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Quotes (8/13): Shurmur, Shepard, Apple

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Opening Remarks: Training Camp Monday. We’re going to get on a plane here this evening to go to Detroit, and then start working with them tomorrow for the week. With that, I’ll answer your questions. 

Q: With your experience within that division, what matchup of the Lions are you excited for your team to compete against? 

A: I’m just looking forward to our guys to compete against new faces, new schemes. It kind of freshens things up. I’ve said this before, but Matt (Patricia) and I have organized these practices before, so we have kind of a set of guidelines that we want our guys to follow, but just looking forward to playing against new faces in a new scheme.   

Q: Maybe you saw or heard what happened with the Jets and the Redskins yesterday, brawls can happen in these things. How do you protect against that?

A: We want our guys to be smart, we want our guys to compete, be smart, we want to stay off the ground, we want to eliminate all that chatter and just keep it encouraging. That’s part of being of being a pro is being able to practice not only with your team but with other teams, and so I understand competitive spirit. Those are two teams and that’s their experience. We’re going to try to guard against it.

Q: Do you look at how your team acts the next few days as a reflection of you in a lot of ways? 

A: Well, I think it’s important that you need to learn how to compete and compete at a very high level, but I think it’s always important to keep your composure. Part of what makes these guys special is they really look forward to the physical part of what this game is all about, and every once in a while, things heat up. Really, we were going against one another today, and those were just squabbles. Those weren’t fights, just squabbles. 

Q: What happened to Saquon on the long catch? I think he had his leg wrapped. 

A: I don’t know. We’ll see. I think he’s alright, but we’ll find out.

Q: Is there a lot of value in practicing against another team? Do you get things out of it you can’t get [here]?

A: I think so. I think when we do training camp here, we really don’t change our environment like some years or some teams that go away. So this is a good event for us also to be a team away for a few days. There’s some esprit de corps to that, some bonding, so we’ll take advantage of that and then, again, it’s new players against a new scheme, we’ll just try to do what we can to make sure we get work and don’t have those flare ups.

Q: What’s your plan for Odell (Beckham) in that kind of setting? You said he didn’t play the other day because (he is coming off) of injury, so does that stretch into these practices too?

A: I’m just going to continue, I know it’s probably getting old for you to hear my answer, but I’m just going to try to be smart with Odell as he comes back. You see him out here and what he can do in practice, I just want to be smart in all conditions as we lead up to the season.

Q: Are you able to do more in a joint practice because there isn’t film that will get out to the rest of the league?

A: Well, it doesn’t get out to the rest of the league. That’s part of our internal mandates, we keep it amongst ourselves. We have a list of guidelines that we go by and so we’re not really worried about that. This is more about techniques and fundamentals than it is trying to, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, beat the Lions. We’re looking to try and get better, we’re looking for the Giants to get better, competing against another opponent. 

Q: You gave Davis (Webb) and Kyle (Lauletta) some first-team reps today. Is that just to let them get a feel for it?

A: I think so. We kind of backed off on Eli (Manning) just a little bit. He’s taken a few snaps in his lifetime, so that’s all that was. There’s a double-edged sword to that. By doing that, it allowed us to get those guys bumped up and get more reps, and that’s what we were trying to do. 

Q: How important is it to get Davis his first team reps here, even in the next couple days in that kind of setting? Is it something you feel like you need to do?

A: I think it’s important as the guys play, as backup players play in the first unit, it helps. I think it’s important as a quarterback, though, to complete your passes. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with or who you’re playing behind. 

Q: Who’s running your defense at practice with James (Bettcher) not being here?

A: They’re doing it as a group. Each guy has their section of things, and then you saw that Lou Anarumo was calling in the plays.

Q: It looks like you got (Curtis) Riley and (William) Gay back the last couple of days. Even though they’re experienced veterans, does the sense of urgency pick up for them to get in these preseason games to show you what they can do?

A: I think regardless of how old you are as a player, if you’re on the 90, they all have a high sense of urgency, and I think the fact that our guys are fighting back from those nagging little injuries is a good thing, and we’re glad to have them back out there.

Q: It seems every year Mark Herzlich comes to training camp, we all wonder can he make the team? What does he bring to [this team]?

A: He’s a steady performer. He’s all in on everything that we do. He’s out here, he competes, every rep he gets, he goes a million miles an hour. Obviously what he’s been through in his life is somewhat of an inspiration to us, and he’s just a really good football player.

Q: You’ve got two running backs in Robert (Martin) and (Jalen) Simmons. What do you like about the way they’re competing?

A: Yeah. I think they’re good, physical runners, and that’s where it starts for them. They know how to run the football and we saw the other night that given a little room, they can make yards, so I think that’s where it starts for them. They’re both getting much better at pass protection, and I think they’re both doing a much better job of catching the football. So, their total game is getting better, but really for those guys, it starts as being runners.

Q: Would Thursday normally be a walk-thru if you were not with another team, and will you actually practice with them that day?

A: Yeah, it’s going to be two-third speed stuff. It’s not going to be (full speed). There’ll be some periods in there that might be full speed, but, again, our players are playing a partial game, and so I still think it’s important to remember we’re in training camp.

Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Opening Remarks: She’s (Shepard’s newborn daughter Cali) doing good. We just got to take her home yesterday, she’s good, getting used to her room and everything, getting used to the surroundings. Everything has been good so far.

Q: Is she walking yet?

A: Not quite, not quite, we’re getting there.

