Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Q: Is Victor Cruz making progress?
A: He did not practice today.
Q: Is being out there a sign of progress?
Q: He was able to run or sprint?
A: He didn't practice. He didn't get any team work today.
Q: How much work is left as far as the team practices that he can participate in?
A: Today is Thursday, so he'll have Saturday's practice.
Q: Did the fact that he didn't practice today make Monday a long shot?
A: We'll take it day by day.
Q: You were indoors today?
A: We were inside and outside today.
Q: Why indoors on a sunny day?
A: It was good to get in here and get the quality work in here. There were gusts of wind that would've made the kicking game and some other parts of the game a challenge. We wanted to make sure we had quality work.
Q: How do you feel Eli Apple has responded to getting pulled from last week's game?
A: Honestly, I don't see anything different with Eli. He's come out, gone about his business and been productive on the practice field.
Q: What was it the other day that didn't click for him?
A: Made some mistakes that we need to eliminate through preparation. He'll bounce back.
Q: How much do you attribute that to being a rookie?
A: I think not all days are good days in this business. You have to fight through that, learn from that and get better.
Q: Will he be back in the role he had before he was taken out on Sunday?
A: He's back in the fold, yes.
Q: For games, you don't know what elements you're going to get. Why not endure the elements? What goes into that decision in your mind?
A: We endured the elements up until the first TV timeout, then we came inside. We had a chance to throw and handle the ball in the elements. Then we decided to come in and finish the team period inside.
Q: Halfway through the season, do you have an idea of how good this team can be?
A: We're looking forward. We take it one week at a time. We're focused on our preparation. We don't look at things from a big picture standpoint as far as this is what we need to do to get here or be seeded here or there. November is about jockeying for position one game at a time. You have to focus on your preparation and find a way to get better each and every week and get a win.
Q: Do you feel like you're in a good position?
A: I like where we are this week at this point in time. After a Thursday practice, we had a good physical practice out here. We're focused on playing Cincinnati on Monday night.
Q: When a team builds on wins like you have, does that help moving forward?
A: Again, we're focused on our preparation. That's the most important thing. Focusing not in the venue or playing primetime football, not on anything else. We need to focus on Cincinnati and winning the ball game.
Q: As the calendar turns to November and December, is that more of a concern that the running game is not getting going?
A: No. We're focused on running the ball this week. We have a good plan in place. We had a good practice today. We'll continue to improve as the week goes on.
Q: Is it important though later in the year?
A: Yes. As the weather turns, you want to be a good running football team, absolutely.
Q: Why hasn't Orleans Darkwa been in the mix the last few weeks?
A: Game plan decisions.
Q: Do you have a percentage or a number that you'd like to run the ball?
Q: Would you like to share that?
A: No. We want to be a balanced football team.
Q: So you want to be a 50/50 offense run vs. pass?
A: Depending on the situation. Situations, you want to win the situation. Otherwise you want to be a balanced football team.
Q: Overall, you're looking at 50/50 as your goal?
A: No. I want to be a balanced football team. Do whatever you have to do situationally to win. Whatever you have to do on third down, whatever you have to do in the green zone and coming out of the end zone. Otherwise, you want to be a balanced team.
Q: Is that a week-to-week thing?
A: It's a philosophy.
Q: Do you consider it a balanced team if you only have 10-12 carries? That's how the situation turns out?
A: If you're in the open field on first and second down, you want to be a balanced football team.
Q: Does Leon Hall's history with Cincinnati affect at all your decision to dress him this week?
A: We're looking to go into the game with the 46 we feel will help us in all three phases.
Q: Do you think he can help you?
Q: How much of a weapon is Janoris Jenkins against A.J. Green?
A: A.J.'s a special player. He can be covered and still have a completion. That's what the challenging part of it is. If they throw the ball high and wide, a lot of times he has tight coverage, you see him coming down with the football. The great thing about the corners that we have is that they all fight and compete. They flush the bad plays. They give up a completion, they move on. Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
Q: What are your thoughts on how Eli Apple has responded to the benching?
