Shepard: ‘I feel like we can go down there and get a win with Daniel(Jones) as quarterback’

Sterling Shepard missed just one game, but so much changed with the Giants while he was sidelined. He will return to the field Sunday at Tampa Bay with a new starting quarterback, Daniel Jones, who has replaced Eli Manning.

“It was different for me at first,” said Shepard who did not play last week against Buffalo because he was in the NFL concussion protocol. “I’ve been with Eli for three seasons now, and the beginning of the fourth, too. He has taught me a lot throughout my career, he’s been a great teammate and he’s going to remain a great teammate. The guy handles everything like a pro. He’s helping Daniel with preparation, and he’ll take his role serious and do everything to help Daniel out.”

So will Shepard, the Giants’ longest-tenured wide receiver.

“I’m just trying to help him in any way that I can,” Shepard said. “It’s his first time being out there in live game action, (and) it’s my first time out there with him. So, that’s where the week of preparation comes into play. You have to be able to be on the same page with him, and just calm his nerves a little bit.”

Like everyone else in the locker room, Shepard has enormous respect for Manning. But the Giants are 0-2 and badly need a victory. Time marches on in the NFL and it’s now Jones’ turn to lead the team.

“It’s nothing against Eli, he played great,” Shepard said. “Honestly, I feel like we could have played better for him. But I wouldn’t call it that either. I don’t think that’s the situation.

“I feel like we can go down there and get a win with Daniel as quarterback. That’s the move that we made, and that’s what it is.”

Although Shurmur has said the offense will look largely the same with Jones at the helm, Shepard sees two differences emerging. The first is when Jones throws him the ball.

“He has a little more zip on the ball,” Shepard said. “It’s still a catchable ball, a great ball, but it’s different. You have two different quarterbacks, two different people. They are not going to have the same ball.”

And it’s no secret that the 22-year-old Jones has the ability to burn a defense with his rushing ability, which has never been Manning’s strength. The phrase commonly used now is RPO, for run pass option, which the Giants can now deploy.

“It’s a different style of play (between) he and Eli,” Shepard said. “He has the ability to use his feet a lot more and you’ve got a lot of RPOs going on

“That’s what I was used to in college being out there with Baker (Mayfield) and a lot of other quarterbacks that I had. It was just the scramble. You kind of have to go over those again and be ready for that on Sunday.”

*Only two players appear on the Giants’ final injury report of the week, both wide receivers. Cody Latimer has been declared out of the game at Tampa Bay because he is in the NFL concussion protocol and Bennie Fowler is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Buccaneers standout rookie linebacker Devin White, chosen one pick ahead of Jones in the draft, will not play because of a knee injury he suffered last week at Carolina.

Courtesy: Michael Eisen
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Barkley: ‘Daniel(Jones) being named the starter, I’m happy for him’

The Giants’ future becomes the present Sunday when their last two first-round draft choices, Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, start together for the first time against the Buccaneers at Tampa Bay.

Barkley, chosen second overall in 2018, is the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Jones, the No. 2 selection this year, this week replaced Eli Manning as the starting quarterback. Now the two 22-year-olds, born less than four months apart, will attempt to lead the Giants to their first victory of the season – and many more after that.

“Daniel being named the starter, I’m happy for him,” Barkley said today. “You train your whole life and work your whole life to be playing in the NFL, and it’s actually going to be happening for him this week. I know he’s been working his butt off, extra work with film, doing a great job at practice, and listening to Eli, so I’m excited for him.”

So is coach Pat Shurmur, who made the decision to insert Jones into the lineup. But he’s much more concerned with results than emotions.

“I think we expect the players that we put in the game to perform well,” Shurmur said. “We try not to make excuses for the fact that players are young. If they’re in there, we expect them to play. I think that goes for quarterbacks as well.”

Jones and Barkley join other young, high-profile quarterback/running back tandems, including Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas, Jared Goff and Todd Gurley with the Rams, and Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb in Cleveland.

“I’m excited, but just more excited for him,” Barkley said of Jones. “I know everyone is making a big deal that he’s the starting quarterback of New York, but I don’t think you guys (reporters) really understand how much effort and hard work you put in since you’re a little kid to get to this moment and get to this position. Yes, it hits you when you get drafted. Yes, it hits you when you hit preseason. But when you actually step on that field and you’re a starting quarterback, you just kind of reflect on all of the hard work that you’ve put in, and all of the adversity you’ve faced. I’m really just more excited for him to go out there and get his first start. I’m going to do whatever it takes, and I know we’re all going to do whatever it takes, to try to have his first start go the way we all want it to go. Our mindset this week is winning.

“I guess you could say the future. But as I said, just more excited for him getting out there and playing in the NFL. But we also understand that there is no need to panic, but we understand we’re 0-2 and we have to do things to get things going, get things rolling, and why not start it this week and go down there against Tampa, against a great team, a great defense, and great defensive coaches and try to come out of there with a win.”

