Giants players and coaches meet the media following Saturday's game:
Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Opening Remarks: I thought the first half, the first group on both sides came out with the right mindset in the third preseason game. It was nice to see the defense put up the points that they put up in the ball game early. I thought we hung in there, we got a little short on numbers in the second half, and we hung in there - guys kept battling and we found a way to stop them on the two-point. We did a nice job with our hands team there at the end.
Q: How do you think Brett Jones did after he came in for John Jerry?
A: I'm going to have to go back and look at the tape.
Q: What went into that decision?
A: We had a few guys we rotated in there with the first group on the offensive line. I thought we moved the ball. We started a little bit slow, but I thought we moved the ball, and we ended up running it fairly decent there, which was encouraging to see against a very physical front.
Q: Was [Brett Jones] coming in on the second drive a result of the first drive?
Q: So, you planned it ahead of time?
Q: The same with T Chad Wheeler coming in for Ereck Flowers?
Q: Why did you want to do that today?
A: To see them against good competition.
Q: CB Donte Deayon moved from the outside to the inside; is that a place where you could see him playing?
A: Ideally, he's an inside player, but you have to have flexibility to help out on the outside.
Q: What would you say is your quick reaction to WR Travis Rudolph's performance tonight?
A: I thought he did some good things – he was productive. I thought there were some contested balls that he should've came down with, but he made the most of his opportunity; he had a chance to shine, and he took advantage of it.
Q: How important is it to see from your offense, being able to run the ball effectively?
A: Again, we came out to evaluate to see if we could run the ball a little bit against a good front. We had our ups and downs with it, but we'll take a look at the tape.
Q: Do you have any updates on WR Odell Beckham Jr. or WR Brandon Marshall?
A: Yeah, they got some treatment today and we'll see how they do.
Q: Was Odell at the game or did you want him off his feet?
A: We thought it was best for Odell to get treatment and not be standing out there.
Q: Was he getting cell treatment?
A: No, he was here today.
Q: Did he go get cell treatment at any point?
A: I don't know what cell treatment is, and I don't know where you go to get it. Other than that, better look somewhere else for that answer.
Q: Talk about the confidence that S Landon Collins seems to be playing with.
A: Landon is a confident player - he's a young player, he flies around. The guys, they feed off of each other on the defensive side of the ball, it's not just one player. It's a bunch of different guys, and you saw a little bit of that today.
Q: Do you have any concern about CB Eli Apple's ankle?
A: I think he did his other ankle today, so I have concerns about both ankles.
Q: What did you think about K Mike Nugent today?
A: He kicked the heck out of the football today. He made a nice long one there for us on the 36-yard line – that's big for us. Both kickers did a nice job today.
Q: Do you feel like you got a monkey off your back finally scoring a touchdown, even if it was on defense?
Q: Is Brett Jones potentially in the running to take G John Jerry's job?
A: We're going to go back, we're going to look at the film, and when we get to the first regular season game, we're going to put the best group out there that we feel can help us win.
Q: How bad is CB Eli Apple's ankle?
A: I'm not sure, I'll have to go talk to the trainers and the doctors about it.
Q: What does Brett Jones give to your offense?
A: He can play either guard, so he has some flexibility. He's a smart guy with some versatility.
Q: Was there a free safety rotation that was different from the other starters?
A: Again, we're just taking a look at different guys who've performed well and deserve an opportunity to get in there and compete for a job.
Q: Some of your decisions were based on the Jets' defensive line. Would you consider them a good test?
A: Very good, yes. They're very good on the defensive front, not just the defensive line. Their linebackers are very good. They're a stout front; they have young safeties that run and fly around, and this was a tremendous challenge for our offensive front - our run blocking unit and our pass protection unit.
Q: Does gaining more traction in the running game give you more confidence?
A: It's better than less traction.
Q: But coming in, does that bolster it?
A: It's better than less, yes. I felt we got one percent better there.
