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Quotes (9/23): Rodgers-Cromartie, Manning, Cruz

Posted Sep 23, 2014

Full transcriptions of players and coaches from Tuesday's media hour

Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Are you presenting the standings in the division like you did last year to the team?
A: Always.

Q: Obviously it looks like, more than last year, there are teams running away with it; the Eagles are playing very well. How does that change the perception?
A: I just present it as a fact. Here’s the records and who’s playing where, so on and so forth.

Q: Last time your team saw Kirk Cousins live was at the end of the season last year. You guys played very well against him. How do you present the Kirk Cousins story to your team?
A: All you have to do is put the tape on. Forty-five points, two games. He’s thrown the ball very well – the deep ball, the percentage passes, all kinds of yardage. They’ve done a very nice job in terms of adjusting their style of play and he’s played well.

Q: Does he look different to you at all than maybe last time?
A: I don’t know about different. He’s the same player but he’s playing very well.

Q: Coming off the win and obviously on a short week, how do you want your players to respond to this challenge?
A: Divisional game of critical importance, playing away. I want them to be, and I talked to them about this morning, I want the hunger and the desire and so on and so forth, the will to prepare to win that I saw last week, I’d like for every week for the remainder of the season. I’d like that attitude to prevail. We’ve talked about a bunch of things along those lines and I think they’ve…yesterday you’re emotional coming off a game, it’s not out of your system yet. Today, they were good.

Q: From the start of the season to last week, is Eli looking more comfortable in the offense now?
A: I think he is, yeah. I think he’s grown each week, he’s done the types of things he has to do. He controls the no-huddle very, very well. He’s communicated well with receivers and with the offensive line in terms of changing protections when necessary. He’s thrown the ball well, he’s throwing it in good rhythm. His feet have been good. Hopefully we can continue to build on that.

Q: Every team and offense seems to have their go-to plays, plays that they feel like they can rely on when they need a play the most. Do you guys feel like you’re there yet? I think Eli said you ran the same play at one point three times in a row the other day.
A: That was the start of the second half and we were making plays with that running play, so we just stayed with it.

Q: Do you feel, in general, you have some plays you can lean on at this point?
A: I think so. Players first, then plays.

Q: Do you have to watch Rashad Jennings this week off the heavy workload?
A: We have been. He’s a highly, highly conditioned athlete. We talked about his normal routine and how that changes a little bit this week. He appears to be doing well. I think he’s moving right along, on pace to be good to go on Thursday.

Q: We understand that Odell Beckham practiced today on a limited basis. How did he look and did he make it through without a setback?
A: He did. He practiced, did some individual. It wasn’t the most extensive of individuals, but he did that. His load is to increase as he goes along now.

Q: Is there any shot at this week or are you kind of looking more at next week?
A: I think it’s in the future.

Q: Jon Beason’s availability for Thursday?
A: He practiced today. We look at him every morning and see how he feels and so on and so forth. He did okay today and we’ll see what it’s like tomorrow.

Q: Is it a new deal with his foot as far as what he’s wearing and how they’re… or is it the same as last time?
A: I think it is, yes.

Q: When you look at the special teams, obviously there have probably been more miscues than you would have liked to see. Is it at all some of the same stuff as last year or is this totally different and independent of that?
A: We don’t roll the ball back on field goals, if that’s what you’re talking about. That was one. We had a young guy that will never make that mistake again on the fake punt. Sometimes you have to learn that way. It’s unfortunate, but you do.

Q: Has DRC lived up to what you thought he was going to be?
A: I think he plays a little bit better each week. The surroundings and his responsibilities and his accountability to his teammates and to his team, I think that grows every week and I think he’s enjoying that part of it.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Q: How do you guys get focused quickly?
A: I think just with what coach did with a little bit of a different practice. Today was more of a mental day. Just to get mentally prepared, save yourself and get your legs back under you. It is best to just go out there and be ready Thursday.

Q: Does [Kirk] Cousins impress you?
A: Yes sir. For him to come in as a backup and put up almost 80 points in two games, that is real good. He is definitely throwing the ball and they have a running game to complement that. He is definitely impressive.

Q: Talk about the game being the first divisional foe of the season?
A: That is going to be like the closest thing you can get to a playoff game. It is in the division and it is the first one. Both teams have their backs against the wall, so it is going to be a fight.

Q: Do you look forward to facing Desean Jackson?
A: Yes, always. He is a good friend of mine. We do a lot of things during the offseason. I definitely know him and he knows me. That is definitely going to be a good matchup.

Q: Who got the better of each other when you used to go against each other in practice?
A: It goes both ways. I had my days and he had his days. There is definitely going to be some competition and a lot of talking going on.

