Giants coaches and players speak with the media as the team opens the preseason against the Steelers:
Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Opening Remarks: I'll start off by talking about the effort we saw out there tonight. Some good effort out there tonight. We had a lot of work to do, and we got some good tape on some guys who were on the bubble – a lot of teaching tape. They'll have the day off tomorrow to get their bodies right and get back to work on Sunday.
Q: How do you think QB Davis Webb did in his first NFL appearance?
A: I thought he had some ups and downs in there. He competed nicely, came out of the pocket, had some chances to make some plays, he did fairly well.
Q: What did you think of the offensive tempo when QB Josh Johnson was out there?
A: Yea, we were in and out of the huddle. There were sometimes we were at the line of scrimmage for a little bit, but I thought we moved the ball fairly well. We had a couple decent runs there early on, and had the chance to put the ball in the end zone there, but we've got to finish through.
Q: What do you make of the three sacks in the first quarter with your starting offensive line?
A: It was more than just the offensive line, it wasn't just the offensive line. I'll have to go back and take a look. There was a mistake on the outside where the quarterback had to eat the ball on one occasion. Then there was one extended play, where we had to throw the ball away. So, we can't blame the offensive line.
Q: Was that supposed to be a screen pass?
Q: What did you see off of QB Geno Smith's interception?
A: It looked like it was a blind throw.
Q: What's your initial reaction to how QB Geno Smith did in his first game back?
A: He started off with a hot hand, completed the ball, it was unfortunate there on the turnover. I thought he had some good accuracy and managed the game well.
Q: How do you think K Aldrick Rosas responded to the kicker competition tonight?
A: I thought both kickers kicked real well. I've never been so excited to kick a field goal.
Q: What did you think of the running game tonight?
A: Again, there's some good and some bad; there's some bad and there's some ugly. We need to clean it up and get better.
Q: Were you happy with CB Donte Deayon tonight?
A: Yeah, we wanted to get a good look at him, but he's got to take care of the ball. That's what stood out to me.
Q: What was your reaction today that Ezekiel Elliot was suspended for six games?
A: One team is enough for me to worry about right now.
Q: You don't look at that at all?
A: I've got one team – that's enough.
Q: What's it like to have a guy like S Landon Collins?
A: Yeah, he likes to play. He likes to play football, he's always around the ball, he has a nose for the ball, and he's a hammer when he gets there.
Q: What do you think your team can do differently to convert those red zone opportunities into touchdowns?
A: Not run out of bounds before you catch a touchdown would be a good start.
Q: What did you think of your first-string defense?
A: Yeah, I just answered a question about Landon. Two three-and-outs, we like that.
LB B.J. Goodson
Q: How did you feel the whole operation with the defensive starters went in those first few series out there. You guys got off to a strong start, just the communication and everything with you guys?
A: Yeah, everything was great. The communications, putting those guys in the right places, everything went smooth. Q: It seems like guys were flying around out there, guys kind of just knowing where to be.
A: Knowing where to be, communication, pre-snap, post-snap, and everybody trusting in everyone else.Q: In some ways, did this feel like a beginning for you? Like a new start, a new chapter for you?
A: Definitely, but you know, I've always been preparing for this moment, so it's definitely a personal great start but like I was saying earlier, I wish I could've come away with the W because as a leader of the defense, that is what you always want to come away with.Q: How did that sack feel?
A: It was great, it was great. We had quite a few opportunities to get after the quarterback; we took and we made our layups.
Q: Did you just read that snap count, did you anticipate that or was it something else?
A: Just reading the quarterback pre-snap. Getting comfortable with his cadence throughout the game. That's kind of how it came about.Q: How did it feel for you, first time out there in a game, middle linebacker, just commanding everything in the middle there?
A: I did it quite a few snaps last year, just getting comfortable with it last year. As this year and camp, you know before camp, just getting those guys to feel comfortable, that's my biggest thing. The guys around me being comfortable, so, as long as those guys are comfortable and in place to make their plays, as far as myself, that is my job.Q: You're basically responsible for relaying the calls and the stunts to the defensive line, Is that pretty much what your role is?
A: Yeah, the front end and the back end.Q: First time in a game, you practice a little different right. Did you feel good?
A: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, today it felt great out there. I just had fun, I had an opportunity to fly around and get the calls out and make sure that everyone else is in place, so they could fly around and just have fun with it.
Q: Was there anything on the field that you saw with your naked eye that maybe you just felt that you have to improve on?
