Feb 272019
 
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Dave Gettleman, New York Giants (February 27, 2019)

Dave Gettleman – © USA TODAY Sports

DAVE GETTLEMAN ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday. (VIDEO)

Opening Remarks: Wow. How are you guys doing? How y’all doing? I used to do that down in Carolina, they didn’t believe for one moment that I was from there. Welcome to the Underwear Olympics. It’s good to see everybody. We’re in the roster building season part, there’s no offseason anymore, in case you weren’t aware of it. We’re in the roster-building season, we don’t play until September, I’ve checked the schedule, and so there’s going to be a lot of time to make a lot of decisions so I just want everybody to understand that. Just as a reminder, I’m not going to discuss negotiations, I’m not going to discuss timelines. As far as I’m concerned, that’s very personal between the club and the player, so don’t ask. Don’t waste your time. I’ll say this, it’s a repeat of what I said at my postseason presser – we didn’t sign (WR) Odell (Beckham) to trade him, ok? So I know that’s all over the place, so understand that and that’s all I need to say about that.

Then the other thing, I was here listening to the questions you guys were asking (Head Coach) Pat (Shurmur) and a lot of times we focus on numbers – how big a guy is, how fast a guy is, how strong a guy is, what’s his vertical jump, how tall is he, what’s his hand size, what’s his arm length – there’s all these, just a myriad of numbers, analytics’ delight of numbers. One of the things that we really focus on is instincts. Instincts are very important. You guys were asking Pat the question about the quarterbacks. You can write a laundry list of things you’re looking for and it’s not like you’re breaking new ground, it’s not like you’re splitting atoms, but one of the things that I focus on and my staff and we talk about all the time is instinct. Does he have a feel for the game? Is he a step ahead of everybody else? Instincts and play smarts allow you to play bigger, stronger, faster. That’s a fact of life. If you are a film watcher, when you watch it, try to focus on that – is this guy, does he seem to have it? I spent some time with an Aussie rules pro personnel guy a bunch of years ago and in Australia they say, when I was explaining what I was talking about instincts, he said, ‘So you’re saying to me, do they have the ‘chip’?’ That’s what they call it down there. So, to answer your question about tall quarterbacks, short quarterbacks, rollie-pollie defensive linemen, a lot of it is instincts and play smarts. With all that being said, let the games begin.

Q: Do you feel as though what you just mentioned exemplifies a player like Sam Mills, a player who doesn’t fit all the measurements but finds a way to make the play every time?

A: You do. Obviously, and I’ve said it before, it’s a big man’s game. You can talk about it all you want, the game’s changing and everybody’s going crazy about all the stuff the college guys are doing. Bottom line is it’s a big man’s game. So, if you don’t have size, if you’re missing a PQ – a physical quality, so to speak – you have to have what I call a compensating factor and the compensating factor a lot of times is instinct. Sam Mills was 5’9 – may he rest in peace – was 5’9 in high heel sneakers. He could find the ball. The other day I was watching (Panthers LB) Luke (Kuechly), I was watching Carolina defensive film and I was watching Luke, and I was saying to myself, it’s like he’s in the huddle. It’s amazing. That doesn’t just apply to a defensive player, it applies to every position on the field.

Q: You heard earlier that Pat said Eli (Manning) is back for 2019. You were a little vague on that at the end-of-season press conference. What led you guys to decide that?

A: Well, it’s a never-ending process. We haven’t even hit free agency yet, so like I told you, I had my conversation with Eli back right after the season ended and we are where we are. Like Pat said, there’s a million different models, there’s a million different ways to do this and you could cite a number of models where they had a veteran guy and they drafted a young guy, and at some point in time, the torch got passed and away everybody went, and it was a happy away everybody went. So, there’s still a lot of time to make these decisions.

Q: Is it safe to say you’re not looking for a veteran to (replace Eli)?

A: I can’t say anything like that. I can’t do it. You don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know.

Q: So you haven’t committed to Eli?

A: I just told you. We’re evaluating everything and we’ve just got to keep moving forward.

Q: How much does not having a third-round draft pick play into (your evaluation)?

A: It’s really funny. For what it’s worth, we really feel strongly that if (CB) Sam (Beal) were in this draft, he’d be a second-round pick. We feel pretty strongly about that. So while it’s aggravating that we don’t have a third, if Sam steps up and is doing really well with his rehab thing, surgery went well, and so if he’s the guy we believe he is, then we won’t be mad.

Q: Not asking about negotiations, long-term with (S) Landon (Collins), you have a deadline next week, so says the NFL. Will you tag him regardless of negotiations just to make sure you have him for 2019?

A: We’re still evaluating.

Q: How important is it to have him back?

A: Like Pat says, you always want good players on your team. Here’s what everybody has to understand – you’ve got 53 players on your club and you’ve got a salary cap. You don’t have 53 silos. Decisions like this can’t be made in a vacuum. You can’t do it. So, it’s a process.

Q: You talked about your film study with Eli. I’m curious about what you saw when you looked back that maybe you didn’t see live, and if that’s driving you toward your decision process?

A: The short answer is yes. You want a little more than that? (Laughter) The short answer is yes. Really and truly, like Pat said, we came in and it was a whir, and we evaluated the team as best we could, made decisions, move forward, and feel strongly we made some good strides. At the end of the day, we saw what Eli was capable of once we gave him help. He still can make big-league throws, he can still make the NFL throws, and it’s, I say it all the time, it’s the ultimate team game. It is, because 10 guys do everything perfect and an offensive lineman falls down, the guy gets whacked. So to answer your question, we looked at Eli and we feel good about him.

Q: Philosophically, though, and Pat talked a lot about this earlier when everybody’s playing at a high level and playing better around him, but is that feasible in today’s NFL where you need the quarterback to have everything perfect rather than a quarterback who can make the people around him better?

A: I didn’t say he needed everything to be perfect. What quarterback doesn’t?

Q: Brady? (Inaudible) Mahomes?

A: Well, you’re talking about a 38-year-old guy against a 21-year-old pup. Here’s what I’m going to say, and I’ve really been thinking about this. I got a headache, that’s why I hurt myself, I think. I’ve really been thinking about this: The narrative around Eli for the past four years, five years, since I was gone, was really negative. The narrative’s been negative. There’s an old saying, ‘tell a lie enough, you believe it.’ The narrative is so negative that when you take that position, most people struggle getting off that spot, most people struggle saying, ‘I’m going to look at this with fresh eyes.’ So for example, when you evaluate pro players, every year’s a new year. When you evaluate him, it’s a new year. Yes, before he was at this level, but that doesn’t mean when you look at him that he’s automatically at this level or at this level. You’ve got to take everything for what it’s worth at that time and I think that the narrative has been negative, and I don’t think it’s been fair.

Q: The narrative has been negative because the results have been negative.

A: Part of it, it’s going to go hand in hand. We live in a blame society, that’s what we live in. I got in a car accident and it’s his fault. No, maybe you ran the stop sign. Everybody’s pointing fingers, no one wants to take responsibility. It’s part of it. Like I said, it’s the ultimate team game. You don’t win it yourself, you don’t lose it by yourself.

Q: With all that being said, at the end of the season you were pretty clear about knowing your situation at quarterback, your 38-year-old quarterback.

A: Yes, we do.

Q: Is the perception that you’re sticking with Eli and, for all intents and purposes, kicking the can down the road to not have to make another decision at quarterback fair?

A: No, it really isn’t. It really isn’t. Free agency hasn’t played out, the draft hasn’t played out. I don’t think it’s fair. Listen, I have this crazy idea that my responsibility is that every decision we make is in the best interest of the New York Giants. I think I said this before, (Panthers Head Coach) Ron Rivera used to kid me, he used to say, ‘Wait until you have to cut one of your draft picks’, because when I first got to Carolina I didn’t know any of those guys so I had to make moves and you do what you have to do. When the time came, I picked and chose who we paid money to. I’m going to do the same thing here. These decisions are not made with my heart, they’re made with my head and with the experience I have. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been around a few Super Bowl teams. I know what it takes to build one, I know what it should look like, and at the end of the day, no, I don’t think it’s fair.

Q: So, conceivably, you could see Eli Manning back on your roster for this year, and another quarterback — whether it’s a veteran or a rookie — challenge him at that spot or for the future?

