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Making the Connection
David Baas on IR
We start out today again with the injury list. It's sad to report that David Baas, as you know, has been put on IR. It's a very unfortunate thing. I feel bad for David. I'm trying to get his spirits up. He's down. It's a very frustrating outcome to the season for him. Hosley will do a little bit. We'll see how that goes. Jacobs, no today. Paysinger and Shaun Rogers, no today. But Adrien Robinson, Cooper Taylor, Terrell Thomas, Corey Webster, they'll work. David Wilson, of course, will not.
We prepare, starting this afternoon, (for an) in the division game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles, of course, offensively have put some outstanding numbers up. They continue to do so and the last week wasn't one of those types of days for them. However, they still lead the league in rushing. They've got all kinds of numbers. I think the one thing that I would say is the way in which their defense has played. If you take away those first four games and just zoom on these last three games, they've played extremely well on defense, averaging and giving up only 19 points a game and have done a good overall job. Their special teams is consistent. They have an outstanding (special) teamers, returners. If number 10 (DeSean Jackson) goes back their on punt return, obviously we all know what he's capable of doing there. We're in the division. Chip Kelly has got them off to a good solid start this year. He's done an outstanding job and here we go.
Q: Have you filled the roster spot for David Baas?
A: Not yet.
Q: Are you expecting Michael Vick will be the quarterback?
A: I am.
Q: Last game, Vick was able to find some running room. Was he running a lot before that or do you feel they hadn't shown that until your game?
A: No. I think they had the read option. Everybody tried to defend the read option for the games prior to us. Michael Vick was in that position. That's part of their offense and he kept the ball in those circumstances. He also kept the ball when he saw a lane open up in front of him, so he had a lot of yards in the first half rushing, which can be frustrating, but no. We had responsibilities for him, particularly in the option game, and of course, trying to keep him enclosed in the pass game, but he took off and did a nice job of that, which is part of the style of that offense. They depend on that. If you look at all the quarterbacks running that particular scheme, they seem to depend on that part of it as well.
Q: How different was the film of the Eagles offense in the first game of the season compared to anyone else you have seen around the league?
A: There's a lot of people that have copied the hurry-up style, perhaps not for an entire game, but there are segments of teams that are running that particular style of offense, which is what I call the 'mach' snap of the ball, averaging around 20 seconds; some people are doing it faster. From that standpoint, that originated with Chip, I believe, and you knew that was coming, so it wasn't any surprise.
Q: You're the first team to get a second look at it. Will that help?
A: I hope so. We actually did a good job in a lot of ways in the first game, to be honest with you. It's 22-21 at the start of the fourth, but the tempo of the game, we were able to keep up with the tempo of the game, and if you're asking from that standpoint, yes. However, do you have to prepare specifically? Do you have to make adjustments, as such? Do you have a strategic plan in mind when you play against that style? Sure, you do.
Q: On special teams, do you feel that the players are winning their one-on-one matchups? What's going on there?
A: The unfortunate thing is that it almost goes week to week. One, I will say you're playing against outstanding returners week in and week out. If you look at last weekend, the kickoff aspect of their game was outstanding. The punt return aspect of the game wasn't where they expected it to be; however, the year before that same guy had a long return for a touchdown. In our situation the other day, they did a good job of holding the side that the return was at. Our coverage wasn't good. When you looked at the return of the touchdown we were following color behind color, instead of where we should have been dispersed. They got a nice block right off the bat on the gunner, a nice block on actually the right wing. The sideline was there for him. He went to the sideline. We didn't have anybody coming over from the big field into the sideline to defend against a punt that I thought was a very good punt. It was outside the numbers. It was in position where we should have been, so you're back to the drawing board.
Q: What do you think a win does for your team, just to get that win now?
A: Positive reinforcement. It's outstanding, hopefully a confidence builder. Continue the enthusiasm. We've had really good enthusiasm and the enthusiasm will continue. Hopefully we'll build on the win.
Q: Could you talk about Jim Cordle and how he has played?
A: He's done an outstanding job. Originally he started to play, then Baas came back, then he had to go in for him during the course of the game, as well. He's very smart. He keeps up with everything. He's prepared to go. He has a nice demeanor about him, in terms of going into the game at whatever point. We would hope that would continue.
Q: How much did you study Chip Kelly when he was with Oregon, before he came to the NFL? If at all?
A: You weren't here before the first game, were you? And you didn't read any of the notes, either? We spent the offseason, like everybody else did. You look at your opponents. You decide who you're going to have to play against.
