Coach Tom Coughlin
Coughlin: Good afternoon. We are excited to start to prepare for the Houston Texans, a team that's, as you well know, 2-0. Plus-five, plus-five in the giveaway/takeaway ratio, which is outstanding. They have a 33:51 time of possession. They have led in their two games six of the eight quarters. Ryan Fitzpatrick has played very well, managed the game extremely well for his team. As you know, three touchdowns, no interceptions, he has a quarterback rating of 118 and he's played very, very well. They run the ball extremely well. Arian Foster has 55 carries for 241 for 4.4 with a long of 40. He's an exceptional runner, plus the offensive line has given up one sack throughout the course of the two games. Their defense is a physical front eight. Versus Oakland they did provide the ball for their offensive team at the plus-21 and plus-28 with turnovers, one fumble and one interception. Against Washington, Niles Paul had a 48-yard catch, run after the catch, was stripped, lost the ball inside the 10. Their defense provided, again, the Houston defense provided the ball, turned it over inside their own 10-yard line twice in that particular game. Special teams has also made a strong contribution. Watt blocked an extra point against Washington and Alfred Blue blocked a punt and scored, providing a very tight game, a 17-6 game, a special teams touchdown as well. So this is a good football team, well-rounded. They've done a good job of taking care of the ball. They've rushed the ball, they've had time of possession in their favor. They've made big plays on the offensive and the defensive side of the ball – that's why they're 2-0.
Q: When you're playing against a guy like JJ Watt, does it require everyone on the line to work together because this guy really can't be stopped by one man?
A: Well, he's a very good football player, very energetic. They move him around, they play him in different spots. He comes off the ball very, very well. He has outstanding energy, endurance, so there's no doubt people have to be aware of where he is.
Q: Does that make it harder when a dominant player is in the interior of the line? On the outside you could chip and you could bring the tight end. Does it make it harder when he's on the interior?
A: There are certainly ways that you can create attention towards the great player inside.
Q: Is there anything specifically that the quarterback can do because of his ability to swat the ball down…?
A: Is there anything that the quarterback can do? Our quarterback or their quarterback?
A: Well, you obviously can't throw the ball through small windows in the line of scrimmage with tall people rushing. That's something. There was pressure, the pressure was on him, he had to make a quick decision. I would have rather that the ball was thrown away, it didn't happen that way, but there are things you can do, yes.
Q: Their quarterback has a reputation as being turnover-prone in his past but they haven't turned it over. What do you see? Is it scheme-related?
A: I think it definitely is. It's well managed. They're going to run the football. They're probably 65 percent or better, a little bit better with the run versus pass ration. As I said, they've played with the lead six out of the eight quarters, that's helpful as well.
Q: Does Preston Parker get first shot at Jernigan's spot?
A: He will have that opportunity.
Q: What do you think…? He's been in the league before obviously.
A: He's been in the league, yeah. He's very quick, you saw him the other day. I think if we'd have had a decent block in front of him, that might have been just nothing more than a punt return touchdown. He's played before, he's got a good attitude about it, he is a tough guy and hopefully he'll make a strong contribution.
Q: What makes him the better option for you right now in that spot rather than Corey Washington? Or is that something that maybe you'll split with those two guys?
A: Well, there may be some opportunities for others to get involved. I was asked if he would be the first option and I responded as… I hope not to confuse anybody but you have five receivers up and they'll all have an opportunity.
Q: Where is Corey Washington in his growth? You saw him when he first came here as a rookie from a small school and now you're…
A: He gets better every day. He's got to continue to improve as a special teamer as well. That's where he can really help us right now, I think. And then of course in the green zone, he's an excellent target.
Q: You talked about the improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. What is the challenge of doing it over 60 minutes?
A: We've always been a team that I've always believed was able to do that and that's very disappointing, but we've got to win the fourth quarter. You've got to play well. Most games in the National Football League are decided then and you have to play well in the fourth quarter. You've got to make things happen, you can't be discouraged if something goes against you. You still have to rise up and make it happen. We continue to strive for that.
