It will be at least another week before anyone knows whether the Great Players-Only Meeting of 2019, which the Giants held on Monday morning, has any effect on what they do on the field. They don’t play again until they face the Cowboys next Monday night. But the initial reviews of the air-clearing, soul-searching, potentially season-salvaging get-together were positive.
“We accomplished what we wanted to get done,” said Alec Ogletree, linebacker and defensive captain — and one of the primary planners of the meeting — in a conference call Monday afternoon.
“We’re always there together,” he added. “It’s only us who goes out there on the field and plays together. It’s just making sure everybody is still communicating, still on the same page and trying to fix the problem.”
The problem is the losing. The Giants have dropped four straight, and the losses are starting to blur together in tone and reason. Early deficits, costly turnovers, big plays allowed; they’ve all become part of the Giants’ personality during the past month. The latest was Sunday, a 31-26 loss to the Lions.
“I think it’s good,” coach Pat Shurmur said of a meeting to which he was not invited but certainly knew about. “I think we’re all disappointed that we lost. It’s pretty obvious that we fell a couple of plays short of winning that football game. They’re going to get together and discuss it. That’s a players thing.
“But I think we just need to continue. This was addressed after the game with the coaches and the players, that we need to keep working. We have to be very intentional about how we do things, which we have been, but we have to find ways to get better at everything we do so it shows up on game day and we make more plays.”
The meeting was called for and run by the captains, but everyone was involved — even the rookie quarterback who is going through this for the first time. Daniel Jones remained tight-lipped about the content of the meeting, though.
“There is a certain sense of urgency in the building, but in terms of that stuff, we’re going to keep that in-house,” Jones said Monday. “I think guys are coming in to work determined to get it right . . . I think we certainly came to work ready to fix things [Monday] and I think we’ll take that approach the whole week preparing to play Dallas.”
Notes & quotes: Shurmur had no update on wide receiver Sterling Shepard other than that he remains in the concussion protocol. Shepard has been practicing on a limited basis the past two weeks and is awaiting clearance from the protocol. “He’s been out there running around,” Shurmur said. “We’ll just have to see what the week brings.” Shepard could be available to play Monday against the Cowboys . . . Shurmur said there were no significant injuries that came from the Lions game.