Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: We’ll start with the significant injuries from yesterday. Quadree Henderson had a shoulder fracture, so he’ll be out a significant amount of time, there might be a roster move there. Evan Engram pulled his hamstring in warm-ups, I don’t know how long that’s going to be, we’re just going to have to see once that settles down. (B.J. Goodson) is questionable with a shoulder stinger, and just some game wear and tear. It’s a disappointing loss from the standpoint of we did a lot of things really well, felt like we had a good plan against them. Really at the end, we just couldn’t hold the lead. We had opportunities to score more points so that we could hold the lead better, but we didn’t and ended up losing. Ultimately, just didn’t make enough plays in the game to win it, and so that’s what happened. So we move on, we’ve already started working on the Bears here, getting ready to play them on Sunday and take it from there. I’ll take your questions.
Q: Odell (Beckham) said that he didn’t think there was enough in the game plan to attack the secondary down the field. What do you think of that?
A: I don’t know. We ran the ball 18 times and threw it 37. That’s twice as many throws as there were runs. We had seven explosive gains in the passing game. The only game we played that we had more was Carolina when we had eight. There’s many times when we tried to throw it to him, the long throw down the right sideline to Rhett (Ellison) was designed to go to Odell. They cushioned on him, we threw it to Rhett. You’ll have to ask him to define it after he watches the tape, but I felt like we were trying to do the things necessary to win the game. We still got production in the running game, had a couple third down calls in the red zone that were close. If it goes in, that’s a different story.
Q: Will Eli (Manning) start against the Bears?
Q: What’s the balance there? The playoffs are mathematically impossible, and trying players-
A: You go into every week with giving your team the best opportunity to win the football game each week. That’s how you do this thing. This isn’t player tryouts, this is do everything in your power to win the next game. Today’s Monday, so we’re in the Monday phase of that process.
Q: On the two-point conversion to start the game, obviously you were going to kick it until the penalty, so when the ball is on the 1-yd line, does that change your play? Does it change your decision to go for it because it’s on the 1-yd line?
A: Absolutely. That’s why I did it.
Q: So the play was a designed pass?
A: Correct, a play action pass in a big formation, which is typically what you do.
Q: So you were trying to sucker them into thinking you’re just going to hand the ball to Saquon (Barkley)?
A: Yes, then throw a pass to a guy in the flat or a guy at the back pylon. What’s confusing about that?
Q: I’m just trying to have you say what (you wanted to do).
A: Yeah, so what happens is they give us the ball at the (1-yd line) instead of the (2-yd line). It’s the first score of the game, and it was an aggressive approach. I feel like we had something good there, we didn’t execute properly. Ultimately at the end of the game, at one point at the end of the game, it was 22-22. Because we didn’t make it, they start chasing points and they did a good job of scoring on their two-point conversions. That’s why I did it. And I’d do it again. I think that’s a good, aggressive approach. If they’re going to screw up on a try and give us the ball on the 1, I’ve got confidence in our guys to make sure – now, there could be something tactically about just making sure you get the (one point) at a certain stage of the game. This was the first drive of the game, and they did something that they didn’t want to do and gave us on the ball on the 1, so we took (a chance).
Q: Is giving the ball to Saquon there just not the right call?
A: It could’ve been a good choice. We have seven goal-line plays in that big formation. You’re just questioning whether it should’ve been Saquon or the other? It could’ve been a good choice.
Q: You also had a guy wide open in the end zone, so you could have flipped it to him. It’s not an argument, I just wanted to hear you say it.
A: (Shrugs shoulders) For the record, that was a shoulder shrug.
Q: I understand as a coach you have a weekly mindset, but isn’t there an obligation to look at the big picture if you aren’t going to make the playoffs?
A: Always looking at the big picture. What’s the big picture though?
Q: Pertaining to the quarterback. (John Mara) admitted the team made a mistake not getting a look at Davis Webb last year, so in your mind, wouldn’t seeing Kyle Lauletta be a priority at some point in the last five weeks?
A: Why are you jumping over (Alex) Tanney? There’s my point. What you try to do is win each game and then as we go forward here, you make your decision based on winning the game, and you base your decision on putting a team on the field that gives you the best chance to win the game. I get that, but as a coach, I stay in the moment. We certainly have conversations about what runs parallel, the short-term and the long-term. There’s conversations about that that happen all the time in any organization. You’re a big corporation, your short-term gains and, ‘ok, where the hell are we going?’ I’m not foolish enough to think that doesn’t happen.
