RB Jonathan Stewart
Conference Call, March 14, 2018
Q: Can you give us an update on how this all came together?
A: I was released by the Panthers and I took a couple days and just kind of sat on that and was thinking a little bit and reached out to my agent and asked what he thought as far as opportunities around the league to play. He thought there were plenty of opportunities, so I took three trips -- Seattle, Detroit and New York and from there, you know how it went down (laughs).
Q: What kind of role did (general manager) Dave Gettleman and (offensive coordinator) Mike Shula play in your final decision here?
A: It played a significant role. Dave believes in mem, and it's just good to know that the GM believes in what you can do on the field, and Mike Shula, there is a familiarity with the offense and the scheme, and I believe in what they're going to do moving forward with the draft. They're definitely a good team, they've got a lot of good players on offense and defense and I'm just excited to be apart of it.
Q: Youíre entering a relatively young running backs room with Wayne Gallman, Paul Perkins and if he returns, Orleans Darkwa. Can you reflect on the role that you will have to take on in that room in terms of leadership?
A: Yeah, I'm going into my 11th year as a running back and it's my first with a new team. I'm definitely excited to go in there and share my wisdom as being a professional in this business and also learn, too, from the younger guys as well. There is always room for growth and I'm excited to be apart of that running back group and I'm sure we have a lot to look forward to at the end of the day. The sky is the limit and I'm excited to meet those guys and be a part of the team.
Q: Did the Giants tell you what your role is going to be and what do you think about the pecking order of the running backs and the possibility of the team adding another running back at some point?
A: I expect to compete at the end of the day. That's what we do. If you're not competing, if you're not expected to have competition amongst the group, then you shouldn't be in this business. It doesn't make you better if you're not willing to compete and get better and I see this as an opportunity for that for everyone and I'm excited to get things going.
Q: How would you describe the culture of the locker room in Carolina during the Super Bowl run in 2015?
A: It felt very special. At the end of the day, having a good group of guys that mesh well and have a good chemistry and don't (?) and just understanding the end goal, which is to win championships and to have a family-oriented culture. I think moving forward, I'm pretty sure that's kind of the culture that New York is expected to have next year, which is the reason that I gravitated towards the decision with the Giants.
Q: Who did you meet with during your Giants visit and what is your relationship with Pat Shurmur?
A: I met with Pat, I met with the running backs coach, I met with Dave, I met with the receivers coach who used to coach with Carolina. (?) was showing me around the locker rooms and all that stuff. It was a long day, but it was a good, long day. We got a deal done and we worked things out, but it was a good experience, a full day and a lot of good people in that organization and I met the owner as well.
Q: How much do you think you have left in the tank?
A: I've got a lot left. The only reason why I would be playing is if I knew I could play and I know I can play, Dave knows I can play -- there is a lot that I feel I want to prove and writing my own story as far as how things shape up moving forward for me. I'm excited about the opportunity at hand and I'm grateful for the owners taking a chance on me and trusting in the GM and the coaching staff to trust me.
Q: Were there some concerns that you were joining a team that had a weak offensive line last season and did they give you any hints that Nate Solder would be joining the team?
A: I wasn't concerned and no, they didn't tell me about the moves they made today, but that's exciting. It is definitely trending up and I think having Dave there is the reason why they've been good in the past and he knows how to put teams together and it seems like he's doing a good job so far.
Q: When you look at Coach Shurmur's offenses in the past, there are always a lot of opportunities for running backs to catch the ball. You haven't really had more than one big reception year in your career. Is that an area you feel like you can contribute, is that something you weren't asked to do in Carolina? Why do you fit that if Shurmur asks you to do that?
A: I believe I definitely can fit that role. It wasn't really asked of me to do in Carolina, but I definitely have that quality to my game and Dave knows that and I'm pretty sure Pat knows that. Pat believes in having a running back that can be all phases, which is run, block and catch. I am totally aware of that and I'm ready for it.