Head Coach Pat Shurmur
Opening Remarks: We didn’t make enough plays. The first drive was good, we went down and scored and then for a while there, we weren’t hitting on some things. Then we had penalties that kept us behind the chains, and we didn’t’ move the ball. I thought early on especially, and really throughout the game, the defense battled. We’re talking about 12-7 at halftime, that’s within one score and we had a fumble and after the first drive didn’t do much. So, that’s good, then we came back out and really didn’t make enough plays to get back into it. Then at the end of the game there, just do what you do at the end of the game, try and fight your way back into it and it didn’t work. We’ve got to coach better,
We’ve got to make more plays, and we’ve just got to keep fighting, and we’ve just got to work our way out of it. Credit to them, they did what they had to do to win, and we didn’t. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: What’d they seem to do to limit you getting the ball to Odell (Beckham Jr.) early on?
A: They played a lot of soft zone, lot of soft zone. We just had to pick away at them a little bit.
Q: Saquon (Barkley) didn’t have a ton of carries especially early. If they were playing soft zone, is that something you regret?
A: No, I think there were times we tried to run the ball. I don’t regret it, he needs to touch the ball. Certainly by the looks of things here, him touching the ball more would be good.
Q: They called the horse collar tackle on (Janoris) Jenkins, it looked like you had a long (talk) with them out there.
A: I’m not getting into that. We didn’t make enough plays to win the game, and I certainly saw what I think I saw and we’ll just leave it at that.
Q: How much did the momentum change after you had the good first drive and you got the three and out, but then they went for it on fourth down and converted that with a fake then they came back and got the horse collar coming back.
A: They did a couple things to keep drives alive. Certainly the fake was good, well-executed on their part. They kept the drive alive and they went down and scored. That was good on their part.
Q: Your offense hasn’t scored 20 points in three of the last four games.
A: Absolutely, I know.
Q: What do you make of that?
A: We need to score more points. We’ve got to score more points throughout the game. We had a good first drive and we’ve got to do more of it throughout. That’s what I make of it.
Q: Do you need to make massive changes?
A: No. We need to get better. What does that mean, massive changes? We need to get better.
Q: Do you need to make changes to the starting lineup? Can you shake stuff up?
A: We need to get better.
Q: How would you assess (Eli Manning’s) play today?
A: I thought he did a lot of good things. He’ll come up and tell you he missed some things, but he battled through it.
Q: A quarter of the season in, obviously 1-3, how would you assess the season thus far?
A: We’re 1-3 and that’s not where we want to be right now. Some games that were close enough that if we made more plays, we might’ve had an opportunity to win.
Q: What did you think of the offensive line?
A: I thought they battled against a pretty good – they got us on a couple third down situations. Chad Wheeler had 94 (Cameron Jordan) most of the game and he did a pretty good job. They battled, but there were some plays in there. If you brought anybody up here, they would tell you they’d like to have a couple plays back.
Q: What required the IV for Odell prior to halftime? Was he just dehydrated?
A: Yeah, I don’t know. That happens sometimes, but he required an IV so he came in and got it.
Q: You didn’t use timeouts there at the end of the first half, what was your thought process there?
A: Yeah, in hindsight, I felt like they were working their way down. In hindsight, maybe I could’ve done it, but we didn’t.
Q: You did a great job early on using heavy formations. What was it about the Saints defense that you saw, ‘hey, we can take advantage of this’?
A: We wanted to have presence on number 94 (Jordan), so that’s partly why we did it and it worked initially. It worked really throughout, then we went into a throw-only type game there.
Q: When you gave the answer I believe you said a lot of ‘soft zone’ for Odell not being involved early, should that coverage essentially take him out?
A: I think he got his little catches, I actually called a lot of play actions to get the ball down the field, and those became check-downs because of that soft zone.
Q: The series where Wayne Gallman was in and ended up fumbling, Saquon was on the sideline for a stretch there.
