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Quotes (8/26): Manning, Mundy, & JPP

Posted Aug 26, 2013

Quotes from Giants players before Monday's practice.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Mixing up the offensive line a little bit again today?
A: We’ll possibly do some of that. We’ll try different combinations. Nothing wrong with that, I hope.

Q: JPP coming off of the PUP today?
A: Get him going. Get him out there. Get him running around. He’s just going to do individual for now, but it won’t be long.

Q: Do you have a sense yet of whether you want to play your offensive starters at all o Thursday?
A: Whether I want to play them?

Q: Yeah, whether you would give them any series at all.
A: Well, I’m strongly inclined to do that. It’s just how much, that’s all.

Q: Damontre Moore did some individuals today it looked like?
A: He did.

Q: Is he getting close.
A: I hope so. We’ll have to take a picture of him again. He came out and he was excited to be out here.

Q: It’s only preseason, but is it important for that first unit offense to get some…
A: It’s only preseason, but it’s important. It’s the fourth preseason game. It would be a good thing. Well, the first snap of the game wasn’t bad. So we’d like to see more of that, yeah.

Q: What’s Victor Cruz’s status? Is he getting closer?
A: From my understanding, he is getting better but it’s certainly not tomorrow morning.

Q: Tom, when we were talking to Mundy today he said he would describe himself as an above the neck player. Do you see that from him?
A: I do. I sure do. I would say he’s more than that, though. He’s physical, too.

Q: The Eagles released Kenny Phillips. Would you have any interest in looking at him?
A: I’m not aware of that, although I do know our staff will look at every player.

Q: Corey Webster look ok today, being back on the field?
A: He did.

Q: How did Antrel Rolle manage?
A: He managed fine. He’s one of those guys that you’re not going to keep him down for long.

Q: Tom, is there a message you need to give to some of these guys who might be, quote unquote, on the bubble, going into Thursday?
A: The message is this. There’s two practices, a game, look at the tape and cut to 53. That’s where we are. If you’re going to make a move, if you’re going to show something, someone who is looking to make our team that hasn’t made it before, I’d say that you need to get about the business of doing it. It’s time. There’s not a lot of time, but what opportunity you get to step on the field Thursday night, I’m hoping for your benefit that it’s a good one.

Q: Do you feel offensively that you’ve been close to having good things happen, just certain things not clicking?
A: We’ve been close on occasion, but the consistent execution, play-in and play-out, is not there yet.

QB Eli Manning

Q: Assess the progress of the offense and how you can be more consistent.

A: We have to play better. We have to be better in the red zone and convert on third downs, so there’s some room for improvement. I thought this past week against the Jets we did a pretty good job of picking up some of their blitzes and overload blitzes and a lot of different looks, things we haven’t exactly prepared for. They showed some things that we hadn’t seen on film, but we made adjustments and gave ourselves some opportunities in making some plays. We just didn’t quite make them and a lot of that just in the passing game and so that’s what preseason is for. We have to learn from these things and make adjustments and make sure they carry over to the practice field and we’re practicing at a high level, at a fast pace. We have one more preseason game, a few more days of practice this week to correct some things and make sure we’re working on getting improvement and then we’ll be getting ready for Dallas.

Q: Talk about how you and Hakeem Nicks have to improve that chemistry?
A: We’re still working. We’ve got to get back to where we’re both playing at a high level. The throws have got to be better. The routes have got to be better. It’s kind of a combination of both of them on some and just a little off on a few things. We hit a nice deep one that was good even though they called pass interference as well and we still hit it. We’re still working some things out, but we’ll get there and we’ll keep working at it.

Q: Would you like to play on Thursday?
A: Whatever coach wants to do. He hasn’t told us. I assume we’re going in to play and so we’re going to practice. We’re going to have a great week of practice and make sure we’re getting better this week.

Q: When you have had a good offensive preseason, has that translated at all when the regular season starts or is it entirely different?
A: I can’t remember my preseasons either (way). You still want to go out there and play well. You might have some things you want to accomplish and the game plan might be somewhat simpler, but you should be able to go out there and get completions and move the ball. We’ve done it at times. We just haven’t finished drives very well and that’s the thing we need to do.

