Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard
August 17, 2021
Q: Is it tough when you’re going against a teammate and it’s getting physical, and you’ve got to compete, but you’ve also got to keep your cool?
A: No, that’s just part of it. We’re making each other better out here. That’s what’s going to happen on gameday, so I’d like to see it at practice with my guys. I tell them all the time, I tell Pep (Safety Jabrill Peppers) sometimes, you’re coming down and I’ve got to make a block, give me a full force rep. I need that from time to time. That just comes with a part of the game.
Q: What is it going to be like seeing (Browns Wide Receiver) Odell (Beckham Jr.) this week?
A: I saw him all over the offseason and then I talk to him every week.
Q: You guys keep in touch, obviously?
A: Yeah, we keep in touch. Same thing, we chop it up and will be able to see each other in person again, so it’s pretty cool.
Q: What do you think you’ll get out of joint practices going against another team?
A: It just gives you different looks. You get tired of seeing the same guys every day and it helps you with having to mix things up. But just to get a different look and different guys skillsets around the league is going to help you get better ultimately, too.
Q: When you were a younger player you had guys that you looked up to on your team, what did you maybe take away from that being in a position now where you’re an elder statesman on the team?
A: I got to see – Odell used to tell me, do as I say, not as I do. I got to learn from him and then I also had Vic (Former Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz) who had been through a lot. He had been through winning a Super Bowl and was a really experienced guy, so I learned a lot from him and how to be a leader, as well. I got kind of thrown into that role a little bit earlier than I thought I would but having those guys helped me adjust to that.
Q: Have you embraced the idea of being a leader?
A: Yeah, for sure. Everybody has their own way of leading and I’ve always viewed myself as a leader even though I may not have had a C on my chest. I always viewed myself that way and that’s how I carry myself.
Q: Is that a vintage hat?
A: Yeah. I keep the vintages. Everybody’s going to be asking me where I got this hat, don’t ask any questions.
Q: There was a scene where you danced in front of the fans a little and just showed some emotion. How important is that for your game to embrace the joy of it?
A: That’s the reason why we play the game. The feeling of having the fans screaming, however many we can fit in there, I don’t know how many it is, but having that feeling and having that energy from them is everything to us. We really missed that last year and it was exciting just as many as we had. We didn’t even pack it out all the way, but it was pretty packed, and you could just feel the energy. We look forward to getting in front of them on the 12th.
Q: When did you go from seeing Odell as a Giant who was traded to being just a Brown? Right away or was it hard for you envision that separation?
A: Yeah, but I mean you look at it and that’s a part of the game and the business that we play. You never know what’s going to happen. I think everybody’s going to be in that situation at some point in their career. There are guys that are blessed that don’t move around anywhere. When you dumb it down, this is what happens. I didn’t really think about it that way.
Q: How much has he been talking to you when you guys have been keeping in touch about these practices coming up against his old team?
A: He’s just excited to see us and see his boys. That’s pretty much all we’ve been talking about.
Q: You know him pretty well. You’ve got some pretty good cornerbacks here; do you think he’ll come out with something to prove?
A: You’re going to have to ask him. Ask him those questions about how he thinks. I don’t know.
Q: Did you get a chance to work out with Odell this offseason?
A: Yeah. We were all out in Arizona, (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), Odell and I were all out there. So, we got to work out at EXOS together.
Q: How did they look to you coming back from a serious injury?
A: They looked good. Following everything that the trainers were saying and progressing over the offseason.
Q: Was it interesting to see the two of them together? They’re kind of going through the same thing. I know they’re probably at different points or whatever.
A: Kind of. It’s good for those two guys to be able to compete and push each other, and then me, as well. I’m there pushing those guys, as well. It’s good to have your boys around you whenever you’re working out.