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MONDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers:
Opening Statement: I kind of said what I needed to say last night, so I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Q: After watching the film, what are your more nuanced thoughts on Daniel’s (Jones) performance, the good and the bad, maybe that wasn’t apparent yesterday?
A: Yeah, I think he made some really good throws. He competed throughout the game even after he got his ankle twisted. Obviously, the interceptions are the focus, but he made an excellent throw on the touchdown pass and he made good throws throughout the game. Certainly, we can’t make those… the first interception he tried to fit it in and he’d want that one back. The second interception, he tried to throw the inside route on four verticals and he just overthrew Shep (Sterling Shepard). Shep ran a good route. I think certainly a completion there would’ve kept the drive alive. Then the last one he threw a go ball to (Darius) Slayton. I think he put a good throw on it, Slayton ducked inside the corner late in the down. We’ve just got to disrupt that. So, those are the ones. Certainly, we can’t throw interceptions. Sometimes they happen, but we’ve got to get it cleaned up.
Q: How’s his ankle feeling?
A: Fine. He’s got some game soreness but he’s fine.
Q: I’m sure by now you are aware of what Janoris Jenkins said after the game. I’m wondering if you can react to what seemed like him questioning (Defensive Coordinator) James Bettcher’s scheme. Have you talked to him about it and is there any validity to his question of whether he should be traveling with the other team’s top receiver?
A: Yeah, we all know, you guys have gotten to know him, and I know Rabbit (Janoris Jenkins) really well, he’s a spirited guy and he wants to have an impact on the game. I think his assessment of we’re the only team that doesn’t travel isn’t quite accurate. I just came from the Minnesota Vikings who don’t. I think there’s a lot that goes into that. Again, he’s a competitive guy and I’m sure those are just immediately after the game comments. Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to talk to him, he left immediately (because) there was an illness in his family that he had to go attend to. I’m sure I’m going to have a conversation with him when he gets back.
Q: Do you have a problem with a player openly criticizing and questioning a coaching staff’s scheme like he did?
A: I’m not sure that’s what he was doing, that may be the impression. I think coaches and players talk about a lot of things behind the scenes. But obviously anything that we do we should do behind the scenes.
Q: You said you didn’t do it in Minnesota with traveling the cornerback. Is that something you believe in or is that just the way it worked out that they didn’t do it there and now you don’t do it here for the most part?
A: No, I mean there’s reason for it at times with the way teams shift and motion. It’s just philosophical in terms of just doing it that way. We did it earlier in the season and we felt with some of the guys we had out there playing, to settle down the whole unit we just felt as though it was best not to do that. That’s all.
Q: At the other corner spot I know you had a planned rotation, but was the plan to put (Sam) Beal in mid-series sometimes because of (DeAndre) Baker or what was the plan behind that?
A: No, just playing them both. That’s all.
Q: Saquon (Barkley) said after the game yesterday that he thinks you guys practice like you’re 10-2. You said a few different times that you see a lot of progress behind the scenes. Why do you think that’s not translating to Sunday? What’s not happening in the game that might be working really well in practice?
A: Well obviously we’re not getting the final result we’re looking for, but throughout the game you see a lot of really good plays on both sides of the ball. I think it’s fair to say that we did a really good job against their run game on defense. I think their longest run was a scramble by (Aaron) Rodgers. They had one other medium sized run. Then we gave up a couple of long passes for touchdowns that you obviously can’t do. But then there were a lot of plays that we defended well. Same thing on offense, we ran the ball much better, we did throw the ball with some efficiency, threw a touchdown pass, but then you have three interceptions. So, it’s one of those, it probably plays into what Saquon is saying— there are times when things look really good and then we have those mistakes that hurt us. Especially against a good football team.
Q: I’m sure that one of the points of pride for you is that the locker room has been upbeat during this losing streak. I’m wondering if in hindsight if there’s any regret in terms of all the value you guys placed on culture and whatnot if maybe you valued culture over talent a little too much this offseason, if you wish you had some more veteran players rather than all the young players?
A: Unfortunately, we don’t have the win total that we’re looking for. We believe in guys that are certainly talented enough to play that are good teammates, you know, you need both. Listen, I regret that our record isn’t much better. That’s the only thing I regret. Our job is obviously to get it better, and when it’s not, obviously it falls on my shoulders.
Q: You said after the game that it’s a historically young team. Just curious what you meant by that.
A: Well, I think we’ve got a lot of young players playing. That’s all. Again, that’s more descriptive than an excuse. But we have more than a lot of places. That’s all.
Q: Have you seen something that makes it historic? Have you seen a number or heard a number behind the scenes or anything that makes it historic in terms of the amount of snaps or rookies playing or anything?
A: We’ve had a lot of rookies playing throughout the season. We’ve had a lot of second year players certainly starting and contributing. And then we don’t quite have as many veterans as you normally see. That’s all.
Q: Did Daniel go for any tests on his ankle, an MRI or anything?
A: No, just a normal evaluation.
Q: Any other injuries out of the game? I think we saw (Aldrick) Rosas walk into the X-ray room. Any other injuries of note?
A: You saw (Corey) Ballentine, right, with the concussion. Then, let me just look through here, Jones, yeah Rosas I guess is sore, he made a tackle. That’s about it. That’s just game soreness.
Q: This year in Tampa, you did kind of have Janoris (Jenkins) track Mike Evans a little bit, if not for a large portion of the game. Mike had a really good game that day, did that play into your guys’ strategy going forward to not have Rabbit travel as much?
A: No, I think—listen, what we’re trying to do is eliminate big plays in the back end and get guys in the right places. It’s more of a total scheme thing.
Q: Is this Corey Ballentine’s second concussion? Any concern that this could be season-ending?
A: No, no concern. He was good today. But again, he’s got to go through the protocol, so we’ll see as time goes on.
Q: You mentioned yesterday, and other times, you don’t get into the feeling-type questions—how this is feeling or how that is feeling. I’m sure you would agree that emotion plays a pretty big part in success and failure. How do you kind of gauge the emotional level of your players in these games, and do you like it? Is the emotional level as you would like it? Is it higher, is it lower? What’s your sense of that?
A: I think the guys played hard throughout the game. They’re in it to win it, you know. I don’t think that’s a problem as far as gauging it. I think they’re out there playing every snap to have success and have a positive impact on the game. I don’t worry about that.
Q: Obviously, Daniel was able to play through the ankle, but what’s the readiness of your backup quarterback right now?
A: They’re ready to go. You’re talking about Eli (Manning) and Alex (Tanney)? They’re ready to go.
Q: In a game it would be Eli, yes?
A: Yeah, no, he’s ready.
Q: Is there any real chance that Eli will have to play next week?
A: Is there a real chance? I don’t know that. We’ll have to just see what the week brings.
Q: How about (Evan) Engram? Is he coming back soon?
A: We’re hopeful. He’s making progress. He’s feeling a little bit better each week, so we’ve got actually one more day this week to get him out there, so hopefully he’ll be available. Can’t say for certain, though.
Q: Just to clarify, your expectation is that Daniel is able to practice this week?
A: Yes, that is my expectation.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.