Q: [Jackson] said you are one of the few corners that can run with him… How big of a compliment is that?
A: That is really good because when I see him on film flying around like that, it means he thinks I can fly around, too. He is definitely someone that can stretch the field.

Q: [Jackson] presents a unique challenge with his speed… Is he one of the faster guys you’ll see?
A: Yes sir. Especially if Cousins can break down in the pocket and buy extra time. Now you have to turn around and try to find [Jackson] and he is already gone. He is definitely a guy you have to watch for the deep ball, he can take a screen to the house and he can do it all. He is definitely someone to watch on the field.

Q: How good does it feel to come off a victory and build off that momentum?
A: Real good. Anytime you get a win in this league, it is always good. Going into a divisional game gets you that much more fired up, so I think that win definitely puts us where we need to be.

Q: Coach [Coughlin] said he thought you were getting more comfortable with your surroundings here and the team… Is that so?
A: Somewhat. I am still learning a lot, but I am definitely starting to settle down a little bit.

Q: If there is a change in the secondary with Stevie [Brown], does that take some time to get used to?
A: A guy like that, with the things that happened, he can definitely get the ball. It is going to be different, but we all know each other back there, so it shouldn’t be a drop off back there. We should just hit the ground running.

Q: The last few weeks you are facing big, strong wide receivers… How much of an adjustment is it for you to face DeSean and would you rather face guys like DeSean or bigger guys?
A: I would rather face the bigger guys. The short, quick guys definitely are hard to cover. With me being taller, it is hard to bend down and run with them. You know what [Jackson] likes to do for the most part. He likes to go deep, so you have to have on your good shoes.

Q: Since you are good friends with him, what are some of the misperceptions that people have about him?
A: He has the whole ‘bad guy’ image, but if you are around him, he is definitely not that. He is a goofy guy that is just enjoying life. He just wants to have fun. Certain times, you have to be aware of your surroundings, but he is definitely not what they say he is.

Q: What do you guys do together in the offseason?
A: We work out together. I visit him. He visits me. We just hang out, chilling during the offseason.

Q: Do you like the challenge in facing him?
A: No, not really because I have to act like I do not know him. That is the only hard part about it. When you have a good friend like that, you can’t be too playful with him because you have a job to do.

Q: Why did you guys become such good friends?
A: We already knew each other coming [into the league] but we gelled when I was in Philly for a few years. We spent some time over there.

Q: How did you guys know each other before [being drafted]?
A: Working out.

Q: Are you two from the same area?
A: No. We worked out at the same spot.

Q: Is he the closest friend you have had that you have had to cover in this league?
A: Yes, him and Larry [Fitzgerald]. Those two, definitely. When I get a chance to [play against them] is special to me. Those two definitely.

Q: When you and [Desean] were going against each other in practice were you going hard against one another?
A: Yes, no question. If you know anything about him, he is a talker. You definitely don’t want to hear that all day. You go out there and compete.

Q: Do you talk? Does he get you to talk?
A: Yeah, I talk, but you have to talk to me first. If it’s cool, then we are cool, but when you start jawing I go back.

Q: I was in Philly; it looked like you guys had some pretty heated times in Philly?
A: You know he is going to talk, so sometimes I just try to get the upper hand some days. For the most part, he will start it.

Q: Have you faced him before?
A: Yes, last year.

Q: What was that like?
A: It was fun. They had that high-flying offense in Philly. It was definitely a challenge, but it was a good game.

Q: You had some success against [Jackson] last year in that game?
A: We got after the quarterback a little bit. That front four definitely helped us. Anytime you can rattle the quarterback back there, makes it easy on the back end.

Q: When he landed in Washington and you signed here… Did you guys talk about the idea that you would see each other twice?
A: No. I was just trying to feel my way around here.

Q: Will you remind [Jackson] about the [success] you had against him in the game last year?
A: No, not if he doesn’t say anything.

Q: But if he starts talking?
A: Yeah, I’ll have to.

Q: What are the odds of him not saying anything?
A: He is going to say something. I know he is. It is only right. I am looking forward to it.

Q: Will you guys get dinner that night?
A: No, no, no.

Q: After the game?
A: That’s my dog, but I can’t. I told you I have to act like I don’t know him.

Q: Will you text him this week?
A: Yeah, no question.

Q: What will you talk about? The game?
A: You just say one little quote, ‘You know we are coming,’ or something like that. That’s about it. There won’t be too much talking back and forth, but I will definitely send out a text message.

Q: Are you looking to facing him?
A: I look forward to every week, no matter who it is. But definitely him, because I know what he has done in this game and what he can do. He is definitely a challenge.

