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Sterling Shepard Blog: Who are the Apex Predators?


Throughout the season, Rookie WR Sterling Shepard will check in with and provide an inside look at his journey of making it in the NFL:

*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was born to play football. The son of a Super Bowl and NCAA champion, he followed in his father's footsteps to a standout career at the University of Oklahoma before being selected by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. We pick up with him after the Giants inched closer to a playoff spot with a 17-6 victory over the Lions, a game in which Shepard caught his seventh touchdown of the season… *

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They were leaving the corner of the end zone open on the score, so I tried to attack that area. It was pretty easy, just a pitch-and-catch. The defender didn't really collision me, so I won pretty fast and got to the open area. And then on the long one that set up Odell's TD, that was just a great block by O. That set that up for me. I was able to get around the edge and keep my feet in bounds. I guess I couldn't have done anything about it to stay in, but it was just a good play by O.

Throughout this run we're on, there's a phrase that's we've been using: apex predator. It started from our wide receiver room with Coach Henry. We used to all come in talking about we're all young kings or whatever. He's like, 'No, we're apex predators.' Everybody was like, 'What's an apex predator?' 'Top of the food chain.' So we just kind of embraced that and we've been using it for the whole season.

Coach Henry is the man. He's always filling you with knowledge, just different stuff, not always about football, just about life in general. He's just a good guy to have, a good coach to have. He doesn't just focus on football all the time. He gives you a lot of life lessons from some of the stuff he's been through in life. He's one of my favorite coaches ever.

So "apex predator" has been going around the team and to the defense now because that's the way we're playing right now. And that's the way we've got to keep playing, so might as well have everybody embrace it. You guys see it every Sunday with how our D plays. Those guys are flying around, having fun, getting picks every week. They're really holding the team down while we have some stuff to fix on offense and get to playing at the level they're playing at.

That includes Eli Apple and all of us rookies. We're all contributing. That's the reason they drafted us, and even some of us undrafted. That just shows how much confidence the coaches have in us, and we're ready to play. That's what our mentality was coming into this season. We knew we had to step up and make plays, and we've done that so far.

Now we've just got to take care of business these last few weeks, starting with another game against the Eagles. It's definitely a different squad than what we played before in Week 9 at home, but they will show you some of the same looks. We've just got to be focused on what we're doing and be sound in what we're doing.

Stay tuned to for more from Sterling, and don't forget to follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @sterl_shep3.

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