Q: When you look at the Miami passing game on film, what are the problems that they present? Also, is there any prognosis or diagnosis on Devon Kennard and any surgery concern with him?
A: No, at this point in time, there's no surgery. But when you look at the Miami passing game, you look at a talented quarterback who can run, who has all the throws, and has a nice skillset to work with.
Q: Will Kennard practice today?
A: No. How did (the) Kennard (conversation) start? I just covered him yesterday, I said he's not working. He's not working. Kennard is not going to work.
Q: But Ereck Flowers might work today?
A: Yeah, he's going to try to go.
Q: Can you put your finger on one thing that this team would have to do in the clutch Monday night with a minute left in the game?
A: Make a play to win the game. Finish the game. Whether you're ahead 20-10 or whatever it is, you're looking at nine minutes in the fourth quarter, make some plays to finish the game. If it's four-minute, keep the ball, make some first downs. If it's defense, make a play. We had them at fourth and six, how many times does that type of thing happen? Get it over with, get them out.
Q: The perception on the outside is the talent simply isn't good enough, but if talent is good enough 58 or 59 minutes, what fails in the clutch?
A: The fail part of it is just what I'm trying to say—at the point where you need to make a play to win a game, that's not taking place for whatever reason. We're not making the plays at the critical times to secure the win.
Q: Any concerns about Prince Amukamara's ability to bounce back?
A: No. No. I think he'll bounce back.
Q: He's always been a confident kid?
A: He's been confident, he's been tough, resilient.
Q: With regard to Josh Brown, he made so many in a row. Do you look at that as kind of a blip or an aberration there?
A: Well, he's made so many in a row. He is human. And it's unfortunate it happened at that time, it goes along kind of with what Kim said. Okay, you have a chance to make the difference in a game, make the difference. That's what we play for. You play to be responsive and Josh has done a great job, look at the numbers. But on that particular kick, it wasn't going to be.
Q: Miami has had some vulnerability against the run. Would you look to try to assert yourselves that way?
A: We do every week, we try to. And we'll do the same thing.
Q: The perception on the outside that the personnel here simply isn't good enough.
A: You've been on that for a while.
Q: I understand that, but it continues to be the perception that, "Hey, what can they do, they don't have the talent."
A: Well, if we can lead, like you just said, if we can be ahead at the end of three quarters, then finish the game and win the game. We have to be good enough.
Q: Did you feel better about your pass rush last week with the alignment of Jason Pierre-Paul on the left and Robert Ayers on the right?
A: I felt better about our pass rush because whatever side Jason was on, he played a better game. And he felt that the conditioning aspect, the things that he worked with over the course of the time he's been back, was starting to come together. So I felt better about that, yes.
Q: Did Ayers look different to you as well?
A: Ayers has been pretty solid playing inside all year long, if you've noticed that.
Q: In working with as many running backs as you have, are you looking for somebody in that group to assert themselves?
A: Yeah, take over the job. Any time anybody wants to be the guy, that's fine, I'm all for it. There's a different skillset along the way and we're trying to utilize them all.
Q: With the offensive line, will what transpires at practice today pretty much determine who will line up?
A: Well, we'll see. Yeah, we'll see how Flowers does. I have to be optimistic about the kid, he's a tough kid. He's bounced back before when they said he wasn't going to be able to go and he's gone. So we'll see how it goes today.
Q: Marshall Newhouse, his back is better?
A: Yeah, he's better, he's feeling better. I'm not going to tell you he's all the way there, but he's feeling better.
Q: Going back to Prince, what did you see on film that allowed Brandon Marshall to have so much success against him?
A: Marshall's a good player. He's a big, strong player and he's had lots of success this year. Prince was in position, but not in position a couple of times and the size, speed, ability of the player—Prince made a couple of plays and could have made a couple more.
Q: A couple weeks ago when I asked you about Bobby Hart, and I'm paraphrasing, you said that he's coming along, there's some things that we want him to do better. What have you seen from him since then? Is he getting better?
