Jason Garrett – Courtesy of New York Giants
AUGUST 11, 2020 PATRICK GRAHAM CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham addressed the media on Tuesday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):
Q: Coach Judge talks a lot about being multiple. How do you go about evaluating what guys can do for you without a lot of competitive opportunities at this point?
A: First, let me start of my expressing my condolences for the Tisch family during this trying time. I know this is hard, I just want to take the opportunity to do that. To answer your question, I think it’s mostly based on past film, and what we know about them as a player from there. Also, just the mental part of what you can handle so far during meetings, the meetings we had in the spring, the meetings we’ve had so far in the last few weeks. I think it’s our jobs as coaches to make it as simple as possible so they understand the core elements of what we want to do defensively. Even with trying to be multiple, the idea is to be multiple in a limited amount of scheme so that we’re doing all the fundamentals that we are looking for on defense. In terms of, playing with our hands, playing with good pad level, setting the edge, defending the deep part of the field and tackling. That’s what we focus on.
Q: You just got to Miami a year ago. What made you make this jump to come back?
A: I think Joe spoke on it earlier. The Giants went through the process of contacting Miami, Miami granted permission and we went from there. Obviously, I have familiarity with Joe. We worked together in New England. He presented an opportunity to work with the Giants. I have familiarity with the organization and it’s close to home, so it’s been positive. I’m excited to be here now in 2020. That’s pretty much the extent of that.
Q: You have a lot of young guys specifically at cornerback and you brought in James Bradberry and there’s reports that Ross Cockrell is going through the testing protocol. When you look at that young group and sorting that out, that back end of the defense is going to so important for the pass rush.
A: No question. In terms of the pass rush, when you are dealing with young players coming into the league, just like any other position in the NFL, it’s different from college. The pass rush is different from college. What I mean by that is they have to start to understand some of the intricacies of how to rush the passer in this league. You’re dealing with the 32 of them in the world that can throw the ball. How are we going to try to affect that passer? Understanding that if you just run up the field, there’s a chance he is probably going to step up and still get the ball off, with accuracy, throwing inside throws which are the easiest throws. Trying to get the guys how to understand how we have to fill the pass rush lanes. How we have to work together to affect the quarterback effectively. It’s a process. We are right at the beginning of the process. We did try to tackle some of it on film during the spring but right now we are in the process of the combination of film, drills on the field and trying to figure what everybody does well to see what’s the best plan we can put together to utilize the talent that we have. These guys are young but it doesn’t matter. It’s about performance and what they do. Once we get to the field, we’ll find out and get a better idea.
Q: Up front, it seems like you have quantity at pass rush, specifically edge rushers. Kyler, X-man, Carter, Markus and so forth. How do you sort through them? It looks like on paper you have more weak side linebackers. Do you envision a rotation? How do you anticipate that might play out?
A: Not to be cliché, but it’s going to be week to week. During this developmental stage when we are trying to find out what we have, they all have unique skills sets. We have to figure out, is this guy a better rusher if we stand him up on the inside, is he a better rusher on the outside, is he better on the left, is he better from the right. I think it’s going to be some trial and error and getting everybody on the same page. Trying different packages, different schemes and seeing how it plays out. Whether it’s going to be a rotation or not, it’s too early to even talk about that stuff right now. Everybody is going to get an equal opportunity and whoever ends being out there, it’s going to be based on they earned it during camp. It’s going to be interesting and it’s going to be fun to work with these guys. They all work hard, Bret (Bielema) does a great job coaching those edge guys. Coach Spence does a great job coaching the interior guys. I’m really excited to see how it plays out.
Q: Who is Patrick Graham in the defensive coordinator role? How do you look at it? What do you believe in? What are non-negotiables for you as a defensive coordinator?