Barkley is young, but he’s already experienced, having started each of his first 18 career games. He’s familiar with the intensity and emotions Jones will experience during the game on Sunday. But Barkley said his new teammate’s demeanor has not changed.

“I don’t think it will until he actually gets out to the field,” Barkley said. “He’s been doing a great job out here in practice. But when I mean actually hits him like, ‘Wow I am in the NFL,’ when he gets that first play and they say hut – boom, it all goes away, just like every play. Just like how it was in college, just like how it was in high school, when you have that first time, and you’re out there after that first play, it all goes away and you just get locked in.

“There is no way (to prepare for it). I don’t know if any of you guys have played in an NFL game, or played through a level to get from high school to college to the NFL, to have that dream and passion since you were a kid, it’s a lot of hard work and there are a lot of things that go into it. For him to be able to experience that feeling, it’s something you can’t prepare for. But like I said, after the first play, you’re right back into it and you’re in that mindset of let’s go out here and let’s go get a win.”

Barkley joined the chorus of those who said the Giants offense will look pretty much as it has since Pat Shurmur became the coach last year. They hope for more production and points, of course, but schematically, the attack is not expected to change much.

“I don’t think it’s going to look very different at all,” Barkley said. “I think we’re keeping the main thing the main thing. I don’t think, even when Eli was out there, it wasn’t like the quarterback position was the reason why we’re not winning games. It was all around, it was all three phases of the ball – offense, defense and special teams. Especially on the offense, we weren’t finishing drives. We were doing a great job of moving the ball down the field and getting to where we needed, but when we get to that third down situation, or when we get to the red zone situation, we haven’t been great. You look at the great teams and the teams that are consistently good every single season, (and) they are great in situational football. I don’t think the offense is really going to change that much, we’ll just keep the main thing the main thing.”

And they must do it with their two primary building blocks for the future playing together for the first time.

*Four of the seven players on today’s Giants’ injury report are wide receivers. The best news was that Sterling Shepard practiced fully for the first time since suffering a concussion at Dallas on Sept. 8 and has been cleared to play. He did not play last week vs. Buffalo. Three more players who were absent or limited yesterday were full participants today: guard Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), tight end Garrett Dickerson(quad) and cornerback Grant Haley (illness).

Two receivers did not practice: Bennie Fowler, who was added to the report with a hamstring injury, and Cody Latimer with a concussion.

“Fowler tweaked his hamstring a little bit,” Shurmur said. “We’re hopeful that he’ll be ready to go.”

Rookie wideout Darius Slayton remains limited with a hamstring injury.

Courtesy: Michael Eisen

Arians on Winston: ‘I’m really pleased with where he is at’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston is in an interesting position. Winston’s head coach Bruce Arians did not draft him, which means he is not Arians’ guy. Therefore, Arians does not have any loyalty to him.

At this point, we have more questions than answers when it comes to the former number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In five seasons, all as a starter in Tampa, Winston has yet to lead the Bucs to the playoffs. Additionally, Winston has the most interceptions and turnovers since 2015. However, last Thursday, Winston played a mistake-free game as the Bucs were able to beat the Panthers on the road 20-14.

While the 25-year-old Winston struggled against the Niners in Week 1 with three interceptions(two returned for touchdowns), Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is happy with Winston’s progress.

“I’m really pleased with where he is at,” Arians said during a conference call on Wednesday. “He got victimized a little bit in the first game, played really well last Thursday night. He should have had a couple more guys catch some balls for him; I think for us, it’s just about playing better around him.”

Winston should be able to put up some decent numbers this week as Bucs host the 0-2 Giants on Sunday. New York is rank 30th against the pass, so Winston should have some opportunities.

However, in terms of what happens after 2019 with Winston, all depends on how the season plays out, which will be very interesting to see.

Jones: ‘I feel ready, and I’m certainly looking forward to the opportunity’

The goal for the New York Giants in 2019 was to have rookie QB Daniel Jones sit on the bench for the whole season, but when you are off to an 0-2 start, and your team has not played very well, things change.

On Tuesday, the Giants decided to bench Eli Manning and give Jones his first career start, as the Giants travel to Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Jones, 22, who was the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, showed a lot of promise in the preseason, and now, hopefully, for the Giants, that will translate to the regular season.

Today, Jones addressed the media. Here is what he had to say:

Q: What was your reaction when you got the news you would be starting on Sunday?

Jones: I was excited. I think, certainly, I’m excited for the opportunity. Coach (Shurmur) called me up to his office and we had that conversation. Obviously it’s a unique circumstance, but I’m excited for the opportunity.

Q: Are you ready for the opportunity?

Jones: Yeah, I certainly feel good about how far I have come in my preparation and my progress since I got here in the spring, through camp and through these first couple weeks. We’ll try to make sure we have the best week we can, and I’ll certainly do all I can to be as prepared as possible. Yeah, I feel ready and I’m certainly looking forward to the opportunity. 

