Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: What have you heard about the extent of the injury to
A: He’s going through all the tests.
Q: What happened with the skirmish at the end there?
A: I didn’t see it. I’m sure it was some kind of…they just lost it. Something between them, they shake hands and keep going.
Q: You didn’t seem too happy about it.
A: Of course I’m not happy…Why would I be happy about that? We could get somebody hurt under those circumstances.
Q: Do you know what knee Donnell injured?
A: We’ll tell you when we find out. It was a knee; I don’t have any information for you yet though.
Q: Could you give us an idea of snap distribution for the game on Sunday?
A: Ones will play a little more, probably in the 20 range. The twos will play 25 or so. The third group will play following that. So if we get a snap distribution like we did the other night, it would be a 65-snap game.
Q: Would you anticipate trying to get all four quarterbacks in also?
A: No, we’ll play three quarterbacks. Carr will play this week, Painter will play next week.
Q: Are you expecting
Q: How about
A: He’s not going to go this week, but hopefully we get him all together for next week.
A: When he came out, he worked that one day and now he’s back over here. I think it’s day to day.
Q: Is Sunday a possibility for him?
A: We’ll see. Hopefully.
Q: Are you seeing some of the same things out of
A: Yeah. We’ve seen plenty. He’s done a good job. He’s much more aware of what we would like from that position and he can get us in coverages and the right coverages. He and Antrel work well together. I’d say yes.
Q: Is there any new news on JPP and where he is in his rehab?
A: If you saw him yesterday, he worked well yesterday. He was right out here. He’s a little sore today, so they slowed him down again. But yesterday was an outstanding day. He ran well and he worked in the weight room.
Q: If you could, just reflect on Ahmad Bradshaw since he is making the trip back here with his new team, even though he is not going to play.
A: I’ve said many times what Ahmad meant to us when he was here. He was a tough, hard-nosed guy. Any time he came on the field, you knew what you were going to get out of him. He was very focused, very physical, very tough. He played hard and was very emotional about the way he played. He was a big, big part of our two championship teams. You think back to ’07 when he breaks the long one in Buffalo, those types of things. Those are the things that stand out for me; his toughness, his heart, the way he approached every game, the emotion he put into it. He would play with extreme pain, we all know that. Nothing but great thoughts about him.
Q: When you say JPP had a little soreness, you mean like a normal soreness or something you’re concerned about?
A: I’m not a doctor. He ran well yesterday. He’s sore today, probably because he hasn’t been running, so they just held him back today. In other words, he’s not ready to come out two days in a row and do what he did yesterday, but I’m encouraged by what he did.
Safety Stevie Brown
A: Mundy is a great professional, so it’s still easy to work with Mundy. He doesn’t know every single thing, but he’s got a very good feel from the playbook. So it’s not much of a drop off when communicating to him and everything like that. It’s been all right.
Q: Does it put more of an onus on you to be a leader back there in the secondary with Antrel out?
A: Yes and no. I’m still going to go out there and make all the same calls that I’ve made here normally; just definitely try to be a little bit more vocal. But like I said, Mundy still has a great knowledge of the playbook, so he’s doing fine.
Q: How helpful has it been that you and Ryan have a connection at Michigan?
A: We had a year together up there at Michigan and we’ve been friends since then, so it’s just transferring over onto the field now. We’ve known each other for like seven years now, so now we’re just talking football language instead of just talking.
Q: Last year this time, nobody really knew about you. Does it feel a lot different going into camp versus last year at this point?
A: Yeah. I didn’t have to do interviews with this many cameras. I just got to eat lunch and go back, but it’s definitely a little bit different. Coaches talk to you in a different way. Players talk to you in a different way. It’s not about keeping it going, keeping your head focused and see if you can try to make this team. Now it’s like we’re going to need things from you this year and expect things from you.
Q: Do you feel like there are some people that question if you can repeat what you did last year and you have to re-prove yourself?