A: Just giving him a little stretch, that’s all.
Q: But you guys had the ball for five minutes in the first quarter, and that was your second possession in the second quarter. Did he need a long break?
A: No, we just want to make sure we keep getting Wayne involved. Certainly, anybody that touches the ball can’t fumble it there and he was helping us move it, so that’s a good thing.
Q: It looked like Saquon almost went back on the field. Did you guys decide to keep Wayne out there because you were having success with him?
Q: You wanted to give him the whole drive?
A: No, we just wanted to give (Gallman) a little stretch of plays to get in there and get involved, that’s all. And we were actually moving the ball well until we fumbled.
Q: What did you tell your team?
A: It’s between me and the team. Anything we talk about will typically be between me and the team. We’ve got to get back to work tomorrow, and we’ve got to try to work and play our way through this.
Q: Odell seemed to show some frustration at the end of the second, early third when things weren’t going well. Do you like that in a player?
A: I didn’t sense frustration, I saw a competitive guy, keeping himself in it. We all know he’s competitive, and he wants to win and he wants to do anything he can to help us.
Q: With your quarterback and with the playmakers you have, why does it seem like almost everything for this offense was hard today? Everything was a struggle, nothing came easily at all.
A: I wouldn’t disagree with that, we didn’t score enough points. We’ve got to do some things differently maybe.
Q: Jawill Davis took one out of the end zone from pretty deep and only got the ball to the 11. What’s the thought process you want your returners to think about?
A: Typically, if it’s a high kick, they’ve just got to use their judgment. What happens sometimes is a playmaker wants to make a play but certainly in that situation, it would’ve been better to just stay where he was. Young player. As you know we just moved him up, not even days ago – hours ago. He got out there and I’m sure he learned a lot of things that will help him moving forward.
Q: How do you move forward?
A: You just keep working. You just keep working and you play your way out of it and you coach your way out of it. Period. That’s what you do, and that’s the reality of it, and that’s what I trust our guys and our coaches will do.
QB Eli Manning
Q: How frustrating is this?
A: Tonight was a frustrating one. We got off to a good start and had a good drive. We were moving the ball and making plays on this team but we just weren’t able to do it. We got into some third and longs that we didn’t convert on. They had some good calls and some good plays. They weren’t going to give us anything deep. They took away all the deep stuff and made us go underneath. That was fine. We were going to just have to have some long drives and continue to play that way. There was a few times where they knocked us out of some good down and distance and we weren’t able to sustain some drives.
Q: When you have these negative plays and penalties early in downs, you want to stay conservative and trust your offense, but at the same time, do you have to be more aggressive and go for a pass on third and 12 or third and 15?
A: Yes. We threw the ball in those situations. We did a decent job. A couple of times, we had a penalty on first down and we were able to hit a screen or hit something underneath and got to third and manageable and were able to convert. Other times, certain times we had third and 12 and they had a good call. You call things expecting certain coverages or they just play so soft and you want to try and get it down the field. They take those things away and you have to make the decision to throw it underneath to someone or buy time and have someone scramble around and get open. It is just going into those situations and you just don’t want to be in those situations.
Q: Do you feel like this is a continuation of the last few years where this offense has struggled?
A: No. I think we have talent and we just have to put it all together.
Q: Is there an answer other than checking down like that when they play deep?
A: Yes. There are different ways, you just have to find completions. There are holes and it is just a matter of timing. The right plays and the right types of zones. Just mix in some three and some two. You just have to be patient some times and work the middle of the field and work underneath. Just get in some good down and distance. You just have to keep playing that way. There is also some opportunities to have some big plays also.
Q: What was the difference from the first drive to the rest of the game?
A: Obviously, the first drive was just nothing fancy. Ran the ball and threw it over the middle some. They were playing a lot of two, a little bit of three. We had completions. We had one incompletion on a throw away. It was that drive, no penalties, no sacks. We made plays. We weren’t able to do that enough during the course of the game. Obviously, had the turnover in the first half. We didn’t have the ball a ton in the first half, just some drives where we went backwards or had a sack.
