HC Tom Coughlin
Q: What did you see from last week’s game that you can take advantage of against the Raiders?
A: I thought Philadelphia played just a superb game and that’s what I looked at. Certainly we take full advantage of every opportunity to look at tape, but I kind of put that one aside.
Q: Did Victor Cruz practice today?
A: He did, yes.
Q: Victor was wearing the red non-contact jersey. That’s unusual for one of your players.
A: It’s an unusual situation.
Q: How so?
A: So he can get through the practice and not have any setbacks, and I think we did that.
Q: Did Trumaine McBride suffer an injury?
A: Yeah. He’s got some soreness in the groin kind of area, so we decided to hold him and see if he’s better and ready to go tomorrow.
Q: Obviously, Victor can’t be wearing a red jersey on Sunday. How concerned are you that he might miss the game?
A: I think today we will assess where he is following this practice and if there are no issues, he won’t be wearing red tomorrow and he’ll practice.
Q: Has there been a decision made on Markus Kuhn?
A: You’ll get the information when we’ve had a chance to talk to the players.
Q: What’s the situation with Shaun Rogers?
A: If you look on the injury report, swollen knee.
Q: Is he an IR possibility?
A: We’ll see.
Q: Did Brandon Jacobs do much today?
A: He did some.
Q: Is he in danger of not playing Sunday?
A: We’ll see what it’s like tomorrow.
Q: Did he have a setback?
A: No, not really. I don’t think you’d call it a setback. He just has some issues and you’re going to have to deal with them.
Q: Do you see JPP doing more and with a renewed sense of spirit on the field?
A: He’s practiced well this week.
Q: If there ever was a perfect time for a bye-week, was this just it?
A: I’ll let you know Sunday.
Q: How did your meeting go today with the players about the bullying issue?
A: Well. I talked to the captains last night and I talked to the team this morning, but it was brief.
Q: Do you feel that David Wilson will be fine for the long-term after his latest MRI?
A: I don’t know what to think because it’s obvious that medically there’s no green light, so we’re still in a holding pattern, believing that he’s going to get better.
Q: Was there anything you guys saw in the latest MRI that would make you more optimistic?
A: A little bit.
Q: Is he going to need surgery before next season?
A: I would doubt that, but I’m not a doctor. Don’t quote me on that one.
OC Kevin Gilbride
Q: What happened to the Raiders defense that allowed them to get torched by the Eagles?
A: It’s one of those deals that it’s a special offense and there’s so much misdirection to it and they were able to capitalize on them. I just don’t think you can count on that on a regular basis. They did some things that were very uncharacteristic. They just turned some guys free. To be quite honest with you, they were very impressive. They’ve got a very extensive and complex blitz package that we’re going to have to be as sharp as we’ve been all year in order to deal with it, so hopefully our guys are ready for the challenge because it looks like it has its genesis in some of that New Orleans Greg Williams’ defense and you see a lot of a carryover and that’s a very sophisticated and comprehensive package. They do a nice job. They really do.
Q: It looks like you’ll have Andre Brown back. What does that mean for the offense?
A: A healthy Andre Brown that’s playing well will be a significant contribution to our offense. It looks like he’s physically running pretty well. You can still see that he’s got to make a few of the things that happened very naturally right now are not happening as natural as usual; his reads, his awareness of some of the things that are going on. But you can see him. He’s a good football player. When he’s healthy, he helps us. He can run. He’s big enough to block. He catches the ball well. He’s an all-around guy that would… Certainly his absence hurt us early on. So how far along and how much we can ask of him this week… It’s not going to be like the previous two weeks, we get a guy in and you’re playing 60 snaps. So he doesn’t have to do that, which is a great thing for us. We can share the load a little bit, but we’ll have a package for all of them.
Q: Why has this organization not given up on Andre Brown?
A: I think just the original interest was obvious because we thought enough of him to draft him and then we saw some good things and you just kept hoping that he would be able to stay healthy enough that if that could occur that you’d have a guy that could help your football team and I thought last year until he got injured, he was playing great football for us. Who knows how far along he’ll be? But if he can stay healthy, knock on wood, I know he’s worked hard to do it, we’ll be a better football team because of him.
Q: Victor Cruz took some good natured ribbing today because of the red shirt at practice. What has he meant this year and what has he done considering he got the big contract and still stepped up?
A: I’ve seen it unfortunately both ways. Fortunately or unfortunately. Some guys become complacent. Some guys get casual about it. He’s been just the exact opposite and now everywhere we go, everybody doubles him, everybody is aware of what he means to us. I think unfortunately that first game against Dallas showed everybody you can’t play him one on one with some of the stuff we let him do inside and so he’s had to contend with double teams. It reminds me of the old Plaxico Burress, the old Steve Smith at the height of their careers with us and that’s what he’s getting. He’s encountering that all of the time and the thing that would mean nothing to you guys, the casual observers, but means a lot to us is his blocking has been way better than it’s ever been. He’s actually gone down and gone out of his way to be an effective blocker, which you need at that position and he’s done a good job. I’m very proud of the way he’s played.
Q: Will one of the challenges for Andre Brown be pass protection?
