Quotes (9/22): Giants vs. Buccaneers postgame reactions

HEAD COACH PAT SHURMUR

(Opening Statement)

“These games can go down to the very last play and it did. I think they did a really good job of moving the ball against us in the first half. We came back in the second half and did a good a job of stopping them and getting them to punt and then we turned around and got a couple of quick scores and put this thing back in balance. I think the key to the drill was some of the situational football. We were much better on third down, we were six-for-thirteen, and three-for-four in the red zone. We faced a pretty good defense, this is the third really good defense that we faced. Certainly when [Alec] Ogletree goes out with a hamstring, [Saquon] Barkley with the ankle, you lose two of your better players, the guys that stepped in did a terrific job. I feel like we got real positive contributions from the special teams. The punt coverage was just outstanding and they forced us to punt a few times more than we would have liked. Certainly, when you block a kick and they missed a couple and that can be the difference.

“Probably the story of the game will be the rookie quarterback. I thought Daniel Jones did a pretty good job his first time out. I think as he goes along, he’ll continue to get better. There were mistakes within there. There were a couple of times when we took a couple sacks, the fumbles, some of that loose stuff, we can work on that, there’s drills for that. There’s stuff that he did in the game, there’s not drills for that. We believed in him from the day we drafted him and first time out he didn’t disappoint.”

(On the difference defensively in the second half)

“Well I just think it was the same as last week. Buffalo had us on our heels and then we came out in the second half and found a way to get some stops. The difference in that game is we didn’t kick it into gear on offense. Today, it was a better second half all around. We came out and got some explosive plays on offense, we got the stops on defense and at the very bitter end there, we were fortunate they missed the kick. That’s the way this team is going to be, we’re going to have to fight for it. It was good to get our first victory on the road, good to get the first victory with the young quarterback [Daniel Jones]. Now we’ll just go back and reassess and get ready to play the Redskins.”

(On Daniel Jones’ game-winning run)

“It was fourth down, they played a big zone and covered us all down and then he took off and ran for a touchdown. Stuff that he’s done, it’s part of what he does. He helped convert a couple of third downs because of his legs. You can start to see and as you get to appreciate him as a player – there’s plenty of things he needs to do better – but there’s certain things I knew about this kid when we drafted him. He was tough, he was competitive, and in my opinion he’s a winner. Now the rest of it, is just pure quarterback stuff and because of those first three things, that’s why he’s going have a chance moving forward.”

(On his emotions on the Mike Evans catch with in the final minute)

“I’ve been in games where it has come down to that and kicks have been made or missed. I was a part of the Minneapolis Miracle, so you just got to hang in there all the way to the end of it. The emotions are you get bummed out for a second but then you get right back into it because they have to execute a kick. Fortunately for us they didn’t.”

(On whether he saw the kick being missed)

“From my angle I can never tell whether they’re good or not. There was so much cheering going on and we had so many of the Giants’ faithful here it almost sounded like, from my perspective, like they made it. Fortunately, I was wrong.”

(On Janoris Jenkins’ coverage on Mike Evans on the final drive)

“It was just a nine ball, they just took a shot. We’d been matching up Janoris all game and they made a good throw and catch, that’s all.”

(On the mobility of Daniel Jones)

“I think it’s value added to a quarterback. You see in a game, there’s a lot of plays that are less than perfect. In a former life guys like Michael Vick and all of the mobile quarterbacks that have been around, as you move around and you get outside the pocket, things sometimes start to clear up for big plays. I think he moved a few times because pass rushes are too good, and as they know you’re throwing the ball and you break contain and you’ve got a good set of legs on you, you’ve got a chance to make a play.”

(On whether Jones had to be calmed after negative plays)

“Nope, not a bit, that’s a part of his charm. He’s mature beyond all of our years. Trust me, we’ve all been together long enough, I know that for a fact.”

(On the value of Jones and looking forward)

“It was his first outing, he had a significant impact on helping us win the game. Now, we’re going to see. We’re looking for consistency, so we’re looking for him to not be heroic but just be the best Daniel Jones he can be. Now he’s going to go through the process of trying to get his body back and get ready to play Washington and we’ll help guide him through it. We’re very confident, though, about what we’ve seen. He keeps passing the tests in our mind. Until this afternoon he hadn’t played in a regular season NFL game and maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but he didn’t disappoint.”

(On Saquon Barkley’s injury)

“It’s an ankle of some sort. We’ll get further information on that tomorrow. It’s a sprain.”

