Offensive Coordinator Kevin GilbrideQ: It looks like you got a running game back Sunday night?
A: I thought we started to run a little bit better against Green Bay and I thought it was continued improvement in this game. We don't have huge stats, but I'm looking for consistency. I thought for the most part we got that. Brandon, I thought, was running with a lot of energy, a lot of power. So it was good to see.
Q: How much has Jacobs improved the last two weeks?
A: He's definitely helped. There's no question. He's part of the two-back running system. I think he's shown more confidence in terms of being aggressive, going after people and you can only do that if you're comfortable with your assignments and the way that the game flows. I think he's done a good job.
Q: Do you still need the running game with this kind of passing attack?
A: I think where it becomes difficult, there's no question, you can't avoid it, is just the weather. The weather becomes a factor up here. It's not the cold very much and it's not even the rain as much as the wind can really be a troublesome factor. That's what really concerns me more than anything else. Obviously the old days in Houston, we had great success, we were in the playoffs every year and we did very well in the playoffs offensively. And we weren't running the ball. We were much more of a passing team. I've certainly been on teams in the past, Jacksonville we went to the AFC Championship doing that. But here is different than there. You're indoors. You're down south. It can be a factor here, weather wise. That's where you would like to be able to run the ball, but regardless of that, you always would like to have the ability to force people to play honestly. To do that, you have to be able to run the ball a little bit. I think the fact that we did it a little bit better [against] Green Bay, did it even a little bit better last game is a good sign. We're headed in the right direction. We're not where we want to be, but we're headed in the right direction and I think that just makes us more difficult to defend.
Q: The Redskins have a pass rush by committee. How do you look at them and try to prepare?
A: They're a blitz team. The last few teams we've played are blitz teams. Each of them are a little bit different philosophically in how they accomplish it, but you have two, to me, outstanding rushers. Their two outside linebackers are both terrific players. If you're not careful, you concentrate so much on those two that it opens up opportunities elsewhere. Certainly the blitz package, like any blitz package, they can cause confusion and somebody turns somebody free. That's when they get some hits for other people. They're a good defense. They gave us all we could handle the first time around. They're a little bit different than most defenses with some of the things they do coverage wise. If you're not on top of your game as receivers and quarterback, then you hold the ball a little bit longer until things clear up for yourself. That's when maybe you held the ball a little bit longer than you wanted to and you normally do and that's when some of those sacks happen.
Q: Barry Cofield said earlier today that if Eli had played last year the way he's playing now that you would have given Green Bay a run for their money. Has Eli changed that much?
A: I find it a little bit amusing that those comments are being made by other people. I've said other times, I'll say it again, the interceptions obviously were high last year. But other than that, it was his best year. You can't separate the two so you say it was not a good year. It wasn't a good year in that respect, but in terms of pass percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown passes, yardage, it was outstanding. I think it's been incremental, continued improvement over the years. There's no question that this year, right now, is special. And it's him, but the line's doing a good job. As battered as they are, what Pat Flaherty has been able to do with those guys up front is amazing. The receivers have been terrific, flat out, have been terrific. I think Eli has continued to improve, but as always, in order for him to do his job, those other guys have to do theirs and I think they're doing very well.
Q: How big was it getting Ahmad back for Dallas?
A: You would like to think he's significant. I think he was significant in the Green Bay game. He did not have as good a game as he would have liked and of course he hurt himself by not coming in until the second half, but Brandon had his best game by far. To me, it's irrelevant who does it. I just want someone to do it well and I have confidence in both of them. I hope that both of them have a great game and that will make us much more difficult to defend if we can run the ball consistently and have some big plays.
Q: Why is Jacobs running better the last two weeks?
A: The obvious thing just looking at him, he's running with great confidence so his cuts are much more precise, much more authoritative. He looks more physical and I think when you're feeling confident about what you're doing you let it flow and that's what it looks like he's doing. The million dollar question is why and I don't have an answer for that. I'm just happy that it's starting to manifest itself and I think he's doing a good job. It's been fun to watch and it's definitely helped. There's no question.
Q: Are you calling different plays? Is there any explanation other than he's running down hill and there are holes?
A: I think they're doing a good job up front. It's amazing right now with all of the injuries and all of the new faces and new bodies. I'm just very proud of the job that those guys are doing. If I thought earlier in the year that we would be playing with some of the bodies we're playing with, I would've said, 'Whoa.' But they're doing a terrific job. They're hanging in there and fighting and they're doing a great job.
Q: What is the O-line doing better?
A: As a group, they're playing better. We're playing better. Boothie (Kevin Boothe) has been flat out outstanding. Some of the snaps have been unnerving, but other than that he's keeping Eli's back loose.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom QuinnQ: Have the special teams gotten better this year?
A: Some places we have gotten better and in some places we haven't. We just have to keep striving and improve the return game. Punt return finally returned some so that was a positive from a couple weeks.
Q: What have you seen from Lawrence this year?
A: They brought the target area closer so it is more green to hit. He is making better contact with the ball and obviously the extra five yards help but he is striking the ball better than he has. That is what we have been looking for since 2007 with him. It is consistent ball striking because he is at a point where we had to shorten his approach because he couldn't get his foot on the ball. He has done a better job with that and getting better but these next three weeks will be telling because we are outside and the elements and some good returners.
Defensive Coordinator Perry FewellQ: How has Mathias adjusted to his role this season?