A: Really good and I wouldn't call it a benching. As a matter of fact, he was struggling a little bit, we went over and said, 'Look, let's just take a series off and see what happens.' Then our guys just got in a groove and we just kind of left it like that, but no one has lost confidence in Eli. He is a good football player and he will bounce back.
Q: Will his role be the same as it was before?
A: Yeah, it won't change.
Q: How much of that do you attribute to him being a rookie?
A: Yeah, a little bit of everything. Look, he had some good plays in there early too because when you go back and look at the tape, he made a really nice tackle early, but then he missed one and he had a rough series, so Tim (Walton) and I just talked and said, 'Look, let's give him a series to settle down.' Then I believe in the next series we kind of just left it. I said, 'What do you want to do this series?' He said, 'Well, just kind of leave it right now.' Then before you knew it, the game was out. But again, I am a big Eli Apple fan. I have said that from the beginning.
He is going to help us win football games, he has – I talked with him two weeks ago and told him that one of the things in this business when you are a young guy is that you have to make sure that your body is all right. He has had the unfortunate experience, he has been up and down, like he has practiced and then he hasn't practiced. He hasn't built the calluses to get through a season like this, so he is struggling a little bit with that. But he is going to be fine. He is on the rise, has had a great week of practice. I just watched the tape with the defense of today's practice and he had a really good day, so I expect him to bounce back.
Q: On the touchdown run where Matthews got to the edge, what happened there?
A: (Eli) should have been outside there. When everyone blocked down, one of those tight ends was Eli's and when your guy blocks, you replace to the outside. He kind of lost things a little bit and guys in this league will make you pay when you have your eyes in the wrong spot and that happened on another play, so we just needed to settle him down a little bit and he is going to be fine.
Q: Can you describe the aggressive approach you had on those last four plays.
A: If we were going down, we were going down swinging. Well, the guys did a nice job executing it. I don't think that is always the thing to do, to be quite honest with you, because you can overdo it. To the Eagles' credit, the second to last play, they were trying to sneak Sproles out and because the players were as aggressive as they were, JC got there before Wentz could get it out. Otherwise, they are going to look like they made the right call, so it was the guys executing.
But when we do that, it is to make the quarterback make the mistake or throw it quick. We can't put all kinds of pressure on our coverage guys to be hanging back there too long and on that particular play, they did. I was happy for Trev for that, he won that down. We got a little bit of pressure on them and that was the guy they were going to, but he won it because he was inside leverage, he was where he was supposed to be, it forced the ball to go a little higher than they really wanted to and it went incomplete, so it was good to see.
Q: The fans always ask why you don't blitz more. Why can't you do it all the time?
A: I think the ones that are forgotten are when we do blitz and it all gets picked up and it ends up being a pretty good play for the offense because again, no matter who you have out there covering, you can only cover for so long against these guys, and teams are smart. The really good quarterbacks will see things coming, get rid of it, sometimes they can turn into big plays for the offense. You have to pick your spots and that is what we have been doing, but we would like to do it as much as we can.
Q: Do you think this defensive line is finally hitting its stride?
A: I hope so. These guys have a lot of pride. They would like to be doing a lot better in any game. Every individual position group wants to be the reason why we play great defense and win games and I think they feel the same way. I like the way they are functioning together, chemistry is important, I think that is there right now, I think sometimes that comes with winning, we have been able to do that. But look, there is a fine line, one or two plays in there could have been the other way, we understand that when we win and we certainly see that when we lose.
Q: One of the things that stood out was seven plays of 25+ yards.
A: Yeah, that is a knife in my back every day and we talk about it all the time. You have to keep that number under four plays and it seems to be that when teams have explosive plays against us, they are really explosive. It is like the 58-yard touchdown and that was a combination of a lot of guys. It is not just one guy. To the naked eye, it is just one guy, but it is not, it is a lot of people. But we need to eliminate those. Why do they happen? They happen sometimes because the offense out-executes us and a couple of them happened in this particular game because of poor eyes on the back end. A lot of times it does fall on the secondary, but look, on one of those particular plays, we had four one on ones up front and nobody won, so it is on everybody, not just one person.
