Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale
Martindale: Thought it was a great start. Really happy with how we kept attacking it every play. We said going into it we weren't going to flinch. I told them I owed them my composure, and those guys just took it one play at a time. And I know that's a cliché, but it didn't matter what the series of events were. They stayed the same throughout the game, which is a big part of our success down there in Tennessee, and we need to just keep building from that. I know we're talking about changing the culture and changing the culture defensively. This is one of the biggest changes you'll see is this week to bring back great defense in this facility; and I've only lived here for a short period of time, but I know New Yorkers are loud. We need to be loud in that stadium. They have to go on silent count. If you want to be part of changing this culture here with the Giants, be loud and have that place rocking where people don't want to come to our stadium. We'll take care of the rest, and we'll give you something to be loud about. But just be loud. I can't wait to see it. With that, I'll open it up with questions.
Q: You obviously did a pretty good job of containing (Titans Running Back) Derrick (Henry) Sunday. What were some of the keys to that, and what will be some of the keys to trying to contain (Panthers Running Back) Christian (McCaffery) Sunday?
A: I think the keys that we talked about prior to the Tennessee game was we set edges and we play with knockback up front, and we got everybody to the ball. And it's the same thing playing Christian McCaffery. It's crazy how this league is right now, and I know how you fantasy football players love it. But my goodness, I compared Derrick Henry to (Former Browns Fullback) Jim Brown. I knew exactly what I was doing. This guy's (Former Lions Running Back) Barry Sanders. I mean, it's unbelievable; and I know I'm going all old school, but I'm old. So, that's where I'm at with it. This guy's unbelievable.
Q: What do guys elite guys like that and (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) do to the defensive coordinator?
A: It keeps you up; you throw up a lot (Laughs). You don't eat a whole lot. Well, I'll still eat (Laughs); but it's unbelievable. He's a tremendous talent. And down there with (Panthers Quarterback) Baker (Mayfield) being there, it's quite a challenge.
Q: Who's Saquon then?
A: I think there's a combo platter, and I haven't thought about that. But he's a combo platter between the two because he has power. You saw that. He was our best defensive player that we had Sunday – Saquon.
Q: Does it help you at all that you were in a division with Baker?
A: Oh yeah. I know him, and he knows me. So, it helps him, too. He's one of those guys. And I've done this comparison before with him, and I said before when he first came out and playing against him, he's a gun slinger. Who did they always call gun slinger? (Former Quarterback) Brett Favre. Right? And what did Brett Favre do? He left Atlanta, went to Green Bay, and he took off. Might be the same thing here for Baker.
Q: With the way you had (Cornerback) Adoree' (Jackson) travel a lot with (Titans Wide Receiver Robert) Woods, I don't know if that's something you've done a lot in the past. I don't believe it is. But, is that something you plan to do before?
A: It all depends. It all depends on the call. It all depends on who we're playing, how we're going to attack it. So, that'll change. That's the beautiful part of the scheme itself.
Q: What do expect the crowd to be like?
A: I hope it's loud and having a great time. That's what I hope it is. That's what I expect the crowd to be like. I know this place loves defense, so we'll do our part. You guys do yours. That's the way I look at it, and it'll be fun. It should be when you come to the stadium.
Q: You only had a 25 percent blitz rate on Sunday. Are you going conservative on us?
A: Is that – who is that blitz rate compared or based off of?
Q: Your past.
A: Who takes that? PFF? Where'd you get it from?
Q: Official stats.
A: Okay, official stats. We'll see.
Q: You have a higher number, I assume, in your mind.
A: No. We'll see.
Q: I'm saying you think you blitzed a higher amount than that?
A: It's just different because you're playing bigger people, so it's harder to see sometimes when you're playing bigger people.
Q: How big a difference is it with Aaron Robinson being out, and…
A: First of all, I'm glad he's healthy and safe. That's got to be quite a scare for a guy that young to go through that. It's going to be a challenge like it always is. There were challenges we had last week. I've always said, 'No one cares about your problems.' Ninety percent of the world, glad you got them or don't care about them. And 10 percent, glad you got them. That was the old Lou Holtz saying. So, we've just got to keep playing.
