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Quotes: Boothe, Baas, & Cruz

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Quotes from Guard Kevin Boothe, WR Victor Cruz, and Center Jim Cordle

Head Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: So you revamped the offensive line?
A: Revamped, try to get ourselves ready to play, yes.

Q: The idea of moving Kevin Boothe to center and David Diehl inside and the rookie outside, is that the best five?
A: Well, it’s the best way for us to play right now. We, fortunately, have some guys that can play in a lot of different spots and David Diehl has played in a lot of spots in the course of his career and he’ll go inside there and do a fine job. We’re trying to get a group on the field now that can work together, hopefully to prepare for the regular season.

Q: So you saw enough of Pugh after one game to have that much confidence in him?
A: Yeah, we did. Obviously we have a lot of confidence in him or he wouldn't be here, or his pick. Certainly he’s got plenty to work on, he’s a young kid, but hopefully you put him in there now and we bring Chris Snee along, and Chris is there to help him; it’s a good move. The more they can work together, the better off we’ll be.

Q: Does the move also benefit Diehl at all with the hand injury-
A: I think Diehl won’t even know he’s got a hand injury when it’s time to play. He’ll just play, that’s just the way he is. I think this is a nuisance thing more than anything else and he’s trying to get to where he’s comfortable jamming that thing all the time. Once that gets taken care of, then I think he won’t even pay any attention to it.

Q: What exactly is the hand injury?
A: It’s a thumb.

Q: With the injury to Cruz. How will it work out between Murphy and Randle and all those other guys?
A: That’s what preseason is all about. Opportunity, and opportunity certainly is there and we also hopefully will get to the game with Jernigan and Collins and those kinds of people ready to contribute, also. So it’ll be a great chance for them as well.

Q: Murphy wasn’t here today?
A: Murphy’s here but he has a sore leg, they’re going to do all the tests on him and see what the problem is.

Q: What did you see from Shaun Rogers the other night?
A: Played pretty good, played pretty good. He kind of got going in there, showed some quickness, penetrated, knocked the arc of the line back in our favor, provided opportunities for us to push them back. They had seven runs of minus yardage, so the interior guys were a big part of that and Shaun was a big part of that.

Q: How happy are you for him after he missed all of last year?
A: I’m cheering for him every day.

Q: What do you have to see against the Jets this week? More Physicality, execution, what is it that you’re looking for?
A: It’s combination of all that stuff. As I said after the game, with all due respect to the Colts, it’s not what they did to us, it’s what we didn’t do (for) ourselves. How about some execution? How about somebody making a play? We had our chances on both sides of the ball; I marked my own sheet as I graded, should have been five interceptions in the game, should have been three touchdowns in the first half. Shoulda, woulda, couldas don’t matter, I understand that, but that’s what we need to see. How about third down, three for 15? Offensively, I think we should be able to do a little better than that.

Q: With Victor Cruz, do you look at it as a two-fold issue with the heel and injury but he also really hasn’t had a lot of reps if you go back to the offseason?
A: He’s never missed a beat since he’s come back here; he has not missed a thing. And this is a crazy thing, too, you know. Hopefully it’s not going to be a long time, but who knows? I don’t know that, but he feels better from one day to the next, which is a good thing. Now if you look at him, you say, ‘Oh my God, he’s got crutches, and boot’ so they’re doing all kinds of stuff to make sure that he doesn’t put any pressure on it, but he did feel a bit better today.

Q: He and Baas indicated today they think they can be back for the opener. You may not be looking that far ahead, but do you have that same hope? Really with all of your guys, there’s that hope at least it seems.
A: Hope so. I’m hoping to get them back tomorrow.

Q:How helpful is it to have Chris Snee next to Justin Pugh to kind of bring him along?
A: A lot, a lot of help. A lot of help. A lot of help for a young guy. Justin’s a smart kid on his own, but he’s not ever been through this, so he’ll need a stable rock right next to him, so that’s what Chris can be.

Q: Adrian Tracy left-
A: I think he was starting to move towards dehydration is all.

Q: Is Ramses Barden ribs or something like that?
A: No, Barden’s got a sore knee.

Q: It looks like there’s some tough battles going on to make this team in certain spots and there will be some hard decisions to make…
A: I hope so. I hope so. I hope it’s hard. I hope they make it harder in the next two weeks.

