Q: Obviously, you’re always focused on what you’ve been doing and things that are in your control, but the weather is supposed to be pretty nasty on Sunday, cold and windy. That’s always kind of known as Giant weather. You guys run the ball well and it’s kind of a staple.
A: I hope it is.
Q: Would you welcome that kind of weather or do you pay attention to those things as you look ahead?
A: We always pay attention to it. We’re always very clear with our players, with what exactly they’re running into. Unfortunately the weatherman hasn’t always been right. They reminded me a couple of weeks ago that I said zero percent of rain and it started raining in the game. Right after the game they came to me and said, ‘Coach you might want to refrain from giving us a weather report.’ But yeah, we do.
Q: Is there any part that you like about the weather forecast? You’ve been coaching here for a long time.
A: I like playing. I like the idea of us competing and whatever the weather is, we have to play in it. That’s the way our approach has always been. Do the best we can and hopefully we’re a team that is more familiar with some of the weather situations that occur, normally it’s after Thanksgiving, but it will be this weekend in this part of the world. The run game, the physical aspect of the game does come to the front when the weather is like that.
Q: The last six games,
A: By design, there are opportunities according to coverage where that particular player from that position becomes the feature on that play and he’s done a good job with it. He’s responded. He’s looked good in practice and he’s had those opportunities. We’ve seen him go up high and get them and we’ve seen him catch them over his shoulder, so we’ve seen him make a lot of plays. Last week was an excellent adjustment and he and Eli were on the same page. We’re just trying to get better and better. Keep getting better.
Q: That being said, based on the coverages he is seeing because of that, does that make what Cruz is doing all the more impressive?
A: Sure, he’s pretty much doubled every game.
Q: Do you feel like you’re going to have Nicks and JPP on Sunday?
A: We’ll see. We’ll see.
Q: I’m sure you didn’t forget what
A: He’s got that ability. There’s a big man with outstanding speed that if he gets a crack, he can go. That’s what we’re all hoping for, but he’s done a good job of pass protection. We’ve always counted on him coming out of the backfield because he does have good hands.
Q: Perry talked about Prince’s growth lately. What have you seen from Prince?
A: Last week he was physical. He made two outstanding tackles against a big back. Quite frankly, that’s what we saw coming out of college. He was a physical corner and he certainly played like that. He’ll be challenged again with the big receivers coming in and he’ll respond.
Q: Given the forecast for Sunday, did you consider practicing outside today?
A: We were going outside for sure, but the rain and the field left us in that question about whether or not we were going to have any footing. I’m very reluctant to put somebody out there, for fear that there will be a slide/slip and somebody will get hurt. We generally go to where we can have good footing. Today was a day we were planning on going outside. It was warm today, there’s no question we would have been outside. We got out yesterday which was good and did the best we could today.
Q: Turnovers played a big role in that first game. Would you anticipate that it will be critical on Sunday?
A: They always are. They always are. Hopefully we’ll do a little bit better job of taking care of the ball.
Q: Did Nicks do more today or less?
A: He did probably about the same as he’s done.
Q: Did you notice your buddy Bob Ford is packing it in tomorrow?
A: I did. I’ve been aware of that and I’m going to try to call him since I think the first game that he was at Albany was against our team at RIT. I’ll have to give Bob a call.
Q: Eli gets a lot of the blame for interceptions, but do you sense as a team you’re doing a better job of communicating perhaps?
Q: It seemed like he was a victim of (…).
A: He certainly was, but he goes about his business as a pro and doesn’t talk about that part of it and I don’t want to either. We’re constantly working on that because we can’t have a mistake. There were a couple of errors last weekend.
Q: What do you think Nicks’ injury prevents him from doing the most?
A: Probably being full speed.
Q: I’m sorry if you’ve been asked this but the t-shirts the guys are wearing about ‘do it for your brother,’ that idea was that yours?
A: It came out of camp, yes.
Q: How does it help you…?
A: That has helped a lot because we’ve never lost sight of that, that we’re all in this thing together and we’re all working as hard as we can to be as good as we can. We don’t point the finger at anybody, it’s a collective as a team and our strength is as a team not as individuals and we all recognize that.
RB Andre Brown
A: I’ve never played in the snow so that would be fun. The weather’s not going to, I guess it will affect us throwing or anything, but I just know that I’m going to go out there prepared and ready to go. No matter if it’s cold or hot or warm, I’m just going to be ready to go. Hopefully Dallas won’t like it being cold. Us being used to the cold weather could be an advantage but it is what it is.
Q: You didn’t play in that first game but that first game was so much about turnovers. Would you expect that it’s going to be big again?
A: Yeah, any Sunday you don’t want to have as many turnovers as we had. We had what, six? The bad thing is that we had six but there is also a good thing, a positive side that we were still in the game and probably still could have won. You want to eliminate the turnovers and play excellent football with the offense well-balanced. We want to be able to run and throw the ball real well but depending on the wind and all that stuff, who knows? As long as we go out there and put our best foot forward, I’m pretty sure that we’ll come out on top.
Q: How much have you guys heard about turnovers this week? More than usual?
A: More than usual because we’re watching film from that game. Coach emphasizes the amount of, like how the defense plays to strip the ball, so he emphasizes holding it high and tight and being very cautious when you’re in the open field, protecting the ball. That defense, when we look at film from the first week, we know that’s the amount of turnovers that we had and we want to make sure that we eliminate those.
Q: Do you guard against being too cautious when you’re worrying about committing too many turnovers?
A: Yeah… no. I don’t even know how to answer that one. You just want to go out there and play loose and make sure that you’re doing the right things and make sure you hold on to the ball and eliminate turnovers.
A: I think we’re in a situation where we can’t look too far ahead. We can only take things one game at a time because we need every one that we can get. Our full focus is on Dallas and then we’ll see what happens. We know that they’re going to be well-rested coming off their bye, eager to get back out there and play after the game in New Orleans so they’ll be at their best and we will too.
Q: Can you talk about a Rod Marinelli defensive line? These guys are so well coached and they play so well. When you play those guys, from an offensive lineman’s perspective, what makes you say, “Oh wow, these guys have been coached up well and Marinelli has done a great job with these guys.”
A: Well you notice how well they recognize schemes. They’re quick to react. I think the one thing about coach Marinelli’s defensive line is that you always see them in the frame at the end of the play. They always play with great effort, I think that’s something that they obviously really focus on over there. You know that you’re going to have to block them through the whistle because they’re going to be relentless and they’re going to end up around the ball one way or another.
Q: Considering how many guys they’ve shuffled through that defensive line this year, have you had to watch extra tape to see what all these different guys have done?
A: Right, there are a lot of guys that have been on the roster since Week 1. They’re all talented, they’re guys that have played in the league so you had some exposure to come of them but they’re, obviously in that scheme, they’re athletic, we know they’re going to be athletic, and relentless.
Q: Jason Hatcher has had a breakout year for them. Why?
A: He’s somebody that we obviously know about from our years here. He’s always been a great player to us. It seems like now he’s finally starting to maybe get those sacks where as a lot of those times he was the reason why other guys were getting a lot of the sacks. For whatever reason now, the stats are coming but he’s always been a great player and he’ll be back and ready to play. He’s one of the best D-tackles in the league.
Q: Tony Romo is a guy that isn’t sacked a lot but you guys haven’t given up a lot of sacks on Eli either. How important is that to you guys, to keep him clean?
A: It’s vital. We know that if we keep our quarterback upright and give him space to operate, then he’ll get the job done. He’s shown that time and time again. It’s always our goal to keep Eli clean and open up lanes for our running backs and let our offense go.