Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: How are you doing Tom?
A: I’m good and you? What can I do for you today?
Q: Do you have an idea how much the quarterbacks are going to play?
A: Yeah, I do. The first group will go probably 12 or 15 and then the rest of the guys from that point on.
Q: All four QBs?
A: I think we’ll try to get them all in.
Q: Who’s going to be third?
A: Don’t worry about it. You’ll see it.
A: I don’t know. Today was not what we wanted. He’s not quite as nifty and nimble as we had hoped. We’ll have to see. I actually thought he would work today.
Q: What are your thoughts on D’Imperio so far?
A: He’s worked hard. He’s come in. He’s done a nice job on special teams and, of course, he has a fullback role to play, along with a couple of our other tight ends. He’s working hard.
Q: Given the fact that there isn’t a lot of hitting going on during the training camp, what do you tell some of the younger guys about their first preseason game, where there will be a lot of hitting?
A: There’s a lot of hitting, there’s just not a lot of tackling. That’s the thing you’re not prepared for, other than the form tackling, which we do. That’s the number one defensive drill that we do. You’re going to tackle live for the first time. You’re going to be brought to the earth, live, for the first time. Ball security is a big issue. Head up, see what you hit. All of those types of things that are taught from a fundamental standpoint are now going to happen full-speed. People have to be ready for that.
Q: Are you much concerned with all of a sudden having to pick up the pace after not having a lot of contact, to this point?
A: The first preseason game does allow you that first opportunity to be full-speed and then everybody gets a little sense of the tempo. It grows from that point on. It will be a good first experience, I’m sure. We talk about being physical and playing against a very physical team, so I think all good things will come out of it.
Q: Are you expecting Pugh to be cleared for practice next week?
A: Next week, yes.
Q: Expect Nicks to take a couple reps on Saturday?
A: We’ll see.
Q: What about
A: That’s not any big concern, is it? If they travel? They’re not going to play. They don’t have enough practice time.
Q: Did you have a chance to see Deon Grant today?
A: I did. I saw him. He looks great. I read about his retiring as a Giant, which was a great thing. I’m excited for Deon. He’s a good man, and I just told him next time he comes around, if he’ll let me know, I’d like to have him talk to the team.
Q: Obviously just a small setback for Justin Tuck, but overall as he came into camp, what sense did you get from him?
A: He’s done very well. He’s worked hard in the offseason. He’s physically strong, ready to go. He’s done a nice job in all aspects. Really nobody saw this coming. All of a sudden, his back was stiff and tight. He’s doing what he can now to get that thing back to where it should be so he can get back to work.
Q: What have you thought of
A: Ryan Mundy has done a nice job. He’s an outstanding special teamer, but he’s also learned the secondary. I’ve been pleased with the way he’s worked.
Q: Nice to be able to jump inside when the rain comes?
A: Yeah. We really did think we were going to get it in. We didn’t think that we would get caught but there was the slim chance. When it was five miles away and the lightning was there, we had to get inside. To be able to come inside and finish practice, on a day when we would have lost some very good opportunities. It meant a lot to us
Q: Do you remember your first preseason game as a rookie and what it was like for you and what you think this game will be for
A: Yeah, my first preseason and the first couple of games. It’s exciting. It’s hard, too, because you don’t really know a lot. I remember I called a couple of college plays in the huddle and the guys were like “what’s that?” He’ll kind of revert back to what he’s used to doing and what he’s had success doing. Hopefully he can calm his mind down enough to just treat it as…and we’ll all be fine.
Q: Do you think it’s different at all for him because he doesn’t have the pressure of having to be ready for the regular season in four weeks, like you did?
A: Yeah. It’s a little bit different, because you knew you still had 20 or so games ahead of you. But yeah, I think you kind of treat it the same though. A football game is a football game. He’s going to go out there and make his calls and go to his reads and he’ll learn. And whether it’s good or bad, he’s going to learn. I think that’s the key. If you stop learning, that’s where you stop getting better. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s got the right attitude.
Q: Do you know how much you’re playing on Saturday?
A: They haven’t told us yet. Usually they’ll tell us the night before the game.
Q: Is there one thing about Ryan that kind of stands out in your mind?
A: Good or bad, he throws the ball well. I think he’s got good mechanics, and he wants to learn. I think that’s the most important, honestly. You get young guys in here sometimes, not necessarily at the QB position, but they don’t care to learn. They’re going to rest on their athletic ability. It’s not like they don’t want to do it, it’s just in their nature. Ryan’s not that way. He’s taking good notes, writing stuff down; he doesn’t necessarily make the same mistake twice. I think that’s the key.
