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Quotes (12/11): Shurmur, Manning, Jones, Slayton

Head Coach Pat Shurmur


Opening Statement: Teach tempo today because we're so close from the end of the game. We're within a couple of days. Tomorrow we'll go back to full speed. But we were able to get a full day in. We had some new faces out there competing, and a couple of guys that didn't make it out. Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) and (Kevin) Zeitler didn't even make it out. With that, I'll take your questions. 

*Q: Was he in the building? Was Janoris here today? *A: Yeah, he's here.

*Q: Because he put some tweets out that kind of attacked fans. I don't know if you're aware of that. *A: I was just made aware of it as I was going through the injury report. He shouldn't be tweeting during practice.

*Q: You said there were some new faces out here today? *A: Practicing, like (Daniel) Jones was out here. Back from injury. 

*Q: How is Daniel looking to you? *A: Good. He's moving around a little bit. We just have to see how he does by the end of the week. He's out here. He's out of the boot, he's into his regular shoes and he's out here practicing. Again, we didn't do much today. We'll just have to see how he feels by the end of the week to see if he fits into the equation here.

*Q: Would you dress him as the backup, or if he's healthy enough to dress, he'll start? *A: You know what, we'll have to see. We have a couple days here. I think we need to be smart coming back from any injury. In the case of a quarterback, aside from going out and throwing, they certainly need to be able to protect themselves, and part of his game is moving around. I just want to make sure he's healthy enough and fit enough to do that.

*Q: He's a big part of the future here going forward. Do you have to handle it differently with him, whether or not you bring him back at this point or not? *A: No. I think if he's ready to play, he should play. Part of what's going on this year for him is helping us win games. He's out there, every time he plays, he's trying to help us win games. Then along the way here, there's a lot of great development that happens for a young quarterback. Guys that are healthy and able, in our estimation, should be out there playing. 

*Q: Is this part of the learning process? You don't want a guy to get hurt, but they do. Now he has to sit, he has to wait, he has to rehab, he has to be frustrated. Of all the things, is this part of it also? *A: I think so. There's a lot that goes into becoming an experienced player. A lot of these guys come here having kind of played through charmed lives. I think part of it for him… the good thing about Daniel is he faced adversity when he was at Duke. There were many games where they were not favored. There were probably many games when Dexter Lawrence hit him pretty hard. You develop mechanisms for handling adversity. Part of that is learning how to come back from these types of injuries and the urgency you feel inside, doing everything you can to get back. Certainly, there's something to be learned from that. 

*Q: At what point does the team need to know who the quarterback is going to be on Sunday? *A: When the time is right. In terms of the skill players, the skill players have been interchanged so much that they've had a chance to work with both quarterbacks. It's going to be the same type of game plan regardless of who's playing. The sooner, the better. But all the way up to game time.

*Q: Is it your call exclusively who the quarterback is on Sunday? *A: Yes.

*Q: In the hypothetical that Jones is healthy enough but might dress as the backup, why would he dress as the backup? *A: We'll just have to see. Again, I said that's something we'll figure out as we go. More or less, if he's not healthy enough to start, he probably won't be the backup. More or less, but I can't tell you exactly what's going to happen yet because we're not close enough and I haven't seen him run around yet. 

*Q: How do you plan to handle first team reps for the quarterbacks this week? *A: Well, Eli (Manning) took them today. Then he will until we feel like Jones is ready.

*Q: You said it's your decision. But there's a medical… *A: Yeah, my decision if he's healthy enough to play, then he'll play. It's always medical. If he's cleared, he's cleared.

*Q: Just to be clear, he's not cleared yet, right? *A: Not yet, no. He's cleared to practice, but again, we have to see it, evaluate it and look at it.

*Q: What are Zeitler's chances of getting out there? *A: I don't know that. I don't know that. He wasn't able to be out here today, and he's a tough son of a gun. We'll just have to see how today goes, evaluate it this afternoon and see what he can do tomorrow. 

*Q: Is it a sprained ankle or is it something worse than that? *A: Ankle. Yeah, sprained. It's not broken. 

*Q: Is the plan to ramp Daniel up over the next couple of days, or is it a status quo? *A: No, we'll try to get him back ready to play, just like any of our players that appear on this (injury) list. He's the same.

