Q: How big of a loss is Bradshaw? We know he has a cracked bone in his foot and someone saw him on a cart.
A: I have no idea about that, what you just referred to. That's an eye opener. But obviously, he's a good football player and even though we haven't been running the ball as well as we would have liked, he always has given us a physical dimension in terms of our attempts to run the ball. Usually we've been effective. But also the thing that's often overlooked I think is that he's been blocking very well. He's done a tremendous job blocking, which has contributed significantly to the success that we've had throwing the ball. He's been very physical. He's picked up the assignments. He's covered up for guys who have lost blocks. His loss is big.
Q: How polished is DJ Ware at things like picking up the blitzer?
A: You can't be as polished because you haven't done it in the game situation, but he's been with us for a while and he knows what to do. I have confidence that he'll do it, but until you go out and do it and the more you do it the better you get at it. He knows it. How polished is a difficult question to answer.
Q: Adjustments to the passing game without Hakeem Nicks?
A:I don't know that you make many adjustments, I think the challenge is the guys that step-in in his place and perform as well as he's performed, which is obviously difficult because he's played so well for us. And then, does the [defense] adjust what they do accordingly? Do they increase the challenge in terms of where their focus is on other guys, which wouldn't surprise me at all. I think the guys that have been playing – the Marios, the Victors, those guys – have to play well, but also whoever steps-in in his place has got to step to the challenge. We've all been hanging on for Ramses to come back. He and JJ, now are their chances, they're going to be here.
Q: Brandon Jacobs has complained about being limited…
A: What would be better than the opportunity that he's going to get now? He's been clamoring for a chance. The chance is here. This is an opportunity. You want to show what you can do. I'm looking forward to seeing the way he plays. I think he's going to respond very well. I'm excited about seeing him play.
Q: Are you convinced that he can do the job he says he can do?
A: I hope so. We'll see. I go by what I see, not by the conversations. I think in the past he's been physical. He's been a physical blocker. He needs to do that Sunday or we're not going to have much of a chance. I think he will.
Q: What have you seen out of Da' Rel Scott?
A: What you see you feel good about. I think you see a guy that has some potential. It's just any time until a guy's done it you're always a little bit hesitant with the game, the game speed. It's hard to simulate it in practices. You try like crazy to do that. I think we do as good a job as anybody at trying to get to that game speed, but it's still not the same. No matter what you do it's different. The complexity of the looks and the sophistication of the disguises are all just much more challenging in a game than they are in practice. You just can't get a look squad to give you that. It's never going to happen.
Q: Is there anything that Scott did in New England in the preseason game that's translatable?
A: Some of the stuff he did was against their starters. I think you saw what we're excited about. I think you see the prospects of the legitimate runner. I think you certainly see a guy that has incredible speed, that if a crease shows up, he can hit it and take it the distance. To me it's the little things – is he going to read the blocking combinations as well as he has to, can he protect the quarterback the way he has to? I think he can. We believe he can, but until he goes out and does it you're always a little bit hesitant.
Q: We saw the Steelers control the game with their pass game…
A: Believe it or not, that is not a unique occurrence. I know everyone thinks you have to run the ball to control the clock. I've been many years with many teams that have controlled it throwing the ball. It's just your efficiency. Particularly, are you doing it on third down when you're holding onto the ball? That's the whole key, whether you're running or passing.
Q: Coach Coughlin and the players keep saying, 'we have to run the ball first.' Does that get frustrating?
A: You know what you got when you came in. That's always been, well it hasn't always been, but it's been since we've been here. We've tried to be as balanced as we can and I think there is a truism in terms of the weather up here and some of the things you're confronted with. Certainly I wasn't confronted with it at Houston. I wasn't confronted with it at Jacksonville. I wasn't confronted with it at San Diego, some of the other places. But when you can do what you need to do in the situation that you're in. That's when you're that kind of football team. There are certain times in a game you have to run the ball. There are certain times you're going to have to throw the ball. When you can do that when those situations demand that, that to me is when you have it going.
Q: It seemed last week the Patriots played a soft zone. Is that the reason the Steelers put it up 50 times?
A: You'd have to ask them. It's hard to climb into their minds. I know I heard some players' commentary afterwards. I'd love to know what the coaches were thinking. I think they were doing it well. They were having a great day. They were protecting well. Roethlisberger made some terrific throws when he was getting hit. Things bounced their way. I don't know that that's an automatic guarantee that's the formula. I've heard, 'Oh that's the formula.' Well if you can play that well on Sunday, I think that is the formula. But to do that, I don't know that everybody can do that week in and week out. I don't think the Steelers would be able to do that week in and week out against them. I think that's the way it played out Sunday. We'd love to have it play out that way again, but it's going to be challenging. I think it's a lot more difficult than people are thinking it is.
