Re: Maurice Evans and rookie minicamp
A: More than anything else because he is excited about being close to home and excited about being around his family and having an opportunity with us. He showed some pass rush ability at the point of attack. …….strong against the run and he did have 12 ½ sacks as a sophomore at Penn State. So he is promising. And then Tommie Hill was running around and showed his speed out there on the field – from Colorado State. So we are impressed with him. Dwayne Hendricks is an inside player who is going to be a real good player as far as helping us inside. He has a chance to be able to compete and to be able to do the things that we want to be able to get done. And then Alex Field from Virginia has versatility. And I think that he can play inside, he can play outside. You have a chance to be able to show what you can do.
Q: How do you convince a guy like Evans that there is an opportunity due to fact that you have so many talented veteran players?
A: Know how to recruit. Like I tell a lot of those of guys there are a lot of jobs in the National Football League. You have the opportunity as a young player. I said, "At worst, you make the practice squad, give yourself an opportunity maybe to make the 53-man roster through special teams and help our team as a young player in that way. A lot of the guys were excited about the New York Giants because we have a chance to win a world championship. We are in contention and a lot of players are attracted to that. And you want players that are like that that are aren't afraid to compete and want to compete and have a chance to be able to be on a winning team.
Q: In your opinion how well did they grasp what you presented to them?
A: I think it was excellent. I always look at their test scores and see how smart they are. That is important to me. We always kind of boast as a unit that we think we are the smartest unit on the team, smarter than the quarterback and we kind of like that. But those guys were great. I kept giving Alex Field a hard time because UVa is a high academic institution and told him that the Penn State guys are doing a little better. But we have a good time. We have a good time.
Q: What test scores, yours or Wonderlic?
A: It is the Wonderlic. I just kind of look at that – just their abilities. It is important with what Bill Sheridan is doing with our defense and carrying over a lot of things that we have done in our past, it is complicated. And we ask our defensive linemen to do an awful lot of things.
re: Chris Canty moving from a 3-4 end to a 4-3 tackle
A: The thing about Chris (Canty) ….. Look at what happened in the Super Bowl. Justin played inside and he weighed about 263 that day and Jay (Alford) was under 300 that day. I said, "If you are a good leverage player, you can succeed inside or outside." And the thing about Chris is, again, he is smart. He is from Virginia and he has the versatility. He can play inside and outside. I'm going to work him a lot inside right now just so he gets a feel for it. But he can play a lot of that role like Renaldo Wynn did last year when we played both.
Re: competition along the defensive line
A: This is what I tell them, "Best players stay period." And it puts it on them. It makes them competitive. It makes them compete against each other. It is a brotherhood of men in there. They like each other but it raises the bar as far as their ability to compete as an athlete. It makes them better. They know that they have to be almost at the top of their game every practice. They get graded at every practice. So they know they get graded on production, they get graded on their technique. So every day there is a measuring stick and they compete against each other. If one person's production is low and the other one is higher, they can see it on a piece of paper every day.
Q: You have seven guys who can play.
A: I have done it in the past – here we have done it. Even when Michael was here we had a nice rotation. The thing that I believe is that in the National Football League it is too difficult to play the schedule and to play that many games and not get physically beaten up. If you watch film in September of everybody – you see that there is more physical hitting in September than there is at the end of the season. Because guys just get beat up. And it is fact. I would like to chart the rushing yards at the end of the year versus at the beginning of the year just for the pure fact that it takes a lot of pounding on it. I told the players that if we can do this, if we can remain unselfish then we can be more durable at the end of the season. The plays that you do play, you should be more productive. Those three things – unselfish, chance to be durable and you get a chance to more productive, then it is a good thing. All three of those are good things; positive things. When you are unselfish and a team player – and that is what Coach Coughlin preaches all of the time.
Q: Tuck at 263 in the Super Bowl? Was that light for him?
A: No, and that is what I'm saying, it doesn't matter. If you are a good leverage player, you can go inside.
A: Michael was light at the end; really light, about 251 on Super Bowl day. But the thing is, is that it helped his speed. When you are older like that – I learned a lot of things – I sat in that weight room with the Raiders and watched Jerry Rice and I watched Tim Brown, and Romanowski and Trace Armstrong and all of those older guys, Rod Woodson, and I watched them train. What they did is they all got real light …. Because the first thing that goes in a football player is the central nervous system. So when you are lighter like that, it helps your speed.
Q: The guys that wore down,
A: I think technique wise, I think…..just having a good rotation and keep them fresh. Think about it – it makes sense.
Q: Is it too early to find out how Bernard and Canty fit into the personality of that D-line group?
A: They have been great players; they have been productive players. If anything, you want to try to raise your game, you try to make them productive. Bernard had 8 ½ sacks one season. We want to be able to say, "Hey, Rocky, challenge yourself. See if you can get in double digits this year." He still has the ability to rush the passer. Chris has a big future ahead of him. He is still a young player. So for the addition of both of those guys it is exciting from where they are at in their careers at this time.
Re: age and training
A: Yeah, that is a good theory. As you age, we all age. That is the thing that you notice. You can't run like you used to. You still have the same reaction time as you used to. When you are in your 30's that is what disappeared. Otherwise you can play for ever.
Jerry Rice used to train his central nervous system all of the time. He was always working his feedback. Like Romanowski would be on the exercise bike, he would ride for a minute; 15 seconds of that was full sprint – constantly keeping that part of his body up to a high level.