A: Yes. You can’t be afraid to draft over a player. You’re in the draft, you’ve gone through free agency, you’ve got all your stuff going, and you’re sitting there and you’ve got a good player at a position and a young kid comes up at that spot staring you in the face. You can’t be afraid to draft him just because you’ve already got one. The more competition you can create, the better your team will be. And you have to create competition at every position. You have to, because if you don’t, unfortunately human nature sometimes takes over and the guy gets a little lazy and he thinks is anointed, and all that other stuff. Does that make sense?

Q: Have you ever got to that situation where you look at Eli and think that because he hasn’t had any competition, or do you think bringing in competition might actually bring his game to the level that you’re expecting?

A: Absolutely, it’s very possible that that’s going to happen.

Q: Is adjusting Eli’s $23.2 million cap something you’d consider?

A: You have to look at everything, I’m not going to lie. I’m not saying I’m going to do anything (laughter). I’m just saying it’s my job. It’s my job to take everything into consideration.

Q: On Odell’s: (Inaudible)

A: You guys got to write about something, I guess. Speculate all you want. I’ve already made my statement on that.

Q: Do you expect Olivier Vernon to be on the team this year?

A: Again, we’re in the evaluation process. I hope I’m with the team this year.

Q: Why were you comfortable trading Eli Apple?

A: Why was I comfortable trading Eli? Because of the value we got in return. We thought it was in the best interest of the New York Football Giants.

Q: Did you pay attention to him after (he was traded to the Saints)?

A: You have to. Again, shame on me if I don’t check my hole card. So, yes I did.

Q: Being around a few Super Bowl teams, you haven’t drafted a franchise quarterback-

A: Me personally? No. I’ve been spoiled as hell.

Q: So you have been spoiled?

A: Are you kidding me? (Jim) Kelly, (John) Elway, (Eli) Manning, Cam Newton — not bad, huh?

Q: On what you’ll do now and if you’re confident he’ll be the right guy to have a major impact on the Giants in the next few years:

A: It’s really funny. I have one of the best consiglieres of all time. I talk to Ernie (Accorsi) all the time and what Ernie did for the Giants, it would be a dream for me to do the same thing. Does that answer your question?

Q: Inaudible – On scouting (Justin Herbert) and his decision to go back to college: How do you try to weigh this year’s (draft class) versus next year’s?

A: It’s an interesting question. I think at the end of the day, you can’t say to yourself, ‘I’m going to get him next year.’ You evaluate the Q’s, and you take the guy when you believe he’s the guy and it’s at the right spot. You can’t worry about the future because now someone else is going to say, well, in two years there are a couple college quarterbacks that are coming out that are really amazing. Who knows? I look at the NBA, and everybody says, ‘you’ve got to tank. We’re going to tank and we’re going to get this great player.’ What NBA team has tanked and it’s worked because they think they’re going to get (a player)? (Response: the Sixers) When they win a championship, we can have a discussion, but until that happens, it hasn’t worked. So at the end of the day, if the right guy is there at the right time who we think is the right guy, we’ll pull the plug.

Q: But in assessing this year’s class of quarterbacks-

A: Which is just at the very beginning of the process. You’ve got Indy, you’ve got the workouts, we’ve got private visits, we’ve got interviews. You can’t line them up now, and if anyone has them lined up now, God bless them. They’re smarter than me.

Q: You mentioned doing what Ernie did would be a dream for you. We know you won’t reach for a quarterback but you already gave up future draft picks, traded up so to speak, even though you have Eli. Would you be comfortable making that bold move if you have the guy you want?

A: No guts, no glory, kid.

PAT SHURMUR ADDRESSES MEDIA AT NFL COMBINE…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana on Wednesday. (VIDEO)

Q: On the return of Eli Manning:

A: I fully expect him and again, you’re going to ask me about particular players, Dave will tell you – you’ll speak to him later – I’m a body collector. I want to keep all the players we had and add a lot of new ones. I really feel that way about Eli.

Q: On your involvement in the evaluation process:

A: I’m intimately involved in it, both the free agents and then obviously the draft players. It’s very collaborative, we all want to hear what everybody has to think about every player and every situation. We talk about it frequently with ownership and we just try to make the best decision, and if it’s a matter of this player is no longer going to be here, let’s get a guy that’s better. That’s what we’re trying to do.

Q: You talk about being a body collector, and obviously there’s a couple quarterbacks that could be on the board at (the sixth pick). What do you look for in a young quarterback and what do you value out of a rookie quarterback?

A: I think they’ve got to have the traits you’re looking for to play the position. Times have changed, quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes. Then you obviously have to watch them play. They need to be productive, they need to make good decisions, they’ve got to know how to throw the ball accurately, throw the ball on time, they’ve got to lead their teams to victories, and they’ve got to do all the things necessary to play the position. That’s what we look at. We evaluate all the quarterbacks every year regardless of whether it’s perceived we might be looking for one.

Q: On your evaluation of the Vanderbilt quarterback (son, Kyle Shurmur):

A: The Vanderbilt quarterback – well, I’m extremely proud of him. He’s made great decisions. He did an excellent job in high school giving himself the opportunity to go to a place like Vanderbilt, graduated in three and a half years, helped them win games. He’s a good player.

Q: There was a quote you said last year about preferring taller guys. That’s made headlines the last couple of weeks. How does that fit in with (Kyler Murray)?

A: I think you’re digging into something. Obviously the player has to be productive, and as I just mentioned, quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes. Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl. I think you’ve got to look at the total player, look at his productivity, and you’ve got to look at whether he fits and then we as coaches will use their skillsets to the best of their ability to try to get the most out of him and help you win games.

Q: On what are you going to be looking for from Kyler:

A: We’re going to try to get to know him and watch him compete, try to find out who he is as a person and a player. Some of the quarterbacks we got a jumpstart on because of the Senior Bowl, but Kyler is a young player that I haven’t met yet. It’ll start with, ‘Hey, how ya doin’?’

Q: Does the baseball alternative scare you with Kyler?

A: No. That’s going to run parallel with our decision making of whether we like him or not.

Q: On how important it is to get the next quarterback in line with Eli coming back at 38 years old and on the last year of his contract:

A: We’re always trying to and, again, there’s all these narratives and the next franchise quarterback, replace this guy and do all this, and we’re trying to make our team better. We certainly, it’s no mystery Eli’s closer to 40 than he is 20. That’s no mystery and certainly we’re going to do the very best we can to get the best players, especially the one that’s playing quarterback.

Q: How do you scout the AAF guys?

A: We’ll watch the games. I haven’t had an opportunity to see much, I’ve kind of been following it and I’ve got some good friends that are involved in that league. It’s a league where guys are getting an opportunity to develop, especially at the quarterback position and some of the skill player positions. I don’t know much about the games yet, I haven’t had a chance to watch many of them or really any of them, I’ve just seen segments of games. Yeah, we’ll evaluate it and it’ll give us an opportunity to see these guys develop.

Q: In relation to Kyler Murray: How small is too small of a quarterback?

A: I don’t know what’s too small. Russell Wilson’s 5’10, we haven’t seen Kyler be measured yet, but when you watch him on tape he’s an outstanding player. For a sub-6’0” player, he only had five balls batted down. That’s why I say you’ve got to look at the player and how he competed, how he helped his team win games, how he moved his feet – you’ve got to look at all of it and then factor it in and decide if that player’s for you.

Q: On your position on changes to instant replay:

A: I don’t know. I feel like this is a human game, played by humans, officiated by humans. We’ve done a lot to help get things right and I think there’ll be conversations about making sure that that continues to happen and try to find ways. I don’t know how the language would read to expand it, but I think what’s interesting about all of it is if something’s wrong, we all want to find a way to make it right. I think that’s initially what replay was all about. We’ve got a lot of very smart people, much smarter than me, trying to figure out what’s the best thing. The good thing is we talk constantly about trying to make changes and improvements, and I’m sure we’ll do something.

Q: More on evaluating quarterbacks (inaudible):

A: You look at the core traits, and that’s why I say this, that once you’ve seen that they’re a really good player, you’ve got to determine whether they’re a very good decision maker. That crosses over into all areas of their life, because we all know what we’re looking for from the face of our franchise. And when the game is over, they ask a lot of people what happened, but every week, they ask the head coach and the quarterback what they think. That player is thrust into a position of leadership and being the face of the franchise, so decision making is important, accuracy, timing, all of those things, and I think we’re looking for all that.

