NYG Postgame (vs. Bears) Transcripts: WR Russell Shepard -- December 2, 2018
Q: On your touchdown catch, did you think, when is he going to throw me the ball?
A: I just donít think he saw me. Itís one of those things that we kind of repped one time, something that we did throughout the week. Just playing football. Once I saw all the safeties suck in, the field was wide open, and he did an amazing job of seeing me. For him to see me, and not know I was supposed to be there, itís crazy.
Q: Did you freelance that route a little bit?
A: I freelanced it, yes, I did.
Q: Were you screaming for the ball? How did you get his attention?
A: I was waving. I donít think he heard me screaming, but I was waving.
Q: How about the punt at the end of the game there?
A: You know what, #30 (CB Antonio Hamilton) made the best play of it. He caught the ball, I gave us an opportunity to get the ball, and then he got the ball. He made a great play. The guys secured the ball. It was just a great play all around for our team. I think our special teams, last month, have been playing some really good football, and I think weíre really helping this team out.
Q: What does it say about this team to rally back and win the game in overtime?
A: Weíre learning how to win. Simple as that, weíre learning how to win. Earlier in the season, we probably lose that game, but now weíre learning how to win. We donít want to be in that situation, but at the end of the day, we won the football game, and thatís the most important thing.
Q: Do you guys practice tipped balls on special teams?
A: Yeah, we practice that. Thatís something that we practice as gunners. Thatís something that we take pride in. When you can affect the game like that, thatís huge, and we were excited to be able to be in that opportunity.
Q: Coming out of halftime, did you guys feel like you needed a play after struggling offensively?
A: I know we needed a play. When you play football like this, every half is a different half. We know we needed to come out, score fast, get on the board. Defensively, continue to keep doing what theyíve been doing the whole game, and special teams, make that type of play. So, I think everyone had pressure on them to make a play.
Q: You said you guys didnít work on that play during the week. Was that a play you guys had in your back pocket?
A: Itís something that we had, but the fact that he threw it to me, that was different. Originally, it was a frontside play, and he just did an amazing job at making a play.
Q: Where are you supposed to be on that play?
A: Probably blocking (Bears LB) Khalil Mack to give him time to throw the football (laughter).
Q: Does that show what kind of athlete (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) is?
A: Heís the best person Iíve seen with a ball in his hands. He can hit a homerun in an MLB stadium. He can kick a soccer ball. Since Iíve been knowing him since he was 17, 16, heís probably one of the best people Iíve seen with a ball, period, in his hands. He kicked a 50-yard feel goal a couple weeks ago in practice.
Q: How did you get that wide open on that play?
A: Odell had the ball. Everybody came in. Heís a talented guy with the ball in his hands. He demands attention. I just kind of snuck through the cracks. So, it was good for me, great for us.
Q: Did it feel like the ball was hanging in the air forever?
A: Did it! Did you see it? It was like a punt (laughter), but he did an amazing job just getting the ball to me. I caught it, and walked in.
Q: Did that little hesitation by him draw the secondary closer to him? Almost as if he was going to take off and run.
A: Yeah, I think they thought he was going to run the football at that point. Originally, they saw that he was going to throw the football. Then, he kind of sucked everybody in, because like I said, heís the type of guy Ė him and #26 (RB Saquon Barkley), even when it looks like nothing is there, they can make something happen.
Q: Did he throw any passes to you in college at LSU? (Beckham)
A: No, he never threw a ball in college. I was a quarterback in college.
Q: Did you throw him the ball in college?
A: In practice. I was a joke, Iím messing with you.
Q: Does he think he has a better arm than you? (Beckham)
A: I think he does have a better arm than me. Heís thrown some pretty good balls. My last ball I threw was 2008 in a game type of setting. I donít have any resume to really compete with him right now.
Q: Is it hard to make that play when you have so much time to think about it?
A: I would say you have those mental lapses with those types of balls, but weíre pros. We catch the football, do what youíre supposed to do. Those mental lapses are definitely on those types of balls.
Q: When you were running that route, do you sense how open you are?
A: A typical play lasts six to seven seconds. So, I would say within the first two seconds, you kind of realize whatís going on. You realize no one is covering you, everybody is playing the run. Itís an instinct game. Instincts kick in very quickly.
Q: When you turn your head, are you aware of whatís going on?
A: I was supposed to be blocking. When I saw him touch Khalil Mack, when I saw everybody go to the right, I knew Odell had the ball.
Q: You werenít even supposed to be in the pass route?
A: Iím dead serious, but it happened, and we won (laughter).
Q: How much do you pride yourself on your special teams play?
A: Huge, thatís 95% of my career. Thatís what I do, thatís how I feed my family, thatís how I create a name for myself in this league. Itís huge for me.