Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: Special teams, defense, I thought battled and contributed in a way that, pretty much a winning effort. On offense, we’ve got to score more points. Until we unlock that, until we get down there and score touchdowns, then it’s going to be tough sledding, so that’s where it is. You can’t score 13 points in any game at any level and expect to win them. We’ve got to unlock that, we’ve got to get that better. Whatever it is, we’ve got to get that figured out. We’ve got to put the ball in the end zone more often. I’ll stop there and take your questions.
*Q: Until that last drive, speaking of the red zone, Eli (Manning) was 0-2 with the interceptions, are you getting enough out of the quarterback down inside the 20? *
A: I think we’ve got to get more out of everybody.
Q: What happened on that interception in the red zone?
A: They jumped it. Two under routes then a seven route. They played the concept pretty well, you’ve just got to come off it. That throw, they jumped it. They did a good job of covering that particular route, so he just needs to move on.
Q: What did you think of how Eli (Manning) played today?
A: I’m going to have to watch it in total. He made some good throws, certainly you don’t want to throw an interception down there. Just like every week, I’m sure there’s a handful of things he’d like to do better, but there were some things he did well. He got sacked seven times.
Q: You hoped the continuity of the line the second half last week would carry on and help this week. Why didn’t it?
A: I thought so. Then Chad (Wheeler) went down, so we put Brian (Mihalik) in there. I’ll look at it, but I think each guy had a couple bad reps.
Q: At first glance, how many of those sacks would you put-
A: I don’t know. I can’t do the math on that right now.
*Q: You get that fumble return and then you can’t do anything with it.
*A: Yeah, that’s a game-changing play that then we had a drop, we actually had two drops in that sequence, and then we had a short pass that probably could have gone someplace else.
Q: You looked particularly disappointed when the ball went through Evan Engram’s hands on the fourth down play. Did he just not get his head around in time?
A: No, it was fourth down. I thought they played zone and they did, we had an opportunity to convert and we didn’t. That’s where my disappointment lies, and I’ll just leave it at that. I thought we had what we were looking for, we’ve just got to execute it.
Q: At 1-7 going into the bye week.
A: 1-7. That’s what it is.
Q: Do you have to consider major changes on offense?
A: I’m going to look at everything as we move forward.
*Q: The quarterback? *
A: No, I don’t want to go there, I’m not going to tease that. I just want to look at everything and see what we have to do moving forward.
Q: Do you think the changes made prior to the game this week were a big factor in the team’s struggles?
A: I don’t know. The biggest changes came on defense and I thought for the most part that was a good effort, except for the last four minutes when Adrian Peterson popped a long run. Getting turnovers, getting stops, kept the score low – so the two big changes came on defense, and I thought the guys that went in there battled and helped contribute.
Q: At 1-7, I know you’re preaching the same message week in and week out, how do you go about finding your own sanity so that way you can get this thing back on track?
A: Because that’s exactly what I believe, we just got to keep playing until we get it back on track. Once that happens, then we can move forward and it’ll be good. We just got to keep playing. We all watched the game, there’s areas we need to improve and we’ve got to try and find ways to make those improvements with the guys we had.
Q: On Eli’s performance on third down:
A: We had some sacks in that area as well, we had a couple longer third downs. We’ve got to do better there. Combination of things.
*Q: Has the front office given you any indication that more changes might be coming before Tuesday? *
A: No, we haven’t talked about anything. I’m not aware of anything.
Q: Do you expect any more changes at this point?
A: No. We haven’t discussed it, so I don’t know why I’d expect it.
*Q: How impressed were you with the secondary communication after the changes this week? *
A: It was good. I thought there were some really good things done on defense and it is always a coordinated effort, getting pressure, getting guys covered, doing what you have to do to get off the field, doing what you have to do to keep them out of the end zone. Some of the guys in there for the first time in a major role, I thought, competed in a good way.
Q: Are you sensing anything from Eli, seven sacks, is he keeping his demeanor?
A: I’ve only been around Eli for less than a year now, and his demeanor is the same all the time.
