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Bill Sheridan, 12.24.09

Q. What pleased you the most about what happened Monday night?

A. I guess that we came out and played right from the start really inspired. I mentioned to the whole defense this morning, as encouraging as anything is that our guys played without any hesitation. They were very decisive in their reactions to the plays and really got after it right from the get-go. That was probably the most encouraging thing.

Q. Is it something that can be built on from this point?

A. Counting on it, absolutely counting on it. It went well for us early. Our offense helped a lot obviously. What happens there is that you are actually enjoying playing, it’s not a chore, you are not hoping it is going well, you are actually relishing the opportunity to get back out there and play defense.

Q. What was different about what was happening on the sidelines between series emotionally?

A. Like I said, it started out so well, so early. First of all, our offense chewing up the first eight minutes of the game, we hadn’t even played yet and we were up 7-0. Then we scored the first three possessions. Fortunately for us, we had a couple three and outs to start the game off as well. The positive reinforcement that you get to start the game off is great for the morale. Guys happen to catch the fire and it snowballs, and guys anticipate that the next series is going to be equally as successful. It kind of snowballs that way.

Q. What is your feeling for (Aaron) Ross and (Corey) Webster for this week?

A. They haven’t been able to practice, so we plan accordingly. If they are able to come around at the end of the week and play, that would be great. But they haven’t been able to practice the last couple of days. They are still rehabbing. It is still a day-to-day thing from my understanding. Tom (Coughlin) could probably give you more direct information in regards to that. They haven’t been able to go full speed so far so we’ll plan as we did a week ago, having to play the other guys.

Q. Is it frustrating for you, the injuries you have had in your secondary? You have had to move so many people around.

A. Honestly, we don’t think like that. We are so scheme orientated. It is all personnel matchups. I understand that part of it. It’s part of the business; guys get hurt for weeks at a time. If you have done it for a long enough time, you kind of just roll with it. The next guy is in and you don’t dwell on it or beat yourself up. You don’t even flinch. Next guy is in and if you have to adjust the matchups a little bit, you do so. But it is all just part of it and happens on a regular basis to every team in the NFL.

Q. You made those changes in the starting defense and the run defense has really improved. Is that what you were going for with those moves?

A. It is. Without getting real technical, we had played quite a bit of under front the first half of the year. We had some success but the last month or so we have played more of what we call an over front where you are putting the three technique towards the tight end. Our defensive ends, with the exception of Justin (Tuck) who is a big guy, our defensive ends might be a little bit more conducive to playing in that kind of front. That and the fact that you make a conscientious effort to do a better job. We have played some good rushing offenses and done a good job. Again, we have been up on some guys, so people have thrown the ball a little bit more. We have done a solid job in the last month or so in the run defense.

Q. How about (Chris) Canty? You usually don’t see a guy built the way he is in the middle. How is he getting accustomed to that role?

A. He has done a good job. I know exactly what you are talking about. You are used to a guy who is a little thicker and has shorter limbs. Guys that I would refer to as maybe having better leverage for getting underneath blockers. But he is a real long limb guy. He has done a good job. He gets off on the ball. He has good punch. He’s got long arms from an extension standpoint so that is really helpful in regards to him disengaging from blockers. He does a good job of converting into pass rush on first and second down, as well. That’s a fair question. You always have a concern about that when you’ve got guys who are so long playing against shorter, 6’2, 6’3, guards that are much more thick and more powerful. But, he has done a really good job.

Q. What do you like about Thomas, Dockery and Johnson who have filled in for you?

A. It’s encouraging for those guys. The expectations that they have for themselves, they expect to play well. They are not intimated or overwhelmed. They have the exact same expectations as the starters and that is probably the most encouraging thing.