Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo
Q: How do you think your offensive line did last week? With the injuries, you have to change it up again this week.
A: Last week was a long time ago. We made some progress; we ran the ball a little better. Protected well at times. I would like to do a little better job there in the two minute areas, whether it is the end of the game or the first half, protecting. It was good to see Geoff Schwartz get through the game.
Q: Tom Coughlin said he was happy with Weston Richburg's full week of practice. What did you see out of Weston Richburg?
A: Weston Richburg is a young player who is going to continue to grow, continue to get better. He had a good week of practice this week. Hopefully we struck a nerve and he is going to use it as motivation moving forward.
Q: Why was that the move you made? Why did you think that was necessary to do at this point? You went with the same line for 10 games.
A: We decided to shake things up, create competition, try to pull the best out of the guys up front.
Q: What do you think has prohibited this line from being better? Giving you time in two minute drills or other occasions this season. **
A: It's tough. Anytime you are struggling to run the ball and not be inconsistent there, it makes pass protection more difficult. When they know you have to throw it, they can pin their ears back and come after you a little bit more. That makes it a challenge there, come after you a little more. It goes back to the run game; we need to run the ball more consistently.
Q: Why isn't the line opening those holes?
A: It is a variety of things. It is not always the line. The line, it is easy to point fingers at those guys. It is not always the same guy. It is a different position group, whether it is the five guys up front, whether it is the tight ends, whether it is the backs, the fullback position, there is enough blame to go around, receivers are involved in there, too. Eli Manning has to keep us in a great place, it just goes down to consistency and everyone doing their job, not trying to do too much, but being physical and winning their one on one matchup, first and foremost.
Q: How did you feel Eli Manning bounced back after his rough game the week before?
A: I thought he bounced back, he came out firing. He wasn't shy about it, and we knew we had to be balanced running it to have a chance to win the game in the end. We did that, we came out pretty hot early, and had good balance. Obviously didn't finish the way we would have liked to.
Q: What is the difference the last couple of weeks? The last couple of weeks, you seemed to be in rhythm right away. Have you done anything differently?
A: No, we have approached the last couple of weeks the same that we have all year. We lay out the plan; we talk about how we want to start the game. We just clicked a little bit earlier. RE: Script plays?
A: We like to give them some thoughts early on. Let that digest throughout the weekend. Give it to them early enough that they don't let it linger. You don't want to give it to them too early.
Q: Everyone else in the world has weighed in on Odell Beckham's catch. What is your point of view on that play and your reaction to it?
A: It was something that he ran well in practice, and it was a nice play.
Q: He didn't make that catch in practice though did he?
A: No, not (like that). That was a nice play.
Q: Does anything change with Odell Beckham Jr.? He is a getting a lot of attention now. Do you have to do anything to make sure all the outside noise doesn't get to him?
A: He seems to me that he is staying humble and doing a nice job there. He is doing a good job preparing for this game this week. This time of year, there are going to be a lot of distractions, especially for young guys. You know, they are getting ready for their rivalry game and then getting ready for their conference championship game. You have Thanksgiving, the holiday's coming up, family in and out of town, but he seems to be handling that fairly well, that is number one. We are going to continue to treat him like a pro. He has earned that, and that is how he carries himself, and he has been staying humble and that is as great a challenge with all the attention you get. He is a young player, he is hungry to learn, we have him playing in a variety of spots. He is smart enough and talented enough to handle all of those spots. Whether it is one, two, or three, or in the backfield. We feel good about it there. The goal for him, in my mind, isn't for him to be a guy that relies on his talent to be successful. We want him to be as precise as he can be in every role that he has. Not just use talent to get open, but use precision, and use detail, and be one of the fine route runners in the game.
Q: When you used him last week, a couple times it seemed like it was as a decoy to see how the defense reacted to him. Did you like what you saw?
A: Everyone is active on every play. Whether they are a decoy or not, the defense sometimes dictates that. We have ways that we are going to try to get him the ball, we have other ways that we may not be trying to get him the ball. We are going to let the coverage play it out. We are going to use him any way we can to try and get a win here.
Q: It does seem like the defense reacted right away, they were shifting towards where he [Odell Beckham Jr.] was.
A: The coverages they were playing, that had to have some movement when you changed the strength of receivers. A lot of that may have been dictated by their coverages. He definitely draws some attention.
Q: When you talk about precision and route running, where did he [Odell Beckham Jr.] stand coming in, and how do you think he has done with that so far?