Q: Is Tanney a potential long-term solution at quarterback compared to a guy like Lauletta?
A: Who knows? That’s where you’re getting bogged down here. Who knows?
Q: Do you have to design opportunities for them within the games now? Obviously they haven’t happened organically to this point, there’s been no lopsided games.
A: We’re going to try to do what we can to win the game, but along the way, we do keep a long-term mindset.
Q: The focus with Lauletta would be the fourth-round pick you invested in a young guy planning to develop.
A: At some point, regardless of where they’re picked, unless you’re one of those top-four quarterbacks, who cares where you’re picked? He’s a Giant. You went to college. If you were third in the class, you’re third. Are we going to worry about the other two? What’s the difference?
Q: My point is you signed him for four years, that’s the draft pick, and Tanney is on a one-year deal, he’s 30 years old.
A: But we drafted a lot of other players as well that are out there playing. Some are, some aren’t. We’re just trying to put the best team on the field. I get where you’re going. Trust me, I understand where you’re going, and I can appreciate you have a job to do, but that’s the coach’s view.
Q: If you’re looking to put the best team on the field, that has to be Eli at this point as your quarterback right?
A: Eli’s going to start the game against the Bears.
Q: Can you envision a scenario where you would start Alex Tanney rather than starting Kyle Lauletta?
A: If we felt like he was giving us the best chance to win. That’s the coach’s view.
Q: What have you seen from Alex that would make you think that he would give you the best chance to win over evaluating Kyle?
A: Doing what quarterbacks do. All along, he’s been our number-two guy. Aside from the fact that Kyle was drafted in the fourth-round, all along he’s been out number-two guy. He does the things that we think can help us win a game.
Q: You did have your rationale going into the season of why you wanted Alex to be the number-two quarterback. You talked a lot about the veteran presence, a guy who can come into games without much prep or snaps and be able to pick the team up, but it is a different story if you’re planning for a quarterback starting a game in 2019, 2018, whenever it is. I don’t know how you could ever get to the point this year where you look at your other quarterbacks from what you’ve seen on the field and say they are a better option to help the Giants win a football game than Eli Manning.
A: And we’ve got to evaluate that on every Monday as we get ready to play the next game.
Q: Is there any concern on Odell that there would ever even be that perception from him, that you weren’t attacking their weakness because they were so banged up in the secondary?
A: That was one man’s opinion after an emotional loss, but what happens is you get an opportunity to get a good night’s sleep, watch the tape, and maybe change his opinion.
Q: Do you feel the need to discuss it with him?
A: I discuss a lot of things with all the players.
Q: When you go back and watch the tape, you were up 19-3 at one point, 19-11, and Saquon only touched the ball five times in the second half. Were there missed opportunities to continue running the ball in that situation?
A: Yeah, really the part of the game that was disappointing for me was the first couple drives of the third quarter. We had three penalties in one drive. We had a dropped pass that got us back on schedule - would’ve gotten us back on schedule – and then we had the long third down situations, which certainly plays into the hands of the team that has an excellent pass rush. What happens is, they’re controlling the ball. The third quarter kind of goes away quickly, so what I would say is this, if we didn’t have those penalties, if we didn’t drop that pass, we would have been able to stay on the field and get to doing some of the things that we would have liked to have done in the third quarter that we did in the first and second. Then all the sudden, it’s in the fourth quarter. That can happen in a lot of games.
Q: When you decide to give Saquon a drive off like that, how early do you decide that? Is that at pre-game, is that at halftime, is that in the moment?
A: It’s a feel, but I don’t understand why everybody’s confused about that because (Wayne) Gallman went in and had productive runs. Is it more about Saquon or is it about Wayne? What’s the question here? It happened to be in the third quarter when we were doing a lot of other things that kept us from having more plays, so it’s a little bit of a perfect storm in the Saquon basket.
Q: Once Eli throws that interception, you can feel the game turning, Odell’s not on the field-
A: Who felt the game turning? I didn’t. We’re up by eight going into halftime, we’re going to come out and play another half of football. But you guys know I’m nuts, so it doesn’t matter. I didn’t feel the game turning. We were in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime, right? What was the score? 19-11. And you come out, you keep swinging, you keep fighting and do what you can to score more points and keep them from scoring points. Done.
Q: For a team that’s won six games in the last 27, how important is it to create a belief that you can win, as opposed to who can play/who can’t play?