Q: Do you address his absence with more than one person in your mind?
A: We'll see. You know how that goes. That's all part of this week, too.
Q: What does (Safety Dane) Belton give you now that he's back?
A: I think he's physical. I think he's fast. I think he knows the system. We just got to knock the rust off of him. So, we'll see how he feels when he's out there, and we'll just slowly build with him.
Q: Tennessee has some success with their running backs matched up against your linebackers. Obviously, this opponent, they have maybe the best guy in the league. How big a challenge is that, and how do you look at that going into this game?
A: It's a huge challenge. And we got to continue to work on it. There's some different looks that they gave us, and the kid that they brought up, they just took off the practice squad. So, I saw that like the night before the game. We know who Christian McCaffery is. I'm not saying we didn't know who the kid was. I'm just saying he got brought up the day before the game, or the day of, maybe.
Q: As a defensive coordinator, do you have to pick your poison in preparing for an opponent? Did you try to shut down Henry and say, 'Alright (Titans Quarterback Ryan) Tannehill's going to get some yards?'
A: I mean, including poison in the sentence is a good thing, I guess. I think that you have to keep it moving. I say that we dictate to the offense, too. That's one of the things people know about us and are going to continue to know about us as we go forward is how we play the game. And then, we throw the changeup and things like that. Are they going to pick their poison and keep everybody in to protect on third down because they know they can't pick up the pressure package? I don't know because then there's only three receivers going out there. That's advantage defense. So, we'll see.
Q: Do you go through the week not expecting to have (Outside Linebacker Kayvon) Thibodeau and (Outside Linebacker Azeez) Ojulari, and if they're available on Friday, great? Add them in to whatever you already planned?
A: That's exactly what we're doing.
Q: How big a benefit is it if or when they do come back?
A: Well, you're talking about two first round picks, so it's a huge benefit. But no matter what, that game's going to get kicked off.
Q: Can you talk about the job that (Outside Linebacker Oshane) Ximines and (Outside Linebacker Jihad) Ward did in their place?
A: First of all, Jihad Ward was defensive player of the game. I mean, and that was unanimous. So, he's a physical, tough guy that is the character of what you're looking for as a defensive player. He sets the pace, especially in the run game on setting the edges, and he took it personal that game, and that's what has made him who he is. And wherever I'm at, I hope I have Jihad Ward with me. Ox, as I call him, has done nothing but worked hard and kept earning trust and kept earning more and more playing time throughout the spring all the way through training camp and the preseason. And I think he did a great job for us in there. He's making plays and doing things the right way, and that's why he's where he's at.
Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka
Q: How much, as a play caller, when (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley) is playing at the level that he played at on Sunday – what does that do for you as a play caller?
A: He did a great job. He did a phenomenal job with the ball in his hands. I thought the o-line protected him well. I think it was a full 11-man operation out there. I thought Saquon definitely benefited from that. He ran hard, he played well.
Q: But does he do things that maybe some other guys couldn't? Even with everybody playing well.
A: He's a special player. He's absolutely a special player and a guy that you look for to make those type of plays.
Q: There was a stat that he faced the least-loaded boxes of any running back in the league. I know the defense makes that decision but are there things that you can do to influence that so you can keep the box from being crowded?
A: There's definitely things that you can do within the game plan. Whether it's personnel-based, formation-based, motion-based. There are definitely some things that you look at to try and get those opportunities.
Q: After the game that he had, do you expect now that you will have to flip a little bit? This week, you could be facing a lot more loaded boxes.
A: I think you plan for it. I don't know exactly what they are going to do. I think you plan for those things and you got to have answers within the scheme and within the game plan.
Q: The two-point conversion play, is that something you had in your pocket from the Kansas City days or way back when? What's the background on the play?