Q: On once you get Kyler Murray’s measurables (inaudible):

A: No, we’re going to look at the player and decide whether he’s the guy that we want to be with the Giants.

Q: What’s your initial assessment of the overall quarterback class?

A: I’ve watched, there’s a lot of really good players playing quarterback this year that we’re evaluating. Nice try, I’m not going to sit here and evaluate them for you.

Q: Strong class? Stronger than last year?

A: I don’t know. There were a lot of good quarterbacks and I think there’s a lot in this year’s draft as well.

Q: Are there any important thresholds for quarterbacks?

A: Some of the numbers are important. We’re obviously looking for things that are elite in a player and, again, they come in all shapes and sizes.

Q: Have you talked to (S) Landon (Collins) in the last week?

A: Yeah, I’ve spoken to Landon throughout. He’s been in the building rehabbing and working out, but I haven’t since the report. I think it was reported with way more drama than what actually happened, but yeah.

Q: Do you expect him to be on the team next year?

A: As I mentioned earlier, I want all our players back, but beyond that, it’s free agency. This is the wrong time for me to be commenting on any of that.

Q: Are you aware if there have been active negotiations with Landon Collins?

A: I am aware that he’s a free agent and I’m aware of the fact that there have been conversations.

Q: On comparing last year at this time to this year:

A: Yeah, you bring up a good point. I stood up here last year and Dave, too, was very new. Dave was with the organization for many years and then was away for a few, so we were very new in the process listening to what those that were at the Giants were telling us about the players, but we have a much better view in our eyes of what our team is all about. We took over a 3-13 team, I think we made strides this year. We certainly are not good enough in really any area, we know though specifically those areas that we need to get better and I think that’s what that first year can do for you.

Q: To clarify, you said there have been conversations (about Landon Collins), do you know if you guys have extended an official offer on a multi-year deal?

A: I wouldn’t ’t talk about that. This is the business time of year. I know that there’s been conversations. Now, what those conversations are, I would never tell you.

Q: When you’re looking at prospects, is it the consistency of their unique traits that make them a full prospect, or just a good college player?

A: At all positions, yeah, there is. There’s things we’re looking for, and really as a coach, we go back to – we watch the tape, we watch them do what they do. There’s a lot of players where you turn the tape off and you say, ‘Darn, that guy is a really good football player.’ Then you go and look and maybe his measurables aren’t to what the standards might be, but you still love the player and you want to work with them. Then there’s other guys who have the elite measurables and you go watch the tape and you go, ‘Eh, he’s ok.’ That’s where it becomes a little bit subjective and that’s why getting to know the player, getting to know whether he’s going to be a good teammate, if he appreciates what it means to have relationships with coaches, that’s why all this is important because we get to know the player a little bit more intimately.

Q: There was a lot of talk last year on how instrumental you were in getting Odell Beckham to buy in even when he didn’t have his contract. A year into this, where does your relationship stand with Odell?

A: I think it’s good, I really do. I’ve communicated with him frequently in the last few weeks. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t able to finish the season, but it’s good, it’s solid. He’s like many of our other players, he’s off living, I think, in California now, but he travels quite a bit. He does a great job of staying in shape and look forward to having him back.

Q: Are you considering trading Odell?

A: I wouldn’t talk about that, but I’m looking forward to having him back here in April and moving forward with the rest of the guys.

Q: On whether or not you think there’s a difference between a quarterback that has it or not versus something that can’t be taught in quarterbacks:

A: There is. I think you can say, ‘OK, this guy has got it.’ I’ll go back to what I was saying about measurables, some of these guys have really good measurables or put up really good numbers but might not have as good a feel for the position as some other guys. That’s why this is really an important process. You’ve got some small college guys that played well and then you have guys who played on the big stage that have done a good job, but some of their success is based on the fact that they were playing with great players. That’s what’s really interesting about this is trying to predict and then pick the one that’s going to have success.

Q: On evaluating the potential development of a player:

A: I think it’s a little bit subjective, but you look at the young man and you just kind of look at him and say, ‘OK, this guy’s got potential to grow and get better’. I think at this stage, all the players do to some degree, but some certainly have more room to grow than others.

Q: On picking a new quarterback to learn from Eli Manning:

A: The decision to pick that player has got to be independent of that, but I think that’s going to be a great thing to happen to a player if that happens. I’ve spoken frequently about what I think of Eli and how he handles himself and how he prepares, and really everything he does behind the scenes, and I think a young player would greatly benefit from that. We all want to learn from somebody that’s done it – players, coaches – and he’s done it at a very high level and so being in a room with him I think would only help that player.

Q: You said your goal is to win as many games as possible. You also said that Eli is closer to 40 than he is 20. How do you balance a potential quarterback versus a guy you can plug and play?

A: I think the plug and play vs. the guy that – you’re still looking to play the best guy. I’ve been in situations where Sam Bradford started the first game. I was in another situation where Donovan McNabb didn’t start until Week 8. In fact, Doug Pederson was the starter. You’ve seen in Kansas City where (Patrick) Mahomes really didn’t play the first year, so there’s a lot of different models for that, speaking specifically to the quarterback.

Q: In relation to changes to the offensive line:

A: Oh yeah, we’re trying to get better in all positions and running parallel with that is all the things that everybody has questions about.

Q: How big is mobility while looking at a quarterback?

A: I really value a guy that can move around because it doesn’t mean he’s a runner, it just means he has a way to clean his feet in the pocket or scramble when necessary. Typically, if you’re going to have long drives and do it on a consistent basis, somewhere in that drive the quarterback has to do something with his feet to keep a drive alive or get a first down. Even guys that are not considered mobile, it might be subtle movement in the pocket. That mobility, I think, is very important. I think it’s essential really for a quarterback to have great success.

Dec 312018
 
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Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (December 30, 2018)

Saquon Barkley – © USA TODAY Sports

PAT SHURMUR DISCUSSES THE STATE OF HIS TEAM…
New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media on Monday to discuss the state of his team after completing a 5-11 season (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: I just visited with the team, and so they’re going through their exit process. I think the important thing is we’ve talked about how one year can connect to the other and we made some progress as a team. I mentioned yesterday this is about leadership and team building. We’ve made some progress. We certainly didn’t reach any of our goals in terms of being in the playoffs and competing for the championship, but we’re a different team than this team was a year ago and it’s a credit to the players. They’ve been very coachable, they’ve done what we’ve asked – staying in the moment, continuing to fight, and every game matters, every play matters. I think we’ve made progress there. Now, right is right, we’ve got to get better in all areas and that’s the process that we’re going to begin. I have no answers for you about any player moving forward. I know Dave (Gettleman) is going to have a chance to visit with you. I’m probably going to visit with you less this time of year. This is about player acquisition, player evaluation and things that quite frankly we’re not going to be willing to share. I think that’s something we should keep private and move forward with. The players are finishing up their evaluations, I’m going to get a chance to meet with a lot of them individually. The way we did it, we had a team meeting, right now they’re meeting as an offense and a defense, then they’ll meet with their position coaches, and there will be a select few I visit with before they leave. Then anybody I don’t talk to, I certainly will be able to talk with on the phone. I appreciate all the hard work that you guys have done. I understand reporting on what we do is not easy. I’ve tried this year to be very open and honest and share with you things that are appropriate to be shared, and so hopefully we can keep that going. With that said, I will take your questions.

Q: How do you go about deciding who are the players, the select few that you said you meet with? What goes into that?

A: I just have a list, and that’s private. But I visit with the players all the time anyways, so along the way here the last couple of weeks with some of the rookies, I could do a drive-by on them and say, hey listen, you did this well, this well, this well, make sure you’ve got a plan this offseason. Part of what is going to be very important for our rookies is between now and when we come back in 15 weeks, and this is the first time in their lives where they’ve had to manage their offseason. If this thing’s about setting standards and putting habits in place, we’re going to help them make sure that they do the right things.

Q: You said you’re proud of the team and how it has grown. Have you thought about your own growth from when you first took this job to now, and what can you tell us about that?

A: I don’t know. I quality control myself all the time, I want to make sure I’m sharing a message that is the New York Football Giants message, and I think that’s important. I start everyday trying to do the things only I can do for this organization, and then help in areas where I have expertise. I constantly go through that. I try to grow every day as a person, and hopefully that rubs off on the job.