A: It’s huge, because I think we need to learn how to win again here. The last two weeks, we won one by coming back. A week ago, we won one by playing from the front. This week we got ahead on a team, and didn’t hold the lead, so there’s things to be learned in all three of those as you learn to win a game. We’re doing it with a lot of very young players, and a lot of really backup-type players from our initial roster, so it’s a great opportunity for them to help us win.
Q: I don’t want to limit this to just sacks, but other trackable numbers – hurries, pressures – is it concerning that you’re not getting more out of Olivier Vernon, given his resume?
A: We look at that. Certainly getting pressure on the quarterback is important. We want all of our really good players to get production. He’s out there, he’s contributing. You don’t sack the quarterback or the quarterback has a pretty good day throwing the ball. Certainly part of it is the rush.
Q: Why don’t you think it’s happened for him this year then, at least to the level people expected?
A: He got a little bit of a slow start, missed six games.
Q: You don’t see teams putting more attention towards him?
A: No, not really. Again, this is my first exposure to OV. You know way more about him than I do in terms of his history here with the Giants. But no, I don’t see teams spending extra resources to block him.
Q: What’s your level of concern with the defense at this point? Do you think there’s any carryover from almost letting the Bucs get back into it and letting the Eagles back into it?
A: No, when you look at it, I think it comes down to isolated plays. You always start when a team has some success running the ball like they did with run fits. Obviously, stopping the run is a team thing. We’ve just got to make sure we’re good there, and then when they drop back to pass, whether we’re playing in zone, we’ve got to disrupt when they’re throwing or if it’s man, we’ve got to cover down real well and then get pressure as we just alluded to. We’ve got to just keep working on all those things. We’ve got a lot of young, new players in there playing and we’ve just got to continue to get better in all areas.
Q: Is there more of an attitude that needs to be clear on defense to finish these games off, as opposed to just X’s and O’s and classroom stuff?
A: This game didn’t work out in the way we wanted it to. Two weeks prior, it did. They had the ball, the two games that we’ve won, the team we were playing had the ball at the end and we didn’t let them in the end zone. That was good. Yesterday was not.
Q: After the 1-7 start, you had the break, then you won two games and there was a sense that guys were juiced up by that.
A: You called it a little buzz, right?
A: Yes, a little buzz. Do you think now that they’ve lost this difficult game on the road in the division, it changes the way the records look a little bit, do you need to speak to them or get them back up? Because they did have that little buzz.
A: It’s just like he was worried about the feeling when we were winning 19-11, the buzz thing – no. You get back to work, and you put a team on the field to beat the Bears, and you create that buzz by winning the game.
Q: Do you have to guard against guys checking out? You win that game, you’re two games out of first place, a lot more to fight for. Do you feel like losing that game, it’s a challenge to keep guys invested?
A: Guard against? No. Just watch behavior. Do your job, be a good teammate, bust your ass, do what you have to do to help win a game. You don’t guard against it, you coach it back.
Q: Should there have been a penalty on that last play on the tripping (leg whip)?
A: No, I don’t think you’re allowed to trip (leg whip). I did the math on that though. If that is in fact a penalty, then we would have been kicking with the wind for a 62-yarder with a strong-legged kicker.
Q: Tripping is a 15-yard penalty?
A: I think tripping is 15. Then that would have given us – we had a 63-yarder made against us. So, who knows?
Note: Tripping is a 10-yard penalty. A leg whip is a personal foul and a 15-yard penalty.
Q: Sterling (Shepard) only has 11 targets coming out of the bye in the last three weeks. Is that just a byproduct of committing more to the run?
A: He actually had a couple yesterday that were designed to go to Odell, that deep ball. He’s had some good production. I thought yesterday he had the deep two he caught, he caught a naked, so he’s had production. It’s good when we throw it to him. He does a good job.
TE Evan Engram
Q: On if there was a chance he would play at all in the game.
A: I was ready if we had a certain situation. We jumped out early without me playing, so it was kind of, ‘okay, let’s hold it’ and then by the time the game got closer and by looking at the flow of the game, I was kind of not as warm as I was. Just wasn’t the smartest idea to be thrown in.
Q: Watching you on the sideline, you were running, you were trying to stay loose, you were on the bike. In your mind, you weren’t out. You were trying to convince them to put you in or –
A: I was just staying warm just in case because it was definitely a situation I would be used in special situations if I was able. Like I said, early on, it really wasn’t needed. We jumped out early, we got a good start and started fast and by the time everything got close, it was kind of everybody was in the flow and kind of wasn’t smart to go in. I was just trying to stay warm just in case.