*Q: It seemed like there was a time back when Saquon (Barkley) was trying to rehab that you guys kind of kept it status quo for a little while to get back. That's why I'm asking about Daniel. Is that kind of the same plan or is it different? *A: Yeah, I think so. The demands on a running back with an ankle are different than the demands on a quarterback with an ankle. But I still think it's important to remember that a part of Daniel's game is his ability to move around. We just need to look at it. I think each injury and each return from injury tends to be a little bit different. I think that's safe to be said about the position they play as well.

QB Eli Manning


*Q: How do you handle the uncertainty this week? You may not know whether you're playing or not until maybe Sunday. *A: Yeah, you still go about your practice, go about your preparation getting ready for Miami. Got a lot of work, kind of an unfamiliar team, we don't play them that often. So, just get in the film work, get the game plan and just see how it goes. 

*Q: What do you think the chances are that you could end up being the starter this week? *A: I don't know. I don't know, we'll kind of see how the week goes. Either way, you just prepare. Each day, I think we'll get a little bit more insight into what's going on.

*Q: Would it be meaningful to get another start at home? *A: Again, just depends on how everything is going. We'll wait and see how Daniel (Jones) is feeling and see what the coaches want to do and go from there.

*Q: When you go back and look at the tape, how would you rate your performance on Monday night? *A: You know, some good, some bad. There are always going to be plays— could've hung with the receiver a little longer here, made a certain throw there. So, some good stuff but also always plays that could be better.

*Q: How do you feel coming off your first game in so long, physically? *A: I feel good. I didn't take too many shots or anything, so body feels fresh and feels good still.

*Q: You mentioned you don't know if you're going to play or when you're going to play again. Does the possibility of it being your last start even go through your head? Do you have your whole family there, how do you handle that, knowing that you don't know if it's your last start, but it might be—in MetLife, at least? *A: Well, we'll figure it out as the week goes. Again, nothing is being decided today. All I can worry about is just getting prepared to play. Either way, whether I'm the starter or not, I'm going to be prepared. Just go about my business getting myself ready and getting the team ready to play.

*Q: You've had to deal with some disappointment this year, obviously, earlier in the year. Now that you got a little taste of playing again, wanting Daniel to be better of course, will you be disappointed if you don't get to play? *A: Yeah, we'll see. A lot of uncertainty still, so I guess I'll know when, if that happens.

*Q: What will it mean to you if you do get that reaction from the crowd? They do recognize that this could be your last game and they honor you in some way, shape, or form.
A: Well, again. Still too many what-ifs. My focus is just getting ready to play.

*Q: Did you at all take a step back and say, 'hey, I still can play'? *A: I still feel like I can play. I don't think that ever crossed through my mind. I obviously had a good first half, made some plays. We didn't do enough in the second half. See the things I can improve on and work on them this week, and make sure that I'm just ready for all of the circumstances and the looks that Miami gives.

*Q: Would you be comfortable running a lot of first team reps in practice but not playing? That would be a little bit unusual. *A: Again, we'll see how it goes. I'll do whatever I'm asked to do, and whatever the team needs. Whatever the situation is, do whatever is needed.

*Q: You hadn't really thrown to (Darius) Slayton and then you come out, a guy you're unfamiliar with—well in practice you are, certainly… but then he makes those catches and has such a big second quarter. Did he remind you of anyone from the old days, or anyone you used to throw to? *A: He does a good job of getting separation, a great job on the slant getting a lot of separation. I think one go ball was a busted coverage, but the other was just man and off coverage, and ran right by him. I think he's got good speed, tracks the ball well and has some playmaking abilities. He's an easy target, a big target, to throw to. 

*Q: He turned something into a touchdown by spinning around... *A: Yeah, making a guy miss. He did a good job making a corner miss and outrunning the safeties. We kind of saw route running and then saw speed to run by the safety.

*Q: You were in Daniel's shoes 15-16 years ago. When you look back, how much did it benefit you to get that playing time as a rookie? *A: Yeah, I think it's very beneficial just to have that experience the first year, just to go through the ups and downs. Have the good plays and have the bad plays to learn from. I think it just helps you so much into the offseason knowing how you had to prepare and know coverages and know defenses and know protections. How to prepare for each week and each scheme, every defense is different. Similar coverage, played differently. I think it's just important to learn all of those things and start getting a base for what you need to improve on and what you've got to work on in the offseason. 

*Q: At the same time, you were here with a veteran in Kurt Warner. How much did being around him help you with that in the rookie year? *A: Yeah, being around Kurt was huge. Just a guy who had great success. I think you see how he worked, how he prepared, how he got ready for each and every week, drawing up plays and asking questions. Just the attention to detail that he had I think was great for me to see firsthand how it's supposed to be done.