Q: Is Beckham going to work this week?
A: Not to my knowledge. Not with the team. He'll be right there learning, etcetera, etcetera, working on the side, but he won't take any snaps.
Q: In the summer when you were without Jon Beason, you moved McClain to the middle. Do you expect to do that again or…?
A: You'll see. We'll maybe have a shot at that. I'll maybe address that later in the week if you want to ask that again. McClain has played in the middle, Herzlich has played in the middle. Both have played on the outside, so there's a chance to utilize them in whatever capacity we decide to use, and then of course you have the substitute situations as well.
Q: Just to follow up, you're not expecting Beason on Sunday, I'm guessing?
A: Well if that's the next question… I wouldn't put anything past this guy, but he's not going to practice today.
Q: You had mentioned on Monday that you were going to talk to Victor. Did you get a chance?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: How did that go?
A: Good. That will remain private, thank you very much. It was more or less a conversation about… Victor's a captain now, it's not just his group, but I believe his group can and should play better and help, continue to help us get in a position… we're not exactly scoring any points, we need people to be in that position, and he agreed with me and he's working towards doing something about that.
Q: That part about being a captain is a different dynamic for players. We saw, not on your team but the Jets' Santonio Holmes was a captain, and it blew up one year because of the comments that he frequently made about his teammates. Is he mindful of that kind of dynamic where what he says carries a little bit more weight?
A: I think he is, most definitely. He's a positive young man.
Q: Have you been told anything about the status of Eric Herman and Jayron Hosley?
A: I did read a little blip. I guess perhaps there are some things coming down. I really don't know anything about it right now.
QB Eli Manning
Q: What is the urgency this week just to get a win?
A: Yeah, well just to… I thought we had a good day of practice today, just getting the game plan. Guys were running around fast and so the energy, the enthusiasm's good. We've just got to put it all together. We've got to continue to have a good week of practice and our preparation and then go out there on Sunday and play our best football.
Q: I know it's so early in the year, but is this a must-win?
A: I think you treat every game as a must-win. You don't want to put any extra pressure on guys, but we know we've got to get things going, we've got to start playing better football. It starts right here in the facility and in practice and having a great week and then when it's game time, we've got to step up and make some plays and do our job.
Q: How close is this offense? We saw you guys get some things done against the Cardinals.
A: I think obviously we did some good things last week. We're still not scoring enough points, so we've got to put it all together. We definitely made some strides. We've got to continue to do that, continue having a great understanding of the concepts, of the timing of the offense and play fast and make plays.
Q: The Texans want to play it close to the vest and not make any mistakes offensively. The way you guys have been making mistakes, that's a bad recipe, isn't it?
A: Hopefully not. They've been playing well. The offense has protected the ball, the defense has gotten turnovers. They've controlled the clock, so we've got to make sure that we don't give them any extra possessions and give them any great field position. We've got to play smart but also make some plays and stretch the ball and find ways to hit some big plays but also get first downs and score some points.
Q: In being aware of J.J. Watt as a pass rusher, do they move him around a lot, is he typically all around the place? **
A: Yeah, they move him around a pretty good bit. He's all he's worked up to be; he's a good player. We've got to know where he is and have a handle for him and make sure he doesn't take over the game.
Q: Has this team lost any confidence, Eli?
A: No, I think we just have to build off the good things that are going on. Last week there were enough good things that we can build off that, concentrate on those things. Still fix the things that need to be corrected but just make sure we are taking strides to get better and know what things we have to improve on.
Q: I'm not sure if you've been following the news and everything and I know it's just a few guys, but what are your thoughts about the state of the NFL right now with all of the domestic violence issues that are going on?
