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Giants react to 40-16 victory over the Redskins

NEW YORK GIANTS HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR

Opening Statement:

“I guess we would’ve never planned that—to get a 34-point lead early in the game – I guess by halftime. I think it started out by the way our defense was playing. They did an excellent job of taking the ball away and scoring again like they have, kind of jump start us, get us on the board. Then you saw some guys kind of take over the game. Saquon [Barkley] running the ball. We did a good job of scoring touchdowns. I think Eli [Manning] threw three touchdown passes. We had production from all of the receivers. And truth be told, that was a terrific team victory. I think the guys are listening. Teams beat teams and we came down here as a 4-8 team. I feel like we’re getting better. We certainly did not start the year the way we wanted to, but I think we’re playing more in a way that’s evidence that we’re getting better and were on the right track. A game like today just re-confirms what we all believe; that if you play hard and you play for the guy next to you, and you’re happy for everybody making good plays. It feeds on itself and you can have a day like today. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. We tried to get use of all of the players or as many as we could. You saw Kyle Lauletta got his first action.”

On if RB Saquon Barkley can surprise him:

No, but he’s still a young player. He dropped the ball early in the game. He’s not perfect and he’ll be the first one to tell you that he isn’t. But the beauty of Saquon is I think he has a good feel for who he is as a person and a player. But he knows he needs to improve and he will tell you. He’s just going to keep working on the details and the little things. But he’s a terrific player. Again, he’s a generational spirit on the sideline. I’ve said that before and I think there’s a lot of things about him that make him special.”

On the long touchdown run:

“It’s one of our favorite runs, one of our core runs. We have the ability to bring the receiver back or not. Part of what made that run go was because Sterling [Shepard] came and blocked the safety. When he got the block on the safety, it just split. Sterling had a lot to do with it. I thought our receivers blocked great today. Our group of receivers that played today all contributed in positive ways and they were a big part of why we won.”

On the offense without WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“Yeah, I mean this is a team sport. I think everybody did their jobs well today and for whatever reason if you don’t have one of the players, that can make a difference. But it’s all about the team.”

On his confidence level for Beckham Jr. playing:

“Yeah, I was Friday. You know he practiced all week. This has been a thing that has been lingering. He was further evaluated on Friday and came in Saturday and it was pretty evident that he couldn’t play.”

On if anything happened to Beckham Jr. in practice Friday:

“No, nothing on Friday.”

On if he is worried about Beckham Jr.’s injury becoming a problem:

“No, I don’t know. I am not worried about it right now. I think he will do what he can to come back next week.”

On putting pressure on Redskins QB Mark Sanchez:

“Yeah, I thought we did a good job on getting pressure. I can’t see it all the time and I don’t know what was totally going on, but I think we did a good job of getting pressure. You know that sometimes disrupts his throws that allow us to pick off those tips.”

On QB Kyle Lauletta:

“Yeah, he came in on kind of a run, kind of boot naked play action type setting and probably to be determined. I don’t think he had enough there to evaluate how he did, but he executed things pretty well. I would have liked to see him get a couple more completions and not throw that interception certainly.” 

On the decision to play Lauletta

“I think so, I mean we felt like, ‘let’s take a look at him and see.’ I feel that enough questions regarding Kyle, that those of you that were interested in seeing him, hopefully you got a chance to see what you were looking for. Yeah, it’s rare that you have those types of situations so we didn’t really discuss it much.

I talked to [Offensive Coordinator] Mike Shula about it; that if things were playing out the way that we wanted to by the start of the fourth quarter; that we might think about it.”

On general impressions of QB Eli Manning:

“Yeah, I think we’ve talked about it all along, especially in the last five weeks. But everybody has to do their job, and we’ve done a better job of protecting for Eli and running the ball and playing a better style of team offense. I think that helps every quarterback. I’m certainly pleased with the way Eli’s led us here.”

On paying attention to Cowboys vs. Eagles game:

“Oh my goodness I haven’t even…no. I’m still dressed in warm clothing. No, we’ll watch it. Again, I’m a football fan, so we’re going to watch what goes on and catch up on all the scores today. With regards to that game, because of division, sure, somebody will do the math and all that. I’m happy for our team. It’s rare that you have these types of wins where you’re thinking about who you’re going to put in for the fourth quarter. More than anything, I’m pleased for our team. I think sometimes when I say it’s about team and you’re playing and you don’t do that math, if you do that, we can have a day like today and you can build on that. Years are connected and I think that’s something we’re trying to do.”

NEW YORK GIANTS QB ELI MANNING

On having a 34-point lead before half time:

“You know, it’s fun. Those don’t happen all that often in the NFL, where everything is clicking and the defense is getting turnovers. Offensively, hitting a lot of big plays in the run game and a couple in the pass game, scoring in the red zone. Those things, they don’t happen much so you’ve got to take advantage of it. It’s fun to be in those type of games where everything seems to be working.”