Q: I mean apart from that?
A: That's it. That's what you do in the offseason. I'm trying to explain that to you. That's what you do. You take your opponents. You start with your divisional foes, boom, 'there's a divisional foe. They've got a new head coach. What's his background?' You study.
Q: You hadn't looked at it at all before that?
A: Yeah, I looked at it before just like everyone else had, because of the numbers they were putting up as a college team.
Q: Do you see Hakeem's performance on Monday as just a poor game, or are there any big picture concerns with him?
A: Just get him going. Let's go, let's play better.
Q: Is there an explanation for, seemingly, several balls bounced off his hands.
A: I haven't had a sit down with him. (The players) were off yesterday, except the medical. This is the first day. I haven't talked to him about it, but the competitor that he is, he's very much aware. Quite frankly, he's always gobbled those balls up. Explanation? I wouldn't offer an excuse, and I'm sure he wouldn't, either.
Q: Physically does he look like the same player to you?
A: I hope so.
Q: What do you see?
A: What do you see? Just like we do with everyone else: Improvement, improvement, improvement. He's got to improve. He's got to get better. He's got to get to a point where the reliability factor is there as strongly as it always has been. Has it been there up to this point? No, but we're saying let's work. Let's get back to work and get this done. We count on this guy.
Q: Are you concerned that he maybe has some big picture thoughts running through his mind?
A: I'm not. Anybody who thinks that way, fundamentally, you better take care of your business on the field. You better get your job done to the fullest of your ability.
Q: With the running game, there are still some bumps and tackles behind the line of scrimmage there. Is that frustrating, why those breakdowns are happening on some of the negative runs that you get?
A: There was penetration. We didn't handle a lot of the penetration. When you do have that, you're not going to have the kind of success you're looking forward to. We had the number of carries we wanted, but we didn't have the yardage.
Q: Did Brandon Jacobs have a setback with his hamstring, or was just not comfortable?
A: I think we were all hoping that he felt good. He was feeling good, feeling good, and then all of a sudden, he got sore. Then there wasn't enough time.
Q: The way Trumaine McBride is playing, is he now your starter or is Corey Webster going to stay?
A: When this situation came up, our corners were pretty much wiped out, yes. He started and he played well. As long as there's any kind of concern for health issues or length of service or how many snaps, then he's heavily counted on.
Q: You used Antrel Rolle in the slot last time. Do you expect to continue with that?
A: We'll see.
Q: Is it unusual to see a linebacker come in here, not having any training camp, and being able to provide something for your team like Jon Beason has?
A: Not with the quality of linebacker that we have. The quality of the player that came in, no, I'm not surprised.
QB Eli Manning
Q: Eli, any advantage to facing the Eagles twice in a month?
A: We have a good idea of how they attacked us the first time. Obviously, they'll see how we attacked them also. They've played well defensively these last two games, against Tampa Bay and Dallas, changing some things up, doing some things differently. We have a decent idea of what they want to do and hopefully we can go out there and play better and make some plays.
Q: How do you keep the momentum from your first win Monday night going into this Sunday?
A: We just keep trying to get better. I think we attack it the same way we've been attacking each week. I think our preparation has been really good this whole time and we're getting better. We just have to keep making good decisions and smart plays and figure out a way to win.
Q: Their defense has put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks. How do you work around that and try to make sure you keep the offense going?
A: They have a good defensive scheme. They do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback, whether they're blitzing different guys. They have some interesting looks. They do a good job mixing up coverage and pressure. We have to know our assignments well and make sure everyone is accounted for. We have to do a great job blocking the guys and hopefully we can get open in a timely fashion.
Q: It was a one-point game last time, going into the fourth quarter.
A: Yeah. Obviously we have to figure out a way to win the fourth quarters. We did a good job in the third quarter, fighting back and making some plays and taking the lead. They outplayed us in the fourth quarter. We have to find ways to hang in there, have a better start, finish some drives, and really pick up our game in the fourth quarter and find a way to win.
Q: Hakeem has been a great weapon for you for a bunch of years and Coach Coughlin today said he's looking for him to be a little more reliable. How much reliability do you have in him right now?
A: I have great confidence in him and trust and know that he's going to make plays for us and do a good job. Last time he had a big game versus these guys, a bunch of catches. Hopefully, he can come out there, play great and have a bunch of catches and run our offense smoothly.