A: Obviously those are serious issues. We've got to make sure that's not happening. We can't accept that as players, can't accept that from our teammates around the league. I think the message is out that you can't mess with domestic violence and everybody should know that. Hopefully things get cleared up and cleaned up and guys can learn from this so we don't make these mistakes and the NFL can learn from this and we can go on and start getting back to football. Our team hasn't had to deal with that issue personally, but when it's on TV every day, obviously you're aware of it. We don't like when the NFL gets a black eye on anything.
Q: How concerned are you about that image? It doesn't reflect the majority of players in the league, but a lot of people see it and think that it might.
A: I think when you're a football player and you play in the NFL, anything that happens amongst the other players gets reflected upon everybody. That's just the way it goes. That's unfortunate, because it's a small number of people that this is happening to. I don't know all the facts on every single case and what's going on, but as players, we've got to be aware of what's going on, learn from the situations, but we've still got to go out there, do our job, be good citizens in our community, be good people and try to reflect our image and the New York Giants in a positive way.
Q: One of the things that happened last week is the line seemed to protect you a lot better. Do you sense that? It just seemed like you were more comfortable.
A: Yeah, I think the line did a good job and I think a lot of that is they played better but also having long drives, getting first downs, getting into a rhythm, especially if you can go no-huddle. If you can get a 12-play drive, eight plays, that's going to slow things down. You're running the ball, you're getting the ball out quickly on some passes and then you can start holding a little bit, you can start moving around and you can kind of sense that the defensive line is getting a little tired and that's an advantage for us. That's hopefully something we can do – having long drives, controlling the clock and that should give us an advantage and help out the offensive line.
Q: You talked the other day about playing better under pressure late in the game. You've been there, you've been in spots like that, but some of these guys maybe haven't had the same success or done that. How do you get guys to play better and to be good in those kinds of spots?
A: I think you've just got to… we practice it, we'll have a two-minute drill tomorrow at the end of practice and we take it very seriously. We also consider it whether we win practice or not. I think guys have to treat that situation seriously and I think guys have to get in the mentality of being excited for those situations. You've got to be excited for an opportunity to win the game in the fourth quarter. You look at it as a positive thing. Would you like to have a two score lead in the fourth quarter? Of course, but if you've got a chance to tie a game or win a game in the fourth quarter, you've got to look forward to that situation and go win a football game.
Q: You have been very involved in children's causes. When something like the Peterson situation comes along, does that hit you a little bit more because of…?
A: I really don't know all the details on that case. I don't know how to word it – punishing your child where it's hurting your child and putting them in danger so obviously…. Yeah. I do a lot of things with children, you hate to see a child that is being hurt. You don't like seeing those things or hearing about them. Just try to go home and hug your own children. It makes you want to hopefully not put them in harm's way.
Q: You've been with Coach Coughlin forever. He obviously takes these losses and slow starts, last year and this year, to heart. Obviously you can see how much it bothers him. When you see him sort of suffer that way, does it affect you in a way…?
A: I think everybody's suffering. No one enjoys this scenario. You see Coach Coughlin, he doesn't enjoy it. We don't want to be in this situation, we want to get out of it. We want to get a win and get things going and get a good feeling back in this locker room and get some excitement. We definitely want to get back going for everybody's relief and don't want to keep taking a ripping from him after games.
Q: Does it feel a little difficult because of your relationship with him and the longevity when you see him take it to heart that way?
A: We've been through it and we've come out of it before. I know he'll do a great job of getting us ready, getting us prepared, doing what he has to do to get us as mentally and physically prepared to go play our best football.
Q: As long as he's been at it, does it ever surprise you how into it he remains?
A: No. I know he loves it. He loves what he's doing, he loves coaching football and the preparation that goes with it and going out there, I know he enjoys to win and hates to lose, and I don't think that will ever change.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: Sense of urgency this week? 0-2, don't want to go 0-3.
A: That is always the plan. No matter what the record is, it should always be a sense of urgency. I think we had a pretty good practice today. Guys flying around and making plays, we all want to win, we all want to win…let's go out there and make it happen, that's it.