Q: Anything that the Saints did that caught you off guard?
A: No, nothing off guard. They did a good job mixing up each week and doing different things. We had good plays and had opportunities. Sometimes they are going to have a good blitz or a good play. I thought we did a good job having answers and being patient when they played something a little different than we expected. We didn’t make mistakes in those situations, just kind of had to wait to hit a big one.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: Why do you think the team was unable to keep the momentum going after the first drive?
A: Yeah, we got off to a fast start. The first series we had, we moved the ball with ease, got in the end zone. They played great defense today. You got to give credit where credit is due. The Saints are a heck of a team. Our defense played lights out. We as an offense got to find a way to be better and help the team overall.
Q: On your touchdown, was it designed for you to go over the top?
A: It’s not really designed to go over the top. I just wanted to find a way to get in the end zone. I’m always believing. I don’t care if we’re down by two, three touchdowns, I’m still believing that we’re able to come back and win that game. I knew that getting into the end zone right there and being able to get a two-point conversion, it’s a one score game, so whatever it took to find a way to get in to the end zone. I came short the first time and I didn’t want to be denied the second time.
Q: Do you feel like the offense is close to breaking through?
A: Yeah, I do believe that we’re very close. I do believe that we’re still talented. I still believe that the sky is the limit. We have to continue to believe in each other, continue coming to work. Start over right now. Come in to Monday, take the good, leave with the bad and continue growing.
Q: Where does today rank in the games you have played with how much you were tested?
A: I don’t know. That’s a good question. Every team that we’ve played so far is a great team. It’s the NFL. We’ve been in dog fights in every single game. Last week we were able to find a way and grind it out and this week we came up short. That’s where we are at right now. We’re that close, we’re that close. We just have to continue believing in each other, believing in each other in the locker room, in the coaching staff and good things will come.
WR Sterling Shepard
Q: Offense got off to a fast start. You moved the ball on that first drive. Why don’t you think you were able to sustain that throughout the game?
A: I think we did a great job that first drive. We hit a little rough patch. They threw the two deep at us and something we struggle with in the past, but I feel like we’ll get in the film room and coaches will come up with something for sure.
Q: What do you think the answer is against those kind of soft coverages you’ve been seeing?
A: We’ll get Saquon (Barkley) involved in the run game and he’s going to make big plays, so we got to block it up for him. Us on the perimeter as well. It’s a group thing, so better get it corrected.
Q: What’s the level of frustration in here, offensively?
A: Pretty frustrated. We needed to (inaudible) and put up points and we didn’t do that, so obviously we’re going to be frustrated as an offense, but we have to brush it off and come in next week and flush this game down the toilet.
Q: I know you don’t want to let it bother you when you’re on the field, but do you guys feel like you got a bad whistle in this game?
A: Yeah, but I mean that’s the way the game goes. Sometimes the refs aren’t in your favor when you think they should be. That’s the way the game goes though.
CB Donte Deayon
Q: What happened on the defensive pass interference call at the end of the game?
A: I was out there competing. I thought I got there the same time the ball did. I got up, I saw the flag, and they called P.I. It was what it was.
Q: Is it frustrating having that called on you at that point in the game after making a play on defense?
A: Yeah, it was pretty deflating. You’re trying to get the ball back for our offense, and they call a pass interference, and it negates all of that. So, it was pretty deflating.
Q: Did you get an explanation on the screen as to what happened?
A: [The referee] He said the dude blocked me at the same time he [the receiver] caught it. I don’t really want to get into all of that.
Q: Do you feel that prevented you from making the tackle in that spot?
A: Turning it back to my head, yes.
Q: What did you think about the performance on defense as a group?
A: I thought we fought hard. We saw the stuff we got to clean up and get better at, but we were out there competing and fighting hard. We’ll go back and clean up the details and come back ready to go.