Q: Has Andrew Adams earned the opportunity to start?
A: He has earned what he has been playing. We will use more than just two safeties. Nat had not had enough – the prior week he did not practice very much because we didn't know if he was going to make it through the concussion protocol. No, that was last week.
Then he didn't really get cleared until Friday, but he had a special teams role, so we wanted him for that and so we picked our spots. You will see more of him this week because he has got a bunch of reps under his belt, but Landon and Andrew ended up as the two most productive guys on defense and when your safeties can be the most productive, you have a chance of being a pretty good defense because they are going to be in situations all the time, tackles and pass game, run game and pass game where they have to make plays.
Q: So is he still going to start?
A: It depends what package we put out there right now, so I am not going to say that because it may not work out that way, but all three of those guys are going to play.
Q: How is the productivity grade judged?
A: Well, we do it a little bit differently. Everyone knows stats, you have tackles, assisted tackles, pass break ups, interceptions, we put a point value to each one of those, but what I look at is how many points are they producing based on the number of plays they play. So if a guy plays 100 plays and he has three tackles versus a guy who plays 10 plays who has two tackles, the more productive guy is the 10 plays two tackles. You follow me? So based on that, Landon and Andrew were the most productive guys in this past game.
Q: What did you see from Goodson to warrant him a couple snaps?
A: Well, we want to get B.J. oiled up, just as a football player. I liked him as an aggressive guy, but he is a young guy. Putting him in the middle of the defense is a lot to ask, but if you don't start to do it and then at some point you have to do it, so we are going to kind of build on that. He has gotten reps here during the week. We are looking for certain situations to slip that particular package in. If we get it, then he is going to get in there again. But we would like to play as many guys as we can. Right now, I think every one of the linebackera that is out there plays more special teams and all of the defensive backs, the D-line is sprinkling in there. We like to try and get Owa and Romeo some more reps as we go. I like to get as many guys playing as possible.
Q: Where do you stand with the interior? Do Owa and Romeo fit in there?
A: It just depends on the down and distance of the situation. They have played inside and outside. They will be in there. They will be outside on first or second down. They can play all those spots right now.
Q: How did Devon Kennard do in that role?
A: I think he is doing a really good job. DK will continue to do that. Look, he has some natural explosive power, he is a thick hipped guy who can push the pocket, so we are going to try and get him in there.
Q: People think that since the Bengals have A.J. Green, you will just put Jackrabbit on him. Is it that simple?
A: Not really. He is an elite wide receiver. I have talked to Leon Hall a lot this week about A.J. This is what I was talking to Leon about – he has a unique ability, A.J. Green waits the last minute, stick his hands out and catches the ball. A lot of guys are doing that (motions to putting his hands out) and that gives a corner or DB a chance to stick their hand in. A.J. has great hands, he is a bigger wide out, with really good quickness. We have to find a way to slow him down. We can't let him wreck the football game. That is a good football player, but we will have different people on him and do different things and Jackrabbit will be one of them.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan
Q: How special of a day is this for honoring veterans?
A: It is a very important day. It's obviously a time we recognize those men and women who have served and all of the sacrifices that have been made. None of us get to do what we're doing had it not been for those sacrifices and also to keep in mind those who are currently serving. It's a special day, the 11th day of the 11th month and if you really know your history and you go back, it was the 11th hour in terms of when World War I ended as far as why it's November 11th. Very special, meaningful day.
Q: What does the salute to service nomination mean to you?
A: I'm humbled by that. First off, for this organization to nominate me, I just think the world of the New York Giants from top to bottom, just an incredible organization. I'm humbled to be recognized, I should say to be nominated, by the Giants for that. Just honored to represent them and honored to be included as a nominee in that program.
