Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: How did Hakeem look?
A: He looked fine.
Q: Is his speed an issue?
A: I hope not, let’s put it that way. We need him to be full speed, that’s for sure.
Q: No McBride or Webster Sunday. Does that mean Hosley gets bumped up and gets a shot?
A: It would be a strong consideration.
Q: What have you seen from him lately?
A: He’s had a good week. He’s been having a good week. He had a nice practice today. I think he’s excited.
Q: Did Jason Pierre-Paul have a continuation from Sunday?
A: He definitely was not himself last weekend and there are obviously some things to deal with there from a standpoint of the injury, so he hasn’t been able to practice this week.
Q: Is Brandon Jacobs going to have to manage his knee like JPP is going to have to manage his shoulder?
A: Yeah. I think so.
Q: Is there a chance to see more from Markus Kuhn or Damontre Moore with JPP down?
A: We’d like that to happen.
Q: What was the difference with JPP from between the Packers game and the Cowboys game? Did he re-injure himself late in the Packers game?
A: There’s an injury and he’s dealing with it. He certainly was sore after the Packers game and he really had a tough week. It was a tough week for him. He tried to go. He wasn’t able to do the things he wanted to do and that carried over into this week.
Q: How nice is it to have Kevin Boothe when you need him to switch positions on the offensive line due to injuries?
A: Kevin is very, very reliable and can play a couple of positions and does it without batting an eye and certainly is a very, very stable, dependable guy up front.
Q: Has he been almost a godsend given what’s happened on the offensive line?
A: We’re certainly very happy that he’s here and has been here. He’s done this before now, remember.
Q: Will Cullen Jenkins work at defensive end with JPP out?
A: He’s been working a little bit out there.
OC Kevin Gilbride
Q: Is there any extra game planning when you face a team twice in one month?
A: I wouldn’t say extra, but it’s the same. You’re looking… Here’s how they’ve defended us, so you can get a pretty good sense of what they’re trying to take away from you, so now it comes down to what adjustments can you make taking into account your personnel, what they’re doing, how you matchup, so I would say it’s not extra time but it’s certainly the same amount of time. Now where the monkey wrench gets thrown into it is… It’s like, okay, I figured out all the answers and then they change all the questions. They do a couple of different things and you went through this game plan based upon what they did that game and then the next time you play them they have adjusted, too, so it’s interesting. I like it almost more because you have a better sense of what is going to happen so you can go in with a really concrete and narrow: hey this adjustment, this change, this modification has to take place and you feel pretty good about it and then you see how it turns out.
Q: And they can probably change a little less than they would.
A: You know what? Each guy is different. Some guys take a radically different approach. You know what? We did this, so this time we’ve got to, particularly if it didn’t work well, but some guys I would say probably more often than not they do what you’re suspecting is that there won’t be much adjustment.
Q: How impressive was Kevin Boothe’s performance last week?
A: I just think the world of the guy because he can play any position. As those of you who have met him know, he’s a phenomenal young man. He’s a tremendous person and he kind of goes unnoticed. No one even pays attention to him and he just plays solid for us, whether you put him at guard or put him at center. It helps that he’s an extremely bright person, so he can make the adjustments that not everybody can make as easily as he can and I think, personally, he’s underestimated. Not underestimated, undervalued in terms of his athleticism. He’s a better athlete than people give him credit for. He doesn’t necessarily fit the stereotypical 6’6, 310 pounds. He’s got a little different physique and so people, I think, dismiss him a little bit more easily than they probably should. He’s a good football player.
Q: How difficult is it to make a change that quickly in the middle of a game?
A: It’s hard. It’s a lot harder than a lot of people would give credit to, particularly playing the center position. First things first, you’ve got to snap the ball and the gun snaps and you’re probably in the gun at least half probably closer to two-thirds of the game and you’re stepping and doing things that… He’s practicing them all week long, but certainly not with the focus as what he’s been concentrating on playing the guard position. We’re fortunate to have him in a lot of ways.
Q: What’s happening in the red zone?