On RB Saqoun Barkley:

“He’s a tremendous player, I think we’re starting to figure out that offense runs through him a little bit. When we run the ball well, it just sets up everything else, sets up the play action, sets up so much. Today with Odell [Beckham Jr.] being out, probably got more man-to-man coverage than we have seen all season. They probably had an emphasis on slowing down Saqoun. Offensive line did a great job, receivers did a great job blocking and he did a great job. Once he sees a little crease and gets an opening, he showed some speed today. You know, everybody contributed and everybody was doing their part, and we had some nice catches in the pass game. But everybody contributed in the pass game also from Sterling [Shepard] to Corey [Coleman] to Bennie [Fowler III] to Russell [Shepard]. Everybody was involved. Even [Evan] Engram got going. So, everybody did their part and that was fun when everything is clicking and everybody’s getting catches and everybody is involved and a part of it. Those are fun days.”

On acknowledging that the offense runs through Barkley:

“I think so. You know, more of emphasis to run the ball and just get that going, and that will help out the play action, help out getting some more single high coverages and stuff, and just some of the play action, moving the pocket. Just help out that offensive line and they’re playing great; blocking things out well and protecting well and doing a lot of good stuff.”

On what point during the long run he knew Barkley might score;

“Pretty soon, when I saw him kind of breakthrough that hole pretty quickly. Safety just took a little of a bad angle and he’s got that breakaway speed for a 230-pound man and he can move pretty good. It’s fun to see when you have those and it gets everybody riled up.”

On ever having a time where the running back runs the offense

“Yeah, early on with Tiki [Barber] that was definitely a time. You know in '05 and '06 in those years, it was going through Tiki. Since then, not as much, you know. I think maybe 2008 we were running it through Brandon [Jacobs] and Ahamd [Bradshaw], and Derrick Ward. So, you know we had good running attacks but it has been a little bit and it’s good to have it back.”

On envisioning Barkley’s fit in the offense:

“I think you just didn’t know; you didn’t know exactly what his skillset was and how it was all going to work out. We’ve obviously been in more big sets than we’ve had in past years and even more than at the start of the season this year. Just big sets, really expressing the run, more boot legs and nakeds and different things than we’ve done in the past. It all starts when you run the ball well, keep running it, and make things look like the run. It helps you get guys open.”

On enjoying Saquon as a football fan:

“I like when he’s running free. Yeah, I’m a fan of that. I could get used to handing it off and watching him run. It makes my job a little easier, but still everybody has to do their part. We’ve got to throw the ball, and we’ve got to do it complete, but when you can run it, it gives you the opportunity to set things up and obviously throw the ball well. It’ll set up the run so they both kind of complement each other.”

On the receiving core stepping up without WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“Obviously everybody was involved, everybody stepped up. You know, hit a nice deep one to Corey [Coleman], just missed on one earlier in the game, but had a nice one to him. Got Evan Engram going on a nice shallow route in the second half; he had a nice one before halftime that got us into scoring position there. Obviously, Bennie [Fowler III] had a touchdown on an over-route, Russell Shepard on a touchdown. Everybody was in there, everybody was playing, and­ it was good to see everybody get in there and get going.”

On resting during the fourth quarter:

“It’s good to get Kyle [Lauletta] in there and get him some action. It’s good to sit back and get a little rest and start getting ready for next week.”

On the rest of the season:

Every game is going to be different. You don’t expect next week to be a game like this. We just have to keep playing hard, play for each other, rely on both sides of the ball to do their job, and go find ways to win. This was a fun one to have it, but we got to get back to work and have a great week of preparation playing an unfamiliar Tennessee team that’s playing good football. We just have to get ready to go out and play well.”

GIANTS RUNNING BACK SAQUON BARKLEY

On the game:

“Pretty good. Just the whole game was fun. The message of the team was go out and play for each other and play for your brother. You felt that energy throughout the whole game from start to finish. Even with our offense having a slow start, it was contagious. You felt it on the sideline. We were, especially in the run game, dominate up front. Got to give credit to the offensive line – did an amazing job once again. And we were able to come out with a win.”

On the 78-yard touchdown run:

“We kind of had a feel for what they were doing, and the coaches made a great call on that play. First and foremost, our line didn’t let penetration, got movement. We were playing on their side of the ball the whole game, especially on that play. And Shep [Sterling Shepard] came back and made an unbelievable block and created space for me. As a running back, you want those one-on-ones and the guy took a bad angle and I was able to use my speed and find a way to get in the end zone there.”

On being the only Giants rookie with over 1,000 rushing yards:

“That is an awesome feeling to be the first one to do that. But, even though my name goes down as the first Giants running back to do it, you don’t do that yourself. Got to give credit to the offensive line all year. Every single guy went out there and we were able to get that record together.”