Q: You don’t have your starting fullback. You don’t have your starting wide receiver corps. The offensive line has been moved around. How much do you take that into account as you try to evaluate where you stand?
A: Really, you’re just evaluating each play and try to figure out decision-making. Are guys’ techniques good enough? Are we playing at a fast enough level? Are our routes being run well enough on each play? Is the throw accurate? So you’re really just evaluating by each play and we’ve had some good ones and we’ve had some bad ones. You’re just trying to avoid those bad plays, avoid going backwards or the mental mistakes or doing things incorrectly and then when you have opportunities to hit some plays, we’ve got to win those one-on-one matchups and do it. I know we’ve got some work to do and we’ve got to get better.

Q: What are your thoughts on the running game so far?
A: We obviously had a big one two nights ago and hit an 85-yarder. That’s obviously good. There’s some good runs. I think our guys have been pretty good in the run game. We can get better, but it’s been pretty solid, I’d say.

Q: Do you feel like you need a little more time with Hakeem or do you feel like you’re on the same page at this point?
A: No. We’ve got to keep working. That’s what every practice is for, is getting better, and game time also. I think through the course of the season you should get stronger as the season goes. You hope that you’re going to be at a high level that first game, but the fact is you should be working on things and improving and have lots of practices to get better over the course of the year. So we’re going to keep working on our timing, our technique, our decision-making and get on the same page.

Q: How much of a lift is it to know that JPP is getting closer?
A: Obviously you’d like to have all of your weapons, whether offense or defense. Have them out on the field and JPP is certainly a playmaker and hopefully he can get 100 percent and play at a high level and make some plays for us.

Q: Is there a reason why bad plays are occurring more often in the preseason?
A: I don’t know if it’s bad plays. It’s just not executing at a high level. So it doesn’t make it a bad play. Sometimes it’s just depending on the circumstance you’re in or the play call that is going on and just not executing well enough and so some of that comes with game planning and knowing exactly what plays you want to run. Sometimes we’re working on a play. We want to try and get it into our system and you run it but it’s not exactly versus certain looks that you’re game planning for. Last week we had a fade to Hakeem. I just probably underthrew it a foot or so. It’s not a bad play. We just didn’t execute good enough.

Q: Is part of it that it’s the preseason and you stay vanilla in terms of what you show?
A: Probably. The game planning is not as extensive as it is in the regular season. Some of it is not really game planning. We’ve got a one-on-one matchup. We’ve got to win those matchups and we haven’t done it well enough so far and we know where we have to improve though.

Q: Is it a balancing act between wanting to get some offensive results but also not wanting to get somebody hurt in this last preseason game?
A: Yeah. That’s for the coach… He’s got to make the decision. Offensively, we want to go out there and play well and end the preseason on a high note and run our offense efficiently, yet you don’t want to risk any more injuries.


DE Jason Pierre-Paul


Q: How big a step is this, coming off the PUP list?
A: It’s a big step. I’ve been working hard for the past couple of months since I’ve gotten my surgery. I think I’m going to do good out there. The individual drills that I did were harder than the drills in practice so the trainers were helping me therefore I feel more comfortable with myself going out and practicing with the team.

Q: Do you have a goal in the back of your mind as to when you’ll be back?
A: I don’t have any goals. Like I said, I’m taking it day by day and that’s all I can do. I’m not trying to rush. A back is a serious thing, a back surgery is a serious thing and you can’t try to come back too early, you’ll mess it up even more. I’m just trying to take it day by day.

Q: Do you feel better now than…
A: I don’t have that pain that I had before I had the surgery. That pain is all gone, thanks to Dr. Watkins. That pain is all gone. At times it can get sore but that’s a regular thing; it’s not uncommon, so I feel good about it.

Q: Was it hard to watch this team practice?
A: As a player, it’s hard to watch your players go out there and you’re not on the field to put them in the position to win. Especially the preseason games, it just gives you a headache going out there and seeing them playing. They’re doing good without me. All I can do it watch, that’s basically it.

Q: Have you had any of the guys make any comments about you coming off PUP?
A: No, everyone on this team knows it’s my decision to come off PUP and it’s going to be my decision to play, not anybody else’s.

Q: What I meant was it kind of a boost?
A: No, not at all. Like I said, it was my decision and I’m going to keep it at that.

Q: So are you practicing today?
A: Yeah, I’m off PUP so I’m practicing today.

Q: In pads?
A: We’re not in pads today. But you will see me out there with my team.

Q: Is the pain totally gone?
A: The pain is gone, the pain is completely gone.

Q: Did you have to pass a physical this morning before they could take off PUP?
A: It was my decision.