QB Daniel Jones!

*Q: How did it go today? *A: It went well. I thought we had a good practice and guys were ready to roll. It's a big week for us and I think we will be ready.

*Q: How are you feeling? *A: I feel good. I think I'm healing quickly, I just have to keep doing what I'm told to do in the training room and try to get back out there as quick as I can. 

*Q: How close do you feel like you are to being ready to play? What have you been able to do or maybe not do in the last couple of weeks? *A: I feel good. I think I've gotten a lot better over the course of the last week. I'm taking it day to day, doing what they tell me I can do. I'm starting to move around a little bit more and it feels good. Keep trusting that process and like I said, try to get back out there as quickly as I can.

*Q: Are you operating with the idea that there is a chance you can start on Sunday? *A: Yeah, I think I'm trying to prepare to play. Like I said, we are going to take it day to day. It will be evaluated how I feel throughout the week then a decision will be made. My job is to prepare to play.

*Q: Is there anything you can't do at this point?
A: It's still a process. I wouldn't say it's all the way there, but I do feel a lot better. I am able to move around, I'm able to do what I need to do to throw. I feel good in practice. We'll see how it goes through the week. I just have to keep doing what I need to be doing. 

*Q: Are you going to be able to run and cut if you get out in the open field? *A: Yeah, I think that's a big part of it. I felt good today. I think through the week I'll feel better. I just have to keep progressing and moving forward. It's tough to say today if I would or when I will. I feel good, I think things are progressing well.

*Q: Do you think this is part of a learning process as well? Coming back from an injury, having to sit and be disappointed. You seem almost like you are letting people down by not playing. Is this all a part of learning the ropes? *A: I think so. You are learning on and off the field all the time. I'm trying to do that. I'm trying to improve in whatever ways I can from each of these things. Yeah, I think it's an opportunity to learn.

*Q: Was watching the game from the sideline in Philly different from watching the first two weeks? The first two weeks you were not the starter then you were the starter. *A: Yeah, I think it was different not being out there. (It was) an opportunity to still help out and try to do what I can to help the team. It was a little bit different watching.

*Q: Do you feel like it was more of your team out there compared to the first time around? *A: No, it's our team. I don't know if anyone really feels that way about it. We're all trying to win games, we're all working toward the same goal.

*Q: Have you ever had this type of an injury before and if you did, how long were you out? *A: I had a high ankle sprain last year. They are all a little bit different, it was on my other leg. I didn't miss any time with that, but I just have to trust what I'm doing and I'll be back soon.

*Q: Was that in the bowl game? *A: It was the last few games of the season.

*Q: What did you think from watching how the offense played in the first half and the second? *A: I thought we played well in the first half. I think there was a number of big plays. I thought Eli did a great job and Darius made some big plays. I think the guys up front did well. In the second half, (there was) just a couple third down opportunities that we needed to convert to help the defense. Like all these games, hopefully we'll learn from it and keep moving forward. 

*Q: Obviously coaches and trainers are going to make the decision but if it's up to you, would you be playing? *A: We're going to take it day to day and see how I'm feeling through the week. I'm going to do my best to do that and to improve every day. I think we'll make a call at the end of the week. 

*Q: How much better do you feel today versus a week ago? *A: I feel a lot better just being able to move around and get out there. Like I said, I feel pretty good.

*Q: Pat (Shurmur) was saying a big part of your game is mobility and being able to make plays on the run? How much more confident do you feel moving around out there with that part of your game? *A: I feel better. I think I feel better out there that I was able to do that today. I understand it's different in the game, you are moving at a different speed in the game. I think a few days from now, hopefully I will continue to progress.

*Q: Did you take the boot off on Friday of last week? Was that the last day you wore it? *A: I took that off at practice. They let me take it off to do a couple things at practice. I was wearing it through Monday.

*Q: I know you come here early in the day already, do you come here any earlier now for treatment? Is it the same? *A: I've been coming a little bit earlier to do some treatment. 

*Q: Is it challenging for you to not make your pitch to play? Do you try to convince them and say I'm ready let's go? *A: We have a great medical staff. In the end, they are going to listen to how you are feeling and how you think you are doing. My job is to communicate that with them as best I can. I think we will make a decision based on that. I have to trust that, and I certainly do, we have a great staff. 

