ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Veteran running back Devonta Freeman spoke with reporters after practice on Thursday for the first time since signing with the New York Giants the day before.
Freeman was brought in to bolster the depth chart after Saquon Barkley was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a torn ACL.
He joins Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman in the Giants’ backfield.
A full transcript of the media availability can be found below.
RB Devonta Freeman
Q: What would you describe to Giants fans about what you bring here? This is a nervous bunch of fans who are a little anxious about having a drop off with Saquon going out. What can you kind of say to reassure them about what you bring to the table and how would you describe your skillset?
A: I feel like to everyone, there’s a lot of ball left. There are a lot of games to be played. I’m fortunate and blessed to be on this team. It’s a young team. I’m happy about the opportunity. I just think it’s a lot of growth for this team, for myself. I’m just here to help contribute as much as I can and be a part of this team. Just come in and do what I can do, do my best, and just help out these guys as much as I can. I think that’s the main thing.
Q: You’re not an old running back by any means. But how much do you think you have left in the tank?
A: Football really doesn’t go anywhere. You just get older. I feel like it’s all up to you, the way you take care of your body, the way you keep maintenance on your body. You can be as young as you want to be. I’ve seen guys do it and be around this league for a very long time. I’ve studied them, watched how they take care of their bodies. That’s the same with me. I’m just copying those guys and adding to my game and to my body and how I can get better.
Q: I was wondering two things. One, where were you when you saw Saquon get injured? Were you watching the game when you saw Saquon got hurt? I think you were on the Eagles visit. Did you have the game on TV? Did you see him get hurt and did you think immediately, ‘that team might call me’?
A: I wasn’t watching the game at the time. I was in Philadelphia and that was the only game on TV. I was at the hotel watching the game, and it just went across the news and it said, ‘breaking news.’ That’s when I saw it and found out about the injury.
Q: The other thing is what was your reaction when the Falcons cut you, because it’s obviously such a… it was just a year or two ago you were playing at a Pro Bowl level. What was the reaction when they cut you? Kind of an unforgiving league. How glad were you that you got a big contract before that?
A: I understand the game and I understand the business. As always, business decisions have to be made. I just do my part and come to work every single day and leave my best out there on the practice field, on the game field. Whatever I’m asked to do, I just try to take advantage of my opportunity, if that’s catching or running or blocking. I just want to contribute as much as I can.
Q: You’ve obviously been through a lot in your life between growing up where you did in Florida and your journey to Florida State and through the Falcons, getting cut by them, all the things you’ve been through in your career. Do you ever take a step back and think about your journey to this point and how you’re back in the NFL playing for the Giants and getting a chance to do what you love? What is the Giants locker room getting in Devonta Freeman?
A: Just a guy that wants to come in and contribute as much as I can, work hard, gain these guys’ respect and trust. Just whatever I’m asked to do, do it to the best of my ability. Just continue to take advantage of the opportunity. I think that’s the most important thing.
Q: I’m curious what made you choose the Giants. Take us through the journey of this offseason. You had other options, you said you were in Philadelphia. There was a report that you turned down an offer from the Seahawks. Take us through that process and kind of why you settled on the Giants.
A: I just think a lot of situations didn’t fit me and fit what I want to do and some of my personal goals. I know I still have a lot in the tank and I just want to go out and play football and have fun. This was a great opportunity at the right time. I’m coming in trying to compete and work to get a job and continue to get better.
Q: You said this fit what you wanted to do. What do you want to do? What do you want to get accomplished?
A: What do I want to get accomplished? One game at a time, win. Take it one game at a time and try to win. This is a long season, it’s a tough season. Try to stay healthy and try to win one game at a time. When it’s all said and done, hopefully win the big game, but I don’t want to look too far down the road. Main thing is just one play at a time, one quarter at a time, one game at a time, that’s what I’m most looking forward to.
Q: The other day Coach Judge was talking about how there’s a difference between being in workout shape and football shape. I’m just wondering where you would put yourself at this point. I don’t believe you have been in a camp since last year. Along those lines, what are your expectations as far as how much you feel you might be able to give the team on Sunday?
A: When you are actually out there with the guys running around and running plays, going drill for drill (inaudible), individuals. All that stuff that these guys have been through in camp is definitely a different type of shape than I’ve trained my body to be in. I know that I’m in shape and just have to continue to get in game shape and practice shape. Keep climbing and keep getting better. It’s definitely a difference. I’m also working towards that, to get my body in the best condition I can be in.
Q: Realistically speaking without giving away any trade secrets, do you feel like you can contribute a dozen snaps, 20 snaps? What’s usually realistic in this type of scenario?
A: Any opportunity I get, I want to contribute. It doesn’t matter about the snaps. When I get in there, what I do with the opportunity, that’s how I want to contribute.