Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: Welcome back. All the players are back, you noticed Nate (Solder) wasn't here, had an appointment with his son this morning. He's here, he's in the building, and he was excused from the morning portion of this. With that, I'll try to answer your questions.
*Q: You said on the radio after last week that Kyle (Lauletta) was going to face consequences. Will he be suspended for this game? *
A: No, not suspended, but we have internal consequences. I released a statement that I'm just disappointed in the way that went down. I've spoken to him numerous times since the event, and we have internal ways of handling it, but it will not include a suspension.
On whether the incident hurts his chances of playing:
A: Well, I'm disappointed because I think especially with a quarterback, you're looking at decision-making in all facets of a player's life. He's back to work, that will take care of itself. We've kind of stated what we feel about that, but he's back to work trying to get himself ready to play.
Q: According to the timeframe provided by the police, it was right around 8 o'clock and they said it also happened Monday. Was he late or was he in danger of being late, if he was still in Weehawken at 8 o'clock?
Q: So he was late two days in a row?
A: No. The first day, he didn't have to be here quite as early. That day, he was in danger of being late.
Q: For a quarterback with a possible opportunity to play as a rookie to be late, says what?
A: He was late. I know what we're all getting at here. The whole event is disappointing. The whole event.
*Q: Had there been previous issues of him being late? *A: No, I don't think there's anything about being late, but the way I look at it, quarterbacks should be early.
Q: How close do you think he is to being able to play?
A: He's working himself in a position to play, he's done a good job out here in practice. He's a small school quarterback, so there was a lot to learn and there is a lot to learn about how to prepare in the NFL, and he's going through the process of doing that.
Q: Is Eli (Manning) starting Monday?
A: Yes, Eli will start Monday.
Q: Is he definitely going to start the rest of the season?
A: I spoke to Eli a couple times this weekend and I explained to Eli that he's going to start Monday. I also explained to Eli that everybody needs to play better and as we go through this, it's important that we're not 'almost' in these games, we do what we have to do to get it over the top and win football games. We'll just take it from there. But I spoke to the team about that, and then I also spoke to Eli about that specifically.
Q: How much do you expect from Jamon Brown?
A: He's a good looking guy and we've spent – what we've been allowed to do this weekend – time with him. He was here all day yesterday, and he's picked things up fairly quickly. You saw he was out there already, and I think Hal (Hunter) and Ben (Wilkerson) have done a good job getting him up to speed. We're going to try to get him in there as quickly as possible. This guy started the whole season, had a little incident where he's no longer starting, and we were thrilled he was available. He's a big man, he's athletic, and he certainly looks the part in some of the reps I saw today. We'll get him up to speed quickly.
Q: Why did you feel it was necessary to have that conversation with Eli? I'm guessing you didn't call a lot of other players.
A: Because it's the quarterback. Those are the things as you move forward, part of what you do during the bye week is get back to basics, try to see what you did well and do more of that, see what you didn't do well and try to minimize that, and so some of that, we, as coaches, have to do the things that he does well, and we all need to just be better.
Q: You didn't communicate anything beyond Monday for him to start?
A: I told you, he is starting Monday. You roll with it how you want, with the idea that he's going to get us on a run here and there will be no decisions to be made. In other words, part of the conversation was, we trust you, we want to work with you, and we trust the fact that you're going to get in there and help us win football games.
Q: We've talked a lot about Kyle Lauletta. Is Alex Tanney – who has been active every game – is he a guy who you would consider playing in a game?
A: Absolutely. It goes without saying, we've had him as number two throughout. We just don't stack them up willy-nilly. Based on when we started this, Eli's starting and Alex has been the backup. Again, when you bring in rookie quarterbacks, there is a process they have to go through to develop and some guys have to develop further than others. Once the world quits seeing the training camp practices, that continues and guys pick up things at different paces. You can look at all the first round draft pick quarterbacks – Donovan McNabb didn't start until Week 8, and he was a first-round pick. Some of these other guys have started right away and they were picked higher, and so I don't know what the world is expecting, we're just trying to get him as good as he can be so that when he goes in there he has success.
