Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: Alright, day two here. Competitive. You could tell the guys were grinding through that, but again, we didn’t have any injuries to speak of, a couple nagging things I’m sure, but for the most part I was proud of the professionalism that our guys showed. It gets a little chippy sometimes. Detroit did a great job and I think because we set the ground rules for this thing at least until this point, really both teams have gotten a lot of really good work. I think that’s part of being a pro, is being able to do things in different settings and get a lot out of it. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: What do you think of the training camp Janoris Jenkins has had?
A: I don’t know about the training camp, but I think he’s competed well. He’s an outstanding football player and he’s so competitive. It’s hard for him not to become one of your favorite guys because he’s tough, he’s competitive, he loves to compete, and I just think he’s a really good player.
Q: It seems like he was barely targeted in these two days. How much of an impact does having your corner kind of just lock down like that (have)?
A: I wouldn’t read too much into that in practice. Those matchups, who gets thrown at and who doesn’t get thrown at, that happens more in games. He’s on the left side of the offense most of the time, and sometimes offenses become right-handed. I would guess that Detroit wasn’t working matchups, they were working schemes and trying to see what their players could do.
Q: From our perspective, a lot of passes were caught against Eli Apple, and then he makes an interception here today. What do you take from that?
A: Again, I think it’s competitive. There’s times when you compete all the way to the end, and when you’re competing and you’re out there one on one, every once in a while you’re going to give up a play. But for him to make a game-changing play like he did in a most critical situation is good.
Q: How valuable was it to see a guy like Odell (Beckham) go up against Darius Slay, who’s an all-pro? Kind of two of the greats on the field together.
A: Again, I think they approach their work the right way. You’re right – Darius is an outstanding player. I got to see him way too much the last few years, and for him and Odell to be able to compete against one another, it says a lot about their makeup.
Q: What goes into your decision to have injured players still out there in uniform watching and staying around the team? Not every team does that.
A: I think what’s important about practice is we talk often about mental reps, and just because you don’t get the rep doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for seeing what happened and try to visualize what you’d do if you were out there, so there’s plenty time in a day. As long as they can defend themselves and it’s not a lower leg injury of some sort or something where they need immediate attention, I think it’s important for them to be out there.
Q: How far do those guys fall behind, some of the guys who haven’t been out there for a week or so in actual practices?
A: Well, it’s always better to be there. To varying degrees, I would imagine, if you’re not there. But guys that are there, whether they’re playing or not, they’re having a chance to improve.
Q: How close are Donte Deayon and Darian Thompson to getting back on the field?
A: I’m loving saying this to you - day to day. I don’t know.
Q: Are they making progress?
A: Oh yeah, they’re making progress. For sure.
Q: Because Deayon, it’s kind of been almost two weeks.
A: Again, it’s hard to say. That’s a line now – it’s hard to say, but he’s day to day.
Q: You put Davis (Webb) into the two-minute drill with the starters. (Inaudible – maybe, What are the benefits of that?)
A: He did some good things in that drill, and there’s a lot to be learned from those uncontrolled settings. Matt (Patricia) and I both – (Matthew) Stafford didn’t do it, and Eli (Manning) didn’t do it – we were both trying to use this opportunity for our backups to get reps.
Q: At the start of practice before stretching, Saquon (Barkley) was standing there on his bad leg dribbling a soccer ball. Are you confident it’s a minor injury? The way he’s acting, he does not look worried, but can you say it’s minor?
A: I didn’t see that. I didn’t see what you’re saying. He’s day to day, and he’s working his way back. He tweaked it, and yeah, I’m confident he’ll be back.
Q: Some of the bigger picture questions – how much input do you have on the defense? Obviously you’re an offensive guy, but how much input do you have on that day to day?
A: I’m involved. I watch it and I have ideas about how we should approach things and whether we’re playing man or zone or pressuring, so I have those conversations with James (Bettcher). I do trust the coordinators, though. I really do. I trust James, I trust Mike (Shula). Mike called all the stuff while we were here so I could kind of keep a top-down view of things, and I trust our guys. I have input as to how I see things, but I trust them to implement what we want to do.
