Head Coach Robert Saleh, 9.22
[Please click picture for link to the video]
Alright, injuries real quick. Tony Adams, he will be out, dealing with his hamstring. (Wes) Schweitzer, unfortunately, suffered a concussion yesterday in practice, he will be out. Duane Brown, you guys won’t see him today, I still feel good about his availability for Sunday, but he is just getting some things checked out with the doctor. We still have him listed as questionable. I am not worried about him as a veteran, not practicing and still showing up to play. Otherwise, (Greg) Zuerlein is going to kick today, see where he is at. Then everyone else is full participant, JFM (John Franklin-Myers), Michael (Carter), Quincy (Williams), (Mekhi) Becton, and Breece (Hall). All the ones that have been on the injury report, they will all be full participants.
Antwan Staley, Newsday: Should Duane Brown happen to miss Sunday’s game, who would you play at left tackle?
We have plans in place. It is unlikely we use them, but I’ll keep that one a secret. It’s a good try though, good question.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Would Mekhi (Becton) be in the plan to move?
He has been practicing a certain way this entire week, so to move him in the last second would be irresponsible on our part.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With (Greg) Zuerlein, are you just going to test it today then you will make a decision later today?
Yeah, we will see how he feels.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: Would that be (Adrian) Amos moving into Tony’s (Adams) spot?
Yeah, we feel good about him and Ashtyn (Davis) working through it.
Zach Braziller, New York Post: If Duane can’t play, you say you have plans in place, does that include moving around any of your starters?
Like I said, we have been operating a certain way with Duane and to move guys in the last second would be irresponsible to all of them, to say today, lets change everything today or tomorrow even, so what we have is what we have.
Brian Costello, New York Post: Robert, this is his hip that is keeping him out of practice?
Yeah, we are just checking out the hip.
Brian Costello, New York Post: The weather report is pretty grim for Sunday, how does that affect game planning?
We have taken certain approaches, obviously we will see when the game actually hits, but you always have contingency plans. Whether it is practicing with a wet ball, water bottles splashing guys in the eyes, whatever you are trying to do to simulate rain. You have your plans, you have your pivots, and we will play it accordingly.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: We talked about the Patriots and how you view them, but what have you seen from Mac Jones throughout his career and these past two games?
He has been efficient. Especially, this year, he has been getting back to who he is with distributing the football, getting it out of his hands quickly, being decisive. Like I said, they have been very methodical, they have been moving the ball. You can tell there is a new coordinator and a lot of new different things happening, so you can tell they are adjusting, but they have been performing very well.
Zach Braziller, New York Post: The Patriots are known for taking away top level, do you kind of go in saying they are going to, obviously, look to takeaway Garrett (Wilson)?
We feel good about our group, in term of the amount of guys that they have to try to take away. We feel good about our skill guys. If one guy gets taken away, its an opportunity for another guy to step up and that’s the key. You kind of get an idea of what the game plan is early and notoriously, you say that is their MO, but we will never be surprised to get a good ole knuckle ball from New England, so we just have to be prepared for anything.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What makes (Matthew) Judon so tough?
He can win three ways. He can go inside, outside, and through. The through you part is the most underrated part of it. He has a high motor, he plays very hard, he is effective, he is a game wrecker in the sense that you have to know where he is on the football field and make sure you are doing a great job on your one-on-one battles. All those pass rushers, I have said it before, you can have an all-world group of skill guys, but if the quarterback can’t throw the football because you have someone in his face, none of it matters. He is one of those guys that can destroy an entire game plan.
Brian Costello, New York Post: With that in mind, your o-line (offensive line) obviously had a tough week last week, they were against a really great front, maybe the best defensive players in football. How do you handle that as a coach where you hold them accountable, but you also tip your hat to the competition?
It’s both because we still expect to win one-on-one battles. Everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time and it is about us and how we can focus on what we need to do better in any situation. Then as coaches, how can we help these individuals? It is what it is. We are sometimes at a disadvantage even though you are from an offensive or defensive perspective, and it is our job to help players in those situations. So, you are looking at every angle to make sure that things like that never happen again.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: A guy like Dalvin Cook that came in late in camp, how do you feel like he is progressing?
He is coming along good. I thought he did a nice job churning out yards against Buffalo. Obviously, we just couldn’t get anything going in the Dallas game. Again, lack of third-down conversations, lack of winning third-downs on defense led to a very awkward game, but I like where he is at, love his mindset, love his voice, love his words, love the way he speaks. Just really looking forward to him continuously getting better.
Peter Botte, New York Post: Robert, what did you think of their field goal block?
It was cool. It was a good one.
Peter Botte, New York Post: Have you seen that before?
I don’t know if I have, but it was cool. I hope they do it again.
Brian Costello, New York Post: You guys had the 3rd and one last week and you sneaked Zach (Wilson). We’ve all seen that with the Eagles for the last year and a half and what they do with Jalen (Hurts). I understand different personnel, but do you think that push sneak is something that teams copy? Would you copy it?