QB Eli Manning
Q: You looked like you were scrambling every time you dropped back to pass?
A: Well, they have a good front. They were getting some pressure at times. We have to extend plays and stay in the pocket. Get the ball out on time. We had a good plan, did some good things but didn’t execute as well as we needed to.
Q: Why does the offense keep struggling on third down?
A: Obviously, we didn’t do great on third down. We got down there one time and had a nice drive going but we had the interception, which is on me. We can’t afford to do that when you have a good drive going. We just got into some third and long situations and we just didn’t do a very good job on third down all day. It was just hard to get into a good rhythm early on.
Q: I thought early in the game you were moving well in the pocket. Were you feeling the pressure early on?
A: They were trying to take away things on timing. They dropped a guy and it was hard to throw on time. They had a three-man rush and had a lot of guys blocking that were able to buy me some time and allow me to move around and extend some plays. Had a nice one to Odell and one to Saquon. Got a good drive going when they were dropping guys in zone.
Q: What was going through your mind when the ball went through Evan Engram’s fingers on the fourth down play?
A: Stuff like that happens. He ran the right route and we had a chance to convert the fourth down, but it didn’t work out. That is kind of the way the season has gone. In moments of the game, we just haven’t played up to our standard.
Q: Do you want to stay here past the Bye Week?
Q: You are not waiving your trade clause?
A: No. I want to stay here.
Q: At 1-7, where do you go from here?
A: Just have to keep fighting. The defense gave us a chance today and played outstanding. Offensively, we have to do our part. We are not scoring enough points. We are playing in close games and we are just not finding ways to win them, unfortunately. We have to be able to move the ball more consistently and we have to control the clock to help out our defense. We are just getting down. Down too many points in games. Not scoring enough points and not doing enough in the red zone. We can look at it, practice better and play better.
Q: What happened on the interception?
A: Just missed him. Thought Odell was going to be able to run by him and the guy passed him off better than I thought. I thought he might run with the corner route. He came off right away and drove on it. I thought Odell was going to go get by him. Bad decision by me.
Q: Are you concerned that the team may give another QB a look?
A: I have to worry about just doing my job, trying to play and prepare. That is not my decision.
Q: How do you keep these guys prepared and focused in the locker room?
A: Everyone wants to win. No one likes this feeling after a game. That is what you are fighting for. You prepare to feel good about the work that goes in. Guys are working hard, practicing hard and doing all of the right things. Competing hard and making plays. They are risking everything to try and go out there, play at a high level and win games. We are not getting the results that we want. You have to keep fighting. We can’t take the easy road and slack off on things. You have to push through it, make it hard and overcome this.
Q: How did you feel about all the sacks tonight?
A: Each one has its own story. Some of them were coverage things, some of them were getting beat and some were that I have to do a better job getting the ball out. Each one has its own reason. We will look at it and see where we can improve.
TE Evan Engram
Q: That fourth down play I am sure is one that you want back.
A: Definitely. Got what we wanted; got the zone. Just gotta make that play.
Q: Did the ball come at you quick?
A: Yeah, I mean it was right there, I just gotta come down with it. No excuse.
Q: How frustrating is it, not only that play, but that drive?
A: Yeah, it was frustrating. We just gotta play better as an offense. Defense played lights out today. They gave us many opportunities to score, including that drive, so we just got to play better offense.
Q: Did you find yourself out of sync with the passing offense and Eli?
A: No, I mean we work every week. We put the work in and we have a good game plan. We make sure we hit everything and Eli does a good job making sure that everyone is on the same page. There’s no excuse for that.
Q: It seems like the effort is there, but what needs to change at 1-7 to get better results?
A: Man, just gotta finish better. Just gotta finish drives better; finish plays better. The effort is there. The work is there. We just gotta finish.
Q: Is there any sense of expectation on the negative now when you guys get in the red zone? It used to be you would think you were going to score, but you have had so many failings in the red zone. Is there anything negative creeping into your guys’ heads after a bad play or something?
