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Quotes (8/20): Shurmur, Omameh, Vernon

Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Q: How do you decide your captains for the games, and when will you decide your season-long captains?

A: Right now, its random, I’ll pick three new ones this week and three new ones for the fourth game. Once we get to the 53, we’ll talk about who the captains are.

Q: The new running back Jhurell Pressley, what do you know about him, what do you like about him?

A: I was with him before. Good runner, fast, tough guy. We brought him in, he’s got some familiarity with what we do offensively, and we’ll get him in the mix.

Q: I didn’t see Darian Thompson or Connor Barwin out there today?

A: Yeah, they are just rehabbing.

Q: What do you think of your first team offensive line’s run blocking so far?

A: I think we are improving. I think early in the game last week, we probably weren’t getting the yards in the run game that are up to our standards. By the end of it, we found a way. The first group is doing a good job of working together and they are getting better every day.

Q: When it comes to your run game, you are not really working it. You kind of have a few runs then you go to something else?

A: No, we’re working it. I didn’t call the game much differently than I would. We’re working the run game. As you go through, there are ebbs and flows in the game. As you go through the game, there are times when passing the ball makes sense. Late in the game, we were running it almost every play. I think you just need to call runs, assuming the score is the way it needs to be, you need to call runs throughout the game. I don’t know if that helps you with your questions, but the running back needs to touch the ball, you obviously can throw it to him. You need to run the ball for your offense, but also for your defense.

Q: You have five new guys essentially on the offensive line. What’s the realistic expectation for where they should be right now?

A: They should be in a position where they block well, run and pass, that’s what we are looking for. The amount of training we have to together, it is what it is. We all have the same. We’re not the only offensive line with changes. We probably have more than some places. We went through this a year ago in Minnesota, it can be done. We have got players that are playing hard, and they’re playing together. We’ll just expect that they are going to do a good job blocking.

Q: Did it happen for you in Week 1 last year in Minnesota or was it something that takes time and progresses throughout the season?

A: To your point, we saw moments of it, we won the first game. I think it was a winning performance by that group. Any time you do it longer and longer together, you certainly get better.

Q: Q: Do you feel settled with the five guys you have there right now, because you have some backups with experience, Jerry, Jones, Greco??

A: I think we are still a little unsettled in terms of determining who that full unit is. There’s a lot of decisions to be made, we’re not done deciding who are going to be the linemen on our 53. We may keep one more lineman than usual, who knows. We have to figure that out. You always know going through, ‘okay, if we had to play tomorrow, who are the five starters, who is the inside swing guy, who is the outside swing guy?’ Maybe there are games when you keep eight active, depending on what the rest of the roster looks like.

Q: What are you seeing from the returners, where does that competition stand?

A: We are a little bit unsettled there, as well. We have guys back there working, we’ll just play It out through the preseason and see where it goes.

Q: You mentioned before about captains. What do you look for in a captain, will you lean on your captains a lot?

A: I think captains are leaders. They have to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons and not really worry about the consequences. I’m watching these guys constantly. Once we get to the point when we have the voting and we decide who the captains are going to be, I have an idea on how many I want on both sides of the ball and special teams. What’s important is those guys are the doing the right thing all the time. It doesn’t just start when training camp starts, it starts in the off-season. Even though it’s not mandatory, being around is right.

Q: It seemed like Saquon (Barkley) was doing quite a bit on the sidelines?

A: Yes, I didn’t notice it as much, I know that was the plan. How did he look?

Q: What have you seen from Aldrick Rosas this summer and what made you think when you looked back at last year that you could count on him to be your kicker?

A: Clean slate. When I watched him kick, he had a very strong leg. He’s a strong-legged guy. Obviously, he has that as part of his strength, being able to kick the ball out of the end zone, which is important. As we’ve worked with him, him and Marshall Koehn both, they’re getting cleaner and cleaner with their extra point and field goal mechanics. We’re working with them, expecting them to improve, and we’ve seen that improvement.

Q: Last year the Giants offensive line was sort of scattered around the locker room a little bit, you brought them all together in one area. Is that something you did? What did you hope to gain from that?

A: Yes, in fact, that is what I did. It’s that big oval shape in the locker room. I think you should sit with your position groups. We’re going to go as far as that line will block for us, I think it’s important that they’re together in everything that they do. Even if they’re sitting next to one another, they may talk about something that happened in practice or in a meeting that they wouldn’t shout across the locker room about, so I think it’s smart to sit with your position groups.

G Patrick Omameh

Q: How do you think, for the first team offensive line, the run blocking and the run game have gone so far and where do you think it can improve?

A: You can see something that you can improve upon in any aspect of the game. You can always go back to the basics, focus on execution and keep on improving at the rate that we’re improving. There’s really no ceiling for what this offense can do.

Q: Coach (Shurmur) said that this team is going to go far as this offensive line takes it. You guys are a new group together, do you see signs that you can be the offensive line that leads this team far back to the playoffs? 

A: Absolutely. We are all aware of the job that’s expected of us, and we’re all ready to step up to the plate and take on that challenge. It’s just a matter of us continuing to build and improve and be where we want to be when the season hits.   

Q: How will you know when you guys have (found cohesiveness)?

A: It’s a feel and it’s something that you’ll be able to see when we’re hitting on all cylinders, that’s when the offense is just hitting the way we want to hit. Every time we go on the field, we go back, take a look, analyze what we need to analyze and keep on pushing forward. 

Q: How’d you think you guys played (in Detroit)?

A: There were good things we were able to get done. Always happy with a win, able to move the ball around, always also things to improve upon and get the chance to get back to the meeting room, take a look at the tape, critique what we need to critique and make the improvements we need to make.