Q: Being a starting quarterback entails a lot more than just calling the huddle and everything. Did you address the team? Did you talk to them and the offense at all today?

Jones: I didn’t, not as a group. I’ve certainly had a number of conversations. I think, like I said, our job is to focus on Tampa Bay to make sure we are as prepared as possible.

Q: What has it been like talking to Eli since the change happened?

Jones: Yesterday, when Coach Shurmur told me, and obviously Eli as well, we had a conversation. As you all would expect, as anyone who knows Eli would expect, he was nothing but supportive of me. Obviously, I understand the circumstance and it’s a difficult one. But he’s very supportive of me and I can’t say enough about who he is as a person, as a teammate, and he’s been that way since I’ve gotten here. We had that conversation and then we went about our Tuesday preparing and watching film like we have the first two weeks. I’m certainly very grateful and appreciative of his support since I’ve gotten here.

Q: Just to clarify, you had a conversation with Eli and Coach? Or separately with Coach and then he had a separate conversation with Eli?

Jones: Separately. They were all separate.

Q: When did you assume you’d play?

Jones You never really know when something like this is going to happen. My job is to be ready and to continue to improve. I feel like I have been able to do that. Like I said, you don’t know when something like this is going to happen. I can’t control that. I was just trying to be prepared, and I will continue to prepare the same way this week.

Q: Did Eli offer you any advice?

Jones: Through the week, and his help through the preparation, is certainly very valuable to me. In terms of general advice, I think his support and his confidence in me gives me the confidence (that I need).

Q: What tells you that you will be ready?

Jones: I haven’t played a regular season game, and I’m certainly aware of that. All I can do is prepare as hard as I possibly can, and that’s what I’ll do. I think I’ve gotten some sense of that in the preseason and certainly it will be elevated during the regular season. All I can do this week is make sure I’m prepared, the team is prepared, and I do all I possibly can.

Q: The responsibility of being the starting quarterback for the New York Giants— do you look at that in anyway as somewhat daunting? Or do you feel you’re ready to embrace it?

Jones: I feel like I’m ready to embrace it. I think focusing on what we’re doing here, focusing on what we’re doing in the building and our preparation with my teammates, with my coaches. Narrowing that focus to being here in the moment in this week, I think, is important with that. I feel like I can embrace that, and I am looking forward to the opportunity.

Q: Part of the reason the Giants drafted you is because they thought you could handle this moment, and the pressure that comes with playing, failing, trying to bounce back, in the New York market with a restless fanbase. As you observed that from the sideline the past couple of games, and how it goes in this market, what do you make of it and how do you feel like you’re going to be able to handle the ups and downs?

Jones: I think a similar approach to Bruce’s question— just focusing on what we’re doing, focusing on football, on our preparation, on our weekly plan. (Being) here in the building with my teammates, my coaches, everybody in the building part of this organization, I think is what will be key to my success with that. I understand the responsibility, I understand the challenge, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Q: All rookie quarterbacks have to start somewhere. You’re starting with Eli Manning in the locker next to you. You know what that means about replacing him. Is it a line you have to tread? You should be thrilled for yourself and your preparation and getting ready to start. Then you have Eli, who was just benched after 16 years. Is that a juggling act for you a little bit?

Jones: Since I’ve gotten here, Eli has been nothing but helpful and welcoming to me. Obviously, now the roles are different. There will be some differences there. But largely, our relationship and how we communicate will be the same. He’s done it for a long time at a really high level, so there is certainly a ton I can continue to learn from him and will. I think that’s a tremendous opportunity for me.

Q: You haven’t had a whole lot of snaps with the first team offense since the season started. A couple of your teammates said the way they can help you is to make sure the communication is sharp. How do you expedite that today and up until your first snap, to get that as perfect as possible?

Jones: It starts in the meeting room. Before we get out on the practice field, knowing what we need to do. Knowing what to expect from them and them knowing what to expect from me. Communication is certainly key for that.

Q: Your skillset is obviously different than Eli’s. We’ve talked about your ability to run and the way you throw the deep ball. How different do you expect the offense to look? How much would you like to make it conducive to what your skills are?

Jones: I’m not sure the offense will change substantially. I think it’ll be what we do, it’ll be what we’ve (practiced) since the spring and what we’re used to. I don’t see it changing a whole lot. We’ve got a good system. We’ve got good players who are used to the system. I think it’ll stay pretty consistent.

Q: You watched two games that were losses that weren’t all about quarterback play. Entering the lineup now, where do you think you can help this team?

Jones: Through the first two weeks, like you said, there have been a number of issues. As a team, we all have to perform better. I think everyone’s on the same page there. My job is to come in and be prepared and know exactly what we need to do and execute that. Like I said, we have good players and good spots. My job is to execute the offense, to get the ball where it needs to go on time and accurately. I don’t think my role changes in that sense. Just to execute.

