Giants' Xavier McKinney sounds off on Pro Bowl snub: 'I've just got to keep working'

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  • Xavier McKinney
    American football safety
Xavier McKinney DeVonta Smith cropped
Xavier McKinney DeVonta Smith cropped

Giants safety Xavier McKinney did not appear on last Wednesday's complete 2022 Pro Bowl rosters, and the second-year pro provided an honest answer Monday when asked if he believed his name should have been called.

"I do," he said. "It played out how it played out. It is what it is. Obviously, things haven't worked out for our team and individually for myself this year, but it is what it is. Like you said, it's not the only year that I can make the Pro Bowl. I've just got to keep working, get back in the lab and find a way to ensure that next year and years to come that I don't miss it. It is what it is. Just got to go back to work."

A bright spot during the Giants' 4-11 2021 season, McKinney has started 14 of 15 games, totaling 79 tackles (one for loss), five interceptions (one touchdown) and nine pass breakups.

The Giants selected McKinney out of Alabama with the 2020 NFL Draft's No. 36 overall pick. Going from a perennial powerhouse in the Crimson Tide to consecutive double-digit losing seasons has been a culture shock for McKinney, who acknowledged the team's growing pains entering the final two weeks.

"It's very difficult," McKinney said. "I think the best thing about this is everything in life is pretty much an experience. I always try to look at the positives within the situation that's going on now. Obviously, I think this is going to build a lot of character for us as a team, as individuals and especially for me -- just seeing all the little things that went wrong, seeing a lot of things I could've done better to help the team out in whatever way I could have. I think it's a big experience for me. I think it was something that was much needed.

"Obviously, it sucks to lose, and we all hate to lose. I hate to lose, and I'm trying to be a part of this organization and change the culture -- just knowing that's been kind of the culture the last four or five years, however long it's been. I want to be the one to change that culture and turn it around. I think having this experience and seeing what loses you games, to be able to fix that and come back next year and obviously be able to change that up. Obviously, we've still got a couple games left, so we just go from there and we keep getting better and keep trying to improve."