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Quotes (10/17): Saquon Barkley, Markus Golden, Giants coordinators

RB Saquon Barkley

Q: So how do you feel?

A: I feel pretty good. Taking it day by day. This week of practice, obviously you guys all know that I've been fully participating and I'm feeling good, but still taking it day by day. Just hopefully trying to get out there for my teammates.

Q: If you feel the same as you do today, do you think you will play on Sunday?

A: I'm just going to continue to take it day by day and trust my teammates, trust the process, trust the trainers, and like I said, continue to take it day by day.

Q: Physically, what is the biggest difference from where you were last week to where you are right now?

A: The biggest difference from where I was last week to where I am right now, I'm practicing. With this injury, obviously day by day and week by week, you continue to get better and better, but you really can't tell because last week I was taking reps individually and I was running routes, but it's different when you actually have to react and make cuts going against the scout team and going against the defense. So, that's the biggest difference, I'm actually practicing this week and I get to actually feel making those cuts and preparing myself for the game.

Q: Do you feel anything in the ankle when you're out there making those cuts?

A: No. One, a lot of it is you're so focused on just making the play and doing the right thing on your play and not messing up and knowing your responsibility, and you're focusing on that. So, I guess the answer would be no.

Q: What have your days been like the past couple weeks? What's the process been like?

A: The process has been the same. Obviously, I get to be on the field now, but you still have to come in early in the morning, get some treatment. That's something that I think is very important, I've got to keep on that, even though I continue to feel better and better. Even when I feel like the best I could feel, I guess you could say, I'm still not going to go away from that because I think that's important to help me throughout the season. Just as an athlete, it helps you out, too. Whether it's not even just working your ankle, whether it's working on your body in general as a whole, to prepare yourself for the rest of the season. So, that's been kind of similar, what I've been doing the last two weeks or three weeks when the injury happened, I've come in here, tried to attack rehab, attack the training room and the weight room, and now be able to get back on the practice field.

Q: Do you feel refreshed?

A: That's a good question. I don't know if I feel fresh because I feel like a little kid again and actually get to go out there and play football. I would say maybe that has something to do with it, but I guess you could say so.

Q: Any doubt in your mind that you can handle playing a full game health-wise with the ankle?

A: No. No doubt in my mind. I know that, obviously, even if I want to be out there as much as I can, it's ultimately really not up to me. It's going to be up to the team doctors and the trainers and coaches. I know that I feel confident enough that whatever they need my role, my responsibility, to be, I'm going to be able to do it for the team.

Q: So you're just waiting for final approval from the medical staff?

A: I'm just taking it day by day.

Q: How badly do you want to be out there on Sunday?

A: Really bad. That's every Sunday, every Thursday, any time we get a chance to play the game. Even when I'm done playing this game one day, I'm always going to want to be out there because you love this game and this is a game that I grew up watching and grew up wanting to do, and I get to wake up every single morning and live my dream. So, obviously it's very fun coming in here and getting in a lot of hard work in the weight room and in practice and in film, but I think the most fun is going out there and competing with your brothers, so that's what I'm most excited to be able to do.

Q: What's it like having to sit at home and watch the game?

A: It sucks, to be honest. It's weird because you're watching the game and you want to be out there, and I guess you could say that's why it sucks, too, but you're still supportive of your teammates. Even though you can't be there with them physically, just the same way I was on the sideline or I watched the game with Evan (Engram) and Shep (Sterling Shepard) and all those guys, the same way we were on the sideline is the same way we were in the house. I know we all were itching to get back and to be there for our teammates.

Q: You've had a chance to watch Daniel (Jones) a whole bunch now. How do you think you can help him be a better quarterback with what you bring to the table?

