Defensive Coordinator: Wink Martindale
Obviously, disappointed with the outcome, but I think that our effort and execution, the communication, we did a lot of good things Sunday night against Buffalo and hope to build on that as we keep going forward. I like where we are going right now. We've got a great challenge ahead of us with this group from Washington. We'll see what happens, we'll tee it up.
Q: What did you see in your defense as a whole last week that was different than you'd seen? What kind of step did they take? I mean, obviously that was a pretty big challenge.
A: I think that it was the execution itself, the communication, the one play at a time mentality was there all night and when you have that in this league, you've got a shot. We had a different plan, we hit them with a different counter punch, this is the fourth time we have gone against (Bills quarterback) Josh (Allen) and we had a different style of plan and he's a tremendous quarterback with some great players out there and it was a great challenge that I think that our guys took that challenge and went with it.
Q: What's the secret challenge of bringing that back on Sunday?
A: Well, I mean I think that you just got to keep building and you just got to have the mindset, which we've had all year, of getting better every day. You just take it one day at a time. Everything hits just right, and it ended up that I think we surprised them with some things, but I think we surprised Miami with some things, too. It was we just gave up too many explosive plays. I think to take something away, you've got to give something up. I know that they had some runs there towards the end of the game, but we were taking away the passing game. We limited Josh to 11 yards scrambling, I think that's – I haven't checked, but I think that's obviously low for him. He usually scrambles for more yardage than that. His quarterback rating was down, all those different things that you choose from because of the things that we did. So, to take all that away, you are playing with a light box, so there is a couple runs that we need to play better, but we also knew there was a chance that could happen as well.
Q: How much of the improvement of your defense is because of (inside linebacker) Bobby (Okereke) and his acclimation now to everything that you want to do?
A: That's a great question. I think that it all fits into it. Like Bobby, (safety) X(avier McKinney), (defensive lineman) Leo(nard Williams), (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II), all those guys, they are starting to gel as a unit. (Outside linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux), you know you just keep going down the list, they are starting to gel as a unit, and they are getting used to playing together and Bobby is a big part of that, too. I think you are just going to continue to see him keep striding out the way we all expected him too.
Q: What are your observations of (Commanders quarterback) Sam Howell?
A: I think he's a good quarterback. I think that each week he improves. You can see that he's getting used to (Commanders offensive coordinator) Eric's (Bieniemy) system and he has some Josh Allen type qualities. I'm not saying he's that yet, but he has those type qualities. He's got great awareness in the pocket, and he can throw the football. So, it's going to be a challenge for us.
Q: We've seen some big seasons as a pass rusher from Leonard Williams, but he only has three sacks in 18 games in your system. Is that because of what your system requires him to do, do you still think that he has that elite pass rusher in him that he once had?
A: I think Leo is a selfless player. I don't think it has anything to do with the systems. I think it has to do with different types of games that we've been in and it's a little bit different as far as he's probably facing more runs than he's faced, but he's going to be fine.
Q: What do you think when you see, back to Howell for a second, when you see that he's been sacked 34 times?
A: Yeah, I mean he's had some issues getting sacked. What did you say, what do I think?
Q: As a defensive coordinator, is that exciting, like hey this is an opportunity for us to go out and get after this guy? What's your mindset when you see that?
A: Well, a lot of the sacks come off playing coverage, some different types of coverages to him. Like I said, I think there was a lot early because the game was sped up for him, but you can see each week he's getting better, getting rid of the football, and seeing where he wants to go with it. Like I said, it's going to be a great challenge. I think Eric's done a great job with him, and (Commanders wide receivers coach) Bobby (Engram), a good friend of mine that I coached with before, he's done a great job with those wide receivers.
Q: Were you aware that Rex Ryan went on the air on Sunday and said "Wink, stop blitzing, it's not working." Were you aware of that and what's your reaction to it?
A: Well, that's Rex's opinion. We all know Rex has opinions. You know the old saying that follows that, too.
Q: Pressure breaks pipes. Defensively, are you getting enough pressure on quarterbacks through the first part of the season?
