Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Q: How did Saquon (Barkley) look today?
A: He was practicing.
Q: We saw Sterling Shepard out here a little bit during individual drills. Where does he stand after the concussion and how did he look?
A: He was out here practicing, doing what he can do. That’s it.
Q: Is he still in the (concussion) protocol?
A: He’s in the protocol, yeah.
Q: A lot of that is out of your hands…
A: It is out of my hands. We have our doctors… Anytime there’s an individual in the protocol or coming back from a concussion, the doctors will let us know when they’re allowed to be playing. So, that’s where we’re at. I really don’t have anything to add. I understand the interest in all of this, but there’s really nothing that I can add.
Q: A player being out here, if he’s very symptomatic, he’s not going to be out here, I would think, right?
A: Yeah. That’s fair.
Q: Do you know where he is in the protocol?
A: I can’t talk about that. I know where it’s at, but that’s not really something for public consumption. He’s in the protocol, and when he’s able to play, our doctors will let us know that and he’ll be playing.
Q: What does Saquon have to show you to play on Sunday?
A: He has to handle practice well and be ready to play. He practiced today, so we’ll see when he comes in tomorrow, how he feels. Then the next day and so on and so forth.
Q: Right now, what are your hopes for him playing on Sunday?
A: We’ll just have to see. I’m going to let the week kind of determine that.
Q: Did you watch any football this weekend?
A: I watched a lot of football. Most of it was Arizona, getting ready to play them, but I did see some of the games, portions of the games, especially the later ones.
Q: Your division is very bunched up between one, two and three.
A: That’s what they say. Our focus is on Arizona. You control all of that by winning games, and that’s our focus.
Q: What made now the right time to add a guy like (Javorius) Buck Allen, and in hindsight, do you wish you had a veteran the last two games?
A: No. We made the decision to do it now, and we’re glad he’s here. He was available, we worked him out and we’ll get him going as quickly as possible.
Q: How much was Evan (Engram) able to do today?
A: He practiced. He did a lot.
Q: We noticed he did not participate in the walkthrough you had last Wednesday. Was that a situation because you had already decided that he would not play Thursday, or he wasn’t ready to participate?
A: Each week is the same. You go through the week, and guys that are coming back from injuries, you try to determine whether they can play. It just so happened we had to kind of determine that through walkthrough settings. This week, we’ll be able to see more because they’ll be out running around.
Q: Last week, it didn’t seem like he was moving like his normal self. What did you see from him today in that regard?
A: I would say he’s better.
Q: It didn’t look like (Sam) Beal was dressed for practice. What’s the plan with him?
A: You can expect to see him on Wednesday.
Q: Why not today then?
A: Because we felt like starting him on Wednesday was better.
Q: So you’ll activate him off the IR for this week?
A: No. He has to go through… There’s a certain protocol that he has to… There are 21 days here. There’s some practice involved. We’ll just see where he’s at.
Q: What was sort of your Monday message, since the guys haven’t been here for a few days?
A: We’ll get back to work. I think that’s the important thing. Get back to work, put all of our efforts into winning our next game. I think that’s what every coach’s message always is. You just do everything that you can to win the next game. All of that other stuff outside, standings, where you’re at, all that, none of that matters. You have to put all of your efforts into winning the game, and then the rest of it will take care of itself.
Q: Did Wayne (Gallman) practice today?
A: He was out here. I can’t tell you exactly how much he did.
Q: One of the things that Saquon said when he was hurt and has said since is that he wanted to come back fast and then also come back and be better. He said 10 times better. It seems like he’s going to accomplish the first part. Can he be better than he was?
A: Yeah. He’s a young player still, so every time he comes out here, he has an opportunity to get better. I’m glad to hear those are his comments. I didn’t read them or I didn’t hear about those. But when you hear a player talking about trying to get better, and better by a large margin, I think that’s great.
Q: So Wayne Gallman is still in the protocol?
A: Wayne, yeah, he’s working his way through it. I really don’t want to talk about all of this, guys. When the guys that have concussions are ready to play, I’ll be made aware of it and so will you guys.
Q: As of last week, you guys had the fourth-youngest defense in the league. Obviously with roster shuffling, that could change a little bit. But it’s a young defense and a young team in so many ways. What have you noticed from them in terms of their personality or the group they’re kind of learning to be and becoming as the season moves along? I ask that knowing you had a long weekend to kind of catch everyone’s breath.
