Mike Waufle, defensive line coach, 08.08.09

Q. Because of the once a day practices for Tuck, Osi, and Fred Robbins being out, how have the guys stepped up?

A. I think they’re doing well. Jeremy Clark has had a really good camp. He’s about ten-fold better than where he was a year ago. Jay Alford has been very productive in this camp, I’ve noticed a difference in his strength and in his quickness. Maurice Evans, his teammate from Penn State, is a rookie, is really shy, but is showing explosiveness. The experience has been encouraging for those three guys.

Q. How nice is it to see Osi Umenyiora in full pads again and going full speed?

A. It’s all calculated. It was his first practice in pads and he got to start hitting again and he was all excited about it. He wants to be out there worse than anyone else. He has worked through his issues and he’ll be out there soon on a regular basis.

Q. So do you think that when Osi does get out on the field that he’ll be the same player he was before?

A. He’ll be fine, we’ve just got to get his timing down. He tried some special routines over the off-season and we were excited with the results because they seemed to have worked…it’s been encouraging.

Q. You said it was the explosiveness so far that you’ve liked from Maurice Evans?

A. Yeah, big time. That is his greatest asset. Sometimes I like to surprise the rookies by firing questions at them. So I caught Maurice in the hallway and tried it on him, but he was able to answer them real quick. So I kept firing and firing, about eight questions in a row, and he was able to answer every one of them perfectly. It was very impressive.

Q. What have you seen so far from Chris Canty?

A. Well, you’ve got to remember when he was in college at Virginia they played the same defensive scheme as the Dallas Cowboys. So, coming here, some of things we do are very new to him. It’s got to be frustrating for him as a veteran, coming into a totally new defense. At the same time, I’ve been telling him don’t get discouraged, because all of a sudden you’re going to wake up one day in a couple of weeks and it’s all going to have come together. Just imagine trying to learn a new language, like Spanish…that’s kind of what’s happening with him.

Q. A few years ago the rotation of the defensive line played a big role in the Super Bowl run, are you surprised that there are a few guys that don’t seem to understand it?

A. Understand what?

Q. That they complain that they’re not starting. The other day, Mathias Kiwanuka was saying that he disappointed that he wasn’t starting.

A. Every guy wants to be the starter, but still his role isn’t really all that different. He’s going to be out there a lot, he’s the starter in our nickel coverage. It’s different because he was a starter as a linebacker, but the truth of it is he’s going to be a main part of our rotation. I’m just trying to sell it as we are all working together, all one family. It’s a team thing, it’s always got to be about the team. The New York Giants have been effective because they play together as a team. You’ve really got to adopt an unselfish attitude if you want to be successful.

Q. Does it hamper what you’re trying to do out there because you have so many guys injured?

A. It’s like a calculus formula sometimes with all of these different groups out there. What you’ve got to do is monitor their repetitions, there is some science to it. I mean, you have to be smart to play defensive line because you’ve got to be able to counter everything that the offensive linemen do. Our guys are all very smart, and I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen from them thus far.

Q. Do you have a plan in place as to how the rotation will work?

A. Not yet. We will try to answer that question as we get closer to the actual season, and when we’ll have a better sense of who’s going to make this football team.

Q.  That day must be tough for you, as far as lobbying for guys and having to make some really tough decisions.

A. I think so. I tell these guys that there are a lot of jobs in the NFL, even if that means it’s as a practice squad guy. Your resume is from these practices, and during the preseason that resume will be sold all over the league. If you can make it as a New York Giant, congratulations, but if you can’t, there’s still a good chance you can make it somewhere in the NFL.

Q. Have any guys surprised you?

A. Like I said, there has been some great progress. Jeremy Clark and Anthony Bryant have both been getting better, the improvements are noticeable. It’ll be interesting to see how it will all turn out.

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