A: I think that in the right situation we are. Yeah, I do. I think that just coming out on the field, the first third down we had against Buffalo, they came out in max protection, and we played coverage to it. I mean, you can ask Josh Allen, I think we hit him. You know, Zay (safety/inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons), we made him an edge rusher and sometimes spied him with Zay, and I thought he did a tremendous job and he was a big part of us holding him to just 11 yards rushing.
Q: I wanted to ask you a question about quarterbacks who get the ball out really quickly and how that stresses a defense. You guys played Miami earlier, (Dolphins quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) is leading the league, he's getting it out in 2.28 seconds, the slowest quarterback is a little over three seconds, how much does that 0.7 seconds matter as a defense?
A: It matters a lot because you have to come to a press conference, does this guy get enough pressures? Does this guy get enough sacks? So, it matters that way, but they are getting rid of the ball faster and that Miami offense, I mean it's off the charts. Some of those, when they go in that jet motion, you know what I'm talking about, with (Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek) Hill or whoever and he catches the snap and just goes like that (pitches it forward), that's considered a pass, so that goes into that figure, that number. And we've already talked about Miami, he's playing at a high level, Tua is.
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Kafka
Q: This is the first time that we've spoken to you. Can you take us through that last play on Sunday night in the first half (quarterback) when Tyrod (Taylor) checked out of the play call. Obviously, we know (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs was upset. Can you take us through exactly what happened there? Was that a situation where you had a pass called and then Tyrod checked it out?
A: I just think at the end of the day – there was communication at the end of day, I've just got to do a better job of making sure that it's crystal clear. We'll go out there and execute it better the next time.
Q: If you don't mind, when you say crystal clear, did you want to pass on that play? Then Tyrod checked out?
A: Again, it just kind of goes back to coach-to-quarterback communication. I've got to do a better job there.
Q: When are you able to talk to them? I believe – the play before was pass interference, right? So, while they're settling that out, when do you actually get to start talking to the quarterback and how does that usually go?
A: In between those two plays is when we typically talk through it.
Q: Do they have to set the ball first or is it while they're getting the penalty?
A: Kind of during the penalty. During that penalty communication. That's when it happens.
Q: How about the play at the end of the game? What made you go into a bunch formation there? We've seen other times, the Tennessee game comes to mind where you spread them out last year and you did the shovel pass. What made a bunch formation there with just one option to (tight end Darren) Waller the right play?
A: That's what we thought was the best given the opportunity. Obviously, disappointed we didn't complete on it, but that was the play that was in the plan. The one we liked.
Q: In the bigger picture with Tyrod last week. Obviously, he didn't get the ball into the endzone when he wanted to but what was your impression of his night?
A: I thought Tyrod did a really nice job. I thought he did a nice job in and out the huddle, it's a loud environment. I thought he managed that really well, did a nice job on third down with his legs. He executed at a high level, so I was happy with how he did.
Q: Now 205 minutes without an offensive touchdown. What do you sort of attribute to that? What do you think is the biggest contributing factor to that?
A: That's a part of emphasis for us, we need to work to improve that. It's really everything. You look at our fundamentals, our techniques, look at some of the drives that we're running there. What's stopping us from getting points? Is it penalties? Is it execution? Is it play calling? So, you evaluate that. I'm really critical of myself on all those things, too. We practice it, we talk about it, we had some opportunities. We had five opportunities down there; we weren't able to get into the endzone, but I think it's a step in the right direction. We got some opportunities, now we've got to capitalize on them. That's what we're doing today in practice.
Q: What was the conclusion you came to when you listed all those possibilities?
A: Amongst the staff, we kind of talked about some of the strengths and weaknesses and things that we want to do, and we'll emphasize the strengths this week and try to put together the best possible plan we can.
Q: It seems you've gone with the younger receivers. Are you going to go with that the rest of the year?
A: I'd say every week is different and you want to put the players in the best position to be successful, so this week is no different. We're looking through that and trying to look at the matchups and the personnel groupings and things we can present to the defense.