QB Eli Manning

Q: How much more prep do you feel you guys need before…?
A: Yeah, we’ll get a little bit more work. We still have some meetings this afternoon. We’ll stay, the players, stay after to go over some looks, some Washington-specific looks they do to get prepared for them. Tomorrow we’ll have a little bit more extended meetings and a little bit more practice than we normally would the day before a game. I think we’ve got a pretty good feel for what’s going on, but we still have another full day tomorrow and the day of the game even we’ll have some meetings to get prepared. It’s different, it’s not your normal week but we’re going to get all of our preparation in and be ready to go.

Q: After Sunday when it looked like things started to click a little bit, is there a sense that it can continue?
A: That’s what we have to do. We have to continue to find ways to run the ball well. Washington does a good job against the run so they’re going to make it difficult. We’ve got to find completions and protect and do all those things well. I think guys are playing faster, I think guys have a good understanding for what’s going on and the timing of the offense. We’ve got to keep striving to get better at some things as well.

Q: If you break this season down into quarters, how important is it for you guys to go 2-2, get to at least .500?
A: This is a big one – in the division, another road game and so it’s a big game. We didn’t start the season the way we wanted to, but we’ve got a chance to get back on track and get even and hopefully get something going and get a little rhythm going.

Q: When you look at them they have to look very familiar, right? Same defense, same coordinator. How helpful is that in a short week?
A: It’s helpful. It’s helpful to have a little bit of an understanding about them, the same defensive coordinator, similar schemes so we have a decent feel for what they’ve done in the past. But still, they have some new personnel out there so just trying to get familiar with their defense according to the new plays that we’re running.

Q: You got to throw to Odell Beckham. How did he look today?
A: Odell looked good. He’s definitely got some quickness to him and some burst, so it’s good to see him running. We’ll just kind of keep sprinkling him in and get him up to speed on everything, get him out there and see how much he knows of the offense. You think he does, but you start doing signals, doing things, so we’ll see when he can get back and help us play a game.

Q: This is Derek Jeter’s last year. Do you have any thoughts on him and his career?
A: Derek, he’s been a great role model for me. Coming to New York as a young guy and just seeing the way he conducted himself – a guy who has won championships, been the captain of that team and just the way he handled the media, the way he handled the wins, the losses, the good times, the bad times and just being a true professional and carried himself. He’s been someone who I looked up to when I first got here and still kind of try to follow his path on how he’s handled things.

Q: Have you been able to take notice of the rest of the division? They seemed to start out a little better…
A: Yeah, it looks like teams have been playing well. Washington has been scoring a lot of points the last few weeks, Philadelphia is 3-0, Dallas had a tough first loss but they fired back and have been moving the ball and doing well. It always seems to come down, in this division, it comes down to the end of the season and some big games. We’ve just got to make sure we do our part and get back into the mix. We have our first divisional game, we’ll have more of those and see how it turns out and hopefully have a shot at the end of the year to win some games and make the playoffs.

Q: Forever, it seemed like London Fletcher was the heart, the soul and the brains of that Redskins defense. He’s not there now, so when you look at that ‘D,’ is there something missing without him there or has someone else become that kind of guy for them?
A: London, he was a special player. He ran the defense and got them in the calls and did a lot of things. He was a tremendous player. They still do a lot of the similar things. Still, they’re talented. They have a great front seven who do a great job stopping the run and getting pressure on the quarterback, so they’ve got some young guys in the linebacker position but they’re playing well.

Q: I know you’re not a stat guy, but at the beginning of training camp a lot was made about 70 percent completion percentage. It seems like you’re starting to get in the flow coming off a 75 percent completion game. Are you starting to think maybe you could hit that number?
A: You just kind of take it one game at a time. You try to find completions, that’s what we talk about – what plays versus the defense are we going to find completions. We’ve done a good job of doing that, of getting the ball out quickly and finding the open guy, so we’ve got to continue to do that. The offensive line’s done a good job, the receivers have done a good job of getting open. I don’t think you go into a game saying, ‘I have to worry about hitting 70 percent.’ You worry about each play, going through your reads, your progression, throwing the ball accurately and hopefully moving the ball and doing your job well enough to win the game.

Q: Is it starting to get easier to find those completions?
A: Yeah, I think just getting used to the timing of the offense, how quickly guys are going to pop open. Get my feet to kind of work with my eyes so I’m ready to throw and going through my progressions quickly enough and moving everything in the right way to be able to throw the ball accurately and on time. I think it’s getting there. There are some things that I’m doing better and some things that I need to still improve on.

Q: You obviously saw the tape, that last game of the Redskins. You saw Nick Foles took a big hit there, kind of got lit up. What’s your take on that, whether quarterbacks should be protected on that or are they fair game?
A: You learn quickly as a quarterback after a possible turnover that you have to have your head on a swivel, someone’s coming after you. I think defensive linemen, linebackers, they’re taught, ‘Hey, go get… it’s your opportunity to get a free hit on a quarterback.’ You’ve got to be aware. You can never ease up in any situation there.