A: Each time it’s different. You wish it was one thing and then you could solve that problem, but the bottom line is we’ve had chances. You get down there last time and we tried that throw back screen to the tight end where everybody sprints to the front side and they had only shown man coverage and then they had two deep, so the corner fell off and was able to come back and minimize the gain and then we ran and didn’t gain a yard. So now it’s third and seven and they played a little different coverage… They played a coverage that we’d expected, but they played it a little differently so we couldn’t throw where we had intended to throw it so we had to come back inside to Andre and we picked up five yards and the bottom line is, if you don’t stay close enough where you can run or pass and you get yourself backed out of it, it’s hard. And the next time we go down there we get down to the five and we lose five yards, six yards on the first play running the ball. It’s frustrating because they were great drives and they need to culminate in points and touchdowns and when you don’t do that, you’re disappointed that you didn’t finish it the way you’d like and probably even more disconcerting is you’d know the potential for it being a difference in the outcome of the game is usually pretty significant, especially in an evenly matched game like that. We were disappointed, but what are you going to do? You keep playing and the last time we had a chance, we went down and put it in the end zone, but you wish you had done it one of the earlier times.
DC Perry Fewell
Q: With the injuries in your secondary with McBride and now Webster being declared out, what are you envisioning as the plan now at corner?
A: We’ll go with Jayron Hosley and we also have Charles James. They’ve practiced all week, so we’ll go that way.
Q: What have you seen from Hosley? I know you guys have been high on him from last year but he’s obviously had a few bumps in the road.
A: He had an injury after the Kansas City game so after that injury he came back, he really practiced well two weeks ago. Then just working him back into the lineup, getting him the amount of reps that he needs to get. Jayron has good cover skills, I think he’s a good matchup for some of the quick guys that they have in there in their lineup so I don’t think we’ll miss a beat from that standpoint as far as the quickness and the matchups are concerned.
Q: What went into the decision to go with Antrel Rolle in that spot last week?
A: Actually we were in dime personnel so we have six DBs on the field, we had every DB who dressed and was healthy. That’s why Antrel had to go down and Hosley went out to the corner and Ryan Mundy came in.
Q: What do you see in RG3 this year that maybe is different than last year when he was so dynamic?
A: I think it’s the same guy. I think he’s the same player. He surprised everybody with just his abilities last year. I think he’s still a dangerous threat. I really see no difference. I think defenses have learned how to defend him a little bit better, not that you can totally shut him down because in some games you see them go for 400 or 500 yards and then other games, like Monday, San Fran did a great job in defending him. I think defenses have learned to defend him a little better.
Q: JPP is going to be out obviously. How do you work with that? Does Jenkins move outside or do you…?
A: We’ll play Moore, we’ll get him ready. We’ll also play Jenkins and move him outside a little bit. Obviously we have a plan that we’ll do a couple different things in certain situations.
Q: Does Markus Kuhn come into the picture?
A: Kuhn will come into the picture, yeah. So that gives us that added body inside that we can go and play with, no doubt.
Q: It seems like everybody’s always anxious to see Damontre get out there and be the pass rusher. Is this a difficult offense to throw him in there for a lot of snaps because of the way they run the read option and everything else?
A: This is a difficult offense for any defensive end because it is a read option offense, it is a play action offense. They do a number of things to make the defensive ends think, so it is quite difficult.
Q: In that sense, Jenkins in that spot might give you a little more confidence because he has that experience.
A: I would say you’re correct in saying that.
Q: When you’re working on your gameplan how much does tendency factor in? Like if a team runs this personnel and they throw 80 percent of the time, does that help you a lot of is that…?
A: It does in some cases. We look at all of those aspects of the game as far as down and distance tendencies, first, second down, what do they do, etcetera. You factor all that in.
Q: But is it hard to base a large part of your gameplan on that?
A: You can’t place everything on that. Some teams have huge tendencies and you plan accordingly and some teams don’t have those huge tendencies, so you have to try to understand what they’re doing and how they’re setting up their plays.
Q: McBride is such an underappreciated part of this defense or at least he was. He goes out late in the third quarter in the game last week and from the outside looking in, it was almost like how did that one injury kind of send your defense, not into a tizzy but just the idea that it threw you off a little bit. Does that surprise you or did you know that in that spot the value of those two guys at corner, Prince and McBride.
A: You’re talking about really two players. McBride goes down and Webster’s not there. When you have four strong corners and you’re using one of the third guys, which is T2, in the nickel slot, the level of your execution is not as good because that guy might not get enough reps at seeing the plays and doing what he should do. That’s where the uneasiness comes in.