A: He's coming along and there are some things that we'd like him to do better. He's a young guy who's got one of those really sharp personalities and he wants to do everything, wants to learn, wants to play, and so on. And there's some things, obviously, that have to be improved on. I certainly do like the way he approaches it.
Q: Has he put himself in the top-five where you have to find him a spot?
A: Well, if everybody was healthy and on the field, he would be close to being in that. Due to the fact that we have some injuries, he's naturally been catapulted into the position he's in.
Q: Have the injuries on the offensive line been the biggest thing that worked against the running game in your mind?
A: Well, they haven't helped.
WR Odell Beckham Jr**
Odell Beckham: So…Yeah I think it's going to be an interesting matchup against the Dolphins. Should be a lot of fun getting to play against Jarvis (Landry). They're a great team and we all know that this is a must win.
Q: You think all this talk about finishing games is finally going to happen?
A: You could talk about it. You could talk about it, but I think everybody knows that you could talk about it until you're blue in the face, you have to go out there and actually do it. That's obviously going to be the goal. We know our situation, we know what we need to do, and we just need to come out and do it.
Q: Do you guys feel like you're running out of chances? Every time it seems like you fall back, something else happens to put you back in the race?
A: I think that's life. Opportunities present themselves, they come and go, and it's only a matter of which ones you seize and which opportunities you can take advantage of. So yeah, we've definitely lost many, many opportunities. It used to be a six-game season, had a big chance there, missed out on that, had another chance last week. We know there's only four games left and all four of them are important. Just got to go out and put our best foot forward, that's really it.
Q: You're a young player but you understand the national spotlight and Monday Night Football is something that's been around forever. You know ESPN is really promoting you and Jarvis in this game. Does that put any extra attention on you or any extra responsibility to perform? Does it even matter, does the hype matter at all?
A: Not really, to be honest with you. It's one of those games that I've had in my mind for a long time, playing against Jarvis and being able to do this. So there's nothing extra that can really be added to it, we both understand the situation. We finally get to play against each other. I don't think it adds to any extra pressure, but being able to see that Monday Night commercial and a guy who, in my mind, is a very underrated receiver in this league. To be able to do the things that he does and just still stay under the radar, I don't know. But it's great to finally see his talents and his skills actually being praised.
Q: Do you keep tabs on the other receivers from your draft class other than Jarvis? You guys all came in last year and it seemed like the whole class had a great season. Do you keep tabs on those guys and what they're doing?
A: I think it was more last year when I kept more tabs on, "What is Sammy doing? What's Mike Evans doing? What's Cooks, all these other guys, what's everybody doing?" Because I love seeing it. These are guys who I came out with. This is my class, this is our draft class. It will forever be the class of, I don't even know which one it was, so confusing. But you know what I mean? It's something that is history, it's history. So I definitely keep up with them. But the first thing I'm doing after a game, if I'm checking for anything, it's probably going to be to see what Jarvis is doing, if I didn't get to see it while we were playing.
Q: Will you watch the games on Sunday?
A: Whatever games we have a chance to. I'll be in the hotel room and we usually just sit there, me and B-Wing (Brad Wing), and we'll watch any games that are on. Usually we'll be able to watch the Saturday games, the college games for the most part. But yeah, I'll definitely have an opportunity to watch some of them.
Q: Is there anything different that they can do to you defensively? You've seen it at all, at least is seems like everyone has tried to do everything they can to stop you. You've got five straight 100-yard games.
A: I honestly don't know. We've seen what their tendencies are and what they do and their game plan. They game plan and we try and game plan around it. I wouldn't try and give out anything to help them do whatever they need to be doing as far as stopping me. I can't really put my finger on it.
Q: I asked DRC, you get to see Beckham in practice all the time, now you're going to see Jarvis. Is it kind of like seeing a shadow. He said, "It's not going to be a big deal to us." Do you sense that that helps your guys?