A: I think the way I help him is just to come in and do what I do and be me. I think there's a reason why the Giants drafted me here. I think that in one year I've gained a lot of attention and respect from not just the media, but from other players and coaches in the league. So, I think you've got to account for another person when I'm playing. I think that's what I bring to the game and I think that's a way I can help not only Daniel, but help the team. But also I've got to keep the team mindset, keep focused on whatever I need to be doing, and just help the team win with whatever I'm going to do.

Q: The running game has scuffled the past couple weeks. If you're in there, are there things that you've noticed by watching on the sideline that you think you can help with besides your pure talent?

A: I think that's a really good question. I think that, I guess statistically we went down, but I give a lot of credit to (Jon) Hilliman, EP (Eli Penny), Wayne (Gallman Jr.), and all those guys. I think they did a tremendous job of doing what they needed to do and making the plays when they needed to be. But the way that I think that I can help, the best way I can answer that, is just go out there and be me. Go out there playing with the God-given ability that I have and go out there playing with the mentality of competing every single time you touch the rock, and doing it for your teammates, and trying to have a successful game individually just because you want your team to win. I think the best way would be just go out there and be me. I don't think there's anything--I'm not going to bash our running backs, I don't think it was like, 'Oh, they played awful,' nothing like that. Yes, I guess statistically it went down, but that happens. It's a long season, it's a grind, the season, and not every week is going to be a 200-yard performance.

Q: Evan (Engram) said you've been climbing the walls lately to get back on the field, and then when you do get back it's going to be "angry Saquon." Do you agree with that?

A: Yeah, I guess you could say 'angry Saquon,' but it's going to be more just appreciation because when you actually get the game taken away from you--and don't get me wrong, I know it's not a season-ending injury, it's an injury that took me out for a couple weeks--but when you're passionate about this game and when you have to step away from it and watch your teammates go out there and you've got to be in a box looking down and can't really do much for your team, it makes you understand how much you actually care and appreciate this game. So, it's going to be more of a person who just is appreciating the game and is trying to go out there and do whatever it takes for the team to win.

Q: What do you think when you hear people talk about you being a "super human" healer?

A: A 'super human' healer—I don't know, I guess I've been doing a really good job of taking care of my body, I give a lot of credit to my PT and the trainers in here, and they've been doing a really good job with me of directing me to the right direction to heal faster and for me to be able to come back at a faster rate. So, I know people call me a 'super healer' or whatever, but it's a lot of hard work, and a lot of the people surrounding me for me to be able to heal as fast as I did.

Q: Do you think you are a fast healer?

A: I think everything's different. I think everyone's body reacts to different injuries. I might have healed a lot quicker from this type of injury and may not from another one, or vice-versa for everybody else, but I think a lot of it also is the mindset. I think when the injury happened, yes, I was down, but when I got off that plane and I got home and went to sleep, and when I woke up and came here the next morning, I wasn't going to come in with my head down like I'm going to be out for this long—my mindset was just how can I get back as fast as I can for my teammates. I think when you have that mindset, that attitude, I think that goes a long way, too.

Q: I think "cyborg" was the word that was being thrown around?

A: Cyborg, I've heard it all. I've heard it all on social media and in the media, so whatever cyborg, I told (Taylor) Rooks I went to Wakanda, it's a little fun, but I'm just happy to be able to go out there again and be on the practice field, first and foremost, and be able to practice with my teammates.

Q: So you're guaranteeing that you'll play on Sunday?

A: (Laughter) No, I'm just taking it day by day, and I guess we'll see.

OLB Markus Golden

Q: How do you feel going against the Cardinals this week?

A: It makes me excited. I'm excited just to be able to go out there and compete against some of my old teammates. (Arizona Cardinals Offensive Tackle) D.J. Humphries, he plays left tackle, me and him went at it. He went first round and I went second, so we've been going at it since day one. It's going to be exciting to get out there and go against him.

Q: Who has the advantage in that match-up on Sunday, and why?

A: We'll see (laughter). I guess we'll see. I'm ready. I'm not going to talk about who has the advantage. He's a solid player, he looks great on film. I'm just excited to go out there and go against him.