A: That’s a good question. We are young. Sometimes when you say young in this league, or you say injured in this league, it’s people making excuses for you. What’s important about our young defense is that I think they’re improving each week. Our young players have made significant contributions. Some of your young players can be your best leaders. The message to them is to continue to improve. I think we know from experience also that sometimes your youngest players make the most improvement as they go through it for the fifth, the sixth, the seventh and the eighth time. I think that’s where we’re at.
Q: You said you watched the Cardinals. What did you make of (Kyler) Murray? Is he just different than any other quarterback really coming through the league?
A: He keeps every play alive with his feet, certainly. They’re doing a lot of good stuff on offense. You see the reason why he was a dynamic player in college. He can make great throws from the pocket, but when the field gets spread out, he can take off and run with it. Especially in situational football where it’s third and short, or some of the third downs, or you get down in the red zone, they take advantage of his legs and his ability to move around. Not to minimize the fact that he’s an outstanding pocket passer. I think that’s what makes him dangerous.
Q: It was widely assumed that he would be the first overall pick, and obviously, you guys weren’t there, but how much work did you guys do on him leading up to the draft? What was your read on him entering the draft?
A: We did a lot of work on him. We weren’t surprised that he was the number one pick.
Q: Why not?
A: Because he’s an outstanding player. That’s why.
Q: What was your read on him scouting him as a college prospect. You kind of mentioned some of the things that he’s done in the NFL. What did you like about him coming out of college?
A: I think you’re seeing in our league all of the things that he did in college. That’s what makes him dynamic. He’s an outstanding athlete, can throw the ball extremely well and when things break down or he has a chance to move around, he does that probably as well as anybody.
TE Evan Engram
Q: What did you do Thursday night? Did you, Saquon (Barkley) and Sterling (Shepard) watch the game together?
A: Yeah, we watched the game together, it was fun. It was definitely hard not being out there with the guys, but the team played their butts off and we were in it. But yeah, we watched it together.
Q: How are you feeling today?
A: I feel really good. Got out there, was running around. It was good to get out there moving around. I’ve got a long week to get ready, so coach is taking care of us, but we did get some good work in. It felt good today.
Q: The knee is responding well?
A: Yeah, today it felt really good. Definitely last week was tough, and the short week didn’t really help, but today with the rest that I got, I felt really good.
Q: How similar is this to when you suffered a knee injury last time?
A: It’s not—it’s definitely not as severe as that. That was kind of the thing, I could tell a good difference from experiencing what I went through last year. So, it was definitely kind of a common feeling, but the trainers have done a good job of getting me ready and getting the recovery going.
Q: How optimistic are you that you could be ready for this weekend?
A: I’m pretty optimistic. Pretty optimistic.
Q: When you look how things are in the division, it seems pretty wide open?
A: Yeah, this league is pretty crazy. A lot of changes these last couple weeks, but we’ve got to focus on Arizona. I think that’s a goal that’s going to take us to where we want to go, focusing on each week, one week at a time, and locking in for that opponent.
Q: You said you feel optimistic, is that just because of how you’re feeling as well as having a few extra days to prepare?
A: Today was a really good day. Like I said, the rest we got, from the short week last week that I didn’t play, coming into a long week this week, getting extra rest, and how I felt today is pretty good.
Q: Are you running and cutting at full speed?
A: We were being smart today. It wasn’t a full hard day, so definitely being smart. But I felt comfortable doing everything today.
Q: Is it important not no be out long because you were playing as well as you were?
A: I don’t really look at it like that. I just want to be out there for my team every week that I can, so it’s definitely going to be important this week to just continue to work, continue to be smart, and getting ready.
Q: With the knee, was it one play or a couple of plays?
A: It was a play in the third quarter. I got tackled and the guy kind of fell on it weird, and it kind of locked up on me after the game. So, it was definitely tough, but some things are out of my control. I’ve just got to bounce back from it.
Q: Do you put any pressure on yourself to get back sooner when you know who else is on the injury list?
A: No, you try to just be out there for your team. There are times where you can’t and you’ve just got to deal with it, and like I said, bounce back from it.
Q: 2-4 isn’t where you guys wanted to be, but do you sit there and look at it and say, “Hey, we’re a game out of first place?”