A: I see myself as an old D-line coach, that’s what I see myself as. In terms of stuff that is non-negotiable, what we are looking for is guys who put the team first. They value the process and they play with good football position. Again, team first, that’s pretty self-explanatory right there. We have to get over ourselves in order to accomplish a goal and we can’t let our personal feelings or personal agendas get in the way. I think it’s important to understand there is a limited amount of time each day. Throughout the season, there is a limited amount of time and we have come in and put in the necessary work and the hard work to improve. We have to embrace that. That’s a big part of what I’m looking for when I’m talking to these guys. Lastly, the football position. That’s just playing with their eyes, hands and feet. That’s what we’re looking for with these guys. That’s really what we’re concentrating on during this early part of camp. Those are the things that I am looking for right there. I would say there has to be an element of toughness and then how are we going to measure toughness. There’s mental toughness, you know that, there’s physical toughness. I tell the guys straight up, it’s how we play the run game and how we affect the special teams coverage unit. I think it’s important that the toughness comes out and I know Joe spoke on it, we are going to be a reflection of the region. This is a tough region, in terms of tough people make up this region. I grew up in Connecticut, so I am familiar with the area, I think I want our toughness to jump off the film in terms of how we cover kicks, how we affect that as a defensive unit. The guys on the defense and on those units and how we do against the run game.
Q: Joe talked about being multiple? What’s your thoughts? We saw what you did in Miami.
A: I always answer with ‘yes’. So you say 4-3, 3-4, 2-4, 3-3-5, whatever you want to say, I’ll say yes. I’m not trying to make a joke of it. We are going to do what’s best with what we have in terms of the people, the personnel we have and what we think is best for the game. I would say this, the game is mostly made up of sub plays when you look at the percentages. Most of the time there is three receivers out there. I think you have to look at it from a sub perspective in terms of how you are going to deploy the guys and then go from there. Whether it’s a 3-4, 4-3, 4-2-5 ,they have a basic football foundation in terms of defensive scheme. They all kind of blend together in my mind.
Q: You describe yourself as D-line coach. One of your key players is a defensive lineman in Leonard Williams. I’m curious what you thought of him? The knock on him for years has been not enough pass rush, not enough sacks. Does that necessarily matter to you? Or does he do enough things with whatever you are able to do with your scheme?
A: The thing that stood out for me from Leonard is the fact that he’s very inquisitive. He wants to know why he should be thinking that, what he should be thinking here. Asking our opinions, whether it’s me or Coach Spence, just talking to us in terms of how to be a better player. So far, he has been working really hard, he’s been really diligent in the classroom. From afar, I know he has been a productive player in this league. He’s a big body who has athleticism, plays with his hands, affects the passer and plays in the run game. He can move up and down the line, so right there is a big smile that comes on my face when you are dealing with someone like that. You can’t wait to get your hands on him and just get out to the field and see what he can do and be able to coach him. I’m excited to be around him and work with him. I’m excited to be around all the guys. We have guys that from afar I am very interested in coaching these guys. Dalvin is somebody I have coached in the past. I’m excited to work with B.J., I’m excited to work with Dex, I’m excited to work with all these guys. Whether it’s RJ, AJ, or Chris Slayton, I’m excited work with all these guys.
Q: You guys brought in a tall lengthy corner in Christian Angulo. I am interested to get your thoughts on his game and what you saw from him on film. In a pressure style defense, how does a taller corner with his ability help you out overall?
A: I think Christian has a unique skill set. He has size and then he can run. Right there, the ability to have some size instead of us being in mismatches, he can also help. The big thing for him is the size, the speed, and his willingness to learn. Obviously, it’s going to be a transition coming up with his first year in the league. We’ll see how it plays out. He’s been working hard and being diligent and listening to coaching and going out there and getting in condition. I’m interested to see how it plays out in camp with him.
Q: I’m curious about Dexter Lawrence and your impression of him before he got here. I’m sure you scouted him a bit coming out of Clemson. What do you think of him since you have had the chance to coach him a little bit?