A: No. Again, more mental than physical. The game is happening a little bit faster. Even though you’re out there, you’re practicing and you’re feeling good about yourself physically; the game happens on game day so much faster. Even though we try to the best of our ability to simulate the game speed in practice and we do a pretty good job of that, it’s still different. There’s no question. So how fast he makes his cuts, he makes his decisions in the run game, how fast he sees things protection-wise, all remains to be seen. I know he’s working at it. He’s trying. I think he’ll be fine, but there’s no question there’s a difference between practice and the game.
DC Perry Fewell
Q: JPP said he hopes the Raiders bring their “A” game because he’s ready to have a breakout game. Why are you smiling?
A: I’m ready for him to have a breakout game. I think we’re all anticipating and have been waiting for him to have a breakout game. I think the bye week obviously helped him a lot and so he’s practiced well this week. He’s got a pep in his step and we’re looking for good things.
Q: Did the bye help him mentally as well?
A: I think it helped not only him, but some of the other guys too.
Q: I’m guessing he needed a little more recovery time because it’s probably tough to rehab when you’re doing the week to week thing.
A: You’d have to ask the trainers that, but I just think the rest in general really helped.
Q: Jacquian Williams played 100 percent of the snaps versus the Eagles last game. How much of that was based off of what the Eagles were doing that game?
A: Our plan was for him to play some and Spencer to play some, but it was going pretty good for him. Jacquian was playing really well and so why mess up a good thing? We just stuck with the chemistry and Jacquian obviously finished out the game. We plan on him playing like that this week also and if the chemistry is good, he’ll play a majority of the snaps.
Q: Is Jacquian an asset against a running quarterback because of his speed?
A: That’s one of our better assets because he does have speed. Several years ago when he was a rookie, we placed him in the spy position to run down Michael Vick because we felt like he could go catch those
guys. That’s definitely an asset for us.
Q: You don’t always use that spy position against a running quarterback.
A: You don’t always use that person in that spy position. We may have a spy. He might not be able to catch the running quarterback sometimes, but we do use the spy.
Q: Do you look at Pryor the same way you look at the other running quarterbacks or does he do something that makes you feel a little differently?
A: He’s a 4.4 guy built like a power forward on a basketball team and he can go. I’m impressed with him on tape. We’re going to have our A game going in to contain this guy because he can hurt you. 94 yards I think it was against Philly that he ran for and he can pull the ball down on a running play or a pass play and go at any time, so that’s what makes him really tough in that you never know when that’s going to happen with him because it’s not just quarterback scrambles. I think sometimes they’re designed runs that they have that it’s a tailback run action and he just keeps the ball.
Q: Has Pryor evolved as a passer?
A: What we see is he’s good in the west coast offense and I think that’s what he is excelling at right now. They’re not asking him to do a lot more than the west coast reads and so he’s able to accomplish that.
Q: Are you going to mix in Ryan Mundy and Will Hill more? Ryan didn’t play any defensive snaps against the Eagles.
A: You know what? The chemistry was good. That’s the way we played against those guys in the previous (game). Ryan had a little ding and so the chemistry was good and they were in the flow, so why mess up the flow? But we’re counting on Ryan Mundy just as much as we’re counting on Will Hill to play.
Q: Do you consider Trumaine McBride the starter?
A: I consider him a starter. I think he’s started two, three, four ball games for us and so it’s his job to lose.
Q: Do you feel for Corey Webster?
A: You know that he’s a guy that wants to compete and he wants to play and he just hasn’t been able to get healthy for whatever reason. I think he played maybe less than a half dozen snaps against the Eagles. He rolled his ankle or something of that nature and so we want him on the field, he wants to be on the field, but his body won’t let him get on the field.
Q: Did you have reservations about McBride at first? He was sort of the third or fourth option behind some guys.
A: In camp and in the OTAs he was impressive and then you saw some things and you don’t know if he can, you don’t know if he can’t, but he competed every day. The thing that you liked about him is he competed every day. When he matched up against DeSean Jackson in the Philly game really well and really he had a good game against Kansas City when he came in and played and I think he contested and knocked down two or three or four balls, and in my mind, I said this is a thumbs up and so I haven’t looked back since.
Q: That one Jackson catch it looked like it went right through McBride’s arms. I guess you’re looking at it as good coverage.
A: He should have intercepted the ball. I wish he had intercepted the ball and it could have been better coverage, but yes. He had the deep ball against Jackson and I think it was a 40-yard catch. That was a poor play on his part, but for the most part he did a decent job and then in the second half we switched to Prince covering Jackson in the second half of the first Philly game, so that might not have been too smart on my part.
STC Tom Quinn
Q: Was there anything you saw during the bye week where you said you can do better?
A: We looked at the punt extensively and the hang, the distance and location of the punts is number one. Put it in a consistent area where you know it’s going to be as a coverage team and then the second thing was the quickness off the ball and then the quickness of the release being more violent with the hands to be able to get out and run and take the lane that you’re supposed to take. Those are the two biggest things that came out.
Q: Did you see anything that surprised that you didn’t already know?