Q: Putting aside the 1-3 record, how would you assess the team so far? There were some games that were definitely winnable.
A: We’ll just get back to the drawing board, clean up the details, and then come out ready to go and try to turn this thing around.
Q: When you look at the way you held (Saints QB Drew) Brees and (Saints WR Michael) Thomas in check, do you feel like you guys should’ve won this game when they only had the numbers they had?
A: It’s a complete team effort on everything. Really, we didn’t do it enough. So, just clean up the details and getting back to it, and trying to get some wins.
Q: Talk about the pass interference call.
A: I was just competing. I thought I got there at the same time as the ball did. Didn’t feel like I hooked him or anything, and they called a flag.
Q: You guys gave up a lot of third-down conversions on the last couple of drives there. Was it just a matter of being a little gassed?
A: We just got to clean up the minor details. It was minor details that we just got to clean up and watch the tape and make sure they don’t show up again.
LB Alec Ogletree
Q: You guys are 1-3 and obviously there’s been some games, everything’s a fine line between being 2-2 and 3-1. How would you assess the season thus far just putting aside the record?
A: It’s a battle. It’s a battle each week, day in and day out, and that’s what we expect and for us it’s just coming in day-by-day and keep battling, just keep working. It could easily be the other way around, but we’re not. We know where we’re at, we know what we need to do and we have to get it fixed soon.
Q: What was the feeling when you guys came in here at the half? You held them out of the end zone in the first half and then you come in at halftime and you’re trailing. It’s a little weird.
A: It wasn’t weird, it’s just a part of the game, what the score was, it is what it is. Defensively, our job is to stop them as many times as we can and I thought we did that for the most part, except right here at the end of the game. We didn’t drop the field like we should have and it’s just something that we got to get fixed.
Q: When they were pinned at the three there, you felt like you get a good couple of stops and then get the ball back to your offense?
A: Yeah. Like I said, that’s our job as a defense to get as many stops as we need to get our offense back the ball. Give them as many opportunities as we can and if we do that, we feel good about having a shot to win the game.
Q: Why was your red zone defense so effective throughout the game?
A: Everybody just battled throughout the whole game and we battled and we got down there and it’s just a credit to the guys up front, the guys in the back end and everybody doing their jobs.
Q: You guys obviously did a good job against (Drew) Brees and limited (Michael) Thomas, but (Alvin) Kamara hurt you bad. What happened in that second half with him and some of his big runs?
A: We just didn’t make the tackles that we needed to do and we didn’t finish what we started, so they say I wish we started well, but the second half we didn’t finish the way we needed to finish.
Q: You have so much to worry about with that offense just to cover so many different bases. You have someone like Brees and Thomas out wide and all the weapons they have.
A: Like I said, we didn’t do enough in the second half to do what we needed to do to win the game and that’s that.
Q: You feel like you got a bad whistle in this game?
A: Honestly, I think it’s basically they’re worried about reffing in the Super Bowl game. If you ask them why they call a call, they tell you they wouldn’t make that call in the Super Bowl. I think that’s bad. That’s bad all around.
Q: Somebody told you that?
A: Yeah. That’s definitely what was explained to me that you wouldn’t make that call in the Super Bowl and I don’t think that’s right. I think you should call the game as it’s being played and if you do that, everything will work itself out.
Q: Which referee said that?
A: I don’t know.
Q: What was the play?
A: I’m not really trying to get into all of that, but I’ll leave it at that. Like I said, they’re worried about reffing in the Super Bowl. We’ll leave it at that.
Q: Were you kind of upset or disappointed in some of the calls that didn’t go your way?
A: Yeah, you don’t want those calls going against you, especially at critical points and times in the game, but they made the call and we didn’t do enough defensively to make the plays to get our offense back the ball.
Giants S Landon Collins
Q: Landon, how difficult is it to play that well as a defense against that good of an offense and get this result?
