Q. Are you just hoping that the players will show some of the pride and the energy that you have been hoping to get out of them?
A. Yes and I fully expect they will. We have good character guys. I don’t think last Sunday in any way, shape, or form is a reflection of the kind of players we have and our performance level. So yeah, I expect our guys to come out and play their tails off this Sunday.
Q. When you look back at this whole season, is it going to be hard to evaluate everything because the one constant you have had on defense is injuries?
A. Yeah, but I don’t think we really will look at it from that perspective. That stuff is out of your control and we will spend the majority of our energy analyzing scheme because personnel is a whole separate issue. Like I said, the injuries are part of it but we don’t really wrack our brains worrying about that kind of stuff because it’s inevitable. Yeah, we have been hit with a little bit of an injury bug this year but in the offseason we evaluate defense and really what people are doing against us and how we are trying to defend it. So it will mostly be scheme-oriented kind of evaluation.
Q. Could you have ever envisioned giving up so many points and having four 40-point games?
A. Absolutely not, not in my wildest imagination did I envision that.
Q. Is there one or two things that you look at that were just wrong?
A. Well, it’s never one thing because if it was, you would try to address it and correct it. I just always equate it to a dis-execution of the defense. To a certain extent, maybe some of it is personnel but our coaches do not think that way. We are just really looking at the execution of our defense versus the opponent’s execution of their offense against ours. To me that’s where we critique and that’s what we try to evaluate and that’s what we try to resolve.
Q. How hard has it been personally on you?
A. Oh, no harder than I expected. Again, you anticipate more success for sure, especially being here.
Q. What was missing from the defense this year?
A. I don’t want to pinpoint one thing. Again I know I just said that we don’t really think about injuries, but you are talking about some voids that were left by guys that were really in leadership positions. The real obvious one would be Antonio Pierce, that is a big void that’s hard to fill from a leadership on the field standpoint and a game day quarterback on the field. That is an easy one and obvious one to point out but that’s something for sure.
Q. The defense had not been playing great with Antonio playing in there. Would you agree with that?
A. We hadn’t played great week in and week out. We started off 5-0 but I know before he got hurt we still had a couple of poor performances even when we were 5-0. He didn’t play well in the first Dallas game but it’s still a void that has not been filled since him being out of the lineup.
Q. When you look at defensive rankings you are the 10th-best defense in the league yardage-wise. How do you figure that with the amount of points you have given up. Where is the discrepancy?
A. Honestly, a stat like that with yardage I would give credit to our offense because we have a lot of time of possession. So we are not on the field and we do not have an opportunity to give the opposition. I don’t want to downplay our doing that, that is honorable being tenth in the league in yardage but a lot of those kind of stats, just those bottom line gross number stats; yards passing, yards rushing, total, a lot of it has to do with how much you are playing and how much your offense is able to posses the ball and keep us off the field and really our offense does a good job of that. We run the ball historically and we possess the ball. Also you think you are playing defense from week to week. I know our special situation defense has not been good, red-zone, goal line and short yardage are three off the top of my head that we have not been good percentage wise. In the grand scheme of things, I know with a few exceptions in regards to some poor performances week in and week out, even with the injuries, I think we played honorable defense. It’s never good enough.
Q. When you evaluate yourself this year, do you say, ‘I could have done this better?’ What do you think you could have done better?
A. You know what, I don’t really think like that, especially not now, maybe a week from now I will look back on it. We have an excellent defensive staff and I knew going in that in my mind they were tremendous, professional, experienced coaches and I wanted them to be involved and have a big part of it and really let them coach the position and in my mind they have done a good job it despite of the injuries the guys have faced at their position. I am not sitting here right now thinking a bunch like ‘should have, would have, could have’s.’ Maybe a week from now. I am not in that frame of mind right now. I am really just trying to get ready for Sunday.
Q. Do you at the very least have a list of things that say next year I would do this different?
A. It would all be in my subconscious, but if it would it would be intangible. It wouldn’t be like, ‘hey, we should have played more three deep or we should have pressured more.’ It wouldn’t be that kind of stuff. It would be really more intangible and management-wise and it would be subtle. Again I kind of had an idea about how we were going to do it and we kind of just followed the plan. For right, wrong or indifferent, we followed our plan each week about how we prepared and how we have given the information to the players and how we coach our meetings. It will prove itself out in the end, but like I said, we kind of had in our minds and had an idea about how we were going to approach the season and this is how we are going to deal with our players on a Wednesday through Saturday basis and all we have done is followed the plan. We stuck with that. That’s one thing at least we will get credit for that is we stuck to our plan of how we are going to coach and how we are going to teach and game plan. We have done that every single week and like they say, the proof will be in hindsight.
Q. The management things and the intangibles you talk about, is that with the players?
A. In every area and it’s all just very vague, subconscious stuff that when you are sitting there falling asleep at night or if you’ve got five minutes to think about something other than when your next project is. Nothing concrete that I put on paper, that’s what we will start doing next week.
Q. Osi Umenyiora spoke about how he may have played his last game as a Giant but now he wants to be a Giant but things have to change. Clearly the thing he wants to change is his playing time. Do you expect to sit down with him at some point and have a heart to heart talk about what has been seemingly a difficult year for him?
A. Sure, we do that with all the players.
Q. Do you believe he should be a full-time player or do you think he has slipped a little bit at all?
A. I don’t think he slipped at all. He is more than capable of being a full-time player. With the depth that we have had going in at the defensive line, it was already predetermined that we were going to be rotating guys and no one was going to be playing more than 30 or 40 snaps a game. So I know in the latter part of the season his reps have fallen off, but in no way, shape or form is that a reflection on his ability or his performance. That sometimes is just how the rotation works out if you are trying to work guys in a certain series or a certain down or distance or certain situations. You come in on a Monday and you find out, geez, the guy only played 20 snaps and in your mind he is going to play 30 or 35. Going in with the depth we had at D-line, we planned on playing them all and rotating them. Osi hasn’t slipped in any way, shape or form. He is an excellent football player.
Q. He has had certainly an up and down year with the walkout at the beginning of the year, losing his starting job, complaining after the game. He believes that whatever fracture he has had between him and the organization or with you can be repaired. Do you believe that, too, and that he can come back a happy and productive player?
A. Absolutely, he can answer it better for you but I don’t see any reason why not.
Q. You know how it works in this business. Every year everybody is evaluated, everybody is up for it. If Tom Coughlin said to you, ‘Tell me why I should bring you back again next year as the coordinator,’ what would you tell him?
A. I don’t know. Only because I haven’t even thought about that. You are catching me off guard with that kind of a question. The same reason why he gave me the job, because he thinks I am competent and do a conscientious, diligent job. That’s what I told him when I interviewed for it before. I said, ‘To me, the most important thing is competence, that you put your players, give them a plan on a weekly basis that would put them in the best position to defend and beat your opponent.’ That’s the same reason why. That’s why he gave me the job, and if he’s evaluated that, it’s still competent in that area. That’s what I would tell him.
Q. Do you think you have done that?
Q. Are you concerned about job security?
A. I am not concerned about it, I know you guys are very concerned about it, but I am not concerned about it. You guys do a great job of being concerned about it, but I am not.
Q. This organization is not known for knee-jerk reactions and Tom certainly has showed loyalty. Do you expect that you will have a second and more years here to show what you can really do with the defense?