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Quotes (8/14): Shurmur, Gallman, Riley, Engram, Barwin, Ogletree

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Q: Things went according to script out there with the whole practice?

A: I thought it was a very competitive practice. We keep telling them, and Matt (Patricia) and I are on the same page, if you compete and stay on your feet, then we can get a lot done. I felt like the competition was terrific, those extended drives were really good. There’s a level of conditioning to that, I think that’s important, and it was good. We’re in training camp mode and our ones, our twos, and our threes got a lot of good work against a good opponent.   

Q: (Can you give us) an update on Saquon (Barkley)?

A: Yeah, the same as yesterday. He just tweaked his hamstring. (It’s) day to day, we’ll just see where he’s at, but really nothing to add from yesterday. Nothing serious, I think. Just day to day.  

Q: Nothing serious?

A: Tweak.

Q: When he tweaks it yesterday and it’s somewhat minor, obviously you’d be cautious with a preseason game coming up Friday. What’s the head coach thinking?

A: I think it’s day to day. Certainly, player safety is right on the front burner for all of us all the time, so if he’s able to go, he’ll play; if he’s not, then he won’t be out there. 

Q: How important do you view it for a rookie running back to get significant playing time in the preseason? What are the benefits?

A: I think it’s important that guys can play and certainly if they’re healthy, they will play. If they can’t get out there, then we’ll get them out there soon as we can.

Q: Odell (Beckham) did the one-on-one drill today, which I don’t think he was doing when it was just you guys versus you guys. What went into having him do those today?

A: He was out there practicing today. It’s good you guys are charting the reps for me, I’ll take that information if you want.

Q: What did you think of how he performed, first-glimpse?

A: He did great. You’ve watched him all summer here, competing at practice. If you create the same setting, it’s just against a different team, then you’re just out there practicing, and that’s what he did.

Q: We’ve seen (Odell) back there at practice preparing punts a lot. Is that something you’d do in a game with him?

A: He’s very good at it. He can return punts and kicks, so he’s practicing in the event that we would use him.  

Q: How close or far is Connor Barwin?

A: It’s hard to say. He’s day to day as well, so we’ll just have to see. 

Q: Being close to home for you this week, what are some of the things you plan on doing?

A: Not much, really. My mom lives very close, I’ve got a brother that lives close, so we’ll find a way to share a meal. Maybe we’ll get her out here to practice tomorrow. Got a couple of aunts I want to see. Aside from that, we’re really in training camp and just because practice is over now, we’ve got hours of meetings to go through and we want to go back and watch all the stuff we did today and make corrections and come out tomorrow.

Q: It looks like you met with Bob Quinn a little bit before practice. Is that the first time you spoke with him since you interviewed for the job here?

A: No, I’ve spoken to him throughout the offseason. I’ve known Bob a long time, and certainly through the interviewing process, we met extensively, but no, just normal conversation.

Q: What was that experience like when you were interviewing here with the Lions?

A: I enjoyed it. I felt like if it had worked out here, I would have been excited about the opportunity. I certainly feel great about where I’m at, I couldn’t be in a better place. I pinch myself every day being the head coach of the Giants. Having played against them for all those years in the NFC East, it’s just a proud franchise that I’m just honored to be their coach.

Q: Has Kyle Lauletta impressed you at all, has he earned maybe some more looks, some more reps?

A: He’s done a good job and he’s consistently improved, like you see from a rookie that you have high hopes for, and you saw today he made some throws. This will sound cliché, but it’s important for quarterbacks to get completions, and he finds a way to do that, so that’s why we’ll just see if he can keep it going.

Q: Will the structure be similar tomorrow to today?

A: Yeah, we’ll work on different situational drills, but it will feel the same in terms of length of practice and what we’re trying to get done.

Q: What did you think of the two-minute drill with Eli (Manning)?

A: He moved the ball down the field, and the safety had a good play on the ball. To that point, we’re making good throws and the connection is good. There’s a lot to be hopeful for.

Q: You have monitored his workload, (Eli) looked like he was fresh out there today.

A: I thought he was throwing the ball well. He was getting completions.

Q: Is Curtis (Riley) starting to separate himself at free safety?

A: It’s hard to say. I was on our offensive field all day today, so I’ve got to really go back and grind on what our defense did today. I got reports that he did well. That’s the downside for the head coach. You’re only seeing half the team until that last long period when you’re doing the extended drives. But, he’s playing well, he was playing well prior to his hamstring deal, and now he’s getting back out there.

