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Pat Shurmur press conference: “The rubber is going to hit the road”

Shurmur knows it’s time to stop talking about improvements, and start trying to win games

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at New York Giants Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Wednesday. It’s the first week of the 2019 NFL season. New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur definitely knows what time it is.

“The rubber is going to hit the road here,” Shurmur said during his Wednesday press conference. “We’ve got to go play.”

Technically, Shurmur was answering a question about the Giants’ offensive line when he made that remark. In reality, it applies to the whole team. The Giants think they are better than a year ago.

Now, it’s time to go show it.

“Tt’s the first game of the year, and we have to put our best foot forward. We have to do everything in our power to beat Dallas. That’s the importance of it. I tell the players all the time, it’s the players, not the plays. So, we have to get the players ready to play and go do it,” Shurmur said. “There’s always some uncertainty in the first game. They’ve probably lined up in a formation and run the ball that they’re now going to throw out of, and they’ve probably lined up in a formation and passed that they’re going to run out of it. We all do all those things.

“It’s important that we go play hard, we play very fundamental, and we do all of the things you need to do to win games. Take care of the football, defend the run effectively, pressure the passer. Then on the flipside, we have to score points when we get a chance.”

Here are more takeaways from Shurmur.

On Dallas signing Ezekiel Elliott

“It’s not a surprise. That just adds another outstanding player to what’s really an outstanding offense. They’ve got an outstanding offensive line. Got an outstanding quarterback. Got really outstanding receivers.”

On concerns about his young defense

“That’s the 10th question about that. Yeah, they’re very talented. I think that’s why we have to be really good and fundamental about what we do and buy into the team concept. Then do the very best you can when you’re forced into matchups with their best players. That’s where it comes down to the tactics defensively, and then the players playing their best.”

On how many 2019 wins would indicate progress

“Let’s worry about the Cowboys. Again, I’m not trying to avoid that question. The progress is we need to start playing winning football in general.”