QB Eli Manning
Q: Can you tell us the impact that offensive lineman Brett Jones had when he went into the game?
A: Yeah, I think Brett's done a good job for us. He's a guy who knows what he's doing, knows his assignments, his details and has played well, whether it's center, at guard. I think the offensive line, all those guys did a great job tonight going against a tough front four and guys who do a good job of getting to the quarterback. They gave us time and we hit some throws down the field.
Q: How do you think the first-team offense did as a whole tonight?
A: Well, I thought we did a good job. We moved the ball well. Obviously, we had the interception. I've got to do a better job on that and feeling the pressure and not throwing it right there and getting hit and the ball fluttering up. But besides that, had some good drives. We were able to get into the end zone the other time we got down there close. But I thought the assignments, guys were doing their assignments well and made some plays.
Q: Does it give you confidence that you were able to move the ball downfield without wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall playing tonight?
A: Well, I think we've got some weapons and I thought [wide receiver] Sterling Shepard and [tight end] Evan [Engram] did a good job tonight. [Wide receiver] Roger Lewis made some plays, [wide receiver] Travis Rudolph made some plays. So, those guys have been here the whole time, been practicing, making plays in practice and it showed up today in the game.
Q: How much has tight end Evan Engram improved since the beginning of the summer?
A: Well, he's improved a bunch. He's just playing faster now, has the timing of the routes and he's sharpened his assignments and playing fast and making some plays for us. So, that's good to see.
Q: Was not having scored a touchdown heading into this game something that was hanging over the offense's heads?
A: It's not something that kept me up at night, let's say that. I always want to score, you always want to score points and move the ball, so it was good to have some good drives.
G Brett Jones
Q: How do you feel like you did?
A: I thought I did some good things. I mean, there's things I always can work on. I'm excited to get back and watch the film and see what I can improve for next week.
Q: Do you feel like you're competing for a starting job?
A: I mean, I don't worry what the coaches' decisions are. I've just got to go out and perform and that's just the way I look at it. I control what I can control, and I'm going to go out and perform the best I can and execute at the highest level I can.
Q: It looked like as the game went on your blocking was better, did you feel that was the case?
A: You've got to see the film to see all the things, but just from the flow of the game from the first half, we were definitely moving the ball and doing some positive things. It's exciting. We're on the right track now, and we've just got to keep moving forward.
Q: Was this a good test for you?
A: Oh, definitely. Those are good players out there with 96 (DL Muhammad Wilkerson) and 91 (DL Sheldon Richardson) – those guys are good guys. They got a bunch of them, 92 (DL Leonard Williams) and 98 (DL Mike Pennel). I mean, that's the strength of their team – their front four. So, you want to go out and perform. It's an exciting challenge, but each and every week you're going to get an exciting challenge on the defensive front. That's just the NFL.
Q: Have you played a lot against 3-4 defenses?
A: In my time in the CFL, no. We don't see that very often, we don't have seven defenders usually in the box. In these last few weeks, we've played the Steelers, the Browns were a 3-4 team before. So, we were expecting that, and it's been good for us to see those fronts because we're going to see them later in the year with the defenses we're playing. So, I'd say I've had as much experience as some of the other guys, but definitely I'm prepared to go and play against those fronts.
Q: What's the biggest change for you, is it angles or having a guy over you?
A: Oh yeah, definitely, and the versatility of the fronts. You can do a lot of different things from that front. So it challenges you that way and schematically it's tough, but I think we had a good game plan and it was exciting.
Q: Do you look at this as an opportunity or a competition for that right guard job?
A: I mean, I just try to go out and play whenever I get the opportunity, and it was my opportunity today. So, I want to go out and play the best that I can. Last year was a little disappointing with that, and I just want to make sure that I learn from that experience and I'm prepared for now, and I'm excited for what the next few games are going to be. Yeah, it's exciting.
