Safety Stevie Brown
Q: Did you pass your physical?
A: Yes, I did. Yeah, I am good.
Q: What have the last 48 hours been like for you?
A: Pretty exciting just being able to come back here --- seems like a position of need and it is a good fit [so] definitely exciting to come back.
A: It all just depends. I haven't actually sat down and looked at the defense yet but one thing about defense is, is that everybody plays a lot of similar coverages so it is just the techniques and the language that you have to learn.
Q: Was there any hesitancy to come here in the sense that everybody who is a safety seems to get hurt?
A: No, you know this is a good place --- where I wanted to be once everything was set and done.
Q: They offered you minimum after last year. Do you sit there and say….?
A: I was just weighing out the options. It was no hard feeling towards here [or] anything like that. As you can tell, I am back now so we definitely left everything on good terms. It was just after weighing out all the options at the time, Houston seemed like a good fit.
Q: What happened in Houston? In your estimation why didn't it work out?
A: It was just --- we parted ways on good terms down there as well. As for the release, it just wasn't playing into the strengths that I have as a safety, so you know there [was] no point in being around there.
Q: Why is this a good fit for you given that Spags is a new defensive coordinator who you have not worked under before?
A: I hear nothing but good things from the guys that I talk to, that I was still talking to you since preseason has started. They all like him and talking to Coach Merritt, Coach Merritt was just explaining to me a little bit of the philosophy that he runs out here on defense, saying even though I have mainly been known as a post player and everything like that, I can still come down into the box here and do what I need to do and the safeties are interchangeable, so there will be something good that I can do.
Q: Realistically speaking, how quickly do you think you can get up to speed to contribute if asked?
A: I like to think I can come around tomorrow. Realistically it is going to take a few days --- it is definitely going to take a few days. There is always a learning curve, but I will be good.
Q: How much film have you watched of the guys that they have here?
A: I actually haven't --- I just finished up signing everything so I haven't seen too much yet.
Q: Have they told you about where they see you fitting in with the group that they have?
A: They're just talking about coming in and competing and being able to fit in where I can. Definitely an opportunity.
Q: You talked about being used to your strengths. You obviously knew what was happening here. Being waived or cut before the third preseason game is sort of rare. Did you sort of go to them and say, 'Hey, this probably isn't going to work out; is it possible that we can do something here?'
A: Yeah, I asked for my release. They were okay with it and they didn't want to keep me there and, so I definitely appreciate them for doing that and let me go whenever I wanted to.
Q: How are you physically right now?
A: I'm good --- I'm healthy. Being able to get back on to the field when I started down there, hit the ground running and been going ever since, so there have been no setbacks, not anything like that. I feel healthy.
Q: When were you able to come back? I know you had the injury and sort of rehabbed.
A: I started everything with them the first day of camp. I was cleared before that but whenever I decided to get back into playing football was the first day of camp down there.
Q: So it took you [until] almost, I guess, August to really get back [on the field]?
A: Yeah, probably mid-July I was doing everything.
Q: Any interest on your part to see how this plays out on Hard Knocks on Tuesday?
A: Oh, you know, it doesn't really bother me. I tried to stay away from the cameras as much as I could when I was down there anyways, but yeah, I'm not really fazed by that.
Q: Tom said you weren't cleared to practice yet, at least as of yesterday, is that still accurate? Or have you been cleared to return to practice?
A: That's still accurate. They haven't cleared me just yet. I'm just listening to the training staff. The things they say to me is indicative of what will happen out here on this field.
Q: Obviously none of us here are doctors, but it seems like a long time for what was thought to be a minor calf injury. Is it more serious than you first thought?
A: I think we're just being careful, cautious with it. Especially, you don't want to come out here, and calfs are tricky. Once they feel healed and once they feel okay, you can go out here and mess it up again. So you want to make sure that it's fully healed and fully recovered once you step back out there on the field.
Q: Last week you called it inflammation in the calf, is that still there and still sort of what you're trying to work with?
A: It's gone down substantially. But we're still working with the training staff to continue to get the swelling down and continue to get myself back to 100 percent.
Q: If you're not able to get into practices this week or the preseason game, do you still feel like come opening day you'll be ready to go? Do you feel there might be some rust?
A: I think I'll be ready to go. Hopefully come Week 1, I'm able to get on the practice field and run around a little bit. I know how Coach Coughlin loves his guys to practice—if you don't practice, you don't play. So I want to be out here for practice come Week 1. And hopefully that's the goal. We'll see where it goes.
