Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.25

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Opening Statement: Real quick injuries- (Joe) Tippmann won’t practice today, he’s still dealing with his quad, Randall Cobb won’t practice today, he’s dealing with his shoulder, and then everyone else is limited. D.J. (Reed) and Ahmad Gardner have still not cleared the concussion protocol, so they’re still going through it. You’ll see them at practice, but they’re still going through it.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Is that just kind of a technicality Robert, where they have to practice to clear the protocol?

Yeah, it’s very similar, not speaking for Sauce because it happened so much later in the week, but D.J. was on the same timeline, and then Thursday, he couldn’t pass that hurdle on Thursday, so it’s going to be one of those things with both of them that will probably take all the way until game day.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: What’s the extent of (Randall) Cobb’s shoulder injury?

He’s dealing with an AC. We’re anticipating getting him back in practice tomorrow, but just giving him some time. He’s already limited on Wednesdays anyway from a veteran standpoint, but we felt like ‘just give him one more day’.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: What’s the status of Duane Brown?

He looks good, everything looks good, we’re just going to wait another week- we’re pushing it back another week. Not saying that he’ll be activated next week, but we have time on that one.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: So, his practice window isn’t open yet?

No, his practice window isn’t open yet.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: With the Giants, there seems to be some uncertainty with their quarterback situation, so how do you approach that?

Both of them are similar. They’re both very good with their feet, obviously, and keeping plays alive. They’re good in timing and rhythm and all that, so for us, it’s going to be the same.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: What have you noticed about the Giants the last few weeks, because it seems like they’re playing a little bit better?

Yeah, they’re playing a lot better. Defensively, you guys know how much respect I have for Wink (Don Martindale) and what they do. They’ve been making it very hard. I know San Francisco had 30, but they gave San Francisco everything they could handle. Obviously, Washington, Buffalo, they’re playing at a really high level. Windows are tight, they’re putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback, they’re really good in the run game. They’re playing really well. And then offensively, especially these last two weeks, Saquon (Barkley)’s back, so he’s obviously a big part of that offense, they’re getting (Darren) Waller involved more. It feels like over the last couple weeks, they’ve just been moving the ball, and then again, another one of those teams that’s pretty close to lighting up a scoreboard. They had the ball on the one-yard line twice vs. Buffalo, obviously they scored pretty quick in the first half against Washington, but they’re doing a nice job. They’re getting better each day. They’re starting to look a lot like the team that made the playoffs a year ago.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: What are the hallmarks in the Wink defense?

Chaos and pressure. What fascinates me about Wink’s defense is that usually when you run all the different types of coverages and pressures that he runs, usually you have free runners once and a while. Someone’s going to miss something, but they’re doing a really nice job keeping body on the body, making sure that there’s no free runners, there’s not a lot of space in their back end. Again, they’re doing a really nice job. Those two big boys up front are tough to deal with, their linebackers are playing at a high level. The back end, they’re young, but they play smart, they play tight, (Jason) Pinnock’s doing a really nice job back there. Really impressed with that defense always.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: What sort of challenges at the line of scrimmage does that defense present for Zach (Wilson)?

It’s really for everyone. They come from everywhere, anywhere, anytime, and they present you with looks that are similar throughout the game, and they run a variety of stuff off of it, so communication’s going to be, getting in and out of the huddle is going to be key to the best of our ability, and you’re going to be presented with one-on-one matchups. I know Wink has got the reputation of pressure, pressure, pressure, but he does a good job of mixing in his zones and spot dropping. He does a good job of mixing it all up, so you can’t just book him for one thing constantly, but it’s going to be a challenge for everybody, not just the quarterback.

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Are you concerned about your depth on the interior right now, especially with (Joe) Tippmann banged up?

Depth is always an issue, especially at the O-Line level. Thankfully, Wes (Schweitzer) stepped in and did a really nice job against Philadelphia. I thought he had a really good training camp too before he got hurt with the concussion, so we feel good about where we are, but depth obviously is always going to be an issue as guys get hurt obviously.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Does Joe (Tippmann) have a chance this week? I know you said he’s a quick healer, but before the bye you said it could be some time.

He is a quick healer, so both statements can be true. I’m always hopeful he could be available, but we’ll see. Tomorrow, we’ll see how he feels and whether or not we can get him in practice.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Is it frustrating Robert that you just haven’t been able to have continuity on the offensive line since you’ve been here? 