Q: Have you lost any confidence in this football team in any way?
A: Absolutely not. None whatsoever, extremely confident in this group. It is taking us a little while to get to where we want to get, but we are close. We are close to being in there and we have to stay with each other. That is the only way we are going to get things right.
Q: How do you go from close to getting the win?
A: You got to push the extra mile. Every guy has to do over and beyond their job. We just have to lead and hopefully everyone else follows through, but it is going to start with making plays. I think that is the pinnacle of everything, making plays.
Q: Are you worried about the image of this league? If so, what do you guys have to do as players to get this thing right?
A: No, I'm not worried. It is going to take more than a couple of incidents to enforce the label as a bad league, you know. I think there are a lot of guys doing a lot of positive things. Just so happens that negative things are what get the attention. It drives the media and that's what sells, but like I said, this league is far from being tainted. It is going to happen no matter what league you are in, there is going to be certain things that take place…certain individuals. As an entirety, no I am not worried about the image.
Q: As a member of the Players Association, do you have any concern with how the league has handled these things? Suspending a guy, then not, then back to suspending.
A: That is not my call to make. I think it is up to those guys to make those decisions. I am just here to play and be the best player I can be for my teammates, that's it.
Q: What type of problems do the Houston Texans present for you guys?
A: They are a smart football team. When I say smart, they don't beat themselves. They have a great offense, great run scheme, obviously. Great play action off the run scheme. They have a lot of multiple weapons at tight end and receivers. It is going to be a great challenge for us to go out there and get things done.
Q: Do you guys have to worry about that 0-6 start from last year creeping back into your head?
A: No, we don't have to worry about that. I think it is a different year that presents its own different set of challenges. We just have to get to a fast start, we haven't got off to a fast start yet, and I think that is our number one focus this week.
LB Spencer Paysinger**
Q: What does it say about the depth that you guys have at the position now compared to last year? Last year you were starting and now it takes guys to go down for you to get in.
A: The room has gotten stronger and I have accepted another role, a different capacity this year. I know I will still get on the field in some ways, but obviously, I am not starting right now. I am not hanging my head; I am not cursing anyone else in the room and hoping for injuries or anything like that. At the end of the day, I am team player and whenever I get the opportunity to go in, that is what I do.
Q: Ryan Fitzpatrick in the past has been a turnover guy. Now this year he has no turnovers for the first two games, what has changed about him?
A: I'd say it is just an offensive mentality and some of the plays that they are running have really optimized the quarterback's throwing percentage and ratio. The ball is coming out quicker, he is not really sitting in the pocket as much, getting hit as much. Some of the route concepts we have seen, especially having Arian Foster back there is a plus.
Q: The reason why there are a lot of zone principles in the running game, a lot stretch plays, or are they changing?
A: They start from the same mentality of what they had in the past. You can see they are utilizing Arian Foster. Like I said, he is a top ten running back in the NFL.
Q: You guys have played Washington a lot, and they use the same stretch principles on their runs. Some of that similar stuff, does that help you prepare?
A: It's similar for us. We got some plays last week where some of those ten, fifteen yard runs would have been negated if a guy would stay in his gap or peak in another gap. So for us this week, the biggest key for us is just staying in our gap and be gap sound.
WR Victor Cruz
Q: Is it getting close to desperation time?
A: Not yet. I think we definitely have to come out and win this game and be focused in doing that. It is not desperation time just yet in my opinion.
Q: What about the offense? You saw improvements… How do you take the next step?
A: Look at those improvements and continue to build on them and look at the negatives and build on them and be able to correct those mistakes and move on to the next one.
Q: In terms of being a leader, what are the things you expect of yourself going forward?
A: To lead. Do exactly that. Whether it is on the field or off the field. Lead these guys and let them know what to expect from them, what I want from them, what the team wants from them and that is it. Just continue to be the same guy I have always been and continue to lead these guys from the front, not the back.