Q: Wayne Gallman has been given an opportunity with Saquon out, what do you like from him?

A: I think he’s another guy I didn’t know much about him, even though there were reps a year ago. I’m gaining an appreciation for what he is as a runner, a pass catcher, and a blocker. Any of these young players that can get more reps than we had originally scheduled for them, that’s a blessing for those guys because they have the opportunity to show us more of what they can do, and improve. When you’re young and fresh-legged, you have an opportunity to….

Q: It seems like the players are enjoying the sort of flexibility and creativity here on the offense. Are you able to share what kind of feedback Eli (Manning) has given you specifically on that?

A: No, again, we’re learning to work together. There’s lots of different plays. It’s important that we run the ones that make sense for us, and certainly the ones that Eli feels comfortable with. It’s fun to watch him, you want to be in sequence mentally, you almost want him to be able to finish your sentence, that’s why it’s so important that we train.

Running Back Wayne Gallman Jr.

Q: How did the offense look today?

A: I think the offense did really well today. In terms of the line to the receivers, to the backs all getting the job done, I think we did a good job.

Q: Is this a big test for you guys, going up against a new look?

A: We didn’t know what to determine with all the fighting that you hear on the outside. I think today went really well.

Q: It seemed to be very business-like today?

A: Yea, everybody on the field was about their business, everyone was just doing their job, no one was trying to distract each other. Everyone was just sticking to what they were doing and getting the job done.

Q: Are you a much better receiver than you were last year?

A: I think I am, in terms of confidence and knowing what the quarterbacks want.

Q: You put in a lot of work in that area in the off-season?

A: I put in a lot of work in everything

Q: Is there a lot of concern over Saquon?

A: No concern, that’s my guy. You don’t get drafted number two for no reason, that’s my boy and we are going to work together.

Q: With his hamstring, do you get a sense for how he is feeling?

A: From all I know, Saquon is feeling good, he’s just doing protocol right now, you know just trying to get it right.

Q: You didn’t get much time to play with Odell last year, just curious what your thoughts are on how he looks?

A: He always looks good. Even when I came to training camp last year, just seeing him out there and from what I saw on TV in college, it’s crazy what he can do.

Q: What kind of dimension does that add to this offense?

A: I think it adds a big dimension. You have Eli on the field, you have to be aware of the pass because he can throw. You have receivers like Odell and Shep, and you have backs in the backfield who are capable of doing whatever we can. I think we have a pretty balanced offense.

Q: Did Eli look especially sharp today?

A: Yea, he’s been looking like that since the off-season started. He went right to work just like everyone else, and he’s ready for a better ear than he had last year.

Safety Curtis Riley

Re: new rules regarding tackling

A: In a game situation, with the new rules and stuff, I have to lower my target and make sure I’m hitting the right spot.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: Oh yeah, definitely, big collision.

Q: Was it the same situation when 19 had the post there? It looked like you were ready to make a hit if you were in a real game?

A: I can’t even remember that play, I can’t remember off the top of my head.

Q: There was nothing close to anything like fights or altercations, were there?

A: Oh no. Both teams came out here, we had our mind set that we were going to go to work, put all of that stuff aside and just had another practice.

Q: How do you hold onto this starting job now that you’ve had it for two days in a row?

A: I just have to keep doing things consistently, doing everything that I’m doing right now. Have to make sure I’m making all the right calls, can’t go out there having any of these technical errors and stuff like that. Just have to be consistent, that’s the main thing.

Q: How big of a test do you think Friday night will be for you in terms of that stuff?

A: I just have to come into it as a practice, same as practice. Everything I do in practice is translated into the game. It makes the game easier if I’m doing all the right things in practice.

Q: (Speak about) your relationship with Landon Collins and the D-Backs and how you learn from them, from the veterans?

A: Me and Landon (Collins), we’re building a relationship because we’re the ones out there right now. We’re trying to build a chemistry together so I know what he’s doing, I know how he sees things, he knows how I see things. We’re trying to make sure we’re on the same page with everything.

TE Evan Engram

Q: What was it like out there today practicing against Detroit?

A: It was a little different, definitely. Different guys you’re competing with, different techniques, different DBs, D ends, they’re all the same, same press coverage, same big strong defensive ends and stuff. It was definitely fun, we got some good work in and had some good periods. Having that different personnel is a good thing. It was a good practice, really positive.

Q: It seems like the offense was sharp. The ball wasn’t on the ground very much.

