Perry Fewell Press Conference Transcript, 06.19.14

Full text of Perry Fewell's remarks to the media on Thursday.

Q: You've got some new weapons in the secondary, obviously Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond. How excited are you?
A: Very much excited. There's some new energy, different blood. Some different speeds and so far they have gelled very well together.

Q: Can you talked about the linebackers and how slowly you've been adding the new talent - last year Jon Beason; this year Jameel McClain, the development of Spencer Paysinger. Can you talk about how they've grown as a unit?
A: Obviously, Jon was a big part of us being able to turn around defensively last year because of his leadership, his communication skills. And then we found the same thing in Jameel McClain in that he has good leadership skills, very good communication. Jim Hermann will be able to tell you that in the meeting room those two guys are constantly talking to each other. On the field they're doing a great job of communicating. They have, it's almost like a group chat all the time because they are football people, talking football. So that's refreshing. And Spencer has joined in, Devon has joined in. All of them as a group are working really well together and accomplishing what we need to accomplish from a communication standpoint.

Q: It sounds like you have a lot of leaders developing on your side of the ball. Between Jon, Jameel, Antrel and so on. Is that a good thing? Have you ever had a situation like that where you've had that many leaders?
A: I think it's a very good thing. The ones that will truly emerge we'll find out in the fall and I think that we have guy that are stepping up and assuming some responsibility. We're waiting until the fall until we proclaim who the true leaders are but it is refreshing, yet.

Q: Is Beason's uncertain status, does that make it difficult for you, your preparation?
A: No. We install, we go as we need to go and we go with the intent that Jon will be ready when he's ready. Just him being in the meeting rooms, being there, hearing his voice is enough for us. We proceed as follows.

Q: If he's not playing, who will call the plays?
A: Jameel McClain.

Q: Is his experience the reason why you sort of favor him in the middle.
A: He played there in Baltimore, he made the calls in Baltimore, he did that in Baltimore. And then when we acquired him we acquired him with the though that he and Jon could play beside each other and if something did happen to Jon that he would be a person of interest that could do in there and do that. Yeah, I would say your assessment is correct.

Q: You lost half of your starting defensive line to free agency, can you just talk about that process of rebuilding it? I know you've got Hankins who will probably step in for Linval. I'm not sure who you have in mind to step in for Justin but can you just talk about that process?
A: Coach Nunn has done a nice job in developing the squired guys such as Robert Ayres. We're glad to have JPP back, he looks like he's in really good form, he looks like he's in a good frame of mind and Coach Nunn will speak more about that. Kiwi has been very solid for us but I've been extremely impressed with Johnathan Hankins. Markus Kuhn came back from the injury last year and played just a little b last year. I've been extremely impressed with both of those guys. They have, technique-wise, accomplished a lot in phase one, phase two and phase three of the offseason program and then just their knowledge of the game, I think they've done a really, really nice job. Obviously we have Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson coming back so, again, I think the inside portion of our defensive line is a strong positive for us. We will continue to develop the outside portion of it.

Q: We've talk to you in the past about having tools in the toolbox. You've kind of smiled that you've got guys... your depth and talent now at corner, do those tools allow you to do some different things this year that maybe you haven't done in the past couple years?
A: I definitely think those tools allow us to do a lot more different things that we have done in the past. We will definitely find out in the fall camp that...I was very excited about what we were able to install, some of the things we were able to do, the information they retained and executed at a high level. So yeah, it will be fun. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Q: Because there's so much talk about all of the changes offensively scheme-wise, a new system, in theory you guys come back with a lot of the same schemes and philosophies as to what you want to do but I get the sense that maybe you guys are moving some things around at some point.
A: We came up with a lot of philosophies, some base philosophies. We'll let you see the schemes in the fall.

Q: Just to clear up, it's not as simple as, ‘Here comes Perry's system and they're going to run the same exact things that we've seen.' Giving you different personnel packages, we may anticipate different things.
A: I like those new tools we've got.