Q: You guys had the one glaring mistake when Davis Webb had the incompletion. How important was it to rebound from that and get back on the field right away and then complete that drive for the line, because he had pretty good protection the rest of that drive?

A: Right. That’s the nature of the game. Sometimes things don’t go exactly according to plan. As they say in football, you’ve got to have a short memory and get back on the field and continue to play the game, and we were able to continue that, finish up that drive with a score and that’s the expectation.   

Q: How clean has the communication been on the starting offensive line? You guys have had about three quarters for the first two preseason games and if it hasn’t been (clean), what can you do to make sure it does get clean?

A: It’s a process, building that communication between everybody that’s going to be working with each other, and I say the communication has progressed tremendously in several ways. As far as where we can improve, as far as that’s concerned, we feel we’re moving in the right direction.

Q: How important has time been off the field getting this group together and getting to know each other and building that chemistry?

A: Chemistry is something that’s built both on and off the field. Offensive linemen maybe more so than any other position group need to have that kind of chemistry and cohesiveness, and we know our group of guys just gravitate towards each other. It’s been a pretty natural type of organic build, this chemistry that we’re developing, and I expect it to continue from there.

Linebacker Olivier Vernon

Q: What was that play like the other day where you went through three Lions blockers to get to the quarterback?

A: Just trying to make the play, we just put in a lot of work in going over there for the joint practices, it felt good to go out there and play a little longer than the previous week, we’re just trying to keep working.

Q: You’re a guy who likes to set things up, you just don’t play that much (in the preseason) so is it hard to get in that rhythm?

A: I know what you mean but come preseason time, you have to start fast. You have to kind of get the feel of it early even though you’re not going to get the rest later throughout the game. For myself, it’s basically getting down my technique, working on my technique, making sure everything is solid as far as knowing the playbook and not having any mental errors. That’s one of the biggest things when it comes to the preseason, it’s all mental.

Q: Are you starting to get ready for the Jaguars yet, mentally?

A: We take it one week at a time, but as soon as the schedule comes out, I don’t know when it came out, but I think that’s been the first game on my mind ever since it came out.

Q: At what point do you start studying the offensive tackle that you’re going to be facing that day?

A: Just when we have the game plan in for that week. Right now, even though it’s preseason, we have the Jets. It’s getting back into that routine, game planning for the team that we have the week of, so that’s basically where it’s at right now. 

Q: Understanding that starters aren’t playing the whole games on either side, you guys (the defense) are only giving up 58 yards per game rushing. How good could this ‘front 7’ be against the run?

A: That’s going to be a telltale sign when we get out there (during) game one against Jacksonville. Like I always say, ‘We’re only as good as we’ll make ourselves be’, it’s just a work in progress.

Q: The other side of that, the pass rush. We looked a month ago, you were the only guy on this roster who had ever had more than three sacks in a season, then the team signed Connor Barwin. (Lorenzo) Carter has looked pretty good, how do you feel like the pass rush is? The guys who are going to be complimenting you in the pass rush?

A: We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of guys who have been working hard during this offseason. From what I’ve seen out there on the field with those guys, we’ve got a lot of talent, those guys are working hard and they’re hungry. So, add that with depth, we’re going to see how it goes, but I’m excited to see (what happens) with the type of work they’ve been putting in in practice and then going out on game day and trying to show it out there. I feel like they’re doing it, we’re going to have to see game one.

Q: You’ve had a chance to go against your offensive line for the last couple of weeks, what do you see from them in the sense that they’re all new and kind of learning?

A: I see the cohesiveness amongst them – and that’s on the field and off. Those guys are always together. That’s what you expect from the offensive line group. Those guys are all like brothers. They go everywhere with each other. That translates well on the field when it comes down to it. I think their attitude is one of the things that I’ve noticed, especially going against them in practice and since OTAs. They got depth in that group, too, as well. They have a lot of guys that are working. They’re working, they’re building that chemistry. That’s one thing you like to see in the offensive line group.

Q: How anxious are you to unleash the new defense against an opponent where it counts?

A: The whole process of (Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher) Coach “Bettch” bringing his scheme in, for myself and I feel like for the guys, it’s been fun. Being able to translate that to real time, to a game day, I think everybody is excited. It’s kind of like a fresh start. It’s going to be fun for a lot of guys, especially being put in different positions and just a way of attacking on defense. I think it’s going to be a lot more fun for some of the guys, for all of us basically.

Q: Has the coaching staff changed their way of teaching the game after the enforcement of new helmet rule?

A: Honestly, it’s really about what the referees deem as a penalty. I remember having a conversion with one of the refs last game, and he really didn’t know how to explain how we’re supposed to tackle somebody if they’re lowering their head against us. So, I have no idea how that’s going to pan out. It’s really on them. That’s all I got to say.

Q: Did you guys talk about the (LB) Mark Herzlich penalty as a group?

A: Have you seen it? I don’t know what you can teach on that. If somebody is shorter than you and gets low, I just don’t how you defeat that. I don’t know.

Q: Does James Bettcher ever calm down?

A: Bettcher is a high-intensity guy. On the defensive side, you love that. He’s the same guy, same person every day. It makes it fun. It kind of breaks up the monotony. It’s just a different type of flow to things. He’s probably been the youngest defensive coordinator I’ve had. From my experiences in the spring, it’s been a good time.  

Q: It seems like he was aggressive after someone dropped an interception today.

A: He just wants the best out of each and every one of us. He wants us playing to our full potential. He’s just trying to squeeze every last ounce of anything that each and every individual has. You can’t do nothing but respect that and appreciate it.

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