Q: So you were ready?
A: Yeah, I’ve been working hard. I know you’ll see me out there.



Safety Ryan Mundy


Q: Are you looking forward to this opportunity to be able to make your impact with obviously an unfortunate injury to Stevie Brown?
A: It’s always an unfortunate situation when you see a good player and also your friend go down with an unfortunate injury.  This is a situation I’m familiar with, stepping in for guys when they go down and I’m excited about it.  It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to making the most of it. 

Q: Last year Stevie was in a similar situation, in terms of Kenny Phillips going down.  He went down and all of a sudden elevated his play.  Do you kind of look at that as an example?
A: Yeah, for sure.  You can look at last year and what Stevie did was nothing short of outstanding.  Kenny went down and he came in, stepped in and played a major role in the defense.  I’m just looking to keep it going.  Like I said, I’m excited about the opportunity and I look forward to doing whatever the team needs me to do.  We’re still in the process of figuring out roles and responsibilities.  Whatever the team needs me to do to put us in the best position to win, I’m more than willing to do. 

Q: What do you think the secondary needs to work on overall going into the regular season?  What’s your assessment?
A: So far, these last three games we’ve been a physical secondary.  We’ve got our hands on a lot of balls.  We knocked receivers and running backs around a little bit.  It’s always going to be a stride for perfection.  There’s always going to be a play out there that we wish we could have back.  I think our communication has continued to improve week to week.  That’s something that going into the regular season that we’re continuing to focus on.  Overall, I think we’re doing a good job thus far in the preseason.

Q: You had a lot of experience last year with Troy Polamolu and Ryan Clark going down.  Do you have a preference where you play?
A: If Troy went out, I was playing strong safety.  If Ryan went out, I was playing free safety.  This year, I still think we’re in the process of picking out roles and responsibilities and what will be the best combination for us, to give us the best opportunity to win ball games.  Once we figure that out, I’ll have a little bit more information for you.  Either way it goes, I’m comfortable with my abilities to go out there and help the team win. 

Q: What’s your comfort level with this defense?  It’s your first year with the team.
A: From the day I got into the door, coaches, players, teammates, everybody was very helpful with me understanding the defense.  I pride myself on being like an above the neck type player.  I have a great understanding of the defense and that’s something I’m continuing to work on each and every day.  I’m very comfortable with where I’m at.  I’m happy with my progress, but still I feel like I have a lot of …

Q: Stevie certainly made a name for himself by making a lot of interceptions last year.  Is that something that you think you can bring to the team?
A: I just want to go out there and make plays.  Whether it’s interceptions, getting the ball carrier down, some big hits.  Whatever the team needs me to do.  I’m just more than willing to do my job.  That’s what Stevie did.  He did his job and he was in the right place at the right time.  If you do what you’re coached to do, you’ll be in the right place and plays will happen for you. 

Q: You played in Pittsburgh behind two very good safeties.  You came here there were two established safeties as well.  When you were looking around at teams, did any part of you think about going somewhere where there weren’t, or maybe there was an opportunity to start?
A: It was an interesting combination and going into free agency, that’s something I did think about.  Going to a place with a little less established guys, but overall when I came up here on my visit, the organization, the history, the tradition, the people that work in the building, were all important factors to me.  I felt like this was good for me. 

Q: When you were in Pittsburgh, did they do as much flip-flopping between the safety responsibilities as they do here?
A: Yeah, playing with Troy, you never know what can go on.  You just have to be ready.  After a while you get in a comfort zone and a rhythm and you get a little more established roles.  We’re still working on what combination is going to be best.  We’re looking forward to making some plays out there. 

Q: Does playing with a guy like Troy sort of prepare you for everything?
A: Yes, I’m well prepared.  My first training camp, I’m sitting watching, we’re in the meeting room, wow that’s pretty cool.  He’s doing some great stuff. He says, ‘Don’t do what I do.’  I did learn a lot from him and also Ryan Clark on how to be professionals and continue, prepare, take care of your body throughout the season. 

Q: When he was saying ‘don’t do what I do,’ what was he referencing?  Guy’s one of the best in the game. 
A: Yeah, you have to take it for what it’s worth.  He had a much longer leash than I did at the time.  Established player and had an amazing understanding of the defense.  That’s something I eventually worked my way up to and was able to develop some instincts that he had.  That’s what I’m really excited to do here, as I continue to understand the playbook.  Then the instincts begin to kick in.  After you have the basics down, then you can try to tweak it a little bit to suit your skillset. 