Guard Kevin Boothe

Q: What are you anticipating for this week and for however long David is out in terms of the configuration up front?
A: I’m not sure. I don’t know what coach has planned for us. It’s still the preseason so it wouldn’t surprise me to work a bunch of different combinations here in practice this week.
 
Q: Do you feel more comfortable at guard or center? Does that matter to you, is there a preference?
A: It doesn’t really matter. We’ve worked a lot of different combinations even here in training camp. I’ve played center quite a bit, so I’m up for anything.
 
Q: Besides the line calls, is there any difference between guard and center?
A: Yeah, it’s a different position. It’s a lot different, especially going against teams that play a 3-4 or 4-3, snapping the ball and things like that. It’s different, it takes time to learn but I’m confident in either position.
 
Q: Jim Cordle said one of the funny things was that he was looking to make the line calls and you and Chris were yelling them out before he had a chance.
A: We wanted to make sure he was comfortable out there. He did a great job. That’s the thing, I guess we kind of talk fast out there.
 
Q: How important is it to get some chemistry and continuity? The opener is right around the corner.
A: It’s always good to have one group out there, but as you know, things can change quickly. You can work one group like this past week and in the second or third play of the game, they’ll send us out. I think it’s also important to work a bunch of different combinations and get a bunch of guys used to playing with one another also. You could look at it both ways.
 
Q: When you’ve played center before, have you found that teams have responded differently or pressured you up the middle more?
A: I haven’t noticed it, I don’t know, you’d have to ask coach but I guess I’m just focused on handling my job. That’s a good question, I haven’t noticed it, but at this point now, I’ve started a handful of games, maybe more, at center. Whatever the combination is – I’m fine with it.
 
Q: The continuity, you guys have made a big deal about the continuity of this line for seasons and seasons now. You have a lot of versatile guys, guys that can play inside and outside. Does that affect the continuity when you go into a week and you don’t know exactly which spot guys are lining up?
A: Not necessarily because I think we work so many combinations throughout practice, you have guys with different issues going on, some guys might be limited and things like that, but I think by the end of the week everybody’s pretty comfortable with whatever rotation we go with. Guys have had experience with that and we’ve all played together now for a long time, so I think we’re comfortable either way.
 
Q: Do you have any thoughts on the team’s struggles in the red zone?
A: It’s tough that we moved the ball so well and for whatever reason we stalled out. But it just boils down to execution. We still have time, luckily, to improve upon that and hopefully it will begin on Saturday. It’s definitely a point of emphasis, as it always it. You never want to work so hard to get down there and not score. We realize that we have a lot of talent on this team, especially on offense, so we need to convert on those opportunities.
 
Q: Whether you play center or guard, is your preparation any different other than maybe playing against a different guy up front?
A: Not necessarily in terms of film study, I’m usually looking at that interior play because guys flip-flop all over the place. Technique-wise, sure, but in terms of preparing for an opponent, not necessarily, but it’s basically the same stuff that I’m looking at as a guard.
 

WR Victor Cruz

Q: How are you feeling?
A: I feel good.  I feel better than yesterday, which is a good sign.  Just trying to get some of the swelling down and take it from there.
 
Q: Did it happen on that pass interference?
A: It did.  On the way down, the defender’s weight on top of mine landed on (me), I kind of planted on one single foot, so that’s probably what happened to it.  I felt it go numb immediately, I knew something was wrong.  Good thing it’s just a heel bruise, a heel contusion.  It’s not too bad.
 
Q: The boot and the crutches, just to keep the weight off of it?
A: Yeah, basically.  It’s kind of getting my lats strong, but other than that I kind of hate the crutches.  I have to listen to the docs and keep my weight off of it, so it’s good.
 
Q: What’s the timetable?  Have they given you any timetable?
A: They’re just saying day to day right now.  Coach Coughlin and the doctors had a conversation and told me just take it day by day, see how the swelling goes and we’ll take it from there.
 
Q: How long for the crutches?
A: Hopefully not too much longer, but they haven’t told me yet.  They’re just gauging it, coming in getting treatment on it and seeing how it goes.  Obviously the more the swelling goes down, the better I feel, the less time on those crutches.
 
Q: What kind of treatment are you …?
A: I’m just icing it, getting an ice massage on it to try to get some of the swelling out and they have me on anti-inflammatory to get some of the swelling out, staying hydrated on my own part.  Things like that.  That’s pretty much it so far.
 