A: He was a guy that when he came in, he had a lot in his background of doing things down the field at the top of routes. You can see that quite a bit in games. The precision in the three-step game, the precision moving from the number one, to number two, to number three receiver, and doing things from the backfield is something he going to have to grow and learn. He has done a nice job there so far. Been around some good receivers, been around some great ones, some talented ones, and he has a chance to do some things that those guys have done.
Q: Going all the way to it being ruled a touchdown, it went from A to Z literally. What in your mind is the toughest part of that catch?
A: I was in the process of getting my next call ready if they ruled him out of bounds. I think staying in bounds, that was the tough part. He has good hands, good hand-eye coordination, he always looks the ball into his hands. You catch it with your eyes, he has big hands, he is natural hands catcher. To say I was surprised? No, I wasn't surprised.
Q: He told me the staying in bounds part, there is an element of luck there, because he is not controlling where his body hits is. Do you buy that? There was some good fortune that he happened to not be three inches the other way, or do you think it is something else?
A: I think you make your own luck. He ran that a few times last week and got better each time he ran it.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: Does the fact that Jacksonville really doesn't protect the quarterback well, does that give you a lot of optimism…?
A: I'm optimistic that we can get to the quarterback, definitely. I see at times they do protect well and I think the quarterback has mobility. He's able to move and escape the pocket. We'll just have to do a good job of containing him and we'll have to do a good job with our pressure as well as our coverage.
Q: What did you think, a lot's been talked about that final drive. I know it's been a bunch of days since then but what was your thinking on the final drive? You were in a nickel situation but you also, at the same time, had two defensive tackles in and Robert Ayers, who often plays in that role, wasn't in that spot. What was the thinking behind that and what went into that for you?
A: There was a lot of time on the clock. The unit that we put on the field, to be quite honest, we just didn't get the job done. There were three minutes left in the ball game; they had a lot of time. It really wasn't a two-minute situation, so to speak, because they could run the ball, they could do whatever they wanted to do with that amount of time left in the game. I think they did run the ball on a third and one in one situation. I think we tried to get him back in, I think he came back in a play or so. They had a lot of options. They had a lot of things that they could do.
Q: What's your opinion on the touchdown throw? You guys should have got there at some point before he threw that ball?
A: Yes. I mean, coverage-wise we tried to design something to, we had some doubles on some of their main guys and, yeah, you think you should get there. But make him throw the ball away.
Q: On the passing plays, what was the thinking on that for you? Was it because of the coverage that you sort of were protecting on the back end? **
A: The personnel group, the coverage personnel group that we used was a coverage personnel group because for the matchups like on Jason Witten, etcetera, that was more of a coverage personnel group than it was a pressure personnel group, so that was some of the thinking. We had not been executing our pressures with the other personnel group very well.
Q: You are talking about what was happening earlier in the game when you tried to pressure him?
A: Not really, because again, I was thinking about pressuring the guy on that drive still. We had something that occurred that wouldn't allow me to do it and then we had another factor where we jumped offsides on another pressure. There were several things that went on in the ball game that said, hey, I had to pull off the pressure.
Q: Coach Coughlin talked about Damontré Moore getting more snaps and part of the reason why. He said that maybe that needs to get done. What is your take on that and what do you need to see from him? I know we've talked about this before but we keep getting back to that point and everybody's saying the same kinds of things.
A: For Damontré, I think really we just have to do a better job of just managing his snaps. He's a better pass defender than he is a run defender and really that's the bottom line. Sometimes when you see him in practice, he doesn't always execute his assignments so when you go in, you don't know exactly what you're going to get. We keep coaching him up in the assignment aspect of what we're trying to do. We're just going to have to go with what he does because he is productive at times when he's on the field. We just have to do a better job of managing his snaps. That's just the bottom line. We have to try to get him anywhere from 15 to 20 to 25 snaps, if we can, in the ballgame and go with that.
Q: Does a spot like the final drive, like you said there's still the threat of them being able to run, does that sort of stop you from being able to use him in those spots?
A: No, not really. When we put our package out, we put our personnel group and it was like, 'OK, hey, we're going. We've got our nickel package out, we're going.' I had the freedom to call what I needed to call at that point in time. That wasn't a factor at all. He should have been in on the coverage package that we were in. He should have been in.
Q: Why wasn't he?
A: We just didn't do a good job of managing who… because things were going fast, so we just didn't do a good job of managing that. That's poor on our part.