(On what the second half says about the team)

“It says that we’re becoming a better team because we were able to go out and close the gap and finish it off the right way. I think that’s how you learn. We can keep talking about it but until you go out and do it and confirm it for yourselves and for ourselves, it’s just talk. Listen, we won one football game, there’s a lot for everybody to write about. Now it’s a matter of us going back and reassess where we’re at physically and put a roster together to get ready to play Washington.”

(On Jones’ understanding to not make excuses)

“What it says about him is he believes in himself and he believes in all the players that are out there. That’s a part of his charm. I’ve been around a lot of smart people, I’d rather be around the tough people, he’s tough.”

(On how the offense changes without Saquon Barkley)

“We were in a situation without Saquon where we were behind, so then you’re chucking it a little more than maybe you would like. We were still trying to mix in the run, but they were rushing five most of the time. They did a pretty good job against the runner so we had to throw.”

QB DANIEL JONES

(On if this was how he expected his first game to go)

“I don’t know about that, but exciting win and exciting finish there for us. I thought we showed a lot of fight and we battled back after kind of creating a hole for ourselves there in the first half. Exciting win and I look forward to building off of it.”

(On what he saw on his fourth down rushing touchdown)

“Just what I saw, they were playing some kind of man and it just opened up, I saw grass and took it. A fun finish to it, exciting last drive. Thought we did a good job getting people open and protecting. It was a fun finish.”

(On his read on the fourth down)

“We were in a three by one set and just trying to spread some guys out to the left. It kind of popped and I just saw the crease in the middle and I just took it.”

(On that being the situation he knew he might have the opportunity to run)

“Not necessarily, you try to see those things if they are going to give you that space. You try to see that on any play.”

(On the game plan to bring the team back from a 28-10 deficit)

“Just to keep doing what we were doing, but better and more efficiently, I don’t think we really changed much or necessarily got away from who we were or what we have done since training camp. We caught a few plays and hit a few of them and found a way to get the points.”

(On what his week has been like since Tuesday)

“It has been a different week [with] what’s happened. I think as a team we did a good job preparing and focusing on what we needed to do to play this game. I thought we had a good plan going in, we knew what to expect – just a great team win.”

(On what Eli Manning said to him after the game)

“Congratulations and he was just happy for me. I can’t thank him enough for his support throughout the week and today during the game, I am just really grateful.”

(On what he was feeling during the field goal)

“I couldn’t see it from the beginning. I was just standing there, probably on the 50-yard line. Just kind of crossed my fingers hoping for a miss or a block or some break. Obviously excited – thrilling finish.”

(On plauing the second half without Saquon Barkley)

“I think we were certainly confident in who we are as a team, I think we have a number of playmakers. Obviously he is a huge piece of that, there is no doubt about it. We had guys step up and make plays which I think shows the versatility of this team. No doubt he is a huge piece of it.”

(On if is he is excited)

“Yeah, I am excited. I think this is an awesome win, fun to be a part of.”

(On if this is how he would script his first game)

“I would probably take out two fumbles and then go from there. I don’t know, you never really know how it is going to go and that is the fun part, that is football. We found a way to win, we battled, and we found a way to finish it. That is what is the most exciting. 

(On his confidence)

“Just the love to compete, just to play. I think we did a good job as a team in preparing this week and we all felt comfortable and confident coming into the game with what we had prepared, so I think a large part comes from that.” 

(On the big play to start the second half and how it changed the level of emotion)

“I think a little bit, I think that was big for us to put that one on the board quick. Awesome play by Evan [Engram] and you see what he does for us with his speed at tight end, which I think is huge for us. We realize there is still a lot of work to do, but that is certainly a big step in the right direction.”

(On biggest challenge he faced today)

“The two turnovers, those were costly and certainly things I need to work on. I think football you realize it is going to go back and forth, you're going to have to battle, and just proud we found a way to win.”

(On advice from Eli during the game)

“Just to stay at it, he was encouraging me to stick with it and keep fighting. There were certainly some things schematically he would point out and help me with and that was helpful so just really appreciative of that.”

TIGHT END EVAN ENGRAM

(On changing the momentum on the first play of the second half)

“Yeah, Coach dialed my number and I just had to come out and be a spark for the team. We needed a big spark to kind of get going. You see, when we can score points and drive down make plays, it gives the defense some confidence, it gives the defense some comfort for them to go out there and play their ball and that’s what happened.”

