Safety Xavier McKinney
Q: The tackling has been a big issue for you guys the last two games. What's going on there for you guys and how do you deal with it?
A: Just need to be better tacklers. It's something we've got to practice, but then most importantly on Sundays, just got to be better. I think it's pretty simple.
Q: You guys have played three games now, and 1-2 I guess isn't what you wanted, but it seems like in those three games, you've had maybe one good half. Why haven't you been able to put anything together?
A: Like I said, it's kind of, to go back to what I just said, we've just got to be better all around. I think a lot of us know that. Individually, we've got to be better, we've got to have faster starts, and we've got to execute a lot better, we've got to be a lot cleaner, be a lot sharper. I think it's pretty simple. There's only so much talking you can do about it. We've got to go out there and do these things and execute and be able to execute at a high level. So, once we do that, we'll be fine.
Q: Obviously, you want to put the past in the past, but I'm just kind of wondering, what's the mood like having just gotten back? How do you kind of pull the lessons from the past while not dwelling on the past, if that makes sense?
A: I mean, in this league, you've got to be able to move on to the next week pretty fast. You've got to take each day, you've got to be present in the day, but once that day is gone, you've got to put that in the past. Obviously, we can learn from our mistakes, but we can also keep growing from the positive things that we've done in these past three games. Just keeping that mindset, continuing to move forward, understanding that it's a long season, understanding that we're only in Week 4. Just got to kind of put all the other things aside and be able to move forward when that time comes. Obviously, after every game, we've got to watch the film, see what we did wrong, see what we did well and then move on to the next week for the next game.
Q: You guys have a pretty long break before Monday. What's been the focus on how to spend this time? What are you guys really dialing in on this week, besides tackling?
A: Just making sure everybody's healthy and ready to go. Then obviously, just watching the film, like I said, going over the things that we did positively and going over the things that we didn't do so well. That is kind of the mindset right now. Obviously, we did that today, and then that's over with. Now it's on to the next week, on to the Seattle and that's kind of what it is.
Q: What did you see specifically from the tape? You mentioned the positives and the negatives. What stood out to you?
A: Yeah, just not good enough execution. We've got to be a lot better. We've got to tackle. We've got to get turnovers. So, it's a lot a lot of different things that we've got to be better with. We're going to stick to the script, regardless of what's going on. We're going to keep doing it how we've been doing it, keep preparing how we've been preparing, and it'll pay off for us.
Q: Do you still talk to (Seahawks safety) Julian Love? What has it been like without him and what will it be like being on opposite sides of him this week?
A: Yeah, I was actually just playing a game with him yesterday. We were on 2K. But yeah, man, I mean, I miss him, playing next to him, he's a good friend of mine. We were teammates. He's a great guy. Great dude. It's going to be fun being able to play against him. Obviously, I was able to play alongside of him. So now, we're going to be competing and going against each other this coming Monday. It's going to be fun, but at the end of the day, we're still brothers. We talk. It'll be good though.
Q: I looked yesterday, and offenses everywhere are putting up crazy numbers. It's almost like defenses are handcuffed. After going up against your offense, they haven't shown it yet. How confident are you that your offense can hold its own in today's NFL? Because it looked explosive in training camp, and I don't think people have seen it yet other than those two quarters.
A: Yeah, like I said, sticking to the script. I can't really speak much on what they're doing on the offensive side, but I trust in the coaches, I trust in the players that we have. I know that it'll come. As long as we just continue to stick to our game plan, and like I said, keep preparing how we prepare and practicing how we practice, Sundays, they'll be better for us. Just sometimes things take time, and I think it's one of those things right now. But I think we'll be a lot better, though.
Q: When people bring up tackling, and you talk about the idea of what you need to focus on, through your career in the season when you have a bad game collectively, what works that following week, from what you've seen, to kind of get back to where you need to be and where you believe you will be? In terms of those fundamentals as far as being able to make those tackles and not miss them.
A: I mean, obviously, we've got to tackle, but that's not why we lost two games. We've got to be better with it, but that's not the reason to us having last two games, in my opinion. The fundamentals matter, and we've got to be a lot better in that aspect, which we will. But that's not the reason why the games are going how they're going. (There's) a lot of other different things that we've got to correct and be better with, and like I said, fundamentals matter and they're always going to matter, and we'll be better with it. I'm not going to stress too much over that, because I know that we're a good tackling team. Obviously, we're just going through a little hiccup, but like I said, we'll correct it, and we'll keep moving forward. Not going to stress over it, though.