A: Not a certain area, but you can always get better at something. Obviously, we'll get back in and watch the tape, and come away with things to work on.Q: Did you guys hear the news at all about [HB] Ezekiel Elliott being suspended? Was that something that you talked about with the team?
A: No. Whether he's there or not, the game plan, I'm pretty sure, will be the same.Q: You set a schedule for yourself in terms of where you're going to be in the preseason. How do you feel you are right now in your first preseason game, as far as being on schedule?
A: I feel great about it. Just leading our guys and leading the troops, that's what I'm here for and I feel really good about it. I'm embracing it, the guys are embracing me in that position and I think that is the most important thing.**
TE Evan Engram**
Q: What is your goal moving forward in order to keep improving?
A: Really, just keep playing fast. I was really comfortable out there. Just studying really hard and knowing your stuff just makes the game a lot easier. When you're out there really second guessing yourself and second guessing what you have in your assignments. So really, just making sure I lock in every week and know the material and know the game plan so I can play the game and we can all be successful. Knowing your stuff just makes the game a lot easier, for sure.Q: Is there anything that you look back on tonight's game and wish that it went better?
A: A couple plays. A couple plays where maybe the pocket broke down, maybe if we got a [little] more time, we could've made a couple more big plays. I could've maybe had some better steps on the block. There was one block that I could've got more inside on. Just a couple plays that, just fixed a couple things. But overall, I think that it was a good experience and definitely a good starting point for us to build on.Q: What did you think of your blocking tonight?
A: I went head-up with a couple of big dudes out there. I think I held my own pretty good. Like I said, maybe some stuff to work on, maybe some better steps here and there, but that's what the film is for. But I definitely felt I was physical and got in there when need be.Q: How was your blocking tonight different than what you were asked to do in college?
A: I mean, I did a good bit [in college]. It was a lot of blocking out of the backfield, it wasn't a lot of inline blocking. So, that's been different. But, it's still the same mindset, it's a mentality. Be physical and just want to be sharper with my techniques.Q: Were you blocking Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt at all tonight?
A: No, I didn't. He was in a couple plays I was in, but he was either dropped in coverage, or we didn't go head-up. I was looking forward to it, he's a good friend of mine, but he's going to be a good player. I was looking forward to competing with him.Q: Who were you up against tonight?
A: I think I went up against 55 [linebacker Arthur Moats]. I know [defensive end Cameron] Heyward was out there, I had him a couple plays. I think 91 [defensive end Stephon Tuitt], a couple of d-ends.Q: How do you think your first NFL game lived up to your expectations?
A: This stuff, you can't put into words. This feeling, this dream come true. And to be out here with these guys, it was really exciting. I can't honestly put it into words. It was just a really unique and amazing feeling. I felt really at home out there. I felt really at home, I felt comfortable and I can't wait to just keep building on tonight for the rest of the season.
Safety Landon Collins
Q: You made the first two plays tonight. Have you been waiting to play football?
A: Definitely. Most definitely. Just glad to be out here with my guys showcasing our skill. A few of the first team guys out on the field, so we just have to showcase that we are still a force to reckon with. By doing so in the first two plays, I mean, I made some good plays. That just happened within our defense.
Q: What are you doing to get better this year?
A: What I do to get better, I mean, I stay on my books, stay on my film work. I don't pressure myself into being better. I pressure myself into working to get better. That just comes when the time comes. That's just my ultimate goal.
Q: Can the Giants defense be the best defense in the NFL?
A: Yes. If we continue working as we work and continue working as a whole, working against that type of offense we have now. We're definitely going to be one of the best out there.
Q: Are you the best defense in the NFL yet?
A: Not yet. Not yet.
Kicker Aldrick RosasQ: What range do you feel comfortable at?
A: I mean, I would say anywhere inside the 60, I feel great. Throw me out there.Q: Are you learning anything from the veteran K Mike Nugent?
A: Yeah. He's great. We're both kicking the ball very well. There's a lot of questions I can ask him about, you know, how to warm up pregame. We're bouncing back and forth from each other and we're both competing and we're both doing great.Q: How did that 53-yarder feel?
A: Hey, I mean, the whole operation, the whole field goal operation – the snap, the hold at the line and the kick. It was all great. So, it was easy for me to just go out and swing away and just do my job.Q: Have you ever hit a 50-yarder in a game?
A: In high school. Yeah.
Q: What was your longest field goal in high school?
A: 55.Q: Did you have nerves coming out here today?
