Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: You had said yesterday that you were optimistic about JPP…
A: I still am.
Q: He doesn’t sound so optimistic, though.
A: I’m always upbeat. We’ll see what happens.
Q: Do you expect him to practice tomorrow?
A: We’re going to try it.
Q: What do you need to see from him?
A: Is he healthy enough to play a game?
Q: What about practice?
A: He’s got to practice a little bit. Yeah, sure.
Q: Brandon Jacobs?
A: Jacobs was out there today.
Q: Is it going to be more how his knee responds tomorrow?
A: We’re going to be watching it, sure.
Q: Have you seen anything from Damontre Moore at all that would make you think that he might be able to play in the rotation if JPP can’t?
A: We’ve seen him practice and, of course, we saw him in the preseason, so he would naturally be in the rotation.
Q: But he would be in the rotation because he is there.
A: He’s got some pass rush ability.
Q: Has it been frustrating that the shoulder set him back?
A: The rookie gets hurt right away in preseason and he watches for a few weeks and he falls way behind and then he tries to catch up and he does make a strong contribution on special teams. To this point, we’ve been healthy at end, so we do have some flexibility of other people playing that position as well.
Q: Did you make any decisions at kickoff return? Are you going to stick with Jerrel Jernigan?
A: Both guys are working. A couple to three guys are working, so we’ll see how that is.
Q: What specifically does JPP have to show you to give you the confidence to play him?
A: If he can practice and if he can defend himself. If he’s got any punch and does he respond by being able to go again the next day.
Q: Corey Webster wasn’t out there today?
Q: Is he unlikely to play on Sunday?
A: Yeah. That’s probably accurate.
Q: Is there anything more? More tests?
A: I don’t think so. I think it’s just a matter of recovery.
OC Kevin Gilbride
RE: Green Bay’s defense
The thing that makes it very difficult is it’s a very sophisticated package because it’s based out of a 3-4, when they go to their four-down look, it’s really outside linebackers on many occasions as the defensive ends. They can implement all types of blitz packages where they’re dropping extensively defensive ends with their linebackers, so they’re good cover guys. You have to be on top of your game. You have to have a good plan offensively, how to protect your quarterback, but also because of the things they’re able to do, you have to be sharp and play well to have a chance to neutralize all of the pressures that they bring. They’re going to blitz about 50 percent of the time and you have to be able to handle it. You get opportunities because of it, but if you don’t protect it, you’re going to be struggling, it’s going to be a long day.
Q: Do you have to account for Clay Mathews on every play pretty much?
A: He’s obviously a terrific football player. The thing that impresses me as much as anything is his effort. He puts forth phenomenal effort. This sounds ridiculous to say, but I don’t know how to say it in a way that makes sense to everybody, but obviously as a pass rusher, he’s outstanding. Where he jumps out at me different from anybody else is when the play goes away from him. He’s relentless. He thinks he’s going to make those plays and he does because of effort and obviously he has enough speed to chase things down. It’s his effort as much as anything. As a football coach, I wish he was on our team, but I certainly appreciate it seeing it from him. Because of that, even on plays away, you have to be aware. If you let up, he thinks he’s making a tackle.
Q: Did the club to protect his thumb limit Matthews at all from what you saw?
A: Yeah, I mean it’s a club. I think it limited him with what he could do, grabbing, pulling, and doing some of the things he does to avoid being blocked. It’s his speed as much as anything that makes him and his spin move and all of that other stuff, that impacted it all. I’m sure it hurt him, but they said they’re going to cut it down unfortunately, so we’ll have to deal with him when he’s more at his best.
Q: Could you talk about Andre Brown and what he maybe brings in terms in terms of you guys being able to do a little more play action stuff?
A: As you guys asked last week, ‘what do you expect,’ I expected him to play well, but you never know until you get into the game situation how he’s going to respond, how far along he is in his conditioning and everything else. He wound up playing exceptionally well. The way the game was going, we wound up running the ball more than maybe we had anticipated doing going into the game. Usually what happens, which you hope is an outgrowth of running the ball well, now people have to respond to your run game and out of respect for that, it should open up some play action opportunities. That’s what you’re hoping for. In a perfect, idealistic world, you hope that’s going to take place.
Q: How confident are you going forward that he can be a guy you can kind of lean on as your primary guy and considering he’s a guy who had such a past injury history, that he could carry that kind of load?
