Safety Xavier McKinney
Q. What did you see on the last play if you can describe from your point of view?
XAVIER McKINNEY: I mean, we knew the situation. That whole drive, our mentality, and kind of what I was preaching was just to just keep them inbounds. We knew they didn't have any timeouts left, so we were just trying to delay as much time as we could, and then the last play obviously we were just trying to keep them out of the end zone. I think it was a great play call by [Giants Defensive Coordinator Don] 'Wink' [Martindale], and we've got to execute it, and we kept them out of the end zone in the end.
Q. Was there a feeling that it shouldn't have been that close down the stretch?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Well, it is what it is. Things happen in the game, and it ain't going to be perfect. But we've all got each other's back, and that's the greatest thing about this team. We play as a unit no matter what. For us defensively, we just knew we had to go out there and make another stop, which we wanted to do, and which we were able to do. I don't think we played, a lot of us don't think we played very good defensively today. [It was] probably our worst defensive performance. But we know we've got a lot of work to do in order to get where we want to be. We've got a lot of things to improve on.
Q. Could you describe what happened on the forced fumble?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Yeah, I mean, it was just one-on-one situation, and it was kind of one of those things where I knew we needed a play. [I] just did my best to try to hit the ball out. We've been practicing it in practice. [Giants Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson] Rome has done a great job of just bringing us aside and kind of doing things like that of practicing on punching a ball out. We haven't gotten a lot of picks, so we're just trying to generate turnovers any way we can, and we knew they were loose with the ball, so for me, I just punched at the ball, got it out, and it was a big play for us. [Giants SS Julian Love] J-Love got the ball back for us.
Q. What have veterans done for this team, even guys weren't even here when the season started?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Yeah, I think everybody that's come in has done a great job for us with just buying into what we want to do as a team and buying into what we want to do as a defense, and everybody has been a huge contribution to what we want to do. They've come in, asked no questions, just got straight to work. It's been easy to kind of bond with them. All these guys are good guys. They're even better teammates. It's been pretty easy for us.
Q. Jaguars TE Evan Engram hurt you guys early but not as much late. You know him well, obviously. What did you think of him and how you were able to slow him down?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Yeah, we already knew [about him]. I've seen throughout the years I've been able to guard him and we've all seen him. He's super talented. It wasn't any surprise. He was really hot early in the game. We tried to do a better job in that second half of just being able to stop him because he was definitely a problem for us today. But he's a super talented guy, and we have much respect for him. He's going to keep improving and keep striving and getting better.
Q. On that last play when Jagaurs WR Christian Kirk caught it, Giants LCB Fabian Moreau was there, you were there, Giants SS Julian Love was there. Can you talk about again what you saw the moment he caught the ball?
XAVIER McKINNEY: [We had to] keep him out of the end zone. That's pretty much it. He was in the air when he caught it, I think, so it was harder when he caught the ball and the offensive line started coming in and trying to push the pile forward. That's what made it a little difficult. But he's a lighter body, smaller guy, so it was easy to be able to keep him out, but once the offensive linemen came and ran into the pile, it got a little difficult there at the end.
Q. You were one of the guys pushing him back?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Yeah, yeah, pushing him back, just keeping him out of the end zone.
Q. You wanted to keep him out but you're also holding him up a little. Did you see the scoreboard at all? Did you see the clock?
XAVIER McKINNEY: Well, we knew there was like ten seconds before the play started, so we knew they didn't have that much time, so obviously we wanted to keep them up as long as we could, and then obviously be able to get him to the ground because we didn't want the pile to get pushed forward into the end zone. I think the whistle blew before all of that even happened. I think we were fine.
Q. You guys were 5-1 coming in here underdogs, now you're leaving 6-1. When do you think you'll start to gain more respect?
XAVIER McKINNEY: I don't know. I really don't even care for that question anymore. I'm kind of tired of answering it because it's the same thing every week. Obviously, we know that. I really don't care. We don't care as a team. The only thing we can do is keep focusing on what we can do and keep getting better.