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Quotes (8/12): Coach Shurmur, Barkley, Hernandez

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Opening Statement: News is getting around. They did further tests on DeAndre Baker’s knee, and it appears like it’s just day-to-day. We’ll see moving forward how much he can do and if we can get him ready to play. That’s all I know about that. Otherwise, I’ll take your questions.

Q: Who hit you?

A: Nobody. I was putting the dog out. She’s a big girl, and she kind of ran between my legs and I just fell.

Q: How much of a relief is it about DeAndre not having a serious injury?

A: It’s a big relief, certainly. He’s been coming along real well, and to know that it’s not serious at this point is good.

Q: You say it’s day-to-day with DeAndre, does that mean it’s a mild sprain?

A: It’s day-to-day. The final evaluation was done while I was on the practice field. So, I’ll get as much of an update here in a couple minutes as anybody.

Q: Do you expect to have any update on when you’re going to have Sam (Beal) back at practice?

A: I have no update. Again, he is day-to-day, too. He’s making progress. As soon as we get him out there (it’ll be good).

Q: What stood out to you from the other night on film about Dexter Lawrence? I know it’s hard to see live, but when you go back and watch it, what stands out?

A: I think for all of those rookies that were in there, it was the first time out. You’re sort of getting the feel for everything. I thought he had some good plays. Certainly, there are some things that he can correct and move forward with. He’ll get some more opportunities here in the next three games.

Q: You said after the game that you wanted to see the first team offensive line on film. When you went back and watched them, what was your opinion? I know it’s only 11 or 12 plays, but for those five guys out there in a game situation for the first time, how did they do?

A: I think the ones, and even the linemen that came in after them, I thought the pass protection the other night was actually very good. That helped contribute to our success throwing the ball. I think there were some areas that, as you got into the core of the game, where we could have run the ball better. I think that’s something that we’ve been trying to improve here.

Q: This is not any type of game situation or second-guessing, but the 3rd and 8 in Eli’s first possession, was that just a straight run?

A: No, it was a draw check pass. It was a two-deep look. We had a favorable look to run the ball, and it didn’t work out. So, if you’re second-guessing, then go ahead.

Q: No, it was more of an explanation. You said he was getting one series, you were hoping (for more).

A: Yeah. You just didn’t want to be… Yeah, I get you.

Q: Do you have any update on the status of Golden Tate’s appeal?

A: We haven’t. Again, we’re waiting just like the rest of the world is. I don’t know. Originally it was reported that it was three days. After I was asked that question, I didn’t… it’s not three days, obviously. I think it can take as long as it needs to. So, I’m not sure.

Q: Different subject. Ryan Connelly. What has he specifically done this summer to earn his way up to getting these types of snaps when (Alec) Ogletree is not in?

A: I think he’s shown us that he belongs on the field. Like any young player, when somebody goes down ahead of you, you get in there and take advantage of the reps you have.

Q: With DeAndre Baker, how big of a step back is it for you to have a rookie, if you have a guy that you were looking to start probably in the first game, if he has to miss a week or two of the season?

A: It’s never good when anybody misses practice time. But we have some time left before the game against Dallas, the opener. We’ll just see where he is. Again, he’s day-to-day. DeAndre is a tough, competitive guy. I anticipate that he’ll be back out there soon.

Q: How’s his progression been so far?

A: He’s been very good. I think he’s progressed extremely well. He had some good plays in the game the other night. We’ll get him out there as soon as we can and keep him going.

Q: What did you say to him after he got called for a pass interference? What did you think of that play in particular?

A: He was tight in coverage, and he was called for it. That’s what happens sometimes.

Q: When you play as tight in coverage as him, that’s his thing, right? Tight man coverage. Do you just have to live with some of those (penalties)?

A: No. You never want pass interference. You want your guys to be up there and be competitive, and that’s part of his charm.

Q: I was just wondering if you said anything among the likes of ‘you don’t have to…’

A: Yeah, ‘Don’t do it.’

Q: Because it looked like he had good coverage. It didn’t look like it was almost necessary in that situation.

A: No. I think you compete. When you have to cover your guy, you cover him as well as you can all over the field. Once in a while, you get PI. You just have to work on not PI’ing.

Q: In the red zone period in practice today, it looked like Daniel Jones had three passes thrown over the middle, to the line and to the corner of the end zone. Were those scripted passes, or were those made off his reads?