Q: You weren’t able to make it through the whole game the last time you played these guys. Does that stick with you a little bit going into this?
A: No. It was the last game of a tough season, try to put that one behind us and just get ready for this one.

WR Odell Beckham

Q: That you were able to do individuals today, does that mean you feel all the way better?
A: I definitely feel a lot better; a lot better than I had been. I feel as good as I’ve ever felt right now.

Q: Would tomorrow kind of be the most important day then? After you do individuals, you just kind of gauge how you feel, how you recover the next day or…?
A: It’s tough to say right now. Just trying to stick with what we’re doing. Whatever they had me doing, I just do it to the best of my ability. I feel a lot better than I have been feeling.

Q: Is there a chance you might play in the game Thursday with limited reps?
A: It’s not really up to me; it’s up to the training staff and coaches. Like I said, it’s not really up to me. I feel good, but that’s not my decision or my call. They do the best job at protecting us. Right now I’m just playing it by ear and waiting to see.

Q: Did this feel like a hurdle to you today?
A: No, I kind of felt like the hurdles were earlier on in the rehab. This is kind of, I feel like we’re starting to hit that home stretch. Just staying mentally strong and praying that nothing bad happens again.

Q: What have you been doing on game days?
A: I just go out, warm up as if I were going to play. I’m out there pretty much from the time that I get in the locker room until the whole team comes out. I’m just out there catching balls, punts, whatever it is. Just kind of getting a feel for the atmosphere.

Q: Has it been driving you crazy?
A: Yeah, it’s been driving me crazy.

Q: You see guys like Brandin Cooks, all these guys who were at the combine, getting after it. How would you describe your anxiety right now just trying to wait to get out there?
A: I’ve been anxious since the Giants picked me. It’s one of those things that’s a lifelong dream that you’ve been waiting for and you’re finally waiting on that chance for you to play. I had a setback, a couple setbacks… it’s been unfortunate but it’s not something that you can just hang your head on and not get past. You’ve got to get past it. There will be brighter days in the future.

Q: When you were able to snap that route off and catch that ball from Eli today, did that kind of bring a smile to your face a little bit?
A: Yeah, it was definitely a good feeling just knowing that I’ve been blessed and have another opportunity just to get better every single day. Now it’s getting closer to that time when, like they said, I’m just anxious. I’m ready to get out there.

Q: Coach said the individual work wasn’t extensive today. Where would you describe yourself in terms of those levels and working yourself back?
A: That’s kind of tough to say. I don’t know how to describe the level or a percentage of what I feel. I know that I feel a lot better. We’ve been doing a little bit more each and every day.

Q: Before, you were targeting the Falcons game. Is that what’s on your mind now?
A: That’s the goal, but like I said, that’s up to them. Just staying patient, keep doing what I’m supposed to do and get better each day.

Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn

Q: On their fake punt, did your guy turn his head downfield away from the play?
A: Keeping your eyes focused on your man.

Q: When there are good game-changing plays that you guys make later in the game, does that make up for the miscues earlier or does that still bother you?
A: It still bothers me. Do everything to help your team out. If you’re in a bad spot, the other team responded very well to a couple miscues early. Everyone fought back and that is where it is going to be. There are going to be ups and down…..special teams. Just keep fighting and protect everyone’s back.

Q: When one of those miscues is a bad snap from Zak DeOssie, who never has bad snaps, is that easy to sort of just dismiss as a fluke? You know he is going to rebound?
A: You want him to rebound and you want him to come back stronger, which I think he did, which is good. It’s never easy to see something like that at this level, but I liked the way he bounced back.

Q: Can you repeat what you said to Corey Washington after that little pass by Shane Lechler?
A: Corey [Washington] was in a good spot, it was the guy behind him. He just has to stay tighter to his guy. There is a reason why we make certain calls and that was one of them. Expect to play it better.

Q: When you guys draft a guy like Damontre Moore, are you thinking, “I can turn him into a punt blocking machine”.
A: No. That is just something he showed once he got here. It was never something that jumped out on tape from college. His defensive end skills jumped out.

Q: How are you able to keep kind of freeing him up? It seems like that would have been much harder.
A: There was a blocker on him, but it is a tough mismatch when you have a bigger guy on the smaller…it turned into a good matchup.

Q: Did you change your call from the time that they reviewed the play, until you went out there. Was it a block all the way.
A: Which one? Damontre Moore? It was just a four-man rush. We made four guys off the line and four guys on the line rushing. So it was a pretty conservative call.

Q: It seemed like Tom Coughlin had challenged the call just before that which gave you more time?
A: Yeah, we have our defensive players in there so it is a safety, designed for that grey area of the field.

