Head Coach Brian Daboll
Daboll: How's everybody doing? Good, hard-fought game. Another 60-minute game. Thought our guys competed well. I thought they were prepared; had a good week of practice, and these are the games in the National Football League. There's certainly a lot of things we need to do better, but I'm happy for the guys. (Kicker) Graham (Gano) made all his kicks. (There were) some big kicks there at the end for us, and (Quarterback Daniel Jones) DJ led the team down to get some extra points there, which was a huge difference. (I) thought the defense played well; started out fast. Wish we could've gotten more points on the board early on after those two turnovers, but all-in-all a good team win. And (we'll) get ready for next week.
Q: Obviously not the prettiest, but once again Daniel responded in the second half with some big plays – especially some third-down. What did you see from him?
A: I thought he played a good game. I thought he made great decisions with the football in his hands. He took care of it; he led the team down again to finish off a drive to win the game. So, that's two good weeks I'd say for Daniel. Made the right decision, took care of the ball when there was pressure on him, threw it away if he needed to throw it away, and then took off on that last naked there to get the first down. He could have done a lot of different things, and he made the right decision under pressure in a critical situation. And he's taken steps, and I'm happy for him.
Q: You put a lot of trust in him in that situation to make the right decision. Why did you feel like that was the right play call?
A: Well, I just told (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) throughout the game – calling an NFL game is an up-and-down thing sometimes. And I think the most important thing to do is stay true to yourself and have confidence in the players. They feel that. So, we figured that was – not we figured, we talked about it – and Mike recommended that play. It was a naked play, so we had a couple different options. And he made the right one. If not, he probably would've taken a sack just so he kept the clock moving there. But I think it's important to show players that you have faith in them. They work their asses off during the week. They've worked their asses off during camp. They're the ones out there playing on Sunday, and you have to put it in their hands when it counts the most. And that's what Kafka did with Daniel, and Daniel made the right decision. We ended up kneeling on the ball.
Q: You got five yards I guess on the third-down play for the 56-yard field goal. How long were you going to go with Graham?
A: It was a probably a little bit past the line that we said going into the game by about a yard-and-a-half, and I just told (Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey) T-Mac – I mean he was kicking it well. He kicked the other one well. I looked at Graham, he said –. He's done it a lot in practice. I know he's played a lot in this league. And again, we'd like to be closer for him, but that's his job as a kicker and a snapper and as a holder – to execute those plays when we need it the most. A lot of time it's under pressure, and the three of those guys along with the field goal protection unit did a good job.
Q: What did you think of your defense on third downs in particular?
A: I thought the defense throughout the game played well. Again, we gave up that one big one and squirted out there later, but they tightened back up in the red zone. They tackled well. We didn't get hit over the top of their head. I thought they did a good job. They stuck together. Again, it was a good team win. These games are going to be like this most of the time in this league, and I thought our guys showed grit and toughness and heart.
Q: What can you say about the job (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) is doing? I mean, you're down (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari). You lose (Defensive Lineman) Leonard (Williams) in that game.
A: I think we have really good coaches, Wink being one of them. I think Mike's doing a good job with his unit, T-Mac, all the rest of them. I have a lot of confidence in Wink. I think the players have a lot of confidence. They're playing fast. Give a lot of credit to the coaches on the defensive side, but to the players that are out there executing the assignments. But again, Wink's done this a long time. Wink's not afraid of failure, and that's really what we want for the entire organization is to not be afraid of failure, not to be afraid of the consequence. If you prepare the right way, you can live with the results. And I'll say that over and over again. And there might be games where our asses get blown out. But I now the guys prepare the right way. I know the coaches prepare them the right way. I have confidence in the group that we have that we work with. It's never going to be perfect, but we have a bunch of tough guys – or tough-minded guys I'd say.
Q: In your own words – you talk about guys working their asses off – can you talk a little bit about (Outside Linebacker) Oshane (Ximines)?
