Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Statement: Rhett Ellison is out, he has a concussion. Daniel Jones is out, he has the ankle. (Kevin) Zeitler is out, he has the ankle. Then obviously, Evan Engram is the last one, he's out with the foot. Those four guys are out, then we'll take it from there. I'll answer your questions.
*Q: How did you go about the process of determining today's news on Janoris (Jenkins)? *A: I released a statement, so I really don't have much more to add other than the fact that I spoke to him. My understanding was he made an apology. After the apology, he made an attempt to rationalize his beliefs. Then yesterday, there was a decision made top down that we were going to move on.
*Q: Is there more to it than just this incident? Was this like a final straw type situation? *A: I wouldn't call it a final straw. Anytime moves are made, it's obviously more than one thing.
*Q: How much did his comments yesterday factor into the final decision, because you said you had spoken to him before? *A: Yeah, it had something to do with it, for sure.
*Q: He had used that word before in August of last year. Was he disciplined then for it? *A: Last year? I wasn't aware that he used it, so no. I wasn't aware that he used that word. It's not a word you should use. I made that very, very clear yesterday. I made it clear to him as well.
*Q: You guys made a big point of putting him in a leadership role and feeling confident about putting him in that role. Do you regret that seeing how things have played out? *A: No. You know what, you try to get all of the players to grow with regard to leadership. There are many things about Rabbit that… He practiced, he worked hard. As an older player, we had, as you all know, we have a very young group, so you try to promote leadership in all of the players. Just like working on any other element of a player's game, you try to help them become better leaders.
*Q: He had said some controversial things about the actual team earlier this year. The pass rush, then (Defensive Coordinator James) Bettcher. Every time you sat down with him, do you feel like he was listening to you then in hindsight or was he lying to you? *A: I had a relationship where I could talk to him and be very frank about my feelings all the way along. Our ability to communicate all along has been good. He was able to explain to me what he meant by what he said. (I'll) just leave it at that.
*Q: Were you surprised then how after sitting down with him, that that's how it went from when you sat down to him to what he came out and said publicly afterwards? *A: I have nothing more to say on it. I'm not surprised by anything right now.
*Q: Why cut instead of suspend? Why such a final decision? *A: It was just something we felt was best from the top down. That's why. I don't need to get into the rest of it.
*Q: How close was Daniel Jones? *A: I don't know. We'll have to see next week.
*Q: No, I'm saying how close was he this week?
*A: He made progress. He was out here. Last week, he was in a boot. This week, he was out here practicing. If you remember what I said about his injury, it was similar to Saquon's (Barkley) but not as severe. So, there's a stretch of time here that he's going to have to rehab before he's able to play. But it should be a shorter stretch in my mind.
*Q: Do you anticipate then for the third game, he would be back? *A: It's hard to say. Obviously, people heal at different rates. I can tell he's a fast healer. He's champing at the bit to get out there. He believes in his ability to play whatever his physical condition is. He actually hurt his ankle in the first half of the game and he gutted through it. But at this stage, in Daniel's case, we have to save him from himself in a few of these situations moving forward. But that's a good thing because he wants to be out there in the worst way.
*Q: For Eli (Manning) himself, probably the last home game, maybe start. What would that mean? Just the big picture of it. *A: Well, I think with Eli, he's going to stay in the moment and keep playing. He's going to play this game knowing there are two more left, and he may be the starter in the last two. He's done it his whole career, staying in the moment. My guess is he's going to do it that way this time.
*Q: Do you think it's important that the fans know, like if this were to be his last home game, that they know that while they're sitting there watching it? *A: I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is, Eli's starting this game against Miami. Then we'll play it out from there.
Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson
*Q: What has Buck Allen done that he seems to have jumped over Wayne Gallman? *A: He's really done a good job on the practice field. I think he's shown some good physical running, he's very good in pass protection and he's caught the ball well. Since he's shown so much, we just want to give him a look, give him an opportunity to get out there and play and see what he can do. He's done well with what he's had so far. Obviously, the more chances he gets to touch the ball, he'll get even more comfortable.
Q: The flip side of that, do you worry about Wayne? It sends a message that he is buried on the depth chart.
A: I know it's a very tough situation for him I'm sure. As I told him, and I tell all my guys in my room, you'll cheer for your teammate. I know that's hard for him to do but we're giving him a look, you just have to be ready to play. Any time you are not a starter you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically like you are a starter. When your opportunity comes get ready to play. You have to battle through that adversity.
Q: Does Wayne need to do something better?
