Nov 262018
 
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B.J. Hill, New York Giants (November 25, 2018)

B.J. Hill – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS PLACE QUADREE HENDERSON ON IR…
The New York Giants have placed wide receiver/returner Quadree Henderson on Injured Reserve. Henderson fractured his shoulder during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 5’8”, 192-pound Henderson was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the 2018 NFL Draft. The Steelers waived him before the season started. The Giants signed Henderson to the Practice Squad and then the 53-man roster in October, and then back to the Practice Squad and the 53-man roster again in November. Henderson played in five games for the Giants and returned five kickoffs (22.4 yards per return average) and nine punts (7.6 yards per return average).

To fill the roster vacancy, the Giants signed tight end Garrett Dickerson, who the Giants signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in June. Dickerson began the season on the team’s Practice Squad, was added to the 53-man roster, re-signed to the Practice Squad, and cut from the Practice Squad last week. The 6’2”, 244-pound Dickerson is a versatile player who can play a variety of positions including tight end, fullback, and H-Back. Though he lacks ideal size, he is a good athlete with fine hands.

MONDAY MEDIA SESSION WITH HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the team’s 25-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: We’ll start with the significant injuries from yesterday. Quadree Henderson had a shoulder fracture, so he’ll be out a significant amount of time, there might be a roster move there. Evan Engram pulled his hamstring in warm-ups, I don’t know how long that’s going to be, we’re just going to have to see once that settles down. (B.J. Goodson) is questionable with a shoulder stinger, and just some game wear and tear. It’s a disappointing loss from the standpoint of we did a lot of things really well, felt like we had a good plan against them. Really at the end, we just couldn’t hold the lead. We had opportunities to score more points so that we could hold the lead better, but we didn’t and ended up losing. Ultimately, just didn’t make enough plays in the game to win it, and so that’s what happened. So we move on, we’ve already started working on the Bears here, getting ready to play them on Sunday and take it from there. I’ll take your questions.

Q: Odell (Beckham) said that he didn’t think there was enough in the game plan to attack the secondary down the field. What do you think of that?

A: I don’t know. We ran the ball 18 times and threw it 37. That’s twice as many throws as there were runs. We had seven explosive gains in the passing game. The only game we played that we had more was Carolina when we had eight. There’s many times when we tried to throw it to him, the long throw down the right sideline to Rhett (Ellison) was designed to go to Odell. They cushioned on him, we threw it to Rhett. You’ll have to ask him to define it after he watches the tape, but I felt like we were trying to do the things necessary to win the game. We still got production in the running game, had a couple third down calls in the red zone that were close. If it goes in, that’s a different story.

Q: Will Eli (Manning) start against the Bears?

A: Yes.

Q: What’s the balance there? The playoffs are mathematically impossible, and trying players-

A: You go into every week with giving your team the best opportunity to win the football game each week. That’s how you do this thing. This isn’t player tryouts, this is do everything in your power to win the next game. Today’s Monday, so we’re in the Monday phase of that process.

Q: On the two-point conversion to start the game, obviously you were going to kick it until the penalty, so when the ball is on the 1-yd line, does that change your play? Does it change your decision to go for it because it’s on the 1-yd line?

A: Absolutely. That’s why I did it.

Q: So the play was a designed pass?

A: Correct, a play action pass in a big formation, which is typically what you do.

Q: So you were trying to sucker them into thinking you’re just going to hand the ball to Saquon (Barkley)?

A: Yes, then throw a pass to a guy in the flat or a guy at the back pylon. What’s confusing about that?

Q: I’m just trying to have you say what (you wanted to do).

A: Yeah, so what happens is they give us the ball at the (1-yd line) instead of the (2-yd line). It’s the first score of the game, and it was an aggressive approach. I feel like we had something good there, we didn’t execute properly. Ultimately at the end of the game, at one point at the end of the game, it was 22-22. Because we didn’t make it, they start chasing points and they did a good job of scoring on their two-point conversions. That’s why I did it. And I’d do it again. I think that’s a good, aggressive approach. If they’re going to screw up on a try and give us the ball on the 1, I’ve got confidence in our guys to make sure – now, there could be something tactically about just making sure you get the (one point) at a certain stage of the game. This was the first drive of the game, and they did something that they didn’t want to do and gave us on the ball on the 1, so we took (a chance).

Q: Is giving the ball to Saquon there just not the right call?

A: It could’ve been a good choice. We have seven goal-line plays in that big formation. You’re just questioning whether it should’ve been Saquon or the other? It could’ve been a good choice.

Q: You also had a guy wide open in the end zone, so you could have flipped it to him. It’s not an argument, I just wanted to hear you say it.

A: (Shrugs shoulders) For the record, that was a shoulder shrug.

Q: I understand as a coach you have a weekly mindset, but isn’t there an obligation to look at the big picture if you aren’t going to make the playoffs?

A: Always looking at the big picture. What’s the big picture though?