A: I've said this from the beginning. Again, I don't know where he was last year. I just know where he is this year. His mind's on right. He's been a big part of our football team. He's got energy. I think he has talent. I think Wink's getting talent out of him. He's a confident player. Look, we've got a long, long way to go as you saw out there. But our guys fought – not just (Oshane) OX should I say. X (Xavier McKinney) is X. There's power in preparation; there's power in believing. And there's, I'd say, power in toughness.
Q: You guys asked for energy from the crowd. What did you think of the reaction in the stadium today?
A: I thought the fans were great. Just driving over here from the facility and looking at all the tailgates and all the beverages and all the games they were playing, they were pretty rocked up. They had their jerseys on – some old school ones, some new school ones. They were great on third down. They know when to cheer, and it was certainly helpful to have them out there. And we look forward to next week.
Q: When you're not scoring a lot of points and making a ton of big plays, how important is it for your team to learn how to find a way to win games like this as far as their development is concerned?
A: Well, I'd say whether you score a lot or not, it's important to figure out a way to win the games. You can win a game a variety of ways. You can also lose it. Again, the object of the game is to have one more point at the end and to give yourself a chance in the fourth quarter. Right now, where we're at, we're a young team that's still developing. We've got a long way to go. But I'd say that again, we're shuffling guys in and out. We're trying to find the best combinations, but taking care of the ball and getting it goes a long way – tackling well and being able to figure out a way in the fourth quarter when it's close to grind out those yards you need to put yourself in a chance to win. These are close games; I anticipate most of our games being close. So, there's a lot of work to do. We'll get back to work here tomorrow and get at it again.
Q: You said these games are close. You're still 2-0 as the head coach of the New York Giants. For you, what area do you feel like you're getting most comfortable in now, two games, two wins under your belt?
A: I don't think you ever get comfortable whether I was an assistant or a coordinator. This game will humble you really quick. There's one week you can be on top of the mountain, and the next you fall right off. And what I just stress to the players and to the staff is, 'Let's just take it one day at a time. Let's take it for what it's worth.' I told them in the locker room, 'If we lost this game, I can live with it because I know what we're doing during the week is the right thing.' I think there's a sound plan. I think the players are spending extra time together. I think the coaches work extremely hard of putting plans together. I think we go out there and practice the right way. It's not always perfect, but the steps that you need to take in order to build a consistent program takes time. But those guys, they're a gritty bunch. And they've been that way since camp when we've put them through a variety of things. There's days where I know it would be tough on the defense and just make it really short yards. There's other days, tough on the offense, mess with the kicking game a little bit. I think that's just part of it, having a mental resiliency – a competitive stamina – to go out there and play the next play regardless of how the situation's going, which I know is tough for a lot of people to do. But our guys are finding a way just to fight through play by play.
Q: Do you have an early word on Leonard Williams?
A: No. We'll get more tomorrow.
Q: In the first quarter after your second field goal, it looked like that third-down play, the offense wasn't in the right position. Clock was going down, and then it seemed like you pulled the offense to the side over there. An official came over and talked to you. What did the official talk to you about?
A: All I was saying was look, 'We got to get in the huddle. We got to hear the play call, and we got to line up properly.' And that has nothing to do with defense. It has to do with getting in the huddle, hearing the call and get lined up properly just to give yourself a fighting chance at the start of a play. And I thought that we were a little slow out of the huddle, so I just let those guys know that.
Q: How big were special teams today, especially on the opening kickoff? You almost had two fumble recoveries and it really set the tone.
A: I think we're making progress in that area. Still a ways to go but made some big plays. (We) also gave up a long turn, but our specialist made all our kicks. We're making progress. I think T-Mac's doing a good job with those guys. And again, we're shuffling guys in-and-out. Really every area of our team is a work in progress right now.
Q: We saw (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) play a lot more today, and then we look at (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) on the other side. He's one of your highest paid players...
A: It's a continual competition at receiver. I've said it since when? I'm not being a jerk. I've said it since the middle of camp, right? It hasn't changed. It's going to be a continual competition. Kadarius had opportunities today, and we'll see what it is next week: maybe it's (Wide Receiver Darius) Slayton, maybe it's more (Kenny Golladay) KG. We'll see where we go with that. But I think that position, we're just going to keep on rolling guys and play the guys that week that we think would give us the best chance. And the other guys got to be ready as backups.