A: I met Dex before during the combine and I thought he was big then. Then you go a whole year and you don’t see him and then I saw him before the game when we played the Giants and I realized yeah, this guy is pretty big. Then when you finally see him again after the hiatus off of football, everything was on Zoom and he is reduced to a one-inch box. All of the sudden, you see him walk in and you think this dude is really big. That’s my main impression. He is a pleasure to be around. He has a bubbly personality. I would say that counters my demeanor, which is usually not too bubbly. He has a way of keeping it light and I like that. I think a big part of being a coach and being in a leadership role is being receptive to other people and how they are. I like that about him. I know he works hard, too, so I’m very excited to be around him. I’m very excited to see him on the field and get this thing going.
Q: What does stand out about him as a defensive tackle?
A: When you look at him and, again, I don’t want to default to this, but the athleticism is obviously there. The athleticism is there, this guy is a big body who can run, who can bend his knees. The thing that stood out to me, it’s a football thing, it’s the effort. He plays with really high-level effort in terms of trying to chase plays from the backside. There’s a screen play that we showed of this guy, he’s a left side defensive tackle, he plants his foot in the ground, I think it was against Tampa Bay, runs down, misses a tackle, he gets there and he is running on top of the tackle. It went from a big gain to a shorter gain because this big man running down the field and it jumped out to me when I got through the tape. Not to take away from him as an interior pass rusher or interior run stopper. The effort he plays with, I’m very excited to see that. When those big guys are the guys leading with the effort on the field, you can feel that. You can feel when a 300-pound man is running to the ball carrier. You can feel when a 300-pound man is hitting that check down, the opponents will feel that. That’s exciting to see because I think the guys will feed off of that.
AUGUST 11, 2020 JASON GARRETT CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett addressed the media on Tuesday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):
Opening Statement: Before I get started, it’s obviously a very sad day here with the passing of Steve Tisch’s daughter. Just our sincere condolences to Steve and his family. It’s obviously a tragedy, and his family is certainly in our thoughts and in our prayers.
The other thing I wanted to say just here at the outset is this is the first time I’ve really officially spoken to the media since coming to the Giants from the Cowboys. I just want to acknowledge my time in Dallas and how grateful I am for that whole experience and for everyone in the Cowboys organization, for the opportunity and the support and the lifelong friendships that I’ve made. The players, the coaches and the staff members who were with me and made my life way better, I am eternally grateful to them and really appreciative of having that in my life and for that experience. I’m awfully proud of the program we built and the teams that we had. We had a lot of great days there. Again, I’m very grateful for that experience and for the people who made that experience what it was.
Having said that, this is a new day and I’m awfully excited about being part of the New York Football Giants and being back in this part of the country with this amazing organization, where I’ve had so many great times in the past. With all due respect, I’d love to have the questions that we talk about today be focused on what’s happening here with the Giants rather than in Dallas. Thanks so much guys.
Q: I’m curious your first impressions of Daniel Jones when you watched him on film preparing for your guys game last year against the Giants? And maybe if now there’s an area, now that you’ve gone on the field with him and seen his work in the offseason, where you’ve seen him really show some growth and development so far?
A: I have great respect for Daniel from my first interactions with him. That happened when we started to evaluate him in the draft process when he was coming out of Duke. We weren’t in the quarterback market, if you will, so we didn’t do a deep dive study into him. But obviously, we evaluate all of the players. There were so many great things said about him from the people at Duke. We admired his career and weren’t surprised one bit that he was taken in the first round and has had the success that he’s had up to this point. We did get a chance to see him play against us and on tape all throughout last year. Playing as a rookie in the NFL is a challenge. Playing quarterback as a rookie in the NFL is a real challenge. Daniel handled himself really, really well. Again, reflecting back on the reports and everything we knew about him coming out in the draft, it didn’t surprise us that much. Since I’ve been here, he’s been a real joy to work with. There’s no question he is a football guy. He loves football. He’s always so prepared, he’s always studying his stuff, he always has great questions and wants to get better. My experience has been, when you have that kind of approach and that kind of attitude, if you have some ability, you’re going to keep growing and getting better every day, and he’s certainly done that.