Q: What do you think went well or not as well this year when you look back?

A: We didn’t win enough games. What we did well is we took a young team and a new team and a new staff and we competed, and we had some good victories. But we’ve got to do a better job of winning those close games. We’ve either got to get a stop or get a score, and that’s where we need to get better.

Q: When you say self-evaluate, how about yourself in terms of some of the things you look back at?

A: Being I’m the play caller, there’s always a handful of plays. You make 70 decisions in 40 seconds or 25 seconds or less, as you all have watched, you’re not perfect. So what you try to do is become more perfect, make less mistakes, make more good decisions.

Q: When you look at the close games that you lost, are there things that you think you could do to help win those?

A: Yeah, I think each game, there’s a different story in each game. But like I said, in a close game, you’ve either got to get a stop or you’ve got to get a score. In the games that we’ve lost, we haven’t done those things. So those are the things you look at. Maybe there’s things we could do different tactically, we’ll look at that, that’s always part of it, the scheme evaluation. That’s what we spend our time on, at least half of each day is spent on that.

Q: When you look back from when you got hired until now, you obviously know a lot more about the organization, the players, everything. Looking back, was this more of a rebuild than even you thought it was? You talked a lot about distancing yourself from 3-13.

A: I don’t know what I expected from that standpoint. When you take these jobs, you really don’t know much about anything in the building other than the history and the tradition and some of the players, the ownership and the people in positions of authority. But having not worked with them, as coaches, we get a feel for players and people after we work with them. So I certainly have a much better view of what this organization is and I can help more or have more educated ideas as to what we can do moving forward because I know the players, and now I have a staff of guys that I’ve worked with. I mentioned it this week that other than Bill McGovern, I did not work with any of these coaches. I purposely didn’t hire some of my friends who are now no longer my friends, but I’m really pleased. And again, we can all grow, there’s things that we can all do better, but I’ve got a bunch of guys here that I’m looking forward to moving forward with.

Q: You will keep the staff intact?

A: Yeah. Again, you can’t ever say that. Some guys leave for whatever reasons, but again that’s part of the process that we’ll go through. We’ll meet as coaches and try to find ways to get better.

Q: What’s your policy if another team wants to interview one of your guys? Would you let them?

A: Individual basis. In terms of, I’m all for guys advancing, I really don’t want to stand in anyone’s way and I’ll have some opinions as to whether it’s advancement or not. But, listen, I had ambition as a young coach, you gain experience and want to move forward. I don’t want to stand in anyone’s way. I think as long as I replace that guy with a career coach that’s open-minded, understands the importance of relationships and can work together with the staff, we’ll make it work.

Q: If you look around the NFL, coaches seem to be on a short leash. Does that increase your sense of urgency to get things right?

A: I don’t know that. I think I’m pretty urgent, and I’m pretty disappointed when we don’t win every week. No, I don’t think so. I think we all understand the environment. Did I hear there’s eight guys that lost their jobs already? That’s a fourth of the league, and that’s pretty typical. I guess we all understand how that works.

Q: You always talk about blocking out the noise. Is today one of those days where you can’t ignore what’s going on around the league?

A: We don’t have an opponent to prepare for, so I’m certainly aware more of what’s going on. There’s no reason to block anything out today.

Q: You said you didn’t know anything about the organization really. What do you know now after a year here?

A: Very supportive. Really, there’s a lot of people in this building that have worked here a long time that live and breathe and sleep everything that we do well, and share the pain when we don’t win. We have a committed organization, we have a committed group of players, and it’s up to us now – as I’ve said, right is right. We’ve got to start winning these close games.

Q: What do you want Saquon to come back to you in April as?

A: A better version of his former self. I think that’s important. That was part of the message I already mentioned to the players, is making sure that they keep moving forward. All year, it’s been about team and tough and together, and that really doesn’t stop when the guys leave the building.

Q: How would you describe how your relationship with Odell has been over the year? How has it progressed up until now?

A: It’s good. I appreciate everything that Odell has done, I appreciate him as a player, I appreciate the fact that he’s tried to get back here in the last month. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that. Just like any player on our team, I’ve learned a lot about Odell and I think our relationship is good. It’s very honest and open, just like it is with every other player.

Q: Did Kyle (Lauletta) develop as you thought he would when you picked him in the fourth round?

A: I don’t know what I expected. Again, I think Kyle has a bright future, but there’s a lot to learn, especially at the quarterback position, to be able to function efficiently at this level. I think he’s made great progress. He’s one of those guys that he needs to continue to improve and work on the things necessary to do his job here in the next 15 weeks.

Q: When you sit down with Dave Gettleman, how much input do you have in conversations about your own free agents like Landon Collins and Jamon Brown and those guys, and free agents maybe across the league you’d be interested in? How does that dynamic between you guys play out?

A: It’s very open. As you might expect, we talk all the time about all the players. Dave is well aware of what I think of the players, I’m well aware of what he thinks, and we’re both well aware of how those players are going to fit moving forward. I don’t think any of us are looking for a percentage of impact on decision making, but it’s very open and honest what we think about players.

Q: Do you have guys who are going to need surgeries here or injuries you’re going to be watching?

A: A couple guys moving forward, but nothing super major. I don’t know if you had somebody specific. I don’t have all that information yet. I do know the ones that are probably going to need a little touch-up, I guess you’d say. I don’t have any details as to when that’s going to start.

Q: Who?

A: Did you have somebody in mind?

Q: Is Odell one of them?

A: No. He doesn’t need surgery.

Q: How about Landon? What’s his situation with the injury and rehab? His timetable?

A: He had a labral tear on his shoulder, so it’s going to be a length recovery, three or four months, I guess. But he’s been around, I’ve had a chance to communicate with him throughout, so he’s fixed and he’s now coming back from his surgery.

Q: Does Saquon need anything?

A: No.

Q: Eli is going to be 38 this week. The quarterback situation moving forward is going to be a topic I’m sure you guys discuss over the next few months. How do you look back and look at the full 16 games and view how that went specifically for Eli?

A: I think it’s all coordinated. The quarterback play, the line play, the ability to run the ball – I think what we want to be offensively was better showcased from the bye week on. Prior to the bye week, we were scoring 17, 18 points a game, and after the bye week we’ve scored 27, almost 28 points a game. That’s what you need to do. Part of that was we solidified the offensive line, which allowed Eli to do more of what Eli can do better, and helped our runner. I think we would all agree in the second half of the year, we played much better offense. So when you talk about a coordinated effort, I talked all along about the things I really appreciate about Eli in terms of playing the quarterback position. They’re like everybody else, they make mistakes. Andrew Luck threw a pick-six last night. When you’re making the decisions and you’ve got the ball in your hand every play, there’s mistakes that are made, but there’s also some great things that you’re doing. We’ll go back and look at it all, but I think he was better able to showcase what he could do once we solidified the offensive line. I think that’s a fair assessment.

Q: Was there a quarter or handful of drives at some point in the season where you looked at it and said, that’s it, that’s what we point to?

A: I don’t know, I think there’s always stretches of games, key moments throughout. I can’t say I would point to one or another.

Q: A lot of these young QBs in the league are going crazy with numbers and things like that. Is your philosophy of quarterback, Eli is not that, never really was that. Do you look at the quarterback and say, I want a guy who can win the game, manage the game, scores 28, 27 points a game and isn’t have to be a 50-touchdown kind of guy running around and things like that?

A: When you look around the league and let’s assume there are good coaches everywhere, you try to play to the strengths of the guys on the roster. The Baltimore Ravens are playing a different style of offense now that Joe Flacco is not their quarterback. I guess what you do is try to maximize and that’s what I was saying about the last eight weeks. You try to maximize the skillsets of the players that you have. It’s a coordinated effort – nobody can do this alone. Baseball is the ultimate skill sport, this is the ultimate team sport, and nobody can carry the team by themselves. It’s a coordinated effort. As much as everyone would like to say, Saquon did all these things, and he did a lot of great things, well, we blocked better and it was coordinated with the throwing game where he maybe got some two-shell runs. It’s coordinated.

Q: Is this version of the offense you played in the second half of the year, is that compensation or is that because of limitations? Or is this what you want your offense to look like?