Q: When you look at what the Seattle Seahawks did in the secondary, is there kind of a philosophical shift in the NFL, kind of building defenses from the back end instead of starting with the pass rush and going out?
A: When I look at Seattle I thought that the back end and the front end were pretty good. I thought they looked like the New York Giants in '07, '11. I thought they were a carbon copy of the New York Giants. I just think that they had good personnel and played good football and executed at a high level.

Q: How important it JPP to your defense?
A: I'm not telling you anything that you don't know. JPP is an exceptional talent. When you have a person who has an exceptional talent on your football team you want him to play at the highest level he can possibly play at. How important is that? It's important for him to be the best he can be, which allows us to do more things and allows our team to be really good. Obviously yes, we want him to stand out and be the person but JPP is a guy that, he thinks about team first, he works well within the team and the things that he does, we'd like for him just to return to JPP form.

Q: Devon Kennard seems to be gaining a decent amount of interest from you guys. What have you seen from him?
A: Very smart. For a young rookie I thought all of our young rookies came in very professional. Studied, communicated very well. We threw a lot at them, he was able to retain a lot of that information and go out on the field and execute and earn some of the trust of his fellow teammates and the trust of his coaches. When you have a young man that's like that, and we have several young rookies like that, then you try to get them as many reps as you can... will determine how much you can play him but so far we really like what we see from a mental standpoint and a physical one.

Q: What did you see coming in? He played as a defensive end and as an outside linebacker for the last couple years. What did you see in him that told you that you could use him as a middle linebacker?
A: Understanding who the young man was and what he could being to the table and identified him as person, ‘Hey guys, we think this a guy that we can develop,' and he can play a number of different positions but if you play him at one position then we'll probably get the max out of him. I think our scouts were right in their assessment of the person.

Q: They talk about him really selling you guys when he came here, Devon. Was that sort of how it went down?
A: We had the opportunity to put him on the board and just talk football. Just talk football and see how much football, not New York Giant football he knew but how much football he knew and that was huge. Again, Coach Hermann will expand upon that.

Q: How far away is Damontre from being the player you need him to be in this defense?
A: I would really like to give you a set answer. I think preseason games will be the measuring stick. We all look pretty good when we're running around in underwear, shorts but when you get hit in the mouth and that person reacts, that's when you can measure and find out where you really are, especially when you get hit in the mouth by an opponent. We think he's made a lot of progress from where he was a year ago. He has grown a lot and if he takes that next step in the next month on his own, progressing even more, then when he comes back in the fall we'll have another measuring stick of where we need to go with him.

Q: I know you've had your own concerns but 12 practices, what have you seen from the Ben McAdoo offense? Are you impressed?
A: We love it. It's definitely up-tempo. It's multiple personnel groups and he tries to get the ball to all of the different weapons that he has an opportunity to get them to. It was always difficult to defend when we played against him and it's still going to be difficult to defend, I think, once the players react and still think. So we're very excited about it. We love it as a defensive staff.

Q: How similar is it to what he ran in Green Bay?
A: They have that philosophy but I think it's going to be the New York Giant personality that will come out within the offense because Eli is different than the quarterback in Green Bay. Eli will put his own spin onto it and then they will mold it to what they want it to be. I tell you, I think they're excited about it now and at times you can see that when it's executed very well, when they execute, it's sharp looking offense.

Q: You said you were excited about some of the young linebackers. What have you seen from Dan Fox?
A: I keep going back there - smart. A smart football player. I keep going back to professional, a professional type person that studies. I'm really pumped up to see when he gets hit in the mouth how he'll respond. I think he'll be good on special teams for us and just a solid player that you can develop and build on. He's... I think this is some of the better rookie linebackers that we've brought in in the last four years that I've been here. That '11 class was pretty good. I think this class is really stepping up to the plate to try to equal that or better.

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