Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard
Q: I have a question about (Defensive Back) Logan Ryan and the leadership he displayed in taking ownership for giving up that long pass last week – and that's not an isolated incident, he's always been standup. What does that mean to the guys in the locker room, particularly the younger games and the example that may show?
A: It's huge. He does a great job with mentoring the younger guys, but also, communicating with the other guys. I feel like to have the team going in the right direction, you have to be able to communicate to some of the vets too. Logan has always done a good job with that. I really appreciate some of the work that he puts in on the side and off the field. It just shows you how good of a guy he is. I really appreciate that about him.
Q: With all that is going on with COVID around the league, as a player, how much do you have to put up your guard or make changes to the way you approach your work week and everything?
A: We've kind of been through this for a while now, so we kind of know how to handle it. Been through pretty much every situation you could think of when it comes to COVID. We have precautions that we take. I'm fully confident in (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and the staff that they're going to have us doing the right things and using the PPE that we need in order to stay safe. Sometimes things happen, but all in all I feel like we have a good little system that we have going on in the building and trying to keep guys safe as we can while being in there. But I mean, nobody's going to care about what 's going on with COVID on game day, so we have to prepare the best that we can and if that's through Zoom, then that's what it has to be. But, we've been through it before.
Q: Have you thought about the possibility of there being a point where too many players are being sidelined and you guys being able to go out there and do what you need to do?
A: Yeah, I mean, you've got to figure it out. We have guys that stay at home that we can use if we have to, but I guess we'll worry about that when we get there. Yeah, I mean, it's no fun having guys having to sit out. It's kind of what we're living in at this point.
Q: As the veteran guy on this team and in the league, do you think the NFL should consider postponing games or are you in support of the plow through method that they've used for the last two years?
A: I don't know, I can't really say. I don't really know what's going on around the league. I know there's an outbreak, but for our team, I mean that's all that I'm really focused on. We've got a couple of guys sick whether it's COVID or the flu, whatever. I'm not sure. It just depends on how many guys end up getting sick. It's hard for me to say what I think the league should do though.
Q: Football wise, while you were out injured, it seemed like every day and every week somebody – a coach, a quarterback – says, 'We've got to make more of an effort to get (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) the ball.' There's a concentrated effort to get Kenny the ball. Now that you're back and obviously you're one of the best receivers, do you worry that that could take away from your targets? How do other receivers feel about the concentrated effort to get Kenny Golladay more targets?
A: At the beginning of the season, we all talked about it and I always said that I wanted a leadership's characteristic to be selfless. That's kind of what it takes to have a successful team, so it doesn't matter who gets the ball to me. I just want guys to make plays and that's what it really comes down to. We're going to get Kenny the ball. He's a dynamic playmaker, so we've got to find ways to get him the ball. There are enough balls to go around for everybody if you do it the right way. I'm confident in the coaches' game plan that they'll be able to find a way to get everybody the ball.
Q: That said, you only had one target in the first half the other day and your team is struggling to score. Was it frustrating getting back in the lineup and not being a big part of the game plan there?
A: Yeah, but I was kind of told that it was going to go slow for me at the beginning. Just trying to get my feet back underneath me. I mean, I hadn't really practiced up until last Thursday and Friday and that had been the first that I'd really ran around in weeks, so I knew it was kind of going to be slow for me. As time has gone on, I'll begin to get more touches. I'm not really worried about it. I'm just focused on this game and trying to get things rolling on offense.
Q: Just related to COVID really quick, is there any kind of fatigue on your guys' end as players, like here we go again with them telling you can't go out to certain places, you've got to do all of these intensive measures? I know I'm tired of it from a media side. How are you guys reacting to it?
A: It's tough, man. You want to be able to get together with your friends and your teammates outside of the building, but you've got to keep the best interests of the team at heart. Doing that kind of stuff can affect the team, so you have to be cautious of what you do. But yeah, we're tired of it (laughs), but like I said before, this is kind of the world that we're living in right now. You've just got to power through it.