A: No. I felt good. It was great to be back in the atmosphere of the NFL, the atmosphere here, so it was good to come out and compete and show what I can do – put it on film.
QB Josh Johnson
Q: You were able to put some points on the board in the third drive. How did it feel?
A: It felt good to be able to get out there and get our feet wet. I'm anxious to get on the film, see what we can learn from, get better from. We have to score touchdowns in the green zone. Not scoring touchdowns wasn't good enough. We have to get some first downs. Defense made some great plays getting some turnovers and were able to put some points up on the board. We need touchdowns, though.
Q: How important was it for you to get live game action?
A: It's important because, you know, you get your feet wet, get back into the flow of things. So it's extremely important just to get back in a live situation. We have a great opportunity to learn from it and then grow from it.Q: What do you think of your performance?
A: Just off the top of my head, there are a couple of plays that I wish I could have back. Everyone, we all have something to clean up; that's part of the first preseason game. Besides that, it was just good to get back out there.Q: What positives can you take?
A: I was able to respond when something didn't go our way or when something went wrong. Just being able to respond. We had some opportunities to score some touchdowns. Obviously, we didn't come up with it. Just being able to respond and communicate, be on the same page with all the guys was big. Being out there with the ones and running some plays.Q: Did it take a little while getting into a rhythm and bringing what you did on a practice field into a regular game?
A: A little bit. Just getting back into the flow of football again. It's different than practicing. The first drive, they sacked me. I got the feel that we were really back. You never go in with that mindset, but it's just getting your body acclimated. Being able to see the field. As we went on, we got better.
QB Geno SmithQ
: Did you have a little confusion today, not knowing which locker room to go to?
A: No, I knew exactly which locker room to go to. I went over to the other entrance to see if that was still available, but I had to go in the tent.Q: How did you feel about what you were able to do tonight?
A: We haven't watched the tape yet, but we did some solid things out there. I think there's also a lot of things we can improve on. So, once we go back and watch the film, we'll be able to assess that and see exactly where I need to improve.Q: How did your knee feel out on the field?
A: It felt great. Obviously, there's going to be general soreness from playing the game and having that many reps - more than being accustomed to. Overall it felt great, it felt stable, I moved around good, and I'm very pleased with that.Q: What happened on the interception?
A: It was just one of those things where coach always talks about making a bad play worse with miscommunication. That's solely on me, I'd never put that on anyone else.Q: Did it feel unusual playing in this building?
A: Not at all. You know what, I was very excited and eager to get out there. It was a special moment for me, my first time putting this uniform on with these guys. It was fun. I had a lot of fun, I was excited, eager to get out there. Once I went out there I just played, and I didn't think about much, and I tried to make the right reads and do the right thing.Q: That first series, did it feel pretty good?
A: It felt good. It felt good to just get out there and play again. It's been awhile since I've been able to go out there and have some actual competition and some guys who really wanted to hit me and get after it. So, it felt good.Q: How did the hits feel?
A: They didn't feel as good, but I was able to get back up and that's a positive sign.Q: Is that a big deal, getting the first one?
A: Yes, the first one is always the biggest one, but I was able to bounce back up. I didn't think twice.Q: Was that on the first play or did it take you a couple?
A: I can't remember exactly which one, but whichever one it was, it didn't affect me too much.Q: Did your knee feel okay?
A: It felt great. It felt fine, it feels fine. No issues.Q: That timeout call in the first series, why did you call that timeout?
A: It was something where the clock had got down on me. I was trying to make some adjustments to the protection. It got down to two seconds and I had to call a timeout.\Q: The next play was the sack, what happened there?
A: The disguised it well – they held it and they got me on that one.Q: You have to acknowledge the competition going on, do you think you took a good first step in that competition?
A: Honestly, I've just got to continue to improve. We don't really try and focus on that part of it because this game is hard enough as it is. So, I know that there's some things I could have done better on the field, and that's what I really focus on. Trying to be my best at every single occasion. I felt like today I was okay, but I can improve a lot.Q: Did you know when you were going to go in or were you waiting for the signal?
A: They tell you. They tell you ahead of time. Coach told me to start warming up, so I kind of got the idea from that.Q: How was the first quarter and a half just watching?
A: I was out there rooting Josh on, we were on the sidelines talking over some things that we were seeing. I was just trying to process it all and have a clear understanding of what was going on by the time I got out there.Q: You talked about WR Travis Rudolph.
A: Yeah Travis, he's a good player. I'm pretty sure there's some things he'll say he can improve on, too, but you can see flashes of him just being a really good player out there.