A: It’s impossible for anybody to know. I just hope he’s done everything he can to get himself as physically ready as you can for the rigors of being the primary ball carrier. You’re just rolling the dice. We’ll play them as long as we can and hope that it will last the whole season. We expect it to. We have no reason to think otherwise, but no one knows.
Q: Is re-establishing the play-action a big key to going more down field?
A: If you talk to all the pundits, they’ll say that’s what it is. That has not necessarily been the way we’ve been successful with it. Ours has become more often out of the dropback, but certainly, theoretically, as you draw it up schematically, you would hope that they’ll play more single high, that gives your guys more one on one opportunities and with the one on one opportunities, you hope that your guys are going to win. We haven’t been as good this year as we’ve been in the past. As always, it’s not just one player or one area, it’s all of us. We all have to do a little bit of a better job, whether it’s protection, running routes, throwing the ball. We left a lot of offense out on the field last week and that was very disappointing for us. I was very happy the way we sustained ball control and all that stuff. The last two weeks have been outstanding, but certainly there have been some chances that we haven’t capitalized on.
A: It appears that you’re not taking as many shots downfield. Is that true? Are you taking just as many as you used to?
A: I haven’t counted them, so I don’t really know. I have occasions where I feel like we’re struggling in certain areas. Maybe not exposed us to that high risk, high reward type of play, maybe not as much. I play every game with the same thought: hey, we’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that, but as the game’s unfolding I will adapt or modify what I’m doing based upon how’s our defense doing? How are we doing? How are we protecting? Can we go back long enough to hold and throw the deep ball? I kind of play it by ear based upon how the game’s played out.
Q: It seems like Hakeem has had some really good games against the Packers in recent years. I was just wondering is there a reason for that? Has he been slowly working his way back into optimum shape?
A: He’s had some good games because he’s a good player. Certainly some of the schemes, they’ve given him some opportunities, they’ve given him some of those one on ones, but where he’s been especially devastating is he’s been able to run the ball after the catch and he’s made some monster plays for us in the past. You hope that some of those plays will unveil themselves come Sunday. I certainly think it will, but you wait and see what takes place. As much as that I think he’s caught the ball well, the cold weather hasn’t bothered him when we’ve gone up there. He’s got those big paws, he reaches up and grabs the ball. He’s run very well after the catch and he’s made some huge plays for us because of that and obviously the playoff game when he jumped up, the last play (of the first half), the Hail Mary was a huge play for us.
Q: Do you think he’s getting back to his old self?
A: He’s trying. We’ll see at the end of the year where we’re at with him, but I think he’s trying his butt off. He’s working like crazy. I’m very proud of his effort and his determination to be a focal point of our offense, which is good. You need as many guys when those one on one chances are there, that they’re good enough to win for you. We’ll never be as good a team if he doesn’t become that kind of player for us.
Q: Has Brandon Myers improved at all as a blocker?
A: I think last week he was outstanding. Especially on plays away, which was tough because a guy was on his inside eye and, of course, all the action was running away. It was very difficult to cut off. I told him I thought that was about as good a job as I’ve seen with the backside. Andre, particularly, is a guy that likes to wind it back and he was significant part of the success and reason that he was able to do that effectively.
Q: Do you sense that Eli is feeling the pressure either when it’s there or not there? Do you sense any of that?
A: Mentally or physically?
A: No I haven’t. I think when pressure gets to him, when they are around him, obviously it affects him because it affects everybody, but is he reacting unnecessarily or imagining things? I don’t think that and I don’t think emotionally or mentally it’s impacting him at all. I know he was disappointed because he felt just like we all did, there were opportunities that we all had out there on Sunday that we left a lot of offense out on the field. When you don’t take advantage of all those opportunities, you’re always disappointed.
DC Perry Fewell
Q: What were some of the things Trumaine McBride needed to improve upon in training camp?
A: I’d be giving the opponent the advantage if I said that. I’ll just say that he’s worked on the little things like that.
Q: Are you concerned about his size?
A: You’re always concerned about that, but he plays bigger than his size. You hear that term a lot, but he does. When he comes into the ball game, he plays big.
Q: Is there a concern with JPP this weekend?
A: Anytime you don’t have your full complement of defensive linemen or linebackers or secondary guys, there’s always a concern. I think the guys have done a good job of rallying around each other and I’m going to keep hope till Sunday at (4:25).
Q: What do you like about Cullen Jenkins in the run game at end?
A: He has that flexibility to go out there and play that and he’s a tougher, stronger, thicker guy out there that can play the run for us and he can convert and rush the passer out there. So to me, he gives us a double edge in that sense because he do a good job in the run game for us at the end position.
