Q: Is it nice to have
A: He just does individual. He just continues where he is and builds up to it. They’ll let us know. He said he’d be in here and here he is. A couple of weeks to go and here he is.
Q: Does having the Super Bowl at the your stadium serve as a constant reminder for the team for what the ultimate goal is?
A: We have talked about that. We’ve talked about it throughout the preseason. Much has been made about the number of days until (the game), so it’s a constant reminder, plus historically the home team has never played, so that’s a nice thing to be aware of. But we have a long way to go to be in that situation. But lofty goals? Yeah. Every team in the league… There are 32 teams that the Super Bowl championship is their goal right now. But we have to make sure we take care of all the nuts and bolts in order to get to a position where you’re even able to compete for something like that. Yes, it is a reminder. It’s all positive, provided all the work that has to go into it prevails.
Q: Is Saturday a big night for
A: He’s starting Saturday night, for sure, so we’ll take him one step at a time.
Q: Do you think this is a big chance for him to showcase himself?
A: I would think. He’s starting in a NFL third preseason game. I’m hoping that it’s looked at that way.
Q: How long are the starters going to play?
A: They’ll play basically a half.
Q: Because the offensive line is being shuffled around, would you alter your snap distribution?
A: At this point, no. But I haven’t thought much about that question. There are things that we need to accomplish with our starters and so I’m still leaning that way.
Q: In the past, you wanted the guys to play a series after halftime.
A: Sometimes. Or maybe some, but I always include that in my notes for the coaches going into the third preseason game, is they may be extended into the other half. Sometimes that’s based on numbers if the numbers aren’t where you want them to be. You’d like to get guys 30 snaps in this game.
Q: How important is Henry Hynoski to your offensive success?
A: Very. There aren’t many around. Even today, when you look around in the league, there are not many guys that are 265 and have the skillset that Henry has as well.
Q: Are JPP or
A: They’re getting close, according to what I hear. I’m just listening.
A: You know what? They’re both going to play. Who comes in second… we’ve got some maneuvering thoughts on that one, too, but they’re both going to play. Painter is going to play. Carr is not going to play.
Q: What do you need to see out of
A: He’s got to come back and practice each day and come back and play in the game, play well, build his own confidence and come out of the game feeling good about where he is and I’m sure if that’s the case, we’re all going to feel that way. I have liked what I’ve seen.
Q: How much do you think he’ll play?
A: I don’t know. We’ll see about that. We’ll give him certainly enough, but we won’t overdue it.
Q: Is there any concern with
A: I hope not. I hope that’s long gone by then. We should get two good weeks, I think. Next week and the week after, we should be in good shape.
A: …totally smooth and everything going well because you’re already trying new things. You’re experimenting and you’re working on things, but I’ve been pleased with the focus and the energy and the enthusiasm from the guys and hopefully we can continue that. Keep improving throughout the season. It’s not like training camp comes and that’s as good as you’re going to be. You’re going to keep getting better each and every week.
Q: I know he wasn’t out there today practicing, but Hynoski coming off PUP, how big of a move is that for you guys offensively considering it’s been a while since he’s been out there?
A: Yeah. Obviously Henry is a big part of our offense in our running game and knows the offense well. Knows the pass protections. He does a great job. Bear’s been filling that role and, again, Bear has been here a long time and knows the offense very well and does a very good job in knowing everything. We feel like we can run our offense smoothly with whoever’s in there.
Q: Tom just said that Henry does have that special quality because he can do things that other guys can’t at that position. What is that from your perspective? What can he bring to this offense?
A: In our run game, he’s a lead blocker. In pass protection, he does a good job picking up linebackers and blitzers. He does a good job getting into his routes as well and catching the ball on the flat and giving us some plays. He just has a good feel when to do the little things, when to chip as you’re getting out, and has a great understanding of the offense.
Q: What do you think about Terrell Thomas? He’s missed the last two seasons with ACL’s and tomorrow he’s coming back?
A: I’m excited for him and seeing him rehab and go through this, it’s been tough. Hated it for him last year to see him get injured because I know he worked so hard to make a comeback. Hopefully, he can stay healthy. I’m rooting for him and he’s a tremendous player and I’m just pleased to see him out on the field, competing and playing at a high level.
Q: What have you seen of your own defensive backs? This might be the deepest group you guys have had?
A: Yeah. It’s a challenge every day. It’s great for our receivers to go against a good group of guys. Everybody’s a little different. Some of them are speed guys, some of them are bigger, more physical, guys. You’re getting a lot of different looks and a lot of different techniques and it’s great for our passing game, for us to get work against a quality group.