Q: What will you do tomorrow?
A: We’re going to come in tomorrow. It (won’t be) very competitive, but we’re just going to work together and it’ll be a practice setting where we just kind of work through situations.
Q: Back to Davis (Webb) for a second. You didn’t see it much today, but when he’s missed yesterday or even in a preseason game, it’s usually been high. Is there anything you’re working on with him? I know you were a quarterback coach. Is there something other than being amped that you’re working on him with in that regard?
A: Yeah, there’s fundamentals tied to throwing the ball high and we keep working on correcting them.
Q: When was the last time you had your mom present for practice?
A: It’s been a long time, but she showed up today, which was nice. She only lives a couple miles away. She lives out in Canton now, and my brother’s here. My sister lives in Chicago so she won’t be here for practice, but yeah, my brother’s here and my mom, so it was good to see them.
Quarterback Eli Manning
Q: How do you think these joint practices have gone so far?
A: I think they have gone well, it’s just good work. To practice against a different style, different theme to their defense, get into different situations, third down, the red zone where teams play different coverages than our defense plays, so we got some work. The ball is going to different guys and everybody is getting through their progressions, and so I think it has been great work, good to mix things up and go against different guys.
Q: What are your impressions of the Lions defense and secondary?
A: They’re good in the secondary, they have some good players. They did a good job with different looks, the have guys in the right spots and they did a good job at making some plays.
Q: Odell seemed to have a good day yesterday, I know you have worked after practice because you said you wanted to catch up with him, you think you guys are there?
A: Yeah, we are getting there. We still have some work to do, but I thought he has done a good job the last few weeks getting his feel back. Knowing how to work guys in man, give a little extra move and trusting his body and everything. I think he’s getting back into his own and getting comfortable on the field again.
Q; He seems like a guy who when he sees a different color jersey he ramps it up a little bit?
A: Yeah, I’m sure he gets competitive, I think that’s everybody. When you go against some new faces everybody gets amped up a little bit and you want to go out there and play well.
Q: When you and Odell spend time after practice, obviously it’s not physical stuff, is it what you want to see, what he wants to see, certain things like that?
A: Instead of just saying, ‘Here’s a route, run it‘, it’s ‘Here’s a route, this is the coverage, this is the technique’. So, you make sure he is seeing things the same way, so we are expecting the same thing, so you can coach it up after. It’s not just ’Hey run this route’, you’re running some things you haven’t run as much, some new plays to make sure we are good with the depths of things and the angles coming out of breaks.
Q: (Jaguars CB) Jalen Ramsey made a comment that at this point in your career you are only a good quarterback because of your connection with Odell Beckham do you have comment on that?
A: No... Who? (laughing)
Q: How do you feel in this offense? You are going into your 15*th* season, running a new offense, do you feel you have command of it?
A: I feel good, but I still have work to do. I think it’s great going against a different defense, and different coverages. It tests your progressions, getting through things and making good decisions. I feel very comfortable but there is always room to grow.
Q: This is not a game obviously, but does it help just in case you don’t play in a lot of pre-season games?
A: It definitely helps just to get those reps and obviously it’s not a game, you’re not getting hit but you are going against different coverages, different looks. Third down they have a special package and you come in totally unprepared for it and you have to make adjustments. I think it’s a test in the sense that you’re running a play in games against un-scouted looks and we have to know our rules and assignments. It does make it a little extra competitive and that’s good.
Q: How valuable is it when you see a guy like (Lions CB) Darius Slay against Odell? How much does that help Odell get ready for game action?
A: I think it helps – and not just going against Odell. It’s the other guys as well. Seeing what Cody Latimer and some of our new guys can do against a good corner, and see if they can win. So, it’s not just testing Odell. It’s testing all the guys to see what they do versus a quality opponent.
