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Quotes (8/16): Giants Gameday Interviews

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Opening Statement: Injuries— I think (Antonio) Hamilton went out with a groin, a couple of other guys we'll just have to wait and see tomorrow. I think for the most part a lot of it was pretty injury free. I think the good part was the ones got to go a quarter, and don't worry about who you're competing against, this is more about us. They got a chance to play, went down and scored, which was good. Then on defense we didn't let them score a touchdown, we forced them to kick a field goal. That part was good. We fought, we scored points. There were some really good things in the game. The one thing I think is we were a little loose with the ball. I think we had a fumbled snap which is a no-no. Then certainly, you can't drop the ball in the pocket like Daniel Jones did. He had a little bit of adversity to fight back from, I think that was a question somebody had last week. I think for the most part he threw the ball well and got us in the endzone. I thought Eli (Manning) did a good job, I thought (Alex) Tanney did a good job. On that interception, I drew that one in the dirt. It was late in the game when I didn't want to waste some of our redzone plays down there, so I just drew up a naked. I was trying to get Reggie White a touchdown, another one of our local heroes, and they played it pretty well. The good news about that play was how hard (Alonzo)… Zo Russell did a good job of getting the guy down and keeping him from scoring. I thought on defense we did some good things. A lot of the young players made improvements. The kicking game was solid. There are plenty of good things when you look at it for what it is. The joy of winning a game is what you fight for, so they get to experience that. It's easier to build on wins than losses, and I feel like this is step two in this preseason process. I thought our guys handled that pretty well. Plenty to clean up, I was not pleased—we were a little sloppy with the ball at times. We dropped an interception that would've been a touchdown. Some of that stuff we can fix. I didn't see one error out there that is not correctable, so we'll get back to work. We are still in training camp mode but on the short horizon here is our game against the Bengals. I'll take your questions.

Q: How impressed are you with the overall hustle of your team tonight?

A: I thought they played hard and fought hard. We've got a little different team than some. I think I mentioned this in the production meeting yesterday, we have a lot of young guys. We have to see if they can take it from the meeting room to the practice field and then play hard out here with emotion. I think, in these two outings, I saw a lot of young guys that impressed me who have a really good chance to make this team and make a difference.

Q: Have you seen anything in your time with Daniel that gave you an inkling of any ball security issues?

A: A guy got beat, and it was swatted out of his hands. That's it. You have to secure it. I don't think he ever took a snap under center in college. That's just part of the growing, but he didn't panic. He dropped the ball a couple times, but he didn't call his parents. He just went back to work and did a good job at getting us in the endzone.

Q: What did you say to him after?

A: Don't do that. It's very simple—don't drop the snap and two hands on the ball in the pocket. It's never acceptable to drop the ball. He's smart enough to know that immediately and make corrections. It's that simple, I don't have to write him a note—I just tell him.

Q: With this being the first time Jones faced adversity, how impressed were you that he was able to bounce back, shrug it off and finish strong?

A: Again, I am going to say this—people outside our building seem surprised, but we're not. That's why we picked him. I think he's making good progress and as he goes along here, he's checking off all of the boxes. I think when it's his time to play, he will be ready. I am pleased with the progress he's making. What's left unsaid a little bit is the work that (Offensive Coordinator) Mike Shula and (Offensive Assistant Ryan) Roeder are doing with him and all of the quarterbacks. I thought for the most part they functioned pretty well.

Q: John (Mara) said that in a perfect world Eli would play the whole year, because that means you're having a good season and Eli is having one. Is that the case that Eli is your guy, or does Daniel have a chance?

A: John owns the team, right? We're on the same page. There is really not much more to say. I think I've been saying it all along. I just get a sense once in a while that when I answer those questions nobody believes me. Well you heard it from the owner.

Q: How would you assess your running game last week versus this week and the progress you've made?

A: Better. I think we had some more favorable box counts, we had some more fair fight runs that we took advantage of. I thought for the most part it was better and we leaned on the run. The one area where we had an 8-yard run and then it was 2nd and 2. There was one series there that kind of frosted me. I wanted to run it again to get the first, then there's a hold, now we're set back. Those are the areas that we can improve on. Second and 2— that's the O-line down. We have to punch it in there and get a first down. Anything fancy that I want to do on a second down, I'll do on a first down.

Q: What are you learning about (Paul) Perkins and (Rod) Smith right now?

A: I want to go back and look at the tape, but I think all of the runners who played today, I think, did many good things. I did see the ball on the ground and there were a lot of protection challenges I would say. There's not much there in the passing game, but I thought for the most part they had an impact on the game.

Q: Eli Manning taking the team down the field there on the opening drive. How good was that?