Q: Any added confidence coming off of a game where you didn't throw any picks?
A: I'm always confident we can go out there, move the ball, make plays, and whatever the defense gives us, we're going to be able to find completions and move the ball and score points.
Q: When you go back to the last time you guys played the Eagles, obviously you had a rough start in the fourth quarter. It was just three weeks ago. Is it easy to put that behind you?
A: You just think about scheme and their plays. We have to look at what we need to do to improve and have a better execution of our game plan.
Q: There have been an unusual amount of passes thrown to Hakeem that he doesn't come up with. We're so used to seeing him come up with about everything you throw his way. Do you sense anything different about him? Whether he's playing hurt, just not himself at all?
A: No. I don't see anything different. I think he's made a lot of big plays for us and hopefully he'll continue to do that.
Q: You couldn't chalk that up to any time missed in the offseason, could you?
A: No, I don't think so.
Q: You say he's the same player, but you target him 9 or 10 times and he has two catches, that's not the usual production you get from him. *
A: I'm not worried about him. He'll be ready this week and he'll make the catches, make all the plays and look forward to having a big game.
*Q: Do you sense any frustration out of him, when you talk to him?
A: No. I think he's ready. I think he wants to go out there and play well. I think he knew last week we missed some on a go-route, but then had a couple of drops on some slants and stuff. He knows that, but he came back and made some plays for us.
Q: Sometimes conversations off the field can kind of creep into a guy's head on the field, are you getting any of that from him? Obviously there were some trade rumors last week.
A: I haven't sensed that from him. He's been there. His preparation, his understanding of what we're trying to do and doing the right things has been good all year.
Q: Were you curious at all coming into the season to see what Chip Kelly's offense was going to look like? Given all the attention and talk about it?
A: Not exactly. I'm more concerned with their defense. Their defensive coordinator going to a 3-4, I was probably more concerned with what their style was going to be and what they were going to try to implement on defense.
Q: A couple people have said they look better on defense in the last couple of weeks. What are they doing differently?
A: I don't know if they're doing many things differently. They're just playing well. They're playing a lot of single-high, a little bit of man and covering guys up, getting pressure on the quarterback, make the quarterback throw it before plays are able to develop. They're doing a good job not giving up very many big plays, keeping everything underneath them. Teams aren't running the ball very well against them. They're getting some third and longs and they're good at third down.
Q: What's practice like coming off a win compared to previous ones?
A: Same. I think you treat preparation this week the same we've been doing every week and trying to get better and make improvements and understand the game plan and get guys ready. Hopefully we'll go out there and play well.
Q: When you guys signed Peyton Hillis, that was the second bigger running back that you brought back in a row. Is there any sort of a strategical advantage to that? Is it something you wanted to do differently with the offense?
A: I think it's more just bringing back guys who know our offense. Tampa, they were under the same offense. Obviously Mike Sullivan is the coordinator who was here. Similar offense, I thought he'd be able to pick up the offense very quickly and play for us very fast.
Q: Seemed like he did?
A: He did a great job. Protection, catching the ball, running the ball a bunch, he did a great job and he'll continue to get better and learn. He knows the offense well.
Center David Baas
Guys have to step up. (Cordle has) done an excellent job, and he'll continue to do an excellent job. They'll work together out there, communicate and they're going to get another one in Philly. That's the next step. My next step is getting healthy.
Q: Do you plan on being around after you have your surgery, to contribute in meetings?
A: Absolutely. You're going to be in here getting treatment and obviously I'm going to work with the trainers and different schedules, I'm not going to interfere with the other guys. I'm always going to be around and if anybody ever needs anything, I'll definitely offer my opinion or my analysis of any film or anything like that. We're always there to help our guys. That's the team aspect. You're never going to lose that. For me, it's get healthy again and get ready to play football again in the future.
Q: Do you have a schedule set for when you are going to get that thing taken care of?
A: I have to kind of talk with the family and everybody and figure out what's best. Talk to the doctor tomorrow morning and figure out the best time to get that done and we'll go from there.
Q: What has this been like for you, working as hard as you did to get back and then having this happen?
A: Obviously very frustrating. Things happen, that's part of the game. You see a lot of guys out there this year that have gotten injured and mine just happened to be a couple guys rolling into me, guys kicking me. You can't really predict that stuff. You don't plan for it. You do the best you can and I did that and I can't sit there and have any regrets. Things happen and you have to move on.
Center Jim Cordle
RE: On Jim Cordle wearing David Baas' #64 at practice.