Q: Are you guys friends, are you guys close?

A: Yeah, that's my boy. That's my guy.

Q: Has there been any communication this week?

A: Not really. We talk a little bit every once in a while, but not this week. We'll talk a little bit before the game, and then after that we'll be ready for battle.

Q: You're used to going against him in practice, but how different will it be facing him in a game?

A: The only thing that's different is that there are going to be a bunch of fans there and it's going to be a real game this time. Me and him had some crazy battles, tough battles, back and forth. Some days we were about to fight each other (laughter). I'm used to battling against him. I'm excited to get out there and go against him.

Q: Will you talk with him a little bit when you guys get going?

A: Yeah, of course. You've got to, because I know he's going to talk some stuff to me. I'll have a little something to say to him, but not too much. We're going to get out there and compete and have a little fun.

Q: Bettch (Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher) was telling us that before the season he sat down and talked with you and said something like, 'I don't want you to be the same player you were a couple years ago. I want you to be better.' Where are you?

A: Yeah, I'm getting there. It's hard for me to be like, 'this is where I'm at, where I'm going to be.' I'll let you do that and judge that. I'm just here to work everyday and at the end of the season I can go over everything and then be able to scout myself and judge myself like I do at the end of every year.

Q: Why is the motor always running for you?

A: That's just me. That's how I play the game. The number one reason I play like that is to win. It's to win the game. I feel like if you're not playing like that, you're not playing to win. I always play to win. That's how I've got to play.

Q: Are you pleased with how you've played so far?

A: See, I don't judge it that quick. I'm really an end of the year type of guy. I'm excited, and I'm motivated to keep it going. Yes, I am motivated to keep it going. But pleased? No not at all.

Q: Considering how many times you saw (Arizona Cardinals Running Back) David Johnson in practice, what's it going to be like to see him on the other side of the line in this game?

A: It's going to be exciting. It's going to be exciting anytime you can play against a great player like David Johnson and get out there and compete against him. Me and him are close friends, too, so I'm excited to get out there and compete against him.

Q: What does he bring to the table as a running back?

A: He's a great running back, can run in-between tackles, runs hard. The crazy thing about it is he's really a great receiver, so that's what you have to watch. You have to watch him out in the backfield, you've got to watch him when you line up in the slot. He's a great receiver, too.

Q: Are you looking forward to chasing Kyler Murray?

A: Yes, I'm looking forward to that. On film he looks really good. He looks like he's hard to sack out there. When you get a guy like that, you've got to get excited to get out there and run and run them down and get after him. I'm excited. Everybody else is excited, too.

Q: Does he remind you of Russell Wilson?

A: A little bit. I played Russell a lot. He reminds me a little bit of Russell Wilson, but he's probably a little quicker. He's pretty quick. He's like a running back back there playing quarterback, so you're going to have to keep an eye on him and you're going to have to have a game plan to be able to get after him. Everybody is going to have to work together because he's a solid player.

Q: What made you come to the Giants in the first place?

A: Of course, Bettch was a big part of it. Just knowing Bettch, talking with Kareem (Martin) a lot, and him telling me there was great people up here and everything. So, that played a big part of it. Then, I know the defense and knew the defense a lot. Of course, I had to learn more when I got here. Really that, and then when I came here, I was glad that I made the decision. I'm excited because there are a lot of good people here that are here to help you.

Q: Whenever people talk about you, they talk about the motor and how it just never stops. Did you ever feel that because people always talk about the effort, that maybe they overlook how you can execute and that you're more than just a guy who plays hard?

A: I never worry about that. If you watch me on the field, you can see that yourself. I never worry about that, but I always knew what it was going to take to get me here, to put me in this position that I'm in today. It's going to take me playing hard and working hard every day. That's what I always did. I've played all types of positions and different sports my whole life and I always played like that. I don't worry about what people say out there. I worry about working hard and putting the results out there. That's what it's about.