Q: How important is chemistry between the two safeties?
A: It’s very important.  You have to be on the same page every play, particularly when you’re playing three deep.  You have to make sure you’re rotating the right way.  If we have an empty check, we have to make sure the empty check is correct.  Communication is paramount.   




DE Mathias Kiwanuka

Re: JPP coming off PUP
A: He’s a very intense player. He comes to work every single day and I think his smile on the sidelines and his ability to get to the quarterback is something that will help our team out.

Q: So are you looking forward to him taking up a couple of those double teams?
A: Yeah, when we’re at full strength, when we have all of our pass rushers on the field, teams have to make a decision as to who they’re going to leave single blocked. We always feel like that one individual who gets that single should win. So having us at full strength will be a good matchup.

Q: When you look at the preseason with the way you guys have played, it looks like you’ve gotten some penetration but not gotten all the way. What’s been missing?
A: I think it’s still a work in progress. We’re getting back, we have some new pieces we’re adding together, we have to get communication between individuals, tackle to end and end to end, and getting everybody lined up right away. Get addressed on all the material, there’s a lot of defensive checks in this system so once we get all the new guys up to speed on stuff, which they’re doing a great job of, then I think you’ll be able to see us go out there and play and go full speed.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk about panic and changes at a lot of different areas on this team, but you guys up front, it seems like things are working. You guys went about wanting to improve at defensive tackle, and it seems like that’s worked. Do you feel that way?
A: Absolutely. I think our defense will come along. The guys back behind us are doing a tremendous job in terms of getting lined up and filling gaps and playing the ball when it’s in the air. You’ve got Prince out there making plays and unfortunately Stevie Brown went down but when he was out there he was making significant plays for us. Up front I think we have the ability to take this to the Super Bowl. We have all the ability that we’ve had in years past. We just have to put it together.

RE: Improvement
A: How we can improve? We’ve just got to get to the quarterback. I mean, we’re doing a good job, we’re getting guys getting pressure from in the middle and from the outside, we just have to get there before he throws the ball. If that means stunts and running pick games, then we’ll do it, but I think one-on-one, we’re showing in practice that we’re getting there. We just have to put it on tape.

Q: Given all the different looks you’ve been showing, we’ve seen the 3-4 looks. Do you find that you guys are starting to find a comfort zone?
A: Yeah, definitely. This past week I think was a good example of that. We’re just more comfortable when we’re out there and guys are being able to play free and not be thinking about what the call was or what possibly the check might be, so I think it’s just going to get better from here.

RE: depth of defensive line and ability to rotate guys in
A: Absolutely, that’s something we’ve been accustomed to around here, since I got here at least. We’ve always has guys like Justin Tuck, we had Strahan, we had Osi, we had Dave Tollefson, we brought in Chris Canty. So we’ve always had a solid two groups of guys who can go in there against the first group offensive line and get that job done. That way we’re able to stay fresh. You see us in the third and fourth quarter and we’re not run down like a lot of other teams are. That’s something that we hang our hat on around here and I don’t see why there would be any reason for that to stop.

Q: You get JPP back and that’s good news, but over the last couple of weeks, Antrel goes down, Stevie, a couple of offensive lineman, Victor. That happens a lot during the season but when you’re preparing for a season, is that a bit of a mental hurdle to overcome?
A: It’s a constant hurdle in this league because you watch a game and you might not realize it, but I feel like every game you watch somebody’s down for the season. Someone’s career is being shortened or their season is definitely being shortened. So when you’re out here on the field, you know that’s going to happen, guys go down in practice, guys go down in a game. Until it’s a big name that goes down, I don’t think that the media necessarily picks up on it, but there are guys that are crucial to our development go in and out and we have to be able to step up. The next man up has to do the job.

Q: Obviously you get the next guy in and a lot of the time he is prepared to go in, but as veterans, do you kind of have to look around and make sure the young guys aren’t getting down a little bit by seeing all the things that are happening?
A: That can happen. I think by the time you get to this level, by the time you make it to the NFL, you’ve been through college, you’ve been through high school and you’ve seen some of your great teammates or great players go down and you’ve had to bounce back. I think a lot of the guys out here have the resolve to go out there and fight even though somebody’s already gone down. But yeah, if you see somebody in that mode, especially if you’re in the secondary, you’re a safety and the guy next to you goes down, that’s tough for a couple of plays, so you have to get your mind back into it so we’ll try to pick them up a little bit.


