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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (October 10, 2019)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have re-signed quarterback Alex Tanney and signed running back Javorius “Buck” Allen. To make room for these two, the team waived running backs Jon Hilliman and Austin Walter.

Tanney was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2012 NFL Draft. The well-traveled journeyman has spent time with the Chiefs (2012), Dallas Cowboys (2013), Cleveland Browns (2013), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014), Tennessee Titans (2014), Buffalo Bills (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015), and Titans again (2015–2018). The Giants signed him in May 2018 after he was cut by the Titans. He surprisingly won the team’s back-up quarterback job in 2018.

The 28-year old, 6’0”, 218-pound Allen was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. After four seasons with the Ravens, Allen signed with the Saints in May 2019. The Saints placed him on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed injury in late July and waived him in August. With the Ravens, Allen played in 54 regular-season games with six starts, carrying the ball 340 times for 1,249 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns. He also caught 129 passes for 814 yards and six touchdowns.

The Giants originally signed Hilliman as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The team signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2019 and promoted him to the 53-man roster later that month. Hilliman played in three regular-season games with the Giants with one start, carrying the ball 30 times for 91 yards and catching three passes for one yard. He also fumbled twice.

The 5’8”, 190-pound Walter was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2019 NFL Draft. The 49ers cut him in late August 2019 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad. The Giants added him to the 53-man roster before the game on Friday.

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 35-14 loss to the New England Patriots:

Q: Looking back at the 4th and 2 punt, now that you’ve had a chance to re-watch the film and look at the situation, what was the thought process?

A: Two scores, we had found a way to get them stopped on a few occasions, so I thought we were just going to punt the ball, get them stopped and continue to play. That was the thought at the time.

Q: I know you said that you don’t take anything out of a moral victory, but over the long-term, do you think that the way the team played against the Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions, do you think that is something that you can build on as a positive moving forward?

A: Relative to winning and losing, certainly there are no moral victories. I think playing hard and coaching hard, that’s part of our job description. I think we didn’t make enough plays, we made too many mistakes to win a football game. That’s what I take from it. I’ve never doubted, since we started the year, that these guys would play hard. They did, and we made enough plays early in the game to make it 14-14, and into the third quarter, I guess it was 21-14 for quite a while, but when you get to that point, I think what’s important for us to realize is that we’ve got to start making the plays necessary to win it.

Q: A few of the guys in the locker room afterwards were very adamant about feeling like, despite the end result last night, they felt like you guys were a good team. What do you feel like in terms of when you get your whole compliment of players back, where do you think this puts you guys moving forward?

A: We’re 2-4 and we’re certainly going to welcome anyone back that can get healthy to play against Arizona. Everybody talked about the players that were injured and weren’t able to be with us last night, so yeah, I’m looking forward to getting everybody back. It’s a good thing when you’ve got a lot of healthy scratches when you put your 46-man together, so we’re looking forward to that. I think we’ll get through this weekend, and we’re already started, but put all our effort into beating Arizona.

Q: Can you talk about the defense? At this point last year, I think you had something like six sacks, and you’re well over that total after six games—can you talk about the job the pass rush and that defensive front have done thus far?

A: Well, we’ve made improvements. I think that was a big topic of conversation through training camp, how we were going to create pass rush. I think, if anything, we’ve shown flashes of being a good football team, and then I still think we’re inconsistent in a lot of areas, but we’re starting to create some rush. I knew going into it that Markus Golden had that ability. It was a matter of record that he had been very disruptive the year before his injury, and he’s back and playing really hard. I knew Lorenzo Carter would be better from a year ago. Not to mention the other guys we’ve added, X-Man (Oshane Ximines) and so on. Then, I think at times we’re getting pretty decent push on the inside. We’ve got to do it consistently, but it’s improved.

Q: When you evaluate every throw that your quarterback makes–the good ones, the bad ones, certainly the interceptions—and study and get the reason for them, after you do that, with a guy like Daniel (Jones), do you look at it and say, “I understand that he’s a rookie, he hasn’t seen this before,” or is an interception an interception no matter if a 15-year veteran throws it or a rookie throws it?

