Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan
Q: When Odell Beckham returns punts, is there a lump in your throat the whole time?
A: He's obviously, as well all know, a heck of a player, and a lot of good things happen when the ball is in his hands. So, if the decision is made, hopefully that turns out well for us and we're excited. We'll have to wait and see. I don't know if any decision has been made as far as whether he's going to do that or not. Obviously, he's a special talent and the more opportunities he has to touch the ball, that bodes well for us.
Q: Last week you had a couple plays with the power backfield, the full house backfield. Do you feel the running game took a little bit of a step back last week?
A: You could probably say that's an accurate statement, and I'd say it's relative. We still had some opportunities where we ran the football and in terms of how we gauge our success, Coach McAdoo talks about winning the down and how many yards we get and so forth and achieving goals for the game, and we achieved that goal.
I think what happens is, we also had some negative plays. We had a few more negative runs and tackles for losses, those types of things that we hadn't had. I think that kind of skews the stats and kind of gets us to take a step back. So from that standpoint, we'd had a couple of weeks where we weren't having those negative runs and even again, 2nd and nine isn't a bad thing. We all prefer 2nd and six, five, four after a run, but we had a few of those.
We were able to get a couple of snaps, as you mentioned, of that the Tiger personnel package, in terms of giving you different personnel grouping and a face out there, that was good. The more success that we can have with that, hopefully we can do more of that in the future to give us a little more balance.
Q: For the outside, it's hard to understand why you don't use it more or went away from it?
A: I think there's a bunch of factors that come into play in terms of that, in terms of what type of plan that we had for that particular package and then also, how much of a sense, defensively, what we anticipate seeing them do from a scheme standpoint, from a physical, match-up standpoint.
If it's to our advantage and we feel that we can use it, we certainly would like to use it more often, it just kind of, one of those things that, as the game unfolds, teams have tended to play us differently or accentuate certain things from a cover standpoint. With regard to trying to do what they can to handle number 13, that is a factor that comes into play.
Always try to put him in position to put the ball in his hands and yet, still have some of that balance from a run game standpoint. There are a lot of things that come into play, but certainly it would be nice to have that type of versatility, to be able to have that package, as well as our primary or Zebra package, to try to keep the defense off balance.
Q: Shane Vereen saw his first action since the third week of the season this week. How do you think he's looked so far and when do you think he's coming back?
A: I can't speculate on when he's going to be back. He did everything that we asked him to do today. It was great to see him out there and hope for the best.
Q: When you look at the receivers and they're not getting open, is that just a matter of them not winning their one-on-ones, or is there something you as coaches can do as far as the patterns they're running or how you're coaching them?
A: That's a great point, in terms of the separation. I think the thing that a lot of folks would tend to think back upon this most recent game, in terms of some of deeper passes, 'Gosh, finally the Giants are finally airing it out.' But we didn't have some completions and I'd like to show for. We had six opportunities where we pushed the ball down the field and only had the one completion.
I think it really is a combination of three things, we obviously have to have the accuracy, and there's certainly that early in the game. I know Eli would love to have that throw back, in terms of the one to Odell. Have to have the protection so that he can set his feet and step into the throw. I think what you're talking about is a couple of those deeper passes that we had just to try win at the line of scrimmage and gain the separation that we need but then also, particularly if it's a deep pass. We always talk about holding the redline, trying to make sure we give the quarterback enough room so that we're not continually widening to the sideline. So now, all of a sudden, the defense gets a 12th man, 'Sammy-sideline', in terms of trying to maintain that.
We've got to do a better job there. We had some great work today and have worked on that throughout the week and are always trying to work on those things to get the separation. Again, I would just commend Adam Henry, I think our receivers coach does as good of a job as anybody at working those drills. Even in the season where we don't have as much individual time. Obviously, something we've got to get better at and I think we'll be in good shape and move forward.
Q: Odell had five targets early in the first quarter. How much of that was scheme?
A: How much of it was scheme? Every time we get a target to Odell, it's scheme. Every possible way we can get him the ball is scheme and we are trying like crazy to get number 13. News flash, 13 gets the ball, we're a better offense. In all seriousness, to answer your question; their defensive coverage concepts, every team usually has their core two, three, different ways they're going to want to play their defensive coverages. We've often times taken a look at how this particular defense plays a premier receiver.
