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Transcript: Safety Xavier McKinney

Eric from BBI : Admin : 7/26/2023 3:51 pm
Safety Xavier McKinney

Q: How excited were you for (Defensive Tackle) Dexter (Lawrence) when they locked him up in the offseason?

A: Super excited, I know how he works. I know what he means to our team – leadership wise, as a player and just a great dude ultimately. I was glad that they were able to get that deal done for him. He's earned it. He deserved it and I was happy for him, we were all happy for him.

Q: I know how close you were with (Seahawks Safety) Julian (Love) but now him not being in the locker room, do you feel like you need to take a step in leadership on the secondary side?

A: No, I've been a leader.

Q: What did you think about (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) being back on the field?

A: I was happy. I was actually in the hot tub, and somebody showed me on their phone. I was like, 'that might be fake news,' but I was glad that it was able to get done. Obviously, we are all glad to have him. It was good to have him out there. Like I said, we just know what he means to our team.

Q: What does he mean?

A: A lot, leadership wise, play wise. Another great guy. He's a hell of a player. He's one of those guys where he is a generational talent and just glad to have him.

Q: Were you expecting him to not hold out?

A: I didn't really know what he was going to do. I obviously had talked to him, and I told him that I was with him. Like I said, that's pretty much over with. He's here now so we are going to move forward.

Q: You had a little exchange near the end of practice, what did you say?

A: We just get a little competitive. He said they won the day. It's just one day, it's the first day of training camp so I wouldn't get too excited (laughs).

Q: What did you say when you saw the tight rope catch?

A: It was a good catch but it's another one of those things, 7-on-7, no pressure. They've got 30 seconds to throw the ball, so I am not too worried about it.

Q: Year two of (Defensive Coordinator) Wink Martindale's defense, you have a lot of new faces on that side of the ball. What has you most excited about how this defense is starting to take shape?

A: It's great to have Wink back. A lot of the guys that were here last year are very familiar with the system. We know what he wants to do, where he wants to call things and we know how he wants it to look. It's fun being in that second year with him and just being comfortable and being able to go out there and play fast. I think we have all felt that throughout the defense and everybody is excited to build off what we have.

Q: Does this defense have an identity yet?

A: Yeah, I think we have always had an identity. We've had an identity to me since I got in the league. Pretty much it's still the core guys, really thinking on it. Like I said, we have always had an identity.

Q: What is that identity?

A: Playing hard. Being physical, being aggressive, throwing that first punch. Never letting anything break us and being resilient. Also, being closers. I think that is something that we pride ourselves on.

Q: As a young player who will be looking for another contract, when you see (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), Dexter and just (Tackle) Andrew (Thomas) today get what they got. What does it say to you about what you need to do to be them next time?

A: I am just going to continue to be me. I think that's what has got me this far. I'm never going to change. I'm always going to be who I am, and I think my teammates appreciate that, I think the staff appreciates that. I am not going to try to do anything extra. I know who I am.

Q: I mean to be them, as far as getting another contract, having this team commit to you like they committed to them. That's the goal, I would assume, right?

A: I'm going to be me. I'm still going to give you the same answer. Like I said, I realize it's a 'we' thing. We have a sign, 'we is greater than me' so I am not too worried about my situation. I'm just worried about being able to make this team better. That's always been my focus and that's something that I have always said, and I'm committed to that. We have a greater goal and obviously that's to win championships, ultimately. That's why I go out there and try to do and help my team win.

Q: What makes (Tight End) Darren Waller special in your opinion when you are trying to cover him?

A: 6-6, 4.4, great hands, can run routes like a regular wideout, can run all the routes. Pretty much can do everything. Being as big as he is, you don't see guys that big that can move like that. So, it makes him real special. It makes him a tough cover every time. When I am on him, it puts me on high alert. I have to be because I know that every play, he can get the ball. It just makes me compete and go a lot harder, it makes me a lot better. Definitely love having him on this team because I know how he's going to help us, and I know how he's going to help me improve as a player.

Q: What stands out about (Inside Linebacker) Darrian Beavers? He missed all last year and then first day this year, he's back out there with the starters.

A: He's hungry. I think that is something that I've known since he's got in. He's very hungry to go out there and work and go out there and help us wherever he can. That's what we love about him. Obviously, he's still young, he's still learning. He hasn't got a lot of playing experience yet, but it will come. That's why he has guys like us on the defensive side helping him and just kind of getting him through the little bumps and getting him over the hump. It's been fun, he is a hell of a player, and we are just going to keep pushing him to be where we know he can be.

Q: How would you describe your 2022 season? Sum it up, it was a weird one for sure.

A: I think it's over, honestly. We are moving forward, honestly that is my opinion on 2022.

Q: How would you describe the competition opposite of you between (Safety) Bobby (McCain) and (Safety) Jason (Pinnock)?

A: It's going to be a hell of a competition. Overall, we are all competing at the end of the day. All of those guys are super competitive and super talented. All of them have got unique skillsets. It's just going to make all of us better at the end of the day and that's going to make our room better ultimately. I'm glad that we are all in the same room because I think we've got a hell of a safety room.

Q: While the slate is wiped clean, does the energy or mood coming into this training camp feel a little bit different after last year's success of making it to the postseason?

A: No, not really. We've got the same goals. Last year doesn't really mean much if we go out there and (don't perform well). It doesn't really mean nothing, we've just got to out there every day and be able to work. We know what we've got to do to be where we want to be, so we don't even think about last year because that's over with.

Q: Can you take the next step? What is the next step for this team?

A: The next step is, we have meetings at 1:30pm. So go in there and watch this film on this first day of training camp and see where we can improve for tomorrow.

Q: No big steps? You aren't talking any big steps?

A: No, we are taking it one day at a time. Little things.
Contract talks  
Bill in UT : 7/26/2023 4:03 pm : link
are going to be interesting. I can see there being a big disparity between what X thinks he's worth and what Schoen thinks he's worth.
He sure sounds like Daboll  
islander1 : 7/26/2023 4:14 pm : link
Pretty impressive, honestly.
He's very good but I think he's also missed like 18 games in three yrs  
Heisenberg : 7/26/2023 4:15 pm : link
He's gonna need to be healthy and play well to get paid what he wants
RE: Contract talks  
Payasdaddy : 7/26/2023 4:32 pm : link
In comment 16158503 Bill in UT said:
are going to be interesting. I can see there being a big disparity between what X thinks he's worth and what Schoen thinks he's worth.

after dj, saquon, dexter and AT being done, will worry about X after the season
we should be able to afford him if we want
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 7/26/2023 7:14 pm : link
I think X is a good pro, but I'm not breaking the bank for him. Also, safeties are sorta like the RBs on the defensive side of the ball...not a ton of them getting monster second contracts.
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