You know I was talking to Hack (Nathaniel Hackett) about it. It’s fascinating, and just seems like from an O-Line standpoint, and I don’t even think it’s just us. The Giants are dealing with it, everyone’s dealing with O-Line injuries for some reason. I don’t know, maybe it’s the lack of practice time, because everything is different with sports science, and that’s the one position that actually practice is super important, but yeah, it’s always frustrating, but we’re not the only ones.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: With Dalvin Cook, how tough is it to go from what he was in Minnesota, like a high volume back, to transitioning to the role he’s in now, and how much do you think that could be affecting his performance?

It’s really tough. I spoke about it with Bryce Hall, right? He was a starter and then he goes to being a backup, but what you like about Dalvin is his mindset and his selflessness to prepare the right way and to encourage guys and to coach guys up. I will say this with Dalvin. I do think the Philadelphia game he looked the best running the ball. Remember, he didn’t have OTAs, he didn’t have training camp, and if you really look at it and you say ‘Okay, the guy needs about four weeks of acclimation’, that puts you around Week Five, which is Philadelphia, where you start seeing him hit his top speeds and his GPS numbers are improving. Week Six for Philadelphia, I thought he did a really nice job in Week Five too. I do think he’s getting better, I do think he’s getting his legs underneath him, I do think he’s running better with more violence, and looking more like him, so hopefully we can continue to springboard that, but it could be a good one-two punch obviously with Dalvin and Breece (Hall).

 

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: What is Izzy (Israel Abanikanda) showing you guys behind the scenes? How’s he been developing?

He’s doing a really nice job. The juice is there, the speed is there, he’s learning. The big thing for him is going to be about protections and learning the protection schemes, special teams, taking advantage of those, and trying to fight his way onto the active roster for special teams, but he’s doing a good job. I’m still really excited about him, and I do think when he gets his opportunity, it’s going to be pretty cool.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: You talked about the depth on the offensive line, just talk about what you’ve seen from Carter Warren since he’s been able to return?

A little bit, it’s been hard. Another one of those young men, he misses all of OTAs, he misses basically all of training camp, so he’s really, really behind in the sense of getting the real reps that he needs to continue to get better. He’s working in scout team and he’s doing the best he can. He’s improving, but he just needs reps, he needs time, and once you get in the season, you’re not getting nearly the amount of reps as you normally would during OTAs and training camp, but love his mindset, love the way he works. Every little bit, every second we can have him on the grass is a good thing.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: I know it’s a different team, but what happened last year? I know you’re changing the schedule and everything like that, but just about finishing, because you had everything in front of you after the bye as well last year, and it didn’t work out the way you hoped.

Yeah, you try to put it in context without making excuses for yourself. I think culmination of injuries, along the offensive side of the ball where we were so depleted, I don’t even know if we got a first down the last three games of the year, but then, you look inward from a scheduling standpoint and what could I have done better to help our guys not stay physically fresh, because everything last year for me was ‘physically fresh, physically fresh, physically fresh’, and forgot to take care of the mental. Not necessarily forgot, but took the mental for granted if you will. Because you can be mentally exhausted if not done the right way, so just trying to be more cognizant of the total human if you will, and we’ll see how it goes, but there’s a lot of studying that went into this offseason to study what we did last year and try to find ways that we can improve. We’ll see.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: Uniqueness of just playing the Giants and the possibility of having bragging rights for the next four years?

I’m excited, but you said it, it’s once every four years, maybe there’s crossover now with the 17th game, but I think it’s really cool for the fans, I think it’s great for sports talk radio and all the different newspaper outlets and all that, but it’s a championship opportunity. Lot of respect for them, they’ve got a tremendous history. I think Brian Daboll does a great job, lot of respect for him. Still waiting for him to take me up on my pizza night offer, but we’ll wait on that. No, they’re doing a great job, but it is fun. It’s my first experience, so I’ll let you know after the game, I guess.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Sort of an off the beaten path question. Now that Jermaine (Johnson) is a full time player, and Breece is healthy for the second half of the year, when you think back to last year’s draft, and I know you liked it when it happened, but when you look back at it now, four or five starters now if you count (Max) Mitchell, how instrumental has that been in the growth of the team?

Oh, anytime you get young talent that plays at, I mean obviously in my opinion, Pro Bowl levels. Sauce is playing at a Pro Bowl level, Garrett (Wilson)’s a Pro Bowl receiver, Jermaine’s playing at a Pro Bowl level, or at least close to it, Breece is playing at a Pro Bowl level, that’s franchise defining. It’s a really cool group. Joe (Douglas) and his staff did a really great job identifying players and being aggressive and going to get them. We were aggressive in getting Jermaine, I know we liked Jermaine at 10, but Garrett was there, so just the whole way it went down. I always say you have to wait until after year three to make a decision on these draft picks, but if it continues to trend the way it is, it’s been a blessing.

 

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