Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard
September 9, 2021
Q: Does it feel like the gang is getting back together? In the summer, the gang was a little bit all over the place. You were always there, but does it seem like when it’s ready for the lights to go on the gang’s getting back together here?
A: Yeah, for sure. I’m happy to be on the field with all the guys and all the different pieces and getting to see everybody work together. Starting to make this thing gel, just got to put it together on Sunday.
Q: How much different does the offense look the last couple weeks now that you have all those pieces in there?
A: You’re just able to get those guys involved. Practice has been helping us, (and) after practice. Since those guys missed a lot of time, they’ve been spending a lot of time after practice just throwing with (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ, trying to get on the same timing as him and spending a lot of time in the film room as well. It’s looking good.
Q: All things considered and considering how much time some of your key guys missed and the fact that you’re playing two really good defenses to start in a short period of time, what are your thoughts about this offense’s chances of getting off to a good start or maybe not?
A: Like I just mentioned, they’re putting in the extra time, the extra work, so hopefully that makes up for the time missed. That’s all you can do is kind of move forward every day. I’m proud of the way the guys have worked so far.
Q: I know you talked about how you play both inside and outside, you’ve done it, but it seems like you’re going to play more on the inside. How much do you think that will help you with the ability to get open with what your skills are and with what you’ve done in the past?
A: I love being on the inside just because you have more space. Not to say that I don’t love some stuff about the outside, but just my game matches up with the inside more just because it’s more quick, intermediate routes. It’s something that my skill set matches up with a little bit better than outside. I’ll be bouncing around everywhere, so I’m excited about that part of it.
Q: I don’t know if this is accurate, but I read somewhere you’re the last Giant who played in a playoff game for the Giants still on the team.
A: I’m the only one on the team? Yeah, I think that’s pretty accurate. (laughs)
Q: Are you standing there going, ‘Wow, that means I’m old,’ or does it mean it’s time for it to change?
A: A little bit of both (laughs). I’m looking forward to this season and getting back to that spot. That’s what we’re all working for, that’s why we come to work, so we need to change that for sure.
Q: One of (Patriots Head Coach Bill) Belichick’s big fundamental things is using the middle of the field to get to the heart of defenses. He said there’s more open space in the middle of the field – it’s actually more crowded, but you feel like you can get open there. How important is that, getting that middle of the field to dominant opponents?
A: It’s really important. You’re able to get the middle of the field and it opens up some of the other stuff outside as you begin to hit those shots over the middle. It’ll free up those guys on the outside – (Wide Receiver Darius) Slay (Slayton) and (Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay) KG – so we’ve got to be able to do that and we’ve got to be able to throw the ball around everywhere. We’ve got to be able to run it, too.
Q: When you talk about those guys getting in extra work in – everyone’s kind of getting back together here – there are reasons why this offense could get off to a slower start. Do you take those reasons and push them to the side and say, ‘Unacceptable, we have to get off to a fast start?’
A: What reasons?
Q: Guys coming back from injuries, guys just haven’t been together, as you said.
A: There’s no excuses. We’re all ball players. At the end of the day, this is what we get paid to do, so whatever that individual or this offensive unit has to do to get started, there’s no excuses. We have to get it done.
Q: You’re close with (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley), what kind of spirits is he in and how does he look to you?
A: He’s excited. You guys see him running around here. He’s been looking good at practice. He’s just listening to everything that the trainers have to say and just going with the process.
Q: Do you find yourself peaking and watching to see how he looks? I know you’re doing your thing, but –
A: All the time. I’m always focused on what I have to do first, but you can’t help but get excited sometimes seeing him running around out there. That’s like my brother and I love playing with him. I’m just happy to be back out on the field with him.
Q: If he does play on Sunday – I’m not asking you to make a prediction – but if he does, what will your emotions be seeing him suiting up in the locker room and running out there with you?
A: Obviously, a happy feeling. It’s been a long road and to see him back out there doing what he loves is ultimately what I would like to see. That’s how I feel.
Q: What have you seen him do out there that when you’re kind of peaking and you go, ‘Oh, hey, nice’?
A: Doing Saquon stuff. Hitting the holes, making cuts, doing stuff that he always does, making those wild plays.
Q: I saw something where you reworked your contract. I don’t know if it’s any significance for you in terms of what it means helping the team. Does it reassure you at all for yourself moving forward?
A: No, I think it was all business reasons. I don’t think that’s something that they do very often, so I’m grateful for that. Whatever’s going to help the team out and get whatever we need to get done, I’m all for it.
Q: Did you do some kind of voiceover for some miniature cooking class or something like that?
A: Yeah, for I think it’s like Pepsi or something like that. Yeah, I did do one for Pepsi.
Q: So, what was it, you just voiced over and they had a little doll or something giving cooking classes?
A: Yeah, it was one with cooking classes and then I know I did some other ones. I’ve done a couple of them in the past few weeks. I think the one that you’re talking about is like a cooking one and recipes.