Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Statement: Corey Ballentine, Rhett Ellison, Evan Engram and Daniel Jones are all going to be out. We're going to put Chris Peace and Jabrill Peppers on IR. Then we're going to move up Kareem Martin, and we're going to activate Sean Chandler. That'll give you what I know. Otherwise, I'll take your questions.
*Q: It looked like Daniel did a little bit today? *A: Yeah, he's getting better.
*Q: Did Evan have a setback? *A: No. He's coming back from that foot injury. He pushed it as far as he could, but it's still sore so he can't go.
*Q: Have you seen kind of a different look in Eli's (Manning) eye this week, just being back with the ones and whatnot? Have you noticed anything at all? *A: Not really. He is a model of consistency. He has been for a very long time. No matter what his role has been, he's been the same every day. Same energy level, and he's had a great week of practice. I look forward to seeing him perform on Monday night.
*Q: You don't think Eli sitting out for the last how many weeks is going to affect him, like rusty at all? *A: No. We covered that early in the week. I don't think so.
*Q: Is Daniel still in the boot? *A: He wasn't today. You said you just watched him. No, he's not in a boot.
*Q: Not at all, even when he's outside of practice? *A: Well, he may be. But he wasn't today. It really doesn't matter, does it?
*Q: Do you think Eli feels like he has something to prove getting back on the field? *A: I don't know. That's probably a better question for him. All I know is he's been a pro all the way through this. He has tried to help Daniel when he was the starter. Now he's trying to do his very best to be a starter for us and win a game.
*Q: How differently do you operate at practice with him? Do you work on different routes, because obviously Daniel pushes the ball down the field a little more, Eli has different strengths and weaknesses?
*A: No, I think practice settings are exactly the same. You're trying to get the same thing out of each practice, regardless of who the quarterback is. You're trying to do the things that you do well, and do the things that will affect and attack the defense you're facing. It's exactly the same.
*Q: You talk a lot about how tough Daniel is and how much he wants to play. How tough has this week been for him? Has he been trying to lobby to play or anything like that? *A: Well, he feels a little bit caged up, quite frankly. He's frustrated that he can't. But that's the way it goes. We all know players get injured at times, and they have to fight their way back. The one thing I like about his demeanor is he's frustrated, wants to play and doing everything in his power. We get here very similar time, in the 5 o'clock hour, and he's getting treatment. He's doing everything he can to get ready to play, and that's a good thing when you see a guy want it so badly.
*Q: Is it realistic to expect him to play next week? *A: We'll have to see. He didn't practice this week, and we'll just have to see when we come back to practice next Wednesday how much he can do. Then we'll take it from there.
*Q: Are you encouraged by his healing this week and progress? *A: Yeah, absolutely. I'm no judge as to how far he should be, but he's making progress.
*Q: How do you think Julian Love handled the start last week and moving forward? *A: He did a terrific job. He's got a real good feel. Some people have a feel for things and some people don't. He's one of those guys that has a feel for it, and I think it helped him in his first start.
*Q: You've been around this for a long time at many levels. When a team gets to a point this late in the season and the playoffs are not a carrot, what do you look for in terms of… I know (Defensive Coordinator) James Bettcher addressed it yesterday a little bit, about how guys were pretty fired up at practice. Just what do guys have to play for?
*A: Well, playing and coaching is what we do. It just happens to be our profession, but it's our passion. In our situation, we have so many young players that they really don't know what the situation is. They're just out there playing. I think that's a good thing. That's why I think we'll continue to improve. We need to get some wins down the road here.
*Q: What do you expect Monday to be like emotionally for Eli? It's a little bit of a different thing for him. Maybe he didn't think he'd play again this year. *A: Better question for Eli. Listen, he's been able to stay in the moment for many, many years in all situations, and I'm sure he'll be able to do the same thing on Monday night.
*Q: How tough of a season has this been for Evan Engram? It seems like he just can't get on the field consistently. Obviously, it's the same as last year too. *A: Again, a question for him. He's struggling to get on the field. I can't tell you why. I mean, I can tell you what the injuries are, but I can't tell you exactly how he feels. All of the guys want to play.
*Q: You have four games remaining. How much do you look at it as you're also being evaluated here for the future? *A: I think I'm being evaluated every day. I don't segment it into the last four games. That's… so what? We've had things happen and we don't have the win total we want, but we're doing everything in our power to go win this game. That's the reality of it. We fight for each other and we keep going. That's the way it is. We have a quarter of the season left, and we need to go out and perform.