Q: Just one quick follow up. You saw the quarterback make that big leap from year one to year two firsthand with Dak (Prescott), and we’ve seen quarterbacks make that big leap all around the league in recent years. What about Daniel makes you confident that he’s going to be the next guy to follow in their footsteps?
A: Again, we don’t really get into comparing players. Everyone is in a different situation. The thing you just like so much about Daniel is just his approach. He clearly has ability. He’s someone who’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic, he has a really good arm. He has all the tools you’re looking for. But the thing that really jumps out is the approach that he takes every day. Like I said, he’s a ball guy. He loves ball. He works very hard at it and he’s always trying to refine his skills. He’s always trying to gain more knowledge and find a way to become a better quarterback, individually and for our team. That’s what you get most excited about.
Q: When you decided to come to the Giants, was there any hesitation in the sense of ‘I want some time off,’ or did you just want to get back to work?
A: I love coaching football. I’m just so fortunate to have been able to play football in the National Football League for 15 years, and now I’ve been coaching since then. I love the game. I love every part about the game, as a player and as a coach. When I had the opportunity to come work for Coach (Joe) Judge and the Giants organization, it was just something my wife and I felt was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I’m really excited to be here. I’m learning, trying to grow as a coach, trying to help contribute to this football team in any way that I can.
Q: I’m just curious how this whole process kind of went down. From the outside looking in, it seemed like you were sitting there waiting in Dallas and they were interviewing guys. Then the next thing we know, you were interviewing for the Giants. Maybe you could take us kind of how that went down, and what about the Giants intrigued you that made you want to come here?
A: No disrespect, but I don’t want to talk about the past that way. Any question you guys have about what we’re doing here with the Giants now, I’m excited to answer. Like I said in the earlier answer, I had four years of a great experience here with the Giants as a player from 2000 to 2003. I have had great admiration for this organization for a long, long time. Certainly, I’ve had great admiration for Coach Judge from afar. Again, I’m really excited to be here and I’m trying to get better every day and trying to help these guys grow as players. It’s been a really interesting start to training camp for us. I think the organization has done an amazing job allowing us to coach these guys as best as we can. I’m excited to get better each day.
Q: You guys brought in some leaner, athletic offensive linemen as rookies. From your perspective as an offensive coordinator, what advantages does that give you having those guys that are athletic? Not those stereotypical, girthy linemen, but guys that are versatile and athletic and are able to play multiple spots?
A: One of the things that we believe very strongly in is offensive linemen have to do a lot of different things. We had the opportunity to draft Andrew Thomas with the fourth pick, Matt Peart in the third round, and Shane Lemieux in the fifth round. Those were guys that we just liked a lot in the draft process. We felt like they were versatile guys. First of all, they were ball guys. They love ball. All the feedback we got from their coaches at their respective schools was so positive in terms of how much they love ball, how committed they were to getting better every day. Then we felt like they had the skill set necessary to do what we’re asking them to do. We ask our linemen to do a lot of things. Our linemen have to be athletic. They need to be able to run block on the second level. They need to be able to pass protect against the rushers in this league. These guys are all rookies. They’re learning on the run. We haven’t had a real practice yet. We’ll get into that here at the end of the week. Their approach has been outstanding and we’re excited to work with them.
Q: You obviously go back a long way with Marc Colombo. I was curious what you remember about him from your time when you actually got the chance to coach him? Then over the years seeing him develop as a coach, what made you want to bring him back with you to New York when you got here?