A: They were called run/passes. There was one in there where he made an adjustment to the route. I think that’s pretty standard. The way we function is the quarterback is given a base play, and then we give him a couple of the answers to go to. Then he can decide to do that, or he can just leave it the way it is and run with it.

Q: Darius Slayton was back out there. Does he have enough time to still be an impact player for you at the beginning of the season?

A: Absolutely. He’s made good progress. He’s been out there the last couple of days, which is good. We’ll just see where he is with this game moving forward. He’s got plenty of time in my mind.

Q: Jonathan Anderson had a bunch of tackles and a forced fumble in the game. He’s kind of a veteran in there. He played for the Bears a couple years ago. What have you seen from him in terms of that inside linebacker mix?

A: I think he’s pretty steady. He’s actually done a really good job. He’s good with his run fits. He’s actually been pretty good in coverage as well for a bigger guy. We like what he has done.

Q: We’re going to talk to Saquon in a little bit. He didn’t play the other day. I was just wondering, do you feel like you need to see him at all in the preseason? Where do you stand on that, and how important is it for you to get him reps, and at the same time protect him?

A: He’s getting a heck of a lot of reps here in practice. I have a plan moving forward, and I said it with the quarterbacks last time, I’ll let it reveal itself. I think we’ll just have to see. We’ll just have to see as we move forward.

Q: With your quarterback plan, you aren’t revealing it publicly. Do you wait until the night before to tell those guys? Do you tell them in the days leading up? Do you tell them right before a game? How do you handle that?

A: I tell them in a timely fashion. No, but closer to the game. They all need to be ready to play. Typically, I like to play all of them in every game, except maybe the last game where you wouldn’t play the starter. Hopefully we can get all four in the game this week.

Q: Grant Haley was back out there today. He seemed to take a big step forward from last season. Can you talk about his progress?

A: I think he has, really. He’s got very good instincts. I think he’s very competitive. I can say that about a lot of those guys in the secondary. He’s a tough, competitive guy. Guys that compete in practice tend to get better. I think that’s why you’re seeing his improvements.

RB Saquon Barkley

Q: How do you like your view of these preseason games?

A: I am I going to continue to learn from it even though I’m not on the field, I wasn’t on the field last week. I just try to stay as locked in as I can, stay excited, get the sideline pumped, and it’s fun to see a lot of the guys who have worked (hard). Especially the younger guys, and I say younger guys even though they might be older than me, to see how hard they worked to get to this spot, to play their dream, and to see them go out there and play some games and make some plays is awesome.

Q: I saw you run down the sideline into the endzone when (Bennie) Fowler caught that touchdown from Daniel (Jones). How excited were you to see Daniel (Jones) put together that kind of drive and to see Bennie (Fowler) in the spotlight?

A: It’s really dope to see Bennie (Fowler), because Bennie works so hard. It’s funny, (because) I remember them working on that route after practice and just repping it, repping it, and repping it. To see it come all together on the field is really special. But for Daniel, it was his first drive and his first drive to go down there, and to score a touchdown on your first drive, a lot of people can’t say that. I’m just happy for him and I’m happy for the offense. It was the second drive, and to be able to regroup after they scored and to be able to respond, that’s important in football. When a team goes down and scores, you have to be able to go down there and respond quickly and we were able to do that. The whole offense as a whole played really well. We ran the ball really well, the o-line protected well, Daniel threw the ball well, and the wide receivers caught the ball and ran the ball after the catch really well. It was a good drive for the offense and I was excited to get that started right there.

Q: We asked you last week about playing preseason games and you said you want to. Do you need to? Do you feel like you’re ready to go into regular season if you don’t play in these games?

A: That’s a great question. I think everyone’s different. For me personally, this day last year, or yesterday (last year), I strained my hamstring or whatever you want to call it, so I missed the rest of preseason. When I played the first week of the season and played the season last year I didn’t feel like I was out of shape, I didn’t feel like I needed more reps. I think we did a really good job with taking live competitive reps here, even though we don’t tackle to the ground. We have a really great defense that gives me a really good look. Do I think I need it? I think it depends on the player. Every year is different. Am I ready if I have to? Yes, my mindset every week is to prepare to get ready to go out there and compete at a high level for my team, no matter if it’s one snap, two series, one quarter or if I don’t play. If I don’t play, I stay locked in and try to be the leader that I can to keep the energy and the vibes good on the sideline.