A: I guess just being able to go against those guys in practice, it's the same. You get to go against the DRC's and the Prince's in practice and you take those reps. You take every rep seriously, but you get a chance to go against the corners on your team and you're going to give it your all, you're going to try and give them the best work, they're going to try to give you the best work. So I think they're going to be seeing a lot of everything that they see from me with him. Jarvis and I play very similar. He's got a little more shiftiness to him as far as getting in and out of things. I try to tell them, don't sleep on him.
Steve Spagnuolo: Man, we did have so great weather. Last time I remember weather like this in December, it was 2001 because I was with the Eagles. I remember we were practicing outside for like two weeks, it was like 70 degrees. Anybody remember that? Alright we've got two days under our belt, actually a little bit more with the extra practice. Actually anxious to get ready to play another team, play Miami on Monday night, which is always fun. Other than that, I'll let you open up and fire away.
Q: There's a report that you released Damontre Moore. Is that correct?
A: Okay, well really, that's a conversation for Coach Coughlin and Jerry. At 4 o'clock you guys will see that there's been a move made by the Giants. And again, I won't say anything more other than that. I'm sure Jerry and Tom will address it at some point.
Q: When you look back at it, and obviously there's been so much talk about the close games you guys have lost, has there been a common denominator when you've analyzed those things defensively?
A: The common denominator is we need to make one more play. Look it, that's an easy answer. We're always digging and always changing, quite frankly--trying something different, trying to get a beat. Every week we try to get a beat on what a team would do against us at the end of the game and what we think are the best approaches to defend it. And I think we've been right most of the time, but when push comes to shove at the end, somewhere along the way, somebody needs to make a play. And we've had that in some games—the Dallas game here, I think we finished one, I want to say San Francisco. Now the ones that stick out are the ones we haven't been able to do it and I know that's what you're talking about. And look it, it didn't hurt anybody worse than me because, quite frankly, I've always talked to the guys about, "We want to be in that situation." And every time on the sideline, we're saying, "Hey, this is what we've been waiting for, this is what we've been looking for." And it's a dropped ball or—not a lot of missed assignments—but a couple things here and there. Look, we feel as bad as anybody about letting the team down.
Q: Are there any specific things that you can do better? I know it's a general question.
A: Yeah, no. Look it, when that happens, I always go back and first look at the calls that were made. "Did I make the right call here? Could I have made a better call?" A call that doesn't work, you always think there could have been a better call. So there's a few in there that I would like to have back, and I'm sure that the players would say there's a few plays in there that they would have liked to have done one little thing better, made a better decision here. And I think all of that combined, I think somewhere in there, if we do all that, we'll find a way to make that play that we need to end the game.
Q: Tom was saying on that on the run by Fitzpatrick you had the right call and you checked out of the call?
A: Yeah, that's exactly right. Okay, the reason for the check out of it—the best way to say it is there was some overthinking. In other words, "Okay, let's not stay with this because of…" It was a little bit more overthinking instead of just letting it roll. So look, our guys, you learn from it and you move on. But yeah, we had talked about that. We had a certain call on for that. There was another one in that drive that we had on, it was a pressure we had on, and we checked out of it and we really shouldn't have. But I can see somewhat the reasoning of why we did. Although when the player thought about it, he went, "Nah, you're right. We shouldn't have done that." So I think we learn from it, make a little bit better decisions that will help us.
Q: Did Robert Ayers come down with an injury? We saw he didn't practice today.
A: Today, yeah, and I don't know exactly what it is. I think he's going to be okay. I don't know exactly what it was. He was in our meetings this morning and Tom came to me right before we were going out there and said he wasn't going to practice. I'm sure Ronnie (Barnes) or Coach Coughlin would know exactly. I'm planning on him being able to go and play. I haven't been told any reason why he wouldn't.
Q: My next question was going to be, regardless of obviously everything that happened on Sunday—Ayers and JPP seemed to have the most life in your pass rush you have had all season.