A: Marc was a hell of a player for us in Dallas. He was one of those guys that was just a natural leader on our offensive line and throughout our team. He simply played the game the right way. You talk about wanting guys who are going to fight, guys who are smart, tough, disciplined, and play the game at a high level. Marc did that. He was always so prepared. He always approached practice and games the right way and had a really positive impact on everyone around him. He was one of those guys when he retired from football, I told him, I said ‘Hey, I’m going to give you a couple of years,’ he was in a rock band, I don’t know if you guys know that. ‘I’ll give you a couple years pursuing your rock and roll band, but we’re going to get you back in here.’ Sure enough, a couple years later, we got him back in the organization and started him on his way as a coach. He’s done an outstanding job. I think you see that right from the start with a guy like that. He did a great job for us as a player and certainly has been a real asset as a coach.
Q: What did you think of his music back then?
A: It’s maybe a little harsh for me. Heavy metal times ten. But he certainly played with passion, there’s no question about that.
Q: As a former quarterback, are there ways that you can relate to Daniel Jones, not only just in his growth process, but particularly as he tries to clean up the fumbling? And if I may, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about now getting to coach Saquon (Barkley) when I vividly remember last year at MetLife Stadium, your folks before the game telling me ‘We can’t let Saquon Barkley beat us today.’
A: Yeah, really excited about both of those guys and so many other guys on our offensive team who we’re coaching every day. Talking about Daniel’s approach, he’s been outstanding. Again, always prepared, always ready, always trying to get better. There are a ton of things that all of our players need to work on. It’s our job as coaches to identify those things and try to give them the tools to get better at it. There are certainly a ton of things that our guys have done well that you want to build on. That’s the process that you go through. I did have the opportunity to play quarterback throughout my life, so there’s no question in my mind I feel like there can be a connection there and I can relate to these guys, hopefully in a very natural way that can help them get better. Again, I’m excited to do that with Daniel. He’s been really fun to work with up to this point. Regarding Saquon, he’s just one of those guys who’s such a good football player. We had to try to tackle him in Dallas, and all of our energy was put on that because he’s such a difference-making player. But again, I want to go back to his approach. Talk about a first-class person. Talk about someone who loves football. Talk about someone who wants to work hard and do everything he can to be the best player he can be, the best teammate he can be. He’s a sterling example of that. He’s been a real joy to work with.
Q: This is a Jason Garrett question, not a Cowboys question. You were a head coach for a decade. Has there been an adjustment for you going back to a coordinator role, maybe looking around at some points and saying, ‘Oh wait, I don’t have to do that now, I just have to do this.’ Not that your role is not significant, but it’s not the head coach. As a second part to that, being a former head coach, have you found that you can help Joe Judge, who’s a rookie head coach? Has he leaned on you for certain things in that regard?
A: Again, I’m just excited about the opportunity that I have and the role that I have here with the Giants. I’ve learned so much from Joe and from others in this organization right from the start. That’s really the mindset and mentality that I have. I certainly will try to contribute in any way that I can, just like we ask all of our coaches and our players to do. That’s my mentality. Again, I have my notebook open every day and I’m taking notes in all of those staff meetings, and continuing to learn from Joe on a daily basis. I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to work for him.
Q: When you got the job here, our job is we go back and we try to dive in, going back to when Jason Garrett was an offensive coordinator and trying to pick apart maybe what you did back when you ran the offense, per se. I’m just curious over the years, now that you’re in that role again, what will this offense look like in your mind? How has your philosophy evolved? What do you want to see from this unit that you’ve put together?
A: Again, we’re just trying to learn each other and try to coach our players as hard and as well as we can. That’s where it starts. We certainly have a system of football that’s been in place for a long time. But it’s also a system that’s evolved through the years, and it has evolved based on the people we have on our team. There have been times in the past where we’ve thrown the ball a lot. There have been times in the past where we’ve run the ball a lot. The one thing that’s been consistent is we want to attack defenses different ways. We’ve played our best offense when we’ve executed at a high level, and we’ve attacked defenses different ways, and we’ll continue to strive to do that.
Q: You just talked a little bit about the different ways you want to attack people. In this circumstance where you haven’t had a spring, you haven’t had a full practice yet, how do you go about evaluating exactly what you have on offense and how you can utilize some of the talent that’s at your disposal? Is it more difficult to do all of that in this circumstance?