Q: Pertaining to the quarterback. (John Mara) admitted the team made a mistake not getting a look at Davis Webb last year, so in your mind, wouldn’t seeing Kyle Lauletta be a priority at some point in the last five weeks?

A: Why are you jumping over (Alex) Tanney? There’s my point. What you try to do is win each game and then as we go forward here, you make your decision based on winning the game, and you base your decision on putting a team on the field that gives you the best chance to win the game. I get that, but as a coach, I stay in the moment. We certainly have conversations about what runs parallel, the short-term and the long-term. There’s conversations about that that happen all the time in any organization. You’re a big corporation, your short-term gains and, ‘ok, where the hell are we going?’ I’m not foolish enough to think that doesn’t happen.

Q: Is Tanney a potential long-term solution at quarterback compared to a guy like Lauletta?

A: Who knows? That’s where you’re getting bogged down here. Who knows?

Q: Do you have to design opportunities for them within the games now? Obviously they haven’t happened organically to this point, there’s been no lopsided games.

A: We’re going to try to do what we can to win the game, but along the way, we do keep a long-term mindset.

Q: The focus with Lauletta would be the fourth-round pick you invested in a young guy planning to develop.

A: At some point, regardless of where they’re picked, unless you’re one of those top-four quarterbacks, who cares where you’re picked? He’s a Giant. You went to college. If you were third in the class, you’re third. Are we going to worry about the other two? What’s the difference?

Q: My point is you signed him for four years, that’s the draft pick, and Tanney is on a one-year deal, he’s 30 years old.

A: But we drafted a lot of other players as well that are out there playing. Some are, some aren’t. We’re just trying to put the best team on the field. I get where you’re going. Trust me, I understand where you’re going, and I can appreciate you have a job to do, but that’s the coach’s view.

Q: If you’re looking to put the best team on the field, that has to be Eli at this point as your quarterback right?

A: Eli’s going to start the game against the Bears.

Q: Can you envision a scenario where you would start Alex Tanney rather than starting Kyle Lauletta?

A: If we felt like he was giving us the best chance to win. That’s the coach’s view.

Q: What have you seen from Alex that would make you think that he would give you the best chance to win over evaluating Kyle?

A: Doing what quarterbacks do. All along, he’s been our number-two guy. Aside from the fact that Kyle was drafted in the fourth-round, all along he’s been out number-two guy. He does the things that we think can help us win a game.

Q: You did have your rationale going into the season of why you wanted Alex to be the number-two quarterback. You talked a lot about the veteran presence, a guy who can come into games without much prep or snaps and be able to pick the team up, but it is a different story if you’re planning for a quarterback starting a game in 2019, 2018, whenever it is. I don’t know how you could ever get to the point this year where you look at your other quarterbacks from what you’ve seen on the field and say they are a better option to help the Giants win a football game than Eli Manning.

A: And we’ve got to evaluate that on every Monday as we get ready to play the next game.

Q: Is there any concern on Odell that there would ever even be that perception from him, that you weren’t attacking their weakness because they were so banged up in the secondary?

A: That was one man’s opinion after an emotional loss, but what happens is you get an opportunity to get a good night’s sleep, watch the tape, and maybe change his opinion.

Q: Do you feel the need to discuss it with him?

A: I discuss a lot of things with all the players.

Q: When you go back and watch the tape, you were up 19-3 at one point, 19-11, and Saquon only touched the ball five times in the second half. Were there missed opportunities to continue running the ball in that situation?

A: Yeah, really the part of the game that was disappointing for me was the first couple drives of the third quarter. We had three penalties in one drive. We had a dropped pass that got us back on schedule – would’ve gotten us back on schedule – and then we had the long third down situations, which certainly plays into the hands of the team that has an excellent pass rush. What happens is, they’re controlling the ball. The third quarter kind of goes away quickly, so what I would say is this, if we didn’t have those penalties, if we didn’t drop that pass, we would have been able to stay on the field and get to doing some of the things that we would have liked to have done in the third quarter that we did in the first and second. Then all the sudden, it’s in the fourth quarter. That can happen in a lot of games.

Q: When you decide to give Saquon a drive off like that, how early do you decide that? Is that at pre-game, is that at halftime, is that in the moment?

A: It’s a feel, but I don’t understand why everybody’s confused about that because (Wayne) Gallman went in and had productive runs. Is it more about Saquon or is it about Wayne? What’s the question here? It happened to be in the third quarter when we were doing a lot of other things that kept us from having more plays, so it’s a little bit of a perfect storm in the Saquon basket.

Q: Once Eli throws that interception, you can feel the game turning, Odell’s not on the field-

A: Who felt the game turning? I didn’t. We’re up by eight going into halftime, we’re going to come out and play another half of football. But you guys know I’m nuts, so it doesn’t matter. I didn’t feel the game turning. We were in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime, right? What was the score? 19-11. And you come out, you keep swinging, you keep fighting and do what you can to score more points and keep them from scoring points. Done.