A: Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. I will say this, I thought the defensive line, overall, had their best game. And it kind of looked and felt like the way it's supposed to, in my opinion. There was a point in the game, I want to say it was early in the third quarter where we made a decision, "Hey, our guys up front are doing a good job." I think it was at halftime we talked about it, "We're just going to let those guys roll." In other words, keep four of them going, try not to do three-man pass rushes. May not need the pressure calls as much. I thought they did a really good job and Robert and JPP were two of the guys that were kind of leading it. And Cullen (Jenkins) did a great job, too.
Q: What was the thought of having JPP on the left side most of the game?
A: It was more of a comfort level for him. You know, he had spent, the prior three games—he played his fourth game, right? He had spent the prior three games really trying to figure out what's the best side to put my hand down? I just think he's finally got—you probably talked to him—I think he finally feels good about how he's wrapping the hand. And I think he feels better about where he is right now. That doesn't mean we wouldn't put move him over once in a while for a certain call. I thought he did a nice job over on the left side for us.
Q: I fear this is dumb, I'll ask it anyway. When you say checking out of a play, who's checking out of it?
A: Well, it's either safeties or linebackers—I'm not going to give you a certain person, I don't think that's fair. Those are the guys that control what we do there. And listen, I have always believed in giving them freedom. I'm going to diverge for a second, Antonio Pierce, you give the guy the freedom that knows the game to go out and control it and we got the chalk last and not the quarterback. So we've been trying to feed that to the guys as we go. We're at sophomore, junior level, not in graduate school yet. But our guys, look it, the guys that are out there, I trust. The one really good thing, when the check was made, everybody got the check—that hasn't always happened. That hasn't always happened. So look it, if you're wrong and you're all wrong together, you're right. We would have liked to have the call stay on, it might have made a difference, it might not have. That's really what happened.
Q: Was there any sense from the defensive side of the ball from your guys when Tom decided to go for it on fourth down?
A: Not at all. Not at all. I thought it was the 100 percent right thing to do. That's just how I feel. I support Coach 100 percent. Look, our job is when that happens—it doesn't matter, I don't know, we gave the ball up at the 20, offense scored a touchdown, they scored a field goal. In my opinion, our job never changes. Half the time I don't watch what the offense is doing purposely for that. I just think the focus for us is always to stop the offense. There's probably only one time that that changes—under a minute, we're up by three possessions—maybe you change your thinking. Other than that, I think you run the defense to stop it and I think our players play it to stop it.
Q: Is it amazing you that almost 40 percent of the points you guys have allowed have been in the fourth quarter?
A: Didn't know that. Yeah, not a good sign in a lot of ways. I don't know that I have a reason for that except that that needs to change if you're going to do the things that we're trying to do and that's where we're always trying to focus on.
Q: Prince was saying that if the game was only 58 minutes and 45 seconds, you'd be 10-2.
A: Prince is pretty smart so he's probably calculated it and he's got it right. That isn't the way it is, you've got to play 60 minutes and that's what we're focused on.
Q: When you were in St. Louis in 2010, you guys were in a similar division race like this one.
A: Yeah, you're right.
Q: Is it difficult to--you have a game like Sunday and you lose and feel so down, it almost feels like everything is lost--then you get help and you're right back in it?
A: It's nice to still be in there swinging, that's all I can say. It's December, we're playing our 13th game and really everything that we would like to accomplish is still there until somebody says you're completely out and you can't do it. So I always tell the guys, "Don't focus on the two S words—standings and statistics." That's just me. At the end of the 16 games, we add them up and if we're able to move on, that's what we're trying to do. If we're not, then you move on to next year. Look, we're in the hunt and we're still fighting. Our guys, they practiced great today, I know you didn't see the whole practice. There's some energy, there's some focus there, we've just got to go find a way to win a game, we really do.
Q: The Jets right tackle after the game said he couldn't remember the last time he saw a get off like JPP's during that game. Would that sort of comment indicate to you simply that he was that prepared for that team, that quarterback cadence, everything else? Or does that say something broader about the way he feels about where he is?