Q: Was Steve Weatherford back to his old self on Sunday, or is there still any concern?
A: It was always a concern because it is not just going to go away until it heals. He managed things better out there with his preparation for the game. Offense did a heck of a job having us punt four times, so that is a positive. I was happy that he responded and came along.

Q: Was there any discussion with Quintin Demps about how deep he was taking the ball out of the end zone. It looked like he didn’t take it out as much as the week before.
A: No, like we said last week, it is all based on situation of the game and it’s not just one hard, fast rule for the game. We change based on how the game is going and how we are playing.

WR Victor Cruz

Q: A game in the division against Washington, you guys coming off a win. How do you feel going into this one?
A: We feel good. We just know, coming up with a short week, we’ve got to be mentally prepared and ready to face a tough opponent. Obviously any division opponent is a tough one. We’ve got to be ready mentally as well as physically, getting ourselves in good shape and in good health in a short week and be ready to go.

Q: What’s the key to a quick turnaround like this?
A: Just mental preparation. I think the biggest key is learning first and second down, third down in such a short period of time that you’ve got to be able to do the extra study work at home and in the film room in order to be able to stay ahead of the curve.

Q: Is there a little extra bounce to this team coming off the win?
A: Absolutely. We feel confident. We feel happy with what we’ve put out there so far but we know we’ve got a long road ahead and we’ve got to be able to string these wins together.

Q: Do you feel like you and Eli are starting to get back to where you guys were before?
A: Absolutely. It feels like me and him are on the same page. We’re understanding this offense more and more. The more practice time we get, the more timing we have with each other, so we’re just excited to keep that ball rolling.

Q: Coach talks about division, division, division. This is your first time out against a division opponent.
A: We have to set the tone. We have to set the tone in the right direction and the right pace and we understand that and we know that. I think this team’s hungry. This team’s hungry to go out there and get our first division win and be able to carry it on from there.

Q: You think about last year, you were always playing from behind in the division. This is the first one, how important is that aspect?
A: Very important, very important to get off to a good start in the division. That’s always something that we need towards the back end because when you look at the end of the season, things like that, you want to be able to get these divisional wins early, but we’ve got to be able to focus and prepare. We have to take it one day at a time.

Q: Derek Jeter retires on Sunday. Do you have any thoughts on his career and watching him play?
A: Just his legacy, it’s unbelievable the things he’s done in this city for his team. The leadership that he portrays, just little things that I try to carry on as well with the things that he’s done with his team and be able to just be an amazing role model for children and people. He’s definitely someone I’ve idolized for a lot of years.

Q: How is Odell Beckham looking out there? He seemed a little better today.
A: He looked good. He’s getting some of that quickness back. You can see him getting a lot of that pop back in his legs and things like that. Just happy to see him get back out there. Obviously the more weapons we have, the better.

Q: … get a win, maybe…
A: Yeah, that’s always the plan is to kind of get a win and string them together. I think we have to be able to put one win after another and really see where it takes us.

Q: The run game last week was absolutely dynamite. How important is that going forward to get that respect from other team’s defenses?
A: I think it’s very important. It’s very important to have a balance of run and pass, but when Rashad is running the ball the way he is, it’s tough to stop a team like that, that can… you know, you don’t know what’s coming. That helps the play-action pass and things like that, so it’s definitely good to get him going and to get that balance, as well as run and pass.

Q: What’s your take on being a visiting team on Thursday night? The first couple of weeks, the visiting team on Thursday Night Football has gotten beaten around.
A: We’re excited for the challenge. We understand that Washington is a really good team and we know it’s a divisional game, which means there’s a little bit of added pressure, but we’re ready for it. We’re prepared, we know exactly what it takes to get a victory and we have to go out there and execute.

Q: So the short week doesn’t really play on your mind at all, mentally or physically?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think the group of guys we have here understand that and Coach Coughlin does a great job of drilling that into our minds. Guys are studying, we know what we have to do. These last two days so far have been really good.

Q: Both teams are trying to avoid going 1-3. What kind of desperation mode does that put over the game?
A: A lot. It definitely makes for an atmosphere that’s very up-tempo, very high energy and it’s something that we have to take advantage of and understand that we have to finish this game with a 2-2 record.

Q: Down in Washington they’re trying to figure out whether Kirk Cousins or RG3 is their quarterback of the future, which is something that never goes on here. There have been 26 NFC East quarterbacks since Eli Manning took over as the starter here. Are you amazed at his durability and staying power in a league where turnover is kind of the norm?
A: Absolutely. A guy like that who’s done some really great things in his career here, it’s amazing that he’s still out there performing at a high level, competing at a high level and still mentally as prepared as year one, two and three for him. I’m just happy to be wearing red, white and blue.