Q: Your effort keeps you here, but I would imagine without technique, who knows where you'd be?

A: I wouldn't be here (laughter).

Q: So, you've worked on that part of your game?

A: Of course. You've got to work on that. If you're going to play in the NFL, you've got to have technique. You can't just be out there running around and just playing hard. That doesn't get you anywhere in this league. There are too many great athletes out here. That's why I say my numbers and the plays I make speak on my athleticism. As far as making plays, I'm going to play hard. If you want to coin me as the guy that plays hard, then I'm cool with that, too. But I'm going to go out there and do whatever I've got to do to help my team win.

Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher

Opening Statement: I think our guys are excited about this challenge, a quarterback that's really dynamic. I have spent 10 games playing against Russell Wilson in Seattle, so I have seen some guys like this that can buy time with their feet who are accurate and can deliver the ball on time and on schedule, then create some off-schedule plays. They've created a good amount of explosives in the pass game off of that. Also, the read option, there's designed quarterback runs where he is running it and there's other plays where he is reading the scheme of the defense, tucking the ball and carrying it or giving it. It's going to be a great challenge for our guys. You look and there is a receiver that is going to wear a gold jacket some day in Larry (Fitzgerald). I have a ton of respect for him, spent obviously five years in Arizona. They have pieces in David (Johnson) and they have some dynamic players, some young receivers. If Christian Kirk comes back, a really young dynamic receiver himself. It's going to be a great challenge and I think we have had two really good days of practice. I think the thing for our guys is we're continuing to focus on ourselves, continuing to focus on building consistency through very intentional work. It's like coach talk if you go in the room and say we need to be more consistent, we need to play at the level we are capable of all the time. To me, that's somewhat coach talk. I think the way we try to focus on getting that done is to continue to identify specific things that we need to get better at and address those in practice, address those in walk through, address those in the meeting room. Then when we come and watch the tape, we evaluate and we work that process over again. That's how you build consistency, that's to have a consistent approach to the game and the way we're coaching and the way we are trying to play the game. It will be a great challenge, our guys are excited, have had two really good days of work and I love that about this group. These guys come to work, they work hard at practice, they fly around, they are diving for balls, a fun group to coach. We just have to continue with our process.

Q: What did you like about your effort in the performance against New England?

A: Through adversity, it doesn't build character, it reveals it. I think we've had some ups and downs on defense and we've found a way to continue to play hard through all of those moments. I think that showed itself last Thursday. I think it was exciting to see our guys continue, no matter what the situation is, whether it's a situation we put ourselves in or wherever the ball is spotted, the guys continue to run to things and I think that just reveals the character of the group we are working with. I think, as I kind of just said, that's one of the reasons I love working with this group. They come to work, and they love the game.

Q: Now that Sam Beal is able to practice, what do you need to or hope to see from him over the next 20 days?

A: Number one, I think, is just getting in practice and getting reps. Whether that's on the look team, whether that's in individual, starting to backpedal. It's all the skills that a DB needs to work on. He's had a great deal of missed practice time, we all know that. It's day one, it's working fundamentals and techniques and taking the time to watch individual with the position coach, which is what we do with him and just making sure he is getting coached in all the fundamentals and techniques through these next 20 days. That he is not missing opportunities to get better when he's not preparing for a particular opponent during these practice sessions.

Q: Where do you see the biggest improvement for your group through the first 6 games?

A: One, it's just being on the same page and not allowing explosive plays to show up in games where if we came to the sideline and we say, 'hey, what was the problem there,' they can tell us and they can tell each other. They can say, 'I needed to have eyes, I needed to….' We have to get that out of our game. They've shown up at particular times in games where we just have to get them out. I think that is where we will make a big stride for ourselves. The game sometimes comes down to winning one on one matchups, and we have to do a better job of winning one on one matchups. That might be in coverage when we have an opportunity to knock a ball away, we have to knock a ball away. We have a chance up front to win a one on one, whether it's a four man, three man, or five man rush, we have to win one on one. That's kind of part of the conversation I had earlier, just being intentional with our work, knowing exactly what those specific things are. That's our job as coaches to identify those specific things and it's our players jobs to take the things we identify and work to get better at them.

