Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Q: How hard is it to prepare for the Giants receivers when they're all kind of new at this point?
A: For us, what we have to do is get the Jaguars prepared to travel up to New York and take on the Giants. That's one aspect of it and we'll do the best we can, with those they have and those they're bringing in, to sort through it and understand what they like to do schematically, conceptually, and put a plan together.
Q: Coach Coughlin said today that Brandon Jacobs will start at running back. Can you talk about the challenge of playing against him as opposed to Ahmad Bradshaw?
A: I'm sure, whether one is the feature runner or not, you're going to see them both and they're both talented guys. Certainly, they're built a little different and they're constructed a bit different. They attack defenses a little different, but they're both very capable.
Q: When someone has a problem with fumbling on the other team, is that something you would tell your players?
Q: Well, what do you tell them to do?
A: We always make our guys aware of strengths and weaknesses of the opponent and try to get our players ready to minimize the impact of their strengths upon us and attack any potential weaknesses or areas that they're struggling with. Clearly, if you're having trouble protecting the football, then that's going to draw attention.
Q: Do you do more drills to punch the ball out?
A: We're trying to do more drills to protect the ball ourselves. Our football team hasn't been – I think the Giants and the Jaguars are very similar as far as not taking care of the ball the way Tom and I would like to see it done.
Q: Both teams are a little banged up at wide receiver – do you think there will be lots of running this week?
A: I think the plan will come together as the week goes on. I think that both teams will do the best they can to put something together. Obviously they're missing a couple of key guys, we're missing Mike (Sims-Walker) and our starting right tackle and you just do the best you can, you rally the guys you have, you put your plan together and you go compete.
Q: What is Mike Sims-Walker's status at this point?
A: He won't practice today. We'll see how it goes later in the week.
Q: What did you see from Nate Collins?
A: I would have to defer to Gene Smith on that one. He has more of a working knowledge of the young man. I know he came in – was one of the guys we brought in prior to the draft. I did get to visit with him, saw some of his college tape, but beyond that I know we're happy to have him, he's got a lot of energy and we like the way he approaches the defensive tackle position.
Q: What have you seen from Courtney Greene this year?
A: Court has done a nice job. He's really been called upon to do more than maybe we thought he would at the beginning of the year. We thought when the year started that he'd be a special teams guy and a serviceable backup and we called upon him to be more – he's started the last several weeks and he's gotten better each week with his opportunities. He's a physical player, he likes contact and he's shown steady improvement in each of his opportunities.
Q: Is he earning his spot or is it by default?
A: Well, he has earned the opportunity to stay in there. I would say that we did what we felt we had to do. It was maybe out of necessity at the beginning, but he is certainly earning the opportunity to stay in there. He and Don Carey both as young safeties have done a nice job for us.
Q: Tiquan Underwood – how has his progress been?
A: Well, he's had some good moments and some not so good. This past week he had a couple of big opportunities to really help us and was not able to come through. He's a guy with a lot of energy, really positive, has got great speed and had an opportunity that didn't quite go the way he wanted or we wanted last week and he'll just have to battle his way back into a position to get those opportunities again.
Q: Is he more of a returner than a receiver at this point?
A: Well, he's done both and he's shown flashes of ability to be able to help you both as a receiver and as a returner.
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Q: Your team has gotten hot as of late, what's the confidence level down there?
A: I wouldn't really call it hot. Obviously last week our defense played very well and our offense played horrible. I think we're trying to find a way to win, but at the same time, we're not playing great ball. We're playing decent ball but we have a lot to improve on. We're working hard. As an offense, coming off that performance we had, the preparation and the energy around here has intensified a little bit. We have to focus on a great team and a great Giants defense that causes turnovers, has two of the top elite pass rushers on their team. Obviously, we've played against Keith Bulluck and Deon Grant played here, we know him, Kenny Phillips, and Antrel Rolle can stop the run very well and cover. On top of that, Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas. I don't want to bring up the old stuff, but he was at that other school that got in trouble, you know. I don't want to say anything too negative, but he is a great player. Just to throw that out there.
Q: We'll make sure to mention that to him, don't worry:
A: He'll laugh about it.
Q: What do the Giants do so well on their run defense that makes them a huge challenge?