A: It probably says both. I'm glad the comment was made. It felt that way to us, too. Like the comfort level for JPP just felt natural in that game. He just kind of let it loose. Now that you mentioned it, I remember a conversation a week ago and both Robert Nunn and I, we stood there and told him, "Look, don't worry about making a mistake." He has a lot of pride and everybody wants to do things right. And it's still all new to him, I hope everybody realizes that. He's just a month into the system, different wording, the whole thing. But I think he did take that approach. We just wanted to turn him loose. Jasper Brinkley spoke to the defense—I have guys do that periodically—he had a great one. I want to say it was when he was in prep school, they had a saying, "Try as hard as you can to do the best thing. If you make a mistake, you've got 10 other erasers that will make up for it." And that's what we try to do, too. I just thought the way Jasper said that the other day, I'd never heard it said that way. But I think that's what JPP's feeling—comfort.
Q: If he never had the July 4th accident and presumably came in either on time or close to it with the franchise tender, could his presence all season long have changed this defense?
A: Guess we're never going to know. But I think anybody that's standing here thinks he would have made a difference. He's a good football player. We're glad we got him back, we really are. And glad that he's playing the way he did. Hopefully we can get the same kind of player this week. That will help us.
Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo**
Q: Can you go back to the game last Sunday and walk us through the fourth down play?
A: The fourth down play? Fourth and two, we had an opportunity to complete the bow, big play in the game obviously. Eli took his footwork, he was rushed on the throw, got hit, we didn't get the ideal coverage we were looking for and we felt that with the route and the way it played out, we had to throw a little bit early and if Rueben would've kept coming, he would've had a chance to either break it up, draw a PI, or make the play. We'd like for the quarterback to hold it, put it in the second window, didn't happen that way and an unfortunate break in the game.
Q: You said Rueben Randle didn't keep coming. Did he pull up on it?
Q: So was there an issue with his effort on that play?
A: I don't think it was effort, I think he misinterpreted the coverage.
Q: Did he have Will Tye on the goal line there on that play?
A: On the same play? His eyes weren't there initially, no.
Q: But Tye was there?
A: Tye had a one-on-one but that's not where he should've gone with the ball.
Q: Tom has talked about finishing for a long time. Have you guys done anything more to sit down and say what more you can do to finish?
A: I mean, we've talked about it a lot, but those are just words. Talking about it is not going to get it done. We made some emphasis, we changed some things up in practice to emphasize it more, changed some things up in the meeting room to emphasize it more, and it comes down to executing, putting a good plan together, and cashing in on that plan. I think a lot of it is probably between the ears. We've got to manage our thoughts and chase what we can control and not worry about what is out of our control. Each player needs to focus on when they have an opportunity to make a play, cash in on that play.
Q: What are the tangible things you've done at practice just to try and emphasize that?
A: We like to keep our scheduling and things like that in house. That's probably a better question for Tom to answer than for me to answer.
Q: Is the offensive line any more settled in after today? Does it look like Marshall Newhouse is going to be a go?
A: Well, we have a lot of guys working in there. There are moving pieces involved. The guys have done a nice job this week and they've answered the call there. Is it easy? No. No one said it was going to be easy. Can it work? Absolutely, it can work. Guys just have to get ready to play multiple spots and when the opportunity happens where you have to play or move around, they have to be able to execute and cash in on it and have the confidence to do so. First couple of days, we had a good couple days. Today was better than yesterday, which is encouraging.
Q: Tom said this morning that Ereck Flowers was going to get out there today. First, how did he look, but also, what does it say about a rookie showing that kind of toughness and being able to come back from that kind of injury?
A: He's a different young man. He's tough, he obviously has a high-pain threshold. For him to be out there today and practicing the way he's practicing says a lot about him. That's what we thought we were getting and we're pleased he's making that push.
Q: Rueben Randle had 71 catches a year ago, I believe, and he mostly played with either Victor or Odell since they weren't together very often. What's the difference in Rueben's production this season?
A: When you look at it, first things first, we're focused on this week and making an impact this week.
Q: And he could do that?
