Q: Is Michael Boley playing his best football right now?A: I think Michael has taken on the leadership role now that Jon [Goff] is not here. If you come into my meeting room, there's four rookies and him. If you add [Kiwanuka] to that mix, [Kiwanuka] is really new to the position too. [Boley's] experiences help the room. I think he takes a lot into that and sees, 'Okay, I'm the guy out there. I need to make the calls.' Yeah, he's doing the things to make it so that he does have a great year. I think he's enjoying this year probably more than he has his last six, seven years of football because he is the guy and the younger guys look to him and the defensive guys look to him. It's a role that he's never had before. He's learning as he goes too.
Q: What kind of progress have you seen out of Greg Jones?A: Same as all of the other rookies. It's just learning the NFL game – the speed of it, the size of it. One little tiny mistake that he might have gotten away with in college could equal an 80-yard touchdown because the guys you're playing against are so good. I think all four rookies are learning that. They're seeing that this is an exact science. 'I have to be where I'm supposed to be.' That's the biggest adaptation that they have to learn right now, is just the speed of the game. They're all doing very well. I think the more they play, the better they'll get. You can't find experience. You have to earn it and you have to go out there and play it. Then you'll get experience. Then once you have experience, what do you with it? They're all very smart guys and they learn from their mistakes and they continue to get better and better. That's all I've asked them to do. 'Look, everyday you come in here just get better. You're not going to be perfect. I'm not going to be perfect. None of us are going to be perfect. Just get better.'
Q: How about Mark Herzlich, who hasn't had the opportunity to get on the field yet?A: Mark plays a very important role in our special teams. Last week, I think he had 21 snaps on special teams. He's been on the field and so has Spencer Paysinger. I think as we go here in the next 10 games of the season you'll see more and more of those guys defensively because you just can't ask one guy to take, in a season let's say you have 1,100 defensive snaps, you can't take all of those snaps. Your body won't last. Now that they're getting experience, they've been on the field, they know what the speed is, they'll be able to get out there and play a little bit. I'm looking forward to it. I think they'll all do very well because they're all smart guys.
Q: Can you tell that Herzlich has made some progress?
A: Oh yeah. They all have. Mark's a very studious player. He takes it to the 'nth' degree in terms of learning the position, learning the calls, knowing the calls. Even though he doesn't get very many reps in practice, he and Greg are always standing behind me. I can hear them saying the calls, 'This is it, this is that,' which is good. That's what they need to do. When they get their reps, like they got today, they got some reps today, can you perform under pressure? That's really what it's all about.
Q: Do you tell Jaquian Williams, 'Even though you might not fully understand things sometimes, play fast?' Is that an emphasis?A: We tell all of our players, 'Play fast. If you make a mistake, make it fast and don't worry about it. If you make a mistake, okay, I'll correct it. Just go onto the next play or finish that play the best you can and we'll get it corrected.' The biggest thing for young guys is they live with that mistake and then it causes two more mistakes. You have got to move on to the next play. Everybody's counting on you to perform on the next play. Then when you come to the sideline we'll make corrections. We'll show you on the pictures and we'll be fine. To me, coaching young players, and I've done it my whole life, you start very small and detailed. Say, 'Okay, you cover that man.' Two more weeks, 'Okay you're covering that man, but pay attention to his alignment and who's next to him and now you can start to guess the routes. Once you get to that level, now you can fake a blitz over here to help us out and then go cover that guy.' It's a step-by-step process for all of them. They'll all do well and that's where they are right now. They're very focused in on simple tasks and now they'll open it up as the season goes.
Q: Do you sense that Jacquian has gotten good at leaving that one mistake behind?A: I think that's where the older players help. The Michael Boleys, the Justin Tucks, the Deon Grants. You'll see them come up and pat them on the butt and say, 'Come on. You have to play ball. We need you out here. You're part of this eleven that are on the field. Let's move on.' That's where your leadership really helps. Because they're out on the field, they're not on the sidelines. I can't get to them. I can't talk to them. I can't look them in the eye and say, 'Hey, what are you thinking here, bud?' That's where your older players help.Download the FREE GIANTS MOBILE APP by texting "Giants" to 51288 or by visiting iTunes, Android MarketPlace, Blackberry App World!