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John Greco taking over at center, other takeaways from Pat Shurmur

Shurmur talks about offensive line, Eli Manning, more

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur said on Monday that 12-year veteran John Greco will take over at center for Jon Halapio, lost for the season due to a a broken ankle he suffered Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

Greco, a guard for most of his career, took over when Halapio was injured Sunday.

Shurmur also said that the Giants would get Spencer Pulley, a third-year player acquired on waivers after he was cut by the Los Angeles Chargers, ready to play. Pulley started all 16 games at center for the Chargers last season.

“We have guys on the roster who have played center,” Shurmur said. “They’ll just slide up and get ready to go.”

Here are more takeaways from Shurmur’s Monday conference call.

On getting faster starts

“Certainly you want to stay on the field. If you can get some big plays in there that’s important. We had one third down that we missed by inches and I chose to punt it the first time,” he said.

Shurmur added that the Giants would like long drives and chunk plays.

“That’s what you want to do on every drive. We’ve just gotta do it better and sooner.”

On the struggles of the offensive line

“I think our guys were prepared. They’ve been a defensive front that moves quite a bit. They’ve done it for years, that’s their style. We were aware of it. Some of the pressures they brought we practiced. We had a hat [blocker] for ‘em on most occasions. ... We’ve just gotta do a better job. I don’t think we faced anything we hadn’t seen. We’ve just gotta be cleaner with our blocks.”

On potential lineup changes

“I think what’s important is that we stay the course, get the players that we have playing better. Try to make more plays to do what’s necessary to win the game.”

On the number of third-down throws that have been completed short of first-down yardage

“Obviously the plays are designed to get the first down. There’s times where you’re playing against man coverage where you get catch-and-run scenarios, and there’s other times where you have layered passes where you have a downfield throw and then a shorter throw that requires a run to get the first. Depending on how all that plays out really doesn’t matter as long as you get the first.”

On the high number of short throws Sunday

There are times you have to move slightly or depending on what’s happening you don’t have the ability to get the ball down the field. Certainly we’re always trying to get the ball down the field. We didn’t get a chance to do that as much as we wanted to.”

On the hits Eli Manning took vs. Dallas

“Listen, Eli is a competitor. We’re going to do everything that we can to protect him. There was times last night where he wasn’t protected well enough.”