Q: What was the issue with Michael Boley's back yesterday?A: Spasms, it tightened up on him. Of course, he's had every test known to man and I guess it feels better today.
Q: So he's good to go?A: We'll see. We'll have to see how he feels before he comes out.
Q: And the injuries to JPP and Darius Reynaud?
A: Darius has a hamstring and JPP just has some ongoing back issues.
Q: Can you talk about Will Beatty's progress?
A: Is this your first day here because we've been talking about Will Beatty since August whatever. His progress has been good; it's been steady. He has great work in camp because he goes against outstanding defensive ends. We expect a lot out of him and he's come back here ready to play and has made good progress.
Q: Is this new kicker Rhys Lloyd just a temporary fill-in or is there a chance you might keep him.
A: Well, let's see what happens. Right now, it's a necessity to go into this game. He was very impressive in his workout. We'll see how it goes.
Q: Does a kickoff specialist become more or less important when they moved the kick up 5 yards?
A: Well it depends. Do you like it in the stands behind the goal post. Right now in preseason they're running them out from 8-9 yards deep. I don't expect that to keep happening. Accuracy and field goals are probably going to be most important.
Q: Is there a chance that you will carry two kickers?
A: Right now I would say we have two kickers but we have 90. It gets a little tougher when you start talking 53.
Q: We expected you to bring in a guy for a couple weeks whileLawrenceheals but to bring in a guy who has never tried a field goal but is a kickoff specialist…?
A: He was 4-for-4 yesterday in field goals.
Q: Could he be competition for a healthyLawrenceTynes?
A: Right now he's the kicker of record for the game on Monday night, thank you very much.
Q: You still have 11 days before cuts do you do sort of a daily ranking or will you wait until you get closer?
A: Yeah I do, I keep track of them on a daily basis. Who has impressed who and so on and so forth. We'll do that a lot. We rank after every game. We do a top 25 for the game, special teams, ranks by position. We do a lot of that.
Q: Are you starting to see separation?
A: I'm starting to see some guys that look to me like they can really help the team. That's basically where it starts for me.
Q: When you look at the kickoff coverage and punt return coverage compared to last year, you've got a lot of new kids coming in, how would you say it has progressed?
A: Well it better progress from week to week. A lot of that stems from tackling. If we tackle better, the coverage will be better. We missed a couple opportunities for spectacular plays the other day.
Q: Where is the progression right now?
A: Where is it? It's going from game one to game two. That's where it is.
Q: Your quarterback yesterday said he was in the top 5, top 10 in the league. Would you agree?
A: I do, but what would you expect him to say? He is for me.
Q: Paysinger got some first team reps while Boley was hurt. He looked pretty impressive.
A: He's been very impressive, yeah. Keep going. Get these young guys to keep playing well. Don't hit the wall.
Q: Do you see him as a linebacker that is best in open space?
A: He's been all around. He's been very good with special teams. He's been good with coverage opportunities. He's been athletic in all the drills.
Q: Eli said he's not a 25-interception quarterback. Is that a misleading stat with all the tipped balls or is that something he can improve on this season?
A: Oh you definitely can improve and I'm sure he will. He had a tipped ball interception at the end of the day yesterday which ticked everybody off. He definitely will make a change. He's so much aware of it and so anti-turnover that he will.
Q: Are all the tipped ball interceptions something he can change?
A: Sometimes you can. Sometimes it's better to, instead of take a risk like that, throw it away. Sometimes it's the high balls. A little more accuracy perhaps.
Q: He's been pretty good with turnovers. In previous years. it was more of a veteran receiving group and now he's relying on a lot of younger receivers. Can he get back to where he was?
A: Good question. When there's a little bit of doubt as to what that receivers are going to do under certain circumstances doesn't help.
Q: You've been looking for a slot guy with Steve Smith gone. Are you looking for a particular slot guy or is it just your best three receivers on the field?
A: Well the best three will have to adapt. I don't think you're going to get a fourth guy on the field ahead of a third guy. Hopefully the three that are the best will find someone that can go in there. A lot of times you start talking about the slot and there's a preconceived idea of what it is. Not to use the word possession but when Manningham is in there and you see it from the standpoint of after practice evaluation and see the opportunities in the middle of the field, for me I start thinking about speed in the middle of the field and the fact that people are going to have to be very much aware of opening up the middle of the field with somebody like him and the ability to go in there. Even though there wasn't a lot accomplished yesterday I was kind of excited about some of the things I saw.
Q: Can you talk about the value of this week's practices leading up to the game on Monday?
A: Well it's been two good days. We've had good enthusiasm. We've worked hard. Again, we're in situations – offense, defense and special teams – and this will be the third day. Got to be the same thing every day at a championship level with players demanding of players that the performance be very, very high. That's the only way it's going to get to a championship level. You'd like the execution to be perfect but you have to remember, you're going against each other. Somebody did something right. Even if you didn't like what you saw on one side, perhaps you like what you saw on the other.
LB Mathias KiwanukaQ: Is there a difference of philosophy in playing strongside versus weakside?**A: We're trying to do a lot of different things right now. Wherever I line up, wherever everybody on the defense lines up – I think we have a lot of guys who can play a lot of different positions, myself included. Trying to mix it up.