Q: Against an Eddie Lacy running attack, would he be a good option if JPP can’t go rather than Damontre?
A: That would be a really good option for us because he can take on the tight end. He can take on the tackle. He can anchor us at the edge of the defense. He can shed and then we still have a good complement inside of tackles that can do that and do the job.
Q: Linval Joseph sort of gets overshadowed by some of the other guys on the line. What is his value to the defense?
A: Linval plays good against teams in green. I don’t know why. You go back to ’11 and he played good against Green Bay. He played good against them last year. He played good against Philly. Maybe it’s just the teams in green he kind of steps it up a little bit. We ask him not to play as high and shed and get off blocks and do the things that lineman should do and for whatever reason, he focuses when the guys in green come around.
Q: Would Damontre Moore be in the picture at all if JPP couldn’t go?
A: Oh yeah. He would definitely be in the picture.
Q: He’s had a hard time getting defensive snaps.
A: He would be in the picture in our third down situation, our rush package. We see him making a contribution there.
Q: As a situation pass rusher, what would you expect out of him?
A: We think that he can get after a guy and if we match him up on the right person, we think that he has value that way in matchups on the offensive tackles. Nothing inside, but you’re really on the edge and I think that’s where his value comes in and he drops pretty good, too. We did a lot of that with him early in the camp etc. So he has a good sense for dropping in coverage and can do some things that can enhance us from a pressure standpoint.
Q: With he and Cullen, that’s the versatility that someone like you would want.
A: Yes. No doubt. Cullen in the run and Damontre in the pass game.
Q: When you game plan for the Packers, do you game plan for Mike McCarthy’s offense or does everything change when you have a third string quarterback running the show?
A: I think Mike McCarthy’s offense. I didn’t see it change last week. I thought the young man did a great job when he came in. He might not have taken any snaps in that practice versus Philly, but he came in and ran the offense. I think he threw for over 200 yards and I don’t think the offense …They bogged out of the red zone, so obviously he’ll get snaps in the red zone and will probably be more efficient this week, but I thought he did a good job, so it’s Mike’s offense.
A: When I say that, he’s going to get engulfed by a larger receiver or lineman or what have you. For whatever reason, they can matchup and win that situation, win that down, and not get picked on. When guys see a little guy out there sometimes they go and pick on the guy and kind of matchup a big guy on a little guy. If he manages to just win his battle, he’ll come back and fight again.
Q: Has the personality of this defense varied a little bit? Where it used to be a solid pass rush you had to worry about, now it seems like the secondary is making the big plays. Do you see it that way?
A: I didn’t look at it that way. I just thought that we’re playing better together as a unit and we’re complementing each other. The secondary is complementing the front, the front is complementing the secondary, and that’s what we wanted to have happen with our defense. They complement each other because we have to work together in order to make the thing work. I haven’t looked at it that way, but it probably could be perceived that way.
Q: Have you or will you talk to your guys about not relaxing, maybe relaxing isn’t the word, but any kind of a letdown at all because you’re not playing Aaron Rodgers, but a quarterback who you never even heard of until two days ago.
A: We’re trying to win football games. We’re trying to put wins in the bank, so we’re behind the eight ball right here. We don’t talk about letdown, we talk about winning this game, no matter who is at quarterback. We talk about winning this game and preparing to win this game.
Q: Could you talk about Antrel Rolle and the year that he’s having? He seems to always be around the ball and making big plays.
A: He’s just a good football player that understands what we’re trying to do in our defensive scheme and we have evolved where we can put him at a lot of different positions and he understands what each position does on the field. He’s become one of our coaches on the field, sort of speak. A lot of times, he’s out there, he’s recognizing the formation, anticipating the play and obviously he has a knack for the football. We like where his mindset is, we like his leadership right now, we like the production he’s having right now and we’re trying to do everything we can to be put him in a position to continue to lead us.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: On the punt block last week, it looked like they doubled Mark Herzlich and let Damontre Moore go. Was that by design?
A: They had two guys blocking. Two guys came off on one of the lead guys coming around, so it freed up Moore and he did a good job learning from his mistake at Kansas City of taking it off the punter’s foot because he was in the same situation at Kansas City. So it’s good to see that he learned that.
Q: When you fumble the opening kick return, are you at your wit’s end on the sidelines?