A: Yeah. We had a couple good really good periods. That two-minute period we had, we were moving the ball, making big plays. We just had that one pick that we’ve got to fix, but other than that, we had a really (constructive) day. Had some good one on ones, had a good seven on seven period, and all groups – ones, twos, and threes – were able to run the ball really effectively too. It was a good day offensively. Hopefully we just keep building and keep improving and find our little mistakes today and correct tose. 

Q: Offense can look a little different when Odell is taking over full reps. (How does that help you?)

A: Oh yeah. Definitely. He’s a really dynamic player, and he’s one of the best receivers in the league, so obviously having him out there and making those big plays especially in crucial moments like that two-minute drill, it’s good to have. Definitely a big help for us.

Q: Do you think that was an early whistle (on that ball) that was thrown across the middle?

A: The one I had?

Q: No, the one Odell had.

A: Oh yeah. In game, that would’ve been a bigger gain than it already was.

Q: Saquon wasn’t out there today, but what does he bring when he is there? What have you seen from him in this short time so far? 

A: Just a guy who’s ready to come in and make an impact. He’s ready to learn. He’s picking up on everything real fast, and he’s just another dynamic playmaker that could break a play for 60. He’s a breakout big-play player that’s going to help us a lot having his presence with us out there. 

Q: It feels like the whole field is in play. You can run the seam, you’ve got the outside and inside receivers, you’ve got the running game now. Could this be one of the best playmaking units? 

A: That’s what we’re working for. Definitely. It’s not going to just happen, we’ve got to put the work in, we’ve got to put everything together, all positions have to be on point and just keep working each and every day and put it all together. We have the potential, we have the personnel. We’ve just got to put it together, put the work in, and make the big plays when the opportunity is there. 

Q: How do you like the joint practices as far as competition level, being able to build towards the game Friday?

A: I like it. Not even thinking about the game, just today having those one on ones against those safeties and seeing kind of different techniques. You practice against our defense, I’m in the same defense for a couple weeks, they start learning your releases and learning and kind of getting a grip on things you like to do, so having that different personnel, being able to work on certain things and things that they haven’t seen was really good for me. I like it, it’s definitely going to be fun on Friday when we put it all together.  

Q: Did you have any impressions of any of the defensive backs or linebackers you went against?

A: 32 (Tavon Wilson). I saw him a couple times today. I was really excited to be with him. We played against them last year, and he was really good in cover, so we went at it a couple times today and he had some good defense, and gave me some good looks and stuff, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow and going against him and a couple of those linebackers in different settings. 

Q: There’s lots of talk about Odell versus (CB Darius Slay). Did Odell seem more geared up to go against Slay in practice today? Did you notice that as his teammate? 

A: I mean, that’s him every day. He wants to come out here and work every day. He knows Slay’s a good cornerback, one of the best in the league, and he’s going to come and bring it, but that’s just part of getting better each and every day, coming out here against good competition, and he’s definitely some of the best competition. Odell was definitely excited about getting up here and practicing against Slay for sure.

Q: What about Slay’s game stands out to you?

A: He has really good hips. Just seeing him on film, he can play on top of guys then if guys are trying to break and come back to the ball, he’s able to shift gears really quickly and stay on the receiver’s hip. Definitely got to use speed against him, but his hops and changing direction is really impressive. It makes it harder for receivers, for sure.

Linebacker Connor Barwin

Q: How close are you to returning to the field?

A: It’ll probably day-to-day. Just giving me a little bit of a rest here after a big couple weeks of camp.

Q: Is part of that due to the offseason?

A: It might be, I don’t know. I’m not going to overanalyze things. A little sore, and (Head Coach Pat Shurmur) Shurm was good with me getting some rest. We thought it was best to make sure I’m as good as can be when the season starts.

Q: Would you categorize this as an injury, or just soreness?

A: No, I wouldn’t say that (it’s an injury).

Q: Is it special for you to be back in this area?

A: I can see a little family while I’m back. Other than that, it’s still training camp. I’m focused on football and getting ready for the season. But, of course, I grew up here and I’ve never been to the Lions facility. So, it’s cool for me to see the facility. And again, I get to see a little bit of family with the few hours we have left.

Q: What kind of family do you still have out here?

A: My immediate family is all gone. But, my wife’s family is here.

Q: Do you get to see the defense from a different perspective being on the sideline?