Q: There’s always talk about another quarterback being the future of the NFC East, the next great quarterback. Meanwhile, Eli’s just there doing what he does all the time. Do you think that ever gets to him a little bit?
A: No, I don’t think so. He moves to his own pace, as you guys know, and he understands exactly what he needs to do and focus on to be successful. He drills that into all of us on the offense. It’s good to see. That energy flows through the entire offense, sometimes through the entire team.

Q: You’re playing Washington this week but when you look at the standings and see the Eagles on top at 3-0, does that raise alarms a little bit that they could be running away with this thing?
A: No. We just take it one day at a time, one week at a time. Philly is obviously a good team, they have a lot of good weapons. They’ve got a lot of quality victories in this early part of the season but there’s a long way to go. As you know, in this division it always comes down to that last game, so we’ll see what happens and we’ll take

Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell

Q: Looks like you guys might be making a move at safety or at least switching things up a little bit? Is that accurate to say?
A: We don’t know. We are looking at all possibilities. We are just trying to get better.

Q: Stevie [Brown] obviously came out of the game [against Houston]… What was it that prompted that move to be made?
A: It was an internal Giants decision and I am going to leave it at that.

Q: How has Stevie looked to you in the first three games?
A: He is playing good football, but he can play better football.

Q: He is coming back from an ACL injury… Is that something that is noticeable at times?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think at times he has looked as strong as he ever looked.

Q: Kiwi [Mathias Kiwanuka] and [Cullen] Jenkins were talking about being in position for a lot of sacks, but missing them… Good news and bad news, but mostly bad news right?
A: It is good that you are in the position. You would like to finish that play and get those things because they are hard to come by. I think that our guys are making a better effort in getting to the passer. We need to have some sacks to show for it.

Q: Is some of that guys working in concert together and being more comfortable… It is not just solos… It is two guys next to each other who know what they’re doing?
A: That is a very accurate statement. Working together. The coordination of the stunt and the movement and having a feel for their partner and what they are doing and how they are setting it up. It was very good on Sunday.

Q: It seemed like all three of your interceptions came when the quarterback was under pressure and one of those ‘almost sacks’ situations… Can you talk about how those two things work in concert?
A: The first one, JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] had a great push and the quarterback wasn’t able to step up and deliver the ball. When he delivered the ball, he was not able to follow through and Prince [Amukamara] had good vision on the ball and was able to intercept it. On the second one, it was virtually the same scenario. Robert Ayers got good pressure on the quarterback. I thought Antrel [Rolle] did a good job with his disguise of the coverage and then playing the coverage that was called. He stepped up and made the interception, also. You are right with all three interceptions. DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] had good vision on the ball. We had good pressure. The quarterback I don’t think even saw him because we had hands up and he didn’t have a clear view of his receiver. It was great to see those guys work in concert with one another. The front as well as the back row.

Q: Does a zone defense take a little while to get going during the beginning of the season because guys are trying to figure out… Or are you happy with your zone defense is right now?
A: I am not happy because you give up 200 yards passing etc. It does take a while for it to develop. The chemistry of the zones and knowing where people fit in the zones and knowing where your help comes from does take some practice.

Q: Last year in the last game of the season, you guys handled the Redskins and their quarterback Cousins very well. Then he does what he did last week…Which Cousins do you think you’ll see?
A: I think the one that is existing right now. I think he has improved and I think his receiving corps has improved. I see him playing with more confidence than he did a year ago in his ability to deliver the ball. His receivers are making great plays on the football. They are working in concert together. I think the one you are seeing right now exists.

Q: Jay Gruden talked about when he saw your team 3-4 years ago and now he looks at you and you are playing a tremendous more amounts of man coverage… Is that accurate? What do you see the split as so far?
A: I won’t comment on that. We are doing a little bit of both. I think it is 50/50. I’ll give you a 50/50 answer on that one. I won’t answer that for an exact number because I will be helping him out. I think we have man cover guys and we try to take advantage of that. We also can play zones because it gives you vision. We like to do a little bit of both.

Q: The reason for the zones…Do you use it to confuse the other team or because your personnel can excel that way or is it a combination of both?
A: It is a combination of both. Offensive coaches are so sharp these days that if you play so much man, they have pick routes, they have level routes, they can run and bump you off and they can do some things that can free up a receiver. When you free up a receiver from a bump or what have you, then the big play occurs. You don’t want to have just a steady diet of it all the time. I think the mix is good. It helps not only the defenders, but it also helps the guys up front, too.

Q: How concerned are you about those big plays?
A: Very much so. That is something that we constantly work on, as well as the turnovers. We are constantly trying to limit the big plays in the football game. If we can do that, we can be a really good defense, not only in the passing game, but also in the run game.