Q: Was Saturday's game any kind of barrier that you were trying to cross?A: I've been through this before, unfortunately. The first game back from an injury, whether it's preseason or not, it's always good to get out there. The adrenaline is going to be pumping regardless of the circumstances. I felt good coming out of the game and I feel good going forward.
Q: Because of the nature of this injury, is there hesitation?A: No. I think it was actually a little easier because I've been through it before. I've been in the league for a while now. Felt good to come out of it.
Q: Not something you want to be familiar with?A: No. If I had my way, I would never experience that, but it is what it is.
Q: Is coverage the biggest thing you have to learn?A: I think that transition, I crossed that bridge when I went from being a full-time down lineman to being a full-time linebacker. This year everything is already familiar with me. We did a lot of that stuff at the beginning of last year before I went down. It's not that big of an issue.
Q: Do you wear a special brace at the back of your pads?A: Yeah, just a little neck brace. Nothing serious.
Q: Makes you look a little bigger.A: A little bigger. Add a little [size]. Yeah that's part of it.
Q: A little bit of a tougher look?A: A little bit.
Q: Is it comfortable?A: After the first day it was fine. I really didn't notice it after that. We adjusted it a little bit, but I don't think it's changed anything about how I play. It's just there. Some of it might be mental, but it really does help you stop your neck from snapping back. It's purely precautionary. There's no recurrence or anything like that.
LB Spencer Paysinger
Q: And you had to catch up to it or you felt like you're ok with it?A: It took me a couple plays to catch up to it, but I think by mid to end of the day I was trying to get on their segment. Obviously, I've only been here about two or three weeks, but I think I held my own.
Q: You made a couple plays yesterday. When you saw the tape, were you pleased with what you did there?A: Yeah, I mean there are always some corrections that can be made, but overall I think I did well for my first day.
Q: …special teams has got to be an important thing. How do you feel about that?A: I think it's very important. I'm a rookie trying to make the team, so special teams can be a good platform to make that. I'm trying to get on any special teams I can, whether it's running down, kick-off or blocking somebody on the kick-off return.
Q: Did you play much in college?A: Yeah. I started all four years on about two or three special teams.
Q: When you looked at a couple of offers coming, what was it about this team that made you want to come here?A: Just the overall organization. The coaches have been here for a long time together. I knew a lot about the linebacking coach and Coach Coughlin is a great coach. They had a lot of veterans on defense, so I knew if I came here I'd be able to learn a lot.
Q: You're a west coast guy, right? From L.A.?A: Yeah.
Q: Was that a big change for you to come out here?A: A very big change. When I got the call I was actually on my way to train, and then about two or three hours later I was on a plane coming out here. I said a lot of quick goodbyes and then hopped on a plane for five hours.
Q: What do you think of the area here?A: I love it so far. I mean, I've only seen here and the hotel. A lot of my friends have been asking me how the big city is, and I say I wouldn't know yet. In about a week or so maybe I'll try to get over there.
Q: How's the groin—is everything ok?A: Yes, everything is fine right now. I'm just keeping a little wrap on it, just because right now, but everything is fine.
Q: It must be frustrating when you're here trying to make a team, trying to make plays and then you have to miss a couple practices. Is it scary?
A: Yeah. Speaking for a lot of guys that have been injured the past couple days--rookies trying to make the team also—we felt like we've had a couple good practices and then get out with a groin or something else. It kind of takes it away. It takes away opportunities, takes away …Obviously, we want to be back on the team and we want to be practicing.
Q: Coughlin said he thought he was going to leave you out for some time. Didn't seem like it was that bad, did you surprise yourself?A: It was relatively light. I've had some in the past in high school and college and I felt like this was one of the more mild ones. I knew I wouldn't be out for a long time. I just needed some rest and relaxation.
Q: What were the parameters that they gave you in terms of your opportunity to compete? What exactly did they think the potential was for you to come here?A: They said I had good potential to come here. They liked me in coverage; they liked me on special teams. They are looking for other roles such as Michael Boley that can cover somebody 20 yards down the field, but also help out on the run. It's a good opportunity to make the team and especially on special teams also. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to come here this fall.
Q: Were you surprised when they said that Michael is not going to practice and he offered you the ones?
A: Yeah, it happened in the locker room. I was just standing there waiting and then nobody saw Mike. Then Coach Coughlin said just go with the ones today. I kind of got a little excited, but equally as nervous. I just have to talk more with the ones. Jon Goff told me if you ever need to talk to me, I'll talk to you on the field; I'll coach you up and everything.
Q: Did you get a chance to see anything with Mike from yesterday's practice? Was there anything he pointed out to you?A: Just little tips on where to be, like foot placement, hand placement. Little things like he sees on the field that's helping me.
K Rhys LloydQ: How do you look at this opportunity?A: Well as far as I know, I mean obviously Lawrence is here and he's the guy here so I'll just take it one week at a time for however long I'm here. I respect Lawrence. I've known him for a while now and we'll just see how it goes.
