Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: Training Camp (Sunday). Just one injury – Ralph Vacchiano, lower leg injury, he’s day to day. I actually fined him this morning for missing treatment. His agent wants to fight it, but we’ll just call it a lower leg injury (laughter). Otherwise, it was a good day today. We brought them in a little bit later so they could get their rest. I mentioned that sleep was overrated, not for the players. We got home late yesterday, the plan was to then let them get their rest so we can put in another really good week of work. I mention it again, we’re playing the Jets here at the end of the week, but this is still training camp, so we’ll come out in pads the next couple of days and get some stuff done – not only for the Jets but also thinking ahead to Jacksonville. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: Have you done that yet, thinking ahead to Jacksonville or is this kind of that mark?
A: I think we always peak toward our first opponent. We did projects in the offseason, our first four opponents, and certainly we watch what they’ve been doing kind of on a day to day basis.
Q: Coaches or everybody?
Q: When you brought B.W. Webb in, did you think he could be a slot guy and what have you seen from him in that role?
A: … he’s done a really good job covering. He covered pretty well outside against Cleveland, he’s done a nice job in the slot as well.
Q: Where do you stand in that slot position in your mind?
A: We’re still working through it.
Q: We saw Ray-Ray Armstrong out there with the first team nickel and he had an interception the other night. What does he offer you as a linebacker, as a coverage kind of guy?
A: As a linebacker, he’s long and he can cover. He’s what linebackers should look like and he’s made progress. We feel like he’s done some really good things as we work through training camp, so it was good to see him have some success. We felt like he had a winning performance in the game the other night, and every once in a while everybody has a bad play, but in total we felt like it was a winning performance and that was a game-changing play. We were able to intercept the ball, get it close and then offensively, we then punched it in, so it was good.
Q: What did you learn in Minnesota about (Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater)? I know he wasn’t on the field much but obviously he was in the room with you.
A: Am I allowed to talk about another team? I don’t want to get in trouble. He’s an opponent, so I’ll talk about our opponent. Teddy is an outstanding, competitive guy and he’s got a unique charisma. When I was there with him, the whole area loved Teddy. He just had that way about him, and then when he got injured everyone was pulling for him to come back. I’m thrilled for whatever success he’s having. I did peak at their game and it appears to me like he’s playing pretty well. The only thing I would say is don’t sleep on Teddy because I think he’s got it in him.
Q: Did you get a sense of how tough it was for him to come back from that and how hard he had to work?
A: Yeah, I was standing just a few feet from him when he had his injury and it was a very tough deal. It went from worrying about whether the nerve was going to be able to walk again, to now he’s out there playing. I’m certainly very happy for Teddy.
Q: Was he around much last year when you guys were helping Case Keenum?
A: He was there the whole time, and as you saw, we made him active at the end of the year, and he got in the game. Tough guy.
Q: You mentioned being long and athletic at linebacker. There’s a difference between being long and athletic, and playing that way. Ray-Ray was able to play that way. How important is it for a linebacker to be that and how does that benefit a defense?
A: Certainly this is a big man’s game, and so the bigger you are, as long as you can run and you’re athletic like he is, it’s good. It’s what we’re looking for. Hard to throw the ball around because he’s taller, but he can run and cover, and he’s done a good job with his run fits as well.
Q: You had (Donte) Deayon and (Travis) Rudolph back out there today. What kind of an uphill fight do they have now after missing so much time, to catch people’s eyes?
A: They’ve got to get back in there. Again, their health is a front burner deal for us. We want to make sure they’re healthy before we put them out in an uncontrolled setting, so yeah, they’ve got to catch up. That’s just the nature of being out.
Q: You’ve played half your preseason games, you’ve been through the majority of summer so far. How do you feel about your quarterbacks behind Eli (Manning)?
A: I feel like they’ve making progress on a daily basis, and that’s a good thing. None of them get all the reps, but I think they’re doing the best with the reps that they get, and I think all three guys have made very good improvement. They’ve improved, so I feel good about the progress with those players.
Q: (Davis Webb) is obviously first behind Eli for the most part in a lot of these drills and games. How confident are you, I know he never threw a pass in an NFL game but at this point, that you can put him out there as your backup?
A: We have Eli, and then there’s really no depth chart there. I’ve talked about that. They force us to do that (create a depth chart), but he did a good job the other night. He played better than he did against Cleveland, and with the reps he gets this week coming up, I’m expecting him to play even better. Within a good performance, the numbers were good and he got a touchdown, but there were still some things in there that we need to clean up to have a winning performance in a real game.
Q: Do you have a game plan for the Jets?
A: We do. Actually, we game plan for – that’s another one of those, that’s like halftime adjustments, dress rehearsals, all that. I think we all game plan. We want to run plays that work. It’s not like we’re trying to save anything, so certainly we’re going to try and do that a little bit.
