Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.27

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Opening Statement: Good morning, I’ll buzz through these injuries real quick. Irv (Irvin) Charles, he’s still dealing with his shoulder, he’s not going to practice today, he’s doubtful. (Joe) Tippmann, he’s still dealing with his quad, he’s going to be out. Randall Cobb, he’ll be limited today. Michael Carter (II), the DB, will be limited. I know you guys want to know about the two DBs, D.J (Reed) and Sauce (Gardner) have cleared concussion protocol, so they’re good to go.

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: How big is it to get those guys back? Obviously, they’re pretty important.

No, for sure, it does allow flexibility on the defense, and it allows you to be more creative. Not more creative, but it allows you to do a couple of things that you normally wouldn’t without those two guys.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: What have you seen with C.J. (Mosley), not just this year, but he seems to have just maintained a level for a long time.

So, when we first got here, C.J. played linebacker at about 250 pounds, and obviously a very talented linebacker in the systems that he was asked to play in and played at a very high level for that. But when we got here, it was one of those deals just talking with him was like hey our defense needs you to be at 230. The way we ask our linebackers to play, the things we ask them to do, felt like he needed to have a little bit more movement, a little bit more range, a little `bit more speed obviously, and taking a 20-pound backpack off of him would help. I don’t think people realize the mind was always there, the athleticism, the field, the instincts, but he’s remade his body to fit into what we ask our linebackers to accomplish play in and play out, and he’s a been a leader of the defense. We call him captain for a reason. When he speaks, he doesn’t say much, but when he speaks it matters. I feel like he’s kind of evolved his game and has remade his game in the second half of his career.

Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post: On the other side of the ball, Bobby Okereke for the Giants, obviously an immense spot in Wink’s (Don Martindale) system where C.J. was. What do you see about him? He’s a little speedier.

Yeah, extremely fast. He played in Indianapolis last year with Gus Bradley there for the last couple of years. They’ve had the very similar system to ours, with speed and length. It’s translated really well to what they do over there on the other side of the road. He’s been playing at an extremely high level. Both those linebackers are playing at a very high level.

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Dalvin (Cook) made it pretty clear to us yesterday that he’s not happy with role right now. I’m sure you’re not necessarily surprised to hear that, but what do you make of how he’s feeling, what he’s saying right now?

I’m not surprised, he’s a competitor. I’m actually happy he’s a little frustrated, because it means he’s all in and he wants to be a part of it, he wants to get reps, he wants to play, he’s not just here to collect a paycheck. So yeah, if he wasn’t frustrated, then I’d think something was wrong, but it’s natural. He’s a competitor. You’re allowed to be frustrated, but still all in, and his leadership in the locker room has been unbelievable, the way he communicates with the young guys and the way he kind of gives guidance along the way, and the way he approaches practice and rehab and regen and the weight room and all the meeting rooms, he’s been awesome. So, to express a little frustration is normal, but Dalvin’s all in.

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: He talked a lot about how he feels like he’s the kind of player that as he gets more carries, that’s when he gets better. How much of a challenge is that?

I think it’s all backs. It’s players in general. They want to get into the game. From a back standpoint, you’re getting a carry and you’re just, you’re just trying to feel how people react to your movements. And then you as the game develops, you’re creating off of those, off of that feel. So, he’s not wrong and that’s why a lot of times you’ll see throughout the League where the hot hand continues to get the ball because they’re feeling something and you just let it roll and to Breece’s (Hall) credit, it feels like every time he touches the ball, something cool is happening. So, he’s been the hot hand. He’s been getting the bulk of the carries, and empathetically for Dalvin, for sure you’d like more than three, four, or five touches so you can get those same opportunities to make something happen, but you know, there’s one ball, we have to get it to Garrett (Wilson) too, and there’s a bunch of receivers that want it, tight ends, but like I said, Dalvin’s been awesome. The frustration is normal. Expressing that frustration, it’s normal, and I’d much rather have that than him just staying silent and just walking into the building, collecting his paycheck. And going home.

John Pullano, New York Jets: The Giants were without Saquon (Barkley) for a stretch and now he’s back and their offense seems to be finding their footing a little bit. What does Saquon add to an offense that makes him so challenging?

Same thing that I feel like Breece does for us. He’s a home run hitter. He’s extremely talented, he’s explosive, he’s fast, he makes people miss. He’s the engine that makes their offense go and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that over the last two weeks that he’s been back, their offense has looked the most productive it’s been all season, and he’s a hell of a football player. From my understanding and what I’ve heard, he’s an unbelievable teammate and unbelievable leader, team guy who’s all in for the organization and the people who he’s surrounded with, so just from afar and watching him, I just have a lot of appreciation for who he is, not just as a football player, but as a person.

Zack Rosenblatt, The Athletic: Zach (Wilson) was talking yesterday about how he feels like he’s gotten better at reading pressures and how to handle them and not getting fazed by what he has to do in a play. Have you noticed his growth in that area? Especially in a game like this where that’s something he’s going to face. 

Yeah, he’s going to have to show it this week. See how comfortable (laughter)- No, I think it goes with his footwork. I think he’s got so much confidence in his footwork and understanding of the offense and his timing and rhythm that he can spend more time. I learned a long time ago from Gus Bradley, but football is three parts of school. There’s football 101, football 301, and 501. 101 is the scheme, 301 is your footwork, your fundamentals, your technique, and then 501 is being able to take your eyes to the other side of the ball, and it’s impossible to graduate to 501 until you’re fully comfortable with the scheme, fully comfortable with what you’re being asked in the scheme with regards to your technique. Once that becomes spoon to mouth, you can spend a lot more time dissecting the other side of the ball and getting the indicators you need to help yourself out. So, him getting more comfortable in the class of 501 means that he’s very comfortable with regards to the scheme and his technique, and that’s a good thing, and I still think he even has so much more to go, but the fact that he’s cracking into that and actually recognizing his comfort level means that he’s getting comfortable everywhere else.

 

Jeane Coakley, SNY: Tell us about the Lions out of Staten Island.

Yeah, so, we’re recognizing Rocco from Monsignor Farrell High School. Lions recently took down the number one ranked team in New York, St. Anthony’s. It was the first time they’ve beaten them since 2000. That’s a hell of a streak. Coach is in his 18th year with the Lions, second as a head coach, and he’s been a huge Jets fan for over 25 years, so good luck to the team tonight and keep it rolling, man.

 

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