Q: Do you view this as a competition or do you think they might keep two kickers; one as a kickoff specialist?A: To be honest, I've only been here for 24 hours. I haven't really thought about it. I obviously haven't practiced with the team yet, so we'll kind of see how it goes. I think as of right now I'm just here while he's injured. If I do a good enough job, then it might be a thought in the coach's mind. As of right now, I'm just going to practice.
Q: Do you find it odd that you've been in the league for 4 years and you've never kicked a field goal or PAT in an NFL game?A: I do. Part of that is obviously being with John (Kasay) in Carolina. It's been good for me to be around the league for four years and learn from someone like him. I was with Matt Stover prior to that in Baltimore. So, I've learned a lot. I've kicked field goals in practice and stuff like that. I would like the opportunity in a game but, right time right place.
Q: Have you ever kicked a field goal in a preseason game?A: I have. I did preseason in Baltimore, both years I was there. Did it with the Vikings last year although I never really got a field goal opportunity, just PAT's. And then, I was a full-time kicker in NFL Europe, which is obviously not the real NFL but you know, it was game experience.
Q: With kickoffs from the 35, what would you think your percentage for touchbacks would be?A: Hopefully pretty good. A lot of it has to do with weather and time of the year. I know it gets cold here, assuming I'm here. Obviously, the five yards for me is a big difference. My bad kicks would still land a couple deep and good ones hopefully go to the back of the end zone. So hopefully the percentage will go up. You never know. I've just got to try and make sure I make good contact and the rest will take care of itself.
Q: Would it be realistic to think that you could get touchbacks on 50% of your kickoffs?A: Hopefully. The first year I was in Carolina that was kind of my goal. I know my percentage of end zones reached was over 50%, it was just a matter of whether guys brought it out or not, different returners and different game plans from other teams.
Q: You seem to be very careful to not say that you're competing for this job. Is that because Lawrence is a friend of yours?A: No, I mean Lawrence and I are good friends. Like I said, I honestly don't know what my role here is, whether it's until the end of this week or whether it's the end of preseason or what. I'm literally here just to kick balls in practice and if he gets healthy and it turns into a competition, then that's the way it goes, but as of right now I'm just kind of existing.
Q: Are you thinking maybe I can win this job?A: Sure. You never go into anything without thinking that you can potentially go after something. Again it's a matter of whether the coaches want the competition or if they just want me to help out.
Q: How much strategy has been involved with your kickoffs? Or has it just been boot this thing through the end zone?A: Sure, everything in special teams there's obviously a goal. My goal is obviously to kick it as hard as I possibly can. I've kind of got the title of kickoff specialist. I don't know where that came from. I like to think of it as a driving range pro where I just take out a driver and just hit it as far as I can and it doesn't matter where it goes. I have a tendency to have a certain kick that is my strongest kick which favors the right side obviously. I know the guys over the last four years, they charted out my kicks and I maybe kicked ten balls left. So yeah, I mean I step up there and try to unleash it.
Q: Not having seen you much, are you more of a line drive kicker to get that distance or can you get the hang time if necessary.A: My first goal is hang time. Just because if I don't get it into the end zone, it's giving the guys an opportunity to get down there. If I hit it exactly where I want it, I get both. But I try to err on the side of hang time because you've got to think about the other ten guys on the field running down there as opposed to just me hitting the ball so if I can get both then we're okay. If you hit a line drive five, six yards deep, the guys are so good they'll bring it out anyway. You've got to try and get it five, six deep with hang time. It changes a lot for the coverage.
Q: Were you close to signing here last offseason?A: I was, yeah. It's funny; this is my third trip here. I had a workout here in '06, I believe, after the season. Then last year the Giants were talking to me at the same time Minnesota was and I certainly didn't grow up in Minnesota as you can tell by the accent but I lived there for eight years. That was kind of my second home. It helped a little bit with the decision as one thing but I'm back again, I guess. Third time's a charm, I suppose.
Q: It was also indoors.A: Yeah, it was the Metrodome. Although, halfway through the season it wasn't technically indoors anymore.
Q: When they moved up the kickoff five yards, are you thinking that they're phasing you out?A: You could put it both ways. It kind of takes away from the two kicker role that Carolina had last year. They ended up changing that this year, getting rid of John and myself and bringing in a guy who can do both. It could help my battle just because another five yards is another five yards. Either or, it depends the coaching staff, it really does.
Q: So do you think it helped your value or hurt you?A: I don't know. If I can kick some field goals, then it's certainly going to help. Like I said, it's coaching staff and if they want to carry a guy for kickoffs then obviously it's going to help.
Q: Coach said you were 4 for 4 yesterday in your tryouts. Can you tell us _ them?A: We kicked seven field goals. I went 100% but it was inside so the weather was good. Yeah, I went 7 for 7 then I think we did four kickoffs.
Q: How far was the longest field goal?A: 51 maybe.
Q: Are all your kickoffs reaching in the end zone?A: Yeah I think my worst one was seven deep. It's early in the season and everybody's fresh. So the other guys did very well as well. It was kind of a coin toss. I guess I got it, so I'm here.