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Giants Coach Pat Shurmur Interview

Opening Remarks: Evan Engram (hamstring) and B.J. Goodson (neck) have been ruled out.

Q: B.J. was a shoulder stinger?
A: Neck.

Q: Did something happen in the last day or two where (B.J.’s) condition worsened?
A: No, we’ve just been trying to progress it and it hadn’t progressed far enough, that’s all. Nothing’s worsened since the game on anything.

Q: Do you have special visitors today?
A:  Yeah, we always do on Friday. For home games, we have special guests that come on Friday and Saturday. We try to embrace young people and it’s a special weekend for them. They come, they embrace the team either on Friday or Saturday, and then they’re at the game with us on Sunday.

Q: When a player like Khalil Mack is on the other side, do you have to adjust your offense as far as timing, getting the ball out, play calling, to account for that? Or do you say, no, we’re going to run what we know is most effective for us to make you stop?
A: He’s part of the defense, and on offense you’re always trying to do things necessary to attack their defense. When you have an outstanding rusher, you have to do things to pay special attention, so we will. It doesn’t change what we do, we’ve just got to do some things more and some things less.

Q: When you look at your own offensive identity, do you view it as a team now that is centered around the run and then work off that?
A: No, I don’t think that. I think our team, we’re starting to develop an offensive line that’s playing better, which allows us to do more things. Couldn’t say that was the case earlier in the year, and that stalls you out at times. It’s safe to say our last three games were our offensive line’s best three performances. I don’t know what our identity is. I think it’s always important to run the ball. There’s a phase of your offense that involves play action, and then you have the drop back game, and then you do all the others things your quarterback can do.

Q: You don’t think it’s important to have an identity?
A: I think it’s important to have an offense that can score points and I think you have to be able to score points in many ways.

Q: How do you feel like the transition to (nose tackle) has gone for Dalvin (Tomlinson)?
A: I think it’s been good. He’s obviously playing more since Snacks is not here, but I think each week I see improvement.

Q: How big of an adjustment is that to switch him there?
A: That’s part of what he’s done. It’s a little bit of an adjustment when you’re playing from a three technique to a shade, but I think he’s getting better each week.

Q: Have you seen a better Nate Solder in recent weeks?
A: I think the O line, in general, as a group. I think he’s battled throughout the year and he’s played well for us. Along the way, each player and you can always pick out a game and point to a play or two, but we’re really pleased with not only him as a player, but him as a person.

Q: What did you think of Grant Haley and his increased role?
A: I thought he did a good job. He’s going to benefit by playing more and more, made some plays, there were a couple plays where he was just close, almost. As you go along now, continue to make the plays you make and take those almost ones and make them happen.

Q: What more do you need out of (Olivier) Vernon?
A: He’s just like every player on our team. Just keep battling, keep playing to make a difference. He can be a disruptive force, we all know that. I mentioned this, that he got kind of a late start this year, he missed six games because of the injury. He’s been out there playing and battling and making plays, he’s just got to keep continuing to play. That’s the focus for all players. He’s a valued member of our team, and he’s just got to keep playing.

Q: Mike Shula said yesterday, I think it was the first first-down you might have gotten in Philly where it was a check-down to (Rhett) Ellison and he fought through some tackles to get it. He said you guys were trying to stress the difference between getting that first down as kind of a way for your offense to take the next step. What was he talking about, extra effort?
A: No, converting on third down allows you to keep drives alive. We saw the negative effects of that in the third quarter. We only had 10 plays in the third quarter because we didn’t keep drives alive, six of which were runs and then because of the penalties, we had some long third yardage situations. You see the effects of not converting on them. I’d prefer to convert on a first or second down. I talk to our guys about playing Canadian ball. Let’s convert on second down and eliminate the stress of what third down brings, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing against the rules in terms of converting on second down. I’m assuming that’s what he’s referring to, it keeps drives alive. Then you get more plays and get to all the fun stuff you want to.

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