A: Yeah. There are always going to be questions every single year. Until you get established or someone does it year in and year out, you’re always going to have questions if you’re going to just be a one-year guy. So I believe every single year you always have to go out there and prove yourself.
Q: How crazy is it making Antrel not to be able to practice?
A: That’s really crazy. ‘Trel is not one to miss practice, not one to miss games or anything like that. So to not see him out there two days in a row is definitely different.
Q: It must be driving him nuts too.
A: Yeah. He hates it. He’s just like, ‘I want to play.’ That’s how he always is. He says that he wants to play, he wants to practice. He wants to do everything, and I’m just like, ‘Dude. It’s preseason. Relax.’ He’ll be here.
Q: How do you feel about the secondary group?
A: I feel good. I definitely feel good bringing (Aaron) Ross back, even though I didn’t play with him. But we still watch film from a few years ago and I’m seeing the way he plays and then what he brings now back to the table. He’s definitely elevated the corners. Webby has been bringing it. Prince has definitely come on, as everybody already knows. Jayron has been doing really well. Trumaine has been doing really well and even the young guys at the corner positions, safeties… We’re all trying to do our thing, so I feel really confident about our secondary. The more we get to play together and the more we get to gel together, I think we’re going to be a good unit.
RE: Playing in MetLife Stadium
A: …I was actually injured when we (Syracuse) played there, so this is the first time I’ll actually get to step on the field and play a game.
Q: Are you feeling 100% right now?
A: Yeah, 100%. I’m ready to go.
Q: Any family coming to the game?
A: Yeah, I’ve got six people coming out: my parents, my buddies, my brother and sister.
Q: Since you’ve been back and you’ve been in different positions, how challenging is that and how do you feel like you’re doing?
A: I felt like playing right tackle all through OTAs and training camp is great for me and helped me get used to that side. Left tackle is where I played for the past four years, so I felt very comfortable there as well. I think either side I’m playing I feel comfortable and can execute at a high level.
Q: What were the biggest things you’ve picked up so far from the other offensive lineman?
A: How to carry yourself on and off the field as professionals and how to go out there and attack practice. You see guys like
Q: Do you feel a lot of pressure going into this first game, being a first round pick?
A: No. No pressure at all. I think when you step out there, it doesn’t matter what round you’re drafted in. You’re in the lineup against a guy and that’s the battle, regardless of a first round pick and wherever they’re from. So just go out there and play every play. Do what I have to do and do my job.
Q: Are you nervous at all?
A: I always get nervous before a game, but once you start playing, it all goes away. Probably right before the game, I’ll be a little nervous, but when I step on the field and get that first hit in, I’m good to go.
Q: Do you have a sense of where you’ll be playing yet in terms of position and everything?
A: I’ll probably be playing both tackles. Wherever coach wants me, that’s where I’ll be.
Q: And you’re probably more comfortable on the left right now?
A: No, I think I feel comfortable with both positions. It really is dependent on where we need me at any time. Wherever the coaches want me to play, that’s where I’ll be at.
Q: Are any of the assignments different from left side to right side?
A: No. If you’re playing tackle, the assignments are the same on the right side as they are on the left side. Mentally, you’re doing the same thing on both sides. It’s just the footwork and the technique that’s a little bit different. You’re just switching that foot back. The biggest thing for an offensive lineman is to protect that inside. So your hands are a little bit different too.
Q: How much of an adjustment is it to switch like that?
A: If you’re so used to doing it one way, like I played left tackle for five straight years, coming and playing right tackle was a little bit awkward at first. Then once you get used to it and you play it regularly, it’s not really too much change.
Q: Were there any plays where you had trouble adjusting?
A: In pass protection sometimes you’re kicking back with that right, so you feel very comfortable the way you’ve done it. Doing it the other way you feel like you try to get out of it too quick and you try to over-compensate for feeling like that. It’s something where you have to think mentally and just stay calm. You want to be quick but you don’t want to be in a hurry. You don’t want to rush it.
Q: We haven’t seen you inside, but have they talked to you about maybe playing some guard at any point?