Q: Does a day like today make you think of some of your experiences?
A: The national anthem is always a time when I reflect and then also a day like today, you have to take a step back and think about those that I have served with and some that are still serving now. Just to reflect upon those sacrifices and just be appreciative. And then, also, think about some of the lessons learned and some of the things that have helped me along the way, if you will. But, most importantly, it's just to show appreciation, gratitude and honor those who sacrifice for us.
Q: What are some of the lessons you have learned that have put you in a position for success?
A: I think going back to military service, there is an awful lot of pressure. There are an awful lot of demands that are placed upon you. I think when you jump out of an airplane or you're walking through the swamp at night and you feel something around your leg and it's dark and you don't know what it is and you just have to keep focused on the mission, focused on the task at hand. I think I'm so honored to have served with some great people and working hard to achieve goals. I think growing up on those experiences, you kind of reflect upon, 'man, if I can survive that, third down might be kind of tough but hopefully we can find a way.' So, just very appreciative for those experiences and what it teaches a person about them self.
Also, just as important, when a unit comes together, whether it's an army platoon or if it's a football team, and they collectively combine their strengths and minimize their weaknesses and have the discipline just to continue to work and improve, great things can happen.
Q: Does it put things into perspective? When you're working on getting the running game going or something else isn't working, not to diminish the football element, but does it put it into perceptive?
A: Well, obviously this our livelihood, this is how our players, coaches and people in the organization, how we provide for our families. It is important. There's a former coach here with the Giants who once said, ' There's no medals for trying.' So, it's a result business.
Ultimately, I've always kind of cringed, especially recently, when folks talk about life and death or this is a war, it's a battle. I don't use those types of terms because it does, I think, reflect negatively and somewhat disrespects those who are really in harm's way, where it truly is life and death. This, not to diminish the importance of what we're trying to do and the focus we have, but to compare what we do to what our men and women are doing that are in harm's way, there's no comparison.
Q: One of your mentors is Tom Coughlin, and obviously he's going to be in the building on Monday. Just curious if you've put much thought into that? Are you anxious to see him? Will you have an opportunity to see him?
A: I'm not sure if I'll have an opportunity. If I do, I'll certainly congratulate him and wish him well. It would be wonderful to see him. I think a lot of him rubbed off on me in that I've been so zeroed in this week on the Cincinnati Bengals and trying to do everything we can to be ready and I think that's just the way he'd like it in terms of having that type of focus. No doubt in my mind, it's someone who's been a tremendous mentor for me, someone that I owe a great deal of gratitude to. I respect him and couldn't think of anybody that's more deserving of that honor than coach Coughlin.
Q: How big of a loss is it not having a guy like Justin Pugh around?
A: I think you have someone who was producing, doing some good things. It gives an opportunity for somebody else. I think you look at a Brett Jones that went in there not having had any snaps throughout the week at the guard position and just had to rely upon his work ethic and preparation. The guy is a student of the game, he's a grinder, he's a tough guy and he's going to be put to the test this week. We're excited about the fact that he's had an additional week. He's had the snaps, he's had the meeting time, he knows.
He had breakfast last Sunday morning and you've got to be ready for anything, but really, playing some snaps at left guard wasn't in the plans, so now with that being the case, all the guys have to be ready when they're called upon. It's a challenge but we can't focus on that, we just have to focus on what we can do, what he can do and how he can help us be successful.
Q: Halfway through at 5-3, are you still trying to figure out and determine how good you are and how good you can be as you make the turn, so to speak?
A: We took a step back during the bye week and tried to evaluate what was going well, what wasn't going well and, most importantly, the reasons behind that. Whether it was personnel groupings that we had on the field, formation wise, where is this receiver aligned in this formation as opposed to this other formation. Who are some of the different players who are getting some opportunities. And you do that just to give guys, like I said, opportunities.