A: I think, regardless of whether you’re in your first year in the league or you’ve been doing it for a very long time, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I think it’s fair to say that some of the things that Daniel’s going through, he’s going through for the first time. Part of his charm is he’s willing to try and fit it in there. I think he’s very accurate and he’s got good velocity on his throws, so he’s got confidence to get the ball in there, and he did that last night. Those were not the most ideal conditions to be throwing the ball at times, and I thought he made some really good throws. On the flip side of that, there were some things that happened on the interceptions that need to get corrected. That’s part of it, for all quarterbacks, and it’s a fine line between being aggressive and putting the ball in harm’s way. I think each play and each time he goes through it, he’ll learn something from it.

Q: Any other injuries outside of Olsen Pierre come out of last night’s game?

A: No, nothing of note. Just the general stuff. But no, nothing of note. That’s pretty much the one that we’ll just have to see. He’s in the concussion protocol at this point.

Q: Do you expect Saquon Barkley to return against the Cardinals?

A: We’ll see, we’ll see. He’s made good progress. He was out there running around today, so we’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: On a quick glance, it looked like Dalvin Tomlinson had one of his better games thus far this year. Can you talk about his effort and what you saw from him?

A: Yeah, Dalvin has been pretty steady all year. Pretty consistent in how he’s played. He doesn’t have, maybe as much flash as some of the other guys, but he’s very consistent and does his job extremely well.

Q: How do you harness a young quarterback’s aggressiveness? Or do you feel like you even need to?

A: Harness it? No, I don’t know about that. I think what you try to do is present him with the quick pictures, good clean progressions, and teach him what you want. I think you just try to use his strengths to the best of his ability. I just mentioned it, I think there is a time when there is a fine line between making an aggressive throw and putting the ball in harm’s way. Each interception last night was a little bit different on how it played out. I think that’s part of what’s going to make Dan a really good player. This has been a great month for him in terms of learning how to play in this league. Each week we talk about how the defense we’re playing is better than the one before. Certainly, the last two defenses were top five in the league. Prior to that, we played two teams where we were playing good defenses as well. He learned a great deal from this last month.

Q: Do you think the couple of days off that he’s going to get this weekend to kind of reset and get a breather is going to help him?

A: I don’t know that. I think everybody, we have to keep working through the weekend, but I’m giving everybody a chance. Organically, that’s what happens after the Thursday game, you get a little extra time to get some rest. That’s what I’m going to encourage the players to do.

Q: I just meant because it’s probably been quite a whirlwind for him ever since that day you named him the starter. This is kind of his first chance to look around and catch his breath.

A: Maybe so. That’s probably, when you talk to him, maybe a good question for him. I think for all rookies it’s a little bit of a whirlwind the whole year. I’m sure it won’t be any different for him.

Q: You obviously mentioned the schedule and a little extra time. You go from a short week in which you guys were kind of up against it as a coaching staff to prepare for a game to now, you have a little bit extra time. Do you use that extra time any differently this week? Whether it’s tweaks, looking at things differently – how do you approach the extra time?

A: No. Well, today is like a Monday in our world, and we treated it as such in terms of bringing the players in— I call it settling all debts. We have to make the corrections and move forward. Then, of course, they’ll get the couple of days here. We’ll get an extra day of practice, which will be good, this week. Then we’ll get at it. This is obviously, because of the compressed Thursday night week and then a little bit of length here, the biggest thing is to be able to get the players rested so that we come back and train and are ready to go.

Q: Are you okay with the way Golden Tate handled those last two or three yards before he reached the endzone?

A: That was a heck of a play on his part, and I think sometimes those things play out that way. I’m happy that he got himself in the endzone. That’s what’s most important to me.

Q: With Sterling Shepard moving forward, how concerned are you guys about his long-term health with the two concussions in such a short period of time?

A: Health is always on the front burner for us in terms of short-term and long-term. So, that’s why we are going to proceed like we are and just see where it takes us. He’s a very competitive guy, and sometimes you can’t predict when these types of injuries happen. Listen, we’ve got a lot of really smart people that are going to advise us on when it’s best to put him on the field. When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. Then we’ll try to do everything in our power to make sure he plays safely and has a good, long career.

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. They return to practice on Monday.

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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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