S Xavier McKinney
December 31, 2020
Q: How different is what you’re being asked to do now compared to what you were doing in the summer? How much are you itching to get sort of a big play before the season ends?
A: In the summer it was definitely a different role. I think now, I’ve been getting an increased amount of snaps. Obviously, I have been asked to do different things and I’ve been prepared and ready to do so. It’s definitely been different, definitely been more on my plate. I’m always staying prepared, making sure that I’m ready to go, whatever position they ask me to play. As far as making that play, I know it will come. I’m not trying to force anything. Just trying to make sure I do my job and make sure I execute for the team.
Q: [Defensive Backs] Coach [Jerome] Henderson seemed to think you were close to one last week. Can you just talk about that play?
A: Yeah, I knew it was coming actually before it was snapped. Me and Logan [Ryan] actually talked about it before that play was actually played. I was a step behind. I should’ve went a little earlier. I definitely would’ve made a play on that. It’s been a couple plays where I feel like I was really close to it that I didn’t get. Like I said, the plays are going to come. For me, I’m just going to keep making sure I execute my job and doing what I have to do for the team.
Q: How are you feeling? Do you feel like you’re 100 percent when you’re moving around on the field? Are you still battling through it?
A: I feel good. I think as far as getting back into my rhythm, I’m still progressing to get there. Especially the first couple games where I got an increased amount of snaps. I was still trying to find my rhythm and get back to the way I play. I think I’m still getting there. As far as how I feel, I feel good. I’m ready to go.
Q: Did you ever play against CeeDee Lamb in college? If so, what were your thoughts? What are your thoughts on the Cowboy trio as a whole? It seems like it’s one of the more dangerous trios in the league. What does that put on your secondary?
A: I played CeeDee in college. We played in the semi-final Orange Bowl. I always thought he was a great receiver. He can do a lot of things well. He was really talented. He had a really good game against us. That’s when they had Kyler [Murray] too. That was definitely a problem to deal with in college. For their receivers, they are a really talented group. We’re coming in ready and prepared for this game. We know they’re talented. We know they can do a lot of things. This is a special group. There’s a lot of talented receivers in this league that we’ve gone against that I have gotten to face in these couple of games that I’ve played. We’re definitely going into the game prepared and ready for a dog fight.
Q: The Giants signed Logan Ryan recently. Now you know he’s going to be here for a while. Jabrill [Peppers] is still under contract. What do you think that means for you and your role moving forward, and sort of how do you view that trio?
A: I think it’s great. I can’t really say much about it. I love playing with Logan for the couple games that I’ve gotten to actually play with him and be out there with him. And I love playing with Pep. All three of us, we just stay in communication during the game. We make sure that we’re out there on the same page, because we play different roles on the defense. A lot of the times, we have to talk about who’s at what position doing what. I think it’s going to be a really fun ride, to be honest, especially when we do get in the offseason and we get to build that chemistry. I’ll have a longer process just being with them, and we’ll be all together for a longer amount of time and we’ll be able to build that chemistry throughout the offseason. I think it’s going to be really fun. I think we’re going to do a lot of special things. We’re going to be ready and prepared to go.
Q: What do you view your role as, as part of that trio?
A: For me, it’s always whatever I’m asked to do. I think we can all do different things; we can all play in different spots. We can all do similar things, whether that’s playing low or that’s playing in the slot, playing in the box, playing half field, playing the middle field. Whatever I’m asked to do, I’m able to move around wherever, whenever, and do whatever at a high level. I think that will be my role.
Q: You come from a program where making the College Football Playoff is expected every year. What would it mean to make the NFL playoffs, the NFC playoffs, with this team this year?
A: It’ll be good. Obviously, I would love to be there. But for me, my main goal has always been just focusing on the game that was in front, because obviously, we have to take care of business this Sunday in order to even have a chance to get there. Even still, it might not happen. I don’t really think too much down the line as far as making the playoffs. I’m just really worried about this game and making sure that we can win this game. That’s my mindset going into it.