Head Coach Robert Saleh, 10.9

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Opening Statement…

Alright, from an injury standpoint, AVT, (Alijah Vera Tucker) unfortunately, the MRI showed that he did tear his Achilles, so he is out for the year.


Antwan Stanley, The New York Daily News: How big of a blow is this to your offensive line and your team? 

It is the second year in a row and we’re all kind of surprised because he played a play on it. He walked off on his own power. He walked to the locker room on his own power. So, we were pretty optimistic that that part of it was going to be okay. It’s a blow and again, I feel bad for him. He battled his way back this offseason from the injury a year ago and to have this happen again, it’s unfortunate.


Brian Costello, The New York Post:  Robert, what’s the plan right now at right tackle? 

We’ll keep that one close to the vest for the week, but we have our options in house.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: It’s not a this week question with Duane Brown. I know he’s got another week or so before he’s eligible. When he is eligible to come off IR, does he play on a fling or you plan on using him right away or is this more of a long term thing? 

We’ll see. We’ll take it week to week. He’s eligible to come off IR following the bye week.  He could be eligible to play. Who do we got, Giants after the bye week, but we’ll talk about that once we cross that bridge.


Brian Costello, The New York Post: Robert, Carter Warren had his practice window activated, I believe, a week ago. Where is he at kind of in his development because we obviously haven’t seen a lot of him in a while?

Yeah, unfortunately he missed all OTAs and he basically missed all of training camp. He’s got a long way to go, but it’s going to be a baptism by fire for him in terms of getting himself ready to play football games, and we’ll see how it goes for the rest of this week with regards to who’s going to be available to start, but Carter’s development is, not that he has to pick up the pace, but he’s got to continue to get better, quickly.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, how did you think Max (Mitchell) played yesterday when he went back and got in there?

I thought he did a really good job. We know, Max a year ago, I think he surprised everybody when he got in there and played at a pretty good level. I thought he did a decent job yesterday, things that we can improve on obviously, with regards to pass protection. I thought he was really good in the run game. One thing Max is going to give you, he’s going to give you everything he’s got and he strains as good as well as anybody. He’s somebody that we have full faith in. Same thing with Billy Turner, aseason veteran. He knows how to play the game, knows how to keep the quarterback upright, communicates at a high level and has played this game for a very long time. So, he knows how to play the game. Then obviously Carter Warren is a young bug. We’ll see where he is at.


Antwan Stanley, The New York Daily News: Robert, what was the thinking keeping Mecole Hardman Jr. and also Carl Lawson inactive yesterday? 

Addressing from a d-line standpoint, someone’s got to be down. Especially when you’re missing a couple of corners. We needed more special teams help with (Brandin) Echols being out. You can’t dress 10 d-linemen every week, so somebody had to sit. Obviously, we wanted Will (McDonald IV) up because he also while providing ability on defense with regards to pass rush, he is also a vital part of our special teams unit. The same thing with the offensive side of the ball. Irv (Irvin Charles) made this team initially because of his special teams ability and it’s just a matter of just trying to get him up, especially as a gunner. When we lost Echols, we really, really needed a gunner opposite (Justin) Hardee. Irv showed it on that first punt forcing that fumble, so he’s an animal on teams and a tremendous asset to this team.


Brian Costello, The New York Post: What jumps out about the red zone offense right now, the struggles yesterday when you watched the film of 0-5?

You know just small details. Things happen a lot faster in there, obviously. There were some opportunities that we had. Just being a little bit more precise. It felt like the run game kind of stalled. We were gashing them in the run game, and then we got to the end. Credit to them. When we got into the red zone, they were able to stand up to defend the run and force third and goal from outside the six-yard line, which is a difficult down the distance. We had some opportunities, we just couldn’t connect, but there’s things that we can do better for sure. I’m not going to talk about what I saw and what we could do better, but there’s definitely things that (Nathaniel) Hackett and the staff identified this morning and something that we will apply for the entire week.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: After reviewing the sequence at the end of the first half, what should have happened there? How should that have played out? 

Yeah, we call it an o-zone situation. Fifteen seconds on the clock. The ball’s got to go up in the end zone or out of bounds, or ditch it at his feet, but it can’t be completed in bounds. If it does, the amount of urgency and strain to get to the line to clock it is paramount. We just weren’t clean in that situation, obviously. I’ll put it on me to make sure our messaging is correct in that situation, but definitely something that we’ve got to be better at.


Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: Just one more on AVT, Robert. Do you know when he’s having his surgery and where?

I don’t. I don’t have any of that information right now.


Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, I know Mekhi (Becton) obviously finished, is he good to go as far as you know? 

Yeah, credit to him, man. He’s toughing it out because I know that knee as games wear on it, it hurts him. He’s such a big man too. So, it’s a lot of human on one leg, but he’s fighting, but he’s fine. We’re managing it, he’s managing it. We’re doing our best to help him get through the week. Credit to him that he’s grinding through it and finding ways to finish.


Brian Costello, The New York Post: Robert, you guys kind of continued your dominance defensively in the second half games outside of that one drive. What’s been the key for you guys in just diagnosing what teams are doing to you and adjusting, whether it’s before half time or at half time? 


Credit Brich (Jeff Ulbrich) and the staff. Our system’s designed in a way where we can make the adjustments, you can be subtle, you can understand what teams are trying to accomplish, how they view you. You can make the adjustments that you need to make to kind of throw wrenches in whatever their game plan was for the week. To Brich and the staff’s credit, just recognizing the way, in this case Denver wanted to play their style of football, recognized it. Now we wish we could get to it faster, that’s going to be key, can we get to it faster, but to be able to recognize it and flip the switch, it felt like we’ve done a really good job, dating back to last year even. I thought we did a really good job with the adjustments in game. It’s also a great credit to the players understanding the scheme so well that we can flip the switch and pull something out of the inventory that we may not have practiced and they can still execute at a very high level. So, credit goes all the way around the locker room, the coaching staff. Just the ability to communicate and understand what we’re trying to accomplish play in and play out.


Brian Costello, The New York Post: Any update on DJ, Robert? Is he good to go Wednesday? 

You know what? I’ve got to check with Zuff (Dave Zuffelato) on that one. I think he’s got a hurdle to clear tomorrow. If he clears it, he should be good to go.

Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Robert, what did you think of Bryce (Hall) stepping in there and playing the way he did? 

Yeah, Bryce Hall, I thought he did a really nice job. It was awesome for him to get his opportunity again, because it’s not easy, kind of in the same situation is Zach (Wilson) in the sense that he was the starting corner. Then we drafted Sauce (Gardner), we paid DJ (Reed). So, he had to take this backup role and he sat back. He learned, still did everything, prepared the way he needed to, did everything that was asked of him. Actually went from being a guy that Brant Boyer wanted nothing to do with on special teams to being a guy that he was like, God, I can’t live without him, where he needed Bryce out there. So, credit to him and the way he’s approached it as a pro and for him to get his opportunity. I think we were all confident that he was going to do pretty good and I thought he was outstanding yesterday.