A: As a staff, we get together and put it all together and come up with ideas, creative ideas. There's things that we really like and maybe we don't use them this week or last week that we carry over or there's things that we really like that we want to call for that week versus that specific defense. They were pretty unique that way. When you really look at the tape, they played it well. Saquon just made a great play to finish it.
Q: So that's a play that you guys came up with as a staff and …
A: Yeah, you see in my past we've run plays like that. It's a version of it, it wasn't one that we pulled exactly from my past. It's a version of it and I thought it certainly helped us.
Q: What's the benefit there of throwing it underhand as opposed to over the shoulder?
A: Overhand, it could just come out a little bit quick, faster and it's a little bit of a tougher angle because it's a kind of close quarters on that. The underhand is just an easier, softer way of getting the ball still quickly and accurately.
Q: You used motion on 38 of your offensive plays. Why is that such a big element of this offense?
A: I think any time you can distort the box whether it's creating a numbers count, like we talked about earlier, getting guys in different spots, influencing second level and third level defenders - that helps whether it's pass or run, it can help whatever the scheme you want to run. I think it helps also with the o-line getting certain angles on blocks. I think it can help in the pass game where you are creating certain types of leverages. There's definitely a lot of benefits to it.
Q: Obviously we have seen it a lot in the Kansas City offense. Has that been a part of offenses that you have always been in or is that something you really learned in Kansas City?
A: No, it's been in a lot of the offenses I've been in. It's something that I think is important for what we want to do.
Q: Speaking on the touchdown before the two-point conversion, Saquon was very effective on that drive, they're just willing to crash down on him?
A: Yeah, we had that one in our back pocket. It was in the game plan. We had it in our back pocket. We had some success running that play as a run, I think it was the first touchdown. We knew we kind of had a complement to it and once we got in that situation on the right spot, it kind of just fell into place to run it and the guys executed it well.
Q: We saw (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) go up to (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) after the interception and animatedly made his point to Daniel. As a guy who was a quarterback in this league and a passing game coordinator, what do you make of that? What are the benefits of it? Do you personally like to wait until afterwards to have that conversation? What's your opinion on that?
A: How Dabs handled it?
Q: Yeah, on just going up to the quarterback midgame.
A: Oh yeah, you absolutely want to give him the information and get the questions answered. Whatever issue happened, you want to get it solved right away and then be able to communicate what we are going to do next. I think there's always a time and a place for that.
Q: Does that show his personality? Or how much does that show his personality? I'm talking about Daboll. That he's willing to do that and do it in an animated way in front of everybody else.
A: Yeah, I think everyone is holding each other accountable. Everyone is accountable to one another on the team. That's how we've always been from day one. We're all in this thing together. I think we got to have those sometimes tough conversations. Dabs does it in his way that I think makes him special. That's how Dabs gets the best out of players. I think everyone is different, but there is no right or wrong way on how to handle it in my opinion.
Q: What is his way and how would you describe that? When you say, "Dabs way" – What's his way? How does he do it?
A: I think it was what you saw. He lit a fire under Daniel and then we came back in the second half, put together a great 12-play drive to go down and win it. Daniel had a lot to do with that drive. I think it was effective in that respect.
Q: That was a really interesting way to end your first game as a play caller, right? Can you just walk us through – when (Daboll) says we are going for two, what are your emotions in that moment and how many plays are considering? Can you just walk us through the process and your emotions in that moment?
A: We had the ball before, we were talking through plays that we liked really that whole second half while the defense was on the field. Talking through plays that we really liked, things that we wanted to get to. I think we had a couple of explosives in that drive that helped us get into range. Once we got into the red zone, we settled down, had really specific thoughts on what we wanted to get there and the guys went out there and executed it. Really, at the end of the day, we had full trust in those guys whether it was going for two, down inside the redzone. I think as a staff when we were talking about putting those guys in those spots, that meant a lot to the players to show that kind of confidence and have that kind of confidence in those guys.
Q: Was your heart racing?