Q: Just to play off what you just said, in your mind, why have you lost two games?
A: Didn't start fast, defensively, at least. I don't think we've started fast. I don't think that we've gotten—we don't have any turnovers. I think those are two of the big keys in my mind. Right now, we're just trying to figure out a way where we can be able to force these turnovers. For me as an individual, that's something that I'm constantly trying to figure out, is how to be able to force turnovers and get the ball back for our offense. I think that's two of the reasons. Even the game that we won, we still didn't have any turnovers that game. So, really in the three games that we've played, I think that's the biggest thing for me and for our defense.
Q: Do you and the defense rely on (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) in times like these, or would rely on Wink not be the proper wording? Is it more team based in terms of player-to-player based? What I'm referring to obviously is that you guys haven't gotten off to the start you've wanted.
A: I mean, we all rely on each other. I think that's how our building works. I think that's how this team works. I think that's how this organization works. Just relying on each other, depending upon each other to do whatever you've got to do to be able to do your job at the highest level. We hold each other accountable at all times. I think it's a collective. A collective thing as a team. It's not just players to coaches; it works all the way around throughout the whole building, team meetings, whatever that is. I think it's always been like that for us, and it will continue to be like that for us. We'll be able to fix a lot of the things and issues that we're having problems with right now. Like I said, we all work – this is a team game. We're all in it together regardless of the situation, win or loss. So, that's what it is.
Inside Linebacker Micah McFadden
Q. What was the biggest difference for you, performance-wise from week two to week three?
A: Biggest difference, I would say, I felt like in both games, a lot of times I was in the right position, doing the right thing up until the ball. I'd say week two, I just probably could've finished a few more plays. Obviously, that comes down to tackling and getting the ball carrier on the ground when I have those opportunities and I think there was a lot to improve too in week three. Still had some missed tackles against San Fran(cisco) and that's something to clean up moving forward.
Q. How did you react when the Giants traded for (safety/inside linebacker) Isaiah Simmons? They added another inside linebacker, obviously, that's somebody who is going to compete with you for snaps. How did you react to that?
A: I mean, obviously, everybody wants to be on the field, and everybody wants to play, but at the same time, I think it's a lot bigger than that. It's about the team and getting the best guys in the building so that we can win on Sunday. There is going to be competition in this league and that's on any team you play for. After meeting him and having him in the room with us, becoming close with him, and playing with him on the field, I think Isaiah is a great fit for this team. I've been really excited to get to know him and obviously see him perform and do his thing on Sundays.
Q. You had a lot of tackles, the team missed a lot of tackles. How does the team clean that up in a week where you obviously can't practice tackling a lot at this time, how do you go about cleaning it up then secondly, your TFLs, I think you had four of them. How big are those plays, that kind of lost yardage, that's what the Giants have been missing so far, I think you only have two sacks on the season. How big are those plays for disrupting what an offense is doing?
A: Yeah, I think the point about tackling, I think it's just something you bring it to the forefront of your mind and that's the focus as we move forward throughout the season, that we need to perfect that and we can't exactly simulate it during practice, but we can drill it and get reps doing it that way, so that'll definitely be an emphasis this week. With the TFLs, I think that's just making the plays when my number is called and when I have the opportunity to run through a gap or chase the ball down and make a play behind the line of scrimmage. I think that's helpful for the team and I want to continue to make those plays moving forward.
Q. What has (defensive coordinator) Wink's (Martindale) message been, and I am sure there have been messages plural, but what is his main message for the defense right now? Fairly early in the season still, you have this mini-bye week almost because you played the two games last week. What has Wink's message been?
A: I mean I think it's just trust the process and trust what we've been building, all the way since back in the springtime and training camp. That's just staying together, staying as a team, believing in what we are doing and the work we've put in, building on the things we've done well, and correcting the things that we need to improve on so that we can move forward, get some wins and continue to grow as a team and as a unit.
Q. I'm asking you; you know obviously to speak for the team, which if you are not comfortable doing, I understand, but generally speaking, has the defense been frustrated by not making big plays, big game-changing plays through the three weeks?