Q: How close is Markus Golden to being the player he was for you in 2016?

A: I think he is really close to being that same guy. He is out here working to try and get better and he's felt better and better with his health. I think that was obviously the first thing. Markus and I talked at the beginning of the year and the goal wasn't to get back to that guy, it was to be better than that guy. I think if you have gotten to know Markus, you've gotten to see how he works, how he plays the game. I think if there is anybody that's going to come off of an injury like he had and be able to become a better player, it's this guy. He loves the game, he works tirelessly. A lot of the plays that he makes are just second-effort plays, are just beyond skills, talent. It's just mindset and purpose. That's one of the reasons I have always loved him. I remember his first game as a rookie, we are playing the Saints at our place. They are on the 15-yard line and they run a screen into the boundary, he's aligned to the field, they run a screen into the back in the boundary, he's to the field and again they are on the 15 and he makes a tackle at the 7. I see that play and you see him work in practice and that's just his identity, that's who he is.

Q: Will this game have any extra emotion, facing your old team?

A: No, it's not about that at all. I have a ton or respect for Mr. Bidwell, Steve Keim, there's a lot of people in that building that are just great people. My wife and I had a great five years in Arizona, it's a great place to raise a family, but we're lucky and fortunate to be New York Football Giants. We're excited to be here and other than that, we are just getting ready to play a game.

Q: When you look at them, do they do some of the same stuff that you did with them?

A: I haven't sat down and had time to take a look at a snap of what they are doing on defense. I honestly couldn't tell you. I know a little bit about Vance's background, it's a little different style 3-4 than kind of the tree that I believe in or come from. To be honest, I haven't really watched any of it.

Q: When a defense faces a scheme that's so different from what everyone else is running, is that especially difficult, to adjust completely to something unfamiliar?

A: I think that's a really valid point from the standpoint that when things are really different from a look standpoint, obviously we all know they are going to go four wides and spread the field or they are going to put a tight end and spread it out with a tight end in the game. They are going to be in empty, spread formations, those things are different, but at the end of the day, the point that we made to the guys in the room is, it comes down to us and us doing our jobs, aligning with good leverage, playing with good eyes. You do that and that helps eliminate some of the difference in the scheme.

Q: We have seen you use the sub package with Jabrill at linebacker. What do you like out of that package? What does it do for your defense?

A: First, I love what David Mayo has done, I really do. He's come and worked his tail off. David's another guy that loves the game. This guy really loves the game, he's tough, he's physical. It's not shade on anybody that's on our roster anywhere. What it allows us to do is put another DB on the field. I think just going back to what I believe, the more spread they get, the more space the game becomes, the more second level players you want to try and get on the field. I think Jabrill, we know he can do just about anything. It's just us doing a good job managing the situations and the things we put him in so he can play fast and we don't slow him down.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula

Q: Chandler Jones, what makes this guy so special in your opinion?
A: He's very athletic. I'd say two things. He's very athletic, and he has a high motor. To add a third thing to that is his size. He has long reach, he can bend, he can accelerate, he can change directions. His motor is always running. Then you throw in his experience and instinctiveness. He's really good. He's having a good year, and I think he's one of the top players in the league.

Q: How does Patrick Peterson change their secondary?
A: Another great player. He's extremely talented. He has great football awareness. You have to be very, very careful when you're throwing the ball in his direction for a lot of reasons. He plays with a lot of confidence, as we've all seen throughout his career. Again, we have to be very, very careful throwing the ball that way.