Q: When you approach the preseason with four QBs, and obviously everyone knows it’s Eli’s job, do you worry about how the reps shake out?
A: No. I’m way past that. I’ll be happy with whatever playing time I get. I’ll try and help whoever’s in there. I think that’s the key for me, and what I’ve always done in the preseason, just in the last few years since I’ve not been starting. Those guys that are in there, those guys are trying to make the team. They’re trying to get a job. They’re trying to do something that I’ve been blessed to do for the last 12 years. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that they know what they’re doing, and that there’s no confusion. That’s the worst thing that can happen in a preseason game. You see a lot of bad football in preseason games. That’s one thing I don’t want to happen with my groups. If we’re going to get beat, we’re going to get beat knowing who to block, what route to run, and making good decisions. That’s kind of my main goal. I feel pretty good after a game, whether it’s a win or loss, that hopefully I’ve helped some guys out there.
Q: What do you remember specifically about your very first preseason game?
A: The game was really fast, and what I thought I knew, I had no idea. You try and recall things and recall plays that you’ve just learned in the last couple months. You try to regurgitate things that you’ve learned in the meeting room. Maybe you wrote them down 400 times, you’ve written them on the board, you’ve been able to show the coach you know it, but then on the field you realize it’s not ingrained yet. That’s the biggest thing that’s going to happen with all young players; just realizing that you don’t really have it yet.
Q: How’d you do?
A: Fortunately, I did alright. The first couple preseason games, we played decent, so it was kind of a shock when we came out there and got waxed (in the regular season). As a young guy, you think you’re going to be great every game.
Q: Can you remember how many times you were sacked?
A: In the preseason, not that many. In the regular season, a lot.
Q: Do you think in this preseason that Ryan’s going to get out there?
A: Yeah, I think Ryan’s going to get his reps. He’s gotten a lot of reps out there in the preseason so far, just in the practice. So you kind of get a feel of how it’s going to shake down. I’ll get my share here and we’ll see how it works. And then he’ll be in there. They want to see what he can do. I’m fine with that. I’ve been around long enough, and I’ve known Coach Coughlin for a long time. They know what I can do. I’m just going to try to help some young guys. Help Ryan, especially, when he’s in, try to coach him up and give him some advice. He’ll play a lot.
Q: How do you think he’s going to do in this first game?
A: It’s hard to tell because so much of it is based on who’s in there with him and who he’s going against. He could mess around and get in there with some guys that have experience on the other side of the ball. He could also be in there and have some young guys make some plays for him. It’s really touchy in the preseason because you just don’t know. I could roll out there and be playing against the starters. It can kind of go both ways. You can also be hanging around long enough, you’re in there in the third quarter and you’re playing against some guys that really don’t know what they’re doing. And that’s not a shot on them, it’s just the truth. It can go either way. You really have to watch who he’s working against and who he has working with him. I think that’s what the coaches do. They can evaluate the stuff pretty good.
Q: You talked about your job is to help other guys. I would imagine at some point, you’re going to be thinking about your job.
A: It kind of ties in. When you’re out there coaching and you help, you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re going to do the right thing, for the most part. But how plays shake out, how guys run their routes, how the defense plays, it’s out of your hands. All you can do is just go through what you know and just use your experience to your advantage. Whatever happens is in God’s hands. It really is.
QB Ryan Nassib
Q: What are your thoughts on your professional debut on Saturday?
A: First off, it’s a dream to be able to play in an NFL game, regardless of its preseason or regular season. I’m excited, ready to get out there and play somebody else. It’s going to be a fun week.
Q: Is there anything in camp that’s maybe been a struggle for you that you might want to emphasize for this game?
A: Coming into a new offense and trying to learn a whole new system, there’s going to be struggles every day, especially when you put in new stuff. Really, my main emphasis to work on this weekend is to know what the game plan is, have that down and then, as we go on, continuing to improve.
Q: Do you know how much you’re going to play yet?
A: I do not know, leave that up to the coaches.
Q: There are two guys ahead of you and they both have a decade of experience in the league. Do they have any advice for you?
A: They give me advice every day. They’ve been extremely helpful, what to expect, certain things to do when you’re in doubt, if you’re not sure about something, just giving me little tips like that. They were rookies at one point and they had to go through the same thing, so they’ve been extremely helpful.
Q: Has the learning curve been bigger than you thought it would be?