Q: You've been hesitant to have a depth chart pecking order. Whenever we've asked you about the quarterback depth chart, you've said we're assuming things.
A: We haven't talked about it since training camp, right? Then when we played our first game, we had Eli as our starter and Alex as our backup.
*Q: How about RJ McIntosh? *
A: He will be activated. He will be ready to go, which will require a roster move, so we have some conversations to go through.
Q: As you looked at (yourselves) over the bye, what did you find as the common denominator offensively?
A: It comes down to points. When you look at it, if we score one more touchdown a game, then for the people that crunch numbers, that's a good thing, and for the people that crunch numbers, that puts us in a position to win half those games we played. Scoring in the red zone is an important thing when we get down there, and there's tactical things that we need to do better. Then there's certainly things that players can do better. Those are the things you look at, you think of the situations in the games, the players you have in the games available, how you're trying to get the ball to certain people, so you go back and revisit that and do it at a pace where it's much slower than if you were getting ready to play a game.
Q: After those first two trades last week, a lot of people thought more were coming. Are you happy to see the team remain intact, and did you talk to any of the guys whose names were out there as reportedly (on the trade block)?
A: No, I didn't, because sometimes things that get written and said are not true. Quite frankly, it's people surmising that you may or may not do things, so no, I didn't talk to any of those people. Quite frankly, I know of a small list of guys that were talked about being traded, I don't know the full list, so I didn't feel it necessary to talk about it.
Q: Happy to see the team remain intact as is?
A: Yeah, I'm happy with the guys we have. We're moving forward, we're much healthier than we were a week ago. You saw we have (Alec) Ogletree back and (Chad) Wheeler is out here, so that was all good.
Q: Activating (RJ) McIntosh, how do you see his role fitting into that D line rotation?
A: He will fit into the rotation, we'll see how he progresses. He's done a good job so far, we're just learning about him. The question was if he was behind a while back, he's not as far behind now. Attempt at humor. We'll just see how much he can handle. We feel like he's got a future, we had to deal with a medical issue that we were not aware of when we drafted him, so we helped rectify that. As long as he's a Giant, we're working with him and we're looking forward to seeing him do good things.
Q: On Jamon Brown, you said you want to get him in there as quick as possible. Is Monday a possibility that he's in the starting lineup?
A: It's a possibility. Again, he's only been here hours, it's not even days yet, but what he's done and how quickly he picks things up, there's a chance he could be in there.
Q: Is there a difference between an offensive lineman picking things up that he needs to pick up versus a receiver or a running back?
A: Certainly being here longer helps him, but we'll try to structure it so he knows what he's doing.
QB Kyle Lauletta
Q: Can you talk a little bit about what happened last week and I know you probably can't get into detail, but can you talk a little bit about the thought process that went with what you did?
A: First things first, I just want to apologize to the Giants organization, all the coaches, my teammates, the fans, my family, especially my parents. The incident that happened last week is a terrible representation of who I am and what I stand for and I do recognize that those cops have a very difficult job, an important job at that. I've seen that intersection when there are no officers and it's very chaotic, so I respect those guys and I can't say I'm sorry enough about what happened, but all I can do now is just move forward and try to prove myself by my actions and my work ethic. Just kind of come back to work and try to put this behind me and continue to be a great teammate and just try to continue to develop and be the best player I can be. That's all I can control, so that's what I'm going to do and just move forward from it and focus on the 49ers this coming Monday.
Q: Coach said that he was disappointed in the fact that not only because of what had happened with the incident, but you were probably going to be late. Is that something that's even more disappointing in your eyes than –
A: Yeah, no doubt, absolutely. As an NFL player, as a guy with a target on my back, I can't put myself in those positions and you're absolutely right. That was the first thing I thought to myself was how disappointed I was for leaving later than I should have and had I left an hour earlier, none of that probably would ever happen, so that's my fault, it's no one else's fault. Right is right, wrong is wrong. My parents raised me better than that and it's tough, but you just got to move forward from it and take it as a lesson and hopefully that'll be an example to some players, to some people someday, and just goes to show I can't put myself in those situations. I'm very regretful that I did and I'll do everything that I can to make sure that that doesn't happen again. These guys know who I am and these guys know what I'm about, but it's still unfortunate and I have to deal with the consequences and that's that.