Q: What is your confidence level right now, and what would you say to Giants fans about what they can expect when they see you for the first time in a regular season game?

Jones: I’m confident. Like I said, I feel good about my progress to this point. I certainly understand there will be a lot to learn, and I look forward to that. To Giants fans, just know that I’ll compete as hard as I possibly can, prepare as hard as I possibly can, and when I’m out there, I’ll play as hard as I can and do what I can to help this team win games.

Q: When you came here, you talked about earning the respect of your teammates. You understood what you were coming here for. The fact that it sounds like you did earn that respect from your locker room, did it make yesterday’s news and today walking out on the practice field feel any different? The idea that you don’t have to earn the respect of these guys, that they already see you as someone who can take over this role?

Jones: I think so. As a rookie, you’re always trying to earn respect. I think that’s a continuing process. Understanding that there is still a lot that I have to learn and that there is a lot that I need to work on, but that I’m excited to do it and I’m going to do everything I can to do it. Earning respect and proving to the vets, the guys that have been here a long time, that you’re willing to do that is important and will stay important.

Jalen Ramsey: ‘All I care about is winning, everybody knows that’

Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville, and according to his agent, has requested a trade. On Sunday, Ramsey and head coach Doug Marrone got into it on the sidelines during the Jaguars’ 13-12 loss to the Texans, which may have led to the trade request. Additionally, Ramsey has been open about wanting a contract extension, which to this point, has not and will probably not happen in Jacksonville.

Now, it’s up to the Jaguars to either work things out with Ramsey or find the right home for the two-time Pro Bowler, and with the Jaguars hosting the Titans on Thursday, it should be interesting to see how Jacksonville handles this situation.

Today, Ramsey addressed the trade rumors. Here is a full transcript below:

Ramsey: “I know it’s a lot going on in the media these past couple days, a lot of speculation and nobody’s really heard from me. On Sunday after the game, I was told I didn’t have to talk, that’s why I didn’t talk, it wasn’t anything against you all. But yeah, I wanted tot talk as soon as I could today just because I really don’t want it to be a distraction for my teammates getting ready for a game on Thursday. And right now, I’m still a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I’m happy about that and I’m getting ready for the game as well. And that’s where my focus is right now. I’ve been in meetings. I’ve been taking my notes.  I’ve been getting ready for our walkthroughs and our practices and everything we have to do out there.

“Also, I’ve seen a couple fake things out there in the media right now that I don’t love the city, that I don’t love the fans, just whatever speculation. None of that is true. I love Duval. The city embraced me. The fans have embraced me since I’ve been here. Just last night I was at Ruth Chris’ [steak house] and they were showing [a] hell of love. So, it’s nothing like that. I love the city.  I love the fans, man. Ever since I’ve been here in Jacksonville, since I was drafted here, I’ve done nothing but give the city my all. I think everybody knows that. They’ve gotten some really good years out of me and forever long I’m going to be here I’m going to continue to give it my all out there. All I care about is winning, everybody knows that. I want to [expletive] win. Straight up. Excuse my language, but everybody knows that. That’s who I am. That passion, that fire, that heart. That’s what you all love. And I’m going to continue giving that as long as I’m here. I know you all have a lot of questions. I really don’t want to answer too many questions from everybody, there’s a lot of people in here today. I don’t want to answer every single little question that you have about different situations and what came about to lead to this point. I have nothing bad or negative to say at all about anybody in this building. Shit happens. It is what it is. I think everybody for the most part knows what’s up. So, I don’t really too much want to speak on it and give no detail. I’m going to let God do his work and let my agent do his work and everybody’s going to work it out. And I’m going to focus on what I can focus on, and right now, that’s being a good teammate still while I’m here. Get ready for the game, supporting my guys and just being Jalen at the end of the day.”

(On if he is saying that he does not want to be traded)

Ramsey: “I’m focused on this Thursday. Focused on being the best teammate I can be while I’m here in Jacksonville.”

(On why he wants a trade)

Ramsey: “I’m super excited to play this Thursday, truly. I’m excited to go back out there and suit up with my dog Myles [Jack]. I’m so happy that man just got paid, I told you all that last time I came in here. It’s still pay Yan[nick Ngakoue]. I want Yan to get paid. I want all my dogs to go out there and ball. I want to ball with them on Thursday if I’m still here and yeah, I’m in a real good space right now. I’m at peace. Last week I came in here real positive, I’m still on that.”

 

(On if he thinks he’s causing a distraction to his teammates)

Ramsey: “Let’s be clear about something in regard to that. I didn’t leak that information. Me and my agent, we are not the ones who leaked that information, and I was very strict about that, because I did not want it to get out, and I didn’t want to be a distraction. I didn’t want everybody asking my teammates all types of questions throughout the week. So, let me be real clear about that; I was not the one. Me and my team, we were not the ones that leaked that information because I thought about my teammates. I thought about stuff like that. So, you need to ask the other side or whoever.”