Perfect example would be; you're getting ready to play Cleveland. Well, how did they play Antonio Brown, how did they play A.J. Green, how did they play Dez Bryant? Different players that may somewhat fit our personnel, but then also schematically have to be very similar to us. There's an anticipation of how that's going to play itself out and you can try, as a coaching staff to format things, have different concepts that will match that. But then, ultimately, when Sunday comes around, they may change a little bit and decide to say, 'You know what, we may have played Antonio Brown or A.J. Green a certain way,' but they were much more aware of, I should say, 13. This most recent game is a good example of that, where there was a lot more consistent, two-high coverage, particularly whether it was man or zone with a safety over the top to 13.
In fact, one the last clips we had, was what we were talking about as far as that deep ball. That was the last quarters that he got to see for the day. We're always trying to find ways to get him involved and look at different ways. Not just how he matches versus the coverage, but we can get him in different spots in the formation, not just always number one or number two and in the slot.
Q: Early in the fourth quarter when Eli came to the sideline after three and out, he looked kind of frustrated, you talked to him a little bit. The offense obviously came back out and scored late. What did you say to him? Was it new seeing Eli that frustrated?
A: I tell you, he's such a steady, steady guy. If there was some frustration, I'll tell ya, it goes away quickly. I always like to give him and give all of our players a moment when they come off the field to just collect themselves and get some water. It was kind of chilly out there so it was nice to wait for him on that nice heated bench to have the iPad to go over pictures.
But by the time he got to me, like at any point, there's frustration on everybody's part. It's just a matter of trying to take a hard look at, 'Okay, now what do we want to do.' Based upon where we're at, and what we're seeing, what would be the best thing for us to do. Are there some more quick passes, are there some things that we can do to try to get you moving in the pockets and different runs. So there is that constant communication, where I get his ideas, I have my own suggestions. We're talking with the other coaches and then forwarding information to Ben so that we can see what direction we're going to head in.
So, there wasn't a whole lot of outward displays of frustration. He's a steady competitor, he's a true professional. It was just trying to figure out how we were going to move forward.
Q: Paul Perkins had a couple of nice blitz pickups. What did you see from him?
A: Absolutely. There's the question of the day right there. Paul Perkins was phenomenal. Hopefully this doesn't get blown out of proportion, that we're putting him in Canton, Ohio. There were two specific clips that Paul Perkins was against a heck of player.
That Jamie Collins is a load and he matched up well. He did an excellent job in blocking his man and he continues to get better and better. Obviously, he's got some ways to go in all areas but to answer your question, he did an excellent job there and so now it's just a matter of, what he knows, who to block, that's great, but we still have a couple of instances where he has some uncertainty and Eli has to direct him a little bit too much.
He's working on it, he did a good job this week, and that's a huge part as we've said before, in terms of the willingness, the ability, and the knowledge of the pass protection in addition to catching some great passes. Unfortunately, one got negated by the penalty. Excited about him and looking forward to great things in the future.
Q: Is he an example a rookie who maybe wouldn't have played so much 5-7 years ago? The League is getting younger and it seems like coaches are more willing to play rookies in those kind of prominent roles.
A: I think anyone that has that combination of his vision, the ability that he has a runner, that's going to cause coaches to want to get him on the field. His hands, his ability to catch a football. But the biggest, I think, nowadays, is that it's maybe a little different then it was 5-7 years ago, is pass protection and just because what teams need to do now offensively, in terms of formation. And then you add some of the tempo calls, and no-huddle, and all of those things, the guys really have to be on his game and not just be willing and have the ability, as we mentioned, but also have the knowledge of how to pass block. I think when a guy brings those things to the table, that does put him in a position where a lot is expected of him.
Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
Q: The defensive line looks like it has been taking over in the fourth quarter. What goes into that late game dominance?
A: Well, I'll tell you one thing, most of those guys have done a great job conditioning, so when we get later in the fourth quarter they are fairly fresh or have enough juice I should say, to finish the game and that is important. We have kind of rotated guys in there. I know JPP and OV have played a lot of plays and we actually played more snaps this past game then we had the prior two, we were kind of cutting them down a little bit. The snap count got up there high, but at the end they were juiced up and finished it really well.
Q: What are your thoughts on JPP and how his game is right now and is it at a level that you even anticipated it being at?