Q: It looked like, by all indication, you were going to get a chance to play at some point this season. Do you worry that one of the consequences will be that you have blown that chance?
A: I don't know about 'worry'. Like I mentioned, I can't worry about that. I can't afford to worry about that and let it affect how I prepare, how I play, how I come to work every day. Maybe that's a better question for coach Shurmur. Like I said, I'm just going to do everything I can and prove to everybody, I'm not going to say it, I'm just going to prove it, by how I come to work every day and give this thing everything that I have and be the best teammate I can be and just keep grinding, put my head down, get back to work and just try to keep moving forward one day at a time. I think that's where I'm at and that's kind of my mindset moving forward.
Q: Did you want to talk to coach Shurmur immediately and how did that sort of work out? What did you say to him specifically?
A: I did. I talked to coach Shurmur immediately after the incident, but that's between me and him. Obviously, he was disappointed and rightfully so. I was disappointed in myself and like I said, I can't put myself in those situations and I feel horrible for coach. Puts him in a really tough spot and he's been nothing but the best to me, so for me to turn around and do that and not even be there for practice is – it was unfortunate, but I'm just going to move forward.
Q: Did you have any idea at all that a police officer saw you in the car do the same thing on Monday as opposed to doing it Tuesday as well? Did you have any idea?
A: I really don't want to talk about the details about what happened. I accept responsibility and like I said, right is right, wrong is wrong. I was wrong and I'm just going to try to move forward from this as best I can.
Q: Was there any part of you that was concerned that you wouldn't be standing here after what happened last Tuesday?
A: Sure. A lot of things run through your head when something like that happens. Never been in that situation and I don't plan for it to happen again, but yeah, it was horrible. It was a horrible feeling and it doesn't really matter. Like I said a few times now, I'm just going to move forward and try to put my head down and just continue to work and just continue to grind and move forward.
Q: One thing that coach Shurmur said was a big thing about a quarterback is his decision making and this is a bad reflection on decision making obviously off the field. Do you feel they need to worry about your decision making moving forward on the field or off the field?
A: No, I don't, but I showed with what happened that I made a bad decision. I made a horrible decision that I'll regret for the rest of my life. I can't take it back, though. There's nothing I can do now, so the only thing I can do is make good decisions moving forward and show up to work early every day and work my butt off and just try to prove to everybody not by what I say but what I do, and hopefully this will be a thing of the past in a few weeks and nobody will be worried about it and we'll just move forward as a team and that's that.
Q: Coach said that quarterbacks should be, quote unquote, early rather than on time for practice. The fact that happened at 8 a.m., is that kind of your normal arrival time? Was there more traffic or –
A: No. Like I said, it was a poor decision and if you rewind it, that was, in my eyes, what caused the whole thing. Had I been earlier, which I always am, then none of it would have happened, so just kind of a chain reaction, but like I said, it's my fault. By waking up late, I put myself in an unfavorable position and now I'm going to have to deal with the consequences.
Q: What have your interactions with Eli (Manning) been like since? He's a guy who's seen a lot in life and in this league. Has he offered any guidance or advice?
A: We talked about it a little bit. Eli's one of the best teammates I've ever had and he was just supportive. He was there for me. I'm there for him and I support him all the way, so we have a great relationship and right now my goal and my focus is to help myself get ready, but also help Eli and be there for him in whatever ways I can, but I do appreciate Eli and he reached out later that day and it meant the world to me. Really meant a lot coming from Eli.
RB Saquon Barkley
Q: What do you want to get out of the second half of your rookie year?
A: Just continue to get better every single day. Second half, so eight games to continue to improve. Like I said, you never know what's going to happen, so come out here and continue to compete, work my butt off and like I said, continue to get better overall.
Q: Do you look at your stats? After eight games, it's easy to look at people's stats and just multiply them by two and try to project what you can do for the season. Did you look at that during this break and see what you like and what you don't like?
