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DC Perry Fewell On Third Down Defense


Q: What are you doing to improve the third down defense?

A: We just have to execute better. I think that we just have to cover better. And then in our pressure package we just have to pressure faster. Those are just fundamental things and we just didn't do the fundamental things – we haven't the last couple of weeks – to get off on third down.

Q: Santonio Holmes said that your defensive backs don't tackle well and that teams can make plays over their heads. Is that a fair assessment?

A: I don't think so.

Q: If you were to take that back to your defensive backs do you think that they'd be jacked hearing something like that?

A: I don't know how they would react to that comment. I just know that we have to focus on what we do and how we execute and how we play and we just have to play better on Saturday than they do.

Q: Have you ever been a coach that gets into all this bulletin board stuff?

A: No. I think you play the game on the field.

Q: So Coughlin hasn't changed you? That's how you've always been?

A: Yes, I've always been that way.

Q: Deon Grant said, 'We're going to go back to being the old Giants.' Is it flipping on the switch?

A: I don't know what that comment means. I know that their focus has been real good these two days of practice. Their enthusiasm has been very good. I think they are up for the challenge. If that's any indication of being the old Giants, then I like the way that they prepared this week.

Q: Do you get a feeling that they're desperate, that they know exactly what's in front of them?

A: They've known what's in front of them. We put ourselves in a position that we must win this football game. Be it sharpened focus or be it desperation, I don't know how they assess that, but I know that we've emphasized that we need to win this football game.

Q: Has Boley fully healed from the hamstring injury?

A: I can't say that he's not fully healed. Is he the old Michael Boley? Obviously when you've missed several weeks you're not as sharp. Would we like him to be sharper and crisper? Definitely would like him to be sharper and crisper. But yeah, he looks like he's fully healed to me.

Q: Is JPP's motor infectious?

A: We hope that's infectious. I made the comment that he plays a lot of plays and we want to get him off of the field more and JPP plays hard and he can play faster and he can play better. We hope everybody else plays as hard, as fast as he's playing because he's out there having fun. He really is. I don't think he thinks about this or that. I think he just goes out and plays the game and really has fun. So we hope that is infectious for our defense.

Q: Have you seen the older guys look at him and pick it up?

A: I think the players feed off of each other, especially when they make a good hit or make an interception. When something good happens on the field I think they feed off of each other. I don't think it has to be a guy, old guy. I think their energy comes from each other.

Q: How much do you move him around without Osi there?

A: Without Osi being there, yeah we've primarily played him at right end. Can we play him at the left end spot? Sure we can play him there also. With Tuck being back we have the option whether to do that or not. It just depends on the rotation.

Q: Has Plaxico lost anything in his time away from the game?

A: I don't think so. They're the number one red zone offense in the league and he's a big part of that. He's a big target and the guy is good. He's a good football player.

Q: Is it just his size? What makes him…?

A: I think it's size and I think it's skill. He made the touchdown catch last week against the Eagles. That was a phenomenal one-handed catch that he kept himself inbounds. I think he just has a feel. He knows how to play the game. That's veteran experience.

Q: Prince, just rookie mistakes on Sunday?

A: Yeah. It was a tough coverage for him and it was also a rookie mistake and probably advanced coverage. He's learning on the run and it's not an indication of the kid's skill level. I think the kid is going to be a fine football player, but it's a fast game and there are a lot of things to learn in a little bit of time.

Q: Does he go back to where he was?

A: We'll play him. He'll play this week. No doubt. I think he's up for the challenge.

Q: If that's an advanced coverage for a rookie, can you possibly not put him in that situation?

A: Yeah. We can do some things to help him, no doubt about it.

Q: Do you look back at it and say, 'Maybe I could have helped him out a little more there?'

A: We could have helped him a little bit more. Hindsight is 20/20. So you're asking me from my hindsight. Did we work on the coverage? Yeah, we worked on the coverage. He knew how to execute the coverage and knew what to expect within the coverage. Would I do it to him again? Hindsight is 20/20. Yeah, I would try to get him into a different coverage obviously.

Q: Is there a common problem on third down?

A: Just execution. That's the problem. We haven't been able to get off of the field and it's been execution. It's been a breakdown here or a breakdown there by either the coverage or by the rush or the execution of the pressure. Obviously we've gone up against some pretty good offenses. We think we're better than that obviously, but they've executed better than we have. That's the bottom line.

Q: You've had some three-down rushes on third down that haven't worked. Is it a matter of, 'Maybe we have to force the issue?'

A: I could. We had one Sunday, we just have to tackle better. But I could force the issue more. It depends on the situation sometimes – the way I call it and how I call it. Depends on field position sometimes – the way I call it and how I call it – with the three-man game or not. And then it depends on matchups. We take a lot of things into account when we do that.

Q: When you came here last year we heard a lot of, 'We're going to matchup later in the down.' Have guys had a problem doing that?

A: We haven't done it as well as we did it a year ago. Because of the interchangeable parts and people playing different roles and the communication that has to occur, we haven't done it as well as we did it a year ago. And that's been one of the main reasons.

Q: Is it matter of telling these guys to be more aggressive?

A: You have to get a feel and it's a matter of trust, a little bit, and knowing who your partner is and how you're working with your partner. And it's the communication process of all of those partners working together. It's more of a 'I know where everybody is and I know where my responsibilities are and this is how I play it.' Again, with the interchangeable parts, it's not always coherent to everyone right now. That's one of the reasons that we haven't been as sharp.

Q: Has Rolle expressed his frustration in his role to you? A: I'm not restricting what he can do. I would be more than happy for him to get a lot of interceptions. I think I said that last week. Hopefully Saturday he can get a lot of interceptions for us.

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