Give the young guys a chance to show what they can do but then also to keep some of the more veteran players fresh. It is a mixture of many factors. I think we made some progress, but dang it, we still have seven negative plays. We still had some of the setbacks, the turnovers, the things that have prevented us from being the best that we can be. We are working, making improvements in certain areas but it continues to be a work in progress. We're hoping to be able to put it all together and put together that complete game that I know all of us want and certainly our fans want; everyone wants to see it.
Q: When you mention the negative plays, do you think it's more scheme or execution...?
A: Always a combination of a lot of factors. There are some that you can point to where, a guy just flat out wasn't as good as the guy across the line of scrimmage. And then there'll be those other opportunities where it could be a matter of, they had a pretty good call and we have to really be on point for it to be successful. As we look at that, you try to assess the reasoning behind it and then just know, well, if you had those negatives, then when there are opportunities to make the plays, and this goes back to some of those long passes; whether it's a flag is thrown, what we call a free-play, we got the five yards but we'd love to have the big play.
Finding a way to come down with that. Trying to make the plays that are there so it kind of offsets the ledger, if you will. Because they're going to make their share because it's hard. It's a heck of a competitive league with a lot of great players and teams and coaches. So, we know there's going to be a few negatives along the way. We just have to minimize them and then obviously offset them by making some big ones on our own.
Q: Ben McAdoo said that he had seen the running game start to perk-up a little bit as the game wore on. In addition to the yardage, what else was there that encouraged you to think that the running game was starting to make that turn?
A: I think if you look at just from the second half particularly and we were in that end of game, four-minute mode, if you will. We were able to have some success running when they had a pretty good feeling we were going to run. We had a big run getting the ball on the edge.
So, you see some of those flashes, after having some of the setbacks in the first half. We looked at some various combinations, whether it's having a big offensive lineman at the tight end position, whether it was doing some things formationally. Trying to take a look at, based upon where Odell might be, what that's going to do in terms of drawing out a defender and that can soften up some of the running lanes. It is, as you mentioned earlier, a little bit of a work in progress. I think the fact from that second half, despite some of the setbacks, we were able to do some good things and something positive to build upon.
Q: Given how the defense is playing, do you as an offense have to err on the side of caution as far as not turning the ball over even more since they're not giving up points?
A: It's always important to take care of the ball and I don't know if it comes down to as much the way that they're playing and why we want to be extra cautious. We still want to do what's in our offense and there's going to be times where we are going to be aggressive, we are going to take some chances. In the same way we talked about earlier, some of the negative plays.
There may be a turnover that happens just because the guy happens to have the exact, right timing and his helmet goes right on the ball. But what we can't have is the careless handling of the football where it's out and loose and we don't have those five points of pressure. We can't just throw it up for grabs and taking the risky chance, if you will, where we're not setting our feet. We can't just not have two hands in the pocket and those types of things. I don't know if I'm exactly answering your question; we don't necessarily look at, hey, how the defense is playing.
I think it just comes down to us. There may be opportunities where a turnover might happen and son of a gun, every eight games this year we've had a turnover in every one so hopefully it's good karma you're asking me that question. So I'll give him credit when we have 100 percent ball security. That was a good omen, you'll have to ask me that every week to make sure we hold on to the ball every week.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: The one punt return last week, what went wrong there?
A: We have to do a better job sending it back into the sideline. We can't let a guy split us like that. The guys that are singled have to beat their single blocks. Get down into the open field and squeeze into the boundary. They did a nice job of staying on our hips and blocking us. We have to do a better job getting to our releases and getting ourselves down the field.
Q: How about the job Keenan Robinson did to save it from being a touchdown?
A: That was good. I don't want it to get to that, but he did save it.
Q: Can you outkick your coverage?
A: You definitely can outkick your coverage. The thing that Brad (Wing) does best is location. It was on the numbers but we wanted outside the numbers closer to the sideline. That's what we're working on. Just better location on the kick.
Q: Roger Lewis and Paul Perkins broke in on special teams. Is that something that you can use as an example?
