S Deon Grant
Q: How does it feel to be back?A: It felt great. I am ready to come back and make some things happen and start the season off the right way.
Q: Did you think you would be back?A: In the back of my mind, I knew I would be back here. This is where I wanted to be. There were a lot of situations that I turned down. I didn't make sure that I stayed on the board but I was glad that I was still on the board and the Giants gave me that phone call.
Q: What do you hope to bring this year?A: A lot of leadership. Make a lot of plays and just be productive. Everything I need to do to keep those guys right and do whatever we need to do as far as winning games.
Q: Did you keep in contact with the Giants a lot?A: It was a couple coaches that I was talking to and I talked to the players like every other day. I have a great relationship with some guys so I talked to them like every day.
Q: Why did you turn down other teams?A: I felt like I started something here last year and we didn't finish it. When I have something like that in my hands, I like to finish it and with all the things going on in Philly right now, that is the team I like to face. I am a competitive guy so with them and all the additions that they made, I wanted to be on the other side of the ball going against that.
Q: How do you feel about playing them?A: We are definitely going to make it a competitive situation and we are going to be ready.
Q: Do you think the Giants are being overlooked?A: That is good and Dallas are underdogs and that's a good thing. We just have to make sure that we do what we do. We have to worry about us. We can't worry about what's going on in Philly, New England, the Jets, no where else. We just have to make sure that we take care of New York Giants football and we will win games by doing that.
Q: What do you think you will be asked to do?A: Whatever my role is, I am going to do it and make the best out of it. Last year, I came in with a mindset. This year, I am just coming in to play ball and if I need to be a bigger leader in the locker room and my playtime may not be as much or my playtime will be much and I am less of a leader, whatever the case may be. I am just coming in here to do what it takes to win games.
Q: How good is it not having to go through that get-to-know-you process?A: We were good last year. It was just that we had a lot with learning the new defense and meeting guys at the same time. As far as us getting to know each other on a personal level and building a relationship, that was the easy part.
Q: What do you think the state of this team is?A: Seeing people leave is a part of this business. This is my fourth team and that's a part of this business and a lot of the guys know that. A lot of people start their careers off in New York but there have been some additions and that's the reason why they have been winning games and won the Super Bowl a few years ago. That's a part of football and in the NFL sometimes you may see them and sometimes you may not so you just have to make the best out of it while you are here.
Q: Who are some of the guys you talked to on the team?A: Jacobs, Bradshaw, Tuck, Osi, I can go on and on. I have great relationships with all those guys so those were the guys I was going back and forth with.
Q: Did you make some roster moves?
A: Deon Grant joined us this afternoon.
Q: Can you talk about Grant and how he fits in back there with the other safeties?
A: Well, he's a veteran safety who's always been a guy that you can rely on for knowing everybody's assignments and being able to really understand the game. He's very smart. He's played a long time. He's just a good, good, solid football player that we know will help us back there.
Q: Is there a reason why you signed him now?
A: After one game and into the second game. It's part of the evaluation process.
Q: Are you ready to go back to the three-safety looks?
A: That's a possibility.
Q: Was Coach Fewell lobbying to bring Deon back for that?
A: No, not really. No.
Q: Did it have anything to do with what you saw on the field with the young guys?
A: It always has to do with a little something like that.
Q: You got to see a guy like Tyler Sash fit in …
A: Tyler is probably one of the guys who did pretty well. It's just a matter of the quality, the numbers projected. Another week from now where will we be? We need to get out in front of what the next moves are elsewhere in order to be able to have a player that we think we're probably going to need down the road.
Q: How much does Grant's presence in the locker room factor in?
A: You have to have solid people in the locker room, something to rely on … A guy who's been there and done it and can help a lot of the younger guys.
Q: When you see a guy like Will Beatty jawing at Osi, what do you think?
A; It usually comes from the other one. Osi usually gets them going. It's very competitive. It's been healthy. It's been real good. They've been doing that since Will got here as a rookie. Probably someday Osi's going to take credit for Beatty.
Q: Do you see more confidence in Beatty though?
A: Oh yeah. He's got a ways to go, but I do see it.
Q: Even though it's only practice, can that help bring out the pressure that you want to see in a guy like that?
A: Just to work against 90 (Pierre-Paul) and 72 (Osi), just to be over on that left side looking at those guys every day, you better bring your 'A' game to practice.
Q: You could be embarrassed out there. If you have a bad day…
A: That hasn't happened, but it could.
Q: Does that surprise you a little bit that it hasn't happened? That JPP hasn't embarrassed him?
A: They've gone really well against each other. They both have played, competed, and done well, very well, in practice. That helps us advance.
Q: You talked yesterday about how Jernigan has played the last few days and then the game …
A: I thought he was better too. I thought he practiced better. I thought he had a little more confidence and a little bit more about what he was trying to accomplish. I think we just have to continue to bring that out of him.