Q: How do you guys keep the frustration from growing knowing 0-6 was last year and where this team is right now?
A: Just to understand that this is not last year. It is a new year. It's new teammates, new people and new energy. It is a matter of being able to build on that and build on what we have that is positive here and transfer that over to game day.
Q: What do you think of the state of the NFL with all these domestic violence issues that are going on right now? **
A: I think it is kind of all over the place right now. It is unfortunate, but I think the players have to do a good job of keeping things within themselves, keeping the order, making sure everything doesn't go into disarray in every program and every team and letting their teammates know to keep their heads clear, stay out of trouble and things of that nature. It is up to the leaders of these teams to keep their teammates on track.
Q: How important is to you to represent yourself, your family, your community and the Giants in a positive sense with all of this going on?
A: It is very important to me. Obviously with my family and my daughter, you have to look at people that count on you each and every day. It is important that you have a good image out there and are a good role model for those people, because you know that they are looking at you and watching you, and as soon as one thing happens that is negative, it is a downfall for your entire family. It is hard to come back from certain things like that. You just want to be able to keep positive things out there and be a good role model for these children.
Q: Do you worry about the hit on its image the league has taken because even though it is not the majority of guys, there are a lot of people who view this as a league out of control, which hurts everybody?
A: Obviously it creates that stigma for the rest of the league, but there has got to be guys like myself, guys like Eli Manning and Antrel Rolle [who], have a positive image and do things in their communities, that come to the light and have to shed light on those things. We have to be able to put those things on the forefront. It is up to us and guys like that to create that energy and that kind of atmosphere for everyone. Not just everyone on our team, but around the league.
Q: How close is this upcoming game to a must-win?
A: I think it is very close. Any time you are 0-2 and you need a win to jumpstart this team and jumpstart the energy, I think it's definitely close to coming in and saying we need to get this victory.
Q: How close do you feel the offense is?
A: I think it is very close. I think we made a lot of plays this last game, a lot of positive plays, and I think we are definitely close to being that top tier team scoring a bunch of points and winning the ball game.
Q: What have you learned about being a captain the last two weeks?
A: It takes a lot of resiliency and a lot of strength emotionally to withhold some of the things you feel and some of the things you want to feel to be able to translate to your team in private as opposed to out loud where people can see and make judgments on. [You] have to talk to your team in private, which is what I have to learn to do.
Q: Do you enjoy having that role?
A: Absolutely, I love it because I get to talk to my teammates from a different sphere, a different angle and they respect me for that. I can tell they respond to it and they don't just look at me like I have six heads.
Q: Do you feel they look to you for that leadership?
A: Absolutely, I think they do. I think they look for it on the field as well as off to keep the composure. If I am going crazy, I think they'll kind of go crazy. If I am saying negative things, for example, then they are going to say negative things. I have to keep a level head and transfer that positive energy to everyone else.
Q: Has it taken more of getting used to [being a captain] than you expected it to?
A: Yeah, it is something new for me. I have to be able to understand what comes with that role and understand what things are entitled of me to do. Some of it comes naturally and some of it I have to force within myself.
Q: Do you feel your play has to dictate you being a captain as well?
Q: I mean not only on the field but you are going to translate it to…?
A: Absolutely, it is both. It is both of those things. I think when you show it on the field, it becomes easier to transfer it off the field because [my teammates] know that I am a guy that is going to bust my butt each and every day at practice and go out there on the field and translate what was done on the practice field on game day. [My teammates] know that and once I confirm that with them it becomes easier to talk to them and get messages across and things like that.
Q: When you don't do everything you would like to on the field is that important also that you feel like you show them that you can stand up and say I have to do better myself?
A: Absolutely, you have to take responsibility for the things you do and I think that is part of being a captain as well. Not just pointing to others and telling them to do better, but looking within yourself and telling yourself that you have to do better as well. I think I have always been that type of guy. It is definitely part of it as well.