Q: I know it's just a natural development and maturation for (wide receiver) Jalin (Hyatt) but can you do more with him now than you could have a month ago just because of his knowledge and his feel for the game at this level now?
A: Yeah, Jalin's growing. I think he's learning each and every day, each and every week. You've seen him getting a little bit better and better and better, so that's good. It's a step in the right direction and again, as a young player, it's all about building confidence, so he's going through that right now. I think he's in a good spot mentally, so again just working him and the others throughout the game plan. That's what we're looking to build on.
Q: (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) was just out here talking about how his guys are starting to gel as a whole unit (and) being able to play together with some consistency. When you look at what you've dealt with and are dealing with on the offensive line, how difficult is that to try and learn each other and try and build that chemistry each week when everybody's being shuffled so much?
A: I think (offensive line) Coach Bobby Johnson does a great – I mean, he's had to deal with that group and work with them and obviously when new guys step in, you've got to get them up to speed as fast as you can. So, he's spends a ton of time and a ton of energy getting those guys caught up and getting them to do their assignments the right way and get them in the fundamental, right positions there as well. Bobby's doing a great job, (assistant offensive line coach Chris Smith) Smitty's doing a great job and those guys are all just rallying together to get this thing right.
Q: In that situation with all the fluctuation on the offensive line, as you game plan, how difficult is it to say, 'we know we can count on this or that?' or to know what you're able to do?
A: I think when you evaluate the players, you try to find their strengths and their weaknesses, and you build a game plan around those things. Then, if something happens to where one of the guys is out and you've got to insert another guy in there, then you've got to adjust. That's part of our job as a coaching staff is to make sure that we adjust and have enough stuff in the game plan to get that accomplished.
Q: With (running back) Saquon (Barkley), I think he had like 15 carries for 25 at some point. Is it easier to stick with the run when it's him because you know he's going to break one eventually than it is otherwise with maybe another running back?
A: No, I've got confidence in all of our running backs to make sure they're hitting the hole the right way. Obviously, Saquon's a big piece of our running game, but I have complete confidence in all the other guys as well to do the job.
Q: Knowing that he's going to hit one though, is that why you stick with him? Because he has that big play ability?
A: Yeah, Saquon has big play ability. All of our backs have big play ability, so making sure we get them the right runs versus the right defenses.
Q: How would you describe your mood or your coaching staff's mood about the lack of touchdowns? Not just the x's and o's but just in this day and age of the NFL to go this long without a touchdown.
A: There's definitely a sense of urgency amongst the group and we're all working to get that fixed.
Q: Is there anything that you're doing different? In terms of your self-analysis or self-review like calling more people or watching other film from last year? Or anything different at all to handle the adversity that maybe you didn't have when it went a little smoother last year.
A: We're evaluating everything. We're trying to look at our offense from different points of view. From all the different position groups and figure out how we can fix it and get it right. Again, we had five opportunities, we didn't capitalize on them. It's one thing to have that many opportunities. Now, we've got to get it fixed and go capitalize on those.
Q: With (offensive lineman) Justin Pugh, has anything surprised you about his acclamation back into this building when a few of us actually covered him way back when. Has any of that surprised you a little bit?
A: He's jumped right in. He's been a pro and from the people that have been around him in the past, that was definitely one of the things that they said about him. It was great that he came to jump right in, fell right into the offensive kind of culture in the offensive line room and he's been a great addition.
Q: Do you feel like you can count on him right now for whatever you need him to do almost?
A: Yeah, he's a smart, tough, dependable guy that's been doing a great job.
Q: When you look at the struggles that you've had in the redzone, is that conscious when you're making the decision when you're trailing to kick the field goal when you're down 7-6 and take the lead and get the points on the board rather than be aggressive the way you guys have been? As you go back to last year in the Tennessee the game, the decision to go for two and push it there.
A: Sorry, say that again.
Q: Do the struggles you've had punching it in for a touchdown impact the aggressiveness with which you call plays at other points in the game?