A: No. Luckily, the special teams, it’s all we do. So we have enough time to pour over the tapes. It’s not like we get distracted otherwise and we’ll go back and keep watching our cutups over and over. We get a good look at it.
Q: How important is continuity for special teams?
A: Continuity is important because if we’re all used to working with each other and I know which way you’re going to go and you know which way I’m going to go and so we can work off each other… It’s starting to come around. The last couple of weeks we started to feel a sense of continuity and sense of who they are, but it’s always ever changing. That’s the nature of special teams.
Q: Is it strange to have such different success ratios on kickoff coverage and punt coverage? It seems like you do very well on kickoff coverage. Or are they completely different?
A: This year it is. In the years past it hasn’t been, but it is surprising. It’s the same guys blocking and what’s the difference? It frustrates you. You can do one end of it and play real fast and the other end and play tentative. So we’re trying to create guys playing fast and confident on both coverage teams.
Q: Usually if you can do one, you can do both?
Q: Is kickoff return becoming a lost art? It seems like nobody is getting chances.
A: That’s the way you feel at some point and then you start taking some foolish risks where you take them out too deep and not create the field position you want. I don’t think so. I think as the weather changes and guys get some kicks underneath them, they get a little bit tired and then the balls will be more in play. We haven’t gotten in a groove with that. We’ve had a couple of different returners, but Jerrel has done it for a number of years. Hopefully we can get into a rhythm with that.
Q: Have you seen many opportunities in the punt return game?
A: Not as much as we would like. We have been more pressure-oriented than probably we would like and that has maybe a little bit to do with the health of the guys on the outside, but they’re starting to come around where we’re starting to get a little bit more balance with that. So hopefully we’ll get some more return opportunities and more return looks.
Q: Has Rueben Randle been able to do anything?
A: The frustrating thing is when you look at the self-scout is we had two 20-plus returns taken off the books because of penalties, which were foolish. So that’s frustrating. We’re not at a point where we can give those up and give those back.
Q: Did you move Damontre Moore back inside on punt?
Q: Did you think he was a better fit there?
A: No. You want to get your 11 best on the field and if we have better guys outside that are healthy now then we can put those guys outside and we can move him back inside, which is a more natural position for a defensive end.
Q: What did you like about him on the outside?
A: He is a fresh set of legs. There was really no other options, so that was the guy that we wanted to go with.
Guard Kevin Boothe
Q: Are the Raiders different in how they go about things now?
A: It’s so tough because I was a rookie. I didn’t know what was going on. I was just trying to make sure I could get to and from work every day and make sure I knew my plays. I think that there are obvious differences between the two in terms of maybe personalities and the public but I think they have a lot of similarities as well.
Q: When you were waived there, it was the final cut?
A: Yeah, final cut.
Q: Then the Giants claimed you?
A: Yeah, the Giants claimed me the next day.
Q: So you weren’t wondering if that was the end for you?
A: Right. I was very fortunate. I got waived that afternoon, whatever it was, September 1 or something. By the next afternoon I was a Giant and flying out that night to Newark. It was a roller coaster of emotions but everything worked out quite well.
Q: You still had your commitment to excellence when you came here I guess?
A: Yeah, I think you always have that. It was a cool experience, I still have my jersey and helmet and everything from my rookie year. It’s pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve played for both of those franchises.
Q: You have the black one?
A: Black. Got to keep the black.
Q: Who was the quarterback?
A: My rookie year it was the platoon of Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter.
Q: Was being cut the best thing that happened to you?
A: It’s never good to get fired, that’s never a pleasant experience, but you know, I’m very fortunate to have been claimed by the Giants and to have been a part of this organization, so things have a way of working themselves out.
T Will Beatty
Q: I asked Tom Coughlin if there was a perfect time for a bye week and if this was it and he basically said to check back with him on Sunday.
A: You always want to come off the bye week with a win. You want to show the coaching staff, show the owners that, yeah, you had that week off but you took advantage of it and you did something good. But the Raiders are also trying to knock us off our win streak. You know it’s going to be a good game but you’re going to have to see the game and watch it if you want any highlights.
Q: Tom said that he doesn’t look at the game against the Eagles, he just kind of throws it out.
A: That was like an anomaly type of thing.
Q: He looks at the more competitive games and he says that there’s a lot to be seen.
A: You watch them against Pittsburgh and you see how they play in that game, that’s more of a way you can see the pass rushing and all of that. For us not really being accustomed to playing them, it’s going to be how are they going to attack us. You’re going to see all the different teams that they’ve played but they haven’t played us yet. It’s not like you’re looking back in the archives, we played them last year, we did this and they treated us this way, so you’re going off the bye week preparing for how they did during the first half of the season and what do they bring. They’re not going to be something completely different in there but you’re just going off of that.
Q: How do you sense that other guys feel coming off of the bye week? Is there a hunger after you got two wins?
A: I mean the two wins themselves were a great feeling and we’re trying to build on that. The bye week gave us a lot of time to get guys healthy and bring some guys back, just focusing on the good things and making sure that we know when we go out there, we’re trying to get that third win. That’s the only thing on our agenda, that’s the only thing on our plate is win on Sunday.