Q: Are you concerned about missing time now in the preseason?
A: Not really.  At this point it’s all about getting better at this point.  I think I have a firm understanding of the offense and me and Eli have an understanding of how he likes to hit me and the things we do out there in the field.  I’m not too concerned about it.  Obviously, I’m a guy that loves to practice, loves to be out there, but it’s just a short setback.  In a time where you would never want to have one, but if there’s a time to have one it’s now.
 
Q: Do you think it’s likely that you might not play again in the preseason and just be ready for the season?
A: I don’t know, we’ll see.  It’s all up to the coaches and the staff and apparently how I feel.  We’re just taking it day by day and taking it one step at a time.
 
Q: Do you have an opinion on Kevin Hardy? He obviously got a shot to play with the ones, which he probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. On his performance, do you have any thoughts on that?
A: He’s still adjusting to the system.  It’s difficult, but he played well.  He had no mental errors.  He knew what he was doing out there and he’s just taking his time getting his bearings out there.  Once you get thrown in there your whole world is kind of moving pretty fast, especially for a guy like Kevin.  He understood what he was doing.  I know he had that one drop, but other than that, he did his job well and he was doing a good job out there.
 
Q: You’re a receiver, and anytime a foot problem happens to a receiver, it’s got to be a real concerning thing.  Are you worried at all that this could be a lingering thing?  Even though you start to feel better that all of a sudden you go out there and run and it’s going to be a problem again?
A: I don’t think so.  I think it’s an injury where it’s predominately the swelling that’s the issue.  Once the swelling goes down, I think I’ll be okay.  I just want to be smart, want to make sure I’m 100 percent when I’m out there.  I want to make sure all of the swelling is gone and kind of attack it early.  Keep it iced as much as possible, get the ice massage and get the swelling down as much as possible, and kind of stay ahead of it.  I don’t see it lingering, I don’t see anything long term with this.    
 
Q: Did you think it was worse when it initially happened?  Did you feel anything like a break, or anything like that?
A: No, I didn’t hear anything pop.  It just went numb on me, so I thought it was just a sting.  I tried to shake it off, stay in for another play, but I could just feel that something was going on with the heel.  I just stayed in for one more play, I came out.  I told the trainers and they didn’t take any chances.  They immediately took me out of the game.
 
Q: In two weeks you guys will be preparing for the season opener.  These are injuries that people respond to differently to, but would you envision being out there practicing and getting ready for that Cowboys game?
A: I hope so.  Hopefully I can be back before then, but I do envision myself out here on the practice field, getting ready for that Cowboys game and getting ready to go down to Texas to play those guys.  That’s what I do envision.
 
Q: What did the MRI show?
A: The MRI just showed some blood in there, in the area where the swelling is and that was about it.  They were just showing the inflammation and the blood.
 
Q: No tear?
A: No tear, nothing wrong with the bone.  Everything’s fine, which was a good sign, which was what I was worried about.  Even though I didn’t hear anything pop, but you just never know with any injuries.  I was happy about that.  I’m just on the road to recovery.

C Jim Cordle

Q: Are you the starting center now?
A: We’ll see this afternoon. We had walk-throughs, so we practiced what we did in the game, and I was in at center. But we’ll see when we go out for practice. This morning we just went over all the Jets stuff and reviewed. Now we have a 12:15 team meeting, so we’ll see what this week of Jets practice holds.

Q: How confident were you going in there on Sunday night? It was obviously pretty sudden the way it happened.
A: I was confident in myself. Last year in the Eagles game, Dave’s shoe comes off and I had to come in there for a couple plays. You expect that more during the season to go in for at least a couple plays. But I was ready to go in. We prepare very well here and I’m confident that I could get it done.

Q: What was the biggest difference performance-wise that you guys saw from week 1 to week 2?
A: From week one we had five sacks, this week we had six sacks. Some of them are mental errors, which is unacceptable. We brought it down from 24 to 14 mental errors on offense. But again, the execution is not there and we have to keep getting better with our technique. Some of it is that we twist a lot, so guys were on different levels. I went in there and then Mosley came in and kind of trickled in. Some of it is working together. It comes down to individual technique.

Q: You got a lot of reps last year with Dave’s injuries. Can you tell us how that has prepared you for this opportunity?
A: Getting reps in practice against our guys, going up against Linval Joseph in practice is really hard. He practices really hard during an NFL week and he’s really good. I give a lot of credit to Linval for getting me ready for this year.

