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Postgame Quotes: Coach Brian Daboll, S/ILB Isaiah Simmons

Head Coach Brian Daboll

Q: How quickly do you shift into regular-season mode?

A: Well, there's work to be done here. (General manager) Joe (Schoen) and I, the coaches and scouts, we'll meet and then we'll talk about the things we need to talk about, and we'll have a week, but we're really just going to focus on tomorrow, just watch the tape and then we'll have our discussions.

Q: What went into the decision to get (safety/inside linebacker) Isaiah Simmons out there on such a short time, turnaround?

A: I think one, it's good to just give some information to a player that comes in that quick and see how they handle it. So, he came, he was in, he was in early, he was meeting with Eggs (inside linebackers coach John Egorugwu). We only gave him a limited role but wanted to get him out there just to get his feet wet in the defense. Again, it was only, not very many defenses but he studied hard, and he was ready to go.

Q: Do you have an early impression of what you saw from him?

A: I don't. No, I really haven't seen too much. He played six or seven plays, maybe.

Q: How about playing (wide receiver) Sterling (Shepard)? Starting him, giving him punt returns and things like that. What was the thought process behind that?

A: Play him and give him a punt return. That was our thought process.

Q: Did you just want to see a few more snaps from him this summer?

A: Yeah. Again, he's been returning punts, catching them for us. So, I thought it would be good to get him one in a game.

Q: Why not give (running back Eric) Gray as much time back there as you can?

A: He's had a lot. Look, you never know if (wide receiver Sterling) Shep(ard) is going to do it, either. It's something we started working on last week. So, I wanted him to get out there and fair catch one. He wasn't going to return it, but just kind of get under the lights, do it in a game setting. You never know when you might do it.

Q: As you say, there's a lot of work to be done in the next couple of days. In a game like this, it's the last preseason game, do you find yourself maybe saying during the game, 'This guy is going to make it; this guy is not going to make it,' or you don't go there?

A: No, no. I mean, we had a lot of guys go down tonight, so I thought the coaches did a good job of just trying to scramble and put some stuff together where we were. I mean, we were out there with four linebackers and three DBs. We only had three DBs at one point there. So, we were teaching the linebacker to play a safety spot, but I thought those guys that played competed hard. Proud of those guys.

Q: What position or maybe positions stand out to you that perhaps may be the toughest to sort through here the next couple of days?

A: Yeah, it's still going to—probably not prepared to answer that tonight. We'll have a lot of discussions here in the next couple days.

Q: Did anybody really help themselves tonight, or is it more the whole camp?

A: Yeah, I think it's really everything. It's tonight, but it's an all-encompassing evaluation of really since you've been here. So, we've had a lot of discussions, we're certainly going to have a lot more. That's what we'll focus on here the next couple days.

Q: I know you guys put a lot of thought and planning and research into the injuries that you had last year. You've come through this training camp, this preseason, pretty clean at the top of your depth chart. Is that a function of that, do you think?

A: Yeah, well, like I've said before, those guys do a really good job. I meet with (head athletic trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) and (director of rehabilitation) Leigh (Weiss) and (assistant strength and conditioning coach Mark) Loech(er) and (director of performance) Sam (Coad) on a daily basis. It's not just kind of the week; we've got a lot of games here early in the season, too. So, it's an all-encompassing evaluation of, really, call it the first part of the season back to training camp, and I thought the strength staff, the trainers, sports science, they did a lot of research, they put a lot of work into it. They've done a good job, so I just listen to—I input it, and I don't always agree with it. As a coach, you want to be out there all the time, but they certainly had a well thought out process, very detailed, did a really good job with it.

Q: Is there anything specific looking back that you changed this summer?

A: I think each year is different. We've changed a bunch. Schedules, times, sleep, rest time, breaks in practice, longer periods at some stuff, shorter on other stuff, longer periods at the end, a ton of stuff that those guys have really dug into and done a good job.

Q: I know he's on the other team, but was it interesting seeing (Jets quarterback Aaron) Rodgers come on the field and the Jet fans going pretty nutty?

A: No. I've said before, I've got a ton of respect. That guy's a Hall-of-Fame player, one of the best to ever do it, but I'm not out there looking at people coming out of the tunnel or stuff like that. I'm getting ready to play a game.

Q: What can facing him in a situation like this mean for some of the younger guys?

A: Yeah, I don't know.

Q: Can they learn anything going up against a guy like that?

A: Yeah, I don't know. We'll see.

Q: (Quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) got the bulk of the snaps. How would you assess the way he played and handled himself?

A: I think Tommy's improved since he's been here. So, he's improved in the practices and the meeting room since he first got here. I think he's come a long way and certainly learned a lot. You can tell it's important to him. He's gone out there and played well and executed when we played. I'm proud of how he's competed and how he's improved.

Q: They obviously changed that rule, the third quarterback rule. Does he put himself in that consideration?

A: We're going to have a bunch of discussions here soon, tonight and tomorrow morning and the next day.

S/LB Isaiah Simmons

Q: How incredible is this? Only a couple of days after you find out you have been traded to the Giants, you wind up playing tonight and starting.

A: It was exciting. Just to be able to get out there in new threads, it felt really good. It felt amazing out in the new environment with Giants fans, it was just amazing. As I've seen playing here, previously. It felt really good. When they came to me and said to me, 'How do you feel about playing?' I said, 'Let's go. I'm ready to go.' I just appreciate them for giving me the opportunity.