CB Terrell Thomas


I feel great today, my legs are underneath me.  Just trying to stick to the plan. 

Q: It seems like during the game you were moving pretty well.  Did you feel you were?
A: I did.  I wasn’t hesitant so that was the best thing out of the whole game.  I have some things I have to work on, as far as my technique, tackling, angles, and leverage.  The main thing I wanted to tell myself wasn’t to hesitate and I wasn’t when it came to tackling, blitzing, and covering.

Q: There was kind of a rumor a couple of months ago that you might be moved to safety.  With the injury to Stevie, has anybody said anything like that to you?
A: No, not at all.  I think Ryan Mundy’s done a great job stepping in for Antrel when he went down and he’s been a great guy since he came in.  I’m not worried about that right now.  I’m just going to come here and do my job every day.  Wherever they want to use me at, they will.  I think the main focus is getting me on the field, getting healthy, getting through training camp and going forward.  

Q: Can you play safety?
A: I played in high school, I played it for the Giants here.  Antrel went into the nickel role, kind of the safety role, which I played before.  It’s very similar.  I told you guys, I’d been learning the safety position to be a utility guy, number one and, second, just to have a better feel for the defense and knowing everybody’s responsibility, becoming a leader and being able to communicate.  If they call my button, I’ll be ready to go.

Q: Talk about how it feels for Coach Coughlin to be really happy with your progress.
A: It feels great.  They have entrusted in me, just like I have entrusted in them.  We sat during the offseason and said this is how we’re going to do it.  We stuck to that plan for the whole time and I think we’re maximizing on it.  I keep building every week.  Getting more confidence, getting better, getting stronger, and I think it’s just a good feeling for everybody. 

Q: How was Saturday night for you, sleeping and getting up the next morning.  Were you nervous at all?
A: I didn’t sleep at all, to be honest with you.  I woke up and it was just mentally, I need to get into the facility early.  I have to go to work.  That’s just my mindset right now, just to keep working.  Keep working, keep working hard, keep doing more, work harder than my opponent, and that’s what I did.  I’m going to keep on doing that. It drives me and it just felt good to get a game under my belt.  To have my family there and just so much support from my fans on twitter and facebook and just in general, it was a great experience. 

Q: I guess I was asking in terms of you wondering how your body would respond after playing in a game.
A: Yeah, that’s the biggest thing you always worry about.  Even after practice, is the knee going to swell up, you’re going to have tendonitis, is it going to do anything, and I haven’t had any of those setbacks.  That’s the positive going forward.  Like I said, you have to keep building.  Body felt great after the game, so I’m happy with my progress. 

Q: Do you anticipate that you can play on Thursday, or do you feel like you need more …?
A: Whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do. 

Q: Do you feel like you need another game out there or do you feel good …?
A: Whatever they tell me to do I’m going to do. 

Q: Being away for two years and being excited to obviously get back out there, how did you find the right balance so as not to overdo it, which was one of your concerns, and to just kind of let your body respond accordingly?
A: Being the professional that I am, know your job, do you responsibility and then you can help.  Obviously I haven’t played in a couple of years, and you want to get out there and do a little bit more.  Try to make a play here and there.  I kind of felt myself do that a little bit.  Obviously I didn’t get exposed with it.  Like I said, it was just fun to get out there.  I think it was just a good experience for everybody to see me get out there and fall and tackle and just make a couple of plays. 

Q: How did your knee feel the next morning?
A: Felt great. 

Q: Did you look at the films of the game already?
A: Yes.

Q: Did Stevie Brown get hit or did his leg just buckle or what?
A: No, it was unfortunate.  I saw it.  He just made a simple cut and I was hoping it was the meniscus that he just caught his knee and then grabbed.  This game is so unpredictable.  You never know when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen.  My situation, somebody blew into me.  His was self-inflicted.  It sucks.  It’s a part of the game, so you understand and respect it.  Sometimes it comes at good times, sometimes it comes at bad times.  He’s a great guy and he’ll overcome it. 

Q: Did you speak to him at all?
A: Yes.

Q: Speaking of the film, when you watched it, did you recognize yourself, or were you a different player?
Q: A little bit.  No, I wasn’t different at all.  My main thing, I just want to clean up my technique, as far as my man coverage, my angles and the biggest thing I want to come out of that game is being healthy, one; and two, not hesitant, not hesitant to tackle, to hit somebody, to turn the ball back, and I wasn’t.  I’m just building.  It’s a long journey.  