Q: This is your third year as a pro. Are you thinking that maybe this is your year to start and get going?
A: I think so. We’ve got some veterans and we’ve got some young guys that have been drafted behind me. I think these two games are definitely critical. They’re definitely going to make or break me.

Q: What’s the most challenging thing that you think you’re going to have to handle moving forward here?
A: When you go from the second team to first team, there’s a step up in competition. I think that’s all it is. You have to be ready for that.

Q: Is there any difference in snapping the ball to Eli? Does he want it a different way than David Carr or anything like that?
A: You’ve got to get in a groove, but it happens pretty fast. I’ve been snapping since fourth grade, so I can find it pretty quick. Eli might be a little bit lighter, but make sure you get the ball to him. It’s pretty smooth.

Q: What about making line calls? Obviously you go over that in the classroom, but a lot of it is also recognizing what’s in front of you. Is it any different working with the twos as opposed to working with the ones in that regard?
A: Yeah, with the ones I can’t get the line calls out fast enough. Boothe and Snee are making the call. When I’m with the second group, they’re waiting on me to make the call. Those guys are making calls before I can even get up to the line.

Q: How do you adjust to that? Or is it going to be Boothe and Snee making those calls?
A: I’ve got to make them, too. I made a couple calls. We had a schemed pass protection where we blocked down…I made a zone principal rule. I made a good call there. I can see it, too, but they definitely help out a lot.

Q: During camp when we’re watching, obviously we’re seeing one thing as far as the deployment of personnel and where guys go. Do you feel like this has kind of been the move that they would make if David went out in a game situation or are you also wondering what they’re going to do in terms of who’s going to step in?
A: Boothe is versatile and he’s earned himself a starting spot. He’s been here a while. I can remember the first game I went in, in 2011. It was the Seahawks game. Snee went down, so I just ran in there. I snapped a UI, it was a good play. Then Coach Flats is yelling at me to go to guard because he didn’t want any snaps messed up, so I went to guard. When I ran in two days ago, I was like ‘you sure you want center?’ And he’s like ‘yeah, go to center.’ I think they’re confident in me now that I can be center. I think last year in the last preseason game I played well at left guard, so I have versatility there. I played offensive guard last year, so I hope they know I can play guard, too. We’ll see what the rotation is today.

Q: Are you still doing any specials?
A: With special teams, we have a pretty good unit. Every year, you want to get young guys in there. Hankins and Herman have been doing that. They’ve told me that they know what I can do on special teams. They want to see what these young guys can do.


Tackle Justin Pugh

I just wanted to get an opportunity to play, definitely love the opportunity go out there and compete. I can’t wait to just go out there and practice today.

Q: How far do you feel like you fell behind when you were out with the concussion? Obviously it’s out of your control but you were right in there with a competition and then you come back, I would imagine things change.
A: Yeah, obviously you lose some of those reps, which is definitely something that you wish you could get back, but I’m back now and I really can’t control that so I’m not going to think about the past and just kind of keep working on getting better each day.

Q: You said you played both tackle spots. Are you going to play guard, too?
A: Yeah, I mean I’m willing to play any position, it doesn’t really matter to me where I’m at. Right tackle, left tackle, guard, I think I can play both positions.

Q: Have you done any guard yet?
A: No, I haven’t done any guard. If they need me there, I’m ready to go.

Q: Were you only left tackle in the last game?
A: Yes, I only played left tackle.

Q: How do you think you did?
A: I did well. There were some things that obviously I could have done better, some plays that you wish you could get back, but I think overall it was a good first start. You get back out here and improve and get better each day.

Q: Was the speed a big deal on Sunday?
A: It wasn’t too much faster than what I thought. Obviously they executed at a high level so you have to make sure that you’re able to do that. I think I was alright, the speed wasn’t too much of a shock.

Q: Anything surprise you?
A: Not really. I think practicing the way we do definitely got me ready for the game, going against some of the guys definitely got me ready to go out there and play.

Q: Of the guys that you face here in practice, who’s the toughest for you?
A: When I play with the twos, I go against Damontre and Adrian Tracy, both real good pass rushers. Obviously Kiwanuka has those long arms and Tuck, he’s been around for a while, so he has some moves that he can give you, he knows how to play the game. So definitely all of those guys, all of those guys give me a good look.


Tackle David Diehl
         
Q: What happened to your hand?
A: I got hurt during the game, but I’ll be all right.

Q: Is it broken?
A: No.

