Head Coach Pat Shurmur
August 30, 2018
Giants vs. Patriots
Opening Remarks: Fourth preseason game in the books. I thought the guys played hard, we didn’t make enough plays in the end to win the game, but it was a great illustration, in my opinion, of how important it is to catch the ball. I think we fell victim to the drops, and when you’re in pro football and you’re throwing the ball around, you need to catch it, especially in those third down situations or when we take a shot on the deep ball, if the ball gets laid inside a little bit, the ball’s got to get defended. So, there’s plenty of things to learn from. Like I just told the team, I said any mistake that we made tonight may show up three weeks from now in Houston, two weeks from now in Dallas, so we’ve got to make sure we’ve got it all cleaned up so that we don’t make any of the mistakes again. I thought all the guys that played, played extremely hard. We only had two (ankle injuries), (Nick) Becton and (Rob) Martin. We had two ankles, so for the most part – unless something creeps up in the morning – we pulled out of this thing pretty healthy. It kind of caps off training camp, and now we’ll get to the business of picking the roster. I’ll take your questions.
Q: On that point about picking the roster, what can you share around your process between now and Saturday when you have to reduce the roster?
A: We’re going to go and clean up the game tomorrow as coaches. We’ll have a meeting with the players and then typically, this is not new, the players will have some time off this weekend, and then we’ll get to the business of making cuts. That will happen this weekend.
Q: Talking about catching the ball, Donte Deayon made a couple of really nice plays.
A: He did a really nice job. And, on the flip side, I thought he did a really good job when the ball was in the air, and he caught it. It was the first interception along the sideline and then the second interception he undercut the route and did a nice job. He also had some tackles. I would say he helped himself tonight. He had a good performance.
Q: In your initial review without looking at the tapes of Kyle (Lauletta) out there, what did you see and how did that compare to what you expected to see?
A: I think he fell victim to some drops that would’ve made things look a little better. That one scramble where I think he hit (Jerell) Adams, that keeps a drive alive. He was aggressive with this throws down the field, which we wanted to see. You can see he has plenty of arm strength, which is good, and I thought he was pretty poised throughout the game. I thought the same way when (Alex) Tanney came in at the end. I thought Alex did a nice job, too, two pretty good drives. The first drive stalled on third down. Just catch the ball. We had the ball past the sticks and then we got a little fancy with it, so then I intended to go for it on fourth down there, anyways. You can be a little bit more cavalier in the preseason, but it was probably a good decision to go for it.
Q: We mentioned Deayon already, you seem to have a pretty competitive battle with the last spots for cornerback. How did (Chris Lewis-Harris)’s performance tonight factor into that?
A: I thought he looked pretty good. I saw where he made some tackles, I saw where he disrupted a couple passes. I have to go back and look at it. Sometimes corner play gets a little lost when you start running the ball, but I thought he showed up pretty well just based on what I saw in the game.
Q: Going into this game, you didn’t have a lot of penalties, but tonight you got a lot of helmet penalties. How do you think your team has adjusted to that rule?
A: I thought we had adjusted well, and then all the sudden a bunch of them creeped up on us. We’ll just go back and look at each one and just see why. When we went through this helmet thing, it was said that these were the certain plays we want out of our game and those are pretty obvious. Some of the plays now, we’re getting flags that if those aren’t part of the game, I don’t know if we have a game. So, we’ve just got to see. We all want what’s right and what’s best for the players. I feel like player safety is on the front burner. We want to make sure it’s a safe, physical, gritty game and play the way the rule is written, and I think it’s just a matter of us continuing to coach it the right way and then when it gets officiated, just officiate it consistently. That’s really what we want.
Q: With the preseason over now, do you feel pretty good about this team’s readiness for the regular season?
A: I don’t know about readiness. I feel like we’re on the right path with regard to team building, I feel like we’ve got enough information. We played all the players through the preseason, so we’re not going to be guessing as to whether a guy can do it or not. We’re in a position now to pick that initial 53-man roster. We’re in a position to keep moving forward, and I feel good about the work we’ve done to this point; but, the ultimate team, you need to keep practicing and you play games in between. Hopefully you can stay healthy and continue to improve and be in a position to be in the playoffs.
Q: How hard is this weekend for you to cut so many guys?
A: The human element of it is tough. I think we all get used to it, but if you’ve got a heart and you’ve got a soul, you’re talking about guys’ livelihood. It’s a tough situation that way, but it’s real.
Q: Jhurrell Pressley came in late but you know him from Minnesota. He’s seemed to have picked up this system pretty quick. Can you talk about him a little bit and his progress?
A: He’s done a terrific job. We needed him to come in, we were a little short at running back and then he came in and quickly made an impact. He helped himself in our games and hopefully the eyes of the league.