 

(On what he will do if he cannot be traded)

Ramsey: “I’m excited for this Thursday. I’m going to go out there like I do every single game, and I’m going to give it my all. Regardless of the emotion, regardless of if I’m mad or not. Last week I had a good-ass game. The best receiver in the NFL – held him to what, probably his worst stat line in two years? And nobody’s really talking about that. I’m going out here, I’m playing my ass off. I’m giving it all for my teammates like I always do, and they know that. That’s who I do it for. I do it for God and my teammates, I really don’t care about anybody else [or] what they think.”

(On if the trade request had been building up to this point)

Ramsey: “I don’t want to keep running around your questions. I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but at the same time I don’t want to answer them either. Because I don’t want to be a distraction. I know you all are going to make the headlines off of one little thing I’m going to say, so I’m trying not to say anything for you all to really get a headline. I know the deal, and I don’t want to give you all a headline because I don’t want it to become a bigger thing around here. That’s pretty much it, so, I’m chilling. I’m trying to be a good teammate. I’m doing what I have to do, carrying on normally. Yesterday seven [Leonard Fournette] was at the crib. We were chilling at the crib getting treatment. Today I come in, talk to my teammates, we’re chilling. MJ [Myles Jack] in the back. J Rob [Josh Robinson] in the back, trying to come see what’s up with me. I’m good. I’m in a good space right now, and I’m trying to put out as much positive energy as I can to flow through my teammates. This is a short week, this is one of the toughest weeks in the NFL for teams. Getting ready for a division game on a short week, I’m not trying to add distractions on to these guys at all. So, I’m sorry I’m giving you all the runaround a little bit, but I know what it is, so I’m not really trying to give you all headlines.”

 

(On if he’s talked to management about his displeasure)

Ramsey: “I’m not going to talk about private stuff with you all [and] make private stuff public. But like I said, I have nothing bad to say about anybody, nothing negative to say about anybody here. I’ll keep that private.”

(On why he was upset on the sideline during the game)

Ramsey: “I play mad. I play mad all of the time. I play like that. I play with a lot of emotion all the time.  That little incident, it was an incident. I don’t know when it happened, first quarter, second quarter, I’m not sure, but it didn’t carry on the whole game. We went out and we had a hell of a game the rest of the game, the defense, we played really well out there. The DBs [defensive backs], we strapped up, we did our thing. So, I didn’t let it affect my play, didn’t let it affect anything out there. What coach said; he said he didn’t recall what happened, right? So, I’ll go off of that.”

 

(On if he had a chance to talk with Head Coach Doug Marrone following the game)

Ramsey: “No, we didn’t talk to each other.”

 

(On if not getting a contract is most important factor to him wanting to play elsewhere)

Ramsey: “I don’t care about that. God’s going to work that out.”

 

(On if the way he is being used on defense is a factor for him wanting to play elsewhere as he is arguably one of the best cornerbacks in the league)

Ramsey: “No argument.”

 

(On if he is being properly used on defense)

Ramsey: “I have nothing negative to say about any of my teammates of course, none of my coaches. I don’t have anything negative to say. So, you’re not going to get that from me.”

 

(On if he feels the organization is on the right track in regard to re-signing or paying the correct players)

Ramsey: “I’m just here doing what I can do. I let God handle all of that. And when guys do get paid what they have earned and they’re deserving of, I’m super happy for them like I always [have] been for Myles [Jack]. Like I said, it’s still pay Yan. Yan needs to get paid. He’s an elite player.”

 

(On what needs to happen to for him to stay a Jaguar)

Ramsey: “I can’t answer that question for you honestly, so I’m not going to give you bullshit.”

 

(On being happy in training camp)

Ramsey: “I’m still happy. Don’t get it twisted now. I’m happy now. I’m totally at peace.”

 

(On if there was an instance where things took a turn in terms of his happiness)

Ramsey: “I’m not going to give you all what you all are reaching for right now. I don’t have anything negative to say about anybody. It’s straight positive energy from me, for real. Positive energy. Private conversations are going to stay private. You all can create stories and use headlines as you will, but you’re not going to get it from me. I’m just making you know, you’re not going to get it from me. I don’t have anything negative to say about anybody around here in this building. I have really good relationships with tons of people around this building. I’ve grown over my three years being here, three years [and] two games being here. I’ve built relationships that are going to last forever, whether I’m here or whether I’m gone, with the PR staff, with the community, with the equipment staff, training staff, janitors.  Even you all, the media, we’ve grown over these three years. I didn’t really [expletive] with you all, now I do. I’m sorry with my cursing, but you all just got me talking a little bit. But yeah, I don’t have anything negative to say. This has been a great experience. This has been a growing experience. So yeah, I’m trying to keep that positive energy flowing.”