Q: How did Kenny handle that?
A: Great. Like a pro. I told him during the week that we were going to go with (Wide Receiver David) Sills (V). He acted like a pro. I said, 'Be ready to go.' Now, does that mean it's going to be that next week? No, because you see what we did from one week to the next. We're just evaluating all those guys on a game-by-game basis. I think it takes a lot of mental toughness, too. That's not an easy thing to hear, and I appreciate them being pros. We'll go out there; we'll practice this week. It's not going to be a play-by-play every day of how they do every practice. Those guys will compete and (we'll) try to figure out the best way to utilize them for the next game.
Q: Last week you danced after the game.
A: No dancing (this week)
Q: Did you kids do a film break down and critique your dancing?
A: Yeah. It wasn't good (Laughs).
Quarterback Daniel Jones
Q: Can you describe what you saw on the final run for the first down and what did it mean to you that the coaching staff has that kind of faith in you to make that play?
A: Situation (where) we got in the perimeter there. Want to keep the clock moving with a completion or a run. Getting out of the pocket on that movement gives you the options to do both. I thought they matched (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) and I saw a lane to get up and get the first down. I thought it was a good call on the situation and just tried to execute it the best we could.
Q: They were able to limit Saquon in the first half, what did you see in the second half both out of them and out of Saquon to get moving a little bit?
A: I think we made a couple of adjustments at halftime but a lot of it was just staying at it and wearing them down. The run game will happen like that sometimes where early on in the game they match it and they are playing physical but I thought we amped it up in the second half and found some creases. Once you hit one, it helps the next one. I thought the guys up front did a good job. Saquon did a good job too.
Q: How do you feel about this collection of playmakers? (Wide Receiver) Richie (James), (Tight End) Daniel (Bellinger) – the guys making plays that you wouldn't expect.
A: Guys are stepping up in some big time situations and making those plays. I think we got guys across the board who bring a lot of different things, a lot of different skillsets and we are trying to bring the best out of everybody. Guys like you mentioned, Bellinger and Richie, did a good job making some big plays for us today.
Q: (Head Coach Brian Daboll) was talking about how this team is figuring out how to win, you know what I mean? Whether it's field goals or touchdowns. What is the biggest takeaway from a game like this?
A: It was another game, it wasn't perfect especially on offense. Execution-wise, there's a lot to clean up for us. Slow start in the first half, picked it up a little in the second half but a lot we can do better. At the end of the day, we did enough. We made enough plays to win the game and that's something to build off of and we'll celebrate it tonight but going forward, we're going to look to clean it up and see how we can be better going forward. I think it's always more fun to win, you can build some confidence off of that but there is certainly a lot we'll work on.
Q: Does it take some pressure off the offense when you do have a weapon like (Kicker) Graham Gano who is as consistent as he's been the last few years?
A: No doubt. He stepped up for us big and he's been super consistent for us in the past few years. He's a great player, huge asset for us. Big time for him to step up and make that kick.
Q: End of the first half – a read where the guy drops that ball on the outside against the zone. How do you shake that off so quickly to have the touchdown drive and get right back into the third quarter like you did?
A: I think that's part of playing the position, is being able to refocus and get going. Just part of it, got to be able to move on and play the next play. I thought we did a good job at halftime. Similar message to stay poised, keep our composure and do the simple things better. I thought we did that in the second half and it was ultimately enough to win the game.
Q: Could you take us through that last play? What does it tell you that (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kafka and Daboll put the ball in your hands to make a play there at the end?
A: A situation like that, we get outside the pocket and obviously you want to throw a completion, stay in bounds or run the ball to keep the clock moving. I thought they matched Saquon in the flat, saw a lane to run so I stepped up and run. Obviously, I wanted to protect the ball but I think it was a great call in a situation like that – you want to give yourself options to do both things and I think that was the idea there. I thought it was a good call and I thought the guys executed well.