A: Like I said, we’re trying to go 1-0 this week. If we stay focused on where our feet are, I think we’ll be good.
S Jabrill Peppers
Q: You’re only one game back in the division. Can you guys win the NFC East?
A: We’re not really worried about that. We’re worried about what we have to take care of week by week, day to day. Right now, that’s getting prepared for Arizona. We’re only worried about what’s going on in this building. We have a good team coming up that’s coming off a good win. They have a lot of weapons that we have to prepare for, a lot of spread offense, so that’s where our main concern is.
Q: How happy have you been with the way the team has done that? In regard to the focus.
A: You know, we definitely want more wins out of it, but the focus has definitely been there. We just have to crank up the attention to details, the little things that matter big in big moments. I think we’ll be alright.
Q: It seems like you guys had that for three quarters the other night. How do you carry that over to this week and how do you build on it?
A: We just have to keep playing fundamental ball. Make the plays when they come to you, play complementary football.
Q: When you watch (Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler) Murray’s tape, is his speed unique?
A: Absolutely. I also think he has great footwork. I think his arm, we have to talk about his arm. He was going to be an MLB pitcher. He’s definitely surprised me the more I’ve watched the tape in depth. I see the growth there from college, he still has all of the athleticism, but he tries to be a pocket passer when he can, let the routes develop downfield. Those guys do a great job of making plays for him. We know we have a tall task at hand, but we’re always up and ready for it.
Q: Does Larry Fitzgerald look 37?
A: No way, I was just watching the tape against the Falcons – he’s jumping off at the take, still running like that. Larry is always going to be Larry, he’s a guy that we have to account for. He’s going to be a big part of their game plan, we’re going to do what we have to do to manage those guys.
Q: So, you flipped on that tape this morning and he didn’t look that?
A: Yeah, it’s crazy. Whatever water he’s drinking, I’m going to need him to send me a case. Him and AB (Antoine Bethea).
Q: How confident are you guys as a unit to be able to keep them in check?
A: We’re confident in the matter of if we do what we do and communicate effectively, no mental mistakes, no shooting ourselves in the foot, we think we can be as good as anybody and play with anybody. It’s just executing for four quarters, playing complementary football, and I think that’ll get the job done.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve seen growth over the past few weeks?
Q: Because of how much Murray is used as the dynamic double threat in their offense, have they changed the role for (Arizona Cardinals Running Back) David Johnson that you know of?
A: I don’t really the know the ins and outs of that, I just know they do a great job of putting guys they need to make plays, their schemes, a lot of motions, a lot of jet sweeps, a lot of smoke and mirrors to complement their run game, their play action game. As far as all of that other stuff, I’m not really sure.
Q: You said you’ve definitely seen growth. How so, can you describe it?
A: You guys can see it on tape, I don’t really like talking about that stuff too much. From Week One to where we are now, I think we are miles ahead.
Q: You’ve talked about how impressive Kyler (Murray) has been. Were you skeptical of that when he came into the league? He’s a different type of quarterback than the NFL has seen.
A: No, I wasn’t skeptical.
Q: Do you foresee that sort of quarterback evolving, is it like your college days?
A: I mean I’m a football player, so the way I evaluate guys is different than the guys who don’t play football evaluate guys. He’s unorthodox, but he can and will be a phenomenal quarterback in this league. I knew that coming out, as well as a lot of other quarterbacks that were in my draft, the year after. So, we know we have a tall task at hand, but we are going to go in ready for it.
Q: When you look at the season, six games in and you’ve only got two wins. Do you sit there and say everything is still in front of us?
A: Absolutely. We have to take it one week at a time. We know we gave some games away that we shouldn’t have, but everything is still right in front of us if we take care of what we need to take to care of.
Q: Do you bother scoreboard watching at all, like this past weekend?
A: I’m a fan of football, but I don’t really call it scoreboard watching. I enjoy watching the games.
Q: What happened with Dallas and Philly, you’re right behind them now.
A: That’s not really of my concern. My concern is Arizona and what we need to do week to week.
Q: It’s obviously good for the Giants when the teams in the division lose, though, right? Do you look at it that way?
A: Not really, because we’re 2-4. We don’t really care about what anybody else is doing. I’m going to keep reiterating that. If we take care of what we need to take care of week to week, we’ll be alright.
Q: Is it almost like you have to earn it?
A: You have to earn everything in this league. Nothing is given to you.