A: Hard; it’s hard. At the same time though, we have to continue working and staying loyal to this team and by playing together, we’re going to figure it out. We have all the keys, we have all of the weapons, we just have to put it all out there.
Q: Did you think as you were holding them to field goal after field goal in the first half that you were letting the offense set up for success in the second half?
A: Our offense? Yeah, definitely. I mean, even during the first half, we felt like every time we just held them [the Saints], it was giving our offense confidence that we’re not letting them score [the Saints] and every time we give you the ball, you would march it down the field. We were giving them total confidence and we had confidence in them to do that.
Q: Is it disheartening when you’re down like that at halftime even though you have played so well?
A: Is it disheartening? No, I mean, it’s a game, it’s the NFL; they get paid on the other side of the ball too. They’re going to play well, we’re going to play well, and it’s the better team that makes less mistakes that wins.
Q: What changed in the second half that they were able to score touchdowns like that?
A: I guess I could say just not wrapping up in tackling. We were getting a little tired on defense and we were just trying to finish.
Q: Landon, how hard is it to hold Drew Brees and that group to field goal after field goal?
A: It’s very hard, it’s very hard. Just knowing their route concepts and how many different formations they give, the guys they have on their offense, it’s a difficult test, but we did a good job if I would say so until the fourth quarter.
Q: You know what you have on your offense, does it surprise you that your offense is struggling?
A: I mean, I watch how hard they work; they work very hard and they have their keys and techniques and assignments down and the key is just that they have to transfer it over to the game. Once they figure that out, they’re definitely going to be good.
Q: What did you see there in the fourth quarter with [Alvin] the Kamara runs?
A: Just a tired defense; we were just trying to get him on the ground from that point on. I would say just a tired defense.
Q: What makes him [Alvin Kamara] so special?
A: He’s just a solid, great-balanced running back. He has great vision, he can hit it, he plays very patiently and I love that about him. He’s a patient running back and when he needs to hit a hole, he’s very hard to get to.
Q: With all of their other weapons in [Drew] Brees and [Michael] Thomas, was there not as much attention on Kamara?
A: No, the focus was definitely on [Alvin] Kamara and stopping him and making sure that he doesn’t get the gains that he got. Honestly, he just had the better game than us.
Q: What is the level of concern here one-quarter of the way into the season?
A: No concerns. We have a long season; it’s a long season.
Q: Landon, how deflating are some of these plays where they have the fourth-down conversion on the fake punt early in the game and then they called the horse-collar, which was debatable, and then coming back at the end of the game on that third-down pass interference, those are just some plays there?
A: Well, the P.I. (pass interference) is something different. It’s a bad call, but with the other stuff, we just have to work through it. We have some bad refs sometimes, but it happens.
Q: Did you see the horse-collar replay?
A: Yeah, I think everyone saw it. We all saw it though.
Q: Is there anything that you think you Jack Rabbit [Janoris Jenkins] could’ve done differently on the horse-collar play?
A: No. I mean, it was a good tackle; it’s honestly a great tackle. His hand was on the right shoulder on the man, it’s a good tackle. There isn’t much that you could do differently.
Q: Did you guys feel like the defense played well enough to win?
A: Yes, I thought so yeah. We tackled well, we held them predominantly to almost three points every time until the fourth quarter. We played really well.
Q: Landon, four games in, how much is this season is challenging you?
A: I mean, it’s still early right now. A lot of stuff is going to change; concepts, routes, just different things are going to change throughout the season, so we’re not worried, no. It’s a long season.
Q: Do you think that there were equally bad calls on both teams?
A: From the refs? They went hand-in-hand. They got some bad calls and we got some bad calls. I think our calls were worse than theirs, but yeah.
Q: Sometimes at home though, you get the benefit of the doubt from the officials though, right?
A: I mean, it’s all on the officials though, honestly. If they feel disrespected by a player, then they’re going to call it against you anytime. It’s all on their discretion. I appreciate you guys, thank you.