A: What do you mean? Like doubt? I mean, nah. Our mentality is to score every drive, no matter if we’re backed up in their territory or in our territory. Our mentality is to drive down and score. We didn’t want to live with anymore field goals. We want to end stuff in the end zone. We just gotta keep working at that and just keep getting better at that. There’s no doubt in our minds. We know what we are capable of. We just gotta get it done.
Q: You’re 1-7 at the bye, which is nowhere near where you thought you would be. How do you process this with a week off now?
A: We still got some work to do this week and then get a couple days off. We still got a whole ‘nother half of the season left. Just gotta keep working. We have a new opportunity each and every week to go out there and fight and that’s what we’re going to do.
Q: Are you bracing yourself for more changes as the trade deadline comes up on Tuesday?
A: All of that stuff is out of my control. It’s out of our control. All of that stuff is upstairs. Whatever happens, happens. It’s out of my control.
Q: Do you feel like you’re playing the same game every week? Like it’s 13-9 or 13-6 or something to start the fourth quarter?
A: Yeah, I mean we definitely get in these situations a lot. There’s a lot of opportunities for us to go up and opportunities for us to win the game. We’re just not getting it done. It’s frustrating, but something we just gotta keep working at.
Q: Since you’ve come back from your injury, do you feel that you’re in the flow as much as you need to be? Or did that take a lot out of you, that time off?
A: No. I stayed locked in mentally. Once I got back healthy and felt healthy enough to go out there and get back with the team, I felt fine. Definitely some opportunities that I left on the table. Just gotta get it done as a team.
LT Nate Solder
Q: People seem to expect a a little bit more considering you were such a high profile free agent signing. Do you feel like you’ve delivered on that?
A: I’m doing the best that I can.
Q: Spencer (Pulley) said to give up seven sacks was embarrassing. To give up seven from your vantage point, what’s your take on that?
A: I didn’t know that was the case. I think we’ve got to get the run game going. There’s some other things we need to work at. If we could get that going, that would solve some other problems.
Q: Team-wise, what needs to change? Obviously no one is happy with 1-7. It’s not the effort, so what needs to change to get better results?
A: You’re going to have to ask the coaches on that. My job is to play left tackle and do it the best that I can, and support my teammates.
Q: You are a captain, though, so I’m sure you want to see something change. You can’t just keep doing the same things, right?
A: Score more points, win more games. That’s what I would like to change.
Q: You mention the running game. How much as an offensive line would it help you if you’re not in as many third and tens, third and twelves, third and nines, things like that?
A: Yeah, when you stay ahead of the chains - when you’ve got the ball and you’re moving backwards, that’s always a bad feeling. We’ve got to get the ball and move forwards and score points.
*Q: To give up seven sacks for an offensive line, what does that tell you?
*A: I don’t know. You’re caught on that. There’s a lot of things in this game we’ve got to get better.
Q: Going into the (bye week) and 1-7, where do you go from here?
A: I stick with the way that I believe to do it and that is to continue to improve, take one week at a time, do everything you can to prepare for that week, and build, and keep building throughout the course of the season.
Q: What do you need to improve on?
A: Like I said, we need to work on the run game, protections across the board, I think there’s a vast number of areas that if we could just solidify a little bit better, we could make huge improvement.
Q: Is it difficult to adjust to changes in the lineup?
A: Me and Will (Hernandez) have been playing next to each other and the center, all the guys that have played there have done a great job, so I don’t know if that’s a direct factor. When people are called, they’ve got to perform, and I think they’ve done that for the most part.
Q: What do the coaches say to you guys? Coach Shurmur is a former offensive lineman, he’s the head coach of the team. What does he say to you guys about the performance week after week?
A: We’ve got to keep working, we’ve got to get better, we’ve got to do the things that we haven’t done better, and we’ve got to improve. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.
*Q: What’s his style? Is he forceful? Is he more reserved, matter of fact? Does he rip into you guys? *
A: Coach Shurmur is a great coach, I’ve got a ton of respect for him, and I’m looking forward to moving forward.