A: I like offense where you’re able to run the ball throughout because play action is meaningful. Again, I think Eli ran more boots and nakeds, he hasn’t run this many boots and nakeds since he was at Ole Miss. But it works, and we changed the launch point. I think we’ve given up 40-some sacks. Since the bye, I think we’ve been sacked like 15 or 16 times, so again, it’s coordinated. I want an offense that’s going to score enough points to win. The last two weeks, we didn’t do that by a point.

Q: Both Dave and John (Mara) said that the offensive line was their number one priority for last offseason. Do you now feel at the end of this season this could be your offensive line going forward? Or does it need more tweaks?

A: No, I think you’ve got to always address the offensive line to some degree. I think sometimes the answers are on your roster. (Jon Halapio) came in and played really well at center until he got hurt, then we picked up Spencer Pulley who’s done a very, very good job playing center. (John) Greco stepped in and played center, we picked up Jamon Brown. I think you’ve got to always try to upgrade your offensive line to some degree because when you look around and you start to see teams that are playing bad offense, don’t look at the skill players first. If you can’t block them, then nothing fancy looks good, nothing normal looks good, nothing that you need to do in football looks good if you can’t block them. I think that’s where this game starts. I worked for Nick Saban, and I watch Alabama. Alabama’s got a lot of very talented players, but when push comes to shove, the teams playing Alabama can’t block them. You may make a play or score a touchdown, but when you’re trying to do it over and over and over, teams can’t block those guys. It’s important that we’re always addressing the fronts. This is a big man’s game, and we’ve got to make sure we’re doing what we can to get the O and the D-line right.

Q: Obviously Eli has won here. When he has done so, it has been with a good pass rush on the other side and a defense that has helped him – most quarterbacks have. Do you think you have a winning offense as constituted or close to it if your defense can make stops at the end and put more pressure on opposing offenses?

A: I think we’ll have a winning team when at the end of the game we can either stop the team or score against the team we’re playing, and again that’s part of being coordinated. We’re going to address all those things moving forward.

Q: We asked you about (DC) James Bettcher last week. Before the season started, one of the big storylines was how he would work with you and (OC) Mike Shula. What does he (Shula) bring to the table and how did that dynamic work with you calling plays?

A: I have a great deal of respect for Mike and having worked with him now, it worked great because along the way, we’re on the headset talking. He works with the staff, I think he’s done an outstanding job and he’s part of the reason for some of the success, at least offensively, we’ve had in the latter part of the season. I look forward to having him here moving forward.

Q: How is that? You say he’s part of the success, we don’t see that. What is it about him?

A: He’s smart. He was calling plays in the Super Bowl for Carolina. We work together. He’s a career coach, he works extremely hard, he’s smart, and we communicate well together. He does a good job with our offensive staff, and on game day, I get great suggestions as to what to call. There’s a lot of times when I’ll say, hey listen, I want to call apple or orange, what do you think? And he’ll say call orange. That’s the communication that happens. Again, you don’t get a chance to see it, but I certainly appreciate his efforts.

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:

GIANTS WILL PICK 6TH IN FIRST ROUND…
The New York Giants will have the 6th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

GIANTS 2019 OPPONENTS SET…
The New York Giants will play the following teams during the 2019 NFL regular season:

Home:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Miami Dolphins

Away:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Washington Redskins
  • Chicago Bears
  • Detroit Lions
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Jets

ROSTER MOVES…
Although not officially announced, the New York Giants have reportedly signed defensive end Jake Ceresna and long snapper Taybor Pepper to reserve/futures contracts.

The 24-year old, 6’6”, 295-pound Ceresna spent the past two years in the Canadian Football League (CFL) after a brief stint with the New York Jets in 2016.

The 24-year old, 6’4”, 245-pound Pepper went undrafted in 2016. He signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2017, playing in four games, before being placed on Injured Reserve with a broken foot.

NOTES…
The Giants finished 2-6 at home, 1-5 vs. NFC East opponents, and 0-3 in division home games. This is the first time they lost all of their home games within the NFC East since 2003.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they are the first team in NFL history to lose each of their final two games by one point.

The Giants lost eight games by seven points or less, the most such games by any NFL team this season.

The Giants lost all five games in 2018 when quarterback Eli Manning passed for 300 yards or more. The Giants are 19-31 in Manning’s 50 career 300-yard regular-season games.

Manning passed for 4,299 yards this season, the fourth-highest total of his 15-year career and the seventh time he exceeded 4,000 yards.

Manning completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes (380 of 576). His previous best was 63.1 percent in 2014.

Manning threw 21 touchdown passes, the 12th time in his career that he has thrown at least 20. Manning’s 11 interceptions were his fewest since he threw he threw 10 in 2008.

Running back Saquon Barkley finished with 261 rushing attempts for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, and 91 catches for 721 yards and four scores. His 11 rushing touchdowns are a Giants rookie record. He had been tied at 10 with Bill Paschal, who set the mark in 1943.

Barkley is the first running back to lead the Giants in catches since Tiki Barber did with 69 in 2003, and the first player to lead the team in rushing and receiving in the same season since Barber in 2003 (1,216 rushing yards, 69 catches).

Barkley’s 1,307 rushing yards is the seventh-highest total in Giants history.

Barkley’s 1,307 yards are 477 more than the No. 2 rookie on the franchise’s list – Tuffy Leemans’ previous record of 830 yards, set in 1936.

Barkley’s 91 receptions are a record for an NFL rookie running back. The former record of 88 was set by New Orleans’ Reggie Bush in 2006. The 91 catches ties wide receiver Odell Beckham’s Giants rookie record.

Barkley had 2,028 yards from scrimmage. He is the third rookie in NFL history with 2,000 yards from scrimmage after running backs Eric Dickerson (1983) and Edgerrin James (1999).

Place kicker Aldrick Rosas made 32 of 33 attempts this season, a Giants-record 97 percent.

Barkley and left guard Will Hernandez started all 16 games. This is just the second time since the 1970 merger that the Giants had multiple rookies start every game. In 1981, linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive tackle Bill Neill started every game.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman addresses the media on Wednesday.

Dec 302018
 
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Eli Manning and Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (December 30, 2018)

Giants End Season With Another Loss – © USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS COWBOYS 36 – NEW YORK GIANTS 35…
The New York Giants ended their 2018 season on a losing note, falling to the Dallas Cowboys 36-35 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Giants were up 35-28 with 2:35 left in the game. But Dallas drove 70 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 32-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-15 with with just over a minute to play. The successful 2-point conversion gave the Cowboys their game-winning points.

With the loss, the Giants ended the season with a 5-11 overall record (1-5 in the NFC East). The Giants have five losing seasons in the last six years.

The game did not start off well for New York. After a 38-yard kickoff return by wide receiver Corey Coleman, the Giants drove deep into Dallas territory, aided by a 24-yard reception by wide receiver Sterling Shepard and a 26-yard run by running back Saquon Barkley. However, quarterback Eli Manning was picked off in the end zone on 3rd-and-4 from the Dallas 6-yard line.

Dallas gained two first downs on their initial drive and then punted. The Giants picked up three first downs, but on 2-and-10 from the Dallas 43-yard line, Manning was sacked and he fumbled the ball away. The Cowboys drove inside the red zone on the ensuing possession but missed the 34-yard field goal.

After a three-and-out by the Giants, Dallas drove the ball 65 yards in 13 plays, the possession ending with a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dak Prescott to tight end Blake Jarwin. After another three-and-out by the Giants, the Cowboys went up 14-0 after a 9-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Jarwin.

With under two minutes to play before halftime, the Giants finally got on the board with a 10-play, 73-yard possession that ended with a spectacular, one-handed, 21-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Cody Latimer on 3rd-and-10.

At the half, the Cowboys led 14-7.

The 3rd quarter began with a three-and-out by the Cowboys. Coleman returned the ensuing punt 19 yards. The Giants’ offense was only able to gain 15 yards, but it was enough to set up a successful 48-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. Cowboys 14 – Giants 10.

Dallas appeared to take command of the game again on their second possession of the half, driving 76 yards in eight plays, and capping off the drive with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Jarwin. The Cowboys now led 21-10.

The Giants were ignited by a 68-yard run by Barkley on 2nd-and-20. Three plays later, Manning found tight end Evan Engram for a 6-yard touchdown reception and then the 2-point conversion. Cowboys 21 – Giants 18.

The Cowboys gained one first down and punted the ball away early in the 4th quarter. Aided by a 51-yard reception by Evan Engram, the Giants took their first lead of the game when running back Wayne Gallman scored from two yards out. Giants 25 – Cowboys 21.