A: No, I'd say it's situation-by-situation. I think you just evaluate what's best for the team right then and there, and whatever decision we end up going with, with Dabs, I fully support.
Q: Do you kind of go in with more of a bigger game plan or a bigger book just given the offensive struggles that you've had or how is the actual game plan?
A: Each week, it's kind of a delicate balance of having too much or not enough, so you want to make sure you have your based covered as far as attacking certain things that the defense can present. Whether it's inside, outside, things vertically, horizontally, attacking the middle of the field, so you want to have enough stuff in the game plan again to make sure you cover all those things.
Special Teams Coordinator: Thomas McGaughey
Q: We asked you last week about putting (wide receiver) Parris (Campbell) back there. When you have two returners back on a kickoff, what's the difference there? What's the benefits of that?
A: Just more personnel driven. Depending on the formations that we use, depends on who we have up, who's available, and just being able to get his feet on the field. It definitely helps. We're moving in a better direction when it comes to that.
Q: Because of using two?
A: Yeah. Just having a little bit more speed on the field.
Q: What did you think of Parris' return?
A: It wasn't bad. We could have blocked it up better. It was what I expected. Even though it wasn't clean as I wanted it to be, it wasn't. For him to get to where he got to without it being clean and just using natural run skills, that's kind of what we expected from him. So, we've just got to get better. Just upfront, just making sure that we're finishing blocks, being in the right spots, taking better angles, just details of our job. That's it.
Q: Why didn't you give (Commanders wide receiver) Jamison Crowder more of a look at punt returner here?
A: All those guys were back there returning kicks every day and returning punts every day. It was just more of trying to get (running back) Eric Gray comfortable. We knew what Jamison was. He's done it in the past and we knew he had the ability to do it, but just trying to get Eric back there comfortable doing it again.
Q: Is it fair to say that (punter) Jamie (Gillan) is taking the next step this year, and what do you attribute that to?
A: He's definitely taken a step forward. I think I attribute it to him just getting more comfortable in who he is and just trying to use his skillset better. Those rugby guys, I mean, they're different. Jamie is one of the best ball strikers I've ever coached, and he can hit a variety of different punts. So, just trying to do a better job as a coach managing him, trying to put him in a position where he feels comfortable, and he's not thinking, he's just letting that muscle memory kick in. He's done a really good job of developing his routine and coming out here and just working hard and just trying to work at the different types of kicks that he has.
Q: Was that a change that you guys made, intentionally saying, 'Alright Jamie, I'm going to give you a little bit more freedom to do some of the things you're more comfortable with?' Because that style seemed to be out of his game last year.
A: It's something we definitely went towards last year. If you remember, the last part of the year, we used it a couple of times. Just, again, allowing him to mature as a pro and just understanding who he is as a coach, and just trying to put him in the best position where he can maximize his talents and his abilities.
Q: Back to Crowder for a second. He's made a couple of big plays for Washington. Did you still think he had that in him?
A: Yeah, I mean, he's a good player. I'm not going to take anything away from Jamison. Jamison is a really good player. Like I said, he did a good job while he was here. When he was at Buffalo, he's done it. Jets, he did it. He's having a good year. He is. He had a 61-yarder last week. That was a big return. So, he's doing a good job for them.
Q: This is more of a general philosophical question, not related necessarily to you. You've got a couple teams in the league this year that went away from veteran kickers who have been very, very successful and consistent. Obviously, (kicker Robbie) Gould in San Francisco and (kicker Nick) Folk in New England. So far, six games in, it hasn't look like it's worked out for either team. You guys have a really good veteran here. Obviously, he's been doing it for a bit. How difficult is that when management or whatever wants to go make a change there and maybe sees a young guy, they want to try to get younger, longer, or whatever it is when you know you have something good already in hand?
A: Yeah, I mean that part of it, the decision, that's out of my hands.
Q: I just mean you as a coach, I'm not looking for you to comment on San Francisco or New England, I'm just saying how difficult is that? Are you a guy that wants to fight for the guy that's been doing it for you?