Q: Has it been an adjustment with the style of this offense compared to the Patriots, where the ball is out of (Tom Brady’s) hands pretty quickly?
A: Yeah, I’ve been learning and I’m so thankful for these coaches for showing me all kinds of different ways of doing it. It’s been an adjustment period for me and that’s great, I love it, and I’m excited about it.
Q: Is it literally like you have to hold your blocks considerably longer in this offense?
A: I don’t know about that. We’ve been in situations where we’ve had to hold the ball longer.
LB Olivier Vernon
Q: Talk about your fumble recovery.
A: One of my teammates made a good play. I was just ready to scoop it up and tried to make something happen.
Q: Were you thinking that you had to get to the end zone with the way that the offense is struggling?
A: No, not exactly. I was just trying to make a play.
Q: What needs to change at 1-7? What needs to change for you guys?
A: We just have to get a win.
Q: Does anything change in the way you go about doing that?
A: No. We have guys going out there that are trying to fight. Nothing changes about that.
Q: Do you think the bye week is really important for you guys?
A: We’ll try to hit the reset button. With so many guys that got wounded a little bit, they’ll try to lick their wounds a little bit. Then, we’ll get it back going again.
Q: Has your agent told you anything about being prepared for Tuesday, that you might be traded?
A: I’m just going in and working it. I just go into the building and work. That’s all I worry about.
Q: At 1-7, does this team feel like the worst team in the NFL? Is that, in any way, a distinction that you’ve thought about?
A: Not at all, but our record is what our record is. We can’t say anything but that our record is 1-7 right now.
Q: Does it seem like you guys are playing the same game every week?
A: It’s the NFL, so when it comes down to it, it’s always about the last two minutes of the game. Credit to the Redskins, because they pushed through it and made good plays when they needed to. We know we just got the L.
Q: Was there anything you noticed or the biggest difference without Snacks (DT Damon Harrison) or (CB Eli) Apple?
A: I think the guys stepped up. I think the guys that had to step up stepped up and made the plays that they needed to make. We just came up short.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Q: Is it hard for you to process that this offense can’t score?
A: I don’t have an answer for that. It doesn’t make sense. I feel like we should be doing better and we’re not. This is where we’re at. When we get down in the red zone, we have to score.
Q: What can you guys change at this point?
A: Just keep working, that’s all you can do. Score in the red zone, there is a lot of things we can do, we just have to go out and do it.
Q: You guys aren’t converting on third down, is it a different reason or the same reason?
A: I don’t know how to answer that. I just know we aren’t converting them. We aren’t getting third downs when we need them, we aren’t getting the plays that we need, the ball isn’t bouncing that way. It just seems to be that way.
Q: You think the team loses some of its morale when you trade away players during the week?
A: I have no idea. Like I said, that’s part of the business. Everybody has to step up, business is business.
Q: Would you rather be playing next week to try to get this right or does the break come at the right time?
A: I think the break comes at the right time. We get a chance to step away. For a guy like myself, I personally sacrificed a lot, especially this year, putting previous habits or whatever things you used to do (in the past). I tried to put my all into this season and it’s not going the way that we want, but this break couldn’t come at a better time. I get to step back, get my body right, get my mind right and come back the last eight games and do whatever it is we can do.
Q: There was a report this morning that teams have been calling to ask about your availability, how do you react to the idea that your name has been brought up?
A: It was tossed around in the offseason, I don’t think I am going anywhere. All I want to do is be the very best that I can be when I’m on the field, off the field as well. It’s really hard to think about that, but it is what it is.
Q: Is this where you want to be?
A: (Nods head yes) this is where I’m at.
Q: Now that you have played all the teams within the division, what rematch are you looking forward to the most?
A: All of them. This is a great division, this is a great rivalry. I look forward to playing all those teams; Dallas, Philly, the Redskins. Most importantly, we have a bye week now, we have some time to come back 100 percent.
Q: You have been around Eli for a while. He was sacked 7 times today, are you sensing any change in him as far as frustration?
A: No, he has been doing this for years. He has it figured it out to an extent, we just have to be better.
