Head Coach Robert Saleh, 11.1

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Brian Costello, New York Post: Can you give us an injury update or are you not going to do that?

We’re going to wait another day, sorry guys. Here you go, at some point this week we will start Duane’s (Brown) clock. There you go, see, gave you one.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: Are you optimistic at all about Joe (Tippmann)?

(Joe) Tippmann? We will see. You guys know me, of course I’m optimistic, but we will see, today will be a big day just to see where he is at.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: With Duane (Brown) beginning the process of coming back, I know you have talked a lot about how his career has been entirely on that left side and you didn’t really want to screw it up. Mekhi (Becton) is playing pretty decent on the left, does Mekhi still have the ability to go left to right if need be?

I think so. I think Mekhi (Becton) will be good right, left, guard, he has that type of talent. You never know.  Mehki is a freakish athlete. I think as he continues to evolve his career, obviously you’d love for him to be a left tackle, but where we are at right now, we just have to make sure the best five are on the field somehow, someway to protect the quarterback and give him some time.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Last week Robert, you had half the injuries in game day, Billy (Turner) at guard, I think Max (Mitchell) at tackle. I think Max had worked at guard though in training camp, is it possible to flip those guys where Billy would be back in his natural position or you like Max more in the tackle spot?

We like where everyone is at. We’re trying to avoid making so many moves. The continuity is already lacking and so you’re just trying to make as few moves as possible to keep guys playing, doing what they do best, but nothing is off the table, like I said, we’ve got to play our best five, but we’re trying to do so in a way that’s more of a minimalist mentality.

 

Rich Cimini, ESPN.com: What are your options at center then for Monday night?

Well (Xavier) Newman, I thought did a really nice job stepping in and battled his butt off. I thought the execution, it’s a small thing, but it’s an enormous thing, the execution at the end of the game to get the ball clocked was outstanding, so there is a couple, obviously we brought (Chris) Glaser back, he knows how to snap. Then we will see where Tippmann is at.

 

Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: How frustrating is it going through the musical chairs like you did last year on offensive line and this year seems like it’s very similar to that?

It’s very frustrating because you want, everything starts up front. You want to get creative and you want to do different things but the protection has to hold up and a lot of times the protection, it comes from continuity and guys just knowing how to play off each other, how to pass off games, how to feel one another in their sets or in the run game, whatever it is. We love the guys we have in our room, we do. It’s just a matter of them just playing together and getting together and playing together and playing next to one another and communicating with one another. If we can just get some continuity going,  the group that we have is good enough.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: You were very complimentary of Duane going through the season and coming back by being one of this team’s best offensive lineman. I don’t know if he was struggling necessarily out there in Week Two against (Micah) Parsons, do you believe he’s one of your five best?

Yeah, I do. For Duane just coming off of the injury, you guys can talk to him, he could probably give you a better picture of the things that happened. Was he 100% when we got him back? I don’t know. I don’t know if I can answer that for him. I think he wanted to be back so badly that I think maybe we compromised some of the rehab, in terms of just the speed of it. I think he’s in great shape right now. I think he’s in a great space mentally and like I said, we’ll get him going this week and see where he is at.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: So that great shape would probably mean that 21-day window, like you’re confident this isn’t going to be like a long recovery for him to get back?

Not at all, no.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, were you disappointed that you guys weren’t able to get anything done yesterday during the deadline?

No. I trust Joe (Douglas) to turnover every stone, and he does. It takes two to tango, I know he said that and I know he tried hard to find spots where we can improve our roster. There were some options for us but at the end of the day, we felt like what we did was the best for this organization, and best for this team moving forward and love the guys we have. Obviously, you’re always trying to improve, but if something is not out there that you think can improve the roster then you just don’t it.

 

Al Iannazzone, Newsday: What’s the time with Rodger (Saffold) right now, is he going to be eligible to be elevated this week or does he have to go through a lot of stuff?

Oh, Saffold, we’ll see where he is at. Having him here is awesome, veteran, Pro Bowler, we will see where he is at from a conditioning standpoint.

 

Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post: Robert, (Dalvin) Cook and (Carl) Lawson were obviously not happy with their roles last week and then they don’t get traded. So, do you have to address that with those guys moving forward so that they don’t become distractions?

No, not those two. Those two are tremendous professionals. With the way the NFL seems to be working, they’re going to be needed by the years end and they are needed every game. Dalvin (Cook) still has a role on this football team. Carl (Lawson) is awesome on and off the field and the amount of work he puts into it. I’m not overly worried about them. If you guys lead them into answering some questions. I know where their hearts are, they worked their tails off, they’re great teammates and they expect more from themselves and they expect opportunities, and they believe that they can perform at a high level and you want that.