 

(On how he would respond if he was deactivated for Thursday’s game)

Ramsey: “I’m going to support the hell out of my teammates. As long as I’m a part of this team that’s all you’re going to get from me. I’m going to support the hell out of them. As long as I’m a part of this team, I hope they go out there and beat the hell out of people. I hope they win every game as long as I’m a part of this team. I have nothing but love for every player on this team. They go out there and they play their asses off. We have good vibes. I love that locker room. Those are my guys.”

 

(On why the organization would trade him)

Ramsey: “You’d have to ask them. We can go through a whole lot, but I don’t want to go through it.”

 

(On if he expects the team to grant his trade request with all of his accolades)

Ramsey: “Do I expect them? They may, they may not. I’m going to let God figure everything out. God, my agent. When I have conversations with him, we’ll figure some things out and we’ll go like that. But like I said, as long as I’m here you’re going to get everything out of me. I think you all know that, though.”

(On if he expected to be disciplined by the team after Week 2)

Ramsey: “For what?”

(On if he expected to be disciplined by the team after Week 2 for his actions on the sideline)

Ramsey: “I don’t recall.”

(On if the statement he made on the ‘Bussin’ With The Boys’ podcast about wanting to play for either Tennessee or Las Vegas is still true)

Ramsey: “Is that what I said? Shout out to ‘Bussin’ With The Boys.’”

 (On if he anticipates playing Thursday)

Ramsey: “Yeah, I think so.”

 (On if Tennessee and Las Vegas would be ideal landing spots)

Ramsey: “You know I’m not going to answer your question.”

Tank on coin toss at Ravens’ game: ‘Maybe I’ll be fighting inside this same stadium in the future’

Baltimore native, Gervonta Davis, received an outpour of support from 80k football fans during Sunday’s Ravens’ home opening game. The two-time world champion was invited by the NFL team to officiate the coin toss for Sunday’s opener at M&T Bank Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals.

This is yet another accomplishment to a rapid-growing list of accolades the rising star has accumulated in his hometown. On August 17th a week before Davis vs. Nunez fight, Davis was invited by the Baltimore Orioles to throw the first pitch at their home game against the Boston Red Sox. To kick off Gervonta’s historical hometown fight, Mayor Jack Young honored the undefeated Baltimore native with a key to the city ceremony on July 24th. A few days later on July 27th, Davis successfully defended his WBA world title in front of a sold-out crowd at Royal Farms Arena. A major milestone for Davis, who became the first Baltimore native to make a title defense in his hometown since Harry Jeffra in 1940. Davis is now a part of a limited list of Baltimore world champions including Joe Gans, who was also the first African American world champion in boxing in 1902, and Vincent Pettaway, a former super welterweight champion who showed his support for the young star by being in attendance at Davis’ hometown fight.

The accumulation of his success in the ring and the love he has for his city has sky-rocketed the twenty-four-year-old to star status. Davis is an integral part of the Baltimore community and he’s shown much gratitude for the love he’s received from his hometown.

“There was a moment when I was standing on the field where everything just stopped, said Davis. It was surreal. I’ve walked out to the ring in front of a sold-out crowd before, but never 80,000 fans. This is a new reach for me and my brand and I’m just thankful to have the support I do from my fans and my city. This is just the beginning, who knows, maybe I’ll be fighting inside this same stadium in the future.”

A city that is known for violence is the same city he credits his success and humble demeanor to. The two-time world champion is making it his responsibility to use his platform to help rebuild the city that raised him, through non-profit initiatives and events such as his recent Back-to-School giveaway held on August 23rd at the Upton Boxing Center, where he was joined by NBA star Carmelo Anthony, and handed out backpacks, school supplies, clothes, and shoes to several hundred community members.

In the midst of creating his legacy and experiencing his recent success, Davis has exemplified leadership and heart and he’s never shied away from admitting the impact Baltimore has had on his burgeoning career. Looking ahead, Davis is set to be recognized for his excellence by the city of Baltimore at the beginning of October with a parade in his honor. He will be joined by Mayor Jack Young and a few other key members of the community. The event is open to the public and an official date will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Photo: Mayweather Promotions

Eagles’ Pederson talks Agholor’s drop against the Falcons

Eagles WR Nelson Agholor had a lot of struggles with drops earlier in his career. However the past two seasons, Agholor has become a reliable receiver for Philadelphia and has shown the ability to make a lot of the plays for the Eagles.

But, last night against the Falcons, with the Eagles trailing 24-20 late in the game, Agholor had an opportunity to put the Eagles in the lead. The fifth-year player was wide open and let a perfect pass from Carson Wentz go right through his hands. Agholor would redeem himself later in the drive by catching a 43-yard pass from Wentz on a big fourth down play. But it was not enough, as the Falcons defense would stiffen and Philadelphia would loss 24-20.