A: No, coming in I expected it. I knew the Giants had a very sophisticated offense, coming here and realizing how sophisticated it is, there’s no question how good they have been, that’s why they are so good is because the guys who have been here who have been playing know what they’re doing and they’ve got answers for everything. So that’s probably one of the biggest things. This is complex but learnable so it’s going to take some time but once you know it, once you understand the philosophies, you’ll be alright.
Q: Are you nervous about Saturday at all?
A: One good thing is I’ve played in that stadium a couple times already so the atmosphere, it’s going to be a little different, but the field is going to be a little familiar. But yeah, going into your first game, there’s always going to be some nerves.
Q: The fact that it’s home for you make a difference?
A: It’s not really home. I’m from Philly, Pittsburgh is a little bit away but I’ve got some family members coming and stuff. It’s going to be nice to be able to play in my home state and play in front of some family and friends.
Q: You’ve thrown a few interceptions in training camp. Is that because you’re trying to force things because they want you to throw the ball? Have there been times you would have simply thrown the ball away in a regular game?
A: More or less. Some of the interceptions were just bad balls on my part or missed communication or plays that are kind of new that I had to learn on the fly, like, oh, now I know. Those INTs are a part of the learning process, you learn from them and try to move on.
Q: What would be an ideal way for this to play out on Saturday for you?
A: First off, win the game. First and foremost, we go out there to win. Just going out there and executing, moving the ball, being efficient and scoring points when we get out there.
Q: Is there a little bit of a mental cushion for you, knowing that you don’t have to play once the regular season starts?
A: Well, not as much because, regardless of where I am on the depth chart or my chances of playing, I’m always going to prepare like I’m a starter, that’s just how I’ve always been, ever since I was back at college. That’s just what I do because on any given day something can happen so you’ve got to be ready.
Q: What has it been like working with the first team? Is it much different than you’re used to?
A: Not really. It’s still the same communication with first, second, and third teams. You all have to communicate, be on the same page.
Q: Getting the start on Saturday, any butterflies?
A: No, just anxious really. Ready to get out there and do what I can do and prove to everybody what I can do.
Q: How hard was it for you last year to have to miss your whole rookie year and being a competitor and not coming out here?
A: It was very tough. I haven’t had that long off since grade school. It was tough taking that long off and not being out there on the field with everybody.
Q: When you finally were able to get on the field, did you have to be slowed down a little bit?
A: Yeah. Like I said, I was anxious. It’s been a while, so I want to get out there, fly around, and have fun.
Q: Did you play in any preseason games last year?
A: I did, I played in the first one and got hurt in the second.
Q: What’s it feel like to work with such experienced guys?
A: It’s awesome. Being able to learn stuff and being able to pick up on small things they do, it helps out a lot.
Q: At offensive line, is it a position where you sort of need an offseason in a NFL weight room and a training program to really catch up with these guys?
A: Yeah. You’ve got to. You have to work hard and workout and get strong. You have to go against some good guys at this level.
Q: Do you feel like that helped you?
A: Oh yeah, a lot.
Q: When you were on IR last year, did you study? How did you keep up with things so that when you came back you weren’t too far behind?
A: I still went into meetings every day. I sat there and watched film. Learned everything. Did a lot of mental reps more than anything. Just trying to get my knowledge better, that way when I got back, I could just fly around and have fun.
Q: Do you feel like a rookie starting over this year even though it’s your second year?
A: Kind of. I just started to get back into it really.
Q: Is there a part of you that wondered if you … obviously they invested a draft pick in you so they … Sometimes a guy gets hurt, right away they make them move on.
A: You’ve got to be able to step in wherever you can help out. Whether it’s guard, tackle, you’ve got to be able to step in and do your job.
Q: You guys go up against a pretty tough defensive line on Saturday. How important is it to go up against Pittsburgh just to see where you guys are?
A: It’s important. Just like any other defensive line in the league, they’re all big and strong. You’ve got to be on top of your game.
Q: Did Chris Snee have any advice for you?
A: Really just kind of focus on your technique… calls and just talk out there.
Q: Did he say, “Don’t be too good”?
Re: playing multiple positions along the offensive line
A: Yeah, like I said, being on the offensive line you can’t really focus on one position. You’ve got to be able to play all positions in this league. Just in case somebody goes down or something happens. You need to be able to jump in and be ready to go.
Q: And you had a little experience at tight end, too, in addition to offensive line, didn’t you? At some point in your career?
A: Yeah. In college I did.
Q: I would imagine when you came to training camp starting the preseason opener was probably not something you were expecting …?
A: No, it wasn’t, but I’m anxious to do it. I’m ready to get out there.