A: It was very good, and along the way he changed the route. He really played quarterback well in that drive. He got us in the endzone. I think that's what you evaluate quarterbacks on—move the team and get us in the endzone.

Q: Do you tell that to the team before they come out that he's not going to play any of their starters?

A: No, I don't tell them any of that. I don't really care who they play. (Bears Head Coach) Matt (Nagy), that's his team, and I would never tell another man how to coach his team. He knows what he wants to do, and he knows what his team needs. He has a much more veteran team that whatever he's doing with them, works for him. We have enough young guys out there where they need to play. I think when you play like we did and you don't have injuries, that's a good thing.

Q: How would you asses your pass rush today?

A: We got a little pressure, which was good. I thought it was better. I want to go back and watch it. We were a little more disruptive today, which was good. I'll have a better assessment tomorrow at 12 p.m. (on the conference call). Save that for tomorrow and I'll give you a better answer. I felt like we were more disruptive this week than we were last.

Q: Your first team defense seemed to get better with each series they were out there…

A: I think so. At some point, it was twos playing against twos. I think we are making progress there. Stopping a team on offense is a team effort, so it has to be coordinated. Everybody has to defeat their block, address their gap, and then chase the ball. When it's time to throw you have to get pressure and cover your guys. The more they play together, it's really the whole defense just like when we talk about the O-line, but the more that group plays together and the more seasoned they are as a unit, the better we'll become at keeping teams out of the endzone. That's certainly the challenge.

Q: Bennie Fowler and TJ Jones scored touchdowns again. Does what you're seeing in the receiver group in the preseason sort of validate your beliefs that you have enough there?

A: I do. I have said it all along that it's going to take a village. To their credit, the veterans may win the day here, these guys who know how to play. They know how to practice, and they know how to play. They are smart. I am fine with drawing them up in the dirt when we see something, and they are smart enough where they can adjust, and some of those things are adjustments. That crew of receivers are all very smart, they are very veteran in a lot of ways and I like them and trust them. Really, the crux of it all, I think they are a bunch of tough guys. They play a fancy position, but I think they are a bunch of tough guys. I think that wins the day, too.

QB Eli Manning

Q: Eli, very efficient drive for a score. Take us through it. How did you do it?
A: We started off on the first play with a good play action, and I hit Cody (Latimer) over the middle for a good gain. Then we had several good runs. We ran the ball really well right there. We didn't have many third downs until the very end. We were at the (eight-yard) line and they came with a little pressure. I was able to hit Bennie (Fowler) on a little inside route, he makes a guy miss and scores a touchdown. It was efficient. We mixed it up. We had some play action, we had some drop back, we had some bootlegs. A lot of guys were getting catches and running the football well. 

Q: On that drive, did we see the benefit of how you guys can take advantage of some run after the catch from a guy like Bennie (Fowler), and even Golden Tate a little bit later on (in the season)?

A: Yeah, I think we have receivers that do a good job (of running after the catch). They're very smart, they've been around and they know what they're doing. We can move them around and put them in different spots. They all do a good job of catching the ball, and they do a good job of running after the catch. They do a good job in the run game and blocking, and that sets up the play action stuff.

Q: You mentioned the run game in your first answer. Did we see that balance tonight that you guys want to try to bring into the regular season from all of your guys?

A: Yeah, I think so. Just being able to get those six or seven yard runs. We had a couple of nice runs on first down. We were getting first downs, so that's always a good situation to have. But I think just having that combination of being able to run the ball, being able to use play action, and just mixing up what you're doing so the defense... it puts them in a bind. They don't really know what to do.

Q: Does it help winning these preseason games? I know they don't count at the end of the year, but does it give you guys a feeling of what it's like to win games, to at least give you some momentum?
A: Yeah, I think it helps. It helps to win, but it helps just to play well. To move the ball… a lot of receivers are making plays down the field on go-routes and getting open. It makes the competition good in practice. It makes guys hungry to want to get in and make plays. You see the competitiveness. I think that's good for the team.

Q: Did you expect the Bears to go with a couple of starters, or did you kind of know (they would be resting most of their starters)?
A: I kind of got word before the game, just talking to a few of their players that their starters were not going to go. I guess they had a big scrimmage earlier in the week, so they weren't going to go. It doesn't change our game plan or what we want to accomplish. I thought we did a good job going out there and playing good football.

Q: Anything in particular that you felt like you needed to work on with such limited work last week?

A: I think it's always good as a quarterback to get in there and just feel the pocket knowing that the rush is live and seeing a defense that's different than the defense we've been going against for the last six months. I think it's good to see a different defense with a live rush, where I have to move around and make decisions.