A: When I got drafted they wanted me to be able to play every position. I think right now they just want me to get tackle down and work from there.
Q: You haven’t gone through any of those assignments?
A: No, I haven’t done any guard work at all.
Q: How much did it eat at you Saturday night not being able to play in that first game?
A: That one hurt. I’ve never really missed a significant amount of time. I missed four games at Syracuse. That being the first game, you really want to get out there and play in that one. So it definitely was a tough thing for me to sit out and watch.
Q: You never played with Syracuse at MetLife?
A: No. When we played USC here, I was out. I was injured.
Q: I was wondering if those feelings from the last game last year carried over to the spring?
A: I don’t know about the feeling but I wanted to continue to build off the performance that I did have in the game. It’s a different year so I have to kind of put it in the past and just keep continuing to move forward and get better.
Q: How much progress do you think you’ve made this summer?
A: As a player, just maturing and understating what the organization wants out of me, understanding the offense and being able to play a lot faster and just getting on the same page with Eli has been the major difference for me coming in last year and over to the summer.
Q: Was it hard learning this offense as a rookie?
A: It’s not the easiest to pick up on because there’s a lot thrown at you all at once. It’s always going to take time to get your feet wet, to understand what’s the process of the offense and what you need to do to help the offense move the ball. The whole challenge of understanding the job, so many things that are going into one specific play that you have to understand is probably the most difficult part.
Q: You used the phrase “amazing difference” to describe the difference between last year and this year. When did you first recognize that?
A: Spring, I just wanted to continue to build off the last game that I had. I felt like I played a lot faster, didn’t want to take any steps back and continue to push forward and become a better player for the team.
Q: What did you do between January and when you came back in April?
A: Just came back in shape and ready to go. I continued to look over the offense so I didn’t take any steps backwards. Like I said, I just wanted to come in and be a playmaker, just make all the plays that I could.
Q: How did you study the offense?
A: Look over notes, make sure I refresh my mind, my job assignments so I could come out here and play fast.
Q: By yourself?
A: Yeah, by myself.
Q: Do you want to return punts again?
A: Right now, I feel like I can do it since I understand our offense a lot better. I can take on that role and go out there and do a great job with that also. If they need me to do it, I’ll be willing to do it.
Q: You weren’t down at the Duke workouts with Eli, were you?
A: I wasn’t. I couldn’t make it. I had an issue going on at the time so I couldn’t really make it.
Q: Did you get enough work with Eli in during the spring you think?
A: Yeah, I think we’re clicking pretty well right now. Like I said, I just want to continue to make plays, to go out there and continue to play fast, continue to gain the trust.
Q: Does the agenda change from preseason game one to preseason game two in terms of things that you want to accomplish?
A: I wouldn’t say that. I think, at the end of the day, we all want to continue to go out there and play and make plays and continue to build on last week, the performance that we had, just want to go out there and do everything to the best of our abilities and come out with a win.
Q: How close do you think this team is to being ready? Clearly you have three more preseason games to go, do you think you need them all?
A: I think so. You can get all the work that you need. You don’t want to take any days off really because it’s only going to hurt your effort so we all just want to continue to build and go out there and make plays.
Q: When you talk about playing fast, is there one aspect of your game that’s faster that you noticed right away when you hit the field in the spring?
A: I think I became faster in recognizing the coverages, the safety rotations. That took time, just multiple reps, seeing everything so they couldn’t try to disguise it and throw you off balance. I think my recognition of certain coverages has picked up from what it was last year.
Q: What did you learn from last week? I know you were disappointed with that first play, the long route. What did you learn from that experience?
A: Well, just coming off the ball a little bit faster because that’s when I would be a step away from making a play. That’s kind of what I took from that play, missing that opportunity. This week I’m looking to come off the ball a little faster, so if the opportunity does come, I can get to those types of balls.
Q: Everybody made a big deal of that long play to Cruz for the touchdown, that could have been you.
A: The funny thing is we both were open on that play, he decided to throw it to Cruz. Like I said, just continuing to build as a player so when the opportunity does come, I need to make those plays.
