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Transcript: Offensive Lineman Jon Runyan Jr.

Eric from BBI : Admin : 3/14/2024 7:09 pm
Offensive Lineman Jon Runyan Jr.

Q. What was it like growing up watching your dad go against the Giants and going against (Former Giants Defensive End) Michael Strahan?

JON RUNYAN: Yeah, my dad played for the Eagles for nine years. I grew up in South Jersey. I kind of understand the whole NFC east rivalry between all these teams here. It's some tough, gritty football.

Watching my dad and Michael go at it twice a year was always fun growing up, watching it go down on Monday night or Sunday Night Football. I'm just happy to be part of it. It's a special part of my childhood, and excited to go forward and implement my own story.

Q. I know you played both sides. Are you more comfortable on the left or the right?

JON RUNYAN: I've kind of split both sides left and right my whole career. If I were to choose, I probably would say left, but I feel comfortable on both sides of the ball. It doesn't really matter. My whole career I've just always wanted to get on the field and stay on the field and play football, and that's what I'm here to do.

Q. Can you take us through the process of how you ended up with the Giants? Did you feel like you had a lot of offers? Did the Giants call your agent right at noon? How did that happen?

JON RUNYAN: We kind of had an inclination early on in the process of gathering information, kind of got a handful teams that were showing a lot of interest early on and felt like the Giants were definitely at the top of the list. As things went on and Monday morning noon came along, the Giants and couple other teams were early to throw offers in. I was really excited that the Giants really proved to me that they liked me a lot. Being close to home, too, my home base is just about an hour and a half from here, so being able to do that, being in New York, a great football city, I'm just so excited to be here. Really excited to be a Giant.

Q. Kind of like Philadelphia, the offensive line in New York, it's not a place offensive linemen fly under the radar. There is a lot of attention paid to the offensive line in New York because when they were winning Super Bowls it was great, and in the last ten years they haven't been able to figure it out. How do you accept that challenge of offensive linemen getting a lot of the attention here, and how confident are you that you can be a piece to finally fix it and (offensive lineman) Jermaine (Eluemunor), too.

JON RUNYAN: Definitely. I've only watched so much from the outside. I don't really know everything that's going on here. I'm just coming in hardworking, great attitude, and try to fit in here and mesh with these guys. I think we've got some really good pieces here and it's going to take a little bit. It's only March. Training camp is however many months away, but I'm excited to get to work with these guys and get to know them. I feel like we've got a good group of guys and we'll be ready by the time the season comes around. I think we'll start really building that toughness and that edge that, like you guys have said, has been missing on the o-line for ten years. That's the direction this team has to go. It has to start up front with this o-line, and we're really going to carry that on our backs.

Q. I believe Michael wished you well publicly on Twitter or one of the avenues. What does that relationship that your dad had with him and now Michael is the one reaching out as well to congratulate you mean to you?

JON RUNYAN: Yeah, it's awesome. My dad and Michael, even though on the field they were bitter rivals, after the game I remember for years and years every year Michael would always be waiting outside the team bus. He and my dad would always chat it up after the games. I would being standing right there. Obviously at the time I was a big Eagles fan. Always a huge fan of Michael, even though he and my dad had such hard and physical battles throughout the years. But it's really awesome. It kind of feels like it's coming full circle. I remember Michael being generous enough to invite me and my family to his Hall of Fame induction in Canton. That was really special, too. I know Michael is laughing and feels like he has a leg up on my dad that he was able to pull me here to the Giants. It's a really awesome moment, and I'm sure Michael is giving my dad a lot of stuff for that. I'm so fired up to be here and be a Giant and be over here in New York.

Q. I appreciate that answer. Have you heard from Michael since you were drafted personally?

JON RUNYAN: I haven't heard from him personally, but I know he has communication with my dad. I'm sure they talk a lot. Not directly to me, but I know they do.

Q. The game has changed somewhat since your dad played. What lessons have you learned from him that you have taken forth in your career and how have they played out for you?

JON RUNYAN: Yeah, my dad played 14 years in the NFL, and rarely missed a game, and that's not by mistake. Over the years he's instilled a work ethic and attitude and sense of toughness that you're going to be out there and play for your team. That's how I've felt about playing football my whole career going back to Michigan and being with the Packers and coming here. I haven't missed a game in my professional career. That's something I take a lot of pride in. My versatility, dependability, that's what I'm excited to come here and bring to New York.

Q. Did you also in high school or college, at any point, wrestle or do anything to improve balance or help you with offensive line play?