Q: You’ve had some ups and downs during training camp. How are you feeling right now?
A: Good.  Feeling good.  Ready to go and ready to get back out for this practice and get back at it; ready to get technique down and stuff like that.  You know, obviously, the game wasn't played the best that we could, not only as a group but offensively as an offensive line, could be me personally myself, but I know I’m going to come out here and work.  You know, the corrections are there to be made, it’s not- I’m sure I’m going to hear, ‘because it’s old’ and I got beat ‘because I’m old’ and I lost a step and all those things, but everything on film are all correctable techniques.  The sack that I got beat on, I should have recognized the protection scheme and the adjustments that they made on that, I stepped too flat, so I’m going to come out here, I’m going to do 100 sets if I’ve got to get that corrected.  The other thing I work on, my hand placement, and those types of things, and do whatever I need to do to make those corrections heading out of this preseason game so that we’re ready for the Jets.  I mean, that’s what preseason is for.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a sense of urgency to get things right, but in no way shape or form are we panicking, thinking that the ship’s on fire and jump off board.

Q: Is there anything you can do now, training wise, that you can transfer into football at this point or is it just-
A: No, I mean I think we’ve done all that since January, so it’s all about improving technique, working on those things, and like I said, those are the second snaps of live work against another team since January.  I mean, there are going to be corrections that need to be made, there are things that you’re going to have to work on to fix things going forward and that’s the point of preseason.  Preseason games aren’t going to make the difference of whether you make the playoffs or not, but what it’s going to do is show the improvements that you need to make week in and week out to get ready for that first game, so we’re ready to go, we’re ready to practice, we’re ready to come out here and get things right and that’s all we can do.

Q: Are you going to be able to play with the hand?
A: I’ve played through everything once before already, so.

Q: Will you have to wear the cast for a while?
A: I don’t know, we’ll see.
 
Q: How do you feel compared to last year health-wise?
A: I feel 100 times better, 100 times better.

Q: You mentioned that people might say you are getting old, but do you feel like you’re being unfairly scrutinized?
A: No, I mean everybody has a reason to pinpoint things and pick things out.  Obviously, I’m going to get a lot more attention like I always did going into this training camp anyways, but you expect it, that’s part of football, so when you make mistakes people are going to criticize you for it, that’s the job that we’re in and that’s the job that we chose.  I’m not sitting here hiding from anything. I’m not ever going to hide from anything, like I said, I know I need to make the improvements, the whole entire team needs to make improvements, otherwise, we would have won that last game, and we didn’t.  We had some big drives, we got down in the green zone, we’ve got to come up with touchdowns, we can’t settle for field goals and that's- you know, figure we get those two opening drives, we take those all the way down to the green zone, we have seven play drives we put two touchdowns on the board, it’s 14-0 and you’re looking at a completely different ball game, so those are the things that you think about long term, so I’m ready to go, I’m ready to practice, I’m ready to come out here and make the improvements I need to make.

Q: Respectfully asking you this, you’ve been in this league a long time, seen everything, for you to make a mental mistake like you say you were flat on the pass protection-
A: It wasn’t a mental error, it was a technique flaw.  I didn’t make the wrong blocking scheme, it was the angle that I took that pursued it.

Q: you’re beyond that.
A: That’s the thing, but like I said, that’s the point of preseason, is that you learn those things, you map those things out now, and like I said, I’m going to come out here and I’ll take 100 sets to make sure that I do it right and that it never happens again. I mean that’s the point of practicing, that’s the point of going through these games is getting yourself right.

Q: What about the weight, are you happy with that, do you think you need to add it back?
A: No, I’ve added some back, I feel good.

Q: When you look at the injuries you guys are already suffering just with David Baas, yourself, Cruz, how do you balance trying to get better and improve throughout the preseason with just making it through healthy at this point?
A: Work.  I mean, that’s the only way you can.  Obviously you work smart, but we’ll be out here practicing, doing everything we always do.  We’re ready to go, we’re ready to improve, and that’s part of football.  There’s going to be ups and downs, there’s injuries, that’s the sport that we chose.  But I know the group that we’ve got, I know our coaches, that we’re going to rally around, we’re going to work to improve and it starts right here on the practice field and breaking things down. We’re going to get ready here to start introducing the Jets and everything. I’ll tell you what guys, we’re excited.  Guys were here yesterday on their day off, watching the game film, watching everything, and we’re all doing the same thing because we want to come back out here today and get things right.