However, a New York defense that has struggled to hold leads all year collapsed in the 4th quarter. On Dallas’ ensuing possession, the Cowboys easily drove 75 yards in five plays to regain the lead 28-25 with just over nine minutes to play. The Giants’ offense impressively responded with a 12-play, 74-yard effort. Latimer came down with a one-handed, 31-yard reception and three plays later Barkley skyed over the Dallas defense from two yards out. Giants 32 – Cowboys 28 with 3:21 left in the game.

New York appeared to pull off the upset on the very next offensive snap. After a short reception, defensive end Kerry Wynn forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker B.J. Goodson and advanced to the Dallas 18-yard line. The Giants lost two yards on the subsequent possession but kicked a 38-yard field goal to take a 35-28 lead with 2:35 left in the game.

Again, the Giants’ defense could not hold. The Cowboys drove 70 yards 83 seconds, unbelievably scoring on a broken play from 32 yards out on 4th-and-15. The subsequent 2-point conversion gave Dallas their game-winning points.

The Giants did have one final legitimate chance to win the game. Latimer returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards to the New York 48-yard line. The Giants had the ball near midfield with 65 left in the game and two timeouts. But the contest ended with four straight incompletions by Manning.

Manning finished the game 24-of-41 for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His leading receiver was Engram, who caught five passes for 81 yards. Latimer, Shepard, and Barkley each had four receptions. Barkley also gained 109 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries.

Defensively, the Giants gave up 419 total net yards, including 368 net yards passing. The Giants accrued four sacks (2.5 by linebacker Olivier Vernon) and forced one fumble.

Video highlights are available at NFL.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), wide receiver Russell Shepard (ankle), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), defensive end Mario Edwards (calf), linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion), tight end Garrett Dickerson, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Cornerback Grant Haley (concussion) and wide receiver Corey Coleman (foot) left the game with injuries.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants placed wide receiver Jawill Davis on Injured Reserve on Saturday after he injured his knee dancing in the locker room on Saturday (no joke). To fill his roster spot, the Giants signed wide receiver Alonzo Russell to the 53-man roster from the team’s Practice Squad.

The Giants signed Russell after he impressed as a tryout player during the May 2018 rookie mini-camp and then signed him to the Practice Squad in September. The 6’3”, 206-pound Russell was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Bengals’ Practice Squad. The Bengals waived him in September 2017 and he was signed to the Practice Squad of the Arizona Cardinals in November 2017.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday. General Manager Dave Gettleman will address the media on Wednesday.

Dec 282018
 
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Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (December 2, 2018)

Odell Beckham, Jr. – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Friday were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), wide receiver Russell Shepard (ankle), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), defensive end Mario Edwards (calf), and linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion). All five players have officially been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hip), center Spencer Pulley (calf), defensive end Kerry Wynn (thumb), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (foot) fully practiced. All four players are expected to play on Sunday.

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

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Dec 262018
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (December 23, 2018)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Not practicing on Wednesday were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), wide receiver Russell Shepard (ankle), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), defensive end Mario Edwards (calf), and linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion).

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (hip), center Spencer Pulley (calf), and linebacker B.J. Goodson (foot) were limited in practice.

Defensive end Kerry Wynn (thumb) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR…
The transcript of Pat Shurmur’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

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:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice again on Thursday and Friday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Dec 242018
 
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Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (December 23, 2018)

Sterling Shepard – © USA TODAY Sports

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 28-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:

Q: While you’re trying to win games along this stretch here, how much evaluating is going on as you look forward? I speak specifically about the quarterback, and as a follow up, I’m curious how you feel like Eli has been performing this last month or so?

A: Eli has been doing some really good things. I think we as a team, and I think it’s fair to say about the quarterback too, we’re real close and we’ve got to find a way to take these wins at the end. I think he’s contributing in a really good way, so that’s what I would say about Eli. In terms of evaluating, we evaluate everything moving forward, all positions and all position groups. That’s nothing new, that starts back in the spring and follows through all the way through the season.

Q: Can I ask you about a play in the fourth quarter before (K Aldrick) Rosas kicked a 27-yd field goal? It was the play in which Eli attempted to hit Evan Engram and the pass fell incomplete. It was the one in which he spun around. In looking at that play, what did you see? That was the one where I think he had some pressure in his face, but it looked like he might have been able to connect with Engram?

A: Yeah, initially he wasn’t able to get him the ball, he had a little bit of pressure and that obviously caused a delay in the throw. I thought Eli did an excellent job of getting the ball thrown away so that he didn’t take a sack.

Q: What are you going to do with the injured guys this week in terms of, if they’re clearly not able to go are you going to put anybody on IR and bring up somebody else?

A: We’ll have to see where that goes. We’ve got guys that didn’t play last week that might come back, and then we had a couple guys, Rhett Ellison and you saw Mario Edwards that left the game, so we’ll have to see where they’re at. But that right now is pretty fluid. I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen there, but just like every game, anybody that’s injured is doing everything in their power to get back and play this week.

Q: Defensive players in the locker room after the game kept saying they need to learn to finish games. Is that just a mindset for the defense or is that schematically something you guys need to change?

A: No, I think that’s a fair assessment for our team. You’ve got to go out and take these wins, nobody gives you anything. So when you get to the position like we were at the end of this game, it’s safe to say we’ve been in a handful of these this season where we’ve won a couple and then we’ve let a couple get away from us. But nothing’s given to you in this league, you’ve got to go take it, and so when you’re close at the end, you’ve got to find a way to make enough plays at the end and take the victory. That’s part of the mindset, certainly. In terms of the tactics, you always look at better ways to do things and better ways for the players to be in better position to win, but for the most part, it comes down to us coaching and playing in a way where go take them.

Q: Will you close out the season here Sunday with Eli still as the starter?

A: Yes, he is.

Q: Any chance Kyle (Lauletta) will be the number two and you’ll work him into the game somewhere, or not a possibility?

A: We’ll just have to see what the week brings.

Q: You talked about ‘we’re close and have to find a way to take these wins’. Is that the process of a 3-13 team growing up, and you still need more players?

A: I don’t know about that. Like I said, I’d like to see all of our guys back next year because I think we’ve learned a lot of things together. A lot of new players, certainly, I think we’re down to about 12 guys that were on the roster (last year) and there’s a lot of new going on everywhere. I’ve got a staff of coaches that, there’s only one guy on the staff that I ever worked with. So we’re battling through it, and we’re doing some things that put us in a position to win. We’ve won some games, but we haven’t won enough, and so that’s the growth that has to take place and for those of us that aren’t very patient, it’s a painful process until we get to that point where we’re winning all of these games at the end – not just a few of them, but all of them. We all know that it comes down to a drive or two at the end or the critical plays at the end of a game. There’s things that we’re doing that are good enough, but right is right. We’ve got to do it throughout the game and we’ve got to win them.

Q: Some of the players keep on maintaining that the team is very close, super close, things like that. Obviously we’ve seen so many games are very close, but when you assess this, you know what it takes to win and lose consistently in the league. Do you think your team is very close here?

A: When you say very close, as a team? Or very close to winning? I don’t understand the question.

Q: Very close to being a legitimate contender, a playoff team.

A: Yeah, I think we are and I think that’s sort of where our conversation is going today is we are very close, but right is right — you’ve got to win. And I think as we start building and as the players get better, as we improve, as we understand situations and how to play each situation better, then eventually this thing pushes over the top. So I would agree with their assessment.

Q: Are you giving yourself a day off for Christmas with the family, or what?

A: The players are off tomorrow, it’s their normal day off. We worked with the players today and they’re already gone so we compressed it a little bit. We got the medical information we needed, they all lifted, they all had a chance to watch the tape, so they’ll be able to enjoy Christmas Eve and then a full day of Christmas tomorrow – except for the injured guys who will show up for treatment. But in terms of the coaches, we’re going to work throughout the day today, and then the coaches will be off in the morning and then we’ll come back tomorrow afternoon.

Q: Did Saquon come out of the game ok? He looked like he got a little banged up there late in the third quarter.

A: He’s fine.

Q: Do you sense any frustration from him after two games in a row where he’s probably not getting the rushing yardage that he’s used to?