A: Yeah, you always want to have the veteran guy. When you have a proven guy, you don't want to give away a proven guy. You get a guy that's done it for a long time. Because I tell people this all the time: once you get on the kicker train, the destination is unknown. So, when you're on that train that's been steady, and you know the destination, you know exactly where you're going, you like to ride on that train. But when you get one you really don't know, you think you know, but you really don't know until you know, you could be anywhere. You can look up and you could be halfway across the world before you find another one. That kicker train is dangerous. It can take you anywhere.
Q: How much are you happy that you're not on the kicker train?
A: I love it. I love it. Trust me, I love it.
Q: The play at the end of the half there, and situations like that, how much are you involved knowing where it's a tight situation, 'Hey, we're going to need X amount of seconds to run our guys out there?' And do you discuss the play calling in that moment with them?
A: Yeah, we practice stuff every day. Like today, we'll literally go through one of the same situations. We do it every Thursday. We talk about it. We are all talking about it at the same time. We kind of know what we're going to do and how we're going to do it, how we're going to handle it. But there's definitely a plan going into those situations, and we're talking constantly on the headsets through it, throughout the whole drive. You know what I mean? It's not just like we get down there, we just start to talk about it. We're talking about all the way through the drive.
Q: What makes (Commanders punter) Tress Way so challenging to field and how do you get prepared for that?
A: Well, the good thing about it is Eric sees it every day in practice with Jamie. They're the same style of punter, big lefty power punter. So that's a good thing for us. Another good thing is that we practice out here in these elements in the wind even though it's beautiful today. Haven't had any wind the last two days and it's going to be 36 miles an hour gusts on Sunday. So, that's part it. We'll get him ready because Tress, I explained to the guys today in the meeting, he gets great direction. He's going to paint the stripes, and then he'll hit one short and it might roll for 15, 20 yards and then he'll hit one deep. That's just who he is. They do a really good job of covering. Their gunners are really good. Their interior is good and that's why he's been in the Pro Bowl a couple of times the last two years.
Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q. How does your body feel after your first game back? Obviously, an injury that kept you out several weeks.
A: I mean, it's Week 6, 7 in the NFL. Obviously, just not playing in three weeks and playing an NFL game and having the workload that I had, you're obviously going to be a little sore but we've got a great strength staff here, great trainers here and I have a great team outside of this. So, just continuing to take care of my body and stay strong for this coming up week and for the rest of the season.
Q. But the ankle in particular?
A: No setbacks.
Q. What can one win against this week against Washington do for this team?
A: It can do a lot. It can do a lot. All it takes is one, one win to get the confidence. Even in the games you lose, you can find that sometimes that can be a helpful turning point throughout the season. A team like Buffalo, going there in a hostile environment, playing a really good team, coming out with a game that we feel like we should've had, obviously we didn't do enough. We could use that as the turning point and help catapult us to come into this week playing back in our stadium, with our fans against a divisional opponent and get a divisional win. Could be the start of something special.
Q. Even in tough times here in the last five, six years the one team that you guys have always had success against is Washington. Anything to that? Is it a good matchup and is that something you can draw confidence in?
A: No, every year is a new year, we don't look at it that way. They're a great team. Every time we go against them, we know what type of game it's going to be, it's a division opponent. Just because we've had success against teams in the past doesn't really correlate to this season or this year. It's a whole new year, whole new season, whole new game, and we're just excited to get back in our stadium against a division opponent and try to get back on the right track.
Q. What do you think of what (offensive lineman) Justin Pugh was able to do?
A: Man, hats off to him. He's a baller. Obviously, I wasn't here when he was here. I think I came in the year after him or the year I came is the year he left, or whatever. But just what he brings to this team, the leadership, obviously can see how tough he is but he's a heck of a player and we're going to continue to need his presence and the way that he plays to get us back on the right path.
Q. Have you gotten a chance to get to know him? Have you had any conversations?
A: When I was training at Exos when I wasn't here for OTA's, he was rehabbing. So, we played golf a couple of times and we we're in the same facility the whole time so got to exchange numbers there and talk to him. Just happy he's here.