Safety Antrel Rolle


Q: How do you step up more than you’ve stepped up before?
A: I don’t know. That’s going to be something I’m going to have to figure out down the road and, you know, just take it day by day. I have a checklist as to what I need to do. I’ll see it, I’ll see it day in and day out what I need to do, what I need to improve on, what I can do to help myself, what I can do to help this team more than I ever have before. I’m up for the challenge. It’s definitely going to open things up.

Q: What you have to do on the field, do they have a plan for you on the field?
A: It may change a little bit as opposed to maybe playing the free or the strong safety. I don’t know yet, that’s all depending on what the defensive coordinator, what my defensive coach wants me to do. Whatever they have assigned for us to do, we’ll get it done. There’s no doubt about it that we will get it done and we’re going to do what we have to do for this team to win and be successful.

Q: They just took JPP off PUP…
A: JPP, we all know what he means to this defense and what he means to this team. Just having him out there with the guys is just going to make us fight that much harder to get ourselves ready, to make sure we’re on the same page with him and to get him ready, you know, coming Week 1 or whenever he’s going to come back and return to our defense in full form. So, like I said, it is what it is. It’s always better to have our keys guys out there, just going out there and competing.

Q: How important is he for what you guys do on defense? You’ve always been known for that front line.
A: He’s our best defensive play-maker, hands down. I think he shows it week in and week out and, with him having the surgery and trying to get him back in tip-top shape and tip-top form, hopefully we’re going to see a performance that he’s never ever shown us. We’re looking for miraculous things out of JPP and he’s a guy that can definitely give it to us.

Q: Are they going to let you play at all this week before the Patriots game?
A: Yeah, I told them today I want to go out there and test it and see what I can do. I’ll be smart about it, I’ll make sure I relay back to them and let them know how it’s feeling, if it’s still sore, if it’s good, if I can keep going or if I need to shut it down. We’re all on the same page as far as the training staff and coaches.

Q: Given that you want to be smart about this, is there any trepidation about gambling with some snaps against the Patriots? Or would you just like to see the Dallas game?
A: I don’t know. Whatever coach Coughlin tells me to do is going to get done. That’s the way I’ve always approached the game. You can’t go into the game worried about injuries. Whatever he tells me to do is going to be done.

Q: You spent much of the offseason really getting to know Stevie Brown, spending time with him off the field. Can you develop a chemistry in two weeks on the field with Ryan Mundy? Do you have a lot to learn about him on the field playing together?
A: I’ve already somewhat developed a chemistry with Ryan, but during the game, he’s a new guy on this team. Ryan’s a great guy to be around on the field and off the field. It’s going to have to happen. We’re going to find a way, whether it’s in a meeting room, whether it’s off the field, we’re going to find a way to make sure we have that chemistry, make sure we have the same eyes and, more importantly, make sure we have the same intellect when you’re talking about playing the safety position.

Q: Have you talked to Kenny Phillips since he was released?
A: Yeah, I spoke with him.

Q: Would you like to see him come back?
A: Would I like to see him? Absolutely. But it’s not my call, it’s not my call to make and you have to leave that up to personnel, the owners and GM. They’ll do the right job, I’m more than confident they’ll make the right choice as far as who they want to bring in or what they want to do as far as our defensive personnel in its entirety.

Q: Is he healthy?
A: KP? I don’t know, I didn’t get into that much detail.

Q: How do you think Ryan did filling in for you?
A: I think Ryan did a great job. He’s a physical presence, he’s a smart guy and he understands the game. We’re looking for Ryan to come in and do big things in this defense. We said that before. You know, Stevie got hurt and we’re going to need him even more now. Stevie is not with us and I’m sure Ryan will come in and do a great job.

Q: Did you talk to Stevie since he was injured?
A: I’ve been talking to Stevie every chance I got.

Q: How’s he holding up?
A: He’s in good spirits. I thought he handled the news quite well, frankly. Even from the time he was injured until the time after he received the news, he just always kept his spirits up. That’s just kind of how he is, we all know he’s a fighter. I told him whatever I need to do to make sure he gets through this and, you know, stay on top of the thing, I’m here for him. He knows that.

