Q. The Osi (Umenyiora) incident seemed to spotlight that things aren’t as copasetic as maybe they might be. How is it going?
A. Honestly, it was so completely overinflated, it’s laughable. Everything is great. I never even thought there was any issue. Obviously he had to work through something and in hindsight he regretted it. But there is no issue in any way, shape or form; we laugh about it.
Q. How about the idea in the spring you told us you wanted to work from the box and now Tom (Coughlin) vetoed that?
A. The thing is Tom got some feedback from players, too. I know Antonio Pierce, in particular, he feels better having a guy he can talk to directly on the sideline because for him, I know this is going to sound trite, but he is our quarterback. Rather than getting on the phones and talking in between series, he preferred, I know he liked it when Steve (Spagnuolo) was down there. He could come right off and say hey, this is what I’m seeing, this is what I think is going on in relationship to our calls and that kind of stuff. I think even when it was talked about in the spring about me being up, he at least voiced his opinion that he had a preference for me being down there. It is not a big deal either way. Now having done it for the four preseason games, it’s no problem.
Q. You said that you wanted to be away from the "mayhem" ?
A. Yeah, it is more like an office atmosphere up there. But, like I said, having done it for the first four games, no sweat. Actually much better than maybe I thought it would be. It is not as much of an issue as I had thought way before doing it. Tom, he has always preferred the coordinators down and when he got wind of it in the spring he brought it up to me. He said, ‘I would prefer to have the guys down’ and he had mentioned that even Antonio (Pierce) had said something to him. It’s not that big of a deal, and it hasn’t been so I said, ‘Yup, no problem.’
Q. What have the four preseason games told you as a defensive coordinator? Now that you are ready for opening day, what have you learned about yourself in that month?
A. That is a really good question. I don’t know if I am going to answer your question directly about it, but I’ll tell you the one thing that you find out…you know there is so much situational football, the different downs and distances and that kind of stuff, and I have found that there is not that many snaps in a game of the different situations. You think of it as a long, 60-play game and you’ve got all these different calls you could have. But, there is only a dozen or so third downs, twenty-something first downs, and then within that they are in this grouping for four or five, six snaps and another four or five, six snaps on first down, they are in a different grouping. So really, there are not that many calls; you don’t need that much defense. I used to think that before too a lot of times you are always overprepared and I am sure I’m doing the same thing. You hate to go into a game and not have enough calls, but you don’t really get a chance to call stuff that much. In hindsight, after games you are calling stuff once or twice, that you think you are going to call a half a dozen times in the game, but the opportunity doesn’t present itself because of the down and distance or the personnel they have in the game. That has been the biggest thing having now called them I have found in the first four games is that you don’t need a whole lot of calls because there is just not that many third and shorts and third and longs and first downs with this grouping or that grouping. That is the biggest thing that has hit me, you can have a lot of great game plan ideas but you are only going to be calling stuff a handful of times so you don’t need that many different kind of calls.
Q. You may not tell us what you don’t like about your defense right now, but what is the thing that you like the most about your defense?
A. I like our guys, I know maybe that is a corny answer but I like our guys. Our guys really like football. They have great attitudes everyday. It is never pulling teeth to get them to go out and practice. They like what they are doing. I like our guys, I will stick with what I said in the spring, I think we have a talented group of guys who really like football. Just being around them and the fact that it is never a burden, it is never a chore, not that they are jumping out of their skin twenty-four, seven for practice, but they don’t complain or gripe or moan or limp around. They are very business like and they want to win and they are very ambitious. I like our guys, I like being around our guys.
Q. You guys had success against the Redskins last year, fourteen points over two games, how much of that approach can you carry forward into this year?
A. Yeah, we used our two games from last year in our scouting report, in our film breakdown for this game. They haven’t changed that much and really we haven’t that much, either. We are still running the same package that Steve brought here. We will go in with a lot of the same ideas and the same for them. The stuff that they have had success on, we know that we have to get oiled up because they will come back to that. We take that into account and we will have a lot of the same ideas that we did before.