CB Donte Deayon
Q: Did you think about redeeming yourself from the punt from the last time you played here?
A: I have a short-term memory, so that play has been out of the window. Day by day, I keep trying to stack good days and move forward.
Q: When that ball is in the air, what do you see?
A: I just read the quarterback. Robert [Thomas] got some good pressure on him. Jackrabbit [Janoris Jenkins] made a nice play and it popped in my hands. Then I was just trying to get into the end zone.
Q: Can you describe what you were feeling as you grabbed the ball and headed to the end zone?
A: Excitement. When you get a chance to score a touchdown, it's always exciting.
Q: When was the last time you scored a touchdown?
A: College. UConn. Pick six.
Q: Can you take us through the play?
A: I kind of bobbled it a little bit. I had to make sure I secured the catch first and then I took off running. I looked and saw that the quarterback wasn't going to be able to catch me. I was just excited to get in the end zone.
Q: What's the difference between you this year and last year?
A: Attention to detail. I've been in the playbook real heavy and trying to make sure I'm on top of things mentally. Then over the season, trying to physically get my body right so I don't have soft tissue injuries. My body and my mentality. I have had a year under my belt to figure things out and it's paying off.
Q: How important is it for you to show the versatility to play the slot and also special teams?
A: I think it's important to play in this league as not just a slot guy. You want to be able to show versatility whether it's special teams, outside or inside. You just want to be able to do it all for them and contribute to the team in any way possible.
S Landon Collins
Q: Defense - you got your score, you got Donte Deayon's score, you got JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) on the safety. It was a big night for you guys.
A: Yeah, we were just trying to make some plays and make game-changing plays and be one of those teams that can do that too.
Q: How much confidence does it give to you, the defense, after the way you played today? It's the final dress rehearsal before the regular season.
A: It's an understanding. We practice, we harp on it, it makes us feel confident that we know what we have to do, and we do it well.
Q: Do you feel like this was kind of exactly what you were looking for in this game from the defense?
A: I'm just looking for us to play fast, play sound, be on all our keys and play great defense like we've been doing, and take what we did last year into this year.
Q: Does it feel like you guys are ready for the regular season now?
A: Yeah, we were ready since week one. We've been ready, just ready to be there now.
Q: Can you bring us through the play on the pick. What did you see and how you make the play?
A: Just concept and studying, film study. I got it from Brandon Marshall, he told me to use the route. He's going to read his progressions and maybe throw from there and that's what he did. I sat on it, I knew what the concept of it was with them when they were in the bunch formation, and I broke on it from there.
Q: Is this defense where you want it to be heading into the regular season, given the starters might not all be out there at the same time in the fourth preseason game. Are you guys happy with where you are?
A: Yeah, we're definitely happy with where we're at. Definitely looking to grow, continue to grow and make big plays. Just ready to play all four quarters now and see what we could do. We got a half of it, try to see how we could do four now.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Q: What is the difference between when you are playing well but not getting all of the stats, and the way you are when you accumulate stats?
A: I am just going to beat the person in front of me. That's the game of football. But at the same time, do your assignment. But 9 times out of 10, if you beat the person in front of you, you're going to be okay.
Q: In this game, a tune up for the regular season, is this the result you want to see from your play?
A: You just focus on getting better man. Honestly, I am just focusing on getting better. The players are. We are seeing great things, we just got to get better.
Q: What did you see on the safety?
A: I just saw the ball. Y'all liked that though, right?
Q: Ben [McAdoo] said the other day he wanted to see the defense go from good to great, do you think you guys are almost there?
A: Yeah, but we are going to need everybody man, not just the defense. Everybody, special teams, offense. We are going to go back and look at the film and see what we need to do better as a unit and we will correct those mistakes. That's what training camp is for, just figuring out the mistakes and getting rid of them.
Q: The defense scored half the points, 16 of the 32.