A: Well, he certainly had a terrific game last week and look, I think if you asked him, I think he would tell you that he expects that out of himself every week and we look to him to make those kind of plays. I was talking to somebody the other day and sometimes when great players try to fabricate or go create or force plays, they are not the same kind of player, but when you let the game come to you, you let your natural ability take over and I think that is what JPP did a little bit in this last game. Usually good things happen, so we were happy about that.
Q: Was he forcing things a little bit before that?
A: No, that is not what I am saying. What I said is that sometimes great players, that happens and they don't come that way. The point I am really trying to make is he let the game come to himself in this particular game and he made a lot of plays, which is good.
Q: Is there something that he can do now that he couldn't do earlier in the year?
A: I don't know that. If you are asking about the hand and all, I can't answer those questions. That is something you have to ask him, he is the only guy that knows. But we like what he is doing right now and that is a good thing.
Q: How would you describe the step up that the Steelers skill players represent this Sunday?
A: From the standpoint of what we have been seeing?
Q: Or just how good they are on their own.
A: Yeah, John (Schmeelk) just said it to me over there, 'Good luck picking you poison.' They have got skill all over the place. You try to take one thing away and they will open up a hole somewhere else. But they have been good for a long time. The quarterback makes it all go and when you have a skill guy like Antonio Brown outside and a back like (Le'Veon) Bell that can do the things that he can do inside, it is going to make it difficult for our guys.
Everybody just has to do their job, is what it comes down to. Hopefully we will have enough things to change it up to take away what they do really well. Ben (Roethlisberger) is good enough that he is going to figure out what you are taking away and then go use his other tools, so it will be that kind of game all day long. We are going to need a couple of breaks here and there and need some turnovers and our guys need to play fast and relentless and hopefully something good happens.
Q: How important will Harrison be against their run game?
A: Yeah, huge. He has been huge in the run game in every game we have played. He has been such a key component to the way this thing has kind of gelled together and I am not talking about when he is out on the field, as much as when he is off the field, when he is on the sideline, when he is in the locker room. I watch him all the time. He has been the glue.
He has been the guy that can get the guys to refocus. You need somebody in the group that will do that and he has been that guy. He has been great to have around here and I guess the run game, heck, he helped in the pass game by hitting running back coming through the line.
Q: Does he make more plays than maybe you thought he would?
A: When he came here, what you saw on film was a guy that could control the middle of the defense and he has been doing that. I think he stepped up his game a little bit in that regard. He used to talk about not having big stats and now he has a few here and there. He would like to get a sack or two more, you know how those big guys are. But no, he is unselfish, he is a team player, he is warrior and he is great to have.
Q: Why do you think a new guy commands so much respect?
A: That is human nature. People walk in a room and there is always one or two people that everyone else gravitates to, whether it is personality, whether it is approach, whether it is confidence or whether it is prior track record. He has all of that and he has been great, he has been terrific to have.
Q: Did you think you were getting that when you signed him?
A: I didn't know him as a person. That is the one thing about free agency, I have always said, unless you have somebody who has worked with the person you are bringing in the building, you really don't know. In this case, there was a lot of research done and we had an idea of the type of person he was, but really just saw most of what was on film and hoped on the best with the other things and he has been great.
Q: Do you see a little more excitement from Janoris this week?
A: He likes that challenge. He will be all over the place. All of them are going to have to be challenged by a great wide receiver, but I know one thing, he does not back down from anything. He loves to compete. He likes competing out on the field here. Remember back in training camp? He wanted #13 to come out to his side because he loves that.
Q: Do you think having gone up against Odell in practice will help him?
A: You would have to ask him. But I think that anytime you can practice against that type of level athlete it helps. We obviously don't go up against Odell this time of the year, but during training camp it did.
Q: Physically, what impresses you the most about Jenkins?
A: Well, his quickness and speed. I think he does a really good job at the line of scrimmage on receivers and he has a great nose for the football. The other thing is a lot of guys can get to where the ball is going to come to, the completion point, but not everyone always makes a play. He always does. He attacks the football.
I think he would tell you that he would like to have a few more interceptions on his stat chart. He had a couple here and there. I told him that we were going to do 1,000 ball drills this week. We haven't got that many. But I keep coming back to this, he is an elite competitor. He has got that inside.
Q: Where is B.J. Goodson in his development?