Q. So you knew him before you knew?
A: Yeah, exactly (laughs).
Q. Do you believe that one win can change the whole complexion of this season?
A: Yeah, I do believe that. I know you weren't here yet, I kind of answered that already, but I do believe that one win can turn this thing around. Against a division opponent, back home. Also, I do believe that last week, even though the game didn't come out the way we would've liked it, we learned a lot about ourselves as a team. We fought tough against a really good team and just came up short and a lot of the reasons why we came up short was self-inflicted wounds. Penalties, MAs (missed assignments), stuff that we can do better. Wasn't anything that they did, not taking any credit away from them. When you go back and watch the film, it helps you get confidence going into a division opponent saying, 'Alright, if we can take care of the little things and focus on us, that's going to put us in a position to win games.'
Q. With the trade deadline looming in the background, how do you block out that noise and focus on the Giants playing their best football now when you need to play your best football?
A: It's not really blocking out; I can't control that. It's not like I'm able to make any decisions or have any say in that. The only thing that I have is the way I show up to work and the way I go out there and compete. That's the things that I can control.
Q. You've always wanted to be a Giant forever. Have you thought about the fact that you might not be in two weeks?
A: No, it never crossed my mind. Obviously, I've been public and vocal about how I feel about this organization and where I want to be. But like I said, knowing the business and seeing that side of it, there are a lot of things that I can't control. Sitting here, everyone knows how I feel. Everyone knows I don't want to get traded. I don't think anybody in their right mind would want to get traded anywhere. It's not an easy thing to do, you've got to move, I have a family. I would love to be here but like I said, it's not in my control. My focus is to be the leader I can be for this team to try to get this thing on the right track.
Q. Has there been any conversations? Just any trade conversations with you and your people?
A: With me and my team? No. My focus is Washington, trying to come back and get a win. Obviously, I'm happy that I'm healthy again, be able to get back on the field. Got close to a win last week now just got to try to continue to improve and try to get a win.
Q. When you look at their defense and their ability to get to the football and get to the quarterback, how much respect do you have for this Washington group?
A: I always have respect for them. Their defense is amazing. It's always fun playing against them, in a competitive way. I have nothing but respect for the whole defense but especially those four monsters. I just feel like they've been there forever. They've been there as long as I've been there. The only one who hasn't I think is (Commanders Defensive End) Chase (Young) and Chase was there the year after that. So, going against them is fun. They're a fun group to play against, it's always competitive, it's always tough, it's a challenge that as a competitor you love to go against. I look forward to doing that again and hopefully we come out with a win.
Q. Is it more confounding that you guys haven't been able to score those offensive touchdowns in over 200 minutes…
A: 200 minutes? Dang. Keep going – what was your question?
Q. Is it confounding to you? This is a high scoring league now, everything's tilted towards the offense. Do you know why it's happening and what's your reaction to it?
A: Yeah, it's simple. It's simple. I didn't know it was 200 minutes, but it's simple. We're not executing, we're not doing what we need to do. We get into the red zone, we have self-inflicting wounds, whether it's penalties or it's MAs (missed assignments), whether it's – you've got to hold yourself accountable. I go back and I watch against the Bills, there's a run that I slipped on and if I keep my feet, it won't be 200 minutes. I probably (inaudible) safety and have a chance to go score. Just got to lock in, get a sense of urgency as we get closer and when the opportunity comes, make them pay for it. But not really too focused on high scoring, scoring 40 points. I think that's where a lot of people get confused. That the main thing is winning, winning football games. Even last year, at this point last year we were 5-1. A lot of people didn't like how we were 5-1 because it was more old fashioned, we were running the ball, we weren't throwing 3,000 yards or whatever, but we would find a way to win games. I think a lot of people would much rather be in that scenario than scoring a lot of points and still being 1-5. Whatever it takes to win football games. Sometimes you're going to have to score a lot of points and sometimes it might be 6-3, as long as we win. Just got to find a way to do it.