Q: Do you need to get hit, do you need to get tackled to the ground? Or do you say, ‘no I’ve been hit enough, I know what it feels like to be hit to the ground?’

A: Yeah, I don’t think anyone needs to be hit. I think if everyone could choose not to get hit until Week 1 they would choose that. But you are right, some people like to get that first contact, (and) like to get that first hit. But for me, I’m the type of player that no matter if it Is preseason, playoffs or the regular season, once that first play goes and I get hit, I’m fine. Sometimes the first play can be a 60-yard touchdown and you’re fine. Just once I get to step on that field, whenever that opportunity is going to be, I’m going to go out there and try to lead and try to play to the best ability I can for my team.

Q: What do you think of the job your new five starting offensive linemen are doing opening holes for you in practice or for Wayne (Gallman) and Paul (Perkins) in the game?

A: I think they are doing an amazing job. We worked really hard in the offseason to try to get our o-line to the best ability that we can, and I think we did a really good job. Those guys, you can tell that they love the game, they are passionate about the game, and that they are competitors. Even when we are in practice, and obviously you guys get to see it in preseason, even though it’s a small couple plays. The way that they are opening holes and the way that they are jelling right now, it’s very important. I feel like it’s going to be the reason why we have a very successful year in the run game. I’m excited to see those guys continue to get better, and I’m excited to get better with those guys, and I know all of the running backs are excited, too.

Q: I know they’ve been running you a little bit more outside as a receiver in practice the last couple of days, and you did that in school. What do you like about that role, and what do you like about being a receiver?

A: I love it. I feel like I am capable of doing that. I work on that in the offseason. I try to be a versatile player, and being a versatile player is someone who can run routes, you’re not just one-dimensional. That’s part of being versatile. I welcome that and I’m excited that they are gaining trust in me. I need to continue to gain their trust, and when the opportunity comes to get out there, (and) most of the time I’ll be matched up with a linebacker or safety— I believe that, especially if it’s man and a route for me to win, I think more times (than not) I am going to win that route. I love the opportunity to gain space and to do whatever it takes to help my team win.

Q: Pat told us he had a plan for you in the preseason. Has he discussed it with you, and can you tell us what it is?

A: We talked over it a little bit after they decided that I am not playing (preseason) Week 1. That’s just for in-house, for the team, and for the conversation to be kept in the locker room.

Q: Do you want to play?

A: Yes. If you know anything about me, or if you ask my teammates, I love the game of football. Any opportunity that you get to play. Every single day we stop, and we mention, especially in the RB group, how big of a blessing it is to come out here and play the sport that you love. I know I talk about that with Paul Perkins—Paul Perkins missed the whole season last year. There is going to come a time where you miss a game, you miss that preseason game, and you miss the grind of the camp. Every opportunity that you get, why not take advantage of it.

Q: What have you learned or admired about Eli (Manning) in the way he has gone about his business with (Daniel) Jones here?

A: He’s Eli. I knew, even when we drafted Daniel Jones, that wasn’t going to change anything for Eli. That’s how Eli is, and that’s what I’ve seen from the first year. I said it a whole bunch of times last year, no matter if we win a game by 50 or if we lose a game by 40, he’s going to be the same guy that’s going to come in with the same mindset every single day, and he’s going to have the same preparation. That’s why he’s a two-time Super Bowl champ, two-time Super Bowl MVP, a future Hall of Famer, and one of the best players to ever play for this franchise. There’s a reason why, and you see that. When Daniel Jones goes out there and does a great job, it’s not like he’s worried. He’s happy for him. At the end of the day, that’s what this league is all about and that’s what we want to be about as a team, (and) a competitive team. You want to have competitive people. Even though you want to be the starter or you want to be number one, you also want to know that if you have to have a back-up come in, whether it’s a right guard, right tackle, or if Wayne (Gallman) has to come in, you know that they are able and are willing to get the job done.

LG Will Hernandez

Q: How was it getting on the field and hitting for the first time the other night?

A: It was great, that’s when football really starts getting fun. All the guys go out there excited, and we get to actually show what we have been working on all offseason. A lot of guys work hard, a lot of guys lift weights, get stronger, faster, bigger, and it’s the first chance you get to go out there and show what you did the whole time.

Q: Was that a holding penalty or no?

A: I’m going to let you watch the tape. I bet you won’t ask me that question after watching it.