A: I don't know if frustration would be the right word, but just obviously you want to make those big plays and I think everybody is ready for them when they do come around and we've had opportunities to do that, it's just about capitalizing on them when the time is called. Obviously, we know it's a long season and we know that there are going to be a lot of opportunities along the way and chances to make plays on the ball and set up opportunities for our offense to have a short field and go down and score, but it's just about continuing to believe in it and trust the process and improve on the little details during practice that can create those turnovers and make those big plays happen, so we'll just continue to do that.
Q. When do you or have you started looking at the Seahawks? I'm not sure in a week like this one when you would start.
A: Our first walk-through for the week will be tomorrow, but obviously, I'm sure like a lot of the other players like me have already started kind of watching film and watching their game from yesterday and whatnot. So, it'll definitely pick up just like a normal week would right now.
Q. Can you talk about the balance of forgetting about the past, but yet pulling lessons from it and learning from it to go forward?
A: I think that's really important. Coach Dabs (head coach Brian Daboll) always talks about a next-play mindset, and obviously, that happens throughout the game, just not worrying too much about what might've just happened, good or bad, and continuing to attack the next play and just play as hard as you can for that play at that one moment. And I think that goes, obviously, from a week-to-week basis, not to worry about whether you had a big loss in week one and then you got to bounce back and go on the road for two quick games and perform well and try to get a couple wins. As the season goes on, there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road and then obviously a lot of mountain tops where we can celebrate a victory, but it's just about attacking the next week, coming in the next week, and preparing the right way and getting ready for the next opponent.
Q. We are all human, though. I mean, it's natural for us if we've had a bad game or a good game to carry that over and say, 'I had a great game' or 'I've had a bad game, what if happens again?' so, amongst you as players, do you talk about that? What do you tell each other?
A: Yeah, I mean there is a moment in the middle of the game, where somebody might have messed up and they are like mad at themselves. I think that's where the team chemistry comes along and having the guys around you to support you and to tell you, just remind you to forget about it. Everybody is going to make mistakes, the best players in the league have bad games at points, so there is just that time that you've got to move on and trust that you can do the right thing and you can improve on the past mistakes and even the past victories, you've just got to believe that you can and trust it and then make the play the next time.
Q. One of the common themes in the three games is that the other team has seemingly started faster, how do you guys show up on time?
A: That's a good point. I think it's just locking in from the get-go. It's not as easy as just getting points on the board as quickly as the other team does. We want to do that, we want to get that quick start, but even when we don't, it's like what we've been talking about, just staying the course and believing in the next play and taking advantage of every opportunity. If there is a game like Arizona, where we are down 20 points and we've got to come back and fight for a victory, we are going to do that. It's just that trust and that belief in the team and, we would like to get some quicker starts as we move forward, but just trusting the process.
Q. A lot of third and longs in the last game, is that simply missed assignments or what?
A: There are a lot of things that go into a third down game plan and the missed tackles last game contributed to it and there are always going to be guys who mess up the assignment or the responsibility, but I think it's a combination of things and everybody in the building is working real hard to get all those little mistakes corrected so that we can improve and be a better team moving forward.
Q. Trust the process is kind of an organizational philosophy, you guys as a team have embraced that. When the process changes as much as it has over the first couple weeks of the season, do you embrace the idea of getting back to some semblance of normalcy for your schedule this week and do you think that process can have an effect on how you guys perform come Monday night, knowing that you are kind of used to preparing the way you are probably going to prepare this week?
A: I think everybody likes the routine and having that set schedule and kind of knowing what to expect throughout the day and getting the normal practice schedule in, but there are times when you have to adjust and last week was one of those times. I think it's just about staying the course and yeah, like you said, just trusting the process and believing in what we are doing. There are no complaints or pointing fingers or worrying about the schedule and what we have to do moving forward, but I think that's what it's going to come down to, is just trusting the process. I think we are excited to be in a week like this.
Wide Receiver Wan'Dale Robinson
Q. How are you feeling after getting back out there and what have the past couple of days been like for you?
A: I'm feeling well. Obviously, getting back and just a lot of travel and getting to rest up and getting our bodies back right.
