Sep 122016
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J.T. Thomas, New York Giants (December 20, 2015)

J.T. Thomas – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants have placed linebacker J.T. Thomas on Injured Reserve with torn ligaments in his left knee. Thomas was injured on the final play of the second quarter on special teams.

The vacant roster spot was filled as place kicker Josh Brown was reinstated by the NFL after his 1-game suspension for a 2015 domestic violence incident. “Josh will be the kicker this week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo today.

New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Monday to discuss the team’s 20-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

McAdoo: We will start with what we did well on the defensive side of the ball. We were physical and heavy-handed at the line of scrimmage. I thought we showed poise to hang in there with the number of plays that we played. They showed signs of being comfortable being uncomfortable, which is encouraging. Obviously closing the game out in the fourth quarter was a huge positive for us.  On the offensive side of the ball, we handled the noise. There were some great shots of tempo over the ball. Physicality and heavy-handed at the lines of scrimmage with some signs of finish at the end of the runs and at pass protection. Really on both sides of the ball in the green zone, red zone and two-minute, we won those situations. When you win those situations, you have a chance to be ahead when the ballgame is over. On special teams, the 17-yard punt return in the fourth quarter was big for us. Set up great field position and the go-ahead touchdown, which was a major impact in the game.

What we need to work on defensively, we need to get off the field on third down. We had some opportunities to do that and we need to cash in on them. We need to take The Duke away and get our hands on some footballs on defense. There were some opportunities there. On offense we need to eliminate our pre-snap penalties. We had two. There were times that we were careless with The Duke. We have to take care of The Duke better. Special teams, our kickoff return blocking needs to shore up. Where we go from here, we need to stay humble and hungry, improve on our communication and details and be precise in everything we do. Like every team in this league, you are looking to take that jump from week one to week two. With that, we’ll open it up to questions.

Q: What are you going to do with the two kickers?

A: Josh (Brown) will be the kicker this week.

Q: Will you still have two when it’s game time?

A: Right now we have two kickers on the roster. That could change shortly. We’re in the process right now of evaluating.

Q: How big is that jump from week one to week two when you look at it throughout your years in the league?

A: I think it’s important. No team is really quite sure what you’re going to get in week one. Every team changes each year. There’s a lot of turnover season to season. You have an opportunity to go out and play the game together in a full game. You have the chance to take a big jump in the second week.

Q: How do you prepare your team to make that jump?

A: We have to go in and make the corrections from the first game. Emphasize the positives. Go out, practice and make the corrections. Move forward.

Q: Can you talk about how the defensive line did against that tough Dallas offensive line?

A: I thought the defensive line did a nice job in there. They had a lot of snaps. It’s a very good offensive line that they faced. We were physical, held the line of scrimmage and were heavy-handed. We limited the yards after contact.

Q: Do you think having Janoris Jenkins on Dez yesterday is a sign of things to come as far as your confidence in having Janoris go against the top guys on other teams?

A: I think Janoris had a heck of a day yesterday. He’s not the only one that was matching up against Dez. DRC made a couple of really nice plays there, too. Jackrabbit really shadowed him for the most part of the day. He competed his tail off and it was a big, huge effort for us. Just like everything else, each week we’re going to take a look at it and see how we match up. We’ll go from there.

Q: There was some mention after the game about the sun being a factor. How much did you notice that? Did you notice that at all?

A: We talked about that going into the game. We had some pictures from the past, from the 2014 game. We noticed how it shines in from the west in the second quarter and then into the third and fourth quarters. If you have a chance to help yourself in the kicking game and offense and defense with the glare and if you don’t, you have to learn to play through it. Whether you’re looking into it or it’s at your back, it’s going to impact both sides of the ball. If you’re a quarterback and it’s in your eyes, it’s better for the receivers that way but it’s tougher to read the coverage and vice versa.

Q: How much is that something you tried to navigate if you were on a certain side of the field late in the game?

A: It depends on how the coin toss goes. That really impacts everything. You can’t control the coin toss. Some people like to think that you can but you can’t. You have to roll with the punches after the coin toss.

Q: What did you think of Eli Apple’s debut? Seemed like he was a little behind on a few routes guarding Cole Beasley?

A: I think he was feeling his way early. He got his feet underneath him as the game wore on. Really competed at a higher level as the game wore on. Just like a lot of young players, they have to feel their way a little bit at times. You play through it and I think he made some nice tackles as the game wore on.

Q: What did you think of DRC in the slot?

A: I think he made two very nice plays in the slot. One was in the end zone and the other was on an inside fade route to Dez. I think he did a tremendous job there and we liked him there.

Q: Did you like him as a blitzer?

A: Yes, we liked him as a blitzer. I think the more he does it, the better he’ll get at it.

Q: A lot of attention to the defensive front but we’ve now asked you a lot of questions about the secondary. Do you feel like you held up well in the secondary yesterday?

A: I feel like we’ll get better as the season goes on at third down. We just need to find a way to get off the field.

Q: Would you like to add another linebacker with J.T. Thomas now on injured reserve?

A: We’re going to take a look out there, have some conversations and see what’s best for us moving forward. It’s preliminary to have that discussion right now.

Q: Is bringing Jasper Brinkley back a possibility in your mind?

A: Never say never.

Q: What did you wind up doing with your game ball?

A: I gave it to our equipment guys. They’re going to take care of it for me. Not sure what they’re going to do with it. It’ll be a prized possession, that’s for sure.

Q: Ben what is your postgame routine like? Are you watching film on the plane home? How do you go about reviewing the game immediately after it ends?

A: I look at all three phases and grade them accordingly.

Q: Is there anyone else that came out injured in this game that you have to worry about?

A: Other than J.T.? No. We have some guys that will be limited right now, but no.

Not only was the Giants opening day win their first since 2010, but it was their first opening day road victory since 1999. The Giants are now 1-7 in season openers versus the Cowboys.

The Giants are now 4-4 at AT&T Stadium.


Player interviews will be held late Tuesday afternoon. The Giants return to practice at 11:40AM on Wednesday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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