A: He is coming along. We haven't been able to get him a foundation of reps, really once you get in season in practice and we keep trying, I think we got him out there once this past game. Every game we go in, we keep wanting to get him five, six, eight and then building the number of plays. We haven't been able to do that just because of the way the game has been dictated.
I think he is progressing well as a rookie and what he has to do, but the position he plays demands a lot, not just physically, but mentally and that takes a little while. It is hard to throw a rookie MIKE linebacker in there. I had one, James Laurinitis did that did it for us back in 2009 in St. Louis, but he was a little different cat. B.J. is taking a little while, but I think he is going to be fine. He has done a nice job on special teams.
Q: Eli Apple has given up some big plays in recent weeks. How much does that concern you?
A: Well, the play that I am thinking about is the play where he came back and intercepted the ball in Cleveland and it didn't go for an interception because he just stepped out. I was impressed with the fact that he had a penalty the play before and the very next play he is out there competing and makes an interception, that is what I look at. He is a rookie, people are going to go at him, he is going to make some mistakes, but I like the way he has rebounded. He is a key guy too. We need Eli out there playing for us.
Q: People look at him and ask why isn't DRC playing above him.
A: Well, they are both in there. DRC right now has been playing inside for us a little bit and we rotate him through. But Eli does some things that fit what we do, DRC does the same. I am glad that we got all three of them. This week you will see different combinations of all three of them and I think it has worked out pretty well for them.
Q: Roethlisberger has been throwing the ball more on time and is getting sacked less. Is that easier or harder for a defensive coordinator?
A: He is getting it out quicker. We charted – drop back pass is one thing, but these play action passes that they have which is what I think they are really good at – a couple of teams that we have done that on, the quarterback typically holds the ball a little bit long on play action.
These guys don't and I think it is a couple of reasons; Ben gets it out quick and the guys running down the field on play action get down there faster and so the routes are developing quicker, so our D-line does not have as much time on a play action pass on first or second down to get to them and I think it has been a really big part of their offense and the reason why they have played so well. Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: When you go into a game, do you want one punt returner who warms up before the game or do you feel like that is a position where you can just plug someone in?
A: Well, it is injuries. Injuries lead you to that, so they all catch punts before the game, they are out there, they are working on it, so you have two, three, four guys out there catching. You want to keep some guys available because they are all playing a lot of plays.
Q: How did the decision making process go during the game?
A: Obviously Dwayne has been hurt and so we wanted to take some hits off of him, so that is why Bobby (Rainey) returned kickoffs as well, so that was the number one thing. Bobby had that one issue, gave it up and so we went and talked about it and came out and had Odell do it.
Q: Seeing what he was able to do, does that factor into the decision making process now?
A: I think you look at what is best for the team and what do we need to do for the team to win the game, that game and that is how we approach it.
Q: The concern people would have is him being more exposed to injury back there. You would know better than most people.
A: Well, anytime you are on the field you are exposed to injury. It is something he likes doing. There are a lot of people around the league that do it. We are going to face a team that has a receiver that does it and is pretty damn good at it, #84 (Antonio Brown).
Q: In your experience, is a punt returner more susceptible?
A: No, I think that any position you are on the field you are susceptible to injury. It is not like one has more risk than the other, so I wouldn't say that is true.
Q: Is there any data or anything that you have looked into with that?
A: No, it is whatever you need to do to win that game and then you figure it out the next week.
Q: Seeing what Odell did with punt returns…
A: Well, he is an explosive player. Anytime he gets his hands on the ball – he has returned for us in the past, he is a punt returner, so he did that as a regular job when he first came in the league, he did it in college as a kickoff returner, punt returner and a receiver, so that was one thing that attracted us to him when we were evaluating him in the draft.
Q: And that has not been a spot that you have been incredibly pleased with?
A: No, we need better production from our punt return game. We have to make better decisions. We had two big returns last week called back due to penalties, so we have to be smarter there.
Q: Is it safe to say that if he gets the green light to return punts, you are not going to say, 'Well, we should think about this.' You will have him return punts as often as they would let you, right?
A: It is based on Dwayne. He is our punt returner, so it is based on his health and the other guys that we have available. Again, I give my input and we talk about it as a staff and what is best for the team that game.
Q: Cleveland didn't expect him to return. Is there an element of surprise?
A: I don't think so. As a coach you know who is on the roster and you know who is available and you try and study each of the guys, try and show guys tape of each of the guys because all returners are different. They all have different skill sets and all play a little bit differently.