A: I’m wondering if my name is Murphy. It’s mind boggling. The number one job of special teams is ball security. When they kick it off to us or punt it to us, we’ve got to give it to our offense and to have that happen it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that happen. That’s crazy. And then it bounces off his leg into their hands and they start running it back, so it was disappointing. We’ve got to be better at ball security, obviously.
Q: You put Jernigan back out there after the second kickoff.
A: Yeah, he finished the game.
Q: Did you think of maybe replacing him?
A: No. He’s the guy we want to go with and we’re down a little bit at the numbers there, so we decided to stay with him.
Q: Are you going to stay with him going forward?
A: He’ll have reps back there on both punts and kickoffs, so we’ll see.
Q: Would Rueben Randle and Michael Cox be the other two options for the guys that can return kicks?
Q: Is Steve Weatherford okay?
A: Not last Sunday. He overthought it. I try to impress on these guys that we’ve got to be the best wind kickers because you guys have been out on our practice field and it’s windy almost every day and so for us not to perform is disappointing. I told him and he is disappointed and he is frustrated. I think he overthought it and tried to make too many adjustments instead of just doing what we do in practice because we had wind last week and he had a good week of practice. He was frustrated with it and we are because he’s got to perform.
Q: It looked like the Oakland punter was trying to kick it high and then Steve was trying to…
A: They’ve all got different drops and he’s got to hold onto it in the wind. You can’t let it go because then it will move.
Q: Steve was having problems with the drops?
A: Yeah. He did make adjustments on that and probably too many adjustments.
Q: To shorten the drops so the wind wouldn’t…
A: Yeah. If you let the ball go, it will start going across and now you’re dropping it inside and it’s different things like that. You just want to make contact in the wind.
RB Andre Brown
Q: Is this the workload you expect to have going forward?
A: I have to. I have no choice. If they want me to do that, I’ll be that guy. I’m just looking forward to going out there and playing good ball. That’s it.
Q: Do you think you have 40 carries in you this week?
A: If it’s calling for it, I’ll do it.
Q: Is it a difficult to say that you’re tired during the game and have to come out?
A: Yeah, but in certain situations you look at it and you know I would rather take a blow and then come back out there on the next play where I’m capable of being 100 percent instead of 80. I do that, but as the season goes on, I’m pretty sure that I’ll get in better game shape and be able to go and not tap out.
Q: You did that a couple of times on Sunday.
A: Yeah. I did. I was sitting around for a couple of weeks. I did tap out a little bit.
Q: Any lingering soreness?
A: No. I’m fine. I’m good. After a couple of massages and a cold tub, I’m fine. I’m perfect. I’m ready to just go out there and get beat up again, I guess.
Q: Is it in your best interest to keep your carries at a certain number?
A: As long as we’re winning, I don’t care. I’m playing right now. I’m playing good ball. We’re playing good ball. As long as we’re doing that… I’ll let them manage that and what have you, but I’m just going to go out there and play ball.
Q: Did you get hit on your shin guard during the game?
A: No. Now I’ve got to knock on wood because you asked me that question.
Q: What was it like for you in the last four minutes of the game when the offense ran out the game?
A: The offense… We look forward to having the ball with four minutes left and then closing out the game. We didn’t want the defense to back out there, so that was the seed and the feel in the huddle during that time. To go out there and get the two first downs was big. Everybody was amped. They were willing to do it and everybody had an attitude about it. We ran the power and those are good plays to finish a game. It’s smash-mouth football and to finish the game on that note was a good thing.
Q: Did you have to talk yourself into not being tired at the end?
A: No. I was good. Kiwi got the ball back and that just automatically gave me enough energy to go out here and close the game out.
RB Brandon Jacobs
Q: How’s the knee?
A: It’s good. If you ask me, it’s ready to go. But, of course, we’re going to see about five hours from right now and see how it reacts to the pounding it just took.
Q: Is that a wear and tear thing?
A: It’s just a wear and tear thing. I’m 31 years old, 6’4, 250-plus pound running back. It’s just about what it is. The average football player can catch it.
Q: Is that something you’re going to have manage going forward?
A: It’s something that you’re going to have to manage. No question. I’ve had it basically the whole season. When I hurt the hamstring, I stopped giving it the attention that it needed, but then that’s what happened, which is why when I was dealing with the hamstring I was like wait, my knee is puffing up. But I’m back to managing it and doing what I’ve got to do every day, so it’s going to be fine. I honestly believe that with just me managing and paying more attention to it, it’s not going to come back.
Q: Are you impressed with what Andre Brown did on Sunday?
