Head Coach Ben McAdoo
Q: You guys are in a bit of an unusual situation playing two games in less than week with a Thursday nighter coming up next week. Are there any changes you have to make in the practice schedule or anything in the preparation to make sure that they're well-rested and conditioned?
A: Yeah, we made some adjustments to the schedule at the end of last week and this week and we'll continue to do so as we move through the rest of the season.
Q: What has Sterling Shepard meant to your offense this year?
A: Sterling is, again, a young, developing player who seems to get better. Had a great day of practice yesterday and he's a guy that we trust inside and out and can do a variety of things for us. It's encouraging to see him grow over the course of the season.
Q: What did he do yesterday that caught your eye?
A: Just the way he's developing into a precise route-runner. How he understands blocking and the angles it's going to take to get the job done. He'll make some mistakes, but he learns from them and he improves.
Q: Last week you mentioned that you had a package ready for Shane Vereen. Should Shane play this week, would you guys execute that again?
A: Yeah, if Shane's able to go, we will have a small package in there for him.
Q: Is he still in the concussion protocol?
Q: Is Nat Berhe in the concussion protocol as well?
Q: Mark Herzlich is out?
A: He's out.
Q: I know with Keenan Robinson you will say you have to wait until tomorrow, but is he making progress?
A: We haven't seen him do much this week. He knows how to take care of his body with the injuries he's had in the past, similar type injuries. So we'll see more from him tomorrow to know if he can go or not.
Q: Is there one guy who could step into Keenan's role?
A: He's played some good football for us. He's really bought into the culture here and into the locker room and he's been a nice player, he's played some nice football for us and we're fortunate to have him and we'd have to wait to see how that goes, who's up and who's down, as far as who can contribute in his role.
Q: When do you make a decision if you're going to defer the coin toss? Is that game day or done earlier?
A: It depends on the situation. It could be based on numbers going into the game. It could be in the game management meeting before the game. Could be right as the weather turns during the course of the game or if the pyrotechnics is a little heavy pregame, you may choose to change your decision. Right up until the coin toss, you leave all of your options open.
Q: So were you guys planning on going on defense against Dallas with how heavy the fireworks were?
A: It weighed into our decision. I thought about it, yes.
Q: Did you make that known to anybody and the powers that be that the pyrotechnics were a bit much?
A: We had a great atmosphere at kickoff, it was exciting.
Q: What gives you confidence that Romeo Okwara's game last week was not just a one-game wonder?
A: The way he prepares. He's a young player, so there are going to be some ups and downs and he's going to learn from those ups and down, and consistency is the name of the game in this league. But he's a guy that prepares each and every week with the same amount of intensity and attacks it the same, so we believe that he'll continue to develop and grow. Wide Receivers Coach Adam Henry
Q: What do you see when Odell has one of those plays like last week on the slant?
A: I kind of expect it because he has big play ability. He can take a slant and take it to the house. I expect every time he gets the ball in his hands, he's able to do something big with it.
Q: What's the most impressive part of that play?
A: The burst of speed because of the angle. Once you catch the ball, split the defense and take it to the house. One guy had a chance to make a tackle, but he already escaped that.
Q: Did you ever see the one scouting report that questioned his vertical speed?
A: No, I never saw that.
Q: Would you ever mention it or tell whoever wrote it that it's wrong?
A: You have an opinion, but I don't think that's true at all. He's always been able to run and run fast.
Q: What's your journey been like with Victor Cruz?
A: It's been good. There's ups and downs, just like in relationships. There's good and bad, but it's mostly good. Just got to stay the course. It's a long season. Again, it is a marathon and not a sprint. Just stay with it.
Q: How much does a drop bother Odell?
A: It bothers him because he's his own worst critic. Most of the time you won't find guys that are real critical of themselves when making plays. When he leaves something on the table, he critiques himself really hard. That's what he does. He beats himself up. Now, the transition is go to the next play and don't let it fall into the other plays.
Q: Has he gotten better at that?
A: He's gotten much better.
Q: He should've caught both though right?
A: Of course. Just trying to make a play. You have to watch it in till you tuck. That happens but the thing is, we try and limit that. You have to move on.
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Q: Do you allow yourself to think about getting the number one seed now?
A: No, sir. We have to take it one game at a time. Our biggest focus is Detroit. We have to handle business and if you win, then you just have to keep winning and make sure that you do have a chance, if that is the case.Q: What is the biggest difference you see between a Megatron [Calvin Johnson] offense and a non-Megatron offense?
A: I think a Megatron offense; you know where the ball is going first, second and third down for the most part. When he is not there, he is a guy that you have to hone in on, and now that he is gone, you see that [Matt] Stafford is giving the ball around. They have like four or five guys with 40+ catches, so he is spreading the ball around and it isn't just necessarily on one person. Q: How much have you gone against [Anquan] Boldin? A: All of my career. We were in Arizona together for the longest time. I have practiced against him, and one thing that I can say is that he is a hardnosed football player. You look at him and you say, 'He has been here for 14 years, and I don't want to say he lost a step, but he is still producing.' I think he has seven touchdowns on the year, he is a guy that they target on third down, he is very involved in the system. He is a guy that Stafford really relies on because he knows he is a safe catch, and once he gets the ball, you have to play big boy ball.Q: Is he more physical than most receivers?A: Definitely, man. Him and Steve Smith are in the same category – little, big, built, stocky guys with attitudes. Q: Does he talk as much as Smith? A: No, he is from Florida, man. That is my partner. I see it on film though. He gets at guys a lot, but that isn't going to be the case.Q: Is it because you are Florida guys?A: Yes, sir. It is a truce and an understanding. If you are from Florida, then you are going to be easy on each other. Q: But you have to save it for everyone else on the field, right? A: Yeah, you save it for everyone else. When you face each other, you still want to get at each other, but you keep it cool.Q: What would happen if two Florida guys started going at it?A: Probably smile it off. I don't know. I can't answer that because I have never been in that predicament.