A: No. The beauty of it, and you guys have been around here throughout training camp, we've been put through a lot of different situations. Two minutes, on the ball, no huddle, hurry up type situations that really prepped us. Not only as staff or as a play caller but for the players, too. Those guys really prepped it and that was great. We did it every single day and we continue to do it.
Q: Is the amount of frequent substitutions that you guys have, especially early in the game, something we can expect? Was there some confusion early on from some of the guys as you were doing all that?
A: Yeah, I think we got to continue to work on it. That was one of our points of emphasis this week was just getting in and out of the huddle quickly, getting up to the line of scrimmage. That way we can use those motions, we can use those shifts and things that we want to do and also give the quarterback more time at the line of scrimmage to operate. That was a point of emphasis and that's the things that we are working on and things that we self-evaluated from the game.
Q: Other than the interception, how would you rate Daniel's performance?
A: I thought Daniel did a great job executing. At the end of the day when you evaluate a quarterback, you look at wins and losses. He went down, that last drive to me was one of those things that showed me he can go and make plays when things are tight and when things are on the line. I thought Daniel operated well, he had a good day yesterday at practice, everyone has just got to keep on getting a little bit better each day and then we will be able to peak on Sunday and put our best foot forward.
Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey
Q: Can you talk about the job (Wide Receiver) Richie James did as your punt returner?
A: Richie did a great job. He did a good job of fielding the ball and making some plays out in space. It's good to see that unit come together. I think we have potentially the makings of a really good punt returning unit and obviously it starts with the guy with the ball in his hands. But he did a really nice job. There's a couple of things that I wish he did better, but he did a good job.
Q: I think that was the highest punt return average you've had in a while. I know it's only one game but what does Richie do that just makes him a natural back there?
A: He is a natural back there. He did a good job of fielding the ball and then making people miss in space. When he hit it, he it and that's the thing we have to have. The returner getting hard, straight, vertical as far as getting the ball up the field.
Q: Do you want him to hit it sooner?
A: He had the one where he should've hit it a little sooner and we talked about that. We'll get that fixed moving forward.
Q: It seemed like you said something to him, he had another one where he just went straight up field. How much of that was a point of emphasis during the game?
A: When you outkick your coverage like they do, we have to take advantage of those opportunities that we get. Those are lost opportunities when you don't. It can be the difference between 15 yards or a house call. When teams do that, they put themselves in that situation, you have to take advantage of those situations.
Q: That certainly is not been the first time you guys have been in a situation where a team is lining up for a field goal at the gun, seems to happen quite often. Did you bring any of that up to your guys what happened in Washington last year in the small time that you had to talk to them?
A: Well, there's two types of knowledge in life, borrowed and bought. We bought that one in Washington last year so those guys that were in the situation understand it, we've learned from that. More than anything, we didn't want to take away any aggressiveness, we still wanted to be aggressive. (Defensive Lineman Dexter) Dex (Lawrence) was doing a great job all day of rushing over the top of the guard. So, we had the block that we liked on and if the kicker would've kicked it where he was supposed to, we might've blocked it. But it was good to be on the other side of that for once.
Q: Did something happen on the bad snap?
A: Just a bad snap. No excuses. I'm sure (Long Snapper) Casey (Kreiter) will be the first one to tell you it's just a bad snap. I haven't seen one of those since he's been here, like in practice or anything. It's a one-off deal and you move on from it.
Q: He's healthy right?
A: Yeah, he's fine.
Q: On that first punt return, did Jamie Gillen outkick the coverage?
A: Yeah. (Laughs) There's a few things that went wrong on that one and we'll clean it up and we'll get it fixed moving forward.
Q: You're obviously big on hang time, how did you feel his consistency was?
A: It was a little off, a little off. It wasn't exactly what we want, and he knows that. A lot of times when you go through the process of making a change, it's one thing to do it out here in practice, it's a whole other thing to do get in the game and feel that game pressure. It's a whole different scenario. So, he needs to get a couple more game reps so he can feel more comfortable trying to do different things in the game that he's been trying to do, so he'll get there.