Q: The new kickoff rules and the fact that teams are returning the ball out of the end zone
A: You need that. Most teams are encouraging the returner to bring it out. Therefore, it's best to cover unit plus the kickoff return team. You need to see it. That's why you see so much of it going on in the preseason. People are bringing it out from buried deep. They're told to do that and told this is the only way we're going to have a chance to evaluate our kickoff return.
Q: Do you think it'll be more conservative when the regular season begins?
A: We'll see.
Q: What was the thinking with the new kickoff rules
A: In the beginning, it was all the safety. The players' safety was the preface to the rule. That's the way it was presented. That's the way it was accepted.
Q: Aren't those collisions…
A: Sure, but there's a counting on less defense.
Q: Tynes, do you think he's going to make progress?
A: Yeah, I think he is. I don't think it's going to be any 'wow' all of the sudden the next day I feel a whole lot better kind of thing. It's going to take some time.
Q: Last week you kept talking about guys that weren't coming back. Is Deon enough of a guy that there's a little bit of a boost that we got someone back?
A: I think so. I think the players will be excited to have Deon back in the locker room.
Q: How are your punters doing so far?
A: I like what they did the other night. I like the competition. I hope it continues. When you take 50 yards in returns and you still have a net of 39.4 or whatever that was, that's pretty impressive.
Q: Can you determine roles in the running game yet? How they're going to share the work?
A: It usually sorts itself out pretty well. We'll get to that the more opportunities we give to them in a game.
Q: What did you guys like about Derek Martin?
A: He worked out very well for us. He was actually playing pretty well before he got hurt last year. He has special teams credentials which is something we're constantly looking at.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw**
Q: How did it feel to be back out there playing?
A: It felt great. I love this game and that's where we should be. We should be playing football and I'm glad to be back.
Q: Are you worried at all about the offense?
A: Not at all, we know what we can do. We know we need a lot more work and we will get better as it comes.
Q: How different is it playing with a new offensive line?
A: No, it doesn't feel new. It feels the same. We have a lot of great guys up front and they are trustworthy. All they have to do is get to their blocks and I think we can make a lot of progress.
Q: Have the running back roles been defined?
A: It is the same as last year. We will take turns doing what we do. We are both good backs, no matter what situation they put us in. We can handle business.
Q: Are you capable of running in short yardage situations?
A: Oh definitely. I will be in short yardage and be able to use my speed around the corner if I have to and my power up the middle.
Q: Do you need reps in the preseason?
A: We just want to stay fresh. That is what it is about, staying healthy and getting your work in at the same time. Hopefully we can all get reps and get some work in during the preseason and like I said, just be healthy for the first game.
Q: Is this the best you have felt in a while?
A: In years, and I feel great.
Q: What is it exactly?
A: You know it is a little bit of everything. I just feel fresh and young again. Like I said, I feel tremendous on my feet.
Q: You haven't felt this good before in the preseason?
A: It just takes a toll. The screws I have now in my feet make it feel 10 times better. The factures were just bad on my feet.
Q: So was the lockout a good thing for you?
A: It was a great thing. I got to spend a lot of time with my family and just rest. That was a huge thing, just rest.
Q: Do you expect to practice every day?
A: I love to practice. It gets us better. However we can maintain and stay fresh, I think it will help.
S Antrel Rolle
Q: Deon Grant is back?
A: Yeah. That's always a great thing. I've been pushing for him to come back. I think he's a key asset to the defensive team, made a number of plays for us last year at the safety position. It would be a blessing to have him back on the field with us.
Q: Can you guys employ the three-safety scheme again?
A: Perry Fewell. It was his mastermind of an idea. We were just the ones who went out there and executed. It involved a lot of communication. It involved a lot of practice, a lot of communication and a lot of study time.
Q: How would you describe Deon's locker room presence?
A: He's a definite leader, on and off the field. He was one of the older guys in the unit. He's been around. He knows exactly what it takes to win games around here. He's a very, very smart player, extremely smart. He wouldn't only help the defensive backs, he would help the defensive line, the linebackers, anyone he could help, he would obviously help.
Q: Were you telling the team to bring him back or recruiting him back?
A: Both. I knew what he meant to this unit and I also knew how he helped me out last year. He helped me out a lot last year. Having him back is a plus for the whole defense and for myself.
Q: He came here thinking he was going to start and then lost the position right before the season.
A: Yeah, he was a professional about it. He was a professional about it. I don't think it was the best situation for him. In my eyes, I definitely see him as a starter, but he knew his role coming into the season and he played the best ball that I've seen him play in a long time. Like I said, we had a (number) of players, but every time he was on the field he made something happen. That's all you can ask for.
Q: Are you, Kenny Phillips and Deon Grant as good as safeties as any team can put on the field?
A: I think it's going to be a great fit for us. A lot better than last year being that last year there was a lot of mental gymnastics going on out there. I consider myself a smart guy when it comes to football. Obviously, it wasn't easy for me. There was a lot of communication. It took a lot of study time, a lot of shifts and motions and adjustments. You always had to think on the go and you had to do a lot of thinking. It wasn't just a one-assignment technique. I think it's definitely going to be a better unit.