Teams are copying it. I know we have it. Just depending on, based on games whether or not we want to use it, but I’ve seen New England, New England has it and they’ve copied it. It’s a copycat League, but ut for sure, it’s something that can show up.
Brian Costello, New York Post: The JFM roughing call, the NFL said they didn’t get that one right. There was another one last night in the Giants game that was iffy. Would you like to see that reviewable? That penalty?
Personally, I feel for the refs, because it’s a ‘when in doubt, throw the flag’, so if the mindset is to throw the flag when in doubt, then you should be able to review that, because it’s just ‘throw the flag’. It’s no different than an instant replay like let the play, play on a possible turnover, we could always go to replay to fix it. Let a scoring play play because you can always go to review to play it. Well, it’s kind of similar in that regard, where you’re just throw it, when in doubt throw it, and then hopefully from a review standpoint, you can get it fixed, so I would be for it.
Zach Braziller, New York Post: With Duane (Brown) out, obviously the offensive line didn’t have a lot of time in the summer together, and now you don’t have him this week, I know you said he’s obviously such a veteran, but how much of an issue is it that the group isn’t getting that time together? Obviously, it hasn’t played great so far, and now it isn’t getting time together this week.
You know what? I will defend and say that I thought we played pretty good against Buffalo. Buffalo’s got a really good defensive line, and I thought we ran the ball well, we ran it efficiently, I know we had two explosives, but overall, we were getting positive yards, we were protecting for the most part, and I know from a recency bias standpoint, Dallas got after us, and hats off to them, they did. But, with that said, just staying the course, having faith in the group that we have. Yes, continuity is always key, and you want to keep guys together, but that’s not the way this League works. That’s why during OTAs and training camp, you’re always moving guys up and down the line and working different combinations. It’s why even in the secondary, we have different safety combinations working with different corner combinations and linebacker combinations, because it’s real. In a game, you’re going to have to be able to adjust on the fly and communicate with different humans, so you’re always practicing for worst case scenario, but making sure guys are getting their reps in too. So, we prepared for it, it’s never ideal. You want to keep the same guys the whole year, but you just have to roll with the hand that you’ve been dealt.
Dennis Waszak, Associated Press: This is kind of related to that, just preparing and doing things like in training camp. We were talking to Todd Downing yesterday, and he said something that was interesting was the plan was to have Zach (Wilson) sit and watch Aaron (Rodgers) this year. Now he has to play, but he said having to play those preseason games, he was preparing like a starter. He said he thinks that’s helped him at this point to kind of step in. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, anytime you’re the next man up, you’re preparing to be a starter. Even for the practice squad guys. All it takes is one injury, and here you come. And then one more injury and you’re on the field. You’re just a play or two away. And for Zach, obviously going into it with the mindset that he was going to be chewing seeds for 16, 17 games, and then four plays later, he’s rolling. Yeah, it’s a curveball, but at the same time, I think he’s done such a good job preparing in the offseason, OTAs, training camp, communicating. He’s in a really good frame of mind, his footwork is light years ahead of where it was a year ago, his pocket presence is light years ahead of where it was a year ago, his confidence in the pocket to sit in the phone booth and still deliver a strike is light years ahead, and we’ve just got to give him time and he’ll show how well he’s done or how well he’s improved, and that’s always going to be- it’s all 11 have to work together.
Antwan Staley, New York Daily News: I know Aaron (Rodgers) has been distant after the injury, but how does a guy like Tim Boyle help out a guy like Zach?
Yeah, Tim’s (Boyle) great. Really happy he’s here. And he’s still getting better himself. His familiarity with the system and knowing all the nuances that come with playing in the system, he’s been a tremendous help, and just watching him prepare this week and the way he goes about preparing to be the starter in the event Zach gets hurt, God forbid. He’s got a tremendous mindset to him and the way he goes about it and his voice, he’s not afraid to speak and share knowledge with Zach, so extremely happy that he’s here.
Dennis Gorman, Newsday: Would you feel comfortable starting Duane on Sunday if he didn’t practice at all this week, or would you want him to get some practice time tomorrow?
You always want to get practice time. He should be good tomorrow to get his practice time in, because it’s all walkthrough stuff, so you’re still going through all the walkthrough stuff, the limitation on practice means he’s just not getting any of the live reps, but yeah, feel very confident in Duane to play on Sunday.
Brian Costello, New York Post: What’s your interaction with Aaron right now? I know you’re letting him heal, but did you hear from him after the game? Do you hear from him daily? What’s that like?
Yeah, I text with him. I always want to know what rabbit hole he’s down, because those are fun, but he’s doing great. Really excited for him to get back here. Really excited. His presence, just his thoughts and words, he’s a cool individual, so hopefully he gets back next week.
Jeane Coakley, SNY: Coach, tell us about your shirt?
Yeah, we’re recognizing Dominic DeMatteo from Mahopac High School, he’s our Coach of the Week. They beat a team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year, scored 21 on that to get to 2-0, which is cool. His father coached for 52 seasons and has the second most wins in New York state history, which is awesome, but good luck to them tonight, and kick butt.