A: Their scheme is one thing, and they fit the run very well. Their safeties and corners are willing to come up and put their head in. That makes a big difference when you have guys who want to come up and make tackles on the outside. They do a great job at that. We're going to have to fight, scratch, and claw and do a lot of different things to try and run the ball. Their defense is one of the top – I think they're number one in the league right now – overall. It's going to be a very tough challenge. I think this is like the second or third time we've played a number one defense, and they've been tough slaying.
Q: Is this going to be a game with 60 rushes for each team because both teams are injured?
A: I don't think anyone is really healthy right now. Obviously, there are a couple injuries here and there. I really can't tell you, we're just going to go out there and do whatever we can to try and get a victory, run or pass, whatever it may be, just because we know we need this and they need it as well. We're going to go out there and do whatever we can pretty much. I think it's going to be one of those tough nosed, hard-nosed games. There are a lot of ties to this game with Coach Coughlin being here, and Deon Grant, and Michael Coe. If you guys don't know, he was here this offseason. It's going to be a great challenge for us, but at the same time, that's why we play this game. We have to be able to raise the bar and keep playing.
Q: The Giants have lost two games in a row. Do you view them as a wounded animal?
A: Not at all, not at all. They've caught a lot of bad breaks. Obviously, watching them against the Eagles they had the lead and caused a couple turnovers and did a great job but just caught a couple bad breaks. One inch, and that pitch could have been going the other way. It's a game of inches and they've caught a couple bad breaks.
Q: Brandon Jacobs is going to be the starter this week for the Giants. Put yourself in Ahmad Bradshaw's position and is it a shot to your pride? How do you handle that?
A: It's more of a challenge, more of a personal challenge. You guys have two great running backs up there, and I know them both very well. They're going to cause us a bunch of problems. Obviously with Brandon Jacobs, his power, vision, and ability to find the hole and get in the way and create holes. On the other side, you have Bradshaw who is making cuts and doing certain things. He's doing a great job, I think he's fifth or sixth in the league in rushing right now so he's doing a great job. It's always tough when you have problems protecting the ball every now and then. I've fumbled twice this year, and you feel like crap. It's going to be another way to test his character and see how he comes out of it. I know he'll come out great, and Brandon Jacobs had to face it the same way earlier this year. You saw how it made him a better player, so all it's going to do is test his character and he'll be alright.
Q: You see the Ahmad fumble where he had two hands on the ball and the Eagles defender poked it out? Do you understand that sometimes even though you're doing it right that you still can fumble?
A: Oh yeah, it happens all the time. They get paid as well. It's kind of hard when it's one against five or one against three to protect yourself, and that's what our job is when called on and that's what we have to do. He'll be fine. There's nothing to worry about. He's a great player, and he's a guy that we're worried about obviously. You guys have a bunch of other players we're worried about as well so we have a lot of work to do.
Q: You don't have either on your fantasy team, do you?
A: If they were, they wouldn't be able to play. I think I'd be in a lot of trouble by the guys on the team if I'm playing somebody we're playing against.
Q: Is it your team that is in last place? The UCLA team?
A: No, come on guys. Don't give me any low blows yet. At least we're able to make a legitimate bowl game like we want to unlike some other schools that are in the Pac 10 that can't make any bowls for the next couple of years.
Q: Is it frustrating to be down in such a small market and you'd be able to have a bigger spotlight if you were in a bigger media market?
A: To me, it's fun doing the media stuff and don't get me wrong, I love it, but at the same time, this opportunity was a blessing in disguise because down here in Jacksonville you don't have to worry about if you have a horrible game, people jumping all over you. Sometimes when you're in New York or D.C. or L.A., you get the highs of the highs, but when it's low, you guys come down on the Giants and the Jets hard. I don't think I want to be a part of any of that, that's tough. Down here, we just kind of do our own thing and love the market and the people. The market is good to us and we're good to the market. We just continue to play. Hopefully you guys will come down and check us out every now and then, maybe do a story on Greg Jones, who I think is one of the best fullbacks in the game right now, playing out of his mind and should definitely be a Pro Bowler, playing well for us. Our offensive line has been blocking well all year and doing a great job. We have a lot of guys that need to get some consideration and hopefully you guys can come down. It's golf country, it's 80 degrees down here, so you guys can come down, play golf, and do a story on the Jaguars.