Q: What are your thoughts on [Julian] Talley joining [the 53-man roster]?
A: He is a guy that works extremely hard. I have known him for about seven or eight years now and I am extremely proud of the way he has come into this organization and worked hard since day one. Now he is on the 53… He is on the 53 and I think he is going to stick around for a while because he is a hard worker. He deserves everything that has come to him.
Q: Does it help you to be a captain if you have someone like Tom Coughlin as your head coach?
A: Absolutely, he is a guy that understands what is asked of a captain and exactly how to get his message across to his captains to relay it to the team or whatever specific position, my receiver position, for example. He shoots it to you straight. He doesn't pull any punches. He is as straightforward as they come and I think he has definitely helped me transfer over to that role for sure.
Q: [Coach Coughlin] has said recently you are not going to win many games scoring 14 points a game… Do you sense it is any closer because a lot of guys after the game were saying we left a lot out there?
A: We definitely left a lot out there this past game and I think we are definitely close. It is just a matter of us completing certain passes and catching certain balls and moving the chains in crucial third down situations, and I think we are right there in the mix. We are right there in the thick of it. I think we had a couple crucial turnovers inside the [20-yard line], which is not going to get it done. We have to be able to take care of the football, maintain it, keep the possession and get points up on the board.
Q: You have had games where you haven't made a play that you thought you should have made, whether it is a dropped pass and anything else… And have been criticized for it… Coming off of this game, does it feel any different to you?…Is there something you are looking to overcome? Is there anything you have to do differently because of [the game against Arizona] and the reaction from some people?
A: No. I just have to go out there and catch the football. That is my job. That is what is entitled of me and to lead this team and to lead the receiving corps while I'm out there. That is pretty much all I have to do. I do not pay attention to any of the outside things or any of the negative things that go out there. I don't look at any of that stuff. I live my life and move on. I know what is expected of me and I know exactly what we have to do to win and for my receiving corps to be successful and for the offense to be successful. We all have to catch the football, me in particular, to move the chains and to be successful on offense.
Q: Looking back on Sunday on the film, was there any of those that stuck with you that you wish you had back?
A: Definitely. All of them. You could point at one. The one deep corner ball that escaped my grasp a little bit, but all of them are balls I catch in practice routinely. I catch them all the time outside of my framework. Those are catches that I make. It just has to transfer over to game day. Those are definitely ones I wish I had back.
Q: When I asked you earlier about being a captain, you said keeping stuff in the locker room… I'm guessing when you shared your thoughts about wanting the ball more, that was one of the comments you wish you had kept inside?
A: No. You guys just did a good job of transferring my words over to saying that I wanted the damn ball and things like that. That is all that was.
Q: So you do not have any regrets about that?
WR Preston Parker
Q: How do you stay ready? You don't know that you're going to get that opportunity, obviously it's your job, but now it's for real.
A: You just push yourself in practice. That's all I can tell you – just pushing yourself when you're tired in practice or push yourself beyond those means. I feel like that's the best way you could stay ready.
Q: Every rep are you thinking, 'OK, this is the same as if I we're starting, if I were the third wide receiver'?
A: Yeah, yeah. Same mentality.
Q: Does it help you that you ended up having a nice play on Sunday to sort of get ready to fill his…?
A: Well, it gives you confidence. Confidence is always a plus, especially as a player. You've just got to keep making good plays.
Q: Do you think you're all the way back after missing a year? It's a long road to take.
A: I feel like I am. I feel like I've practiced… had enough practice to say that I feel good. I still feel young, so I feel good.
Q: What were you doing last year at this time, earlier in last season? **
A: Begging for money, that's all. Trying to find a job.
Q: What do you think you bring to this offense? You and Victor and Rueben?
A: I'm another player. I'm another number. I'm just another receiver, another player. I feel like I bring… like with young guys, I just teach them stuff that I learned when I was young. I'm kind of like a parent to the young receivers.