Q: On the muffed punt did he do anything funky or was that just a muff?
A: I think it was just a muff. It's a lefty spin, which is a little different. It's a couple percentage points higher than a righty spin, where muffs happen. So, it's kind of the advantage of having a left footed punter and the guy was young. He's a rookie, so young players make mistakes.
Q: (Defense Back) Nick (McCloud) was your player of the game. What did you like there? What did you see?
A: Nick made two tackles and he had four forced fair catches. That's something we hadn't had in a while from that spot, and it was good to have.
Q: I want to ask you about (Inside Linebacker) Cam Brown. Does he remind you a little bit of (Linebacker) Chase (Blackburn) when Chase was with you? As far as the trajectory of his contributions?
A: Yes. Obviously when Chase was here, there were a lot more kicks to cover and Chase had way more opportunities than Cam, but Cam's a play maker. I think Cam's best footballs ahead of him, but as far as being able to make plays in space and just being physical, production-wise they're very similar.
Q: More versatile maybe?
A: Yeah, and Chase will be the first one to tell you, he's way more athletic than Chase was. But it was a different kind of linebacker back then. You know 6'4, 240-something pounds and physical, just a different game.
Q: Why is it that you think that the lefty spin has more muffs?
A: Well, for a long time you didn't see the lefty spin. Percentage wise, you didn't see a lot of left footed punters. Now in the league, it's a lot more lefty's than probably ever before. So, it's just a spin that is opposite of a right footed punter.
Q: Do you set the jugs out here to spin the ball lefty?
A: We don't have to, we've got a lefty.
Q: You're always pretty good on league stuff, did you see the end of the Steelers vs. Bengals game? The blocked PAT?
A: I did not, not yet. I'll see it.
Q: The last play of the game they blocked a PAT. Otherwise, they would've lost. So, my question was, do you have some trick up your sleeve when you have to have it?
A: I'm not going to tell you that.
Q: I'm just saying do special teams' coaches have a 'we don't do it every time, but when we absolutely have to have it, this is what we're going to do'?
A: Yeah, and most of them call it a got-to-have-it rush.
Q: Does (Running Back Matt) Breida being right there and down the field in front of him when he's catching that punt, does he get credit for influencing the play there?
A: Yeah, he does. When you are down there and you're pushing a guy down in the front and he's got to look at the ball and then feel that pressure on top of it, that's tough. Yeah, that's tough.
Q: You've seen a lot of losing. Can you feel something about winning that first game? Different mood? Different feeling?
A: Anytime you can open up the season with a road win against a team like Tennessee, that's a no brainer. That puts you in a good mood, obviously, as players and coaches and you feel good about yourself moving forward. But again, that's one game. So it's better than the alternative, for sure, but it's one game and now the focus goes to Carolina and trying to take that next step.
Q: When's the last time you had that feeling here?
A: It's been a while. I haven't had it here. It's been like the first time I was here, and even then, we used to always open with Dallas on the road. So, it's been a while.
Q: You kind of talked about the 'got to have it' rush. Once you use it, do you then have to change it and adjust because now it's on film for somebody, you've got to have it a little bit different?
A: Weekly, you normally have a different 'got to have it' rush, it's not always the same one. But you use it in the time where you have to have it and it'll change every week.
Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q: How much stronger does your knee feel this week compared to last week?
A: It feels a lot better. I've just been making really good gains every day. Just continuing to kind of bring back those reps, a different kind of motion and getting comfortable back in my position.
Q: How are you deciding how much you do? Is that a day-to-day process?
A: Just trying to tolerate the pain and make sure I don't do too much and reaggravate it. Make sure I really do everything in my capacity and just continue to try to push that envelope.
Q: Is there a specific hurdle that you have to clear before you're good to go?
A: Just being able to be safe in uncontrolled circumstances. The thing about injuries – it's one thing when it's a controlled situation and you're just working out, but once you start going against guys, you can't really control the variables. That's when you see how strong you really are.