A: No question. First game back, great. Tough runner. Smooth. I’m impressed, but I’m not surprised.
Q: That touchdown seemed pretty special to Andre. Can you talk about that?
A: Andre is my guy. As long as I’ve been around here with Andre, I’ve never had an opportunity to play with him and I’m happy if I have an opportunity to play with him and I was happy knowing everything he’s been through throughout his whole career to come in. He tears his Achilles his first year and not quite healed up right the second time. He couldn’t quite perform like he wanted to. He got cut. He went around the league on tour. He came back and he’s been strong. He had a couple of leg injuries. So I’m happy for (Andre) and obviously he had one hell of a game and I was happy for him to get in there and get that first touchdown, which was a big deal. I was really, really happy and excited for his performance.
DE Damontre Moore
Q: If JPP isn’t able to go, that means you’re in line for a lot more defensive reps than you would get, right?
A: I think so. We’ll see when that time comes. It’s still up in the air right now, so I try not to pay too much attention to it. Just go in there like I do every week and prepare and just work hard.
Q: Are you kind of chomping to get in there? You’ve proven yourself on special teams.
A: I’m excited a little bit. What player wouldn’t be naturally excited, but at the same time I just want to go out there and help the team and put them in the best situation, so if that’s me out there, JPP if he’s willing to go, it doesn’t really matter.
Q: How ready do you think you are for this if they asked you to play 30 or 40 snaps?
A: I think I’m fully ready. I like taking on the challenge, I prepared hard, I’m confident in the scheme and the coaches have put me in the best position so far. I feel like I can go out there and make something happen.
Q: You’ve been kind of teasing us so far, we’ve seen little glimpses. If you get a full game, can you sustain all of that?
A: I would like to think I can, but nobody can really predict that, only time will tell.
Q: What’ the biggest thing you’re better at than you were two months ago?
A: I would probably say my preparation and just studying. I’m a lot better than I was before. Just being in here with the vets and listening to coach on how we break down film. My preparation is a lot better than what it was compared to in college or high school. I would probably say my preparation has seen the most improvement.
Q: You only get four or five defensive snaps a game on defense, is that enough to get anything done do you think?
A: I feel like any time is valuable time, so it’s not so much to say if you get five snaps or if you’re to get 70 snaps, it’s how you make use of that time. I go out there and I play as hard as I can every play and I leave it out there on the field. I feel satisfied with the number of snaps I’m getting out there and the production I’m getting.
Q: You can’t set anybody up or anything like that, can you?
A: You really can’t set anybody up because you’re not out there long enough but as long as you leave it out there on the field and you did your job, then that’s all you can do. Hopefully good things will happen, if not somebody will do something good.
CB Trumaine McBride
RE: whether or not he thought he would get another chance to play while sitting out 2012 season
A: I wasn’t exactly sure when but I knew at one point I would get another opportunity.
Q: You say at one point but as the weeks and months go on, you realize it’s not going to be last year at least. Did you ever say, “OK, it’s not going to work for me this year?”
A: No. Me, personally, I always stayed optimistic. I knew if not that year, I could definitely get a future deal somewhere.
Q: What happened in Chicago? It seemed like you were really contributing and then you hurt your knee the first game.
A: Well, my rookie year I started like nine games. Nathan Vasher, who was the cornerback then, he got back healthy, which put me back on the reserve role. But the year I got cut I hurt my knee the very first game and then they waived me injured.
Q: Were you going to be a starter that year?
A: No. I was going to be a backup that year.
Q: When you get here and you make the team there are so many guys in front of you. But you work your way up and guys fell. Did you figure you would get on the field or did you not know?
A: Honestly, I didn’t know. I had been in the league long enough to know that injuries happen and to prepare every week like I was a starter.
Q: Do you think sometimes people forget that? You’re a new guy here but you’re not a rookie.
A: That’s the thing, a lot of guys look at me and I look young. They think I’m a rookie or this is my second year. Most guys don’t know my background or don’t know where I’ve been or how long I’ve been in the league.
Q: Did most guys in here not know that?
A: Yeah, definitely. Guys now still probably don’t know that I’m not young.
Q: With Terrell here, with Prince here, teams are going to try to look at you first. Are you sensing that?
A: Yeah. I knew it the very first time I got an opportunity in the Chiefs game. He came at me right off the bat, so I know every week, week in and week out, guys are going to test me.
Q: That’s OK with you?
A: Yeah. The more opportunities I get, the more balls come my way, the more opportunities I get to make plays. So yeah, I’m good with it.