WR Russell Shepard -- July 27, 2019
Q: What do you make it of it with Sterlingís (Shepard) hand, Goldenís (Tate) suspension, and Coreyís (Coleman) knee?
A: New year, new story. This is something that we can take and turn the table, and change the narrative to make it out something positive. Things like this happen through the course of the year and we got a good group of guys that I think will make something good out of this situation.
Q: Have you ever seen something like this before with one position? Maybe not at receiver, but on a team youíre on have one position group be hit Ďbam, bam, bamí?
A: Yeah, Iíve seen it. Iíve seen it happen at different positions at different teams. I remember one particular team, one year in Carolina when (WR) Kelvin Benjamin got hurt and a few other receivers got hurt and they didnít give that group or team a chance, and then they went on to win 15 games. So, Iíve seen it happen time and time again, and Iíve seen some great things come out of these situations. Itís the NFL, everybody is here for a reason, and everybody is just kind of waiting for their opportunity.
Q: Speaking of Kelvin Benjamin, did you see him around today?
A: I havenít. I havenít seen KB. Heís a good guy, I hope everything works out the best for him.
Q: When did you find out about Golden (Tate) and when that whole situation came out?
A: When yíall found out. Itís a private matter, heís handling it. Heís appealing the process from what I was told. Hopefully it works out for the best for him.
Q: Can this receiver corps sustain not having Golden Tate?
A: We are definitely a better team with Golden Tate, but we definitely can. I remember one particular game last year, we went into the Redskins game, I forget which week it was, but we had a bunch of guys that nobody knew about. We went up 40-0 in the first half. You just have to put your minds together, put your hard hats on and go to work. Just show what you can do. Like I said, at the end of the day, weíre all pros, weíre here for a reason, and we can make this sort of a ĎCinderella storyí, as they say.
Q: As this has chronicled on social media around the country: Odellís (Beckham) not here, then Sterling (Shepard) goes out, Corey Coleman, and now Golden Tate possibly. Then you list the guys who are here, and the narrative is that theyíve got nothing:
A: Yeah, thatís how we like it. We have nothing to lose, and thatís what you want. You want people to doubt you at times, so you can prove them wrong. You want people to kind of give up on you. Thatís what this group of guys is going to do, we are going to go out and show why we deserve to be here, why we are going to be here, and why weíre going to help this team win games come Sunday.
Q: Do you guys talk about that within the small groups when youíre working?
A: We talk about it, we encourage each other. Iron sharpens iron. We have those conversations. Itís kind of an understood thing. You know (being the) next man up. Youíre a professional, go out and do your job or theyíll bring somebody else in.
Q: Is it a positive that itís not kids? I mean, itís you and Bennie (Fowler):
A: Yeah. Youíve got a couple guys in this room who have won Super Bowls. You have a couple guys in this room that have played at a high level, (and) that have started at multiple positions. So, if itís going to happen to one group on this team, the receiving group is one of the better groups for it to happen to. We are a veteran group, a seasoned group, and we are kind of diverse. We do a lot of different things with our skillsets.
A: Youíve talked in the past about the lessons you learn when you start looking at the depth chart on day one of training camp. How quickly you can go from a guy who may not be in the mix and focus on special (teams), then all of a sudden, youíre running with the ones in a matter of 72 hours. What kind of message do you send as a guy who has lived that to some of the rookies that are now on this roster now trying to make their way?
Q: Prepare. Every day is an opportunity to prepare to be ready for that opportunity. Practice, thatís what practice is for, to come in, to work on your craft, to harness your craft, and just to build it up. Then outside of the football field, preparation pre-practice, going over film, going over your notes. Be a proís pro, so when that opportunity comes, like itís coming for a lot of young guys and a lot of guys who usually donít have these types of opportunities, youíre ready.
Q: Do you go to some of the rookies, whether itís today before practice or yesterday, and kind of say, to a guy like (WR) Reggie White, Ďyou went from running with the threes and nobodyís paying attention, but now all of a sudden youíre getting repsí?
A: No, I donít go to him. I think heís seeing how itís going to be.