Agholor would finish the game with eight catches for 107 yards and one touchdown, but obviously, that won’t overshadow his big drop.

Today, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson discussed Agholor’s drop against the Falcons.

“Yeah, I talked to [WR] Nelson [Agholor] after the game just before we got on the bus to go to the airport and one, I thought he played really well,” Pederson said. “Really well from — he played, basically, two spots yesterday, having to move around, and it just shows his mental capacity with the offense and where he is.

“He made some outstanding catches yesterday, as well and then I told him after the game, one play is not going to define him or our season. It’s Week 2 in the National Football League, and we have a bunch of football left, and he’s a great player for us. I told him just to keep his head up, keep working, and we’re going to find more ways to win these games than lose them going into the future.”

Drops happen in the NFL, but this drop may haunt Agholor for a little bit. Hopefully, for Philadelphia, this drop won’t come back to hurt the Eagles this season.

Manning on possibly getting benched: ‘We are 0-2, and we are looking for answers, I get it’

The New York Giants are off to a 0-2 start after losing to the Bills 28-14 on Sunday, and in reality, they look like a football team that might not be very good, which means fans, media will all start to look at the starting quarterback.

While Giants QB Eli Manning(556 yards, 2 TDs/2 ints) has not been awful, he and the Giants have not been very good, and today, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur left open the possibility that rookie QB Daniel Jones could replace Manning next Sunday as the Giants travel to Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers.

“We’re gonna talk about everything moving forward. I think that’s fair at this point,” Shurmur said on Monday.

Manning addressed what Shurmur had to say, and the possibility that he could be benched.

Q: Coach Shurmur left open the possibility of you not being the starting quarterback on Sunday, how do you react to that?

Manning: I have to get ready to play a game, nothing changes. Get ready for Tampa and figure out a way to get a win.

Q: What have your discussions been like with Pat since the game, anything different or business as usual?

Manning:  Yeah, business as usual.

Q: How do you feel you have played so far?

Manning: Well, we are 0-2. There is always room for improvement. I feel like I’m not missing, maybe I missed one throw to Evan yesterday. Obviously, we have to figure out a way to score more points and do better on third downs. Figure out a way to get completions and convert on those third downs.

Q: After the draft, Pat said your job is to win and keep this guy off the field. Did they give you any idea on how long of a leash you have?

Manning: No.

Q: Are you surprised these conversations are happening so early in the season?

Manning: We are 0-2 and we are looking for answers, I get it. When you draft a guy early and you’re not winning games, these are going to come up. I just have to keep working and do what my job is.

Q: What have the discussions with you been like to this point, did they tell you they are looking at it?

Manning: We have not discussed it.

Q: Does uncertainty like this motivate you?

Manning: The motivation is to win, there’s nothing more than that. You want to win, that’s why you work hard, that’s why you train, that’s why you do everything and prepare in practice, so you can go out there and win football games and build something special. Nothing changes.

Q: Would you rather the head coach have a definitive answer rather than open this door?

Manning: The mindset for me is just to prepare and do what I’m told to do.

Q: How frustrating has it been, another 0-2 start?

Manning: Obviously, we wish we would win a game. We feel like we work hard and we are prepared, we do a lot of good things, just not quite playing well enough as a group to score enough points offensively.

Q: How surprised are you that you are 5 for 24 on third down, and you have failed to score 20 points in your first two games.

Manning: Yeah, obviously the third downs, that’s something that’s going to hurt you. When you can’t stay on the field long enough, we have some good drives where we are scoring on the first series. There’s some good things out there, we have put together some other nice drives. We have had opportunities, just not playing well enough in certain circumstances of the game to score those points. We knew they were a good defense, we were down there those two times before halftime. To get no points out of that, that’s going to hurt you.

Q: A few Bills players said their game plan was to put it on you, to have you beat them throwing the football. After the fact, does that annoy you to hear another defense talking like that, does it motivate you. What’s your reaction when you hear something like that??

Manning: No reaction. We have a stud running back in Saquon, teams are going to try to stop the run. We have some beat up wide receivers and so make us throw the ball. We have to throw it better than what we are throwing it.

Q: When you break down the film, do you see enough corrections to be made that you believe if those corrections are made it will make a difference?

Manning: Some are corrections, some are just making plays or making a throw, or hanging in the pocket. I see enough good things and I see enough things that are correctable, sometimes they fall into things, or you have tipped passes when you have guys open that prevent you from staying in rhythm, or cause a turnover. You see enough good things that we can get on track and score more points offensively.

Q: You mentioned those early drives, why are they not able to continue?

Manning: Every drive has its own reason for stopping. Whether it’s a penalty, whether it’s a missed throw or a drop, a tipped ball, whatever might get you into a third down and don’t convert. Each own has its own rhyme or reason and we have to find ways to be more consistent throughout the game.

