Pat Shurmur: 'Never Doubted Eli Manning'

Giants HC Joined Mike Francesa

Mike Francesa
December 11, 2018 - 5:16 pm

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New York (WFAN) - The Giants blew out the Redskins Sunday to improve to 5-8 with three games left in the season. While they have been eliminated from winning the NFC East, they actually are still alive for the second Wild Card spot in the NFC. 

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur joined WFAN's Mike Francesa Tuesday to talk about the big win and things starting to come together for them. 

"We're making progress. I think what we experienced Sunday was really enjoyable," Shurmur said. "To be in the locker room up 34-0, you don't really have a speech for that. We wanted our guys to start fast. We took advantage of some of the things we had to. We scored points. We did it in a way where we started with the run and we did the things necessary to beat an opponent. The sheer joy and the excitement that the players were feeling...I'm not a real big hugger. You had a bunch of adults that were playing a kid's game and having fun with it. That's the kind of excitement you get when you have some success and things are working. There's something to be learned from that."

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Somehow and someway, rookie stud Saquon Barkley continues to get better and better. 

"Saquon is a competitive guy that loves football," Shurmur told Francesa. "You can see the excitement in his face as he was involved with what we were doing. I'm happy for him. He ran a certain type of run in college. He's had to learn some of the NFL type runs. We're seeing progress each week there. As well as he's played, there's things each week he's getting better at. That's really good for New York Giants fans. He has such a good feel. He gets it. He has such a great feel for the show and it shows up in his running style." 

While the first half of the season was not good for the Giants, they have improved. Shurmur would like to see a lot of these guys back.

"There's only 13 guys left on this roster from a year ago. I'd like to have all these guys back because I think we have learned a lot together and we have made progress. We have made a lot of changes," Shurmur said, "Running parallel with some people's excitements of who you'll draft and who you'll add...running parallel with that is learning how to win again. That's the place we're at right now. I marvel at some people who think one season doesn't connect to the other, but if you believe that experience matters, then you can't say one year is not connected to the other. 

The offense line has seen improvement as well, but there will be work on that as well in the offseason. 

The offensive line..huge progress. I think it's the main catalyst for some of the success we have had here in the back half of the season. If you don't block em, nothing looks good. It's all connected. Solder is playing next to a true rookie. As he players better and better, the coordination with Nate and the coordination with the center and then the right side and the stability with Brown has helped Wheeler. 

"Moving forward...and I know Dave and I share this view...you have to do something every year to improve both lines. I really believe that. If you let your lines depreciate and it's an easy thing to happen, because all of a sudden you're in the draft and that's not a glamorous pick. We have always got to look to solidify the guys up front, because the certainly helps the guys in the back."

Shurmur hasn't doubted Eli Manning, especially with better o-line play.

"I never doubted Eli Manning. I appreciate all the things he is as a person, as a player, how he trains, how he thinks, the interaction we have with him. I've watched him do it before. It's safe to say that when he's had his best success, he was playing behind really good offensive lines. I knew once we got that fixed or along the way, we were getting that fixed, he was going to have a better chance to show us what he can do." 

The players are tuned in to their head coach. 

"I think they're listening. I have five team meetings a week. All of them I'm talking about being good teammates and we're building a house and they're listening." 

You can listen to the entire interview above.