Q: If you don’t have Saquon (Barkley) out on the practice field, is he ready to play?
A: Obviously, reps are still important at this time. I think he’s doing a good job kind of mentally going through it. But, it’s different. Obviously, it’s different going through something mentally, and going out there and doing it. I think he’s shown that he knows what he’s doing. He’s been sharp on his assignments, and his routes, and catching the ball, and all of those things. Hopefully, we get him back sooner than later.
Q: How much does Jalen Ramsey’s comments affect you guys? They are your week one opponent.
A: I hadn’t heard anything about it. I got work to do. I’m going to be excited about week one no matter what.
Q: Have you noticed any jumps in the play of Darius Slay?
A: I know he’s a good player. I haven’t gone against him. He’s smart, he’s smooth, he can play man, he knows all the coverages, and knows when to jump things, but smart about it. I’ve been impressed with his play the last couple of years.
Q: Evan Engram had a few drops last season. What advice or what help did you give him during the offseason to fix that problem?
A: Drops obviously bother you, but I always think that the guys are trying to catch it. I think part of it is just being tired. The stress of a long season, and everything going through it. I think it’s the focus can kind of disappear a little bit. So, I think he’s talented, he’s working on it. I think it’s good you work on it, and have more that you want to improve on. But, don’t make it a mental block or something you’re thinking about, or getting anxious about or worried about. I try not to bring it up too much, and just say, ‘Hey, just keep getting open, doing the right routes, doing the right things, we’ll keep throwing to you, and you’ll make those plays‘.
Q:How much improvement have you seen in that regard?
A: It’s been good. It’s been smooth, he’s catching the ball. I think he’s got a lot better, and been good at camp. So hopefully, he continues to do it throughout the season.
Q: Did you say anything to Davis Webb about channeling his nerves and playing in a more relaxed way?
A: No, he didn’t need me to say anything – he’s ready. We always talk about the game plan, and this and that. I don’t need to say anything specific, he’ll be fine.
Defensive Lineman Damon “Snacks” Harrison
Re: Joint practices
A: It’s been very competitive, it’s good to go against somebody other than our own. It’s weird, it’s my first joint practice, it’s everything that I expected, I think it’s good for both sides.
Q: A lot of talking going on between the linemen during practice?
A: No, no. I think it’s different for us than it is for the other position groups. It’s just more so about getting your fits in, getting where your supposed to be. There’s a lot of professionals out there, so it hasn’t been too chippy.
Q: With what you guys are doing on the line, sometimes it’s two guys, sometimes it’s three guys, sometimes it’s been four, five, six, what dimension does that add to your defense? We (the Media) keep calling it a 3-4 but it’s not always 3 and then 4.
A: Right, you have to keep them guessing. It just adds a little bit to where an offensive coordinator has to game plan a bit differently. You don’t know what we’ll be in, there’s never a set line so you can’t really dictate what we do. We have to play our game and hopefully the offense won’t adjust to what we’re doing.
Q: You’re obviously one of the top defensive players in the league. One of the other top defensive players in the league, Jalen Ramsey, took a shot at two of your teammates today. He said that ‘Odell (Beckham Jr.) makes Eli (Manning) good, the only reason that makes Eli good is that he has Odell’s connection’, any reply to that?
A: The man is entitled to his own opinion. Eli and Odell, I’m sure they won’t say anything or if they do, they’ll give their opinion but as for me, I watch those guys work every day so I know what they’re capable of.
Q: Obviously you don’t feel that way?
A: I know what they’re capable of.
Q: You’re out there a lot with Dalvin (Tomlinson) and B.J. (Hill) everyday, have you seen them improve since the start of camp to now?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. It’s weird because I’m used to just being out there with Dalvin. So exactly where Dalvin was last year, now it’s B.J. Hill, that’s just an adjustment for me to getting used to the opposite but both those young guys have made a lot of great plays in the games and on the practice field and I think B.J. will be a really, really good player in this league.