to do what he can so he can still mentor the guys and what not. Is that still allowed if it’s outside of the building? Is that a gray area—how does that work?
A: No, he’s going to be suspended so he can’t be around.
Q: Not in the building, but maybe outside the building?
A: I assume so. That’s part of his personal life. In my mind, he’s going to be gone for a month. I have spoken to him at length a couple of times about what he plans to do and I’m aware of that. We’ll just look forward to getting him back when we can.
Q: I wanted to ask you about the scene at the end of the game last night when everybody came onto the field and celebrated from your bench and what you thought about that. You have spoken about what type of team you’re envisioning. How does that fit into the whole culture that you’re trying to build?
A: I don’t really use the word culture. I think what we’re trying to always do is win games. That’s obviously what you’re trying to do, and we’re certainly all well aware of the fact that game doesn’t count in the record books. The competitive spirit and part of what we’re trying to train our guys to do is finish. I think that group that was in the game, we were involved in a two-minute drive and they found a way to finish with a score that won the game. I think, regardless of what that game meant, for the players involved, it meant that we won and the excitement of winning showed up. I think that there is something good to that.
Q: Do you anticipate letting guys know today or will that all be tomorrow regarding the cutdown? I know some teams have already started, but if memory serves, you didn’t do it until Saturday last year. Will you let guys know today?
A: I wouldn’t speculate on that. I think our initial plan is to do most, if not all, of that tomorrow. I can’t say that something won’t happen today. Again, with regard to who we are keeping, the process of going through it, I really don’t want to speculate, and I don’t think it’s fair to our process here. I think it’s important to remember that since we’ve had the 90-man roster, we have talked at length about all of the players, frequently. Obviously, last night we learned something about more of the guys that will help add to the conversation. I think we’ll keep most of that private until it gets revealed.
Q: I don’t know if this counts as a speculative question that you don’t want to get into, but is there a position where you feel you’re really deep, and a position where it’s going to be exceptionally tough because you think you’re really deep and the numbers might not work out?
A: You are absolutely correct, that is a speculative question.
Q: We’ve talked a lot about how Daniel Jones has looked this summer and his development. What about your starting quarterback? How do you think he’s handled this whole summer, and do you think he’s more ready now in his second year with you to have a big season than he was last year at this time?
A: I think he’s had an outstanding offseason. It started by what he did by himself before the OTA offseason program started. I think he’s had, in my mind, an outstanding camp from the practice setting. He’s executed well in the time that he’s been in the game. He’s certainly a guy that’s got a lot of experience, and when I look at him, I just see a guy that’s much more comfortable in the system for the second year in a row, and I’m looking forward to him having a really good year.
Q: Last night, Brian Mihalik played the whole game. Can you talk about what you saw from him last night, and another guy maybe battling for a roster position, Paul Perkins? Can you talk about what you saw from them, and then maybe a little update on the injuries?
A: Mihalik, he did a good job. He’s a trustworthy guy, and he plays hard, he’s smart, and he’s got all the traits that a coach is looking for—and he’s long, he can play tackle. So, I thought he did a really good job last night in the game. Perkins made some plays and, again, I learned a little bit more about him—I would say we learned a little bit more about him last night in what he did. With regard to the injuries, we’re still finishing up visiting with the guys that you may have questions about, so I don’t have anything definitive there, unless you’ve got a question about a specific guy. That’s part of it this time of year—that’s really the unintended consequences of the fourth preseason game where you don’t play probably a third of your roster, is you’ve got a lot of guys that are playing a lot of snaps and they get exposed to injuries, but that’s just the way it goes.
Q: What’s your comfort level with Cody (Latimer) and Bennie (Fowler III) at receiver, and what kind of summers have they had so far?
A: I feel as though they’ve displayed a veteran presence. They have the skill and ability to play their positions, and I’m comfortable with both those players.
Q: At what point do you think you’ll lift your head up and take a peek around and see what’s going on with Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys?
A: Well, we’ve been quietly working on the Cowboys for a while now. We’ve known since the spring that they’re our opening game, so you always have one eye on the opener. With regard to that, Ezekiel Elliott, I think we’ll just watch that play out like the rest of the world does. Obviously, he’s an outstanding player, but those are really issues of the day for the Cowboys, not so much for us.
Q: Could you give some general insights of what the process is like over the next 12 hours or so?
A: Generally speaking, we came in this morning, we all watched the tape as coaches, graded it like we would the first three preseason games and like we do any other game, met with the players here at 11:30, and kind of sent them on their way—they’re finishing up their treatments, and they’re finishing up their weight lifting. The players will individually look at the tape and make corrections, so coaches within their little group, given that information, spend time with them. This afternoon, we’ll be in meetings discussing who’s going to make the 53—all coaches, Dave (Gettleman) and his staff, and anybody who has a good opinion as to what direction we should go.
Q: Last night, you were asked if Daniel Jones was ready, and your answer was, “He’s getting there.” Now that you get into the regular season, and presumably his reps in practice diminish as you get Eli ready, how does he take that final step to get all the way there to where if you need him at some point, he’s fully ready to go?
A: Well, I think that you continue to work, and this isn’t unique to the quarterback position. I think that the backup player, and the primary backup in this case, is a guy that gets the mental reps, he gets the physical reps before and after practice, during special teams periods—he’ll go and execute all the plays that we would execute in the game. On his own time, under our direction, we get him as ready as we can. That’s just the way this works, and we’re confident that he’s put himself in position to go in and execute at a high level, so that’s really how that works. This is not new.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Friday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Saturday and Sunday and return to practice on Monday. The Giants must reduce their roster to 53 players on Saturday.