On apologizing to the team after dropping a pass:

“After the drop I went to those guys, I went to the line, the quarterback and the wide receivers and said ‘that series is on me, I’m going to make up for it. I promise you guys.’ And we were able to do that.”

On if he feels better about that drop after what he did in the game:

“The drop still bothers me. I work on that all the time. I pride myself on being a running back that catches the ball out of the backfield. And especially in that moment, we started off slow and we needed a little drive to get it going. I was wide open, and I took my eyes off of it so I told the offense that that drive is on me and I’ll make up for it.”

On the expanded effort to get him the ball:

“I guess I keep giving you guys the same cliché answer. It don’t matter to me [what] my role is. Touch the ball five times or touch the ball 35 times. Whatever helps get the job done at the end of the day, but if it is going through me, I don’t want to say me because it is just not yourself, going through the run game – going through myself and Wayne [Gallman], and Eli [Manning] making the right checks up front and the offensive line, the tight ends and wide receivers blocking. So, when we take that mindset, you get challenged by your coach, you got to step up to it. He’s been challenging us a couple times in the past couple weeks and we’ve been answering.”

On the offense scoring more compared to earlier in the season:

“The biggest thing is we figured it out. When I say that we figured it out, I’d say we found our why. Why we play and it is for each other. That’s the message that coach has been trying to give to us throughout the whole year and I think that the bye week really helped us, helped us figure it out. At the end of the day, that’s all we got, is each other. And we can’t listen to anyone else cause whether you’re playing good or you’re playing bad, they are going to have something good or bad to say about you anyway. So, we just have to continue to focus on each other and getting better with each other. And that’s been the biggest difference in my mindset.”

On Odell Beckham not playing:

“Yeah because I guess something happened in practice. But I know him very well and I know him personally and that it kills him that he couldn’t be out there. He facetimed his [inaudible] and he said, I’m going to be watching you out there getting the job done. You know we played for him today too, even though he there with us today. Anybody that is injured on our team that was injured, we play for them. I know it kills him, but I know he’s happy we were able to go out there and get the win.”

On 52-yard cut:

“Yeah, anytime I touch the ball, I think I’m taking to the distance, to be honest. But, that play can we talk about [Sterling] Shep’s [Shepard] block on that play? That was ridiculous. I mean, first and foremost, the o-line did a great job, our tight ends did a great job on that scheme that we had there of giving me a hole and I got in one on one with that guy again and was able to cut it back. I remember mid play, I’m running and I’m reacting to how I think I’m going to set this dude up. All I see is Shepard, boom, just killed a guy. And mid run I’m like, woah, that was impressive. But I’ve got to be better there. I’ve got to crack in the end zone.”

[Banter]

“That’s why I didn’t get in the end zone. Shep’s block got my mind somewhere else other than where it should be. No, but seriously no, I really got to find the end zone even though we happened to score on that drive. Something that was taught in college was try again in the next play. And that’s something that my college coach really focused on. I got better from my Freshman year to my Sophomore year to my Junior Year and now I’m a rookie and hopefully I’ll continue to get better.”

On being a rookie in a 40-nothing game:

“Well 40-0, my mindset was why not keep going? When you have the opportunity to, why not? Why not continue to keep going? If we wanted it the way we wanted it we would have been happy with it being 45-0. But, it’s the NFL. I’ve learned that really quick, that you can’t blink because a team can come back. They did a great job. The quarterback that came in did a really good job at moving them down the field and that’s we got to be better at too. On the offensive side we’ve got to be better at finishing the game out easier and on the defensive side we’ve got to be able to stop messing around with points.

On offense relying on him:

“I don’t think it’s been more relying on me, I think its football. If you want to be a winning team- look at every good team in the NFL right now-you know that’s why I was brought here, that’s why they brought Nate [Soulder] here, that’s why they brought Will [Hernandez] here. That’s why we align that offensive line up that we have right now. To be able to run a ball and pass a check and give Eli [Manning] a check. That’s what we’ve been able to do these last few weeks to set the tone up front. That’s the message the coach sends every single day, when you dominate upfront.”

On being able to perform well as a team when Beckham Jr. isn’t present:

“It feels great to have a dominant run game. Just the fact that it’s not an individual performance. Even though people try to say “Oh you did this.” and “Oh you did that.” But, at the end of the day, it’s in the core. Obviously we knew Odell wasn’t going to be able to play and we were probably more likely to rely on the run gam. But, can’t take any credit away from them, they all stepped up big. Both Shep’s [Sterling and Russell] stepped up big, Corey [Coleman] stepped up big, all those guys. Evan [Engram], had a heck of a day at tight end blocking. We knew that, obviously Odell is one of the best wide receivers, one of the best players in the league and he wasn’t going to be able to play but we can’t stop, and we got to find a way to win and we were able to.

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