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Transcript: Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Eric from BBI : Admin : 1/3/2024 4:44 pm
Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Q. On the season finale…

A: It's been a great ride and yeah, I'm just looking forward to taking it all in and walking out of that tunnel. That's my most favorite things about football, just running out of that tunnel. The feeling you get, it's indescribable. I'm looking forward to that, for sure.

Q. Have you come to terms that it's kind of coming to an end for you here?

A: I mean, yeah, for sure. It is what it is. I think this point in time comes for everybody at some point throughout their career. I just look at how blessed I've been to be in the same spot for eight years, it's been a blessing.

Q. Is this it for you, do you think? Or just you know –

A: That's stuff that I've got to talk over with my family, you know. Get back to my loved ones and see how they feel, too. It's not all just based off of my decisions, I've got to do what's best for my kids and where I'm at.

Q. Do you remember your first game here in the stadium?

A: In the stadium? It was after that Dallas game, against the Saints. I think that was my first 100-yard game, wasn't it? Yeah, it was my first 100-yard game. It brought back some memories. I remember I was going against (former safety) Kenny Vaccaro a lot and that's a guy that I played a lot at Texas. It was a good game. Coming off my first touchdown the week before and my first 100-yard game. I remember (former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz) Vic and them telling me congratulations and stuff, I didn't even know what they we're congratulating me about but yeah (laughs), I do remember that one.

Q. There's often not a lot of sentiment in this business. Do you have any expectation for Sunday and maybe getting a catch? Getting a touchdown, getting some reps, getting something?

A: I'm not too worried about that, whatever comes is going to come. I'm like two shy from top five so that'd be nice – but like I said, I've had a great run at it. Either way it goes, I'm happy with where I'm at.

Q. Do you feel like you, physically, can still play at this level?

A: Yeah. I mean, I go through practice every week and I feel like myself, I feel pretty good. In games, not many reps and everything but haven't really shown it, haven't had really much opportunity to show. I mean, that's something that still on the table for me, for sure. I've just got to, like I said, talk to my family and see what's right for me and my family.

Q. What would be, other than an 80-yard touchdown or something, if you could say, 'well my last play would be,' what would typify you?

A: For my last play?

Q. Yeah, if you get one more catch, one more this, one more that.

A: I'm not even worried about that, to be honest. What really means a lot to me is being in the huddle with the guys, being in the locker room with the guys before, running out the tunnel with the guys. That's what means more to me than an actual play or anything of that nature. Just trying to embrace the camaraderie. That's one of the things that guys that are retired always talk about is being around the guys is what they miss the most. You don't really hear them say, 'Oh, my last play was this,' or whatever. No, it's always about the guys and I look back at my career and that's what it's been about for me. I mean, that's what I've enjoyed the most.

Q. You mentioned your family a couple times and if I'm not mistaken, that was a consideration for you this year wanting to come back. Not the people and everything like that. Will that be a consideration going forward? Not maybe wanting to be away from your kids for a whole fall and all that or take them to different schools, whatever that may be…

A: I get a chance to take them to school a couple of times throughout the week but obviously, they would love it if I could take them all the time. My daughters say stuff all the time about me playing still so that's something that I'll have to talk over with those two little girls, too.

Q. What do they say? They want you to, or don't want you to?

A: Nah, they (laughs) – they don't like to see me hurt. That's what pops in their minds whenever they see…they don't think about the touchdowns or anything, they remember me coming home on crutches and having to kiss my knee or stuff like that. They remember walking into the training room, they go to the playroom during the game. They aren't watching the game like that so if I have a 100-yard game it's like whatever, a couple touchdowns, they don't care. They just care when I'm hurting.

Q. So they wouldn't mind you going into coaching or something like that?

A: That would be a lot of time away from them as well. That's stuff that I still have to discuss with everybody in my family.

Q. I missed the beginning of this but my question to you is, do you think about this possible being your final game with the Giants?

A: Yeah, of course. It's been a great run, the season didn't go the way that we would all like it to go and certainly not me as well. But yeah, it's something that I think about, for sure. I'm just looking forward to embracing it and taking it all in.