Q: I realize you'd rather score a lot of points and win by two touchdowns but when you have to be resilient and opportunistic in figuring out a way to win a game – what do you think that does for the team development long term?
A: I think it does a lot. Like you said, obviously we want to score a lot of points and execute better in certain situations, which we will certainly look to do. Being able to win these tough, gritty games where everything doesn't go perfect, when everything doesn't go as well as you want it to or as well as you planned – I think it's important for us to show some mental toughness, some grit, some resilience. I think we have that in the locker room. Hats off to the defense, too. I thought they played great all day. They stepped up in some big situations. On offense, we got to execute better and take a little pressure off them.
Q: Did that throw to Richie on third-and-nine in the third quarter, that 15-yarder into traffic, did that get you going?
A: Yeah. That drive I thought we got into a good rhythm there. Execution-wise, we were on the ball a little bit and I thought we did a good job there kind of keeping the momentum with us and moving the ball down the field. Richie had a good feel for the spot in the zone and make a great catch for us. Big time conversion by him.
Q: (Inaudible) How does that change for you?
A: I think you learn that. These are long games, they're tough games. Most of these are, like today, a three-point game and comes down to the last possession, comes down to one score. You can't afford to worry about the last play or let that effect any decision you are going to make going forward. I've certainly learned that over my career and that's something I'm always trying to do better and to focus on. I think it's an important part of playing the position.
Q: When a guy like (Wide Receiver) Kenny (Golladay) who is a veteran and is used to playing and is not a part of the gameplan like this – as a quarterback, what do you say to a guy like that to keep him engaged as you might need him next week or do you manage that at all? Do you factor into that at all?
A: I've got great relationships with all the guys, certainly Kenny. I've got a lot of trust and faith in him. He's a hard-working guy, he's a pro, he knows what to do so he'll be back at it and he'll be big time for us going forward.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: What does it mean to be 2-0?
A: It feels good to be 2-0. It's not easy to win in this league. This is my first time in five years being 2-0. The team played great all three phases. Offense, we have to execute a little bit better but at the end of the day, we were able to grind out a win.
Q: Did you like the way this team grinded, especially late in the third quarter and fourth quarter?
A: Yes, that's what we have in this team. We have a lot of guys that have no quit that will fight and continue to keep that competitive mindset and competitive spirit. The offensive guys are capable of doing better especially with field position like that. But, at the end of the day all you want is a win and we got that.
Q: How much does it mean to win in dramatic fashion?
A: That's the NFL. If you really look at it, my first two years and the year I tore my knee, a lot of those games were close, but we were not finding ways to win those games. That's a difference. It starts with the coaching and the standard from top to bottom. Just continue to believe and never having that quit mindset. Don't hit the panic button. Find a way to win.
Q: How significant was it that the offense did not give back the ball to Carolina down the stretch? The third down scramble by Daniel Jones was huge.
A: Daniel made a whole bunch of big plays during this game. At the end of the day, in a four-minute situation, the defense did what it had to do. We got to end the game with the ball in our hands. That was just our mindset. We had a great call and DJ (Daniel Jones) made a play and we were able to finish the game.
Q: Were you (Saquon) supposed to be the target on that third and six call?
A: For sure. That's the NFL, they are going to make plays too. They did a really good job and DJ (Daniel Jones) made a play. It's a players' league. That is something Coach (Brian Daboll) keeps telling us. It's a players' league. The players have got to make plays. Your guys have to be guys and in that situation he (Daniel Jones) was.
Q: What did you make of the fans today and how they accepted the challenge?
A: I feel like we always had great fans even when we were struggling. Definitely a big credit to them for coming out, being loud. I think we had a couple penalties because of them. For me, being at Penn State, coming from that environment and seeing it in the NFL with Giants fans showing out and helping us get a win means a lot and hopefully we can keep this thing rocking.
Q: Was it nice for you to give them (the fans) an opportunity to cheer at home?
A: That's all you want. You want to give the fans something to be proud about. We haven't really done that in the past. You can't look too far into it but it's hard to win in this league. You have to be happy with 2-0 but you can't be satisfied. We have to go back to work, execute a little bit better, learn from the mistakes that we had and get ready for Dallas (Cowboys).