Q: Do you get a sense with the third preseason game coming up that that's kind of the dress rehearsal? Is that what you're expecting, to play more?

A: We'll see. Yeah, I assume the starting group will play a little bit more in this next preseason game. We'll do whatever Coach (Shurmur) has in mind. Tonight, we kind of said I was going to play two series. Then we go out and have an 11-play drive and score, so he said we were done after that. We'll see what happens next week. I just have to get ready for Cincinnati. Go in there, have a good week of preparation and see if we can go out there and play

QB Daniel Jones

Q: How do you feel about where you are at this point, just generally?

A: I think I've made progress, and I think in certain areas I feel a lot more confident than I did even when camp started, or even a couple weeks ago. I think there's still so much to learn for me. I think I'm certainly more confident, more comfortable, but I see a lot of things I need to improve on.

Q: The touchdown pass, just a go-route on the sideline?

A: Yeah, just a one-on-one opportunity there. TJ (Jones) did a great job of getting free and getting some space there in the end zone, so a really good play by him.

Q: Obviously, you guys get the turnover there and get you out there for that two-minute drive to close the half. I would imagine getting into the huddle for you after what had transpired, the ups and the downs, how much were you thinking, "Let's punch this one in and go to halftime with a nice score?"

A: Yeah, I think that's always what you're trying to think. Get the ball with two minutes and you have the opportunity to score points and then we're getting the ball back, it's just an opportunity to change the momentum a little bit. Defense did a great job with that stop, so I think when you feel that opportunity, you want to take advantage of it, and I'm glad we were able to.

Q: On the turnovers and making mistakes:

A: I think that's a big part of football for everyone, particularly quarterbacks. I think there are going to be things that don't go great, and obviously you never want that, you try to guard against them. They're definitely things I need to learn from, but when they happen you've got to find a way to make it work. So, I'm glad we were able to do that. We got big plays there on the two-minute drive by a lot of people, so it was fun to put that together.

Q: The ball security—how upset were you with both of those plays?

A: I was very upset. I think those are two mistakes you can't make. One time we were driving with the ball in scoring position and I made a costly mistake there, and then kind of holding the ball in the pocket, two bad mistakes, so definitely things to learn from.

Q: Was the first one just not getting the ball, just not getting the snap really?

A: Yeah, just getting out too quick, so I've got to make sure I'm secure with the ball, secure with the snap.

Q: What did Coach Shurmur tell you after the second fumble?

A: Just get back out there. Just bounce back, I think, was his message. We talked about the play, I need to get the ball in my hands, I need to break the pocket. Yeah, just a bad mistake.

Q: Coach Shurmur used the phrase, "You didn't call home to your parents," I think he said after the fumbles. What do you think about how you were able to handle it?

A: I think that's a big part of football, I think for all positions. Obviously, you don't want things to go bad and you don't want to fumble the ball, but that's going to happen in the game sometimes. So, the defense did a great job of getting us the ball back there with three minutes to go, and a few big plays by a lot of people, and got down the field. So, I think that's a big part of the game, and just bouncing back.

Q: You've got a new nickname on Twitter via the Giants: "Danny Dimes." What do you think of it?

A: That's alright with me.

Q: The touchdown pass to TJ (Jones) looked like you put it only where he could get it. What did you see on that play?

A: Just a one-on-one opportunity for us with him. He made a great play getting free there at the end and getting some space, so a lot of trust in him, and he's done a great job for us. He made a great play there.

Q: How about the throw to (Cody) Latimer on the left side right before the fumble?

A: Just another one-on-one opportunity and Cody's a heck of a player. A big, strong, fast guy. You like the matchup, so he made a really good play there.

Q: Do you find value in being able to make some mistakes like you did tonight?

A: You don't want to make any mistakes, but I think it was going to happen and you realize that. There are going to be some mistakes and just figuring that out sometimes. I didn't try to make any mistakes.

Q: Did you feel that first big hit?

A: Yeah, I thought we had really good protection all day, good time to throw the ball. Like I said, I have to get the ball out of my hands.

Q: On the touchdown pass it looked like the cornerback tried to undercut the route, did you see him try to do that?

A: I think that's a big part of TJ getting open at the end and getting some separation with his route. I think in that situation he wants to get on top of him and have some space and he did a great job of doing that.

Q: What do you make of your head coach pointing out a mistake last week and emphasizing that you can't drop the ball in the pocket?

A: It's the truth. It's what he is saying to me, I'm fine with it. I think there is a standard for accountability and I certainly respect that and appreciate that. Can't argue with it, it's the truth.

Q: Do you like to be coached hard?

A: Taking coaching is a big part of being able to improve. However it comes, you have to listen. I'm certainly willing to take that.

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