Q: With Daniel (Jones), what are the next steps you're looking for from him? Obviously, you're not expecting a fully developed quarterback in his first, second or third start. Or even his fifth, really. But what are his next steps to kind of put that next step forward?
A: Well, we want to win. We want him to lead us to win. But with any young quarterback, just the continued progress of making good decisions consistently and not making the bad ones. You're going to make mistakes. There are going to be things every week that you wish you could do a little bit better. You just don't want the ones that are, 'I wish I didn't do that, and it really didn't have anything to do with the defense,' those types of things. Along those lines, the continued increase in timing, better timing, making decisions on staying with number one or getting off number one, things like that.

Q: You kind of mentioned the unforced errors type thing there. How much of a hurdle is that for a young quarterback to kind of get past those unforced errors and kind of get those out of his head, not forcing things?
A: It's not just for a young quarterback. It's really for… You watch around the league, even some of the best quarterbacks around the league are trying to do things maybe they shouldn't be trying to do too much. That's the beauty of the position. It's one of the most unique positions in all of sports because you have to make split-second decisions with guys trying to take your head off, so to speak. You want to be on time, otherwise you're going to be late against good corners that are going to intercept the ball. I think the biggest thing is if you do make one, then you have to have a short memory and move on. Then through experience, just say 'Hey, I'm in this situation again. It's first down, I don't need to hold on to the ball. Just throw it away. It's okay to throw the ball away.' Those are the things that come to mind.

Q: His first action for you guys, I remember the first play, Pat (Shurmur) talked about how he forgot to motion a tight end over. Those kinds of things for a rookie quarterback you can see in practice. Next play comes up, you correct the mistake and move on. Is it more tangible with the decision-making that you almost have to see week-to-week in games, and how he grows from those situations? Is that something you can really coach up?
A: I think sometimes you have to do that, because sometimes, and this is with any quarterback, you'll see things in practice and the quarterbacks are making good decisions. Then all of a sudden, it's the same exact situation in the game and they'll maybe do something that they didn't do in practice. Those are the things that you'd love to simulate as much as you could for every position, but especially for the quarterbacks, game-like conditions. How fast you have to get it out. It's easy here when you know no one's going to sack you or hit you here. You can kind of sometimes hang onto the ball. But all of a sudden in a game, you have to make that decision whether or not to throw it away or just make a better decision. That does comes with experience. But you just kind of coach the heck out of it. Probably the biggest thing is you don't generalize. Hey, if there's a game that we could have played better, then don't just say, 'Well, how?' This is why specifically. Then if you get into the situation again, 'Let's do it this way.'

Q: How much do the injuries that you guys have had to go through, still going through, with (Evan) Engram, (Sterling) Shepard, (Saquon) Barkley, all of them missing time, (Golden) Tate missing time at the beginning of the year, kind of impacted what you've wanted to do on offense? Or maybe have had to change your play-calling philosophy?
A: It's part of the game. We talk about it a lot, and Coach Shurmur talks about it. You actually have to plan for that. Ideally, everyone stays healthy and you get everybody working in sync together through a lot of reps together. But it just doesn't happen. We really spend almost as much time making sure the guys that we know are going to be called upon to step up are getting those same reps, physically or mentally. Is it a factor? I'd hate to say yes, because then it sounds like it's an excuse. But we will say this. We welcome those guys back when they come back.

Q: The Cardinals are ranked down near the bottom of the league defensively. What has hurt them?
A: First of all, you can kind of throw that out the window, I think. Every week in the NFL, it doesn't matter. You can throw stats out the window. When you look at your schedule at the start of the season, you can throw that out. I think that they're young on defense, and they're still learning. Everybody is still learning the system. They were up last week against a really good offense and kept them down until the end against Atlanta. They've been in some really good games. We have to worry about ourselves, no matter who we play.