A: I don't know if he necessarily needs to do anything better. I just think it's more of Buck has been on our roster for a long time, he's done a lot of good things and we are rewarding him with some playing time.
Q: The further Saquon gets away from that injury, have you noticed things that he is able to do again? Or maybe that he wasn't able to do when he first came back?
A: Obviously, at the start of the season I thought that he was at a really high pace, he was really in his groove. Like all good players, sometimes you get nicked up. I don't ever use injuries as an excuse, I think early he was trying to find his way. A lot of players that come over a significant injury have to go through that process of finding themselves a little bit. I think that as he continues to play I'm starting to see the little details, the explosions out of the cuts that when he's comfortable and he really feels good like in this last game, I think he's really coming back. We are going to continue to try to get him to the level where he can be at.
Q: Did you get the sense that he was still getting back up to speed? Maybe he was trying to do too much, trying to bounce every play and make a big play to make up for that? Was that going on and maybe that's not happening as much now?
A: I think that his mentality right now is try to take the tough yards. The thing with him is, he has always had the ability to be so outstanding on the edge. Part of his game at the end of last year and the early part of this year was taking the stuff up the middle when it was there. I think he's gone through the process to make sure he gets back in that groove. I think that's when he feels like he is at his top game.
Q: This is something he said yesterday. "Even though physically you feel like you're back, mentally you might be telling yourself that you're back, but you watch yourself on film and you can see the way that you're running and you're protecting yourself." When you watch film do you see him running to protect himself?
A: I'll answer that question with saying I think he is running at the aggressive level that he was when he was playing at top level. I'm not going to get into his own critique. I really think that the guy that I know and we all know is getting back to where he's at and it's a process. It's a little different for every player, him included. Again, from my history in football, every player that I know has basically come back from some severe injury and he's found a way. No excuses, it's just a process to learn to get back to where he wants to be.
Q: A few weeks ago, he was frustrated about all the noise about how he should run. He was saying I need to get back to running the way that got me to being the number two overall pick. How did you work him through that time? I think it was coming off of the Jets game.
A: I think that any time you aren't where you want to be, this is how it's been in my history, we usually go down, have a little film session and we say okay this is the guy we know, this is how he plays. Is he playing like that off of tape right now? I don't make that (judgment), I let the player make his own criticism of himself. All the good ones have wanted to do that and they will say I need to do this. He is an avid film watcher and he'll watch all day. We go back, I let him watch himself, I let him make the critiques. I will speak up when I see something but most of the time, if he's convinced when watching tape that he needs to do something better, which he is usually telling me, I just sit back and let him make (the critiques) because then he believes that it is going to help him be a better player.
Q: Is there one thing you can share with us that he wasn't doing that he is doing? Maybe it was hitting the holes harder or being more lateral?
A: I just think that sometimes because of his outstanding skills, he sees a lot out there. The bottom line is just focus, make sure you attack the line of scrimmage and trust yourself. One thing I've learned with a player like this, I don't want to get into over coaching him and telling him where to run. I tell him all the time I don't do that, I'm certainly not qualified to tell a guy like that where to run. I'm just going (to say) attack, trust yourself and everything else will take care of itself.
Inside Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern
*Q: Could there be better recognition from the middle linebackers as far as filling gaps? *A: There are always things that we could be better at. As you go through the season, there is always stuff you're trying to work on, always things you're trying to get better at. Whether it be in run responsibilities or pass drops, there are always things we need to get better at.
Q: What happened on that last play, the Zach Ertz touchdown? It looked like guys were just out of position there.
A: We just didn't execute on that play. We need to coach it up a little bit better. It's one of those situations where the scheme was something that we had practiced. But did we have their exact play? Did we have their exact formation, everything else during the week? That was something that we had not seen yet. It's just one of those things that we have to be able to execute better and we have to be able to coach it better.
Q: Do you sense teams are targeting (Alec) Ogletree in your pass defense, their pass offense? He's allowed something like 80% completions.
A: No, I don't think they're targeting him. I think the ball is being thrown all over the place. Quarterbacks are making their reads and taking what is given to them.
Q: How do you feel (David) Mayo has played?
A: I like David. David's done a heck of a job. He brings a lot of energy. He brings physicality. He's been a real pleasure to have.
Q: Some of the young guys who aren't playing on defense right now, like (Josiah) Tauaefa, Devante (Downs), what do you like out of those guys?
A: Those guys are young professionals. They're still learning it in the meeting rooms and on the practice field and everything else. They're working hard. They're working on special teams and doing it all. They're kind of growing. That's what you want to see. You see growth in them and you're excited to continue to work with them.