A: No, I didn’t sense it. I thought he was into it, I saw the same Saquon that I always see. I’ve been made aware of his comments after the game that sort of reflects his mindset. So, no, I don’t sense any frustration.

Q: How much of his last two games’ rushing totals is not having Odell on the field to open up the field, so to speak?

A: I don’t think that’s the case. I feel like any time you don’t have one of your better players on the field, it affects maybe how they do things, but I thought when we threw the ball the receivers that played got production. They actually played a little bit more two-shell then you might expect, and they moved the front on us which is really kind of contrary to that narrative. We’ve just got to do a better job doing what we do, and when Odell is healthy, we’ll welcome him back.

Q: Contrary to which narrative?

A: That they were loading up on the run.

NOTES…

  • The Giants finished 3-5 on the road.
  • The Giants have lost three road games this year when the opposition scored the deciding points in the final minute. The other games were against the Eagles and Panthers.
  • The Giants are 19-30 when Eli Manning throws for at least 300 yards. They have lost their last seven games when he’s reached that milestone.
  • Manning fell to 0-4 against the Colts, one of just two NFL teams he has never beaten as a starting quarterback. The other is the Chargers.
  • Saquon Barkley needs 114 yards in the Giants’ final game to become the third rookie in NFL history with 2,000 yards from scrimmage.
  • Barkley needs five catches to break Odell Beckham, Jr.’s Giants rookie record of 91, set in 2014.
  • Aldrick Rosas has now made 30 of 31 attempts this season (.968 percent). Rosas has converted 18 consecutive attempts, the longest streak by a Giants kicker since Josh Brown made 29 straight spanning the 2014-2015 seasons.

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday.

Dec 232018
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (December 23, 2018)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 28 – NEW YORK GIANTS 27…
The Indianapolis Colts came from behind to defeat the New York Giants 28-27 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday. With the loss, the Giants fell to 5-10 on the season.

Indianapolis received the football to start the game but their first three drives ended with two three-and-outs and an interception by free safety Curtis Riley.

Meanwhile, the Giants jumped on top quickly with their first two drives ending in touchdowns. First, New York went 75 yards in 11 plays, the possession culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Saquon Barkley. Then the Giants drove 87 yards in nine plays, the big play being a 55-yard strike from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Manning finished this possession with a 3-yard touchdown throw to tight end Scott Simonson.

After New York went three-and-out on their third drive, the Colts responded with a 12-play, 78-yard possession that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Nyheim Hines with just over four minutes before halftime. The Giants then extended their lead by moving the ball 53 yards in nine plays, setting up a 40-yard field goal by place kicker Aldrick Rosas. The Colts could not get into scoring position on their last possession of the first half.

At the half, the Giants led 17-7.

After picking up one first down on their initial possession of the 3rd quarter, the Giants punted the ball away. The Colts proceeded to cut the score to 17-14 with a 7-play, 85-yard possession that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Luck to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman. Luck also completed a 55-yard pass to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton on this drive.

The Giants impressively responded with their own touchdown, moving the ball 85 yards in eight plays, including a 32-yard pass to tight end Evan Engram. Manning finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and the Giants led 24-14.

However, the Giants defense could not hold and the Colts scored their second touchdown on their second possession of the half after a 7-play, 74-yard affair that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by running back Marlon Mack. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Giants led 24-21.

The Giants reached the red zone on their ensuing possession but were forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Rosas. Both teams then exchanged punts, the Giants being forced to punt out of their own end zone.

Trailing by six points, the Colts’ subsequent possession began at their own 47-yard line with 3:43 left in the game. A 2-yard pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-3 by linebacker Tae Davis gave the Colts their first first down. Luck then scrambled for 14 yards and threw four consecutive passes for a total of 22 yards down to the Giants’ 8-yard line. Cornerback B.W. Webb was then flagged with a 7-yard pass interference penalty. With 59 seconds left in the game, Luck found wide receiver Chester Rogers for the 1-yard, game-winning score.

The Giants began their final desperate drive at their own 25-yard line with 55 seconds left and just one timeout. After completing two short passes for 11 yards, Manning’s deep throw to wide receiver Bennie Fowler was intercepted at the Colts’ 35-yard line with less than 30 seconds to play.

Offensively, Manning finished 25-of-33 for 309 yards, one touchdown, and one interception for a QB rating of 101.7. His leading receivers were Sterling Shepard (6 catches for 113 yards), Engram (6 catches for 87 yards), and Barkley (5 catches for 34 yards). However, Barkley was held to 43 yards rushing and one touchdown on 21 carries.

Defensively, the Giants allowed just 49 yards rushing, but 353 net passing yards. And after holding the Colts to just one score in the first half, the defense allowed three touchdowns in four drives in the second half. Indianapolis was 4-for-4 in red zone opportunities. The Giants forced only one turnover (interception by Riley) and only picked up one sack (by linebacker Tae Davis).

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), wide receiver Russell Shepard (ankle), center Spencer Pulley (calf), defensive end Kerry Wynn (finger), linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion) and defensive end Mario Edwards (calf) left the game with injuries and did not return.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Pat Shurmur (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.

Dec 222018
 
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Alec Ogletree, New York Giants (December 9, 2018)

Alec Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT – FOUR OUT AGAINST COLTS…
Not practicing on Friday were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), wide receiver Russell Shepard (ankle), center Spencer Pulley (calf), and linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion). All four players have been officially ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Defensive end Kerry Wynn (thumb) and wide receiver Jawill Davis (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis. Wynn is officially “questionable” for the game on Sunday, while Davis is expected to play.

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

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the New York Giants on Saturday. The team plays the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Dec 172018
 
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Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (December 16, 2018)

Pat Shurmur – © USA TODAY Sports

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 17-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans (the video is also available at Giants.com):

Opening Remarks: After watching the tape, not much has changed in my mind, comment-wise, after the game. It was a one-score game for a long time. We didn’t make enough plays, we didn’t do enough obviously to get the ball in the end zone. We did some things on defense that we hadn’t done in the last couple of weeks, we kind of missed some tackles, but still the game was tight, it was a one-score game. We didn’t make enough plays to get in the end zone, so that’s what you get. We move on, we’re doing the corrections now as we speak, and we’re getting ready to play the Colts. We’ll stay in the moment and try to go play, put a plan together to beat a good football team this Sunday. I’ll take your questions.

Q: Now that you guys are out of playoff contention, would you like to see Kyle (Lauletta) in another game? You said after the Redskins game you don’t think that was enough of an evaluation.

A: I think we’re going to try to put the players in that are going to give us the best chance to win. And again, as we go along here, we’re getting a lot of guys in the games. We’ll see if that includes Kyle at some point.

Q: That means Eli (Manning) is going to start the last two games?

A: Moving forward, we’re going to do what we have to do to win this game. Yes, Eli is going to start this week.

Q: You won’t commit to the last two games at this point?

A: We’re going to do what we have to do this week and then we’ll go from there. Eli playing quarterback, I think, gives us the best chance to win.

Q: Going back to late last week, what did you think about Odell (Beckham) divulging information about the injury on Facebook?

A: Yeah, I didn’t spend much time on Facebook and what not. I just work with him on a daily basis, and he’s doing what he can to come back from that injury. I don’t really have any comment on the Facebook part of it. He’s doing what he can to get back, going through treatment, and trying to do everything he can to get back in the game.

Q: Do you think he has a chance this week?

A: We’re hopeful. He feels better today than he did late last week, so hopefully he’ll work his way back in.

Q: Is it in consideration to shut him down for the year?

A: No, he’s like every other player. We’re going to try to get him back for this Sunday. He’s a valuable member of our team, and if he’s healthy enough to play, then we’ll get him out there.

Q: When you look at the load Saquon (Barkley) has taken, do you think at all about this in the last two games, about easing off on some guys, just looking at a big picture more so?

A: Yeah, the big picture is to win this game, the big picture is certainly moving forward, but certainly, listen, this is a dangerous game at times, but guys are very competitive and they want to go out and play, and I think it’s important that guys that are healthy enough to play, play.

Q: Do you have to do anything special this week to make sure your guys remain focused? Do you go about that any different?

A: Nope, no different than last week in my mind. You hit the re-set button, we’ll do this presser, then I’ll get to the business of getting ready to play Indy.

Q: As far as Eli Manning, is there weight in these final two games as far as looking for him to show you more when you’re evaluating whether or not he can be your starter next season? Or does what he does in these next two games not factor in, have you already decided?

