TUESDAY PAT SHURMUR CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media by conference call on Tuesday to discuss the team’s 27-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers:
Q: Having looked at the film, what did you think of Jamon Brown’s debut with the offensive line?
A: I thought he did a good job. I thought for the most part our pass protection was as good as it’s been this year. They really challenged themselves, they sacked Oakland a bunch of times and they have really an outstanding front, so I thought in general the O line pass protection was really good. I thought he did some of the things we thought he could do. He’s very firm, he gets his hands on you, and I thought he played well. I would add, it’s a credit to him and to Hal (Hunter) and Ben (Wilkerson), he’s only been here a little over a week and he was able to go in there and really show up in a way that you don’t typically see for a guy that’s been here that short period of time.
Q: Did Eli (Manning) somehow play better or was it simply the result of the offensive line playing better?
A: I think it’s a coordinated effort, and certainly Eli had a winning performance. When a guy plays the whole game like the quarterback and the O line do, they’re all going to have a play or two they want back, but I think in total, the combination of having more time to throw the ball along with being a little bit more accurate on some throws, the results were much better.
Q: Have you seen anything consistent as to why you haven’t been able to get as much pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and if there’s anything you can do schematically over the last few games to change that?
A: I think it’s important that our good pass rushers get pressure. Certainly (Olivier Vernon) has done a good job with that, I thought Lorenzo Carter had his best game yesterday. He actually did a good job not only rushing but also in coverage. The edge players, our guys that rush on the edges have to beat their guy, I think that’s where it starts. Then schematically and tactically, we’ve got to pressure at the right time, and we’ve got to be coordinated in coverage so the quarterback’s got to hold the ball a little bit. We were close on a couple yesterday that could’ve been sacks, but I do think that we were disruptive enough to affect the outcome.
Q: With the additions to the offensive line, will you try to focus more on straight up running plays for Saquon (Barkley), rather than the short passes to him?
A: No, again it’s coordinated. When you add a good player like we did to play right guard, it’s important not only you pass protect, but you run block. For whatever it’s worth, I think Saquon touched the ball 24 times, he only had four receptions. But at the end of the day, if we’re just going to talk about Saquon and his involvement in the game, whether we hand it to him or throw it to him, it really doesn’t matter. You’d like to see your back touch the ball or run the ball close to 20 times, but one of the biggest plays in our last drive was a choice route that he caught and ran down inside the 10. He’s one of those guys, and that’s why I think it’s so important for running backs to be able to catch, that we can throw him the ball. Sometimes if we throw it to him more than we hand it off, so be it, but it’s just important that he touches it.
Q: 24 hours later, can you say what a win does for this team?
A: Anytime you win, it kind of verifies that what you’re doing is right. The reason we all started playing and coaching football is because we love the competition, we love the physical nature of the game, and we love the process of getting ready to play the next opponent. Then on game day, you put all your energy into winning, all your energy into putting a winning performance on the field, and so I sensed real joy in the locker room yesterday – a bunch of guys that put a lot into it, and we were able to overcome some adversity and win a football game. Hopefully we can get on a little run now and win a few games in a row here and just see what happens. Certainly when you win, it helps verify and justify that what you’re doing is right.
Q: Can the same be said about Eli (Manning) in verifying having him back there, doing exactly what you want that he’s still capable of doing what you think he can do?
A: Any time a player puts a winning performance on the field, he should feel good about it at least for a day or so. The challenge is to then prepare to do it again in a week, so I don’t know. That’s a question for him, but he had a winning performance, he helped us win a game, and he should feel good about that. Now we just have to build on that going into Tampa.
Q: It seemed like the first eight games, guys were pressing trying to make plays, step outside of their job responsibility to make something happen. Do you sense that changed this week and guys were more committed to doing what they were supposed to do and not worrying other things?
A: No, I thought we went into this game confident and ready to play. On the defensive side of things, we got a couple of turnovers and obviously turned the first turnover into points. It was good to see Corey Coleman get some long returns, that gives you a boost. Then we were able to move the ball and score on offense so that gives you a boost. It’s much like the O line assisting the quarterback, and the quarterback and the receivers assisting the O line. I think it all just plays off itself. This is a really good locker room — we’re young, we’re new, but these guys believe in each other and try to play the game for each other. I don’t know if they were loose, I don’t know if that’s the right term, but I thought they were just out there playing hard and having fun playing football.
Q: Were there any injuries?
A: Nothing to add, a little wear and tear that we’ll just have to see. Again, tomorrow with the short week schedule is just going to be a walk through. But nothing really to speak of, a couple bumps and bruises, but nothing that we’re projecting a guy’s going to miss.
- The Giants have trailed an NFL-high eight times after two quarters, losing seven of those games. The Giants had lost their previous 17 regular-season games in which they trailed at halftime. In addition, the Giants had lost 28 consecutive road games in which they trailed entering the third quarter.
- The Giants improved to 25-39-1 on Monday nights, including 16-29-1 as visitors.
- The Giants are 12-18 in games following a regular-season bye.
- Quarterback Eli Manning has rallied the Giants from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie to victory (including overtime) in 36 regular-season game.
- Wide receiver Odell Beckham has scored at least two touchdowns in 11 games.
- Opposing kickers have kicked six field goals of 50 yards or more this season.
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.