Q: How much have you been able to practice these last few days?
A: I had some plays in team. I started getting my flow back and getting team reps. Other than that, I've been pretty limited and just really working on the mechanics of it.
Q: How difficult is it to say I want to play but realize there are still 16 more games to go?
A: I think that's where I lean on my vets because it is a long season, it is my first one. I'm not really used to sitting out, I'm not used to not being able to contribute but just realizing how long the season is and focusing on what I can control now and still trying to be the best teammate and best person that I can be to contribute to the game.
Q: Do you think Sunday would be unlikely?
A: I wouldn't call it unlikely. We're still playing it, I just want to make sure. We want to cross our t's and dot our i's before I get back out there.
Q: How much of it is playing with a brace and getting used to that? Trying to figure out how comfortable you are.
A: The brace is different, but it's not really too different. I think it's really just, it's not even really a brace. The brace, you get comfortable with that fast, but I think it's the unknown. It's me being confident in that I won't have that cloud over my head while I'm playing.
Q: Is there any way to clear that mental hurdle or is it that you have to go out there and do it for yourself?
A: I've got to go do it. I've got to go do it and I've got to do it confidently and I have to do it knowing that I can do it at my highest ability.
Q: Where are you in that process?
A: We're getting close. Like I said, trying not to look too far. What's today? I lost track of time. Today's Thursday, so we've still got Friday, Saturday. But yeah, I'm really confident in this Sunday.
Q: Have (Outside Linebacker) Oshane (Ximines) and (Outside Linebacker) Jihad (Ward) told you to relax and they'll take care of it for now?
A: I wouldn't say the word, 'relax,' but I would say as a collective the outside linebacker group everybody has been stepping up and everybody has still been contributing. Even though me and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) are out, we still have been trying to contribute to the bigger picture and still trying to do what we can to support the team.
Q: You sound really confident in this Sunday, do you feel really good about your chances of being able to play?
A: We've been making great gains. Ultimately it will come to how I feel come Friday and Saturday. Everything has been going well and yeah, I'm optimistic about it.
Q: Is it your call and are the trainers saying, 'You've had this much work how do you feel?' Or is it the trainers?
A: Obviously it will still be my call because at the end of the day, once you're out there, you're out there. At the end of the day, it will be my call but of course I have been working back and forth with them and they've been setting the stage and setting the plan to continue to grow and see where I'm at.
Q: What do you think that will be like Sunday if you do play? Home opener, your NFL debut, what's that going to be like?
A: It'll be exciting. It's been a long time coming. It's been a crazy year worth of events and yeah – it'll be unbelievable to be out there.
Q: How hard was that for you? You've waited so long to be in the NFL and the first regular season game you sat out.
A: I wasn't really too worried. They say the second rat always gets the cheese. As long as I continue to do what I need to do, I'll be good in the long run.
Q: Can you estimate what percentage you're at right now?
A: If I'm on the field, I'll be 100 percent, regardless of how I feel...
Q: Where are you right now?
A: Right now, I would say it's day to day. We're still growing, but I would say I'm very optimistic. It's good.
Q: When you said you did some team work, what does that mean?
A: As far as? Like how to contribute.
Q: In practice, I mean.
A: Continuing to give guys looks whether I'm standing in or whether I'm doing something low value or continuing to share what I know. Azeez as well, just continuing to share what we know whether it's about a tackle we played against, a tackle we've seen or maybe while we're watching the game or while we're watching practice, just continuing to talk to guys and give the things that we're seeing on film and help them break down the game.
Q: If the game was today, would you play?
A: Well, you know, the game is not today so we will just keep taking it day to day. I was able to practice today so I did 100 percent get better. I think that's really the goal, just continue to get better every day.
Q: Did you do more today than yesterday?
Q: (Outside Linebacker Tomon) Fox has the early lead on the rookie sack totals.
A: Oh yeah, he's been eating. He got us started, he got that donut off the board and now it's time for them to roll in.
Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard
Q: One of the big things in the offense on Sunday was the amount of motion you guys used and you were a guy in motion quite a bit. How do you think that helped this offense kind of maybe keep the defense off balance?
A: Yeah, it helps a lot. I mean it's a lot of moving parts. Anytime you can mix up the defense that way and get a chance to see what they're in, you can get a beat on them. This game is about inches and it's the small things. So, any beat that you can get on the defense, it helps us out.
Q: How big of a change is that compared to offenses you have been in, in the past?
A: This whole offense is pretty different than any offense I've ever been in. It's tough to grasp but whenever you get it, you can see how explosive it can be.
Q: On that play where you scored the touchdown, was that one of those motion plays?
A: I don't know.
Q: There were three on the other side and then you by yourself on the left.
A: Yeah, that was just like called because there were no motions on that play I don't think.
Q: There's traditional motion then there's like 'fly sweep' motion.
A: Yeah, a lot of that stuff, like I said the moving parts, everybody moving fast, that's what he wants on the motions. Just to get the defenses eyes on it. So, sometimes you hand it off, sometimes you don't but it mixes it up pretty good.
Q: You've been here since 2016. This is the first time since 2016 that you won an opening game. Can you sense the difference not only in the locker room but around the area?
A: Yeah, everything is better whenever you win. I told the guys that, because a lot of them weren't here whenever we were winning games, that's just something that comes along with winning games, and everybody loves that feeling. So, we have to continue to execute throughout the week so we can continue to have that feeling.
Q: What do you expect the crowd to be like for Sunday?
A: I'm just focused on today. I'm not trying to look too far ahead, the crowd, I expect they're going to be, loud and pretty upbeat because obviously, we won last week. We're trying to establish a winning culture at home so, guys are pretty amped up about it and I'm sure the fans will be too. But we've got to focus on today and getting better and learning from the film at practice today and continue the rest of this week.
Q: They have a couple of first-round picks at cornerback. What do you see from that group when you watch it on tape?
A: It's a young group but they're really talented. So, we've definitely got to do a good job of beating them man to man. I think that they're going to try to man us up pretty good. They've got some really good DB's, really good in the secondary. I think that's really the strength of their defense. We've got to do our job and get open and catch the ball.
Q: They run a lot of single-high. Does that open up some of those kinds of downfield over route type of concepts? Where can you make some big plays if they stick that single high for a lot of that game?
A: Yeah, I mean that can open up, but we've got to do our job and execute whatever's being called. That's definitely what they're suspectable to are those deep shots. We just got to execute.
Q: What kind of challenge does (Quarterback) Baker (Mayfield) impose?
A: He's one of the biggest competitors that I know other than (Running Back) Saquon (Barkley). Definitely a guy that you've always got to continue to fight and try to get down. He's not one of those guys that's going to go down easily, he's not going to give up, he's definitely keeps his group up and the morale up of those guys. I mean, he's smart so defense definitely has their challenges but I'm sure (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) is getting those guys right and getting them prepared for his play style.
Q: You guys still in touch?
A: Yeah, we talk all the time. That's like my brother man.
Q: I was just going to ask what the sense you got from him, getting that second chance in Carolina?
A: I'm sure he was happy about it. His situation and everything that was going on, it's good to see him back on the field and playing ball. That's what he loves to do, and a lot of people love watching him and I'm one of those guys. So, I hope he does well, just not on Sunday.
Q: What did you tell him about your first head coach who is now his offensive coordinator?
A: I didn't tell him anything. We didn't talk about that.
Q: You've been through so much since then, what do you remember about the (Previous Giants Head Coach Ben) McAdoo years here?
A: I'm trying not to think about any of that stuff anymore. I'm just really focused on what we've got here right now. That's my main focus, getting this team back on the right track and winning football games. That's the culture that the ones before us have built and the last few years have been super tough. So, to start off the season that way it's great but we've got to put that behind us and move on to this next week and get that again.
Q: I just ask because that was the only winning season you had.
A: Yeah, that was but like I said I'm focused on now.