Q: What makes (Antonio) Brown so dangerous?
A: Just his speed and elusiveness. He is similar to Odell. He can take it anywhere on the field, real good catch mechanics and gets started and he is dangerous. Everyone has to be in their spot, if you are not then he will expose you.
Q: How concerned are you about the kicker?
A: He hit the ball well. He is getting his timing down. He pushed that one, so he has just got to make the kick. That is black and white business with that. It is very simple, so we are doing everything to help him and it kind of surprised me that he did miss it, but he was striking the ball better than he did earlier, so we are getting him going. Hopefully he can get on a hot streak like a lot of guys in the league need to.
Q: Did the snap throw him off at all?
Q: With the weather getting colder, how is the kicking unit adjusting to this? I heard that they were doing reps in the stadium. How has that helped?
A: They have always been doing that. It is something that we have always done. We are used to it. We have been here with the weather. It gets cold and the ball doesn't fly as much as it flies high, so you just adjust and cover it and you have to be ready for everything.
Q: What can you say about Brad Wing's performance on Sunday?
A: He did well. I thought they covered well, so it was a good combination. Some of the punts weren't ideal, but they covered them well and then he had some awesome punts that went out of bounds and real good location and hang time, so he is improving and trying to get better each and every day.
Q: Is there a hesitation? When he does that Australian kick it kind of hangs on the sideline and bounces, but it can be kind of a really short kick if it doesn't work.
A: I don't think so because you are always trying to hit that thing to at least the 10-yard line. If it checks up, then it checks up. Half the time it does, half the time it doesn't, so we would rather take the ball at the 12-yard line then get a touchback.
DE Olivier Vernon
Q: Does it still start with stopping the run?
A: Most definitely. You have to stop the run in order to see the pass. We just have to play Giants football.
Q: Can you see this being a high scoring affair?
A: I don't know. I can't see the future. All I know is that it's going to be a good game. We're going into a hostile environment playing in Pittsburgh. They're going to bring it to us. We have to bring it to them.
Q: Is this the toughest game you've played in a couple of weeks with this particular team?
A: All of our games are tough. I'm not going to knock any of the wins that we've accumulated over this time. I just know going on the road again, it's not going to be an easy one.
Q: You're one of the few, if not maybe the only Giants player that has sacked Roethlisberger. What is it like to bring this big, tall, skyscraper down to the ground?
A: That time, there was a lot more snow on the ground. I think the snow probably helped me. He's a big guy. He's a big guy and you really have to tackle him. You really have to grab ahold of him and don't let go. What helps with that is when you have the rest of your teammates coming in and running to the ball. If I don't make a play, or someone else doesn't make a play, everyone else will clean them up.
Q: A lot of the defensive lineman are saying that you are used to playing with each other a little bit more now. What goes into that? What are you more accustomed to now that you weren't at the beginning of the season?
A: Just repetition. Repetition, you get to learn with your teammates when you get out there. That's when it really counts. When you're out there on the field and it's loud, you get a feel for everything.
Q: What does a guy like Snacks [Damon Harrison] bring to this defense?
A: He brings a whole lot. He's a big guy that can do a lot of things. If it's stopping the run, or dropping back into coverage, or rushing the passer, you know he's going to do a good job of executing those things. I'm glad to have him as one of my teammates. It helps a lot when you have a guy of his caliber. He's a very seasoned vet that knows what's going on.
He's able to coach up the younger guys, especially at that position. It helps out a great deal. It's like a chain reaction. Everyone follows what he does and it helps the linebackers and so on and so forth.
Q: Seeing you line up a few times over the tackles, guards and centers, is that something that you're used too?
A: Yes. I try not to get used to it too much. But that's something that I've done before when I was in Miami. I'm comfortable in doing it. Whatever could help.
Q: What's the rationale; just getting your speed inside?
A: I can't give you that information. Just being able to switch things up, as far as player personnel. Just giving different looks. Whatever can help.
Q: OV, how would you describe this football game, if you had to put a caption on it?
A: It's going to be a grind. It's going to be that type of game, honestly. They're going to want to win just as much as us. Going into their house, it's going to be a hostile environment. They're a playoff team as well. This whole month of December is going to be really big for both of us down the stretch. We are going to see who wants it more.
Q: Do you think you're going to find out a lot about your football team?