Q: As far as your skill level on the field, we know what Rueben can do, we know what Victor can do. What can you do to kind of compliment this group?
A: What do you mean?
Q: You're not as big as Rueben, you don't have as many catches as Victor. What is your skill set that you think will help in this threesome?
A: A receiver. We're all receivers, so we've all got to go out there and do the same thing. Got to try to catch the ball, try to get YAC, you've got to do everything that a receiver's supposed to do.
Q: You said you were begging for money, I don't know how much you were joking about that…
A: I was joking and I was serious.
Q: How hard is it though, you want to stay committed to being ready for the NFL but there's also the realities of life. You do have to eat and things like that.
A: Yeah, you've got to eat. Yep. That's why you have a family. I depended on family. My mom was there and my father was there and my kids pushed me. Two sons, so that's what it was like.
Q: As difficult as it was, was there ever a point where you didn't think you would get to this point?
A: No, never was. I've got a good relationship with the Lord and God. I knew I could play here. I knew it wasn't over, that's why I kept pushing.
Q: Obviously you're not happy to see Jernigan injured, but how excited are you for this opportunity for yourself?
A: It's an opportunity. You just have to go and attack it. That's why, as I said, I practice hard. Things happen like this in the NFL. When they do, you have to step up and do your best.
Q: On punt returns, it seemed like there was one where you almost…?
A: Yeah, I've got to do better. Just have to do better. I have to make something happen.
Q: Did you think you had that touchdown then your feet got tangled? Did you have him beat…?
A: Yeah, I felt it coming. I saw him flip his hips so we'll just get it next time.
Q: Does that give you confidence? That's one of the best guys in the league, the fact that you were able to…?
A: Yeah, he's from my area, too. He's from Broward County, I'm from Palm Beach County, like 15 minutes away, so it was already competitive before they say, 'hut,' you know?
CB Trumaine McBride
Q: Are you more comfortable on the inside?
A: I mean, I'm just a football player. Whether it's outside or inside, I'm ready to play wherever.
Q: You played more on the outside last year. **
Q: What's the difference for you? What do you have to pay attention to closely when you're working on the inside compared to the outside?
A: I mean, when you're inside, you have a little bit more run fits, but if you're playing man coverage, it's man coverage.
Q: You don't have the sideline to work with though. How much does that change? You're working more in open space. Does it change your technique at all?
A: Me being inside, I have to be more aware of my help so I have to play to my help more.
Q: Having the good year you had last year has to make you feel better about being in this spot, doesn't it?
A: Yes, definitely. Like I said, I prepare every week like I'm a starter, so this is nothing… I don't feel like this is anything different or like this is anything new for me because each and every week, from the offseason to the preseason to now, I prepare like I'm a starter.
Q: Obviously they brought in Walter Thurmond, paid him to come in here from Seattle to be the nickel corner. Does this group have to take a step down or a step back now that he's gone and you're in?
A: No. I mean, I don't think so because I feel like each guy we have in the room could be starters, whether it's me stepping up or it's Zack Bowman or whether it's bringing up a guy from the practice squad, I feel like we all have the skill sets to actually start.
Q: Obviously you're not happy to see a guy get hurt. What is your level of excitement that now you're in a premier role?
A: I mean, like you said, it's not a good thing that Walter's hurt, but then again, on the flip side for me, I have to make sure I'm prepared and make sure I'm ready to go. Just like last year, we got Webby hurt, Ross went down and then me, I had to come in and play. It's basically the same thing for me this year.
Q: What about the fact that your teammates know you and have confidence in you? That's got to help. You're not a guy they're wondering about.
A: I feel like everyone that's on the defense knows that I can play. They know it's not going to be a drop off at all.
Q: When you're in that nickel spot, are you taking the slot receiver or are you taking the guy coming out of the backfield or does that depend on the call?
A: Mostly, it's the slot wide receiver. You may have instances to where you have to switch it off, like I get the back but that's rare. Most of the time it would be that slot guy.