Q: Is that the story of the Patriots defense this year – that all of these yards have come underneath?
A: They've changed. They were playing a lot of man, a lot of press man. They've become a little bit more zone conscience. You see a little higher percentage of zone. They're still mixing a combination, I don't call it soft zone, it's just there's a lot of zone coverage where they're spot dropping. They want the defenders to see where the ball is going and then rally and hit and get turnovers and that kind of stuff. They're pretty good at it. Again, that's why I said in the Pittsburgh game things kind of broke their way. I think if you could predict it was going to break that way every game, that's what you would do. But I don't know that very many people have been able to do that.
Q: There's something like 139 passes completed against them are within 0-10 yards.
A: Well that's what I'm saying. They get that spot. They drop the spots as opposed to some people that man-up in a zone, we call it wild, but it doesn't matter what you call it. They look to collision and be very disruptive. They do a tremendous job of that and then they settle in spots and look to see where the ball is going and then they just converge. So because of that, some of those throws are going underneath because it's hard to get downfield because they're knocking you around and preventing the timing. They feel if they can slow you down and your release is long enough that the pass rush is going to get there or you're going to have to dump it. Are you going to be good enough, that's what I'm saying, to drive it down all the way down and score.
Q: With four minutes left, Brandon ran, got a penalty, then you passed three times. Is that a reflection of the run game?
A: Because we had more than 10 yards [before a first down]. The first play we had a great matchup, we didn't execute the route very well. The second play was wide open, which would have ended the game because it would have been about a 25-yard gain. The third one we did a very conservative screen because we knew we could get it off and would be the equivalent of a run, but more likely would have gained more yardage, which is why we gained eight or nine yards and if we had done it right we probably would have gained 15 and gotten a first down.
Q: So it really wasn't a reflection of losing confidence in the run game?
A: That situation, the odds of us getting 15 yards running the ball… You watched the game. It probably wasn't going to happen. When I hear people [say], 'Run the ball.' Why? Do what you can do to hold onto the ball. You have to hold onto the ball to get a first down. That was the key. There was four minutes to go in the game. I hear, 'Well, run it.' Why? Then they would have gotten the ball with three and a half minutes to go. We needed to hold onto it. As soon as we got that illegal formation, that killed us. Then we didn't execute the second one and we misfired on the throw on the next one, which was wide open, which was perfect. Then I said let's just get a pass off.
Q: Does the plan alter considerably with Brandon as opposed to Ahmad?
Q: But they don't run the same runs, do they?
A: Yeah [they do].
Q: What if you have Da'Rel Scott in? Do you have significant plays for him?
A: No. Same plays. As the game is unfolding we may emphasize certain things, but it's within the parameters of our offense. It's not a new play that only one player runs. If you're on the defense it doesn't take you very long to figure out, 'Okay, he's doing this and they're doing that. Okay, Brandon's in. He's running within the guards. Okay, it's Ahmad. He's running outside. It's Da'Rel. They only run swings or passes.' You make it pretty easy. You play basketball, right? If a guy only goes to the right it wouldn't take you long to figure out, 'I'm going to make you go to the left and see if you can beat me.' To be totally candid, you have the same plays. Are there certain things that guys do better that you're going to lean on more? Absolutely. But if you only do those things then they begin to converge and those plays that probably would be better with that back are no longer going to be successful. So you have to be able to run everything.
Q: How much is Hakeem drawing double teams?
A: He didn't get a double team in the game [against the Dolphins].
Q: Not one?
A: No. What you guys call double team is two-deep zone. That's all, two-deep man.
Q: So you don't think defenses will change considerably if he's out? A: But people have done that for years against us. If you have a talented receiving corps, when the distance is long, roll up and not give you single coverage. So they're going to play two-high. That's why I've always said if you have two-high you have to have somebody that wins inside, whether it's a tight end, a back or a slot receiver. A few years ago, Steve Smith, that's why he caught all of the passes, because he had Plaxico outside and Hakeem. Then they go two, now that guy wins. He became so proficient they started doubling him. That's when the balls went back outside. You have to have both. It all plays and compliments each other.Join other diehard Giants Fans!
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