 

Connor Hughes, SNY: When it comes to the offense, I know you continually stress it’s going to turn around, it’s going to turn around, but with it transitioning now into Week Nine, is there a point where you need to start looking at the process or just the way you guys are doing things to hurry up the turnaround?

Yeah, you’re always trying figure stuff out and try to figure out where we can help our guys be a little bit better and most situations can be better. You feel like it is close and I can give you a laundry list of excuses, but there is no excuses, obviously. We like the process. We like the way our players go about it. We like the process at which we communicate from a coaching staff. We like the way things look on the field, excited about certain game plans and all that. It’s just a matter of putting our guys in the best position possible, executing, making the right calls. Like I said, there is situations even in that game, with the Giants as sloppy as it was, as bad as the weather was, where it felt like we were one or two plays away from making things happen. Whether it was a dropped pass or a missed call or whatever it may have been. I know I keep saying it’s close, but I’m like you and everybody else, hopefully that close triggers sooner rather than later.

 

Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, you guys had on Sunday a heavy focus on the penalties, especially the two personal fouls on a touchdown drive, how do you view those penalties? How do you view that overall, nine penalties in a game?

Yeah, you always want to try to figure out why. There is a penalty, I try to categorize, I think I’ve gotten up here and talked about it before, there is three types of penalties. You got your pre snap penalties, like Micheal Clemons on the punt. Those are unacceptable because you’ve got control over that. Those are pre snap focused penalties. They are more focused penalties. Then you get in play penalties, aggressive penalties versus nonaggressive penalties. Aggressive penalty being one like Solomon Thomas, grinding to get off of double team, throws his hand out to make a tackle and inadvertently grabs a facemask. I’m okay with that. Quincy Williams freaking running full speed to the ball and has a violent tackle. That is an aggressive penalty, things like that will happen. Our guys play really freaking hard. So sometimes that’s the residual effect it. Then you got your nonaggressive penalties within those in play penalties. You got nonaggressive ones, in which you’re lazy with your technique, you’re lazy in your communication and now you’re reaching and grabbing because you’re behind the play. Those are the ones you want to avoid. Finally, the last one are your post snap penalties which is a discipline issue. That’s understanding when enough is enough, so the pre snap and the post snap ones are the ones that are, to me, are controllable. Those are the ones that you want to get out of the game, so when we have those, that’s where you see frustration from a coaching staff standpoint, we have control over that. Those are just dumb, but the end snap penalties will happen and sometimes the harder you play, the more aggressive it gets.

 

Al Iannozzone Newsday: What are the challenges of this offense that you are going to be facing?

Shoot, man,  they are loaded. (Justin) Herbert is one of the better ones in football. Their o-line (offensive) has always played really well. (Keenan) Allen is one of the better receivers in ball. (Austin) Ekeler is a fantastic back, their tight ends are really good. So it’s a talented group. They do a great job calling it. They possess the ball, they move the ball up and down the field. Herbert, he keeps every play alive. He is tough as nails, it looks like he’s got a cast on his arm and he’s still running people over, still making things happen, keeping plays alive. Defensively, we’ve got our hands full with this group. It is one of the better groups in football. It’s been this way ever since Herbert has been that quarterback. Defensively, tremendous against a run. It feels like they’ve been getting better every single week. They gave Kansas City a hard time, obviously, they looked really, really good against Chicago. They held down Vegas pretty good. So, they’re getting better all the way across the board. Their two edge rushers, (Nick) Bosa and Khalil (Mack) are two of the best in ball. Their linebackers are really good. It’s a good group, very talented group.

 

Tom Rock, Newsday: Robert, with Aaron’s (Rodgers) comeback seeming like it’s more realistic every day, every week, how do you handle the dynamic with the Zach (Wilson), in terms of you’re asking him to get you to the important games and then sort of ideally, I guess, hand the ball off to Aaron to finish the job? Do you address that with him at all?

No, we’re in the moment. I think it’s admirable, from Aaron’s standpoint. I think it demonstrates how much he loves and cares about his teammates in this locker room and obviously for himself. It’s very easy to cash in, especially when your money is guaranteed. I always looking at it that way, so for him to want to come back and keep clawing his way back when everybody in the world would understand that he doesn’t have to. I think that’s why we have such a genuine appreciation for him. As for Zach (Wilson), it doesn’t matter, you have an opportunity, you attack your opportunity and then make it so the decisions already made. He makes the decision for everybody. That’s always the mindset. It’s the old Wally Pipp.

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