Q: One more opponent question – when you looked at Jets QB Sam Darnold and met with him during the draft process, what did you like about him? What traits did you see in him as a quarterback?
A: He had some of the same traits that Teddy has. Very charismatic, he has that winning presence about him and you can see being with him on campus at USC that the players really kind of came to him. He had that, and he was obviously highly successful as a quarterback.
Wide Receiver Cody Latimer
Q: At this point in camp, where do you think the offense has shown the most progress?
A: I think we have shown a lot of progress all around. In the run game, especially Saquon in the first game, our running backs look amazing. We had three rushing touchdowns last game, quarterbacks moving, running backs moving. We are improving in every part of the offense, blocking wise, blocking for the run, blocking for the pass. Receivers are going out making plays, the quarterbacks are putting the ball where it’s supposed to be.
Q: Now that you have been around him for a while, what is Eli Manning like?
A: He’s a quiet guy. He loves his job, very hard working. He’s always out there doing extra. Like I said, he’s a great pro. I watched him a lot in the off-season, followed his lead, seeing how hard he studied, seeing how much extra work he put in on and off the field. The extra sprints that he does, leaving the building last, somebody that you love to be around. If you want to become a pro, watch him.
Q: Are you interested to see what this offense will do with Odell in a game?
A: I’m very excited for that. We have a lot of weapons on offense. It looks good on paper, but I can’t wait until all the pieces finally come together and we are out there seeing the ball around making plays, and also making plays in the run game. I think it can be very powerful this year. The defense is going to have to draw up a lot of different things to stop it.
Q: How much do you do in terms of run blocking, is that a big part of your role?
A: I think it’s a big part, (coach) Tyke (Tolbert) is very heavy on that. He puts emphasis on it for us. When you open up the run game, cracking safeties and making sure your guy doesn’t make the tackle, it opens up the pass game. You have to be able to have a balanced offense, you have to be able to run it and throw it. We are blocking our butts off for the run to make big plays. It opens up passes for us.
Q: Everybody has to play all the receiver positions, are you doing any slot?
A: Yeah, we have different formations and things. It’s the preseason, in practice we are moving around, but you are not going to show too much during the game, you don’t want to give everything away. Like you said, we are all playing different positions, in the slot, outside, motioning and doing different things. When that time comes, you will see it.
Q: What did you think of Davis Webb’s performance the other night?
A: I think it was great. He looked very poised back there, making the right reads, making the right decisions and putting the ball where it needs to be. I think he had an excellent game, he controlled the huddle, he controlled the game for us, he is going to keep going.
Q: Did he feel like a starting quarterback in the huddle?
A: Yeah, he was excited from the jump. Webb is always excited, upbeat and ready to go. He got to get that start off last game and he made the most of the opportunity.
Safety Curtis Riley
Q: How did you like the result the other night? First time playing with the ‘ones’ against Detroit, how did you feel that went?
A: It felt good being out there with my teammates, we looked good as a team. Special teams, offense, defense, we all played good in all three phases and came out with the win.
Q: How wide open is this battle? You’ve got Landon (Collins) on one side and there’s three of you battling for the other spot.
A: It’s up to the coaches, we just come everyday and do what we have to do and leave it up to them.
Q: Don’t you want to claim the job?
A: Of course, why not?
Q: What do you think you bring to the table as a free safety?
A: I bring a lot of range, I can tackle, speed, communication, which is the biggest thing, and just knowing the defense.
Q: How much did playing cornerback help you with that?
A: Yeah, it helps because there’s times when we have to rotate and come down and cover a receiver, so it’s no different other than being in the slot.
Q: Is winning the job simply just making plays?
A: No, it’s about communication, knowing what you’re supposed to do, knowing where to put other people. You’ve got to make plays, the NFL is about making plays, so.
Q: How do you do with the communication part? Obviously we don’t see that or hear that in the game.
A: I did great, I know the defense, so it’s just being in tune to what’s going on with the shifts and everything.
Q: So, this is similar to what you had in Tennessee?
A: Yes sir, very similar.
Q: Did you think you’d be in a position to claim the starting job at the start of training camp?
A: Well, that’s what I train in the offseason for. I knew I was going to come in and get a chance to play, so I just had to do everything I needed to do.
Q: When did you know that they might try you at safety instead of at corner?
A: I played safety in Tennessee, so.
Q: How is it playing next to Landon Collins?
A: It’s great. He’s a great player, smart player. He makes a lot of plays. It’s good being around him, learning from him and us trying to gain that chemistry.
Q: It seems like he’s (Landon Collins) kind of taken you under his wing?
A: I don’t want to say he’s taken me under his wing, but we’re trying to work together to be the best secondary in the league.
Q: Are you interchangeable at free and strong safety?
A: In this defense, there really is no free and strong. You have to know both because if the offense motions, we all have to change our coverage and alignments and stuff like that.