JON RUNYAN: That's one thing that I did not do, but I wish I did. I wish growing up I would've done a little bit of wrestling in high school. Other than that, I played basketball a lot. That was one sport that my family really pushed me to play. Me and my sisters played basketball because I feel like that's a great kind of game to transition to offensive line play with all the sudden quick movements, and especially for a big guy, planting footwork. So that was definitely something I wish I did, I wish I wrestled, but I was more of a basketball player growing up.

Q. So much is made about the Giants-Eagles rivalry. You mentioned you've been on that one part of it. Did it ever get to the point where when these couple of teams were interested in you and that you looked at it, did the Giants ever get a mark against or did you ever think about what it would be like to play for the Giants because you were such a devoted Eagles fan?

JON RUNYAN: That's a good question. Not really. Growing up I obviously was an Eagles fan for a long time, but that went away once I started understanding that there was potential of me being able to play in the NFL. Then I got drafted by the Packers in 2020, so from there on out, I no longer have any Eagles fandom in my body at all. I'm excited to be here in New York, and there is no marks against any team. I just wanted to go to a place that I felt like I was wanted and appreciated, and I found that in New York.

I'm going to try to give back to them and give them my all out there every Sunday.

Q. Have you had a chance to speak with (Offensive Line Coach) Carmen Bricillo?


Q. What's your impressions early on? Any previous relationship with him?

JON RUNYAN: I did. I met him in the hallway quickly before this. Me and him have a funny history. Back in 2019 he was with the Patriots, and he came to Michigan. I was with my buddy (Patriots guard) Mike Onwenu, and we were sitting there. They were running us through a meeting before our pro day, and as soon use that meeting was over, he let us know that our pro day got canceled because there was this thing called COVID-19 going around. That was kind of a like a where-were-you moment when you found out about that. Good to see him again, and excited to get to work with him and the rest of the guys in the room.

Q. Was there any hesitation about coming to a team that gave up 85 sacks last year?

JON RUNYAN: No, no hesitation in that. There is not much I can do to change what's happened in the past. I'm just focused on going forward and building this team and this unit. (Quarterback) Daniel Jones, when he's on his feet and healthy, he's a dangerous quarterback and he showed that two years ago. Keeping him on his feet and healthy and run game going, that's going to start-up front and that's a big responsibility that you have when you decide to play the offensive line position. We're going to take a lot of pride in that. We're going to work hard every day. Just try to get better and do whatever we can to make the Giants team go forward and win the NFC East. That's the goal and get in the playoffs.
Eric from BBI : Admin : 3/14/2024 7:10 pm : link
Jon Runyan Jr. on Growing up in NFC East Rivalries | New York Giants - ( New Window )
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 3/14/2024 7:11 pm : link
No offense to Jr., but Strahan dominated his old man.
RE: ...  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 3/14/2024 7:14 pm : link
In comment 16432190 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
No offense to Jr., but Strahan dominated his old man.

Not as much as Giants fans remember. It wasn't a one-sided battle.
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 3/14/2024 7:19 pm : link
Eric, I stand corrected if so. I just remember Strahan getting the better of Runyan more often that not. I think it was a week or two before the '01 season finale where Stray had like 3 sacks or something vs. Jon. He ate his lunch that day. & then the following week, Strahan had that 'sack' to then break the single season sack record.
RE: ...  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 3/14/2024 7:21 pm : link
In comment 16432197 SFGFNCGiantsFan said:
Eric, I stand corrected if so. I just remember Strahan getting the better of Runyan more often that not. I think it was a week or two before the '01 season finale where Stray had like 3 sacks or something vs. Jon. He ate his lunch that day. & then the following week, Strahan had that 'sack' to then break the single season sack record.

Strahan had his wins too. It's what made it a true rivalry.

But it wasn't one-sided and there were games where Strahan came out on the losing end.
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 3/14/2024 7:34 pm : link
Eric, I like to look back at the Strahan-Runyan era where we somehow once won nine-NINE!-straight games vs. Philly & even after that streak ended on that killer MNF loss @ home in '01...managed usually to split the regular season head to head vs. them.
If you want to beat the eagles you have to win in  
kelly : 3/14/2024 8:36 pm : link
The trenches.

Something we haven't been good at in ten years

Hopefully that is about to change..
Great interview  
armstead98 : 3/14/2024 9:36 pm : link
I love the insight into the strahan runyan relationship.

Seemed like the type of player giants fans will love, especially if he can block.

Also has a line about DJ at the end…
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