*Q: At any point during the game, did you walk over to Eli and say I see this? *A: I think we are always talking through different ideas between Eli, Alex, Coach Shula, and me. I'm' obviously the guy with the least experience so I try to offer what I can. I also understand those guys have seen a lot more than I have. When the defense is out there we're always trying to come up with different things that might work based on what we're seeing and what they think is working throughout the game. 

*Q: Is there any reason to think you won't be ready? *A: It's kind of day to day right now. By the end of the week, we will have a better idea. Like I said, my job is try to prepare to play and we'll see how it feels.

*Q: Is it fair to say in your mind you will be back at some point in these last three weeks? *A: I hope so. My job is to continue to progress, to do what I'm being told to do and trust that. Trust that process.

*Q: Is it meaningful for you to be out there to end this losing streak? Does it matter to you to be out there? *A: It's more important that it ends than who's out there. As a team, that's what we're working towards. Whoever is out there, our goal is to win a game and hopefully build some momentum into these last few games. I'm not sure I'm thinking about that.

WR Darius Slayton


*On playing with Eli Manning: *A: Like I said, it's an honor to play with a Hall of Fame quarterback. A lot of guys don't have that opportunity in their career, so I'm very blessed.

*Q: How did Daniel (Jones) look out there today? *A: Good, he looks good. I know he's happy to be out there on the field. He loves playing ball, so I'm happy he's able to get back out there, toss the ball around a little bit.

*Q: Is this losing streak weighing on any of you guys? *A: It's definitely tough, but I know we're going to keep fighting, keep on trying to find ways to win games.

*Q: How do you stay positive during a streak like this? *A: I don't know, you kind of just come back to work. You go over it, you watch the film, and then you kind of put it in the rearview mirror. Wins or losses, you kind of have to do it that way because at the end of the day you've got a new opponent, and so you've got to be able to put that stuff behind you and focus on the week ahead.

*Q: When you look back on last week, do you kind of scratch your head going, "How could we be so good in the first half and then do nothing in the second?" *A: Yeah, I mean, it just kind of happens. It's football, sometimes you have moments where you're rolling, you've got all the momentum, and then you have little lulls. It was almost like in one situation if there was no halftime, we might have just kept rolling. Sometimes the little just lapse, you just kind of get a chance to sit and breathe and all that, so just got to find a way to keep executing throughout the game.

*Q: Did you grow up watching Monday Night Football every week? *A: Of course, yeah.

*Q: Some people do, some people don't-- *A: Yeah, every week.

*Q: So, the fact that you did what you did in the first one, what does that mean to you? *A: It means a lot. First time around on Monday Night, we played against the Cowboys , probably not one of my best games, so I definitely wanted to come back out here. I was grateful we had a second opportunity to be on Monday Night and show what I could do on a national stage.

*Q: Did you get a lot of feedback on that from friends, family, social media, that kind of thing? *A: Yeah, because I'm from the South, so the majority of family is down there, so games like that, everybody gets a chance to watch and see. So, I was happy to be able to perform well for them.

*Q: On the second touchdown when you see it and you know you're wide open, are you sitting there going, "Just don't drop it?" *A: Yeah, pretty much. Sometimes it feels like the ball is hanging up there for 10 years when you're wide open, but Eli made a great throw and I was able to make the catch.

*Q: Has this year gone better than you expected? You've got a team high in touchdown catches, I think the yardage is a team high, you're two off the team lead in total receptions, considering you didn't really start on time. *A: I knew I wanted to come in and make an impact. I knew I could come in and make an impact. I didn't really know how much I was going to be able to do that, but like I said, I've definitely been blessed. Daniel, Eli, having two really good quarterbacks to play with in my rookie season has definitely helped me out a lot.

*Q: Are there any challenges knowing that nothing's official yet as to whether it's going to be Eli or Daniel for you guys as a group, as an offense this week as you move towards Sunday with kind of some uncertainty as to who's going to be out there? *A: No, not really. Either way, they'll both rep in practice, so whichever way it goes, we'll be ready. Like I said, they're both good players, so they're easy guys to play with. 

*Q: Is there part of you, considering your trajectory with Daniel, that is hoping to close out this season with him on the field? Is there meaning in that do you think for a lot of you young guys who have kind of taken this journey together as rookies? *A: I mean, I definitely think us being young, as much experience as any of us can get is a good thing. But, like I said, whoever is out there at quarterback, I'm going to go out there and try my best to get open for him and make plays.

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