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What we learned: Insights from assistant coaches


The Giants' assistant coaches met with the media via video conference on Tuesday. Here is what each one had to say:

Quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski

* Daniel Jones did a pretty good job for the most part against Arizona. There were a couple of things the team would like back, but they wanted to make sure he didn't force throws, which Jones did a good job of avoiding.

* There were a few plays where you could tell that Jones wanted to run when he got out of the pocket, but instead he had to throw the ball away.

* The eight sacks are on the whole offense, not just the quarterbacks or offensive line.

* The hope is that Jones gets better this week, but they will see more when they get back on the practice field Wednesday. After talking to the medical staff last week, the team agreed that the risk of him re-injuring his hamstring wasn't too high.

*Colt McCoy gets the ball out quickly and sees the coverage really well, and can move around the pocket.

Running backs coach Burton Burns

* Not concerned with Wayne Gallman already setting a new career-high in rush attempts this season with three games remaining. Alfred Morris is very capable, which allows them to give Gallman a break at certain points in the game.

* Gallman is in great shape and could probably handle playing the entire game.

* While they go into each game with a plan on how they want to use each back, once you get into the game, sometimes you have to go with the hot hand.

* It's a developmental year for Sandro Platzgummer, who was allocated to the Giants as part of the NFL International Player Pathway Program. The game is new for him as playing on this level has been a new challenge for him. But you see that he is a hard worker that is trying to get better every day.

Wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert

*Darius Slayton is doing "a lot of really good things," and takes advantage of his opportunities that are given to him. He wants to see Slayton continue to grow as a complete receiver, in both the pass and run game.

* The biggest thing for all of the receivers is going out and executing the game plan the best you can do on every single play, regardless of the play called.

*Slayton is not limited at all by the foot injury he suffered earlier in the year.

*Dante Pettis is up to speed from a mental standpoint, but his role on game day may come down to whether or not he is part of the team's plans on special teams.

Tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens

* Couldn't be happier for Cleveland fans on the Browns' success this season. The team is playing very well, they're talented, well-coached and playing hard. They're doing all of the things necessary to have a successful season.

* Baker Mayfield is doing a tremendous job of getting better with the little things each year. Taking care of the football is the biggest thing for Mayfield, and he has done a good job of limiting turnovers this season.

* Kaden Smith is fine after missing some time due to COVID-19. He was able to knock the rust off during the first half of the game in Seattle, and is now back to normal.

* Evan Engram is a willing blocker, and it starts there. Every one of the team's tight ends are all about the game of football, and you can't ask for anything more.

* Myles Garrett is long, can bend, gets after the quarterback and gets strip-sacks, and is good in the run game. Three guys on Garrett wouldn't be enough, as Kitchens believes that Garrett is "one of the best football players in the National Football League."

Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo

*The O-line has struggled against the tackle/end stunts all season. While they did better vs. Cincinnati, they had trouble against Arizona. DeGuglielmo reiterated that everything comes back to fundamentals - footwork, fit and finish.

*The center can help when there is a stunt on one side, but not when stunts are coming from both sides. The Cardinals did it from both sides this past Sunday.

* The whole offense did not double-team effectively vs. Arizona.

*The O-line just didn't do the job against Arizona as they lost the fundamentals and things quickly snowballed. "We were not a good offensive line the other day."

* It's not one person or one thing. On a third of the snaps, there was one guy, usually a different one each time, out of sync with the rest of the unit.

* Andrew Thomas has incredible talent, is quiet, intelligent, a professional in his work and understands the game, but have to remember he is still a rookie. Thomas always feels responsible when there is a sack, even if the front of the pocket wasn't holding up and it wasn't his fault.

*Great players are always going to get beat sometimes. Left tackle is pretty similar to a great cover corner, as the spotlight is often on him. Thomas is doing a great job and works hard.

* "Offensive linemen are mules, not thoroughbreds!"

* Shane Lemieux struggled on the pass rush against Arizona because his pad level rose, but the rookie guard "pays attention to everything" and "has tremendous upside."

Defensive line coach Sean Spencer

* Dexter Lawrence moves well for a big man, which helps make him very effective in the pass rush. They need to keep giving him opportunities to get after the quarterback in passing situations.

* They've been rotating all of the interior defensive linemen into the game in certain sub packages. He likes using them all throughout the game.

* Leonard Williams has always had the ability to finish, that skill just had to be refined a little bit. But they never talk about finishing in the DL room, only the process. He added that he does like that Williams has 8.5 sacks so far.

* Spencer believes Williams was too focused on proving his skills to everybody earlier in his career. Spencer doesn't talk to Williams about those sorts of things now, only on what is going on in the moment.

* Williams is a very humble person, which helped his teammates gravitate towards him. The rest of the team celebrates when Williams does something well after seeing all of the hard work he puts in.

* The D-line room is a very tight-knit group, led by Dalvin Tomlinson.

* Spencer has a longstanding relationship with Tomlinson after recruiting him to Vanderbilt when he was a coach there. Spencer says Tomlinson seriously liked Vanderbilt and it was an attractive place for him, but ended up at Alabama instead.

* Tomlinson's experience as a state champion wrestler in high school helps him with his leverage as a D-lineman.

* Stopping the run is always No. 1 on the defensive line's list of things to do. While they've done a fairly good job of doing it this season, Sunday's matchup against the Browns will present a tough challenge for the group. Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt both run extremely hard, while Baker Mayfield can run with the ball, too.

* Sensed a bit of hesitancy from his unit against Kyler Murray on Sunday, as they didn't want to be too aggressive and watch Murray break out a huge run.

Inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer

* After spending four years with him at Georgia, Sherrer knows that stopping Nick Chubb is going to be a huge challenge. He is a big, fast back that you don't see a lot of anymore. He is quiet and a very hard worker, and he usually gets better as they get later in the game.

* The linebackers have to be prepared to tackle the 228-pound Chubb, who Sherrer refers to as "one of the most powerful backs in the league."

* Sunday's game against the Browns is going to be "one of those kind of old school games" with a heavy dose of runs, which plays into the skillset of Blake Martinez, a true middle linebacker.

Outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema

*It's enjoyable coaching this group of outside linebackers. Each one has a different toolbox, but they are all locked in and are fun to work with.

* On being connected to various head coaching openings on the collegiate level, Bielema says he is totally concentrated on the task at hand. While it's nice to hear his name mentioned, all of his focus is on the job he is doing now.

Defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson

* It was easy to see why the Giants drafted McKinney early in the second round- his athleticism and the way he gets to the ball, along with his versatility.

* Jabrill Peppers' energy and passion on defense is even bigger than his versatility. Peppers always plays tough, regardless of the situation, and is always encouraging his teammates to finish plays. Henderson says Peppers has been phenomenal in the role of the defense's "energizer bunny," no matter what's going on in the game.

* Isaac Yiadom improved as his confidence and familiarity with the system grew. Yiadom is consistent, very tough when he tackles, and is doing a great job on the outside.

* Didn't realize Pat Graham was going to be as multiple as he's been, but Graham's done a great job with that and the players have embraced it, even if Graham implements something on a Saturday morning.

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