What is the update on Da’Quan Bowers?
“There are different phases of his rehab. One is where the post surgical, where it is just kind of waiting. Then it is the training room and then it’s out on the grass where he is working with our trainers and our strength coach, running and pushing things. Now here comes the fourth part, and that is literally going out and playing – and that’s different. The torquing and the twisting and all the things you got to do as a defensive lineman. So we need to see how he responds to doing that and then we will act accordingly. As I said, if there is any question we are going to wait. We are not going to put him in harm’s way. He is excited to play. He is champing at the bits. We got to hold him back until we know it is all good.”
He can do some of that on a limited basis in terms of practicing?
“Yes, that’s the plan. We go out Wednesday and he is going to do some stuff.”
Can you talk about the contributions you got from some of your second team guys yesterday?
“Well, Daniel (Te'o-Nesheim) is our starter. So when a guy goes down and you assume the role you become a starter. I thought Daniel played really good football for us. [He] did his job. There were guys who came in in reserve roles like Gary Gibson who [was] very productive and did his job. (E.J.) Biggers is a starter now when he steps up with the absence of (Aqib) Talib and I thought he played very well. Those kind of depth situations – George Johnson got in there and he did some good things. That is how as a coach you – certainly you want your starters to continue to improve, but the guys that are playing behind them they have to improve. That is sometimes harder because they get fewer repetitions. I was really happy to see that.”
Did you have questions about the depth of this team when the season started?
“I think the depth is what it is in this league. You only have 53 guys so you are not really going to have great numbers in any position. It is really a matter of what I am getting accustomed to is picking where you want to have your depth on any Sunday. Do you want to carry eight of this or do you want to carry seven? Do you want to carry six here or five? Those are the tough decisions. You really try to look at it and say, what kind of game is this going to be? What are our contingency plans if someone goes down, and you do decide to go with the lesser number? What is the risk-reward on that? There is a lot of decisions to be made just on what do you carry.”
Did Jamon Meredith give you what you were looking for at right guard?
“I though Jamon did some really good things. I didn’t expect to watch the tape and say, ‘Oh, we’ve found John Hannah.’ But he did some good things and if we can continue to move forward, that can become a real good piece of the puzzle.”
Did you find 1,000 things wrong?
“We found a bunch, but you know what, you show me the perfect football performance. I’d like to see it. We did enough things wrong that we have a corrections period, we go through and walk through some things and we watch the tape. The thing I like about it is, what is it, 3:15? We put it behind us win or lose and now we’re on to the New Orleans season. That’s the good thing, we made the corrections and now we’ll collectively start to move forward.”
But you don’t often win by 28 points in this league?
“No, when you’re playing at any competitive level it’s hard to win by 28. So it was nice. I’m not going to lie. It’s nice to be on the sideline with four minutes left and know you’re going to win the game. Not that the other way isn’t fun, too - the competition of the two-minute drill and all those things. But every once in a while it’s nice to have one of those.”
What was going on at the end of the first half with the timeouts?
“Without going into the details, rest assured it was all planned and thought out. I don’t want to expose how I’m thinking and what we’re thinking in that situation but we wanted to take a look at some things and that’s why we did the clock the way we did. Field position – I’ll give you a hint – field position was not real favorable for us at that point.”
You weren’t going to push the ball down the field at that point, right?
“Correct, but you never know, right? Certain things happen and you change gears. It was a good situation for us to kind of let things – we didn’t have any pressure on us. The pressure was on them so we let it unfold and it went fine. We were totally content going into the locker room at that point 7-3.”
Can you talk about Mike Williams?
“He’s definitely playing at a high level. He’s always had those ball skills, even back when he was at Syracuse and we used to play him when I was at Rutgers. He has got that, and that is a gift. But his focus, his concentration, his level of commitment to working at being the best he can be is really good right now and I just want that to continue because I think he can be a force for us going forward.”
Can you say with certainty that when Aqib Talib is reinstated after his suspension he will be with the organization?
“You know what, I released a statement and answered it yesterday, so I’ll answer it and then let’s make this the end of the line. He’s going to be back with us. There are no absolutes in anything in this world, right? I may not be here when he comes back, how do you know? That’s the plan, yes. And we’re going to move forward at that point. But like I say in everything, I say it all the time to the team, things change day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month guys. I can’t tell you exactly how things are going to be a month from now. I hope that they’ve won a bunch of games in a row, that’s one thing I hope. So, the plan is to have him back here with us.”
Talib is a guy with a long history. You’re an accountability guy. How do you rationalize one guy who seems not to do the right thing but yet he has no problems coming back?
“Every decision – this is what I’m going to leave it at and then we’ll move on – every decision we make as an organization has one thing in mind and that is what is best for the organization. And I guarantee you - nobody is always right - but I guarantee you, every decision we are making is strictly for one reason: that it’s best for the organization. And when I say ‘best’ it’s not just winning; yeah, that’s what we do, that’s what you do in this league. There are 32 teams and we’re all chasing one prize, but when you’re part of a community there’s a lot of things that go into the decision. And I can just tell our fans, and all the people who care about this, we are going to do what’s best for the organization which is going to be best for everybody. You have to just trust us on this one.”
When you look at the defense, are you generally pleased?
“Yeah, I think there’s been some very good defensive football. But like you said, you can’t erase the Giants' second half and you can’t erase the Washington first half. You’d like to. But I’ve been talking to you guys a lot about consistently. That’s the true measure. A lot of people can do something well one day, but can you do it day in and day out? That’s how you establish yourself as one of the eight teams that really have a legitimate shot. We need to do it on all three phrases. Yesterday we did well in two phases, one we made some mishaps, so we’re just trying to get this thing together, but defensively is probably the area we’ve had the most consistent play up until this point, but it’s got to be more consistent for sure.”
Is yesterday’s running game – the use of LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin – the model you want to use?
“Well every game is different, but that is a nice model that just happened yesterday. You’re darn right. After playing for three hours in the 85 degree heat and now you have a 250-pound man coming at you. That would work nice regardless of how he was used earlier. But that will kind of change week-to-week, but that played out well.”
- Victoria Horchak contributed to this report