*Q: You expressed optimism about being able to go. How much of a bummer is it that you can't play? *A: It sucks. I was really excited about this week. I felt really good at the beginning of the week, felt really good in my rehab prior to the week. As the week went by, I just wasn't ready. I made some progress but I'm not ready.
*Q: Is there a specific point where you had a setback? *A: No setbacks. Like I said, just not ready. I couldn't really do what I do and not ready.
*A: Is it exploding, is it cutting? What part of that is hard? *A: Yeah.
*Q: Both? Is it straight line running? *A: For what I'm asked to do, it requires a lot of explosiveness and obviously cutting. That was kind of the deciding factor. That's why I wasn't really ready in that aspect.
*Q: Is surgery on the table? *A: No.
*Q: Would it have been extra special to come back with Eli coming back? *A: Personally, that's what hurts the most about not getting out there. I was excited about the opportunity to get back out there with Eli and it sucks.
*Q: You think next week for sure? *A: I'm not going to say for sure. I'm just going to keep working at it and stay the course.
*Q: Has this taken longer than you expected? *A: Yeah, but these injuries are real tricky. From what they told me, the joint and the ligament requires a lot in the foot, so it's a little tricky. Like I said, keep working at it and stay the course.
*Q: Last year was difficult for you, you admitted it was because of the same thing you are going through now. What does that make this at this point? *A: More adversity. I've seen a lot of it, seen enough of it and I'll overcome it.
*Q: How odd is it that you haven't had your big offensive four on the field at the same time? *A: That's something that I have never really seen. Guys get back and then another guy is out. It's just a tough hand we've been dealt for a lot of the season. It's definitely tough.
*Q: Do you think for sure you will be back at some point this season? *A: I'm going to try my best. I was real optimistic about this week and it didn't work out. Like I said, just going to keep staying the course. Keep doing everything I can with the training staff and get back out there whenever I can.
Defensive Line Coach Gary Emanuel
*Q: What's it been like working with Leonard (Williams)? *A: Leonard is a great young man, number one. He works hard, he likes football, he brings a great attitude and a lot of spirit to the team. He brings versatility to the group, so I like him a lot.
*Q: What do you see from him? What are you trying to work with him to try and get his game to that next level? *A: Just like working with everybody, you're trying to improve in all aspects of the game. Working against the run and working to finish to get to the quarterback. He's working hard in those areas. He's a great young man, like I said.
*Q: What do you make of the idea that people say he's still not making those splash plays. He did get a tackle for loss, it was his first of the year. He's not getting the sacks, those tackles for losses. *A: Well, you can't look at players always as numbers. He has been disruptive. He's doing some things against the run and the pass, he's affecting the quarterback, he's making him move off of his spot. He's just missing the sack plays and things like that. But he's having an impact on defense.
*Q: How do you think other guys like B.J. Hill have handled that rotation since he came on? *A: B.J., like the rest of the group, it's a great group of guys, number one. They all handle their roles or whatever's asked of them in the best way they can. B.J.'s doing a good job. He's improving, he's getting better.
*Q: Has Markus (Golden) surprised you at all with the way he's been able to get after the quarterback and be so consistent? *A: That's why Markus is here. Markus came in, had a great year a couple years ago prior to his injury, so we anticipated Markus having the kind of year he's having.
*Q: When you have a rookie like Dexter (Lawrence), when you get to this point of the season, is there anything you as a coach have to do? Usually rookies say it starts to wear on them. They're not used to seasons this long at this level. They're not playing against the same kind of competition in college as consistently. Do you as a coach have to handle them differently? *A: No. Dexter's a fine young man. He comes from a great program. Clemson does a hell of a job. They've been one of the top programs in the country for the last few years. Dexter is well prepared for this. He works extremely hard, he's a fun-loving guy. He's continuing to improve. The big thing with all of the guys, not just Dex, is working on being consistent.
*Q: I'm talking about from a physicality standpoint. Does it start to wear on rookies at this point, especially on the interior? *A: Dex is a fully grown man. Dex is 6-5, whatever he is, 350 pounds, so he's a fully grown man. No, it's not wearing on him.
*Q: Last week against the Packers, you guys didn't record a sack. What do you have to do differently on Monday night to get pressure on (Carson) Wentz? *A: Sacks are hard to come by. Neither team had a sack in the game. Sacks are hard to come by. We just have to improve on the technique, we have to do a better job upfront, we have to have tighter coverage. It all works together. It's like stopping the run. It all works together, the run and the pass.