Q: Your offensive line has been juggled twice in the last two days. How eager and how curious are you to see them get in this game action and get a lot of snaps?
A: Yeah, I think you have to try to find the positives in everything when you’re moving guys around. You want guys who are very versatile and can play different spots. Through the course of the season you’re going to have guys in and out a little bit. You’re going to have some injuries and guys are going to have to step in and fill those roles. We’re going to get a lot of work and I think it will be a great test for these guys. The Jets are a talented defense and show a number of looks and we’re all going to have to be on the same page in knowing who we’re blocking. Block the guys well, so we can run our offense successfully.
Q: You don’t want to get used to throwing to someone in the slot other than Victor, I’m sure, but until he’s back, have you been kind of waiting for
A: Yeah, Jerrel has worked hard and he’s showed some promising days where he does a lot of good things. He’s got good quickness. I think it’s been good for him to obviously watch Victor and how he does some of the things and makes good decisions in the slot. I’m excited about him tomorrow and hopefully he can have a good day for us. Again, the more weapons you can have on offense in moving different guys around and getting them in mismatches, the better off we’ll be.
Q: Do you think he can be one?
A: I hope so. I think he has the skill level to go out there with great quickness and speed and is making good decisions and route running. We should be able to run our offense very efficiently with him out there.
Q: Do you trust him? You have to trust the guy especially in the slot.
A: Yeah, I think obviously we’ve done some work, but game time is the best thing you can get for a receiver who you have limited playing time with. You have to get him in live action. See what he can do and get open and make some plays for us.
Q: Are you surprised with how quiet things have been? I mean this is Giants-Jets. Last couple of years there’s been a lot of buzz about that game.
A: It’s always a big game. Most times it’s the third preseason game. The starters are going to play a bunch. It’s an important game for us to go out there and try to play well and we’ll try to do that against a good team.
Q: They are starting a rookie quarterback. It’s been a long time for you, but do you feel a little bit for a rookie trying to process everything so quickly going into his first start?
A: Yeah. We have a rookie quarterback also. I’ve been working with him and this week things seem simple and all of a sudden, it’s Jet week and you get a lot of different looks in their personnel and alignments. For the rookies there’s a lot going on and a lot of things can get blended in together. You just try to work with them and teach them and get some plays that they feel comfortable with and get them in a good rhythm.
Q: Do you have to make any adjustments with a different center?
A: No, Jimmy’s (Cordle) done a good job and got a good number of snaps with him this spring, with Baas being out. I feel comfortable getting the snaps and he has a great knowledge of the offense in making the calls. I never really had to make any adjustments.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: Is your hope that if you play on Saturday, come Monday you’ll be able to get right back out there and practice again?
A: Yes. Throughout training camp we had a schedule and I’ve been able to stay to that schedule. I haven’t had any setbacks on swelling, other than discomfort, that’s part of the process, we all have bumps and bruises along the way. I don’t see any setbacks going into this game.
Q: Will you be thinking about the Bears game when you go out there?
A: Not at all. This is football, you can get hurt any play. Unfortunately you can. It’s a part of the game, injury is a part of the game. It sucks to a lot of players, especially me, I was young and upcoming and I got hurt at the wrong time. It’s a part of the game. You can’t worry about being injured, that’s how you get injured, so I’m going to go out there and play 100 percent, give it my all and do my best.
Q: Coach says he’s happy with how you’ve practiced. What have you proven to yourself in practice that makes you confident that you’re going to be OK on Saturday?
A: I don’t think I proved anything to myself because I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t made the team, I haven’t played in a game. I think this is just a building block along the journey. I’m just going to keep getting better and I think that’s the biggest thing that he saw was, throughout training camp, I kept steadily getting better and better every practice. I was able to do a little bit more with more confidence, communicating, you could just tell by my body language that I’ve gotten better.
Q: Is the Bears game the last time you made a tackle?
Q: Do you expect to be emotional?
A: Yeah, without a doubt. It’s been a long journey, a long, hard one. I’ve been through a lot, endured a lot and I think this is a true testament to my faith, to my family, to the fans and just to football, what you sacrifice for this game. So I think it’s definitely going to be emotional.
Q: If you were going to come back, it was going to be here. Am I reading that right?
A: Yes. This is my home, that’s why I re-signed right away. They drafted me, I love the organization, they’re a first-class organization, have taken care of me since day one and I don’t think there’s any other way I could have done it but come back here.