A: Absolutely. No one has lost confidence in Rueben by any stretch of the imagination. He had a good day yesterday, he had a good day today, and we count on him being productive in the game on Sunday, or Monday night, excuse me. We need him to come through and cash in on the opportunities that he gets. Balls come in bunches and when you cash in on the opportunities that are presented to you, you have an opportunity to get another and get another and get another. We're just going to keep on working, keep on plugging away, and if he gets an opportunity to make a play Monday night, cash in on it and then the next one will come.
Q: Presence of Ndamukong Suh. Obviously you guys have seen a lot of guys this year, but how does Suh stand out on film?
A: Very familiar with Suh with all the time at my last spot. He's definitely a challenge physically, he's a tough guy, he can make some messes inside and he's very successful at it. He raises the game of those around him, so he makes the ends better, he makes the defensive tackles better, he makes the linebackers better, and he makes the secondary better. So he's someone that we always have to know where he is and account for him on every play.
Q: One of the guys used the phrase "blocking by committee." Does that assignment change when you have different bodies to go back to the beginning of what you said about guys are moving pieces right now?
A: Regardless of who's playing, center, right guard or right tackle, we need to know where 93 is going to be and account for him.
Q: A lot of your linemen this week talked about Olivier Vernon. People don't know his name real well but he's showing a lot of stuff on tape the last few weeks. What have you seen when you see him rushing the quarterback?
A: He jumps off the film. He's a talented guy, he looks like he's hungry. He has a lot of energy, brings a lot of energy to the game and has a nice skillset. We're going to have to account for him as well.
Q: Tom had said that the running backs go until somebody gets a hot hand. Do you feel that maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that if he keeps cycling those guys in and out…
A: Do I feel it's a what?
Q: Maybe a little bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy that maybe if you keep going in and out with those guys, it's going to be hard for anyone to get a hot hand?
A: Well, we feel the room has some talent and they each have a unique skillset. If one of them separates themselves by the way they play in the game, they'll continue to get the ball. None of them have done anything not to get the ball to take carries away from. The more guys who can be involved and the more guys who—it goes back to the same thing as Rueben, the question about Rueben and the question about Rashad, all these questions until we execute the way we're capable of, no one is going to get the touches they want. The last two games, we haven't executed as well as we can execute, so there aren't enough balls to go around. Until we do, that's going to be the case. So we need to prepare well, execute well, that's when the touches come.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn**
Q: You look at Josh Brown's miss the other day, given how consistent he's been, how do you analyze that?
A: Didn't have great rotation and when you don't have great rotation, the wind will take it and that was the unfortunate part.
Q: I'm assuming that does not sway your confidence in him.
A: Oh no, not at all.
Q: Making 29 in a row.
A: He's been perfect, yeah.
Q: How difficult is that for a guy? Obviously in that scenario, it's all on him, and you have wait a week to redeem yourself. How difficult is that at that particular position?
A: He's been doing it so long, I think he'll be able to throw it away and he's excited to get back on the field to kick another one.
Q: Zak [Deossie] has been here every day since you became coordinator, a little weird not having him around?
A: Yeah, a little different. Danny [Aiken] will do well, he's a pro. We've seen him since I've been here, since he's been working in preseason, so we have good tape on him, and good knowledge of what he can do. He's fit in well and worked hard.
Q: Is there any difference with him? I mean is the speed of the ball getting back?
A: It all comes down to the holder doing his job, the kicker needs to do his job, and they don't need to worry about each other's jobs. You just do your job, and he's a pro. He'll snap it back, and whether it's a punt or field goal, everyone goes from there. I think you get into problems when you start worrying, looking, getting out of your timing. I think they'll be fine.
Q: We've talked to a lot of players about in game situations, as a coach when you guys get in that close game are you sitting there going, "Please somebody make a play"? Is it frustrating in a sense you've lost so many games in the last two minutes?
A: Yeah, I mean you want to do something to help. We were close on that kickoff return in overtime, really close, so that's difficult because you want to do everything to help us get over this little hump that we're on, this funk that we're in, to push us through.