A: Yeah, you know it's going to be like that sometimes. Great offenses take time.
Q: Do you think you can do better than your 16.5 career high sacks?
A: I think I can. Why? Do you want me to?
Q: You look like you're about to with the way you're playing.
A: I don't know. I am just getting warmed up though.
Q: Do you think the first team defense needs any work next Thursday or are you ready for Dallas?
A: I don't know.
WR Travis Rudolph
Q: How do you think you played out there tonight?
A: I felt like I had a pretty decent game.
Q: What were you happy with?
A: The catch, of course. Just making a play.
Q: Can you take us through the play, what happened and how you made the catch?
A: That's just an effort play. I feel like when the ball is in the air, it's mine, so I have to go get it.
Q: Do you feel like you have established some good chemistry with QB Eli Manning that carried over to the game?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: What's the thing you feel you have improved on the most over this summer?
A: Just learning the whole playbook. When I first got here, it was more about thinking. Now, I'm just playing fast.
Q: You seem to be calm out there (on the field). Does big school (Florida State) experience play into it?
A: Yeah. Coming from Florida State, the offense is pretty similar to Florida State, but you have to go out there with confidence and play fast. You're not supposed to think, because when you think, bad things will happen.
Q: Have you gained confidence as this preseason and training camp has gone on?
A: Definitely. Just taking notes from Odell (Beckham Jr.), Brandon (Marshall), Sterling (Shepard) and a lot of veterans and gaining a lot of chemistry with everything.
Q: Did you think you had a chance to score on that play?
A: Yeah. Every time I get the ball, I feel like I have a chance to score. Unfortunately, I didn't.
Q: WR Sterling Shepard said he has to look at it, but it might be a fine (for not scoring).
A: Yeah, that might be a fine. We (the wide receivers) hold ourselves to make plays and finish off on them. It might be a fine, but we have to see.
Q: That would not be the most horrible way to lose a couple of bucks, right?
A: No, it's not a horrible way. It just drives you more to get the ball in your hands and score.
Q: It shows the standard to make great plays and even better ones, right?
A: Yeah, that's the standard.
Q: Is Sterling the only guy who decides that (a player gets fined)?
A: No, it's the whole (wide receivers) room. We have a board in our room, and we mark down fines for someone.
Q: Maybe Marshall would stick up for you.
A: We'll see.
Q: WR Dwayne Harris is pretty active in that, isn't he?
A: Oh, he's the toughest one, honestly.
Q: Does it add to all of you guys bonding?
A: Yeah. It's a great bond in the whole room. Like I said, it's brotherly love in there.
Q: Stick up for yourself, okay?
A: Definitely. I'm not just going to give in.
Q: When you were coming into this game as a starter, did you approach it differently? It must be hard not to be aware of the opportunities at stake.
A: No, it's the same thing. It's the same approach; coming in to the third, fourth or first quarter, it's the same approach. You have to make the best of every opportunity.
Q: Do you think you're showing your knowledge and your ability to be in the right place?
A: Yeah. It's not even just in the games; it's in practice, too. You have to earn the coach's trust to even put you out there. That's what it is.
Q: Do you sense that people are starting to notice you a little bit more? What has this been like?
A: Yeah, I guess so. I don't really think of it that much. I just want the coaches and the players to notice me.
Q: Does it make a difference to be on the field, whatever field it is, with QB Eli Manning?
A: Slightly. You just want to be right. You don't want to do the wrong thing. It is what it is, really.
Q: What happens if you do something wrong with Eli?
A: Nothing bad. He communicates with you. He talks it out with you just like, "Look, this is what you've got." He's one intelligent quarterback, one of the best to communicate.
Q: How helpful is it for a guy like you learning the ropes?
A: It's very helpful because it basically makes you feel comfortable. Coming out there and knowing that you have to go out with the 1's (starting group), it's really nerve-wracking at first. But he comforts you.