Q: As a five-man starting unit, what are you most curious about seeing out of the rest of the preseason games?

A: Honestly, I’m not too curious. I’m very confident in what this offensive line can do. I feel like this offensive line can be really, really good. I’m learning a lot from these guys, these guys come out every day and want to work, want to get after it. They hate to lose and want to win and it’s contagious. Some things kind of take time to develop and some of the chemistry to develop and that just comes with games and snaps. As far as curiosity, I know what we can do. I know we can do a lot and really help out our team.

Q: You were probably pretty confident in the starting five last year, what’s the biggest difference?

A: Well, I have a whole year under my belt, everybody got another year better. Wherever they were, everybody got more experience, more time to see film, more time to do a lot of things and just get better as an individual. When we all come together as five, you can really see the difference. One example was me and Nate, we started off a little slow and then we picked it up the rest of the season, and then we picked up right where we left off once we came back for OTA’s. We have just been building and building off of that. We also have Remmers and Zeitler on the other side, and the center position is just crazy. Both of these guys just come out everyday and work. Coaches are going to have a really hard decision to make. At the end of the day, we have five guys that got better from last year and we are just building off of it.

Q: You talked about how you and Nate had to get on the same page, are Zeitler and Remmers going to have to experience that, too, or no because they are both older?

A: I don’t think so. I think they are going to handle it better than me and Nate did. Especially since they don’t have to deal with a rookie coming in. I think Remmers and Zeitler are on a whole different level, on the same page. From what I’ve seen already, they have been meshing really good together.

Q: What does Zeitler bring to you guys?

A: Zeitler just brings that attitude of, ‘I don’t care how many reps I have to take, but I’m going to get this specific detail right.’ He’s just very detail-oriented, and I think that’s what makes him a great offensive lineman. He pays attention to every single little thing, and it’s contagious, too. Sometimes he’s just working on this one little thing that we talked about in meetings and some of the other guys will be like, ‘Oh, that’s right, we have to do that,’ or ‘Oh, that’s right.’ It’s contagious. He doesn’t care if he has to do a thousand reps of something, but he’s going to get it right, and when it comes down to it, he’s going to execute. Like I said, it passes on to the rest of the offensive line, and it really helps us out, and we learn a lot from him, too.

Q: Everybody says he’s the most focused, all-football guy. Do you ever see him laugh or smile?

A: Oh yeah. I’m just saying that when it comes to football, that’s how he is, but outside of football, too, awesome guy. Really cool to hang out with, he’s funny, and he’s just a really good teammate.

Q: Are you guys giving Saquon dreams of taking the preseason off?

A: (Laughter) No, we miss him out there, but we understand. Either way, we’re going to go out there and do our job no matter who’s back there. We know that when the time comes down to it, he’s going to be there, and he’s going to be 100 percent.

Q: Do you need to see him behind you, or are you just blocking away and it doesn’t make a difference if he’s playing?

A: No, we come out there and we block the way we block no matter who’s back there. We always come out and we give it our all, it doesn’t matter what back we’ve got back there. Obviously, Saquon makes things a little bit easier sometimes, but we come out there, same mentality, same focus.

Q: It’s only your second year in the NFL, but how much of a problem is Dexter Lawrence going to be for offensive linemen?

A: Yeah, definitely a great pick. He came out there from day one, he came out and worked hard, and showed exactly why he was picked where he was picked, and I’m excited to have him on our team. He gets the offensive line better, he’s getting his fellow D-linemen better, and I feel he’s really going to be a problem for teams this season.

Q: Any update from El Paso?

A: There’s been a lot of little gatherings that they’ve had. They had a few of them at the Cielo Vista Mall itself, and people are just showing respect, paying respects to all those families that were lost, all those people that were lost, families out there, friends. That’s mainly what that culture is all about, it’s all about respect and honoring, and that’s what they’re doing now, and I know they’re going to rally, and they’ll be fine.

Q: What did it mean for you guys to see Daniel Jones have such success?

A: It was awesome to see him go out there and execute the way he did. I told the media before, he didn’t seem like a rookie quarterback to me. He came out there sure of himself, handled the huddle really well, was loud, projected everything he wanted to say the whole play. Usually when we’ve had guys go in there, they kind of mumble the play a little here and there, and he came out and didn’t have any of those issues, and he came out and executed and did exactly what he needed to do. So, I’m very excited to have him as a teammate, great guy.Obviously, a great quarterback.

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