A: No, I don't really look at that. I'm very active on social media, so I see predictions or if I'm on pace for this and that, which means nothing because nothing is guaranteed. I'm not one of those guys that says, let me see my stats, let me see how much I ran for this or that, I just play. Like I said, I'm not going to stand here and lie, I am very active on social media, so there's fan pages of me and I can go on Instagram or even on my explore page and they just happen to pop up. I've seen predictions of what I'm capable of doing, but it means nothing to me.
Q: There's been a lot of guys who are veterans on this team who have said that you're already becoming a leader and look at you as a leader even though you're a rookie. What have you done through the first half that might give them that vibe? How important do you think it is to carry that mantle even as a rookie?
A: Yeah, that means a lot hearing that from guys on this team because at the end of the day, that's the only thing that matters is the opinions of your teammates. Just being myself, that is the best advice that I got coming into my rookie year and that's something that I'm going to continue to try to do is be myself and be vocal, play hard and compete. The rest will take care of itself.
*Q: Do you think you can do better in the second half than you did in the first half? *
A: Of course. There's always room for improvement. I think everyone on this team can get better, we know that. Especially for myself, just self-scouting myself, there's so many places where I can improve in every part of my game, every phase of my game. I'm always going to have room to improve and that's what drives you, and that's what makes you compete to try and continue to get better.
Q: Did you take a look during this break at a couple of things that you did in the first half? What would be one or two things you said, 'I could really do this better'?
A: Trusting myself. That's one thing I need to get back to. I'm big on watching film, and sometimes it hurts myself because I over-calculate things or I overthink sometimes, so try not to do that and trust myself, play the game, and play the position I've been playing since I was a little kid. There's multiple areas, pass (protection), catching the ball, running in between tackles – everything. Every part of my game has room to improve, and that's a challenge that I'm willing to accept. That's a challenge I will continue to get better at.
*Q: Are you eyeing the offensive rookie of the year award? *A: No. That's not how I operate. I'm a competitor and I would love to win that award, but the way I operate is set my goals that I set, to take care of the little things in here, take care of the little things on the field and in the weight room, whether it was in the offseason or wherever, every other thing comes along with that. (I don't) have those goals of MVP, rookie of the year, this many yards or that many yards, I take care of this stuff first and everything else will take care of itself
Q: You mentioned you want to catch the ball better. You don't have drops.
A: I have two or three that I know that I dropped. You want to be perfect, you're probably never going to be perfect, but those two or three balls I've got to catch.
Q: Are those drops that everyone says were drops, or are they drops in your mind?
A: In my mind, for sure. Like I said, talking about stats, I don't know what I technically have. Maybe some people say I have more, I might be missing some, but there's two or three that really pop into my head that were drops.
Q: You have a new guard here, Jamon Brown from the Rams. He blocked for Todd (Gurley) for a number of years. Is there anything you can ask him about Todd's game that you can glean from him?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. I definitely can learn a lot from the guy who blocked for probably, today, the MVP of the league, in my opinion. I watch film on Todd Gurley, I love the way he plays. He's an all-purpose back and a threat any time he touches the ball, he runs physical and runs right in between tackles. Definitely, I would be wrong if I don't go and pick his brain and go ask that guy, what do you see that Todd did or what made Todd exceptional, and the reason he is the player he is today. That's something that I want to learn from him because I want to compete, and I want to be better than Todd one day. I know he has the same mindset, all running backs have the same mindset in the league, that's just the way it operates in this league, and how it operates as competitors.
G Jamon Brown
Q: How acclimated can you get in the short amount of time? Do you think you can play soon?
A: I can't really focus on that. My approach is to take it a day at a time, to learn and soak in as much as I can, as fast as I can, and be ready when coach calls on me.
Q: How crazy has this last week been for you?
A: It's been crazy. You're in LA (Los Angeles) on Tuesday, you fly to New York on Thursday. Obviously, it was the bye week. So, you fly back to LA, and then you come back on Sunday, and here we are. One practice in it. I went back and forth twice, and then we'll go back for San Fran (laughter). So, my frequent flyer miles are out the roof right now.
Q: From a skillset standpoint, what do you think you can bring to the offensive line?