Q: Since it still hasn’t hit you yet on Stevie’s injury, do you suspect when you’re out on the field for practice and Stevie’s not there, it will?
A: I don’t know. It’s definitely taking its toll on me. I really don’t know, we all have to move on from the situation, obviously, but, like I said, it goes way deeper than football itself when you’re talking about Stevie Brown’s injury to me. I don’t know, that’s a hard pill to swallow. You never want to see anyone go down and, you know, just to have my sidekick go down like that, it’s tough, man, it really is.

Q: Do you see Ryan and Stevie as similar players? Or how are their skillsets different?
A: Skillsets are different. Totally different type of players but we’re all versatile. We know which role, if we have to fill in any type of role, it will get done. We make sure we study that way. I may study the free safety, Stevie may study the strong safety that way, vise-versa, you never know what’s going to take place throughout the course of a game. You have to be on all your P’s and Q’s.

Q: How have you liked working with Will Hill?
A: I haven’t worked with Will Hill that much this year but he’s working well in pads. Will, we all know he’s a playmaker, he’s a physical and dominant force. We’re also looking for big things from Will. Everyone has to step up at this point. Stevie going down is a huge blow to our defense, a tremendous blow to our secondary and someone’s going to have to pick up the pieces, no matter who it is. The pieces have to be picked up.

Q: That four-week suspension probably seems a lot longer now than it did a couple days ago.
A: Yeah, that’s definitely the case but we’ll have to deal with it the best we can. Like I said, guys just have to step up, that’s the nature of this sport.


RB David Wilson

Q: What are some of the things you feel that you’ve done better throughout training camp?
A: I just got more comfortable with the offense. I think I definitely came out of this training camp a better football player, especially in this offense. I just went in wanting to learn everything I could and take everything I learned from last year and apply it to this year and become a better football player and I think I accomplished that in this training camp.

Q: How do you assess your pass protection?
A: Really good. Everything is going in a forward direction for me right now.  We’ve just got to keep building that chemistry. The time is ticking down now, so we’ve got to definitely put it together and get that chemistry going so we can score some touchdowns on offense. Defense is definitely doing their part with the turnovers and they’re giving us great field position and we’ve got to take advantage.

Q: Are there any number of snaps that you know you’ll be playing in Foxboro?
A: No. I’m not sure, but whatever the coaches need me to do, if they need to see something from me, I’m ready to go.

Q: Is there any alarm that you guys haven’t been consistent on offense?
A: That’s definitely an alarm and it’s kind of scary because we go out there and we’ve been in good field position and to come away with a field goal in some of those situations, it makes you a little bit frustrated and a little bit nervous going into the season knowing the time is ticking down. We’ve only scored two touchdowns as an offense in this whole preseason. Our defense is definitely giving us the opportunity. The offense has got to do our part and I don’t have any doubt when we go down to Dallas we’ll be able to get the ball in the end zone.


Safety Cooper Taylor

Q: Will you practice today?
A: Yes. I think so.

Q: How much did you practice last week?
A: Wherever they wanted me, I was out there going.

Q: Was Stevie Brown’s injury fluky when you looked at it on the film?
A: When you see something non-contact like that, it was just a crazy thing. I was standing right there on the sideline when it happened. You knew it was something probably not very good and you hate to see it happen to a guy like that, a guy that’s worked so hard and got here and proved that he could play last year and showing that he could play in the preseason and get ready for probably another great year and just to have that happen is terrible. I feel sorry for him and hopefully he’s back and I know he’ll be here supporting all the guys every day anyway.

Q: How have you been making up for the lost time?
A: It’s easy to think you have it down in the meeting room, but when the bullets are flying out there for real, you definitely have to make sure you know it. The way the training camps are run it’s a little less time on the field and more time in the meeting rooms. So I was able to get a little bit more out of that, but definitely making sure I have it down in the meeting room pat, so when I do go out there, it will execute on the field.

Q: Have the veterans taken you under their wing to try and get you back up to speed?
A: Definitely. The vets are a big help because they’re the guys on the field going through it and seeing and asking what they’re seeing and why they played it that way or doing different things trying to get as much information from those guys as I can.

Q: Is watching on the sideline helping you as well?
A: Definitely. Every time you’re out there with guys going through, you learn from what they’re seeing or how they’re playing it. So I’m trying to get as much information from the guys as I can at all times.

Q: Are you looking forward to this opportunity to be able to make your impact with obviously an unfortunate injury to Stevie Brown?

A: It’s always an unfortunate situation when you see a good player and also your friend go down with an unfortunate injury.  This is a situation I’m familiar with, stepping in for guys when they go down and I’m excited about it.  It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to making the most of it. 