A: He has had two roles and that is not how we intended it to be intentionally. We thought we would have him in the linebacker role and we thought we would have the four ends that we needed to play so he has had to play both ways. Sometimes he has excelled and sometimes he has not excelled. For the most part, he has done a nice job for us but going back and forth from backer to end can be very difficult.
Q: Can you talk about the difficulties in trying to do that?
A: It is a mindset. When you are an end, you are a sack guy. When you are at linebacker, you have to play the run and play the pass. That mentality and when you are a sack guy your whole career and now you have to play the run and play the pass, that becomes a little more difficult. He is progressing.
Q: What happened on the Dez Bryant touchdown pass?
A: We gave them a different look and all 11 defenders were responsible for that look. The defenders saw it different and we had a communication breakdown and the big play happened.
Q: Do you believe that all 11 players knew what the call was?
A: Actually I sent in a call and we gave them a special look. They got confused on the look. We had a special look for it and they got confused on the look. All 11 players were responsible for this call and all 11 defenders did not execute the call and that is why it was a big play for Dallas.
Q: Were Antrel and Corey in the right spot?
A: We didn't execute the right call so nobody was in the right spot. All 11 defenders were responsible for being in certain spots and we were not in the right spots.
Q: Does that mean that you need to simplify things?
A: I guess you can say yes and simplify things but sometimes you get too specific and you try to get some things. The offense can confuse you at times and that's what happened. Dallas did a good job and we didn't do a good job of recognizing.
Q: Is it a problem to have Antrel playing so far back in the secondary?
Q: Do you want Antrel to be more of a ball hawk?
A: Anytime that you are playing in a pass happy league that we are playing in right now, you have an opportunity to be a ball hawk whether you are down or back. We have been getting the ball thrown at us a lot so he can be a ball hawk and find the ball as much as he can in my opinion.
Q: Have teams been throwing it his way?
A: I can't say specifically if they have or have not.
Q: Do players come to you and say they want to play man?
A: No, not really.
Q: Are you fine with two players saying they were in the right spot?
A: No, I get the problem corrected between us as I am the defensive coordinator and they are a defensive team.
Q: Are you ok with them saying they were in the right spot?
A: I get the problem corrected with me being the defensive coordinator and with them as a team in the defensive setting and we try to fix the problem. I think the problem is fixable and the problem is correctable.
Q: Have you played a game this season and said this is what the New York Giants defense should look like?
A: No, we haven't been a complete functioning unit this year. We have had a number of parts that we have tried to bring in and try to function together and we just haven't functioned well as a unit this year. Sometimes we play well and sometimes we have lapses. If we can be more consistent and we are striving to be more consistent, that is good but no, we haven't played a solid complete game in my opinion.
Q: Are you worried about the defense coming out flat against the Redskins?
A: I think the Redskins are pretty good if you look at them on film. They rolled up pretty good against the New England Patriots and they have been in every game that they have played. I don't think that our guys are flat, I think our guys are playing hard. I think they are playing harder than what we played against New Orleans. Teams are fighting right now and it is a dog eat dog league. Everybody is trying to get a win. The competition is great and the margin of error is so slim that offenses can capitalize on you and defenses can capitalize on offenses. I just think it is the competition of the league right now. It is December and everybody is trying to get a win.
Q: Do you think you have gotten that out of your system?
A: I don't think we have come out flat. We don't play as well as we should play but I don't think that we are just not ready to play football.
Q: What is your reaction to being ranked 30th in the league?
A: I think we should be better. Sometimes we hurt ourselves by giving up some big plays and that type of thing. We work fairly hard to eliminate those big plays and nobody is proud to be 30th but we just need to keep winning football games and trying to find a way to correct those big plays. If we keep winning football games and trying to find ways to correct those big plays, we will fix the problem later.
Q: Can you be a successful team and have the 30th ranked defense?
A: Green Bay, what are they ranked and they can be successful.
Q: These mistakes that Prince is making, how quickly do you think they can be cleaned up?
A: I think they can be cleaned up relatively quick. Prince is going to be a good young player. He's been educated a lot in a short amount of time. Some of the things that you do to him in practice he retains and he does well. And then sometimes they do something different to him in the game. He's learning on the run. He's got on the job training. He's smart enough that he can correct that and he'll fix those.
Q: It seemed like on the long pass to Robinson, Prince recognized it, but not quick enough.
A: Correct. That's a fair statement. That's a very fair statement.
Q: Do you think you'll have your defensive captain on Sunday?
A: I'm planning on it.
Q: In the last two minutes of half you've given up a lot of points. What do you think that's the result of?
A: We just have to play better, bottom line. We just have to play better.
Q: Is it guys relaxing a little?
A: No, I don't think guys relax. Again, offenses are good. They're very sharp. They're good. We're trying to keep them out. Sometimes the problems are technique problems. So we have to go back and correct the technique problems. There's not a lot of mental errors, but sometimes it's just technique errors and that's the thing that you want to correct in football the most, is the technique errors.
Q: Where is JPP as opposed to where he can be?
A: The sky is really the limit for him. What you saw Sunday is just a glimmer of how good he can be. To me right now, he's putting it together and he's retaining some information and knowledge. We think he can play much faster than what he's playing – mentally, as well as physically. He'll be a terror.
Q: You talk about him being a glimmer of what he can be, that almost seems incomprehensible.
A: This guy is so talented. We see it in practice. We see him everyday do things that amaze you. He can be so much better than what he is right now. That's just a glimmer of what he can do. If he can be consistent in his play, the sky's the limit for this guy.
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