A: I guess it was fitting that I got to wear his jersey for a little bit on this day.
Q: That's pretty funny.
A: Yeah. It was an accident, but it happened to be a good day to do it. Obviously if he was out there, he would have realized when he went to put on a jersey… or maybe not because I didn't realize it. You just throw a jersey on.
Q: So when you put it on you didn't even realize it wasn't your jersey.
A: Right. They're always hanging on the white hanger and you just put it on and there it goes.
Q: Here we thought it was a tribute to your fallen teammate.
A: I realized it out there and I did try and honor him a little bit. But when you guys went in, I had them get my jersey.
Q: You said it was by accident they put it in there?
A: Yeah. That's what the equipment guys said. I didn't grab his on purpose.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out David was going to be out for the season?
A: It's unfortunate. It's the second guy to be put on IR. This offensive line has been the next man up and I feel good about it because I've been playing. I feel bad for Dave, but he was in the meetings with us and he'll help us throughout the season.
Q: You have two veterans on either side of you. Talk about how they've been helping you.
A: They go ahead and make the calls, which I can, but they like to do that. Diehl likes to talk out there and then they're good players, so obviously that helps. I can lean on those guys.
WR Hakeem Nicks
Q: What do you expect out of yourself this week?
A: I expect to go out there and give a great effort. We've got our first win under our belt and hopefully we can keep things rolling.
Q: When you guys look at what you did last time, what worked well against them?
A: I think it was just a lot of one-on-one outside… we were just taking advantage of everything they shot at us, everything they gave us. We just did a good job with it.
Q: Eli said that he liked that the offense was able to take what they were given Monday night. You guys didn't have any deep throws downfield though, do you think the offense can function like that going forward or are you going to go back to that deep threat?
A: I think we're going to take advantage of wherever situation lies ahead. We have shown that we can go down the field and be a deep threat, we've shown that we can hit the short routes and take it deep as well. We're just going to run our offense according to how coach Gilbride calls it and I think we're going to be good.
Q: Tom Coughlin said he needs you to go back to being the reliable guy he knows you can be. Do you feel you're there and can be this week?
A: I'm going to always be there. I always feel like I can. Every game doesn't always go your way but you just have to keep punching, keep fighting and eventually in the end you will come out on top.
Q: Is there something opposing defenses are doing to you this year that might be a little different?
A: No. I don't feel like my game is too much different from what it's been in the past. People are just putting more significance on it due to what kind of year it is for me, they just put a little more emphasis on that. I think I'm still playing the game the way I've been playing it.
Q: Because of the contract, right?
A: Because of what lies ahead for me and all the outside talk that's going on right now.
Q: You've said it before, that's gone from your head?
A: That's out of my head. I understand how this thing goes.
Q: Physically do you feel good?
A: Physically I feel good. I feel real good, no issues, I just want to make sure I stay feeling like this coming up on Week 8 now. The halfway mark is there.
WR Rueben Randle
Q: Do you feel that the team is reenergized after the win and ready for a run?
A: Yeah. I think that's pretty much all we needed is that one win to get on our belt and get that winning feeling back. Now I feel like we're going to get this train rolling. We've just got to continue to get better as a team, as a unit and correct our mistakes and keep it going.
Q: Did you notice any changes of the team's attitude in the meeting room after the win?
A: I think we all kind of stayed level headed. We all know it's one win. We can't let it get into our heads or anything like that. We still have got to come in this week and practice the same. We've got to come out and get the job done on Sunday.
Q: When you look at the offense overall, was it what you hoped or below what you guys think you can do in the Vikings game?
A: We know we can do a lot better. I don't think we're satisfied at all even though we came out with the win. There's a lot we can continue to get better at. We're going to keep our heads level and continue to work this week and hopefully come out with a better overall offensive game this week.
Q: Did you notice Hakeem frustrated during the game? He dropped a few balls.
A: No, not at all. We all have those type of games. I don't think anybody is doubting him at all. He's going to come back this week and probably have two or three spectacular catches. That's the kind of player that he is. I don't think anybody in this locker room is worried about his play at all.
Q: It seems like their corners have been very physical against wide receivers in recent weeks. How does that affect your play and how do you adjust to that?
A: Try to beat them with your feet. You don't let them get their hands on you because once they get their hands on you, you're done. Just try to out-quick them. You've got to be physical back also at the same time. There's a lot that you've got to do in order to beat those big corners.