Q: What was different in the second half? The first half was kind of slogging through the mud.
A: That's football. We knew they were going to come out and they (Carolina defense) did a really good job, especially stopping the run. The week before they were getting gashed like crazy. (Cleveland's Nick) Chubb was gashing like crazy. We knew there were opportunities to be there, but they had a great game plan. (Coach) Bobby (Johnson), Tone (Coach Tony Sparano Jr.), Kaf (Coach Mike Kafka) and all those guys came in and adjusted it. We didn't panic, we didn't waver. We settled down and got the game going.
Q: You've dove for the pylon quite a few times in your career. How do you rate Daniel Bellinger's dive for the pylon?
A: I didn't even see it. It was Bellinger? I didn't even see it from my angle. I was faking to the right and I look, and I just see the crowd going crazy. And I was like "Oh, damn we got a touchdown." I'll go back on film and ask me Thursday or Friday and I'll give you a better grade.
Q: What did you make of the defensive performance?
A: They're dogs, man. They're dogs. They've been like that, to be completely honest, for the past couple of years. We just have to keep feeding off them. I want to give credit to the special teams. They made a lot of plays out there for us too. We have to do a better job of capitalizing. Like I said, I've been on the other end of this, we've been on the other end of this a lot of times in the past. We have to be thankful because anytime you can win in this league, it's hard to win in this league. You have to learn from the mistakes and continue to get better.
Q: Can you peel back the curtain and say how this locker room feels at 2-0 compared to your past years?
A: Obviously it's different. Culture's different. Coming here, music playing before the game, playing after the game, you've got your Head Coach coming in and rapping Biggie. It's fun. It's fun. And it all starts with winning. That's what really breeds fun. You come out here and win games and we've got to continue to do that, but we can't get too caught up in the hype. We've just got to continue to keep the mindset within this locker room, continue to trust the guys, the men and women in our facility and just keep getting better.
Q: Does he know the lyrics to Juicy?
A: He does, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He does, he does. The dancing could get a little bit better, but when you know all the lyrics you can kind of just lay back and do you.
Q: I think I've heard every coach ever say contract doesn't matter, draft position doesn't matter, you're going to play based on practice. Does Dabs mean it a little bit more than everybody else. It seems like he plays the guys who he feels earns it.
A: Yeah. I mean at the end of the day, I can't really get too focused on that. For me, personally, I've got to come in and work every single day and try to do what I can to get better and help the team win. That's the only thing I can do. That's the only thing I can focus on that's within myself and how to lead and obviously focus on myself and a better version of myself and the team. That's the only thing I can do.
Safety Xavier McKinney
Q: When I ask (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) about (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale), he said he's not afraid of failure. Do you see that? Is that something that you guys notice as defensive players and in what way? What does that mean to you guys?
A: The guys that we have on our team aren't afraid of failure. We've been at the bottom; you know what I'm saying? So, we've experienced all that. We're not worried about messing up, we're not worried about – sometimes we hear the boos and stuff but, we're not too worried about it. We know that we are going to have a breakthrough at some point. For us, it's just to keep chopping down, keep getting better, and keep working because it's always the little things for us. As long as we get that corrected, we know that we are going to have a breakthrough at some point. That's what's been happening, and we just got to keep focusing on getting better, not being complacent with 2-0 but keep getting better each and every day and each and every week.
Q: Does this feel like a breakthrough?
A: I don't know, I guess. We're 2-0 so, we still got to keep working because I've learned in this league, that things can go south really fast. You got to just keep looking forward, keep being in the moment, take each day as it is, and be present and keep working.
Q: Can you describe the play where (Safety) Julian (Love) got the sack? That's kind of the hammer that maybe you guys hadn't had in the past.
A: He did a great job of just seeing it. He was open and he made the play. I was happy for him. We were all happy for him, but we were happy we got off the field and he was the one to get it done for us.
Q: It's not just happy for him, it's a game-saving play.