Q: Do you have any idea of how you fit in with the team?
A: I just have to stay healthy, more than anything. I know I can play this game, my health has been the concern the last two years, unfortunately. Getting the confidence back, getting back to my old ways, just have to keep proving it to myself and the coaches. Where do I fit in – I don’t know. Wherever the coaches are going to use me they’re going to use me and I’ll play to that strength.
Q: They might not even know yet.
A: That’s what it is. It’s a wait-and-see. We’re going to take it slow, keep building, we know what type of player he is, but we can’t use him if he’s not healthy, so I think that’s what the goal is.
Q: Do you feel like you’re 100 percent at this point?
A: I wouldn’t say 100 percent because I’ve got the little tendonitis and I’m still working, I haven’t played football in two years. I’ve only been practicing for two weeks. I still have a lot of work to do. To me, like I said, my biggest goal was to just keep building. Every practice, every week, every month, every game, just keep getting better and better, keep correcting my mistakes, keep building confidence and keep showing everybody. I can’t say I’m 100 and I can’t tell you I’m at 80. Am I ready to go? Can I play full speed? Without a doubt.
Q: It seems like this third game you guys need the reps because you don’t get them in practice.
A: Yeah, the third game is always a big game for every team. This is where the starters play the first half, getting ready for Week 1, fourth game is usually for all the young guys to prove themselves, see how they can play throughout the whole game. This has been a game planning week, we’ve spent a little more time watching film of the Jets, planning for them compared to the first two games, so it definitely is a great test for myself and the team.
FB Henry Hynoski
Q: How does it feel to be physically able to perform?
A: It feels good. I’m very happy to be out here with my teammates and just get out here moving around and doing some things. Obviously, we’re starting off slow just doing individuals for a little while and then building up from there on out. It just feels good. I knew physically I was going to be OK, but it was more or less getting out here, getting that camaraderie with my teammates, building that bond back with the running backs and we’re all excited. They were happy I was back and a lot of good response today.
Q: The timetable they originally set was almost to the day, 12 weeks.
A: Right around there, give or take. The whole time I was told I was always ahead of schedule with just how regimented I was with my rehab and doing all the right things and putting the right things in my body and eating the right foods. I did everything to that point just to get back at the earliest possible date and now it’s paying off. I’m very excited to be in the position I am today.
Q: What is the schedule for you? Are they thinking about getting you any preseason reps?
A: I’m not sure yet, but I’m leaning towards that I kind of doubt that I will just because right now I’m warming up, doing individual and it’s a process from there on out. So I doubt by the end of the preseason I’ll be at that point, but probably relatively close. But we’ll see what the decision is when the time comes.
Q: You’re targeting Dallas?
A: I’m hoping for it. That’s my goal, but if it takes to Week 2 or 3, that’s fine. We have a very smart medical staff and trainers and they’re going to put me in the right position when they know I’m physically fit to be out there and performing at the best that I can.
Q: Would you be concerned about not having any contact during the preseason?
A: No. I thrive on contact. That’s why I play the game. That’s why I’m a fullback. That’s just in my nature. That’s what I love to do, so that’s something that always just came naturally to me.
Q: When you watch the running game on film, what are you seeing in what the guys were able to do so far in the first two games?
A: There’s been some good things and some not so good things, but when it comes to the run game every year, you guys see the same thing. Our run game always struggles in the beginning because you have to find that cohesiveness. You’ve got to get basically 11 guys functioning as one in the run game and that takes time to build. It really does. A lot of teams, no backs are putting big numbers in the preseason. You guys see that every week, so it’s just something that builds when you get that cohesiveness with the backs, the line, tight ends, receivers just all working together and that comes with time and we’ll right the ship. We feel very confident in that. We did it last year. We struggled in the beginning and we got the ground game going.
Q: What about your concern coinciding with the injuries up front the last two days? You guys have mixed and matched with the offensive line. You’ve always joked about being kind of a half running back and more of an offensive lineman.
A: I’m more of an offensive lineman, I guess, because the role I have in this offense, but I think it came at a good time because we do have some key guys out now, especially with Diehl being down. So the more blockers we can get in there, especially for pass protection, the better. We’ve got to protect our quarterback.
A: Bear just loves playing football. Bear doesn’t care where he has to play. He just wants to play and it doesn’t matter what position. He can line up at fullback, tight end, receiver or whatever he wants… tackle. He can do it all. He’ll even paint your back porch.