Q: Because of what you were able to do back in Cincinnati—it seems like a long time ago. It seemed like you were at that point where you felt like, "Get me on the field, get me in a game." Do you still feel like you're at that point, where once you're cleared, you can get right back to where you were?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I feel like, obviously, offensively I know the offense, I know all the things that I've done since I started playing football—catching the ball, running routes, and all of those things like that. So I still think I'm right there. Just things happen, just a small setback. I'm just anxious to get through this and make it out the other end.
Q: Going through a major injury to this injury now, does it change how you think about this injury? Do you tell yourself to take your time?
A: A little bit. Obviously, you go out and you understand coming off a major knee surgery—something that comes off of that, any injury after that—you want to be careful, you want to be cautious with it. I think that's what we're doing. We just want to make sure that it's really back to 100 percent and strong and able to cut, and all those things before we try it out on the field.
Q: What have you been able to do so far in the past week or two? Are you working inside, are you jogging, running?
A: I haven't been able to jog. Not that I haven't been able to, but they don't want me to right now. They just want me to sit down and let it heal, let it repair itself and things like that. I've just been working out—lower body one leg or whatever the case may be, upper body. Just doing all the things I can to stay in shape.
Q: Without the practices, obviously you have the time right now. Is there anything you and Eli can do to expedite that chemistry because it has been so long?
A: There's things we can do in the meeting rooms—understanding where he likes to position the ball. And coming out and getting together with him at any point in time. Trying to get some timing down with it within the practices or something we do kind of off the field. Whatever we can squeeze in timing-wise, it will be good. But it's all pretty much cut and dry. Eli knows where I'll be, he knows the routes, I know the routes. So hopefully we can continue to stay on the same page.
Q: As far as we know, you never doubted opening day or your ability to return to full strength. Because of this setback, does any uncertainty creep into your mind about the opener and the first couple weeks of the season?
A: No. Not yet, at least. Nothing has been set in stone, in terms of playing that first week or not playing that first week. I'm still excited for Week 1—that's still the goal, that's still the plan, in my opinion. Obviously, the training staff will advise if they see differently as the next week and a half comes along. But we'll see. So, I'm just taking it one day at a time, and making sure that I'm ready to go.
Q: What about your confidence in your ability to return as the old Victor Cruz?
A: I'm still confident, I still feel good. Obviously the calf—once that's back to form and I'm able to run again, that confidence will always be there to go out and make plays and catch the football.
Robert Ayers Jr**
Q: How do you feel right now? What happened before the game?
A: I'll be alright. Right now, just trying to manage things and keep things on the up and up and get better. I'll be alright. As far as what happened, that's a tricky question that'd I'd rather not try to get into. But I'll be alright. We're going to manage everything and keep everything on the positive side and try to get better. So I'll be alright.
Q: Are you going to be able to work at all this week?
A: Like I said, we're just taking it day-to-day. We're going to see how everything feels and how everything goes. But I'll be alright.
Q: How about today though?
A: Not today. I won't be out there today, but we'll see how things go.
Q: What was your immediate reaction before the game when whatever happened, happened?
A: Kind of just frustrated. Because you know, it was a big game for us as a team and organization. And especially with the cross town rival. So I definitely wanted to be out there with my guys. Kind of angry, it was an unfortunate situation. A weird situation where you're in a position where you have to make a decision like that and handle things the way we had to handle things—me not playing, things like that. I felt like I let my teammates down, especially the D-Line, I felt like I let them down. I kind of threw them under the bus a little bit with how everything happened. So I feel like with what happened, made things tough on them. I feel bad about that. As far as how I feel, I didn't really know what was going on. I didn't really know how it happened or whatever. It is what it is. Got some positive feedback, so I understand what happened now and I know how to handle it. So that's what we're going to do. Keep trying to get better.
Q: Is it your ankle? Is it your Achilles? Is it both?
A: My ankle area, put it like that.
Q: Is it something that has been bothering?
A: No, that's the thing that's been kind of weird. Out of nowhere, just what's going on type of thing. We figured it out and everything will be alright.
Q: If it was a regular season game. do you think you would have been able to go?
A: I'd rather not answer that. In this league, you'br got to be able to play through injuries, you have to be able to play through pain and things like that. I feel like I've been able to do that throughout my career a lot. So have a lot of other guys on this team. Sometimes decisions are made, and you have to do things a little smarter, not necessarily tougher. Fortunately we were in a situation where we could do things that was a little bit smarter. I think that's what we tried to do. Now we know what's going on, and we know how to handle things going forward. So that's what we're going to try and do.