A: Yeah, for sure. That's what I'm saying. We knew that was potentially the game-winning play and he made the play. We're happy for him. I was happy for him and that's the player that he is, though. He's one of those guys that is able to make that play. He has the ability to do it and he did it.
Q: You're almost playing linebacker, you and Love a little bit. What was that like and what did you guys think when Wink came to you with this plan? It was obvious that was what you were going to do straight from the start.
A: I wouldn't say that it was different, but it was the first time that I had to do that at this level. Obviously the first two years, I didn't get to play in the box. In this game, I got to play in the box. I got the responsibility of Wink putting me on (Carolina Running Back Christian) McCaffery. That was my job this game, was to guard him. I thought I did a pretty good job of doing that, taking him out of the game. It was different, playing in that box. It's a different game. There are some different monsters down there, but I thought I did well, I thought I was able to get the job done.
Q: What was that like, covering McCaffery? Obviously, you're thinking mostly about the passing game and trying to slow him down. What was the key to slowing him down in that regard?
A: We did a great job, defensively. All 11 of just keying in on him. Obviously, he's one of the best backs in this league that we have today. It wasn't easy and like I said, we all did a good job defensively, all 11 of us, of just being able to stop him and limit him as much as we can.
Kicker Graham Gano
Q: Graham, you made those two huge field goals in the fourth quarter of over 50 yards, how did it feel to help propel the team for the win?
A: It feels good. It takes a lot more than just me kicking it, obviously. It takes the whole [Special Teams] unit, the guys getting down there and getting in range. I don't see a whole lot that happens before the fourth down because I'm just warming up in the [kickers] net. I heard there was some good effort to get us in range on both of those plays, so I'm just thankful for the opportunities and thankful that Coach [Giants HC Brian Daboll] trusting me to kick into the wind like that.
Q: What is going through your mind in a moment like that? The Kicker is such a unique position where it kind of doesn't get recognized until it's the biggest point in the game. For you, what is kind of going through your mind in that situation?
A: I just try to think the same thoughts. I've got a couple of things that I will think about every week, it could change, but there's two things I'll have in my mind just to focus on and help give me success. I don't really get nervous. In the moment, I kind of don't remember what happens. It's 1.3 seconds, it's real fast and you don't even think. All of the practice and preparation that you put into just kind of takes over and you rely on that.
Q: You say you don't get nervous, but do you have a second to pause and say 'Ok, it's 56 yards and it's a little bit on the longer-range'?
A: I knew it going out there. Dabs [Giants HC Brian Daboll] looked at me and kind of just pointed and said 'Go out' and said 'Hey, can you make this'? and I looked over and said 'Yeah' and laughed and then I got out there and I was like 'Man, this is a long one. The wind is blowing our way.' But yeah, you just try to hit it the same and make sure you hit it pure. Those guys did a great job [the Giants Special Teams]. It's like I was saying earlier, it takes a lot more; it takes good blocking, a good snap and a good hold.
Q: Obviously, last year was last year. Many of the fans didn't have a lot to root for, but just the environment today, what was that like for you going into this situation?
A:That was awesome. From the first quarter on, we looked around the sidelines and I said to the other guys 'This is awesome seeing this'. The fans were waiving the towels, bringing the juice and that's special. Hopefully, fans will keep coming and doing that and I don't think they realize how much it really means to us as players having them there and having their support. We couldn't play this game without them.
Q: What does it mean to you that they do have that level of trust in you?
A: It means a lot. It's a new staff and I have to build that trust in them. So that's what I've been working on. Keeping my head down and working everyday and trying to build that trust kick by kick. We have a new game coming up, and I have to earn that trust every week.
Q: Was that the longest kick you've had in your career? Or what was it?
A: No. I don't think I should talk about that with the Giants fans. But those 50+ yarders are special. Everything has to go right on them. It's a lot different than hitting a 30-yarder. Even though that 30-yarder earlier in the game, my heart was pounding, because we got the fumble recovery. I ran down and realized we were in field goal range, so I had to calm my heart rate. Those 50-yarders are fun, but everything has to go right. So I guess you could say it's a lot more fun when you make those.