Q: In the pregame was it just one thing that grabbed at you?
A: No, it was just my hamstring. I felt perfectly fine, same warmup routines, same thing. Just unfortunate event.
Q: You know about hamstrings – was it a pull or a grab –
A: Yeah, it was definitely like more of a grab. I’ve had a worse one before, so I’m able to kind of scale it, but it was definitely a grab. It was something that was not easy to kind of put behind me.
Q: You use the phrase more adversity. How frustrating has this year been for you start to finish?
A: I embrace it. I definitely wasn’t expecting this much, but that’s life. That’s football, so it’s definitely tough, but I was raised to smile in the face of adversity, so definitely not where I want to be, but it’s apart of the game, it’s apart of life and you just got to take it and keep moving forward.
Q: Is it worse losing a game like that and not being able to do anything about it?
A: Yeah. Like I said, we started out early, our guys were ready and we started off the game the way that was planned, so to kind of lose like that and not be able to have my hand in or just to help or be out there with my guys, it definitely sucks.
Q: This was within the 90 minutes after they turned in the deactivations that you pulled it, right?
A: I don’t know that whole timetable. It was a team warmup. We were doing like team periods warmup stuff.
Q: In uniforms? The part where you come out in uniforms?
Q: What is the best way to heal up here? Is it rest? Is it something physical?
A: That’s all in the training room. They have a plan set together that’s going to bring me along, but definitely just got to do what I’m asked and do what the plan is and see how I feel.
Q: Is it something that you think will affect you this week or is it something even minor that you don’t think it’s a big enough deal that –
A: I feel optimistic about it. The test I did today with the trainers I feel optimistic about, but like I said, it’s definitely something that’s going to be based on how I feel and if I can be explosive and trust it and be the player that I am.
QB Eli Manning
Q: What’s the mindset coming into this week after a tough loss?
A: It’s the same. You always look at the game. There’s good things. There’s always things you can improve on. I think we’ve been preparing well. We’ve been playing good football. Get ready for the Bears, and expect to go out there and build off the good things we’re doing, and fix a few of the things, but overall, we had a great opportunity to win that game. We got the ball. We’re down in the red zone with a chance to score a touchdown and take a four-point lead. We can’t covert on the third and three. It’s close, we got the matchup we wanted. We got (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) matched up one-on-one with a corner, and we got to hit that. We got to make that play. You make that play, you go up four, it’s a little tougher. You put a little more pressure on Philly’s offense where they have to score a touchdown. You’d be feeling good right now in those situations, possibly.
Q: Did you ask the officials why there was no flag for pass interference?
A: No, I didn’t ask. Sometimes, you don’t see everything, and that’s football. We got to convert on that. We got to fight through it. We got to make the throw, make the catch. You can’t rely on the officials. Unfortunately, you get some and you don’t.
Q: When you looked at that play, was the grabbing one of the big reasons why that play didn’t work out?
A: You always look at it. It’s close, we’re right there, we got a little inside breaking route. We got to execute. It comes down to Odell and I making that play. We’re good enough to make that and fight through, if there was holding or not, and make the play.
Q: What’s the concern now in terms of the optimism of the team moving forward?
A: No concern. I think we’ve been practicing wel.l We’ve been playing tough games, and being competitive. All the games we’ve played, they’ve been close. The ones we’ve won have been close and down to the wire. The same last week. In this league, you got to make the plays in the critical moments, and we didn’t do it this past game, unfortunately, and didn’t get the win. We’ve got a good group of guys. It’s important to guys. We feel like we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep preparing, and going out there and still chase that feeling of that locker room after a win. That’s a good feeling. It makes the week go easier. It makes Mondays feel better. It makes Tuesdays, it makes everything just easier to take when you’re winning football games. So, that’s what we’re chasing.
Q: Do you expect to start the last five games? Have you given any thought about it?
A: I expect to start until I’m told not to. I expect to start this week. I expect to play. Looking forward to playing, and go from there.
Q: Do you understand how mathematically challenging it is to make the playoffs now?
A: I want to play. You often speculate, you often what if. It’s not my decision.
Q: Is there anything they did after halftime to slow you guys down?