Q: Coming off the injury that Barkley has had, I know it looks pretty good so far. Coach said he's doing well this week. Is there a lot of nervousness you think early in the game, trying to see 'What does he have? Is he going to be fully recovered? Is he going to be able to give us what he's supposed to give us?' Do you think about that now?
A: No, I don't think so. I think if he's ready to play, then we kind of just treat it like he's ready to go. I think Coach (Craig) Johnson, our running backs coach, he'll monitor that as well. But otherwise, if we had any hesitation at all, we wouldn't even have him out there, if that were the case.

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Q: Who's your kick returner?

A: That's a good question. We'll see. We have a couple options back there. Cody (Latimer) has done it before for us in the past, and we've been grooming a couple other guys. So, we'll see.

Q: Is one of them Darius Slayton?

A: Could be.

Q: We saw him out there catching some.

A: Well, (laughter) it could be.

Q: What does he do well?

A: Run fast. He can run fast.

Q: He hasn't done it though…

A: Yeah.

Q: In game action? He didn't do it in college, though, you said.

A: Yeah, we've been training him. He did a lot in the spring, and our plan was during the preseason to get him like all of the reps. It just didn't work out, he got the hamstring and all of that stuff. He's been catching punts and kicks everyday for the last three months. Just hopefully that work will pay off in the game. We've got Cody, we have some other guys, we've got Pep (Jabrill Peppers) back there. So, we've got options.

Q: How different though is it when you see a guy running down (in game action)?

A: Absolutely, it's totally different. I mean, it's like anything else. The more game experience you get, the better off you are. But going from practice to the game, it's totally different.

Q: How much different is the skillset for a punt returner and kick returner? You don't always see an overlap there.

A: The difference between a punt returner and kick returner, obviously, as a punt returner, you have to be able to track the ball. It's a little bit more difficult tracking a punt than it is a kickoff. You have to be a little bit more rugged as a kickoff returner, because you're going to take bigger shots. But the skillset, a lot of it is you have to be fearless as a punt returner and a kick returner. You have to be fearless because you're running full speed through tight spaces. That's, for the most part, the biggest difference. Just tracking the ball.

Q: What do you think happened with the punt off the helmet in the Patriots game? Is that just one guy got pushed back too far?

A: That's exactly it. It's one guy beating another guy. Brandon Bolden is a professional special teams player, as we call them in our realm. He does a great job. He's a hell of a player, and he's been one for the last seven to eight years. That's just Brandon Bolden being Brandon Bolden. We just have to play with better leverage, better power, but it happened.

Q: Why have you guys settled on (Golden) Tate as the punt returner where it seemed like it was going to be Peppers?

A: It's not so much settling, because both of those guys will be out there doing it. It's just situational. When you get out there and you're in those long drives, and you kind of have back-to-back drives, (then) there are some situations where it's been hot early in the year, some situations where you want to put a pair of fresh legs back there. So, it just depends. It really depends. Pep is super engaged, and he's ready to go in at any time. If we feel like we can throw him back there and he can make a play and he feels good about it, we're going to put him back there.

Q: If Slayton is your kickoff returner, with his speed, does that change the rules at all for when the ball comes out of the end zone?

A: No. Again, we are very situational when it comes to that. It depends on the time of the game, and what's going on, the flow of the game. When we look at returning kicks and covering kicks, it's all situational. We just have to see how the game is going, and then once we see how it's going, we'll just make our decision.

Q: With (Arizona Cardinals Punter Andy) Lee and (Arizona Cardinals Kicker Zane) Gonzalez, they've got two great players. Do they limit what you can do return wise?

A: Gonzalez does a great job of placing his kicks, he does a good job of disguising where he's going to hit the ball, so it makes it a little bit more difficult as a kickoff returning unit. Andy (Lee) is a big ball hitter, he's always been that way. I had him for two years in Carolina. I'm very familiar with him and who he is as a specialist. When you get a chance, you just have to pick your spots. When you get a chance to make a play, and then leave the ball in play, you've got to make a play. But both of those guys have very good skillsets.

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