A: Yeah, I’m going to learn no matter what I’m doing – whether I’m in there practicing, or if I’m watching the younger guys and seeing how I can help them. But also for me, I’m still learning the defense. I just sit back and watch practice, and still learning how the whole system works and learning about the defense.

Q: What have you learned about the defense so far?

A: For me on the outside, we do a couple things differently than I’ve done in the past – and I kind of knew that coming in. Then, we do a lot of things that I’ve done too. So, it’s a nice fit. I’m familiar with a lot of it, but it’s nice to be able to be asked to do something new. It’s kind of fun to have that.

Q: What are some of the things you’ve stressed to the younger guys after practice?

A: I’ve been fortunate to learn from some really great coaches. I’ve had (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) early in my career that taught me a lot. I had (Jets Linebacker Coach and Hall of Fame Defensive End) Kevin Greene who taught me a lot. And then (Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern) Govs is here. Really, I’m just trying to share with what I’ve learned over my career. I think I had older guys when I was young teach me and help me. I just understood that there’s a difference between hearing it from a coach, and hearing it from a player. I try to help where I can and show them what I’ve learned and what I’ve had success with. The young guys have been really receptive, which is good. It’s a good sign.

Q: Who are some of the players who have influenced you in your playing career, as you were coming up the ranks?

A: (Former Texans Defensive Tackle) Antonio Smith, which is probably one of the biggest. I played with him in Houston. He was a defensive tackle. He was just a great, great teammate. Really one of the best I had, and really a great football player – unselfish, was great at rushing the passer. He was really great at – he understood the idea of how a whole defensive line works together. Me and him had a great couple of years playing together early on when I was in Houston.

Q: How much potential does a young pass rusher like LB Lorenzo Carter have?

A: The sky is the limit for him right now. He’s still young, he’s got a lot to learn. I try to remember what it was like my rookie year. A lot of times, he’s playing everything cool like he’s got it. But, I know what it was like being there before. He’s got a lot to learn, a lot to grow. He’s got all the tools. Like I’ve said before to you guys, he can run, he’s fast, he’s got natural kind of instincts when he gets to the top. So, I’m excited for him.

Q: (Inaudible) What is the value of creating different looks along the defensive front when game planning against opponents?

A: Yeah, a 5-2, a 3-4, 6-2. It’s why I like playing in 3-4, because usually it’s kind of a mix. Obviously in a pass down, we can do a four-down front. (Inaudible). But on first and second down, and sometimes on third down, you can show them three or five down. I think it gives the tackles or the quarterback different looks that they have to pay attention to. Sometimes, they mess up their counts, and it can really be advantageous for the guys up front.

ILB Alec Ogletree

Q: You were very business-like out there. None of that extra-curricular stuff or anything?

A: No, I thought we had a good day of practice. You got two teams that seem to know how to practice together and to be able to do that (inaudible) so we didn’t have any extra stuff going on.

Q: Is there a little more jacked up intensity though going against another team instead of your own guys?

A: Yeah, the competiveness definitely gets going a little bit more, but I thought both teams had a good day, hard work and we’re hoping to do the same thing tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to it.

Q: What have you learned about this defense in these live settings, in the preseason game and now here?

A: Most of it is just working on communication and from the DC (Defensive Coordinator) to me relaying it to the players and vice versa. When you get into a live situation you tend to find out what you need to work on and stuff like that. I feel like mostly the work that we got out of it was pretty much good communication, as far as the defense goes.

Q: How’s Curtis Riley doing with the communication right now?

A: He’s doing well. Like I said, there’s a lot of communication that goes on in this defense. Linebackers are talking to the safeties and safeties are talking to the linebackers and vice versa. It works hand and hand, all the safeties are doing well. In particular, Curtis is doing really well.

Q: When you look in front of you, it’s not always a 3-4. How does that work for you guys figuring out the responsibilities?

A: We’re a 3-4 team, that’s our base defense, a 3-4. We go to sub and now you have four d-linemen instead of all five guys down on the line. It varies in the personnel the offense gives us and the type of defense we want to play. It takes a lot of communication knowing which personnel is on the field and what kind of plays you want to call.

Q: The Giants have been mostly a 4-3 team in the past. Whether it’s 3-4 or 2-5, you guys are doing a lot more things. Does that throw an additional curveball at the offense? Is that the idea behind changing all the time?

A: It varies, like you said. Just depends on the personnel they give us and for us it’s just which guys you feel comfortable putting on the field to go against us. It definitely helps us as far as the change up, for sure.

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