A: I think the biggest thing you try to do is you watch any tape that you have of players from the past to get a feel for that. We did that early on in this process. You go back and you watch Giants tape, maybe go back and watch college tape just to learn more about the players, what their strengths are and some of the areas you want to work with them on. In regards to this process that we’ve been in since then, a lot of Zoom meetings over the spring. That was the medium we had. No excuses. You find a way to install the offense over Zoom, and our players have been really, really receptive to that. Then you come back, you get into this early training camp. This is a different medium than we had. Again, you try to embrace the opportunities. Certainly, when we get going, we start running fast in practice and start going against the defense, that’s another opportunity. One of the things that we try to emphasize to our players is we’re always evaluating them. We’re evaluating that old tape, we’re evaluating everything they do. How they handle themselves in a Zoom meeting, how they handle themselves in a real life meeting, in a walkthrough and a practice. We’re always trying to help them live up to the high standards that we establish for our football team.
AUGUST 11, 2020 THOMAS McGAUGHEY CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey addressed the media on Tuesday (see video at Giants.com and YouTube):
Q: First off, I just have to ask, with your health history, what’s your level of concern with coaching in this environment? Did you give any thoughts to not coaching this season?
A: No. I do my best to keep my body in the best shape that I can, put the best things in my body. I’m not really concerned about it. I’m just excited to be back. Be around the guys, coach them up, trying to take that next step getting better every day. To me, that’s the most important. I’m not really worried about the health part. I just need to take care of myself. I can run into issues at home.
Q: Just as far as evaluating returners, without preseason games, how are you going to be able to go about doing that?
A: You figure it out. I don’t know, man. We’re just out there coaching them up. I’m sure we’ll do some things to evaluate them throughout the process as far as just catching balls, just going through the process of practicing and seeing who’s doing what. You know how that is. That return game is different. You don’t know until you get into a game and you put a guy into a situation. We won’t have games, so that’s just the reality of our situation. We just need to make do with what we have.
Q: Two-parter. One, related to the health, are you staying in the team hotel and do you have to take any additional precautions in this current environment?
A: I’m like everybody else. I stay at home. I try to isolate myself as much as possible. I literally get in my car, drive to work, go to work, get in my car, drive home and go right upstairs to my apartment. Every once in a while, I might have to stop at a store or something. But for the most part, I’m here at the office and I’m in my apartment. That’s the only way I could do it. I was doing the same thing at home when I was in Houston.
Q: My second part is how disappointing was it that Aldrick Rosas isn’t a part of the team anymore? I know that was a player, of course, you put a lot of time into coaching.
A: Yeah, I love Aldrick to death. But it’s a new day, new opportunity. Aldrick’s going to be fine. He knows how I feel about him. You’re right, it was disappointing.
Q: The opposite side of Aldrick Rosas is Chandler Catanzaro. What experience do you have with him? Why was he the right guy for you guys coming out of retirement? Do you know what he was even up to the last year?
A: Chandler is a guy who’s a veteran kicker in this league. He’s performed at a high level before. We’re just hoping to get him back to that level. He’s a hard worker and very conscientious. His availability was there and we took advantage of bringing him in. Hopefully we can get him rolling and get him up to par.
Q: Was he still training for the last year on his own, or is he just starting from scratch again now?
A: Yeah, he was still training.
Q: You were in Carolina for James Bradberry’s first two years there. I was curious what you remember about him from back then and how excited you were to bring him in when the Giants signed him this offseason?
A: Very excited for James and the organization. A good man, works his tail off, very quiet and unassuming. He has a workmanlike mentality. He comes in, he does his job. He’s like a little church mouse in the room. You won’t even know he’s there. A great kid and I’m excited to have him here.
Q: With the reps being what they are, where is the biggest challenge you see for guys coming in trying to get acclimated to playing special teams, as far as a coverage standpoint?