Q: Do you have to fight human nature in your own head to not think this is happening again, being 0-2?

Manning: I think you have your mindset on what you need to do to get better, to get better as a group and as a team and work on those things.

Q: You were in a similar position a couple years ago when Geno Smith started. Anything from that situation that you learned or that you would like done differently?

Manning: No, not thinking about it right now.

Q: How important is it to get clarity as soon as possible?

Manning: Not important.

Marrone, Jaguars’ players react to two-point try late in game

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a hard time getting into the end zone against the Texans on Sunday, but late in the game with the Jaguars down 13-6, they were able to put together a scoring drive, which ended with Gardner Minshew hitting D.J. Chark in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to one.

However, instead of going for the tie, the Jaguars decided to go for two, which ended up being unsuccessful as Leonard Fournette was denied the end zone on the two-point try, and the Jaguars would lose to Houston on the road 13-12. With the loss, the Jaguars fall to 0-2.

After the game, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and players gave their thoughts on the decision to go for two.

Jaguars Head coach Doug Marrone:

Q: What went into the decision to go with Leonard Fournette up the middle when Fournette up the middle hadn’t had a lot of success during the game? What was the thinking there on that one?

Marrone: “We had a bunch of different plays called. So in other words, we had a play for Cover 0, we had a play for Red 2. We had a play for single-high man, we had a play for bear man, and really at the end of the day, we were fine with either one. Again, you come up a couple inches short and we lost the game. It was a decision that I made prior to
us getting the last possession. I said that if we returned the punt for touchdown with DD then I was probably going for go for the extra point. They said if we start driving this football and we score with a certain amount of time left, I said I’m going to go for two.”

DE Calais Campbell:

Q: Did every player on the sideline want to go for the two-point conversion?

Campbell: “Yeah, honestly from the angles we saw we were celebrating on the field. We thought that was two points. Obviously, I know it has to be definitive and that’s just the nature of the game. You put it in the referees’ hands, and it could go either way. But we made a lot of mistakes and we didn’t play as good as we could’ve, but we still had a chance to win at the end. So, it’s something we can learn from. We’ll grade the tape, and we’ll try to just keep getting better one game at a time.”

WR D.J. Chark:

Q: Did you like the call to go for two?

Chark: “Yeah. Because that’s the team we want to be. We don’t want to play it safe. We want to go get the win. Even after the call and the way it turned out, I still believe, like Myles (Jack) said, I believe that was a touchdown. I’m going to ride for my team, my coaches and Leonard (Fournette). And I think that we got that.”

RB Leonard Fournette:

Q: Can you talk about the last play, and from your vantage point did you think you got in the end zone?

“Yeah, I thought I got in when I reached the ball. But apparently, they (referees) thought otherwise.”

Q: When you all decided to go for it I assume most of you guys were thinking ‘Let’s go, let’s win it now,’

Fournette: “Yeah, we wanted to win. At the end of the day, that’s all this game is about is winning.”

Q: When you all decided to go for it I assume most of you guys were thinking ‘Let’s go, let’s win it now,’

Fournette: “It’s up to the Coach. He believed we that we could win it. We believed we could win it. It’s not just that play, but a lot of plays before that on both sides that kind of we could have sealed the game. But like I said, it’s football, things happen.”

QB Gardner Minshew:

Q: Did you like the call to go for two?

Minshew: “Yeah. Felt really good about the call. Had the right look. Leonard (Fournette) was close. I thought he got it. That’s how it goes sometimes. I bet ten times out of ten for him right there to get in there.”

 

Gore on Josh Allen: ‘We have the right quarterback for this team’

Two trips to MetLife Stadium and two victories for the Buffalo Bills, as they defeated the Giants today 28-14 to start the season 2-0 and complete the sweep of the Jets and Giants. With the victory, the Bills are 2-0 for the first time since 2014.

The Bills got another solid game out of second-year QB Josh Allen, who completed 19 of 30 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown. Allen also scored a rushing touchdown in this contest, and when the Giants cut the lead to 21-14 in the fourth quarter, Allen led the Bills on a 13-play, 75-yard drive to put the game away.

15-year veteran RB Frank Gore, who signed with the Bills this past offseason and scored a rushing touchdown on Sunday, is convinced that Buffalo has the right man leading the way in Allen.

“I saw him last year,” Gore said after the game. “Just being here with him, he’s very competitive and very tough. We have the right quarterback for this team. I don’t care what the outside world says; I know we believe in him. I feel he can do anything on the field, and it showed today.”

It’s still early, and there is a lot of football left, but after two weeks, the Bills have a team that could sneak into the playoffs, especially with the defense that they have and the play of Allen.

Next week, the Bills have the 0-2 Bengals coming to town, and if they win that, they could be 3-0 when they host the Patriots in Week 4. That game could tell us a lot about the Bills in 2019. However, for now, the Bills can enjoy 2-0.