Q: How challenging is that when you're dealing with a group over the course of a season and now you get to a point where you want to start getting these guys more snaps? The challenge of when you get into a game situation, I can't imagine you're sitting on the sideline looking at play counts going, 'Damontré has only had 12 so let's get him out there.' Can you make a conscious effort like that or is it really built into the flow of the game or built into the game plan?
A: As a signal caller, I cannot keep the number of snaps that he has been in the game and call the game and manage the game. I just have to get some additional help in doing that so that we can get his numbers up.
Q: Is that something that you will do going forward?
A: That is something I will do going forward, yes.
Q: When you look at the coverage, though, especially the touchdown, there were a couple plays where [Tony] Romo had a good number of seconds… The coverage could be better. DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] was the closest to Dez [Bryant]….
A: There was a double on Dez.
Q: So should someone have been closer?
A: Yes, there was a double on Dez. There should have been two guys on Dez.
Q: Someone lost track in the mix of things?
Q: Are you seeing things consistently on film or in the game that would explain the difficulty that the front four is having getting consistent pressure on the quarterback?
A: No, not something consistently on film. Sometimes we are better than other times, but I think with pressure, and the front four, they get frustrated when the ball comes out quick. Sometimes they rush too high, and that is the thing I see the most. When they rush too high, climb past the quarterback, the quarterback steps up in the pocket, then we don't have our rush lanes properly filled and when you face a running quarterback, you coach it differently than when you face a quarterback who is strictly a pocket guy. When you face all the varieties of quarterbacks we've faced, trying to get that consistency of your rush can be challenging. A [Colin] Kaepernick is different than an Eli Manning.
Q: When you see you have 19 sacks and there are four teams in the league with fewer sacks, is that something that you look at and it frustrates you and is hard to explain?
A: That is something that I am constantly looking at and to improve on that. Is it challenging for us? Yes, it has been very challenging for us to get to the quarterback.
Q: Some people will say the sack number is not indicative, but do you feel that the number is indicative of the overall ability of your team to get pressure on the quarterback?
A: It could be if you just look at the numbers.
Q: But that jives with what you are seeing in terms of pressures and the number of times you are hurrying the quarterback and hitting the quarterback?
A: Yes. You could say this, quarterback hits. If you up your number of quarterback hits, that factors in. For us, that is almost like a sack or a hurry, that is like a sack to a large degree. Not in the number aspect, but you are getting that pressure on the quarterback, so when I ask at the end of the game how many quarterback hits did we have, how many sacks did we have, how many hurries did we have and we try to factor all that in, our quarterback hits are better than our sack numbers.
Q: Johnathan Hankins' reps are way up from the beginning of the year… Are you alright with that? Is 90% [of the total defensive snaps] too much for him to be playing?
A: When you say 90%, I usually have him at around 35-45 plays a game, so that is the number he has been playing for us because he is in on our rush package because of Cullen Jenkins not being available right now.
Q: His last game was much higher than that because of no Cullen and because you were playing a running team?
A: Normally we try to keep our guys in the 35 [plays] range. Yeah he probably gets 10 extra snaps because he is in that rush package.
Q: On one of the big plays, it might have been the [Cole] Beasley play, it looked like [Jameel] McClain blitzed. Where was he going?
A: He was not supposed to pressure on that. He was supposed to be in coverage in that.
Q: So he shouldn't have blitzed?
A: He should not have blitzed.
Q: Did he read the signal wrong or was it his decision?
A: It was an error.
Q: Does that drive you nuts?
A: Yes, that is why don't have any hair. It is not genetic. That is why I don't have any hair.
Q: Without picking on the guy, how does your middle linebacker make that mistake?
A: I don't know because there was communication with the call and there was communication because there was a call made for our coverage purpose and I think sometimes they get so locked into 'this is what we are supposed to do' because we have another pressure that is very similar to that where he does come on. Maybe his mind went to that particular pressure on that.
Q: When we look at your defense and the way it improved last year after the acquisition of [Jon] Beason… Do you guys miss him and that leadership and communication?
A: Oh sure. It is like you lost your starting quarterback. When you lose your starting quarterback…you lose a guy who didn't really practice in the preseason and they elect him captain just based on what he did when he was here from October to OTAs. That is saying a lot. The other men are capable. They are very capable. They are manning the ship as best they can.
Q: You are taking a lot of heat though for plays like that…
A: That comes with the job though. That is my responsibility and that comes with the job. I am responsible for it.