A: Yeah, it’s tough. It’s hard because these young guys normally get the speed of the game during the preseason game, so they get just a little taste of it. This year, it’s going to be hard for them to get that experience because you don’t have that game-like intensity. It’s just tough. We’re just going to have to make do with what we have. We have to do a good job of trying to simulate that in practice so we know exactly what we’re doing and evaluating our guys.
Q: With Joe Judge’s special teams background, what has his influence been on your group in particular? Everybody talks about specials teams coaches having that experience commanding a room and commanding the whole team. What has he been like in that regard since he’s taken over, and since you guys have actually been able to get together as a team?
A: Joe’s been awesome. I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s been very enlightening and he has been outstanding. I just look forward to getting the season going, just watching him grow as a new head coach and just see how far he can take us.
Q: Has he brought an influence in from his time in New England that he has imparted on you to bring to the Giants?
A: It’s one of those things where it’s kind of a perfect marriage. Joe has a ton of experience and has had a ton of success in the league. We just sit down and come up with the things that feel like are good for the unit and we implement them. It’s an easy conversation, it flows great. We put the stuff together that is going to help the team the best. We put it all out there, guys love it, they eat it up. They just go out there and do it on the field. Practice it, walk through it and those different things. It’s weird, it’s a really good situation.
Q: When you were looking for kickers after seeing Aldrick, how important was it for those kickers to have had experience kicking in the northeast winds?
A: You always want to have somebody who’s had experience kicking in the northeast. That was huge. Obviously getting Chandler who has actually kicked in this exact stadium was a benefit.
Q: How good of an indicator is the college tape going to be on these return candidates that you have brought in?
A: You are going to have lean heavily on it, but we all know there is a transition between college and the pros. It’s going to be a difficult situation for all of us as evaluators to be able to make sure we’re making the right decisions. That’s just the situation we’re in and we have to make do with it. Everybody in the league is in the same situation. We’re not the only team in the league that has to deal with this process. We will try to find the best way to handle it.
Q: Especially with young players who make their way to the NFL through special teams. How will you allow them to reach a competitive level where you can really evaluate them knowing they won’t have those preseason games. Obviously, there is some concern when players at your own practices get too intense.
A: It’s a fine line. We have to be able to watch them in the drill work and the stuff we’ll do simulated in practice that will simulate games. We just have to put our best foot forward as evaluators. It’s hard, I’m not going to sit up here and say it’s easy. Again, everybody in the league has to deal with the same situation. We’ll simulate as much as we can in practice, the speed of everything, as much as we can in practice. We’ll come up with the best 53 at the end of training camp.
Q: You’ve always worked for a head coach that has been an offensive or defensive guy. Special teams has always been your thing and the head coach has kind of left you alone, I guess. Is the dynamic different because Joe is a special teams guy and not an offensive or defensive guy? What are your thoughts on Nate Ebner who has been a good special teams player for a long time?
A: Joe is a football coach. He is not just a special teams coach. He is a football coach, he coaches it all. That’s the thing I enjoy about watching him work. It’s easy for me, I’m a team guy. Whatever is going to be best for the team, we are going to do it, regardless of the situation. It’s been really good. Like I said, it’s almost like a perfect marriage, there are no issues. It’s like how do we want to do it, we want to do it this way, okay boom, we’ll do it this way. It’s pretty easy. I don’t have any issue with it and I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying the process.
Q: Nate Ebner is a real special teams specialist, isn’t it?
A: Yeah, Nate’s awesome. He’s a good man, works extremely hard, he’s a great teammate. He brings a lot to the table. He comes with a lot of experience. He is really good with the young players. Again, first things first with him, he is a team guy.
Closing statement: I would be remiss if I didn’t say anything about the Tisch family. I want to send out condolences to them. Any time you lose a family member, that’s always a tough thing, so just letting them know they are in our thoughts and prayers.