A: Versatility – I played both sides, right guard and left guard. I'm going to bring energy. I think I'm a high-energy guy. I think I will be reliable, just because I've been doing it for a while. I've experienced my times of success. That's pretty much it, and whatever coach needs is what I'm going to try to bring.
Q: Is this offense similar to anything you've already done? How hard is it to get a grasp on it?
A: It has its own nuances. I think every system is different in its own way. As far as being difficult for me to pick up, I don't think it'll be that. I think it'll be just repping it, and getting into it, and being in it for a little while. I'll pick it up as fast as I can.
Q: When were you able to get a playbook?
A: I guess the day I came, Thursday.
Q: Were you surprised or blindsided by the waiver?
A: Most definitely, I think anyone would be in a situation like that. It's kind of the belly of the beast. At any given time, you can be in one place, and then the next day a new place. Yes, it was shocking. I think it was shocking even to them for making that move, just based on the conversations I've had with some of the staff members in the organization. At the end of the day, the dream lives on. I have another opportunity right here in New York, and I'm going to make the most of it.
Q: It seems this opportunity will be available to you not only this season, but in the near future as well.
A: Yeah, there's definitely opportunity. At the end of the day, I'm going to take it a day at a time. Control what I can control, which is being in the now. Making sure I'm learning, making sure I'm picking up on everything I can, and learning the Giants way, and letting all of that take care of itself.
Q: Do you have to adjust mentally coming from a team that was previously undefeated, to a team that has only one win?
A: At the end of the day, you approach it all the same. Whether you're 8-1, whether you're 1-7, it doesn't change your approach about anything. You attack it the same is all I can say about that. We're going to make sure we do everything we can to try to turn it around, and finish the season strong.
Q: Has anyone asked you to sing yet?
A: (laughter) That was a good one. You must've did your homework. I haven't been asked to sing yet. We're going to try to keep that under wraps for as long as we can (laughter).
Q: You've had a lot of success as a run blocker. Going from working with (Rams RB) Todd Gurley to (RB) Saquon Barkley, what are your thoughts on that?
A: I'm excited – when you look at a guy like Saquon, dynamic, just like Todd. I think as an offensive lineman, that excites you. I'm definitely excited to be able to get to work and see how I can help him have more opportunities to do what he does best. It's exciting.
Q: What happened with you at the Rams, is that in the past?
A: You kind of got to treat it like you do a game. When you have a bad play, you got to have the next-play mentality. That's kind of how I'm approaching this one. I was with the Rams when I was with the Rams, now I'm with the Giants. Giants let's go!
LB Alec Ogletree
Q: You and (G) Jamon Brown played with each other on the Rams. What's it going to be like to practice against him again?
A: Yeah, he's a big dude for sure. He's a hard-worker. Of course, I played with him for three years. Definitely a competitor. A guy that bring attitude. He's a big man for sure. He moves stuff around. I think he'll be a big help for us for sure.
Q: How good of a player is Jamon Brown?
A: He's a good player. Of course, I played with him for three years, so I definitely saw the growth that he's shown over the years. He was starting at one point, but ended up not playing the first four games, and came back and kind of didn't get back on the field. They let him go. I'm glad they did, because we picked him up. Definitely looking forward to him bringing that attitude and a sense of leadership that we need for sure.
Q: Good run blocker?
A: Yeah, for sure. You'll see him out there. He definitely moves stuff around. He's physical and aggressive. That's what he likes to do. It'll be a good fit for us.
Q: How would you assess your chances of playing Monday?
A: You got to ask coach. Coach says I can play, I can play. I hope to play, but like I said, you got to go through coach.
Q: How do you feel today versus last game day?
A: I feel better. Definitely the more reps you get, the better you feel. Like I said, you got to ask coach about me playing on Monday.
Q: What do you hope the attitude of the team will be heading into this next game?
A: Our attitude is just going to be to go out there and win, by any means necessary, and play with an aggressive mindset, and apply a lot of pressure to San Fran this week.
Q: As a captain, did you say anything to (QB) Kyle Lauletta after a rookie gets arrested and is late for practice?
A: Whatever was said, or wasn't said, is just between us.