NYG Postgame (vs. Dolphins): Head Coach Pat Shurmur -- December 15, 2019
Opening Statement: You saw the only injury. (DeAndre) Baker knocked his knee a little bit, but he got back in there and was able to finish. Well, it’s been quite a long stretch, but it felt really good to win. It was a good team win. As you saw, there were contributions by the defense, obviously the offense, and then certainly on special teams we did a lot of good things. I think it feels good for me because these guys have continued to fight. We finally really put a full game together on all three sides of the ball and it worked out our way. We made plays, and it was good to win. It’s good to be able to have Eli out there playing with us and help lead us to a victory. He’s certainly done many, many good things here for many, many years. For him to enjoy leading us to a victory, should feel real special for him because of who he is. With that, I’ll take your questions.
Q: What were your thoughts on the secondary? There were a lot of rookies out there.
A: Yeah, I thought they competed well. I thought defensively we did a good job, we got a lot of stops in critical situations. We turned the ball over and forced them to kick a field goal. I felt like…I think along the way our guys have competed. If you look at last week’s game, competed throughout the game and then we sort of broke down at the end in a critical situation to end up losing the game. In this game, they fought throughout, made a lot of plays, and really helped contribute in the victory.
Q: How did you think of the way Eli played, particularly in the second half because it was opposite of the second half last week?
A: I thought he played a great game. He made a lot of great plays. Certainly, everybody will point to some of the bad plays— which were the interceptions. But I was really pleased with the way he led us and got us in the endzone, was real good with the run game stuff, making sure we were in the right run. He sort of played an Eli Manning type game in my mind and helped lead us to victory.
Q: How was it down the stretch there? It’s an unusual situation, you’ve got the game at hand and take Eli out because you want to take the knee, it’s a nice situation obviously now to think about.
A: Yeah, I mean it’s good when you can start thinking about those other things. Of late, we’ve been in two-minute trying to race back. So, to be in a four-minute mode was fun and that’s what you’re always looking for. The ability to put him in and then take him out where he could be recognized by the fans, that was great.
Q: Was that at all an indication that you know this was his last home game start?
A: No. I think we have two games left to go and we’ll just have to see. Dan (Daniel Jones) is trying to come back from injury and who knows where he’s going to be. As we’ve talked about, the end of last week he was in a boot, at the end of this week he was practicing, but I don’t know how much better he’s going to be. There’s a chance that Eli keeps playing. To enjoy a victory like we did today and for him to be a significant part of it should feel really good for him.
Q: The back of your defense only gave up six completions in the second half. Any big adjustments and what did you see from them?
A: No, we just continued to play. When you get on that side of it, where they’re playing on offense like we’ve had to do a few of the last few weeks, it makes it tougher and you can be a little more aggressive with the rush, tighter in coverage. I thought just the guys competed.
Q: What did you say to Eli? It looked like you went over and said something to him.
A: Nothing. I guess it was just a hug, “Way to go.”
Q: How important was it for you guys to come out and score the first time you touched the ball in the second half? Can you talk about Saquon’s running today?
A: Yeah, well that score was important because it put us ahead. It put us ahead, 14-10. You always like to get a fast start. The idea is obviously to when you defer, and in this case when we deferred, to get the ball in the second half and score. That’s what you’re looking to do. It worked out our way, the guys executed well. In terms of Saquon, I thought he ran extremely well. You can see when you keep him involved—three yards, four yards, eight yards, three yards, four yards, 10 yards. That’s always good when you have a runner of his quality.
Q: The curtain call for Eli— was that something you thought of during the week?
A: No, you just react to it. I just felt like it was the right thing to do. Believe it or not, we as coaches go by our gut and we react to things. That was at the point of the game when we were able to do that. It was a good thing.
Q: What did you think of the fan who ran on the field wearing the Eli jersey? Any thoughts on that?
A: Yeah, the guy that tackled him didn’t seem all that fast and he got to him. I mean the guy was running pretty slowly and he got tackled (laughter). But yeah, I did notice he had a “10” jersey on him. I think he’s going to jail, too, right? Is that how that works?
Q: Eli or the fan? Just want to make sure (laughter)…
A: No, (the fan). Typically, when you do that, right? He’s lucky he didn’t get tasered or something worse.
Q: The offensive line—you had some injuries and you had (Nick) Gates playing in there. Can you talk about how they played today?
A: Yeah, Nick Gates played well. I think we’ve talked about him kind of on the edges here throughout the year. I think he’s got a bright future. He went in there, stepped in there, played for (Kevin) Zeitler. He’s played a little bit of tackle. I think he’s got a real bright future. He played tough. On one of the scoring plays there, he pulled, cut the edge where Saquon was able to bounce. He’s just a really good football player and I think when he’s given opportunities he performs well.
Q: With Gates and (Darius) Slayton, are those two guys examples of how well you guys are developing the young players over the course of the season?
A: Well, I’d like to think that’s the case. Young players that are good players, if they continue to play, will improve. For him to come out and play well today, I think, is a credit to him.
Q: How fitting do you think it is, if this is Eli’s last home start or as a starter in general, that you were able to get a victory? He won two Super Bowls here…
A: Yeah, I’m not going to overthink that. I think it’s— we’ve had some tough days, some tough afternoons, and this is a good one. I think he and all of the guys in the locker room will enjoy this. He kind of jumped. We asked him to speak and the last phrase of his little speech to the team was, ‘See you Wednesday.’ Typically I don’t do that, but today I won’t argue with him (laughter).