A: We always use that as an example. Since I've been here, guys who are good football players are good football players. I've rarely seen someone come in here and not play well on special teams but play well on offense. Ahmad Bradshaw, JPP, Tuck, all those guys were really good special teams players when they were young. They progressed to be really good offensive and defensive players. You pull upon that when you get these young guys in that haven't played.
Q: You mentioned Jason Pierre-Paul, what happened on the block?
A: He did a nice job. It was really Landon Collins and DRC, who's really been a threat the whole time he's been in the league. You have Landon in there, that spreads out the protection. Jason did a nice job getting in there and getting the block.
Q: Rather not see a lateral attempt?
A: No. That's not smart situational football. The kickoff return at the end of the game. Put seven guys up there for the onside kick. Cheat the guys up there for the onside kick. You just want to keep that in there. Try and end the game.
Q: Is that something you have to say to him again?
A: We repped that surprisingly on Friday in our walkthrough. We went through that. He doesn't have an off return back there. He has to be his own mind and just take a knee.
DE Olivier Vernon
Q: What is it like to be on a streak of three wins in a row where the defense is on the field on the last drive to win the game?
A: It just talks volumes about a lot of guys on this defense. We have a lot of guys that take pride in what they are doing and get the job done.
Q: Do you relish that situation? Do you look forward to having the game on the line?
A: I think a lot of guys on this team, regardless of it being defense or offense, if they are out there on the field, I think they take it upon themselves to put the game on their back and make things happen.
Q: The team you are playing is very balanced on offense. How difficult is it to prepare for a team like that?
A: They are a good football team. They have been to the playoffs five years in a row and they are coming to our house and it is going to be a good football game. We are going to have to play our football and not lead into anything that gets us outside of our zone and that is going to be our biggest factor.
Q: Everyone says that you have to stop the run to start. With them, can they come out throwing and the run isn't really important?
A: Man, they can run the ball or pass the ball. They have a good quarterback and they have a good receiver as well. They have good weapons on the offensive side of the ball, so we just have to play our ball.
Q: Do you feel like this defensive line is really coming into its own right now?
A: It takes time. When you have a lot of additions to a new team, guys trying to feel each other out and knowing what the next person is going to do and reading certain tendencies that your teammates do that you pick up, so it takes some time. For right now, we are still working at it. LB Keenan Robinson
Q: At 5-3 halfway through, do you know how good you guys can be at this point?
A: We know how good we can be. We're not there yet. We're working towards that but we still have a long way to go. We haven't done anything yet. We just want to become a better team, more defensively sound and disciplined. Execute our game plan. If we get to do that, we can get to where we want to be at the end of the season. It's going to take each week building to get there. It's not going to happen overnight.
Q: They have two pretty good running backs in their backfield. They have different skillsets that can hurt you in different ways.
A: Right. They're both good running backs. Like a 1-2 punch. Hill is a good downhill running back. He's physical. Then you have Bernard, who's shifty. He's a guy that's similar to Sproles but he does it in a different way. He's a bigger guy. He's shifty in the pass game. As far as running the ball, he can hurt you, too.
Q: How much of a challenge is Tyler Eifert?
A: He's a great challenge. He's one of those guys that is 6-5, 6-6 and can run, and catch. He poses a great matchup threat to everyone. Safeties, corners and line backers. He's a guy that we have to make sure we bracket and stop him. Whatever the play call calls for and make sure we know where he's at at all times. Don't leave him wide open. We have to make sure we get hands on him.
Q: Anything from playing Zach Ertz carry over to this week?
A: Every week we've played some pretty good tight ends. We've been doing the same thing. Not take away what they do but make sure we have somebody on those guys. Make sure we limit their production.
Q: How much have you been able to help stopping tight ends and running backs?
A: Honestly, I don't even look at that. I just think every play, did I do my job or did I not do my job? One play might be to stop a tight end or cover him. Is he catching the ball? If he is, how many yards is he getting after he catches the ball. That's the way I'm looking at it. I've had some guys catch the ball on me this year but it hasn't been for any big plays. It hasn't been for third down conversions. I want to limit the guy's production that I'm covering. If I'm able to do that, then I'm being productive as my role in the defense.