Q: You have seen DeSean Jackson in Philly… [Is Washington] using him the same way and what is the secret to limit his big plays?
A: Well, I wish you would tell me the secret because he is an outstanding player. They kind of use him the way they did in Philly. He had an 81-yarder. I know he was pumped up to play against Philly, his old team, and he probably had a little bit of extra motivation. He is still fast and he can still split the middle of the field. If he is out on the edge on the outside, he has jets and he can run. The quarterback has been delivering the ball there when he can catch and run. That is the key. Can we get enough pressure on the quarterback so that the quarterback can’t deliver the ball so he can catch and run? He is an outstanding player and you just hope he is having a bad day.

Q: Do you have to keep your safeties a little deeper with [Jackson]?
A: We’ll make special adjustments. You can announce that one. We will keep our safties a little bit deeper for that guy.

Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo

Q: Eli said the other day that the way the offense looked on Sunday is the way it’s siupposed to look. As the architect of the offense, is that what it is supposed to look like?
A: We made some progress on Sunday. It was encouraging to see. I thought we had a pretty good rhythm going. We didn’t find a cure for cancer, we have a long to go, but it was nice to see us moving in the right direction.

Q: Do you feel like you are at the point where you have go-to plays and plays that you found to be the strength of this group and the personnel you have at this point.
A: We are still learning. We had a couple new guys playing a little bit more on Sunday, so we are still learning about the personnel and seeing what they do best within the system. We have certain things that we feel we can hang our hat on.

Q: What is the next step in the evolution of this offense now?
A: We talked a little this week about…it’s been a quick week, about having an appetite for this offense. Moving the ball isn’t good enough, we need to be successful on third down, we need to be successful in the green zone, and do a better job finishing games.

Q: To see your quarterback complete 75 percent, what is that like?
A: Completing the ball is important and running the ball is important and completing the ball is important. Anytime you get over 70 percent, that is a pretty special number. Eli Manning has goals, he sets goals, we talked about having throw-o-meters in the room. If he wants to talk about that, he can do that. I am not going to put words in his mouth. We all see 70 percent as being a special number.

Q: It looks like when Eli Manning is comfortable, his feet are solid, not happy feet. Are you seeing that more and more in the last couple of weeks?
A: Really since camp started, he has been progressing. Since he has gone through some injury things here in the offseason, he healed quicker than everyone thought he would. He is a tough guy, he’s gotten a lot of work, and really at camp, you saw his feet coming along and you saw him progressing there. You don’t get to see him at practice the way we get to see him in practice, and we feel it is starting to show up on Sundays.

Q: Speaking of toughness, are you appreciating Rashad Jennings and what you are learning about him right now?
A: Looking at Rashad Jennings, evaluating him as a free agent, we knew he was a high character guy. He has a lot of versatility, but you appreciate his toughness. You appreciate a back who gets stronger as the game goes on and it’s certainly a testament to his toughness and the way he takes care of himself and the way he prepares each and every day showed up on Sunday.

Q: How do the yards after carry factor into that? When you were looking at him in the offseason, it seems like that is sort of where he is making a lot of his yards?
A: A lot of good backs get what is blocked for them. The special backs, they get the yards after contact and that is what you saw on Sunday. He had faith in his footwork, he had faith in his course, he set blocks well, and when you do that, you have a chance to run through arm tackles. He broke a lot of arm tackles and had a lot of yards after contact. Carried the ball 34 times, he had a full day’s work.

Q: In the three years I covered the Giants before you showed up, I never heard so much about feet. Can you talk about why that is so important and kind of how you were able to work with Eli Manning?
A: It is hard to dance with someone if you’re both listening to a different song. We try to get the primary receivers on the same page with his feet. If you can do that, you have a chance, no matter what the defense does, to complete the football.

Q: You went with that unbalanced line with Justin Pugh and Will Beatty next to each other. Was that something you have done in the past at Green Bay? Is that something we might see again?
A: I was fortunate that when I first got started, I had eight jobs in six years. So a chance to work with a lot of different people and you pull some things from a lot of coaches you’ve been around. A lot of times the best coaches you have been around are in the same building you are. You have to give a lot credit to the offensive staff. They did a great job putting that together.

Q: What is the thinking behind calling the same play three times in a row? Is that something that is strictly based on what the other team is doing and what you are having success at? Is that something guys you’ve been around have done a lot in the past before?
A: We don’t want to chase yardage, we want to chase execution and be productive. The play was productive and it looked like it had a chance to continue to be productive. It was a gut thing.

Q: Was that one of the power plays?
A: Yeah, it was power.

Q: Why not? Right?
A: Why not? It was working.

Q: What happened on the third one?
A: The third one, they had a great player make a great play. We were one yard away from winning the down.

Q: If you won the down, you might have called it a fourth straight time?
A: Why not?

