Wayne Gallman looked deep inside before Giants breakout: ‘Kinda forgot … me’
Post columnist Steve Serby scored a Q&A with Giants running back and touchdown machine Wayne Gallman:
Q: Can you be a feature back in this league?
A: Of course.
Q: Tell me why you believe you can be.
A: ’Cause I believe I’m a great back. I know I can be a starting back. Of course right now I’m starting, but of course I didn’t want it to be this way. I would like to have earned it. But I believe I can do that.
Q: This is your contract year.
A: Yes sir.
Q: When Saquon Barkley returns next season, he’ll be the feature back again.
A: I’m just focused on right now.
Q: You’ve scored a touchdown in five straight games, what does that mean you?
A: It doesn’t mean a lot, man, honestly, just gotta keep on taking advantage of all my opportunities, and doing what’s best for the team.
Q: When are you going to break out a touchdown dance?
A: Shoot, when I get time, my offensive line is already on me by the time I get up. I haven’t really had time to go any of that.
Q: But you might if they give you time?
A: Yeah, when I finally break one, yeah I’ll do something … yeah, I’ll get to it.
Q: You have one planned?
A: No, but (chuckle) I’ll start thinking about it.
Q: Sometimes it takes years for a person to become an overnight success — from your Instagram.
A: Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes a long time to work at your craft, and sometimes it takes just takes lot of patience.
Q: How did hardly playing in 2018 and 2019 affect you in your day-to-day existence?
A: I started to forget pretty much my style of running. As a running back, you develop what you’re comfortable with, and not having that be consistent, I kind of fell out of it, and was trying to find it again. I kinda forgot … me.
Q: That’s not a good feeling, is it?
A: Nah, it’s not.
Q: Who gave you support or advice during that difficult period?
A: My mom’s always been there, my agent’s always been there, my girlfriend.
Q: Describe your running style now.
A: I would say I’m a physical runner always fighting for that extra yard. I feel like I can do whatever is needed.
Q: Where is your confidence level in yourself right now on a scale of 1-10?
A: Confidence in myself is 10. As far as my line and everyone else goes, I trust my whole team, that’s where I get my confidence from.
Q: How low did your confidence in yourself drop when you were barely playing?
A: Not really playing something that you really like, it’s like a dog only being able to go to a dog park once a week. It wasn’t that fun, but at the same time I made sure that I came to work and did what I needed to do to get better on a daily basis, not just for myself but for my teammates.
Q: What was your reaction when the Giants drafted Saquon?
A: I was honestly in a bind with myself. I was happy that we got a great player — he’s a great back, that’s my brother. But at that moment, just from the previous year, how hard of a season that was, how hard I had worked, and having to deal with everyone getting fired, people that drafted, that was just a whole new process that you had to go through to learn. And really, when we drafted Saquon, man, I was pretty down. But, at the same time, it was just another process in learning a new role and what I had to do,
Q: What was your reaction this season when Devonta Freeman was signed?
A: I welcomed him with open arms. Same thing with Saquon. There’s nothing you can really do in those situations, that’s how the business goes. Devonta’s somebody that I’ve watched for a long time and somebody I thought I can learn from.
Q: The day of the Kobe tragedy.
A: I actually cried. The previous year he had these inspirational videos on YouTube that I used to watch.
Q: What was the inspiration that he gave you?
A: Being yourself. Being you. That’s all you really need.
Q: Why did that resonate with you at that time?
A: Because that’s something that I abandoned myself for a couple of years. That’s something that my mom has brought me up on.
Q: What is Colt McCoy like in the huddle?
A: Very focused. Colt has been preparing for this every week. The past few weeks, on tape, there’d be clips where Daniel’s going through his reads, but Colt’s right behind him reenacting, doing the same thing.
Q: Is Daniel Jones different from Colt in the huddle?
A: It’s not the same presence, Daniel’s a different guy. We look at the quarterback as our leader, so I would say I look at ’em both the same.
Q: Give me your favorite single Eli Manning memory.
A: I wouldn’t say it was my favorite, but this is my most memorable — we’re in the locker room before a game, he was doing his stretching while I was sitting in my chair listening to music, and he walked by and he farted by my face. And walked away.
Q: You didn’t get him back?
A: There was no way I could get him back after that. Had to do something real nasty.
Q: But you didn’t do anything.
A: I didn’t get a chance to (chuckle).
Q: What was it like playing with him?
A: It was great, man. Eli is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He’s a great leader, I’ve learned a lot with him of how he could handle adversity. Just the way he handled himself as a player — being on time, how he comes to work, how he comes to practice, how he comes to games prepared, take care of his body. He showed a lot.
Q: Can you see any similar characteristics in Daniel Jones that remind you of Eli?
A: They both look alike still. Daniel still has that same charisma about himself. Daniel’s here before everyone. Daniel’s one of the toughest people I know. I don’t know anyone tougher than him. He just comes to work prepared and ready to lead us every day.
Q: Can you give me an example of Daniel’s toughness?
A: Just how he plays the game. Every time he runs the ball, like he just fights for all the extra yards, he never stops.
Q: Nick Gates?
A: He has an aggressive mindset. He really likes to take charge, and he does a very good job.
Q: He’s a good trash talker?
A: Yeah he’s pretty good at it. He got a lot of people mad.
Q: Andrew Thomas?
A: Andrew is very talented. He’s just very big, very physical, strong, very athletic.
Q: Shane Lemieux?
A: Shane is a dog. He really wants it, he’s strong, athletic.
Q: Is this the best line you’ve been behind as a Giant?
A: Productively, yes this is the best line we’ve had so far, but those guys have always been great.
Q: RBs coach Burton Burns?
A: He has a lot of knowledge in his game. He’s more than a coach.
Q: Eli Penny?
A: Eli Penny is a jack of all trades, man, he can do whatever you ask him to. Our fullback, he’s strong, he really goes into the hole with some pop, he’s been on special teams. That’s my boy.
Q: Joe Judge?
A: He makes sure all of us have the same mindset as we come to work each day knowing that we can’t take each week for granted.
Q: Why is he fun to play for?
A: He’s just a good coach. He’s brought us along well. We’ve trusted his process, and we trust in him.
Q: Jamal Adams?
A: He’s a very aggressive player. He can do whatever the defense asks him to do. He really comes downhill. He’s strong.
Q: Bobby Wagner?
A: He’s one of the top backers in the league. He’s strong. He can cover, he’s very lateral.
Q: Snacks Harrison?
A: Snacks is a great player.
Q: How do you see the NFC East right now?
A: I would say it’s up for grabs.
Q: The Giants haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. Now you have to play a few of them. Do you feel like the Giants are ready for this?
A: Of course. I believe that we go into each week preparing the right way, and we prepare to win. We don’t go into it to lose.