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Quotes: Perry Fewell talks defensive strategy


Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell**

Q: Will safety be a consideration for Terrell Thomas?
A: That's always a consideration. We'd like to find out, obviously, what his skill set is like when he comes back and how comfortable he feels in his movements.

Q: When you look at the defensive unit, what makes you believe it's going to be better this year?
A: Together we've done a nice job in preparing in the separates and the OTAs and the minicamp and I just like the togetherness of this unit and how we've performed in practice.

Q: Is it a more talented group than it was last year?
A: Very difficult to assess that because I evaluate that when the pads come on, when the contact occurs and then we evaluate that with the preseason games, but I really like this unit.

Q: What have you seen from Prince since he couldn't participate in last year's OTAs?
A: A lot of improvement because he hasn't been here and he's practiced every day and his skill set is much improved.

Q: Does he have better confidence in what's going on around him?
A: I would say confidence. I see a nice confidence in him right now.

Q: How has Mark Herzlich been doing?
A: Very commanding. He's taken a leadership role out there and I think he has some good respect from his teammates in some of the things he's done in the OTAs. Obviously, we want to find out what happens when the pads come on.

Q: Does he have as much knowledge of the defense as Chase Blackburn had?
A: I don't know if that's a fair question for him right now because Chase was really a seasoned veteran and Mark is a veteran. Not as seasoned, but I do think that Chase did a nice job in training him and he did a nice job in their communication with calls and the nuances of the defense.

Q: It seems like you have a lot of guys at linebacker who will be competing.
A: I think we have a lot of guys that can compete with different skill sets and that's why it's important when the pads come on for us to understand those skill sets.

Q: What have the last six months been like for you?
A: It's always self-evaluation. It's always an opportunity to look and try to get better in what you do professionally and personally. There's no time to cry over spilled milk. I've just tried to make sure that I get myself together and make sure that we get a good plan for our defensive football team and just evaluate us each and every day to the best of my ability in order for us to improve.

Q: What do you think that some of the big-bodied defensive tackles you added in the offseason will add to your team?
A: Obviously, we like the big guys in order to stop the run and do a better job in run defense this year. The big bodies with Johnathan and Jenkins… I think that's good for us. They have really good movement. I'm very impressed with Jenkins. He is a seasoned veteran, a proven veteran and I just see that for him to come to our football team and bring the type of energy that he displayed down at his previous team and then bring that to us, I think that's a positive for our defense.

Q: Your offensive linemen are glad he's here.
A: No doubt.

Q: How big of a blow is the loss of Osi Umenyiora and JPP for at least the summer to your team?
A: I think any time you lose talented players it's always a blow to your team, but collectively we feel like we can be a good football team if we do this together.

Q: Can you talk about the progress of Adrian Tracy has made?
A: Playing with a lot more confidence, playing with a lot more purpose and it's very nice to see… Osi did a nice job in training him. He was kind of his mentor, so to speak, and he has flashes of Osi in him at times.

Q: It's got to be tough to make up for all the sacks that Osi and JPP had.
A: It's a lot of production.

Q: Is that too much to count on for players like Adrian Tracy and Damontre Moore who haven't really done much in the NFL yet?
A: I can't answer that until the fall, until we see when the pads come on and until we see preseason games with how they react under pressure. That will be a telltale sign.

Q: Do you have any idea of what Aaron Curry is right now?
A: I don't think I can give him a great evaluation at this point in time because number one when he came in he was a little overweight and he was coming off of an injury and then he's learning a new defense, a new language, a new system. So training camp would be the telltale sign.

Q: How much did you like him years ago when he was coming out of college?
A: I thought he was one of the better linebackers that came out in his class. He was graded very highly on our draft board.

Q: For a defensive coordinator, it must be very intriguing for you to try to pull that talent out.
A: Yes. It's fun to have a young man come in. Obviously, he's coming off of an injury, but if we can pull that out of him, we've added something to our defense.

Q: The defensive backs were talking about wanting to be on the same page for the start of the season. Is that something you've been stressing in the offseason?
A: We've tried to be on the same page collectively as a group in how we installed… We went about it a different way. We tried to do it more efficiently and more effectively. How we communicated… We tried to do that more efficiently and more effectively and just getting some input from them about what we did well and what we didn't do well so that we all are speaking the same language and doing the same things.

Q: Corey Webster calls it a gray area. Do you call it that too?
A: Yes. We try to eliminate as much gray as we possibly can.

Q: Did you see too much of that last year?
A: I think that probably also comes from the amount of injuries we had and the inconsistency. We're trying to become a consistent football team. So to become a consistent football team you have to consistently practice and be on the field.

Q: In the defensive backfield, a lot of the guys were new.
A: Yes.

Q: So that attributes to a lot of that?
A: Yes. That does happen and it's not easy to play professional football with multiple coverages and know that communication system.

Q: Are you going to take a couple of weeks to decompress?
A: I'll decompress.

Q: Is Terrell Thomas a big unknown for you?
A: I don't think he's an unknown for us. We do have plans, but I don't think he's an unknown because he's been with us, he's been in our program. We understand what his skill set was. Now when he comes back what will his skill set be?

Q: Have you seen signs of the old Corey Webster?
A: I don't think I can answer that now because when you're out in OTAs and minicamp you're trying to see your overall team improve and individuals are working on certain things for improvement. I do know that he's coming back with a purpose and so it will be fun to see him come back in the fall.

Q: Do you find yourself watching a lot of University Oregon film this offseason?
A: I've studied a lot of college football film this offseason. It's a dynamic offense.

Q: The spread offense and read option seem to be spreading around the league.
A: Yeah. I think the college system has kind of taken hold in the National Football League. We have a lot of quarterbacks that have the ability to run and do that and I know that is coming into our league. It will be interesting to see.

Q: Do you think the league needs an offseason to adjust to it?
A: I look at that offense kind of like the wildcat. The wildcat took us by storm and then until you can see it, understand it; then you can defend it.

Q: Are you confident the Giants are at that point now?
A: I think we're seeing it. I think we're trying to understand it. In the fall, we'll be able to defend it.

Q: Do you want to forget about last year or are you motivated by last year?
A: I always have something to prove. I think we as a football team have something to prove. That's why we love this game. Football is a challenge.


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