Q: What are you looking for from this defense coming off of last season? What is the biggest improvement that you need to make?
A: Being physical, being able to stop the run and playing base fundamental football and returning to the New York Giant defense.
Q: How do you think the young guys are going to contribute to that?
A: Just looking at them in the OTA's in the spring, there's some talent there. We have to develop them and understand what their roles are going to be but I think they will help us and contribute to our defensive success.
Q: Some say your energy on the field is one of your best attributes. What are you trying to accomplish out there?
A: I just love the game so when you love the game you just coach from your heart and that's what I love about football.
Q: Can you talk about Pierre-Paul signing?
A: That was big. He needs every rep, he needed to be in camp on time and that was huge on our administration's part, so we're very excited about that.
Q: What do you think Pierre-Paul will bring to the team?
A: Watching him in the spring I noticed that he was very strong with his hands and I like that because he's physical and we want to return to the physical style of the New York Giant defense. He can rush the passer also. So, we just have to groom him, let him execute after learning his assignments and then watch him go to work.
Q: With all these new pieces, including yourself, what will you see over these next couple weeks that tells you this is working?
A: I think it was working a little bit in the spring. What I am going to look for is if we retained the information that we learned in the spring. Are we playing with a purpose? Are we playing with passion? So that will tell me if we're ready.
Q: How much fun is it for you as a coach when you get new guys into your system in a new place to make it all come together?
A: It's very exciting. You can't sleep and that's where your energy level picks up because it is new and you're seeing the pieces work and seeing the puzzle come together so it is very exciting every day to come out and watch that.
Q: Who looked good this morning?
A: You know what? Our entire football team looked good. I was shocked. Our conditioning test, our guys ran it extremely well and conducted themselves very professionally. I was impressed with the New York Giants.
Q: Can you talk about Bulluck's transition, what you will throw at him while you're up here the next couple weeks?
A: Just getting him acclimated to the terminology, to our guys, to our system and to the New York Giant way.
Q: What is the New York Giant way in your mind?
A: Defensive football. Hard-nose defensive football.
Q: That being said, does it make it even more exciting that you're taking over this unit and trying to re-establish the dominance that this team is known for?
A: Well, I think they want to be dominant and they have shown that they can be dominant in the past. It's exciting to be trying to bring that back to the New York Giants.
Q: Bulluck has been around a long time and has played a lot of football but not for the Giants and not in your system, so how difficult is it to bring a guy like that in?
A: Number one, he is a very smart player; I have coached against him for a number of years. He's very professional in what he does; we've had a phone conversation so he is going to be eager. We will probably have to hold him back so that he doesn't hurt himself. It's going to be a matter of reps, you can't replace practice and you can't replace reps, so we'll just bring him along but he knows to take the middle reps because he is a smart veteran.
Q: With his (Keith Bulluck) personality and experience do you see him as a leader? Are you counting on him being a leader out there?
A: Oh definitely.
Q: What did you see on film of the final couple of games last year that was lacking on defense?
A: I'd rather not comment on what I saw and what occurred in the past because there's a lot of things that could be said but it won't do any good because that's water under the bridge and I wasn't here a year ago, so I'm just going to let that remain.
Q: Does it make it easier to get the players to listen and be attentive after coming off of last season?
A: I don't know if it makes it easier but I will say this: they have been very attentive, they want to be good, they have been very cooperative and there's a lot of pride in this group.
Q: You're seen as a motivator but where do you get your motivation?
A: I just love football. The Good Lord gives me motivation.
Q: Could you talk about Keith Bulluck's transition from outside linebacker to middle linebacker in your system?
A: I don't think there will be a big transition because if you look at the sub-snaps that he used to play at Tennessee and when you watched him at Tennessee, he was in the middle so I don't think it will be a big transition. Again, you can't replace practice but he's a smart veteran and he will understand and know and we'll have a certain expectation level and I think he'll meet that expectation.
Q: How excited are you to have him as a middle linebacker and how does he fit in with other middle linebackers that you have had in the past?
A: I can't say that yet until we actually get on the field and we start practicing and I can watch him move because we'll be on the field doing it together. But just watching him in the past on film, he is as good as there is out there.
Q: As you go through training camp what are the benchmarks that you're looking for as you get this defense prepared for opening day?
A: Alignment, assignment, execution and are we having fun?
Q: What have you told Kenny Phillips?
A: Get here as soon as you can but let's do this the right way. We understand the nature of his injury, we're all disappointed but we understand that we must take it slow so that we don't hurt Kenny and Kenny doesn't hurt himself. So as soon as he can join us, that's great but we've got to look after Kenny and Kenny has to look after himself, too.
Q: What impresses you about Antrel Rolle?
A: Oh man, wow. Cornerback skills, can play free safety, smart, communicates well, wants the responsibility of leadership and just his overall attitude and approach to going out and taking care of his business.
Q: Is it difficult having younger linebackers then recently having the veteran Bulluck come in?
A: Well he's going to have the opportunity to compete for the position. I think that's the best thing to come out of our camp. Also, everyone is competing for a job, competing for a position so all we try to do is up the ante as far as the level of competition in all the different positions. So that's one of the other things that I'm looking for, are we going to compete? Because everyone out there is capable of being a starter so we're going to embrace the level of competition.
Q: How big is it that you were able to get all the draft picks signed and here?
A: It was huge. All these guys are huge because we can move forward instead of stepping backwards.
Q: How do you help leadership roles develop?
A: I help that situation by, number one, trying to show them the way in practice. Number two, allowing them to be leaders and watch how their leadership develops and then when I see that leadership, coaching that leadership. What I see that's good, what I see that's not so good and moving forth from there. But I have a stake in that also, I'm the leader of the defense, being the coordinator, and then I'm going to allow them to be leaders themselves.
Q: How did your time as head coach in Buffalo help you to become a better coach?
A: It helps you see the big picture. When you're a defensive coordinator, a lot of times you are concerned with just the defense and then you don't recognize the special teams as much as you should or the offense as much as you should. When you take over and become the head coach you're concerned with the offense as well as the defense as well as special teams and you're seeing players in a different light. This guy doesn't fit with my defensive system but he helps us from a special teams standpoint and that guy becomes even more important. So, you understand how to utilize all of your guys and I think as I look at our defense now, I'm understanding how to utilize more of our people.