Q: Do you maintain the focus that you want to make this team? Or if you think that the roster gets too crowded, you want to show that you can make a team?
A: I'm just coming out and doing the best that I can do. It's all in God's hands and it's in coach's hands, so I'm just trying to come out and be who I can be.
Q: Do you feel good leaving the building tonight?
A: Yeah, I feel good.
Kicker Mike Nugent
Q: Did it feel good when you hit the 54-yard field goal?
A: Yeah, it came off my foot really well. I just did a good job of keeping my head down. I got to give it to the guys up front, the blocking is always great here. I've noticed that every day. My job is a lot easier when I get snaps and holds like I do with these two guys. So, it is nice going up to a field goal thinking everything else is going to be great. I just have to make sure to do my job.
Q: The next kickoff after the 54-yarder went out of the end zone, were you pumped up after making that one?
A: I think I was honestly just more under control. I think the first two I hit well, but not as good as I wanted to and I wasn't ecstatic about the placement on both of them and I just realized I have to be more under control and I need that to be on the first kickoff and not the third one.
Q: You basically have no control of when you are going to get out there, is getting two 50 yarders, the best-case scenario for you?
A: Yeah, especially in the preseason when you want to try to get as much exposure as possible. You don't know what is going to happen when the time comes when the roster has to go down so it's good to be able to put some good kicks on film and try to be the same player every day.
Q: What is your take on how this is going down? Neither one of you guys have missed a kick this preseason.
A: I can't really speak for Aldrick [Rosas] but it has been a lot of fun I think. I talked to him the first day and it was like, when you work out, you like to be with someone else, when you run you like to be with someone else because you have somebody to compare yourself to. There are things that he does that I think to myself, 'he is doing that well, I got to do a better job of it', so I think we are both learning a lot from each other. At the end of the day, we only won by a point tonight, but its good we had all the points put on the board for our opportunities.
Q: Do you think it is important given your age that you can still make those long kicks?
A: I think so. Whether you are Adam Vinatieri or a rookie, that is what the preseason is for. You get a feel for everything. We talked a little bit this week about how the season can be a rollercoaster and hopefully as a kicker you can be the same player every day and make that pretty steady and not so much the ups and downs.
Q: Do you think your long-distance kicking might have been a question they might have had?
A: I wouldn't say strength-wise. That is the great thing and the tough thing about being a kicker. Everything is pretty black and white. It's either a make or a miss. There is no grey area. It is all very objective so, I am not ecstatic about my numbers over 50 so, I think it is something that I am definitely going to have to prove not only in practice, not only in preseason, but in the regular season as well. I have gotten myself in certain situation where I try to kick it harder, but it is like, 'hit the same ball', that is what I was taught from day one and I think I did a good job of that tonight and I just have to do that when the next time comes.
Q: And you hit two of them so that has to make you feel good about what they think of you.
A: Yeah, it does. It's one of those things where you're lucky if you hit a 22 yarder or a 52 yarder so, whenever it is your turn, just make sure you do your job.
Q: Did you expect this competition to be so even?
A: I really didn't know how it would play out. I really didn't know because I have had preseasons before where I have been the only guy and I have attempted four field goals in four games and I have had others where I have attempted 12 or 14 so, I think one great thing is we are seeing a lot of situations. Getting some extra points in there tonight. I don't know how we are doing field goal wise, but I obviously know how accurate we have been with how many we've had. It's good we've seen a lot of situations. That's one thing that is great about the preseason and hopefully you get to the regular season and think, 'well we saw this two weeks ago.'
Q: It seems like it is going to come down to the wire.
A: It could. I can't speak for Aldrick, but I think both of us are doing a great job of coming in and doing our job when it is our turn and we have coaches that take great care of our bodies. I am not kicking a million balls a day, every day. So, I think that really plays a part in training camp especially when you are 35 years old. This organization has been great about kicking and things like that and making sure we are at our best when the time comes.