Q: So it almost weakens you in three spots. Not that you’re saying those players are weaker but…
A: We really had prepared because of the personnel groups that they brought in, we had really prepared to play a six DB rotation. We said, “Hey, we’re going to put the best players on the field.” So our best players were the two safeties, Mundy and Hill, Rolle has played the nickel position and T2 has played the nickel position so we had practiced that. That was something that we understood and that we knew that we could do.
Q: Would Rolle have been in a different spot if McBride were outside because T2 would have been inside?
A: That could have happened, yes.
STC Tom Quinn
Q: What have you seen from your group in the last couple of weeks? Are you seeing the progress you’ve been looking for?
A: Yeah. We’re finally starting to come together, gel together, led by (Mark Herzlich), Ryan Mundy and Spencer (Paysinger), so it’s finally been nice to see them… The specials have been more accurate, the punter and kicker have been putting the ball where we want them to. We’ll keep going forward.
Q: Are you happy with what you’ve seen from Michael Cox the last couple of games?
A: I’m not happy with the blocking. I’m happy with him. He’s done a good job of running hard. Against Green Bay we started to get that blocking. That was a good kickoff group last week. We had good field position, but not great returns.
Q: Are kickoffs almost being phased out because the average starting point is between the 19- and 25-yard line?
A: I don’t know. I think this time of year you’re going to see quite a bit (of returns), but definitely early in the year it’s hard to get them, and a lot of times you get a little over zealous and bring them out when you shouldn’t, but it’s still a part of it, especially when the weather changes.
Q: Is there a different rule each week in terms of bringing the ball out?
A: Each week you come up with a rule. A lot of times people use the standard rule of minus-five type of a thing, but it changes based on how good the coverage team is and how good your return team is and stuff like that.
WR Hakeem Nicks
Q: Compared to last week how much better or worse do you feel?
A: I feel good. I feel real good. We’ll leave it at that.
Q: You’re optimistic about Sunday?
A: I practiced all week, I think I showed them enough this week in practice, so I think everything will be good to go.
Q: Is this the most positive you’ve felt in a while?
A: I’ve always got to be positive with my thought process. Any negative thinking isn’t good for myself or the team. I think we’ve just got to keep on pushing to possibly give ourselves a chance of winning these last five games, so I think that’s our focus. We’ve got to win these last five and then we’ll see what happens.
Q: Has this been a frustrating season for you?
A: No, man. I don’t think it’s been frustrating. It’s not over.
Q: What’s different for you health-wise compared to last week? How much better do you feel?
A: I don’t really get into details about things like that, but I feel fine, I feel good. I’m ready to get out there Sunday night. Sunday night football, it’s going to be fun.
Q: You said you’re always a competitor. Does that mean you’re really chomping at the bit to get out there?
A: Yeah. I’m always eager to get on the field. You all know, you’ve been covering me for five seasons now. That’s just me being me. I always want to be on the field, I always want to help my team, I always want to make plays and contribute the best way possible.
Q: One of the problems with this team this year is the red zone. What has happened down there that you guys have just not been able to get in?
A: There are different reasons. One game it might be one reason and the next game it might be another reason. We know what we’ve got to do, we know the guys that we have and we believe in coach Gilbride in putting us in the right situations to make plays and to score in the red zone.
LB Jacquian Williams
Q: Alfred Morris is third in the NFL in rushing. He looks like the kind of guy who you don’t bring down with the first tackler, so how important is it to gang tackle against this guy?
A: Just like any other week. It’s important for us to understand that he’s one of those top guys in yards after contact. It’s important, it’s important for the D-line to do their responsibilities, for the linebackers to come and for the DBs, when the opportunity comes, to make the tackle.
Q: As you look at the film this year, have people started to catch on to that read option a little bit more than they did last year when it was a surprise?
A: Yeah, more teams are starting to do it. Because it’s shown up on film we’ve had opportunities to practice against it and things like that. That’s important.
Q: How much more comfortable do you think you are and this defense is against that type of offense?
A: The way the season is we need to be comfortable and ready for anything. To be honest, we’re definitely prepared, we’re prepared and we’re ready for whatever they throw at us.
Q: RG3, it’s been said that he’s not 100 percent, he’s clearly banged up. When you look at him as a gimpy quarterback so to speak, what still concerns you most about his game?
A: His drive, his will to want to play. He’s still going to run it, we watch him in different games and he still wants it. He’s still going to run when he has the opportunity to. I take it as he’s still the RG3 that I know, a guy that’s going to run whenever he has the opportunity, so we’re definitely ready and we’ll be waiting for him if he does decide to run.