WR Sterling Shepard -- December 26, 2018
Q: Just the emotions going into this last game – it’s home, it’s against the Cowboys, they’ve taken the NFC East. What do you want to prove, either as a team or as a person, as you guys close this out?
A: We want to just go into the next season with a little bit of momentum and I feel like wins at the end of the season help with that, so guys are pretty much – everybody’s locked in. we’re going out there with the mindset of getting a W. We got to prepare the right way and, like I said, guy’s heads are in the right direction.
Q: I was going to say you’ve already had that good feeling now that things are better. In the sense that you’ve won more games than last year.
A: It’s been a good feeling at times in this season. We know the feeling of winning so we’re going to do whatever we can to get that feeling back.
Q: How different does this feel compared to the last week of last season? You know your head coach, you know most of your team. Does it feel much different than the uncertainty you felt at this time last year?
A: Yeah, it’s a completely different team in a bunch of different ways, so yeah I guess it is a little bit different than last year.
Q: This is a division rival that’s clinched first place. Do you think ending the season matching up against them will kind of give you a little more indication of well, we’re far away, we’re not far away here?
A: Yeah, even last week that was a playoff team, so we’re going into another playoff situation and that’s the way we’re going to treat it, like a playoff game, so I feel like it’s important for the guys to get that feeling and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go in and try to beat a playoff team.
Q: What have been the things you thought have improved the most, especially the second half of the season?
A: Scoring in the red zone has been huge for us and putting more points on the board and also getting off to fast starts. I feel like at the beginning of the season we kind of struggled getting off to fast starts and that’s some of the things we stressed after the break, so I feel like we fixed a lot of things and we’re pretty close. We just got to get over that hump.
Q: Probably a lot like last year, there will be changes to the roster again in the offseason, but you know a guy like (Saquon) Barkley will be back. What was that experience like watching his rookie year and what he was able to produce?
A: It was amazing. The things that guy can do on the field, like I said, they’re amazing and it’s only going to go up from here. I felt like the game slowed down a lot for me my second year and I expect the same thing from him and he’s going to keep lighting it up.
Q: Eli’s (Manning) entering, he’ll be 16 years next year. Does he still have it in him because a lot of people are wondering if this is going to be it for him?
A: He still has it in him, in my eyes. Smartest guy I ever played with and he’s still making all the throws. You can see last week, he made a lot of great throws, made great decisions with the ball, so I don’t see why not.
Q: Do you want to see him back as your quarterback in 2019?
A: Yeah, I’d love to. You never know what you’re getting in the draft or whatever and he’s proven he can play in this league. He’s been in this league for a long time doing his thing, so I’d love for him to be my QB.
Q: Does a quarterback who supposedly doesn’t have a future, a long term future, make the throw that he made to you on that long one against the Colts – in other words, it takes kind of a special quarterback to make that throw under pressure, no?
A: Yeah, it does. He did a great job moving around in the pocket as well and was able to get the ball, hit me pretty much right in stride. He can still make the throws and I don’t see where a lot of people come from when they say that.