Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. I also scanned the New York media websites and the Giants website to see what else Giants players and coaches are saying about this week's matchup with the Lions at Ford Field.
Here's what they had to say:
1. Watching tape to get ready for this week's matchup, Shurmur thinks Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has really taken well to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's scheme. Shurmur called Stafford one of the best pure passers in the game, and said the thing he really likes about Stafford on tape is that he finds 1-on-1 coverage and gives that receiver a chance to make a play.
Meet this week's opponents, the New York Giants.
2. Wide receiver Golden Tate talked to the New York media Tuesday, and said he was not happy with the way the Giants are playing on offense right now. He said he signed with the Giants to help turn things around, and the offense has to do better moving forward to give them a chance to win.
3. How does the trade of defensive back Quandre Diggs Tuesday change some of New York's preparations for Sunday? Shurmur said they treat it like an injured player who is inactive. They go to the film and try to guess who the Lions will replace Diggs with and how it might change things on defense. It's just a little extra homework.
4. Talented second-year running back Saquon Barkley was back healthy for the Giants last week, according to Shurmur. He said Barkley brings a lot to this Giants team, including the ability to make explosive plays. Look for New York to lean on him Sunday against Detroit's 28th ranked rushing defense.
5. Shurmur is going to see some familiar faces Sunday in defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr., defensive end Romeo Okwara and running back Paul Perkins, all former Giants. On Perkins, who the Lions signed to the active roster Wednesday after placing running back Kerryon Johnson on IR Tuesday, Shurmur said it was a tough decision to let their former fifth-round pick go earlier this year because he does all three things a running needs to do well – run, pass protect and catch the football out of the backfield.
6. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has thrown seven interceptions and lost a couple fumbles in New York's last four games, three of which have been losses. Shurmur said Jones is still getting used to the NFL game. Shurmur is seeing signs of growth from his young quarterback though. Shurmur described Jones as an "aggressive thrower," but said ball security was a major emphasis heading into Detroit this weekend.