A: No, I don’t think they changed anything. I think it’s just a matter of – each possession has its own story. The first possession, we’re backed up a little bit. They covered the play well. I had to throw it away and avoid the sack, but you get stuck in a third and 17. The next drive, we had a holding and get stuck in third and 18. We just kind of had some negative plays. We had a drop. Just didn’t get things going. Missed on a couple – there was another play where I thought I had Shep. I thought the guy was holding him a little bit on that one that we missed. You get stuck in a third and 10. We just didn’t execute. Just couldn’t have the positive plays we were having earlier and couldn’t overcome some of the bad plays. We finally settled down. We’re down three, and we know we kind of needed a drive. We needed to get things going. We put a great drive together. We converted on third and eight on a seam down to (TE) Rhett (Ellison) for a big play. We get in tight, a touchdown would’ve been helpful there. We weren’t able to get the touchdown. I think the guys have responded kind of in critical moments of the game when we needed something. All year long, we’ve been able to get those drives and kind of make some of those plays. We were able to tie it. We kind of responded to the situation.
Q: How much did losing (TE) Evan Engram during pregame affect what you guys wanted to do?
A: Yeah, it always effects. Evan, obviously, has been making a couple of big plays for us late in games, and doing things. So, you like to have him in there. We had a couple of plays for him, but I thought Rhett did a great job. The first third down, made a nice catch and run for the first on a third and 10. I thought Rhett did good things, but yeah, you’d like to have all your weapons out there.
Q: In the locker room last night, there were some players grumbling about the play calling and wanting to attack the battered Eagles secondary a little bit more. Do you feel like you need to step in and talk to people?
A: I thought the game plan was good. Came out in the first half and moved the ball well. We’re running the ball, passing the ball, combination. We had seven explosives in the passing game and threw it for a bunch. In the second half, we had some sacks, had some negative plays where we weren’t able to take advantage of the coverage and things. We got to do our job, play better, execute better, and that’s what it comes down to.
Q: Does it feel like the offense wasn’t on the field very much in the second half?
A: We didn’t have many plays in the second half. We had some three and outs. They had some long drives. I don’t know what we ended up having. We didn’t have a whole lot of possessions in the game. I think we had four or five in the first half. Maybe five in the first half, five in the second half. So, you get 10 possessions, you’re scoring on a lot of them, but second half obviously had some three and outs. Had a nice drive there at the end to tie the game, but yeah, didn’t have the ball a whole lot.
K Aldrick Rosas
Q: And how long would the 51-yarder been – you hit that pretty well?
A: I hit it pretty pretty decent for the conditions. Like I said, I feel like I barely tapped that one. Just get it up there and just carries, but I definitely had more to give on that one, for sure.
Q: As Eli (Manning) gets the ball back with under a minute to go, you’re preparing mentally I’m sure to get a shot.
Q: As you’re watching it, what are you going through in your mind? Are you visualizing that you’re going to get out there and you’re going to kick it? Are you thinking about how long it’s going to have to be? What are you thinking about?
A: I’m just being ready, staying ready. Potentially – we get down by three, so I’m just staying ready. If I start thinking about stuff, then I’ll start getting in my head, but wherever the ball needs to be spotted I’m confident from wherever the spot was, I’d be able to give it my best kick and give ourselves a good chance.
Q: As you saw the last play develop and then the receiver gets tripped, are you thinking, “Okay, I’m still going to get a shot to go out there” or were you not thinking that at all? Were you surprised, I guess is what I’m saying, that you guys did not get a chance to kick it?
A: I guess, yeah. I could say I was surprised. In my mind, I was going to kick regardless of any situation so I was ready to go out there and give ourselves a chance. I try not to look at the game or the situation or anything, psych myself out, but yeah I was ready. I was definitely ready.
Q: In pregame, what were your distances going each way?
A: I have no idea. Like I said, if I look at the distances, I start psyching myself out so I just pick a spot. Wherever Zak (DeOssie) puts the ball, that’s where I kick it from.
Q: Don’t overthink it, huh?
A: Yeah. Can’t do it.
Q: Can you feel a difference – I’m sure you want to be confident in every kick, but can you feel a difference when you go out there right now knowing that you’ve made 23-of-24 versus last year in a similar spot where maybe you were struggling in the back of your mind?
A: I really don’t think about it. People will say good job, I’m just taking it one day at a time, one week at a time. When I get to the end of the season, maybe I can look back and reflect on how things have changed and just look back and learn still. I’m still learning. I’m just taking it one week at a time, focusing on the Bears now and focusing on the things I can work on to improving my kickoff and just the operation of the field goals.