Good morning. As we get ready to go to Minnesota, everyone is aware of what Minnesota is playing for – obviously the second seed; obviously very, very important to them. They are a very good football team. I think they had, what?, eight players make the Pro Bowl. They have exceptional numbers everywhere you look. But I think it is important to say that what we are playing for is just as important to us. We need to re-establish who we are. And re-establish our own identity and re-establish some pride in the way that we perform and the way that we play. And that is what we talked about this morning in our meetings as I introduced the week to our players. Everyone is down, is sad, is disappointed. You have to forget all of that stuff. No one wants to hear about your troubles, okay. What they want to hear about is, 'what are you going to do about it?' And that is the reference that we made today. It is not that you get knocked down; it is what you do when you get back up. And that is the way that we tried to present it to our players. And we challenged to man and to a unit exactly what we think we have to do in order to regain that pride. So this is a very important game as I mentioned to you the other day – to us in this franchise. The coaches have worked as hard as we can. Our presentation to our players is upbeat. We do have to raise the spirits of the players up. But we do have objectives; we do have goals; we do have reasons. And they are quite obvious to us.
We do have a couple of injury updates that I will make for you before we get started. And that is, one, that Brandon Jacobs will not play this week. He will have to be scoped. I am not going into any of the details on that. But the fact that he is not going to be able to practice – will not play in the game – and he will have a scope next week. Richie (Seubert) is going to try to go today. If we think we can start him back, he will do individual and hopefully some team and then we will have to assess where he is. Kareem (McKenzie) will not be able to practice but we are going to hold out – day by day, practice by practice that we have been talking about with regard to him. Aaron Ross will not practice. Corey Webster will not practice as well.
Q: Will you IR Brandon Jacobs?
A: That really hasn't been decided yet. That decision, if it doesn't come right away, will probably come later in the week if we felt we needed another player to come up to substantiate the roster.
Q: Isn't this the time where you sign a guy off your practice squad?
A: It is, or has been for the last couple of weeks – whatever your needs are.
Q: Is this something that has bothered him for awhile?
A: Not to the extent that he would have to have the scope.
Q: You found this out this week?
A: Just this past - I believe it was Tuesday when he had the exam.
Q: Was it something that happened as result of the last game?
A: I'm not sure how that goes chronologically. I wouldn't be able to say. The medical people would have to answer that.
Q: Is this something that maybe hindered his effectiveness this year?
A: I think Brandon has always had some issues that he has had to deal with. But to that extent I'm not sure – he wouldn't use it as an excuse. And I won't either.
Q: The physical guy he is - is this something you worry about long-term with him?
A: I hope not. I'm hoping that this is corrected by the scope.
Q: Is this an opportunity to get young players playing experience in games?
A: It is an opportunity to try to win a game. That is what I see it as. We will play – whoever it is is going to help us to have an opportunity to win. If you follow us closely, we have played a lot of people. There have been a lot of young guys that have played. So to that extent I don't know that there is anybody else that is really in that particular question mark that would need to be evaluated more than someone else, for example. We are going to play the game to try to win the game.
Q: You talk about being upbeat. You and the staff are hurting, too. How hard is that?
A: That is neither here nor there. We have had our day or whatever to sit up there and stew and lament and be angry and be disappointed, and every word that you can attach to it. We all are. But you know what, as I said, the example has to come for us and we are going to give it. We are going to give it. We are pointing ahead as we try to always do. We try to recognize the situation for exactly what it is. And then put a positive spin on it. And that is what we are trying to do right now.
Q: Is Ahmad Bradshaw healthy enough to carry a full load?
A: I don't think so. We will utilize the other kids as well.
Q: Fred Robbins?
A: He is sore today. He is going to go individual and see how much he can do. He may do a few snaps. But he does have some swelling in the lower leg. Fortunately there was no fracture. But he does have swelling and he is sore.
Q: Is that something stemming from the game the other day?
Q: Is Chris Canty getting good/decent penetration?
A: Yeah, by play. I think you can always find the plays that are good and the plays that are bad. He is a force inside and we are continuing to try to develop him to the point where he is even more of a force.
Q: Do you see progression from him? Is he getting more comfortable?
A: I don't know. You certainly would have liked to have started way back when. He has had an abbreviated season, for sure. His ability to play a full game and come back and play another full game – that has been taken away from him since way back when. But he certainly is into the flow of things now. And he is improving and he does have to get better.
Q: Ordinarily this would be an opportunity for DJ Ware to get a lot of looks- what has happened to him?
A: Of course he had the unfortunate incident at the very beginning of the season. Then he came back and got nicked again. So he really hasn't had the time or the extended --- to be honest with you, in special teams when he was back, he didn't do much. He didn't provide us with a lot. And Gartrell (Johnson), when given the chance, flies around. So Danny is – we are trying to make him understand a lot of things about consistency and about what our expectation levels are, no matter what spot we are in. And hopefully he is going to learn that.
Q: His tentativeness?
A: I'm not going to go any further than just what I said.
Q: Any thought to resting Eli?
Q: His foot is not an issue?
Q: What about David Carr? Have you seen enough of him to know if you want him back?
A: Well, we see him on the practice field every day. We have seen him in action – limited though it may be – we have seen him in action. We feel good about David Carr.
Q: Maybe one of those guys who fits into the category of getting a look this week would be Ramses Barden?
A: That is a fair point. We have five receivers and that is all we can carry active. We do have to put someone down to put him up. I don't know that that is the case. Even if you take a look at Hagen and the contribution he has made in a limited role – he has played pretty well. He has always been a special teamer. We are looking forward, believe me, to spending a lot of time with Barden. Because I think he has shown us, in the scout squad, as much as Mario (Manningham) did a year ago, that there is a lot to work with there. And we are excited about that. Whether or not he has to play in the game to show us more – yes, it would be nice. But we have seen plenty on the practice field.
Q: How do you handle the risk/reward of playing Eli, who has a whole career ahead of him?
A: If we felt – the medical people felt that there was an issue there with risk, then we would certainly take that into full consideration. But I would say this to you, if you were to speak with Eli Manning about not playing in the game, that would not be a very pleasant conversation. And that is kind of the way we are right now, all of us. So we are a little bit on the edge and you can understand why. They do want to play and he certainly does want to play and he doesn't want to come off the field under any circumstances, anytime.