Q: What’s your level of frustration, you guys came into the season with high hopes and now you are 1-7?
A: I don’t know the level. You might have to ask a couple other people. It’s definitely not where I want it to be, it’s definitely not what I envisioned this team being. It’s definitely not why I worked the hardest I could have worked all off season to come back and give my very best. I just don’t feel like on Sundays I get do that. If there is any frustration, that’s where the frustration comes in. All I want to do is come in and do whatever I can to help this team win. I know I have more in me, I’m ready to do that.
S Landon Collins
Q: What did you think of the defense? You’re down three starters with two trades and obviously Alec (Ogletree) not out there. What did you think of the defense’s performance today?
A: Defensively we try to hold them as much as possible. We didn’t do a good enough job to hold them off. We’re scoring, getting points, and getting opportunity to get our offense back the ball by doing that and they outscored us, so we didn’t do a pretty good job.
Q: Feels like kind of a similar scenario that happens a lot where you guys play pretty well for three quarters, the offense struggles, a few big plays burn you in the fourth. Does it kind of almost feel like these games are repeating themselves?
A: Are the games repeating themselves?
Q: Do these games feel pretty similar to you just the way they’re going?
A: Every game is different. We’re going in with a different mindset, different aspect of the game and how we’re going to take it on and that doing so it don’t feel like a repeat thing. It just – sometimes you get the better end of the stick, sometimes you don’t.
Q: I know you hadn’t envisioned the season going like this, but the bye coming up, what are looking forward to in the bye?
A: Just clear our heads. Honestly, we figure out what we’re getting beat on and try to go in the bye and fix them and have it in the back of our minds like alright, we got to come back and get right.
Q: You get the fumble there, seems like a spark and then you’re back out on the field about two minutes later playing defense again. How big of a turnaround did you think that was going to be and how disappointing was it that it wasn’t?
A: Every turnover you think is going to be a different (inaudible) and I thought it was going to be big, but stuff happens. They got a good defense over there, they’re doing a great job over there with their defensive coordinator and their guys that they have over there and they got the stops.
Q: What was your reaction to Eli (Apple) and Snacks (Damon Harrison) getting traded?
A: It’s big to me. I miss them guys. I love them to death, that’s my brothers, but I can’t control what upstairs do.
Q: Is that kind of a sign you guys are rebuilding and looking towards the future you think?
A: Just a sign of what they want to do. I can’t answer that question really. It’s just the guys they want, that’s how they kind of look at it. That’s it.
Q: You’re not signed obviously for next year. Do you worry at all that there could be more trades, you might be included in them at all?
A: I’m just playing it day-by-day. I love the Giants, they love me. You never know, it’s a business, so whatever happens, happens.
Q: This team is in a long-term rebuild. Does that affect the decisions that you might make in free agency?
A: We have to see when we get there.
Q: What’s it like to be 1-7 for the second straight year?
A: What is it like? Don’t like it. It’s awful. It’s a hard feeling.
Q: How surprised are you that you find yourself in this position again?
A: How surprised? Very surprised.
Q: Sorry I wasn’t here in the beginning. I’m sure you were asked about the forced fumble and the recovery, but in that moment when you get the ball loose and you see OV (Olivier Vernon) running, do you think this is finally going to turn for us?
A: Yeah, I thought it was going to turnover the leaf. Every turnover is a momentum change. It’s big for us and when we get the ball and do stuff like that, you definitely feel the change of momentum goes to the other team and you’re like alright, we can get this going here. It can happen.
Q: I don’t know if you were asked this already, but did the trade of such big names off your defense indicate to you that the focus was going to be taken off this season and onto the long term? Like kind of giving up on the now for the future kind of thing?
A: No. Our mindset of what the coaches and what they’re telling us, we’re looking to win each and every game. We’re going into it with a great mindset, saying we’re going to win this, we prepare well, we prepare great and we just try to figure out how we’re going to win the game and once we do that – but no, for us to be like saying it’s rebuilding year, we’re not looking at it like that.