A: As the weeks go, we try and get better every minute. We get tested in certain situations. Sometimes we're resilient and sometimes we give up some plays. The main thing is that we would like to bend but not break. Coming into this game, it's going to be one of those games that tests us as a defense and a team overall to see what we're about.
Q: You guys have been dominant in the fourth quarter picking up guys. Are you outlasting guys physically? What's been the key to that?
A: Just sticking to the format. Not deviating away from what we have planned going into the game. Just trusting the game plan and everyone else around us. Playing ball. CB Janoris Jenkins
Q: On Antonio Brown.
A: He's a good receiver. He's dynamic and he's playmaker. That's Big Ben's main guy and we got to control him.
Q: I understand you're very excited about the challenge.
A: Yeah man, it's going to be competitive. We're going to have fun, we're going to compete and I'm ready for my job.
Q: Is he similar to anybody you've gone up against?
A: More like Odell. He's explosive and he's got different releases off the line. I think he's great with his hands and adjusting to the ball. We all have to be aware of what's going on and we know they like to give him the ball a lot.
Q: Does it help you having gone up against Odell in practice and in the summer?
A: Yeah, it helps. Similar comparisons. Like I said, we just got to play defense and play New York Giants football.
Q: Have you seen a team try to hit as much deep stuff as they do?
A: No, Big Ben trust his guys. We're going to have some opportunities; he likes to throw it up so we're going to take advantage.
Q: How are you feeling? They said you were dealing with something last game?
A: No, I don't know where you heard that from. I'm good.
Q: You weren't on the field; we're used to seeing you on the field.
A: I had to do something with my cleats, I'm good.
Q: How do you enjoy being in the playoff race?
A: Yeah, it's new. It's humbling. We know we got to keep going. We got to win December and just play football.
Q: Has your game elevated from what you were in St. Louis or were you doing the same thing and people were just not noticing them?
A: I feel like I've always been doing the same thing. I was just in St. Louis taking more chances because we were always behind. Right now I'm just doing technique and fundamentals.
Q: What got you so fired up after the game last week?
A: I'm on to Pittsburgh.
Q: Ben has the ability to extend plays because he's so big, even if people hit him, they don't bring him down. Is that even more so a problem for you guys as defensive backs when you have Antonio Brown running around back there?
A: Games like this, we understand we have to stay with our receiver. We understand Big Ben is an elite quarterback. He's big and he can sack us.
Q: Is he throwing more on-time this year as opposed to other years when he does scramble a lot? He doesn't seem to be scrambling as much.
A: He doesn't scramble as much. Everything is a rhythm or is either just throwing it up because AB (Antonio Brown) beat someone off the line or the other receiver.
Q: Were you on Antonio Brown last year?
A: A little bit, yes.
Q: How did that go?
A: It went pretty good.
Q: For you?
Q: You had a pick in that game didn't you?
A: Yeah, but I don't think it was against Antonio.
Q: It was against Marcus Wheaton I think.
A: Yeah, it was a deep ball.
Q: A guy like Brown, how do you defend a guy who's so good in space? They try to get him the ball so quickly so when they get it to him quickly in his hands. How do you limit his space?
A: You just got to take to fundamentals and techniques. Just playing corner, you got to understand, guys like that, quick and shifty, got to get your hands on them and just play how you play.
Q: You're taking about taking more chances in St. Louis, in this scheme, you don't need to take those kind of chances and can you shine a little bit more as just a cover guy?
A: It's not about taking chances; it's just we're either playing great defense all around or we're not behind by 21 (points). You just play within the scheme.
Q: You're making a lot of plays on the ball. Would you like to have a couple more picks? Because you've been there, you get there, you're making plays.
A: I think I still have a lot of picks but they're going to come in bunches and when they're coming, and they're going to start coming.
Q: They always say, to be the best, you have go up against the best to prove yourself against the best. Is this guy the best?
A: He's one of the best, yes. He's up there. Many say he's the best. You play football and just have fun.
Q: Would you like to shadow him the whole game?
A: I would, but I'm just going to do my job. Whatever the coaches give me, that's what I'm going to do. Like I said, play within the scheme.
Q: Do you do extra film work for a receiver like this?
A: Same preparation, just do the same thing week-in and week-out.
Q: Nothing extra for Brown?
A: It ain't about being extra, it's just doing the same thing, it's a daily routine.