Q: How have you been able to just dive right in here?
A: When I got here, they moved me to WILL. I've never done that before but I was down. I'll learn it. Then they had me playing MIKE and WILL, which I've done my whole career. I was very comfortable with that. As far as diving right in, whatever the coaches ask of me, I am willing to be a team player. Willing to help and do my part. As training camp, OTA's, everything progressed, they continued to find ways for me to get involved. Early in the season, they found ways for me to get involved in the nickel package. Now I'm getting more production and opportunities. I'm just doing what the team needs me to do. OL Brett Jones
Q: Excited for your first start here?
A: I'm just preparing like it's any other game. If I get to go, just try and treat it like any other one. It's just like any other game. It's a Monday night game, so definitely excited for it.
Q: Is there a CFL equivalent to Monday night?
A: Maybe Friday night football. It doesn't have the same as Monday Night Football, no.
Q: First start since the Grey Cup?
A: Yes, it would be. The last game I started would be the Grey Cup game a couple years ago.
Q: What do you remember about that game?
A: That was one of the best games to play in that I ever played in. Those are some great memories that I have with those teammates. I cherish that game.
Q: What do you see when you look at the Bengals?
A: The Bengals are a very good front. You say that almost every week. Every team you're going to play in the NFL has a very good front. The Bengals are a very good team. You have to be prepared for what they're going to bring. Especially with each player. Definitely a good front.
Q: How much better are you than when you first walked in here?
A: From the first day to now is day and night. Just learning the game. There is a lot of nuances to the game that you don't even realize. Just playing with one yard in Canada versus no yard here. It's definitely a lot different.
Q: Was that a big adjustment, the one yard to no yard?
A: Definitely. Just the way you set and go about looking at the angles and stuff. It's a lot different. Those are some things that I had to adjust to. I'm just working on those things every day.
Q: How different is your preparation for this game?
A: I just prepare like I'm going to play. When it gets to be my opportunity, I'm not going to waste it. When I got my chance to go in, I was going to prepare each game like I was the starter. That's what I think I've done for the last nine weeks. That's what I'll keep doing as the season goes on. I'm going to prepare every week like I'm going to start. Whatever happens, happens. These guys are relying on me to know what I'm doing and to keep winning. Those are things that I really take pride in and would like to keep up.
Q: Are you really this calm about starting an NFL game?
A: I just try and look at it as any other game. It's a big game because it's the next game. Definitely being in Canada, everyone would get excited for Sunday and Monday Night Football. Especially at university. We would go after practice and watch. It's a big game. It's just a big game because it's the next one. My teammates are riding with me. I'll go out and do the job, whatever that job is.
Q: Have you heard from a lot of people back home?
A: I try not to talk about it too much. My buddies back home and the guys I played with, they all ask. I don't say much. It's just another game. I just tell them they have to tune in. They're going to watch anyway. It's Monday Night Football.
Q: Have you thought about your little Monday Night Football intro?
A: I would probably just say the university I went to. Everyone always laughs when I say it. The guys that have played there and been announced always laugh at what they say. The University of Regina. What did he say? That's definitely what I would say.
Q: Is Monday Night Football generally big in Canada?
A: Definitely. It's an excuse to hangout with the guys and do stuff. That's what we would do. The CFL doesn't play Sunday or Monday. Sometimes they do, but not often. Those are the NFL days. Those are the games we always watch. Thursday night's, we watch them all. You dream about playing here. When you get a chance, it's very cool.
Q: Does you not feeling overwhelmed about starting an NFL game show how far you've come?
A: Definitely. When you look at something far in advance, maybe your emotions get away from you. I just try and stay in the moment and stay focused. Don't let the situation get too big. When you go out there, you just go one play at a time. Just keep working. I think that's the key.