New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur discussed the schedule change, the new rules, wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard and rookie running back Saquon Barkley at Thursday’s press conference.
On a practice schedule change: “You probably noticed the schedule change, we practiced in the late morning. We basically did it for the fans. As you know, there is a big concert at the stadium and there would have been parking issues for the fans. We wanted them to have a Giants experience today, so we practiced in the morning. About half of the teams practice in the morning, I’ve been at other places that we did that.
“I like, especially early in camp, because you have your meetings, you have your walk through, you have another meeting and then you practice. So that’s kind of the full process of learning. This part of training camp, I like changing the schedule because now most of the installations are in and so we practice in the morning. I encouraged the players to remember, it’s not sudden change, but it’s change and they have to deal with it.
“The have to perform at a high level whether we play at one, four, seven, if we’re playing in the parking lot, on a rooftop, turf, grass it doesn’t matter. So changing the schedule and making them adjust is a good thing. But initially, the reason we did it was for the fans”
On Beckham: “He is doing what we expected him to do and again, most of the scripted periods we give him the plays that are necessary for him to learn.”
His description of Beckham on the practice field: “I think he is very engaged, very energetic and he practices very hard.”
On Barkley and his lack of workload at Wednesday’s practice: “We are managing him like everybody else. He’s had a really big workload and so this was a day, for no other reason than to give him a little less.”
On how careful is he on monitoring players: “We watch every players workload and we talk constantly on not only how much we expect, but after practice, we’ll talk about how much they did and we’ll keep managing it. We are very aware of that. It’s very important this time of year to get the practice in because this is when we get the heat and humidity and we see that mental component of punching through, but we have to be smart.”
On when he knows when to take it lighter on players: “We see it as coaches. We just gauge how guys are doing physically and we just give them what they need.”
On if he’s happy with the intensity and concentration level so far in camp: “I’m happy with how hard our guys try to do the right thing. There are some practices that are not as efficient as others and there’s stuff to be learned from that.”
On if he makes practices longer when changing the schedule: “It depends. We are in the early part of August and there is a certain amount of work that needs to get done. We have ninety players, eighty plus players at any given practice and so there are a lot of guys getting reps and I’ve said this before, the twos and threes reps are very important because the initial 53 roster changes weekly. Guys that we trained, who are available, have this memory bank of our stuff that they can come in and contribute quicker if need be.”
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On what Shepard brings to the offense: “He is a good football player. He is a gritty guy. He is equally engaged as Odell, so I really appreciate what he brings to the table. He is a football player.”
On officials being at camp: “They were on the field today. They are getting up to speed. This is training camp for them as well, so they are looking for alignments and formations. They are going to visit with our players over the next few days and they’ll have league videos to show the players with suggestions on how to teach and coach and we have videos that we want to show them with questions in regards to things we have seen in practice.”
On his thoughts concerning the new Helmet Rule: “I’m all about player safety and I’m all about coaching a game that is still fun for the fans, but safe for the players.”
On if he’s shifted his focus to the first preseason game: “Right now, it’s Giants vs Giants. We are working on fundamentals, we are working on schemes and we are definitely working on things we’ve seen through out.”
On depth at cornerback: “We like our corners. We like that group, but with any group on our team, we are always looking to improve in any way, and you can fill in the blank with any position and my answer will be the same.”
On the Giants and Beckham beginning contract negotiations: “I appreciate the question, but I won’t comment on contract situations.”
On if wide receiver Kalif Raymond has impressed in camp: “In the spring he did. He’s made plays. He’s got a knack for playing in the slot and he made a couple good plays today. He’s done a good job.”
On the one handed catch drill in practice: “It’s important that we catch the football and, just like any drill, it simulates what might happen at some point and the reason they work that drill is they’ll be running down the field, and I know corners don’t hold, but they’ll obstruct and they’ll have to make an effort to catch it with one hand. That’s the nature of that drill. We can’t drop balls. Whether it’s receivers or interceptions that can change the game. Regardless, we have to be a team that catches the football well. That will really affect the outcome of the game.”
On having a running back who can catch the ball like Barkley and does he remind him of other running backs: “He’s got great ball skills. In terms of reminding me of backs, we all remember Brian Westbrook and guys like that. They are big time threats when you throw it to them.
– Carlos Rodriguez is a Contributor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Christian can be followed on Twitter @openurmnd.