Q: Ahmad Bradshaw had some nice things to say about you yesterday. Does that mean anything to you?
A: We have nothing but a good relationship. I don’t know what he said.
Q: He said it was going to take you a little time to learn the offense, but once you do that you have all the talent in the world to be successful.
A: He was in this offense and he knows what it takes to be successful in this offense and he tried to teach me everything he could while he was here, so we just have a good relationship.
Q: Are you looking forward to seeing him this weekend?
A: Yeah. I don’t know if he’s playing or not…
Q: He’s not playing, but he said he was coming.
A: Hopefully, I’ll see him.
Q: How did you come out of last week once you started breaking down film? Were you happy with the way you played?
A: The stride is in the right direction. I wasn’t happy with it. I can’t say I wasn’t happy with it. It’s kind of what I expected. It was the first preseason game and we were going to come off the field with some things we need to correct. I think it was just good to have something on film and to go out there. Most people executed really well and some people were executing good enough so you can go back and watch it on film and reevaluate and see what you need to fix and work on.
Q: You have been working more in the passing game. Is that something you’re excited about?
A: Most definitely. That’s what I’m trying to show is that I can be that every down back. There’s only one way to show it and it’s to get in there and do it. I’ve been talking to the coaches and they said that’s what they want to see and I told them that’s what I want to do.
Q: Sometimes they even have you play out wide. Have you ever done that in the past?
A: Yeah. Actually, last year a couple of times I did that. I did it in college as well, so that’s something I’m comfortable with. When I first came into training camp this year, I said anything the coaches need me to or want me to do or want to see me do, I want to be able to do it because… Not just in running back, but anywhere on the field, I want to be able to be effective in that area wherever they need me so we can up our chances of winning.
Q: That’s a good way to get you in a mismatch situation is to set you out wide and get a safety on you out there.
A: Yeah, hopefully. I would like getting a linebacker to chase me out there in man on man coverage and I run a go route.
Q: What was your reaction when it was obvious they weren’t going to bring back Ahmad Bradshaw?
A: It was mixed feelings because we had a close relationship. You hate to see one of your friends go, not only a friend, but a mentor. But everybody has got to move on. The NFL is a business and I was just happy to see him land on another team and a team that’s got potential. I was also excited knowing that I would get the opportunity to step up and play a big role in this offense.
Q: Do you feel like you can be the guy and now is your time?
A: I hope everybody in every position on this team, regardless of what situation they’re in, even if you’re Eli’s backup, I hope you go in and try to win the spot because that’s when you make everybody around you better.
Q: The other day, they put you out wide, Rueben on the other side and Victor and Nicks in the slot. If you’re talking about potential, I have to imagine that’s a scary scenario for teams to try and cover those four guys.
A: Yeah. I just run the play when they get called. I didn’t even know all of those guys were lined up like that.
Q: What have you seen from
A: He’s an athlete. The same thing Ahmad said about me; once he learns the offense, he can be really effective and help this team out.
Q: He says people think he’s from a small school because he’s from UMass, but he played at Michigan for a while. Do you see that chip on his shoulder?
A: No. Not really. In the NFL, everybody comes from a little bit of everywhere and it’s just about being… Where you came from and what you did in the past doesn’t count once you get to this level. It’s about producing here.
Q: This time last year, you were kind of in the dog house. Now you are considered one of the cornerstones.
A: Yeah. I was young last year and came in and this offense, the running back plays a big role and it’s a lot thrown at you in this offense. It’s kind of complicated for the running back. When I came in, I just tried to grasp as much as I could and take it one day at a time and learn something and get better at something each day and I’m still doing the same thing now. I still haven’t learned everything that the running back needs to do like a second nature. That’s the point I’m striving to get to, where I can be like, ‘Hold on. Eli, look at this,’ where I learn the offense that good that I can correct some things and there have been running backs in this system that know it that well and I’m just taking it one day at a time, trying to get better and better each week.