Q: For a team that’s won six games in the last 27, how important is it to create a belief that you can win, as opposed to who can play/who can’t play?

A: It’s huge, because I think we need to learn how to win again here. The last two weeks, we won one by coming back. A week ago, we won one by playing from the front. This week we got ahead on a team, and didn’t hold the lead, so there’s things to be learned in all three of those as you learn to win a game. We’re doing it with a lot of very young players, and a lot of really backup-type players from our initial roster, so it’s a great opportunity for them to help us win.

Q: I don’t want to limit this to just sacks, but other trackable numbers – hurries, pressures – is it concerning that you’re not getting more out of Olivier Vernon, given his resume?

A: We look at that. Certainly getting pressure on the quarterback is important. We want all of our really good players to get production. He’s out there, he’s contributing. You don’t sack the quarterback or the quarterback has a pretty good day throwing the ball. Certainly part of it is the rush.

Q: Why don’t you think it’s happened for him this year then, at least to the level people expected?

A: He got a little bit of a slow start, missed six games.

Q: You don’t see teams putting more attention towards him?

A: No, not really. Again, this is my first exposure to OV. You know way more about him than I do in terms of his history here with the Giants. But no, I don’t see teams spending extra resources to block him.

Q: What’s your level of concern with the defense at this point? Do you think there’s any carryover from almost letting the Bucs get back into it and letting the Eagles back into it?

A: No, when you look at it, I think it comes down to isolated plays. You always start when a team has some success running the ball like they did with run fits. Obviously, stopping the run is a team thing. We’ve just got to make sure we’re good there, and then when they drop back to pass, whether we’re playing in zone, we’ve got to disrupt when they’re throwing or if it’s man, we’ve got to cover down real well and then get pressure as we just alluded to. We’ve got to just keep working on all those things. We’ve got a lot of young, new players in there playing and we’ve just got to continue to get better in all areas.

Q: Is there more of an attitude that needs to be clear on defense to finish these games off, as opposed to just X’s and O’s and classroom stuff?

A: This game didn’t work out in the way we wanted it to. Two weeks prior, it did. They had the ball, the two games that we’ve won, the team we were playing had the ball at the end and we didn’t let them in the end zone. That was good. Yesterday was not.

Q: After the 1-7 start, you had the break, then you won two games and there was a sense that guys were juiced up by that.

A: You called it a little buzz, right?

A: Yes, a little buzz. Do you think now that they’ve lost this difficult game on the road in the division, it changes the way the records look a little bit, do you need to speak to them or get them back up? Because they did have that little buzz.

A: It’s just like he was worried about the feeling when we were winning 19-11, the buzz thing – no. You get back to work, and you put a team on the field to beat the Bears, and you create that buzz by winning the game.

Q: Do you have to guard against guys checking out? You win that game, you’re two games out of first place, a lot more to fight for. Do you feel like losing that game, it’s a challenge to keep guys invested?

A: Guard against? No. Just watch behavior. Do your job, be a good teammate, bust your ass, do what you have to do to help win a game. You don’t guard against it, you coach it back.

Q: Should there have been a penalty on that last play on the tripping (leg whip)?

A: No, I don’t think you’re allowed to trip (leg whip). I did the math on that though. If that is in fact a penalty, then we would have been kicking with the wind for a 62-yarder with a strong-legged kicker.

Q: Tripping is a 15-yard penalty?

A: I think tripping is 15. Then that would have given us – we had a 63-yarder made against us. So, who knows?

Q: Sterling (Shepard) only has 11 targets coming out of the bye in the last three weeks. Is that just a byproduct of committing more to the run?

A: He actually had a couple yesterday that were designed to go to Odell, that deep ball. He’s had some good production. I thought yesterday he had the deep two he caught, he caught a naked, so he’s had production. It’s good when we throw it to him. He does a good job.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

NOTES…
The Giants are 0-4 in the NFC East.

The Giants have lost five in a row, nine of the last 10, and 18 of their last 22 games against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants have lost five consecutive games in Lincoln Financial Field.

The Giants did not force a turnover for the fourth time this season. They are 0-4 this season and have lost their last nine games in which they did not have a takeaway.

The 100-yard rushing games was Saquon Barkley’s fourth of the season, a record for a Giants rookie. He had been tied with Eddie Price, who ran for more than 100 yards in three games in 1950.

Barkley increased his season total to 829 rushing yards. That moved him ahead of Ron Dayne (770 yards in 2000) and into second place on the Giants’ single-season rookie list, just one yard shy of the record-holder, Hall of Famer Tuffy Leemans, who rushed for 830 yards in 1936.

Barkley has scored 12 touchdowns, tying the Giants’ rookie record set by Bill Paschal in 1943, and matched by Odell Beckham, Jr. in 2014.

Barkley increased his yards from scrimmage total to 1,410 (829 rushing, 581 receiving). That is also a Giants rookie record. Beckham had held the mark with 1,340 yards from scrimmage in 2014.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off on Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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