Q. What was it like for you to be out there on a field? Are you cherishing the moments as you return and healthy and a part of the game plan again?
A: Oh yeah, definitely. Never having to really miss time like that before, definitely cherishing all of the moments being back out there and just wanting to give everything I've got with all of the snaps that I'm getting right now. It's been great though.
Q. What's it been like? I understand you're a professional athlete, not a kid but you're in the huddle with some really accomplished players, you're in a meeting room with some really cool players who I'm guessing are helpful for you. What has that acclimation process been like again?
A: Luckily, I was in all of the meetings and stuff even when I was hurt so it's really been all kind of the same ever since I was rookie. Just trying to keep the same schedule and stay on the same path. I'm just trying to continue to get better each and every day and talking with the older guys just (seeing) if there's anything I can do better. Just watching tape and stuff like that.
Q. Do you watch tape of that 49ers game? Are you the kind of guy that's pretty self-critical? How do you approach that process?
A: Yeah, I mean I think you definitely have to watch the good and the bad games. You've got to be critical of yourself even whenever there are some bad things. You've got to look at the good, too. Just continue to see where you can get better, and I think that's what we're going to continue to do and just try to move on from the last game and continue to get better for Monday night.
Q. I know this might be a little unfair because you only got to play in one of the three games but just big picture. How much more is needed from this receiving core? Last year, there were injuries and you guys kept picking guys up off the street, there was no consistency. This year, you guys have your top five, six guys healthy and I'm watching the rest of the NFL offenses put up tons of yards and you guys are under 200 yards in three games. How much of a difference can the receiver core make here now that you guys are healthy, and you have some playmakers and how can you guys take some ownership of this?
A: We can definitely make the most of our opportunities. I feel like as an offense as a whole, we all have to work together. It's not just one unit it just falls on, all of us have to work together. It works with the offensive line, quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers. Everything plays a part so we're just going to continue to do our part and just continue to try to get better and do everything we can for (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) and our offense.
Q. Obviously, everybody's not going to have a game like the Dolphins had yesterday, once in 60 years but do you guys believe you can be an explosive offense with pieces that you've put together? That was the whole offseason focus was to get more explosive, we haven't seen it yet. Do you believe there's a lot more in the cupboard so to speak?
A: Definitely. Obviously, I think just three games in I think there's obviously still room for improvement. I don't think we're a finished product or anything like that, we just have to continue to keep working and just keep taking the steps forward and everything will come our way.
Q. The stat is that Daniel has been under pressure on 47 percent of his drop backs. How much more difficult does that make the offense when Daniel is under that kind of pressure and what can you guys as receivers to alleviate? Do you have to cut your route shorter? What can you do as receivers if he's going to be under that much pressure to do your part to get the ball?
A: Like I said, I think it goes back with everybody. Running backs, quarterbacks, offensive line, even some of the play calls. I mean, not everything's going to be perfect at all times and we just have to make things work sometimes. Obviously, we still believe in our o-line and obviously we're missing some pieces and getting people healthy will obviously help, but we just have to continue to keep working and keep pushing forward and just go out to practice each and every day and everything will come.
Q. Just wanted to circle back to the other night was your first game coming back. You were fairly productive. Did you have any doubts about how your knee might react? Did you have any hesitation about taking hits? How did you feel about being productive the first night back?
A: I felt fine. But no, I had no doubts. I wouldn't have wanted to go out there, told the coaching staff and (General Manager) Joe (Schoen) and them that I was ready to go if I didn't feel confident. It felt good to get back out there and feeling even better after I got out there. Just continue to get the confidence.
Q. What's it like being on a pitch count? Are you going to (Head Coach Brian Daboll) Dabs saying like, 'I can go, put me in?'
A: It's definitely a little difficult but I'm just following the plan. Obviously, there's a plan in place with the training staff and the coaching staff just with me coming nine months off an ACL. I'm just going to follow the plan and just continue to get better each and ever day just let my knee get stronger.
Q. What do (wide receiver Darius Slayton) Slay, (wide receiver Sterling Shepard) Shep and (tight end) Darren (Waller) think when you call them, 'old men'?
A: Oh, shoot (laughs). I guess at the end of the day that's what we all are. We're not kids, everybody's 22-plus in our room, so everybody's a grown man.