 

Q: Last year Stevie was in a similar situation, in terms of Kenny Phillips going down.  He went down and all of a sudden elevated his play.  Do you kind of look at that as an example?

A: Yeah, for sure.  You can look at last year and what Stevie did was nothing short of outstanding.  Kenny went down and he came in, stepped in and played a major role in the defense.  I’m just looking to keep it going.  Like I said, I’m excited about the opportunity and I look forward to doing whatever the team needs me to do.  We’re still in the process of figuring out roles and responsibilities.  Whatever the team needs me to do to put us in the best position to win, I’m more than willing to do. 

 

Q: What do you think the secondary needs to work on overall going into the regular season?  What’s your assessment?

A: So far, these last three games we’ve been a physical secondary.  We’ve got our hands on a lot of balls.  We knocked receivers and running backs around a little bit.  It’s always going to be a stride for perfection.  There’s always going to be a play out there that we wish we could have back.  I think our communication has continued to improve week to week.  That’s something that going into the regular season that we’re continuing to focus on.  Overall, I think we’re doing a good job thus far in the preseason.

 

Q: You had a lot of experience last year with Troy Polamolu and Ryan Clark going down.  Do you have a preference where you play?

A: If Troy went out, I was playing strong safety.  If Ryan went out, I was playing free safety.  This year, I still think we’re in the process of picking out roles and responsibilities and what will be the best combination for us, to give us the best opportunity to win ball games.  Once we figure that out, I’ll have a little bit more information for you.  Either way it goes, I’m comfortable with my abilities to go out there and help the team win. 

 

Q: What’s your comfort level with this defense?  It’s your first year with the team.

A: From the day I got into the door, coaches, players, teammates, everybody was very helpful with me understanding the defense.  I pride myself on being like an above the neck type player.  I have a great understanding of the defense and that’s something I’m continuing to work on each and every day.  I’m very comfortable with where I’m at.  I’m happy with my progress, but still I feel like I have a lot of …

 

Q: Stevie certainly made a name for himself by making a lot of interceptions last year.  Is that something that you think you can bring to the team?

A: I just want to go out there and make plays.  Whether it’s interceptions, getting the ball carrier down, some big hits.  Whatever the team needs me to do.  I’m just more than willing to do my job.  That’s what Stevie did.  He did his job and he was in the right place at the right time.  If you do what you’re coached to do, you’ll be in the right place and plays will happen for you. 

 

Q: You played in Pittsburgh behind two very good safeties.  You came here there were two established safeties as well.  When you were looking around at teams, did any part of you think about going somewhere where there weren’t, or maybe there was an opportunity to start?

A: It was an interesting combination and going into free agency, that’s something I did think about.  Going to a place with a little less established guys, but overall when I came up here on my visit, the organization, the history, the tradition, the people that work in the building, were all important factors to me.  I felt like this was good for me. 

 

Q: When you were in Pittsburgh, did they do as much flip-flopping between the safety responsibilities as they do here?

A: Yeah, playing with Troy, you never know what can go on.  You just have to be ready.  After a while you get in a comfort zone and a rhythm and you get a little more established roles.  We’re still working on what combination is going to be best.  We’re looking forward to making some plays out there. 

 

Q: Does playing with a guy like Troy sort of prepare you for everything?

A: Yes, I’m well prepared.  My first training camp, I’m sitting watching, we’re in the meeting room, wow that’s pretty cool.  He’s doing some great stuff. He says, ‘Don’t do what I do.’  I did learn a lot from him and also Ryan Clark on how to be professionals and continue, prepare, take care of your body throughout the season. 

 

Q: When he was saying ‘don’t do what I do,’ what was he referencing?  Guy’s one of the best in the game. 

A: Yeah, you have to take it for what it’s worth.  He had a much longer leash than I did at the time.  Established player and had an amazing understanding of the defense.  That’s something I eventually worked my way up to and was able to develop some instincts that he had.  That’s what I’m really excited to do here, as I continue to understand the playbook.  Then the instincts begin to kick in.  After you have the basics down, then you can try to tweak it a little bit to suit your skillset. 

 

Q: How important is chemistry between the two safeties?

A: It’s very important.  You have to be on the same page every play, particularly when you’re playing three deep.  You have to make sure you’re rotating the right way.  If we have an empty check, we have to make sure the empty check is correct.  Communication is paramount.