Q: The offensive line kind of settled down in the second half, you got some chunk plays. Does that give you confidence and the offense confidence heading into this one?
A: Yeah, I mean it definitely gives you confidence. I mean, like, obviously we can sit here and say what we want about how the offensive line has been playing and I am not going to sit here and make any excuses for them, but the reality is, what? We've had six, seven, I don't even know the number of how many starting combinations and how many people have been out and been down, in and out. That's the toughest position to play because all five of those guys have got to be in sync and sometimes it helps when you play with each other for a long time, but that has not been the case and you can see when we are all able to be on the same page, it may not be perfect, but we will be able to split some long runs and be able to go down the field and make plays. None of our confidence is lost in those guys, we know we are only going to get better, we know we are going to get guys healthy and then they'll come back and just keep trusting in them. But at the end of the day, I feel like they get too much disrespect, I want to tip my hat off to a lot of those guys, playing out of position and were going out there and fighting for us, even though it's not going the way we would like, definitely want to recognize that for them and if they keep going, we keep going, this stuff is going to turn around the right way.
Q: Sometimes with a running back you feel like you are on the precipice of breaking one, you mentioned taking something from a loss even to the Bills. Do you feel like this team is on the precipice of breaking it or getting it together right now?
A: Yeah, I feel like it could go one way or the other. It's simple. It can go really well, we can continue to fight, (or) continuing to keep losing games, it's that simple. I think, or I believe, and I feel like we believe as a team, is obviously we didn't come away with a win in that last game, but that can be – more times than not, the way we fought in that game and the way that we played, you come away with a win. So hopefully we continue to have that mindset, continue to have faith in each other, belief in each other and just get one. And then when you get one, focus on getting another one, and another one, and another one, and then just take it like that.
Defensive Lineman Dexter Lawrence
Q: Are teams playing you differently? Obviously, you were a force last year with sacks, pressures and whatnot. You don't have a sack yet this year. Is that something that bothers you? Is that the result of being played differently? How do you see that?
A: That doesn't quite bother me. What bothers me is the losing obviously. The numbers will come when they come. I'm never stressing over numbers. I affect the game in a lot of ways. I'm going to keep doing that. If the perfect play comes, that's a sack. Everything has to click. So, I'm never stressing over that.
Q: Could one win turn this season around for your football team?
A: I think it'll build more confidence and more morale. Just keep winning, keep believing, things like that. So, I think that's what it'd do for us.
Q: Do you believe the playoffs are still a possibility for this football team?
A: Right now, it's just this Sunday. Sunday will help us get closer to that opportunity, and so that's how we've got to approach it.
Q: When you look at this football team, do you feel like we just haven't seen the best of the Giants yet? Do you feel there's much more to come?
A: We definitely have not hit our peak, but like I said, we do all the right things throughout the week. We just have to keep going and bring it to Sunday.
Q: Are you looking forward to going against (Commanders' center) Nick (Gates)?
A: Yeah, that's my guy. Nick is a good dude.
Q: Do you guys talk to each other during the course of the season?
A: No, I'm not going to talk to him.
Q: I mean over the course of the season.
A: I'm not going to talk to him until after the season (laughs).
Q: Since you've been here this team has said some of its best games against Washington. Anything to that? Is it just a good matchup for you guys?
A: I don't know. I've never paid attention to that for, for real. I can't answer that question.
Q: (Defensive Coordinator) Wink Martindale said that he can feel this defense starting to gel. Do you feel that coming together and how has that played out over the last few weeks?
A: Good. I think a lot of guys on defense just have the same mindset and the want to. Our mindset is just to go kick somebody's butt, for real. Just go out there and play faster, harder, longer than the other team plays, and the results will handle themselves, and just keep believing. They make a big play, it's the NFL. It's going to happen. Go to the next one, and we'll make that stop. Get them down so we've got a place to stand.
Q: Do you still believe in this football team, and if so, why?
A: I do believe because I know the people we have in here. Guys that want to, not selfish, love the game and just kind of fight for each other. That's the most important thing.
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 7 matchup against the Washington Commanders.