Q: What was it like for you? Kind of take us through it when you found out it was happening. What were your emotions at that time?

A: I was thinking it was going to happen on that game day but we woke up the next morning, she (Shepard’s wife Chanel) stood up, her water broke, and we went right to the hospital. She did great, I was there every step of the way. It was pretty graphic, but it was good. She did a great job. Our moms were there, our families were there, everything went perfect.

Q: That’s some pretty good timing, right? You’ve kind of had two days there. Well, you probably missed a little bit on Friday, but Saturday you were off anyway, right?

A: Yeah, they didn’t do much on Friday either, so it was perfect timing. She’s a very considerate baby, she came out right on time. It was nine days earlier than what it was supposed to be.

Q: Were you going to go to Detroit?

A: I wasn’t going to go there, wasn’t going to go to Detroit for the first few days. But like I said, she came out a little bit early for us.

Q: What’s her full name?

A: Cali Clay Shepard, so we share the same middle name. That’s what we came up with.

Q: You’ve played in big games, a lot of pressure, what was it like dealing with all that?

A: It was a little bit more intense. You kind of have an idea of what you’re going into on game day. There, you have no idea what’s going to happen or what could happen, so the nerves are kicking a little bit more. Like I said, I was on the side of the bed with her the whole time, I even caught myself pushing when the doctor was saying, ‘Push!’ and she was like, ‘What are you pushing for?’, but I was helping her out and she did a great job.

Q: Did experienced dad Saquon Barkley give you any tips yet?

A: No, he didn’t give me any tips. He’s a brand new dad just like me so we’re trying to figure it out together. Eli (Manning) and them, they’ve been helping me out, all the older guys, Zak DeOssie.

Q: This was Friday?

A: Yeah, Friday.

Q: When you say they’ve been helping you out, what kind of advice (have they been giving you)?

A: Just advice. From breast feeding to having to be up and helping the wife out when you get home, you don’t really know what she’s going through throughout the day so when you get home, help her out a bit so she can have some time to herself and things like that.

Q: Start the college fund, too?

A: Yeah, we started that.

Q: It’s a little different. Most new fathers, they might be at home for three or four days, you have to go right back at your job. Do you have any qualms about that?

A: Yeah, I mean, it’s tough, especially when she’s a newborn, she just came out so you want to be there with her but you also have to provide for her – that’s another thing that a father has to do, so I’m here with the team and all my time is invested into that and that’s what I’m focused on when I get into the building.

Q: Are you looking to have a few reps with Odell (Beckham) during the preseason? He didn’t play the first game, is it a big deal? Are you looking forward to maybe getting out there with him for the first time?

A: Yeah, I mean, I get enough reps with him at practice. I have no idea what’s going on with that. Whatever happens, happens, but I get enough snaps with him.

Q: How much are you looking forward to going against another team out there in Detroit?

A: Yeah, I got to play a few snaps the other night, kind of got to get my feet wet. I’m looking forward to maybe playing a little bit more this game, it’s always good when you get to go against a guy in a different jersey.

Cornerback Eli Apple

Q: What are you looking forward to with these practices with another team?

A: Working on technique, getting better and working on communication with my guys.

Q: How do you treat it since you are going up against another team’s receivers?

A: Just working on your technique, hand placement, eye control, all that.

Q: Does it benefit you to go against guys you don’t know well?

A: Its always good to go against other receivers because they can give you something different. You are going to get that during the season, so you want to take full advantage of that.

Q: We have seen teams all around the league do this and there are fights and altercations. How does that not happen, and do you expect it to happen?

A: Stay disciplined, stay within your technique and understand you have to be disciplined out there and under control. Get together with your guys and don’t do anything extra.

Q: Has coach discussed fighting with you guys, what is the message?

A: No fighting, no talking. It’s all about technique and communication with your guys and trying to get better.

Q: You have to trust that the other guys got that message?

A: Everybody got it.

Q: You have to trust that the Lions received that message, too?

A: We aren’t worried about them, we are just worried about ourselves. We can only control us.

Q: You have gone against Odell in camp the last two years. How does this year compare? Is he the same?

A: Yeah, he’s still O, still the same guy. He’s still fast. If anything, he might have gotten faster, I think. I think he’s going to have a great season.

Q: Looks like things got heated today and you were trying to play peacemaker, is that a usual role for you?

A: Yeah, I’m always trying to get in between things and calm stuff down. Just have to keep doing that and hopefully keep things under control.

Q: Are you a good peacemaker?

A: I think I did a good job just easing things up. Talking to them in a calm manner.

Q: One of the things the Browns did well was that back shoulder throw. Is there a way to defend that?

A: Sometimes a great throw can beat really good coverage, but I think if you feel it out and anticipate it a little bit better, you can play it better.

Q: When you see the injuries to the players behind you, does that put more on you and Janoris?

A: Not really, we are still getting the same reps and trying to take advantage of our opportunities.

Q: Is this a good break from training camp?

A: It’s not a break. We are all gassed, we are going, it’s a different scene, but it’s not a break at all.

Q: When you say gassed, is that mindset you guys have had during camp, is that a point of emphasis?

A: We are just trying to get better every day.

Q: When you practice, is the mindset more like a game or a practice?

A: Today felt like a game honestly. It was a good practice, I think. A lot of guys got better today.

Q: What about when you go against the Lions, will that feel like a game?

A: Definitely, it’s going to be intense.

Q: Do anything for your birthday?

A: Nothing. Just went back home, got some presents and that’s about it.

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