Q. What has this experience been like for you?

A: It's been great from top to bottom. I know not everybody has that (former Giants defensive end Michael) Strahan story, leaving with a ring on their finger and having some good seasons behind them but I've enjoyed every minute of it and I'm very appreciative of this organization and all they have done for me, my family. I mean, it's truly a blessing, man.

Q. What do you want people in this organization to say about you when you're done?

A: Really just about my character, more than my play on the field. What all I've brought to my teammates around me. That's the legacy that I would like to leave. I want guys to say that I'm their favorite teammate, you know what I mean? I do this for them and that's what it has always been about for me.

Q. Don't you think you could be a coach here some day?

A: (Laughs) You know what, that's not off the table for sure. That's always something I could fall back on but like I said, it's a lot of time and commitment in that line of business, in that line of work, but it's definitely not off the table for me. I love coaching up the young guys, that's something that just comes natural to me. My dad did it before he passed, it's something that's been in my family too.

Q. How much does it mean to you to be with one team for your entire career? I know guys when that decision time comes, where does that factor in for you?

A: Oh, I mean that's huge. You look around the league and it's not too often that you see a guy start somewhere and finish somewhere. It just doesn't happen often in this line of work. It's truly a blessing and I thank God every day for that.

Q. If this is the end for you in football, like period, are you at peace with it? I know you've had some success, but the postseason stuff hasn't always been there, a couple playoff trips, are you at peace with it? If this is it for good?

A: Yeah, man. Like I've said, I've reached the pinnacle. I've done everything that I set out to do as a young kid. I mean, this was my dream to play at this level and I've done it longer than most can say they were able to do it so, I'm truly blessed like I said, and grateful.

Q. How old are your kids? Just for context.

A: Four and five.

Q. What's gone through your head this week? How are you feeling just in the locker room this week?

A: Ah man, just taking it in, you know what I mean? We are able to leave right now, but I'm hesitant to leave. I'll go play ping pong with the guys, go watch a little bit more film, something. Just try to take all of it in as it comes.

Q. We talked last year but have you done anything differently this season than you have in past years knowing that your career is coming to an end?

A: No. I wouldn't say I've approached anything differently. Maybe just more aware that that is a possibility and just trying to have the attitude that's going to help the guys out and just more aware of being here and being present and where my feet are.

Q. I know you've said it a couple of times how important it was for you to go out in uniform and not go out wearing street clothes and team merchandise. Because you haven't played as much, I know that probably takes a little bit away from it but the fact that you're going to be suited up…

A: Yeah, that was huge for me, being able to walk out on my own terms and not letting an injury dictate what I do. Play time hasn't really been there, but you know I can say I walked off that field and I've given it all I had, every single time that I've strapped on the pads, I give it all I've got. I'm not perfect, nobody is perfect in this game, but I can say that I give max effort every single time that I've been out there and that's something to hang your hat on.

Q. You mentioned not all players get the Michael Strahan ending, how did you come to terms with that, knowing that you might not get that championship at some point?

A: I mean it's – if you ask most guys, that's the way the story goes. It's very rare that you have somebody like that that gets to finish their career like that. It's a blessing, but it's all a blessing at the end of the day. Like I said, since I was a little kid, I've told teachers, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' I want to be an NFL football player,' and I've reached my goal. Not too many people can say in life that they get to live out their dream and I've done just that in every step of the way. I wanted to be a college football player, I wanted to be an NFL football player, I've done that. It's a blessing, the whole thing. If this is the end, then I just look at it that way, it truly is a blessing. It's been ups and downs, but it's been a great ride if that's the case.
You know they'll manufacture him a few catches  
FranknWeezer : 1/3/2024 5:03 pm : link
and won't let that ugly drop from last week be his last chance at getting the ball.
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 1/3/2024 6:08 pm : link
Seems like a good dude, but he should never have been on this roster.
RE: …  
jeffusedtobeonwebtv : 1/3/2024 8:06 pm : link
In comment 16345711 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Seems like a good dude, but he should never have been on this roster.

Exactly, if he was there to mentor the young receivers, he should have been an assistant coach and not take up a roster spot.
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