LB Jabaal Sheard
December 4, 2020
Q: It seems like it’s Jabaal and the kids in the outside linebackers’ room now.
A: (Laughing) Don’t make me feel so old. It’s a great group of guys. I don’t feel old at all. I just feel like I’m spreading knowledge.
Q: What’s the season been like for you? It seems like with the injuries, you are going to be counted on even more.
A: I’m still getting a feel for it. Obviously, missing the first half of the season. Embracing it, feeling at home. Enjoying the football environment again. Being around a great group of guys. I love the energy here. Everyone is hungry here. Guys want to play football. Looking for answers, asking questions. It’s been fun.
Q: Has there ever been a time in your career where you have seen something like this? The top four guys when the season opened for the Giants are not going to be in uniform for the next three weeks. Markus Golden was traded, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane (Ximines) and (Kyler) Fackrell are on IR. Guys who weren’t even on the roster in Week 1 are the starters now. Have you seen something like this?
A: In my ten years, I can’t quite say I have. We all know in football it’s always about the next man up and always being ready for your opportunity. It’s tough with football and obvious not having the offseason this year. A lot of guys, a lot of injuries, things happen. In football, we always have to be prepared and ready to go whenever your number is called. In the outside linebacker room, we have a great group of guys that all want to eat. Young guys, young talented guys. At any given time, they are able to make a play.
Q: What were you doing Week 1 before you signed with the Jaguars? Did you watch Week 1 on your couch at home?
A: Yeah, I did. I was in south Florida just being a dad. Living the norm life, I guess. Which hasn’t been so normal for me. I’ve been in football in August/September since I can remember. It was different being in South Florida, I was back home and, on the couch, watching football. In my head, knowing I kind of missed it, I missed football. I knew I would have the opportunity to help a team. I’m just happy I’m here and able to help guys out.
Q: What’s chasing Russell Wilson like? I don’t know if you’ve done it somewhere in the past in your career. A guy like him, what principals are important?
A: Just staying after him. He’s a guy that’s going to make plays. He’s going to run around. It’s just staying after him, staying a ball hawk. We know this guy is dangerous. He’s going to run around and create plays downfield for his guys. Being here and seeing the secondary, they do so well covering. If we can just keep him in the pocket as much as possible and keep him from running around as much as possible. I think it will give us a great chance.
Q: You’ve got more than 50 sacks (52.5) in your career. You ever have one like you did at the end of the game last week, that was really a game ender?
A: I have. Those are very rare. Special moments when your number is called, and you actually get the opportunity to make the play. It was a great feeling. It’s one that always brings you back. I think there is no better feeling as a defensive guy.
Q: You’ve been in the league a long time. How hard was it for you to have to take a practice squad job to stay in the league this year?
A: It was humbling, I’ll be honest. It was very humbling. You go through the workout, and I have never done a workout either in free agency. It was very humbling. Practice squad, I just knew I had to get on the field and prove myself. That was my mindset. Obviously, being on the couch, you kind of didn’t really want to just jump right back into it. I kind of wanted a few reps. I think every football player goes through it. I don’t know what the reps are going to be, I want to get a feel for it. Can I still do it? After a few practice reps, I think I was ready. I’m glad I’m here.
Q: Have you heard from Justin Tuck at all about wearing his number?
A: When I got here, that was the biggest pressure. You’re giving me this number, it’s one of the greats that was here with the Giants. I had the same pressure in Indy with 93 (Dwight Freeney). That was another monster. I haven’t, but I’m honored to wear the number. I’m just going to make the best out of it. Rock out as a G-man.
Q: What does it mean to this defense that two of the biggest plays were made by you who came on late to this team. Niko (Lalos), who had the interception obviously, off the practice squad. What does that say about this defense and the way it’s constructed?
A: Be ready when your number is called. We all practice hard. We all go out there and give our all in practice. You just never know when your number is going to be called. Niko is a guy that we didn’t know was going to get reps. We didn’t know how the week was going to go. I think Niko actually went in because Fack was down. Maybe it was his second play and he just laid out and made a play. It’s crazy how your number is called, and you are able to answer. Heck a job by him.