Q: When Giants fans hear that Isaiah Simmons has been traded to their team and they go bonkers, what can they expect from you at this stage coming in so late into Training Camp to try and contribute to this ball club?

A: I would say somebody who is here to make plays for the team and help the defense take whatever the next step it is that we need to take. Honestly, really that's it. Just plays to be made, and they are going to be made. I would say that's what they should expect the most, big plays.

Q: You talked to Wink Martindale, the defensive coordinator, and Head Coach Brian Daboll, what were those conversations like? What did they give you in terms of expectations?

A: The only rule they gave me was run to the ball, and I said, 'Well, that's an easy rule.' I have no issue with that. As of right now, they're still getting me familiar with the system, learning everything, but just what Wink said, there are going to be different things that I'll be doing. I'm just excited to dive deep into those tasks and learn all of the fine details within them so I can execute them to the highest ability.

Q: How long do you think it will take to get you to be acclimated to have a bigger role? Right now, it's only going to be small bites.

A: Personally, I feel like I should be ready to go by Week One.

Q: What have these last few days been like for you and how excited were you for this change of scenery?

A: Extremely excited; how could I not be? This is a great organization, great coaching staff, and just from being around the guys for a little bit of time, everybody here is great. Personally, it's been a bit hectic. I came straight from Minnesota, so it's been a little hectic. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to wash my clothes tomorrow (laughs). It's been good though; it's been hectic in a good way. I'm glad that these are things that I'm dealing with right now. Everything has been hectic, but good.

Q: Were you surprised of what happened with Arizona that you were traded?

A: Yeah, I was a little surprised. I definitely was surprised.

Q: You said you really wanted the opportunity to play safety, you really didn't want to play linebacker. It looks here like you were lined up at linebacker, how do you feel about that?

A: Like I just told you, I'm here to help the team in any way I can. I don't have a problem with linebacker; that's what I played in college. That's what I played my first two years in the league, so I have no issues with it. Like I said, I'm ready to dive into that and get into all of the details so I can perform to my best ability.

Q: Do you get the sense that linebacker in Wink's system is not necessarily in the traditional inside-linebacker system that most teams play?

A: For sure, yes. That's why I have no concerns. With what Wink's vision is, I have full trust in him. He is a great coordinator, and he knows how to utilize his players to their best ability. I have no worries of what his plan is for me.

Q: What do you think your best strengths are as a football player and where do you think you'd like to take it up to another level?

A: I'd say really just my ability to generate big plays, whether if it's me making a sack, or an interception, or a PBU, or whatever it could be, a TFL. I just feel like my playmaking ability, it can come about at any point in the game. I feel like that's really one of my strongest suits is that I'm able to affect the game on multiple different levels.

Q: What was it like training with Saquon Barkley this offseason, and is it crazy that you're now on the same team?

A: He talks a lot of (trash) if nobody knows. He's probably the most competitive person I've ever met in my whole life – with everything. He's been telling me Week Two, Week Two, Week Two, like ah, but now we're going to be together Week Two and actually, every single game we're going to be together. He got a little lucky (laughs).

Q: How much does being traded put a chip on your shoulder about proving something extra?

A: I don't have anything to prove. I play for an audience of one and that's the man upstairs. So, I don't really have much to prove to anybody.

Q: They said on the broadcast that you told Daboll that you're most comfortable rushing the quarterback. Assuming that is true, out of Arizona they said you asked to play safety, which is it? Because, if you wanted to play safety you wouldn't rush the quarterback.

A: I mean, you can, but I don't really have too many discomforts on the field, just because I've spent so much time in various different places. I'm comfortable rushing the passer just like I'm comfortable playing half field or (inaudible) safety. At the end of the day, it's all just a position and a responsibility.

Q: Just whatever they ask you?

A: Yes.

Q: Did it annoy you that Aaron Rogers made a slip away from you tonight?

A: Oh, I wanted that. I wanted that sack. I definitely did, but it's okay we'll see him again.

Q: Did you think you had it when you got close?

A: I didn't really think I had it until the play was over. I feel like I should have, just for myself, but it happens.

Q: That logic going against a quarterback like that, even though it's in the preseason, what can that do for you as a player coming in here on short notice like this?

A: I don't really care if it's a preseason game or if this is Week 16, I treat everything the same. I'm not really too worried about the fact that this is a preseason game, because I'm not going to go out there and give like 80 percent. That kind of stuff doesn't really go in as a factor for me.

Q: How have you been meshing with your new defensive teammates?

A: Everybody's welcomed me in with open arms just like I've been here from the jump. I appreciate all of them for that. That says a lot about the culture here and just what type of team this is. I appreciate all the guys just bringing me in, welcoming me in.

Q: What do you make, if anything, being traded for a seventh-round pick when you were a top pick in the draft, and how much does that play into you using it as motivation?

A: I just think the Giants got a good deal. We'll see if it was worth the seventh pick or not.

Q: What advice has (defensive lineman) Dex (Lawrence II) given you about coming here and being a part of this team?

A: Really, not so much advice just a lot of love. Saying that I'm going to love it. I'm going to love the defense here, love the staff, love all the guys. Once again, that's another person I really trust. One of my good friends from way back when. I'm just really looking forward to just really getting going.

Q: Did you do a lot of playbook cramming in the last 24-hours or were you just kind of going out there and relying on--?

A: Nothing out of the ordinary, but I definitely dove into the playbook already just because I want to be ready Week One, that's all.

View photos from the preseason finale between the Giants and Jets at MetLife Stadium.


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