Q: Dabs said that was a little longer than your line coming off the warmups.
A: He thought we should have gone shorter? I don't think so. I think it was the right line. He sent me out there, and the wind felt a little different. I almost told them to hold the snap a little bit, because I felt the gust coming. But I said, hey let's roll with it.
Q: Which way was the gust from?
A: This way. It was into our face, so I had to get all of it.
Q: Is that a weird parallel? Having those two game winning kicks - one for the Giants and one for the Panthers?
A: I don't know if I'd call it a game winner. It put us ahead. It's what I dreamed of. It's what I look forward to. Those moments. Entering the fourth quarter, I looked at the guys and said 'I hope we get this opportunity to put us ahead.' After we made that, I was like hopefully the defense stops them and we run out the clock out, which happened. It was an exciting win for us.
Q: What's more difficult? Kicking into the wind or that 63-yarder you had a few years ago?
A: Both were into the wind. That's just part of the game though. That's the wind. That's part of playing at MetLife (Stadium). It's just what you have to deal with and try to hit good balls.
Outside Linebacker Oshane Ximines
Q: Talk about that sack by Julian (Love). Is that the Wink Martindale effect? Him bringing guys from all different angles and you get some block sacks sometimes?
A: Yes, for sure. It's his defense. It's great to never know how we're going to come at you. J Love (Julian Love), he's a bad man. We got drafted together, so I see how he works. I know what he's capable of. It's good to see him get that sack (inaudible).
Q: What does it do for you guys when Leonard Williams goes down, it looks like Wink turned up the heat even more. There wasn't any 'lets be cautious without him.' It was faith in you guys to go after them.
A: Leo, that's our leader. We saw what he's done over the last three years. His game speaks for himself. He's a big part of this defense. When he went down, we just tried to pick it up even more and just fight, because that's all we have to do to win.
Q: Could you sense that Baker (Mayfield) was uncomfortable when even he was restless in that pocket even when you guys really weren't getting penetration on all of those plays?
A: We were just trying to push the pocket and keep in there as best as we could. He made some plays. He got out of the pocket a few times, but we just tried to keep him in there and keep pressuring him.
Q: How good does it feel for you to continue to show what you can do with increased playing time?
A: Its big. Azeez (Ojulari) and Kayvon (Thibodeaux), they're hurt right now and they're doing everything they can to get back. While they're out, I'm going to do everything I can to help the team win.
Tight End Daniel Bellinger
Q: How about the play design (on the touchdown reception)? It looked like a really creative play where you came around the back-side.
A: It was a split-zone scheme, usually where I come back around and hit the defensive end. It was a good play call where I just flashed the defensive end and got open into the flat and it was a good play.
Q: Were you surprised how much open space you had?
A: Oh, yeah. I turned and didn't see anybody, and I was like 'Ok, I have to get into the end zone now'.
Q: What's the plan for the (touchdown) ball now?
A: I'm not sure yet, but I'll tell you what, I'm keeping it close to me tonight. I'm holding onto it tonight.
Q: Did they give it to you right away?
A: I was too locked into the game, I didn't even think about it until we came into the locker room after the game, so they came and gave it to me about two minutes ago.
Q: So you just threw it back to the referees?
A: I threw it back. I was trying to find the referee for the [touchdown] signal.
Q: There was a lot said in the preseason about how involved are the tight ends going to be in this offense. Are you guys a bigger part (of the offense) than we all thought?
A: Yes, we have to keep taking steps. We're a young group and we just have to keep growing. We have obstacles to face, as any position group does, so as long as we keep growing, I feel like we can help impact this offense more.
Q: So far in two games, have you guys just kind of built this culture in the locker room? Do you feel like even when you're struggling at times, that you can just find ways to win? Is that the big thing right now?
A: Absolutely. The biggest thing is resiliency, being resilient and we go out there and face struggles, coming off of the field and getting booed, Coach [Giants head coach Brian Daboll] told us that we have to stay focused in times like that and we have to stick together as a team. I think we have great leaders that keep us together as a team and keep us focused when we come out. We can overcome those obstacles.