A: I think what’s important is, things you decide in the offseason are things you decide. Right now, we’ve got two games left and we’re going to do what we can to put a plan together to beat Indianapolis. Again, we stay in the moment on that. After every game, really after every practice, we evaluate players’ performances at all positions. Then in the offseason, we all know that there’s decisions that get made that shape the roster; but right now, I’m going to stay right in the moment and get ready to play Indy.

Q: Do you want Eli to be back next year?

A: Yeah, I want all our players to be back. I really do. I believe experience matters, I believe that what we’re trying to learn to do — we’ve grown two games better than we were a year ago here, we’ve got two more opportunities. When you start talking about roster-shaping down the road, you need to learn how to win again and the experience of playing through adversity. I learned some more about a lot of players yesterday, when we’re playing through a game that felt a little bit like some of the games earlier in the season. You continue to learn about people.

Q: You had said before the season you felt that with his ability, Eli still had years remaining. Do you still believe that after what you’ve seen up close this season?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: What makes you believe that? What do you see that makes you believe that?

A: Because I’ve seen him play good football, and I’ve seen how when we have a coordinated effort of protecting him, running the football effectively, and being able to run the ball throughout the game, it helps us. We threw the ball more than I would have liked to in the game that was really one score, but seven of those throws were two-minute before the half, and then there were 15 in the fourth quarter when we were down by 17. That skews the numbers. The important thing about yesterday in our coordinated effort was we didn’t get enough out of the runs when we chose to run the ball. We had a couple of situations where we ran the ball and got penalties and got knocked back and knocked off schedule. That’s where that coordinated effort comes in.

Q: Why was there what seemed like a regression from the offensive line? Each week, it seemed like you came out here and said, ‘that was their best game yet’. This obviously wasn’t.

A: I think we played another good front, and then we had some isolated breakdowns that affected plays negatively, and we weren’t able to overcome those yesterday.

Q: Do you feel like the Titans attacked you differently, taking into account what you had done the week before?

A: No, I don’t think so. We saw what we anticipated seeing – actually, we saw less than what we thought. They were very multiple in coverage, they did some stuff against us. They presented some opportunities to us that we didn’t take advantage of and we didn’t stay on schedule on first, second down, and that’s not a good formula for success, especially when you’re playing against a team that’s got the pass rush ability that they have.

On the injuries yesterday:

A: I’ll go through them all for you. Russell Shepard, ankle sprain, so we’ll see. Spencer Pulley had a calf strain. Antonio Hamilton, quad. Odell, as we all know, and then some normal game wear and tear.

Q: Any of those guys you expect to not be back?

A: I don’t know, it’s really too early to tell. Those are all injuries you can come back from in a week or two, so we’ll just have to see.

Q: Did you have a conversation with Kyle Lauletta at all about your decision to deactivate him on Sunday?

A: Yeah, we talked to him. We explained to him that he was going to be deactivated.

Q: He used the word ‘disappointed’. Is that a fair description from your point of view?

A: Yeah, that’s his word. I would imagine any player that goes from being active to inactive would feel that way.

Q: It seems obvious that his arrow was pointing one way and then you said he had done enough to be activated, and then after two weeks, he plays in a game and now he’s not activated. How is that not to be viewed as a demotion?

A: Because I feel like we have two guys in the back of Eli that can go in and function the way we want to. Some of what happens, happens behind the scenes and is not for public consumption, that’s all. But that being said, I think Kyle’s got a bright future, but we’ve said this all along – or at least I have, and I believe it – that he’s got a long way to go in terms of doing the things necessary and although he can get in there and function, there’s a lot to learn playing quarterback in this league. He’s got a bright future and he’s made great progress this year, and so it is what it is.

Q: A decision like that, is that made between you and (OC) Mike Shula and your coaching staff, or do you involve Dave (Gettleman) and John (Mara) in a decision like that, too?

A: We talk about it as coaches, certainly, because we deal with the players on a day-to-day basis, but nothing that we do with this team isn’t discussed with the people that you mentioned.

Q: You said after the Washington game, I hope you saw what you wanted to see with (Lauletta). Have you seen what you wanted to see of him in a game, or would you like to get more in that?

A: I would like to see everybody play more, but I think what’s important is you’ve got to do what’s necessary to win a game. That’s where it’s at.

Q: Is that pecking order at quarterback in flux again this week?

A: We’ll see.

Q: Where is Evan Brown in terms of his development? He’s one of the young guys you’ve had since the summer and we haven’t seen him in a game situation yet.

A: Yeah, he hasn’t been active yet. We’re hopeful that he’s going to have a bright future. He made the team, he plays center, he’s done a really good job, I think, behind the scenes, he’s made huge improvements throughout the year. At some point, we’ll see him.

Q: If Pulley has to be down for an extended period of time or the remainder of the season?

A: In the event Pulley can’t play, then (Brown) would slide up and he’d be in the center rotation, for sure. That’s fair.

Q: Your tackling yesterday — technically, what was wrong on the edges as far as keeping it contained?

A: I thought for the most part the run fits were pretty good. You see frequently now with big backs, they bounce the ball to the corner and guys on the edges have to make those tackles. That’s what happened, we just weren’t as consistent making those tackles as we were in the last three weeks, I would say. That’s all.

Q: You’ve taken over a 3-13 team. I know there’s work to be done, but you don’t make the playoffs. I’m just wondering how you view it? Does the season automatically in your mind become a failure or are you looking at a bigger picture or at other things? Just wondering how you sort of make sense of that.

A: Not making the playoffs is, we didn’t reach our goals. We didn’t do enough to compete to win the Super Bowl. So we didn’t reach our goal. Does that mean we’re failures? No. What it means is we’ve got a lot of work to do. That’s what it means, and I want to finish this year in a way that shows that we’ve grown so that we’re at a different spot than we were a year ago to make some more of that growth that we all know needs to happen. Along the way, I will say this – playing and coaching football is what we do, and there’ll be some point in the winter where we’re not doing it and we’re all going to miss it. I know from my standpoint and I know our players in the locker room, we’re going to try to get the most out of these next two weeks and try to win two football games because that joy that you feel from winning, even though we’re not going to be able to go on this year, that’s something that we want to feel.

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:

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

Dec 162018
 
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Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Eli Manning; New York Giants (December 16, 2018)

A Disappointing Day for the Offense – © USA TODAY Sports

TENNESSEE TITANS 17 – NEW YORK GIANTS 0…
The New York Giants saw their slim playoff hopes evaporate on Sunday as the team was shut out 17-0 by the Tennessee Titans at a rainy MetLife Stadium. The Giants are now officially out of the playoff hunt. With the loss, the Giants fell to 5-9, guaranteeing their fifth losing season in the past six years.

While Tennessee only passed the ball for 86 net yards, the Titans out-gained the Giants in first downs (22 to 15), total net yards (301 to 260), net yards rushing (215 to 47), and time of possession (35:21 to 24:39).

The Giants’ five first-half possessions ended with four punts and a sack as time expired. Yet only trailing 7-0 at halftime, quarterback Eli Manning had two killer turnovers to start the second half, including a bad interception and fumble. The Giants survived the first, but not the second as Tennessee’s second touchdown near the end of the third quarter all but officially sealed the game. The Titans added another field goal in the fourth quarter as the Giants punted two more times. Until New York’s last drive, the closest the Giants got to the end zone was the Tennessee 29-yard line. The Giants reached the 4-yard line on their final possession but turned the ball over on downs.

Manning finished the game 21-of-44 for 229 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He was also sacked three times. His leading receiver was tight end Evan Engram (8 catches for 75 yards). Running back Saquon Barkley was held to 31 yards on 14 carries.

The defense kept the Giants in the game until late in the third quarter, but they did not create a turnover and only had one sack (by safety Michael Thomas).

Video lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the New York Giants were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (quad), quarterback Kyle Lauletta, tight end Garrett Dickerson, center Evan Brown, nose tackle John Jenkins, cornerback Tony Lippett, and safety Kamrin Moore.

Center Spencer Pulley (calf) and cornerback Antonio Hamilton (quad) both left the game with injuries and did not return. Defensive end Kerry Wynn (unknown) had post-game x-rays taken.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Pat Shurmur and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Pat Shurmur and select players will address the media on Monday.