Q: Do you like playing in New York with the big spotlight?
A: I do, it's exciting. Makes me want to compete more.
Q: Why is that?
A: Because everybody's watching, you know everybody's watching.
Q: Especially this week.
A: Every week. DT Damon Harrison
Q: How would you say this game is in terms of importance for the Giants and the Steelers?
A: It's important for both sides because it's the next game, plain and simple. We all understand what's at stake for both teams. It adds a different dynamic, but it's the most important game for both of us because it's the next game.
Q: Are your eyes lighting up for this encounter?
A: They light up every week. I love the game and I love going out there to play. Pittsburgh is a historically physical team. They're still physical. Games like this, I need I know to be on my 'A' game.
Q: Is it Roethlisberger? Is it [Le'Veon] Bell? Is it AB [Antonio Brown]?
A: It's everyone. It starts with big Ben. They have a great offensive line. All five guys, and Le'Veon Bell, as well as [DeAngelo] Williams in the back field if he's playing this week. Everyone knows, AB on the outside. They have a few other guys that can go as well.
Q: What do you think about Bell as a player?
A: Do I need to say any more than you know? He's a great player. Very patient runner. He'll challenge our gap integrity on defense. Guys that think they can make the play, how patient he is, he'll expose another gap. We just have to be patient as well.
Q: What's been the secret to dominating the fourth quarter like the defensive line has the last couple of games?
A: Just executing the game plan. It's not really a secret. Guys are just in the right spot at the right time. When plays are coming to them, they're making them.
Q: Is that something different than what was happening earlier in the season? Have you found a groove?
A: I would say that it's probably a little different because now guys are getting used to playing with each other. Before, we had the off-season, but it's not the same as actual game action. Now, Landon knows how 33 [Andrew Adams] plays. [Kelvin] Sheppard and Keenan [Robinson], we all know how each other play. We have a better idea. It's coming together at the right time.
Q: Landon Collins has had a pretty good year, but he said that you are the defensive MVP of this team. Is that humbling to hear that?
A: It's a lie. You have guys that have been playing lights out. Landon is the first name that comes to mind. You have guys like Andrew Adams coming in as an undrafted free agent and the guy is playing pretty good ball.
He's not making the splash plays, but he's being consistent in doing exactly what's asked of him. JC [Jonathan Casillas] has also been making big plays. Sheppard and Keenan as well. There are a lot of guys behind the scenes that don't make the splash plays but are just as important as the guys who do. That award is for Landon Collins thus far.
Q: Could you be co-MVP?
A: No. I wouldn't want it. I couldn't accept that kind of award.
Q: Spags was very complimentary today. Did you expect to make this type of impact right away coming here?
A: I knew it would come around. I didn't think it would be so soon. Spags and I had a conversation, and he let me know what was expected of me from day one. A lot of guys in the building know people that I worked for before. They communicated, and they told them what type of guy I was. I was just expecting the same thing here.
Q: Is your job kind of thankless, in a way that you're always taking on two guys?
A: I'm getting old. I used to like the double teams but now I'm just trying to run away from them. Pass them on to [Johnathan] Hankins. A young guy. If that'll help the team and make the team better, cause the linebackers to make more plays, then I'm all for it. I try to fight through the double team and still make the play. I'm not just sitting on the double team and holding it. I want to make plays. Double team and single team, I still think I have a chance to make a play.
Q: This system, compared to the Jets, do you feel like you have more opportunity in this system to make plays? If so, do you prefer that?
A: Yes, I would say there's more opportunities because I'm playing a little more. In a 4-3, there's not much two-gapping. You have one gap and one responsibility. You have a little more freedom as opposed to a two-gapping system. If you commit to one gap you're leaving another gap open. In a 4-3, everyone has a gap, so I would say there's more freedom.
Q: Is this JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] award a sign that he has come all the way back?
A: If you know JPP, the guy hasn't lost an ounce of confidence. From the very first day I met him, he didn't let the injury or anything like that affect him. If he was like this before the injury, I can only imagine. The guy has all the confidence in the world.
He's proving everyone to be wrong and himself right. It's not a surprise to see him like that. I was one of the ones where I wanted to wait and see myself. Seeing the guy go out there and work every day under the present circumstances, it's amazing. He's throwing lineman out there with the hand too. It's not an excuse for JPP. Can't use it.