Q: …..
A: I think every offense is its own living breathing animal and that you may start in a certain direction, but it kind of goes where the players are. Every offense is built around the player, you can go in any direction you want, but you have to do what the players do best.

Q: Running for almost 200 yards is not fool’s gold; you would take it every week if you can. You look at a week like this; you see the Washington Redskins are good against the run. Is that the next threshold for the offense? If we take this away, we can still do this?
A: You’d like to think you can show up and run the ball every week. It is going to be a great challenge this week; I think they are better than good against the run. They have a very good front five and they are deep there. They are playing with some injuries, they played with some different guys, and they are strong and they have a good scheme, well-coached, so it is going to be a challenge this week. A short week coming off of a physical game.

Q: Are you interested to see if they take the run away how your guys respond to the counterpunch?
A: You always go in and wait to see how the game develops. Certainly, you don’t go into a game anticipating someone is going to stop us running the football.

Q: How do you view the workload when you are talking about the running game with your running back? Is there a point where it might be too much? It is a long season, you’ve got to get your 16 games and running backs take a lot of hits. How do you sort of view that?
A: This week we talked a little bit about it. It is a short week, we came off of a very physical game the other day and Thursday is a divisional game. We all know those games are very physical, whether it is the running back positon or any positon on the field, we have to have an all hands on deck approach.

Q: The trust you are developing with your tight ends, it seems like you’ve come a long way since the preseason.
A: They are a conscientious group, they are a high character group, they work hard, they take their coaching, and they practice hard. It is showing up on Sundays, and that is the key. There is a direct correlation to the way you practice and the way you play. We feel if we can practice the right way that it will show up on Sundays.

Q: Did you have to talk to Larry Donnell at all? It seems like he is a little out of control sometimes when he has the ball in his hands.
A: We need to pluck the ball, keep it high and tight, and make sure when the play is over we still have the ball in our hands.

Q: Are you telling him he can’t jump? You kind of want him to stay on the ground, he did that twice already.
A: When you leave your feet in this game, not a lot of good things happen.

Q: What you saw from Odell Beckham Jr. today?
A: It was nice to see him out there. Put his foot in the ground a couple times, it’s good to see 13 out there.

Q: What do you think getting him back will add to your offense?
A: He is a rookie. He hasn’t done much practicing in our offense. He has spent a lot of time in the meeting room; he is trying to get himself right physically. When he comes back we are going to do whatever we can do to help him. Get him ready to play and he will be ready when he is ready.

Q: Did you do anything different with Victor Cruz this week to get him going, or is it just Eli Manning making the right read?
A: I would like to say we called some great plays for Victor Cruz this week, but no, Eli Manning read the coverage well, threw the ball to where it needed to go, and Victor Cruz did a great job coming through.

Q: He did line up in the backfield once. Was there at least a little more effort to get him out in space a little bit?
A: In the backfield?

Q: Wasn’t he next to Eli Manning? Didn’t he run from…?
A: Maybe once.

Q: The swing pass you threw there. I think you threw a little swing pass.
A: Yeah.

S Nat Berhe

Q: When you worked with the ones yesterday, how do you feel you did? What kind of feedback did you get?
A: It was kind of a walkthrough practice so it was just kind of setting up a lot of things and taking it slow and talking through a lot of things back there on the back end and that was it really.

Q: Going back to what you were saying about Stevie Brown being one of the biggest helps to you, what is something that he told you that really resonated with you?
A: It’s multiple things, whether it’s being able to play the post, what to look for sitting on a route, diagnosing routes and stuff like that. He was really helpful on that side of the ball.

Q: Did you talk to him much today or at least since the game ended?
A: Yeah, we talked every day. As you can see, he’s my locker mate so we talk a lot. It is what it is.

Q: Were you surprised when you got the nod in the game just based on how the depth chart had worked up until that point or did you think if something had happened to Stevie that you’d be the first guy off the bench?
A: Throughout the practice last week, they said I was going get in as the third safety. I practiced as the third safety, so it was a surprising call but coach Merritt prepares us like we’re all starters and that’s how we take it. It was kind of like just trying to pick up where we left off.

Q: Did those 18 or 19 snaps on defense, how much will that help you Thursday night do you think?
A: If my name is called on Thursday night, I think it will help a lot. Like I said, that’s the coach’s decision, that’s something… your guess is as good as mine on that as to who’s going to start. We’ll see.

Q: That’s a heck of a team’s passing game to start against/ These guys are about as dangerous as they come and certainly in this division.
A: Yeah, you’ve got Pierre Garcon, you’ve got DeSean Jackson, you’ve got Robinson, you’ve got a lot of guys who can take the top off the defense and you need a post safety. You need a guy that’s going to be back as deep as the deepest.