(On quarterback Daniel Jones’ demeanor throughout the whole game)

“He just stayed calm. He stayed poised. He stayed true to himself. He didn’t let the adversity that kind of hit – we had a couple of turnovers – they got some pressure and Daniel coughed the ball up, but it didn’t faze him. He stayed true. He stayed calm. Stayed collected and got the job done.”

(On Jones during the last drive and how they marched down the field)

“He played confident all day, especially in the biggest moment. We kept getting set up for opportunities to go down and take the lead. We got that last opportunity. He was just calm, cool, collected and drove us right down the field.”

(On how the routes seemed to open up the middle of the field on New York’s last offensive play)

“Yeah, they jumped outside on all our routes. I had a seven – kind of an outbreaking play and they kind of jumped on the outside. Everything opened up in the middle. It was smart for him to take off.”

RUNNING BACK SAQUON BARKLEY

(On his ankle injury)

“Yeah I don’t really know too much about the injury. I got an x-ray on it and nothing is wrong with it there. Tomorrow I’m going it get more of an understanding of what it actually is, whatever it is just work my tail off to get back. I don’t want to miss out on stuff like that, what just happened, how the team played all three phases of the game. Especially the second half, elevated you saw the fight. I’m really proud and happy for my team, and happy we were able to get the first win of the season.”

(On how it felt watching the game unfold from the sideline)

“Personally, it sucks, because as a competitor I just wanna be out there. That was the biggest reason why I was upset with the injury of course. I hate watching my teammates play without me… But just seeing all those guys go out there and just play at a high level and just fight – it was 28-10 at one point. A lot of people would fold in that situation, but we kind of came in here [the locker room] and made an adjustment, got everyone going and you know Danny [Daniel Jones] played great in the second half, the team played great in the second half. I’m just really happy for Daniel to get his first win and for the team to get the first win.”

(On if he is concerned his injury is a high ankle sprain)

“I don’t really know too much about it. I’ve never really been hurt before, I guess I got hurt my freshman year in college. Whatever it is, I promise you I’m coming back 10 times better and I’m going to try return as quickly as possible, whenever it is to heal so I can get back to help my team compete, that’s what I’m going to try to do.

(On hyping up players and Giants fans right before the missed game-winning field)

“Even though I’m not in the game, I could still be in the active, I was still vocal on the sideline. Still trying to get the fans into it. That’s what it’s about; it’s not about you, it’s about the team. Even though I know I’m not playing, I feel like I still have an impact on this team and on my boys. So that’s why I wanted to come back out and try to be out there for my teammates and like I said, I am just so happy and proud of them. They played their tails off and came out with just a whole different mentality in the second half, and we can build off of that and go back and correct the negative things that happened and get ready for Washington.”

(On if he feels like the quarterback change is a new chapter for the team)

“Yeah, the quarterback is a big change, but just a new chapter – we finally see what we have. The first two weeks, we felt like we were in games, but we weren’t playing to our level. Even this game, we got out of it. We got down quick and were down by a lot of points, but that’s who we are, that second half of football, that’s who we are. We even still could do better than that. So yes, that should just say it’s a new chapter. Like I said earlier in the week, I was excited for Daniel [Jones] to come out here, and I said we would do whatever it takes to try to get this team the first win, and try to get him his first win, and those guys did that today.”

CORNERBACK JANORIS JENKINS

(On how he felt after Matt Gay’s missed game-winning field goal attempt)

“I felt relief. But that’s okay. He [Mike Evans] made a couple of plays, made a lot of plays, but we still came out with the victory.”

(On why he struggled defending Mike Evans)

“To be honest, I was trying to guess some [routes], but like I said he made a nice couple of plays. He fought, I fought. I was just trying to make a play – he wasn’t that fast or whatever. You know I was trying to get a quick jump on [the ball] but you know, he scored a few touchdowns.

(On why defense played better in second half)

“I don’t even know, to be honest. I guess we just started off slow, but we’ve got to start off faster from now on – and we know that. We made some adjustments in the second half. Everybody executed and came out and played well.”

(On how he adjusted in the second half)

“I just kind of stopped [taking risks] and just played honest football. Covered him honest, but like I said he made a lot of plays. Great receiver, good guy, you all know, he won today. It be like that sometimes.

(On the goal-line touchdown that Mike Evans caught)

“I mean it was a play that we called, we just didn’t execute. But like I said, he got in the endzone. So, it’s just on me. [I] take full responsibility.”

(On watching Daniel Jones’ performance today)

“It’s awesome. We know he’s young and has a great arm. The guy can manage the offense and just happy for him.”

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