Shurmur On WFAN: Beckham Trade Provided Much-Needed Roster Boost

Boomer and Gio
August 06, 2019 - 10:38 am
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When talking about the Giants' decision to trade away Odell Beckham Jr., most people focus on the circus the star wide receiver created. But another part of it was that Big Blue's roster needed multiple upgrades that the Beckham trade was able to provide, coach Pat Shurmur said Tuesday.

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"We feel like we got good value in the trade," Shurmur told WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti. "We needed a lot. This team needed a lot. We took over a 3-13 operation, and we were able to get some other players that are going to help us. We had four games last year where we couldn't quite get it done at the end -- a couple of field goals, a couple of touchdowns. And so, we needed to help bolster the roster. We feel like we did it."

The Giants acquired from the Cleveland Browns safety Jabrill Peppers, who was a first-round pick in 2017; a first-round selection in April's draft (17th overall), which was used on Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence; and a third-round pick (95th overall), which was spent on Old Dominion defensive end Oshane Ximines.

While the Giants finished just 5-11 in his first season as head coach, Shurmur said he saw signs that point to an improved product in 2019.

"We played a lot better at the end of the season," he said. " ... When you're unsettled upfront on the offensive line, nothing works. And it's hard to function on offense, it puts undue pressure on your defense. And once we got that 2018 version of our offensive line settled about midway, then we were able to play offense that looked better and able to play defense as well."

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Thirty-eight-year-old quarterback Eli Manning is back, but the Giants added QB Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the draft. There's no quarterback controversy, at least not yet -- Manning is the starter. But Shurmur is prepared to field plenty of questions about the situation.

"It's going to be part of the conversation. It just is," he said. "But when I look at it, what's important to me is we have a healthy quarterback room, and Eli's the starter. He's had an outstanding offseason. He's had an outstanding training camp. And then you bring in Daniel Jones, that when it's his time to play, he'll be ready. This guy is all about his business. He learns every day. He's super talented. And I think he's got a very, very bright future. And they have respect for one another, and I see that every day."

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On defense, the Giants produced just 30 sacks last season -- tied for second fewest in the NFL -- and then they traded away their sacks leader, Olivier Vernon. Whom is Shurmur looking to pressure the quarterback in 2019?

"This year, with Lorenzo Carter -- he looks great. I think we can get more production out of him than we did a year ago as a rookie," Shurmur said. "X-Man (Ximines) -- everybody's talking about X-man already. At least what he's displayed here, he's going to have the ability to rush the passer. And then a guy that nobody's really talking about is Markus Golden. Two years ago, he had 12½ sacks in Arizona. So he's done a nice job. And then Kareem Martin. So that's the where the edge comes, and I think Bettch (defensive coordinator James Bettcher) has done a good job of putting a pressure package together that's also going to get some of the pressure that we need."

To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.