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 status as the preseason ends:
Q: Could you explain a little about what went into the decision not to play Davis (Webb) last night. Obviously the thing with him is game reps and the limited ones he had last year. What went into not playing him last night?
A: With regard to his game reps, we felt like he’s had lots of reps this year whether it be practice, and really he had the most of anybody in the games as well. As I mentioned, it had less to do about Davis and more to do about Kyle (Lauletta). We wanted to see what we had in Kyle and so that’s why we started him behind the second line, and then because we were going to start Kyle, I just didn’t want to put Davis back in there at the end. We also wanted to take a really good look at (Alex) Tanney. That was what went into it.
Q: I know Eli never misses, but if he missed a game, are you to the point where you feel confident with Davis as your backup quarterback?
A: I feel confident with all three of those guys.
Q: How do you go about handling Darian Thompson in regards to deciding where he fits in the safety mix with the injury and the fact that he hasn’t been on the field in a while?
A: We’ve just got to sort through that. Unfortunately, he’s been dealing with that hamstring and he hasn’t been able to get out there and show us what he can do, so we’re just going to have to see how this weekend plays out.
Q: How much does that work against a guy? Do you have to go back and look at tape from last year, do you look at earlier in the spring? How do you make that determination?
A: I don’t think you look at it working for or against a player. An injury is what it is and I think each situation is a little bit different. We’ll just have to take a look at it.
Q: Some years as a coach, you struggle to get to the 53. Some years you struggle to cut down to the 53. What do you think it will be like for you this year?
A: Hard to say. I’ve gained an appreciation. I look at our players and I say, OK, this is what you can do, this is your strength or your redeeming qualities, this is the value you bring to the team, and here are the areas you need to improve. When you put the 53 together, you’ve got to just pick the right 53. So, whether you’re trying to get up to it or down to it, it’s hard to say right now. We’ve got a decent idea of the direction we’re going to go with things, but we still have some conversations. I told that to the players, it’s a credit to them. Every year, the players want to make it tough on us as to this guy or that guy. I think sometimes, you’re right, you can be in a situation where it’s pretty cut and dry, but I think we’ve had some guys that have played themselves into the mix.
Q: Do you expect to be very active after four o’clock in terms of watching the waivers and things like that, and of course you picked up that seventh round pick which could always be used in a trade there?
A: The seventh round pick was important, I think, certainly planning for next year, but we’re always going to look to upgrade all the position groups, and it’s hard to say how active we’ll be.
Q: Some teams have actually started their cuts today. Will you start that today?
A: I don’t anticipate that.
Q: Will you meet with all the players (you cut) individually?
A: I will. Yes. We have a process we’ll go through, but yeah, I’m going to try to. On a rare occasion for whatever reason, it’s not possible logistically, but I intend to try to meet with everybody that we’re going to have to part ways with.
Q: How difficult is that? That’s not something you’ve had to do as a coordinator. Obviously you had experience with that in Cleveland, but it’s been a while since you’ve been in those meetings.
A: We have open and honest conversations with our players all the time. I think everybody understands the sheer math of things, 90 getting to 53, and I think that conversation is, at least for this phase of it, the last of a lot of conversations have been open and honest. We talk about what you did you well, we talk about areas you might need to improve in. The general message is to stay in shape, this 53-man roster is not forever and typically the guys that we’ve already trained that we feel strongly about, those are the guys that kind of become the first guys on our short list. That’s typical of the way it goes and I think it’s just another opportunity to communicate.
Q: Traditionally, what kind of numbers do you like to have on your lines? Are you alright keeping eight offensive linemen, would you rather have 10? What is your ideal (number)?
A: Of the guys we have on campus right now, of the guys that are on our 90-man roster, if there’s a guy on our roster that we feel is worthy, then we’re not really going to worry about the numbers within reason. Then, we’ll see. Typically, you’ll try to fill what you don’t have with maybe a practice squad player or two, depending on how many guys you keep. That’s sort of the way that goes.
Q: I’m sure everybody’s got the weekend off, the veterans – most of the guys you know that are going to be on the 53, do you send them away with clips of the Jaguars or things to think about?
A: Yes. I just had a meeting with the players and, again, it’s just time away, and most of them don’t go anywhere. They’ll be here in town, and I told them the important thing about this weekend is they’ve got to work on their recovery, so get their rest, try to eat right. We had all the players lift and run this morning before the team meeting, so they did something physical, and plan to come back for Monday practice. That’s where it’s at. Obviously, everything Jacksonville is on their iPads and we have sort of leaned towards Jacksonville in some of our drill work, even though we didn’t say, ‘hey, this is a Jacksonville play’ or ‘this is Jacksonville’s defense’. It’s out there, and I’m sure some of them will look at it, but we’ll get them re-centered on Monday.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the conference call media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum:
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Teams must cut their rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday. Head Coach Pat Shurmur will address the media by conference call after that. The players are off on Sunday and return to practice on Monday.