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Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, 08.02.09

Q:  Talk about being in Albany…

A: Never been more excited. I know I speak for the entire defensive staff, our whole staff. It’s almost like our first year of coaching. We are so excited. We have a great group of guys. I know that we are fired up here and I can’t wait to get started tomorrow morning.

Q: How different has this offseason been?

A: Probably not as much as you’d think, but a little different. Obviously sitting in a different chair, coordinating the whole thing, but if you’ve never been on a defensive staff before, it’s such a cooperative effort by everybody.  One guy does put it all together and makes all the final decisions, but it’s such a collective job and we have a great defensive staff. But it’s been a little different and I’m enjoying it.

Q: How about mixing and matching on the defensive line?

A: We have a lot of guys we can rotate in and we’re anticipating that being a strength both from a health standpoint – guys won’t get so worn out and nicked up as the season goes on -- and also get relief, play hard, get great effort for the snaps that they are in the game for.

Q: What about Osi [Umenyiora] coming back? What are you expecting from him in training camp?

A: I think he’s ready to go from what I understand. Any of those guys coming off of injuries, you don’t want to kill them in the first week of camp but I expect him to be ready to go and tearing it up.

Q. How much of a concern has it been to see Antonio add some distractions here the last week as you get set to take the field tomorrow?

A: It’s always a concern, but he’s addressing it like the professional that he is and I know that when he shows up for camp he’ll be ready to get into football.

Q: What kind of things can you say to the guys to keep them focused on football, not their friend, their leader, Antonio Pierce and what he’s going through?

A: Honestly, it will not be a distraction. We’ve got a bunch of professional guys that will be very focused on the task at hand, which is getting ready for the season and the few weeks that we’re up here in Albany and it will not be a distraction.

Q: Will your defense differ much from Coach Spagnuolo’s defense?

A: It really doesn’t. From a scheme standpoint we’re basically going to do the same thing. That’s Tom [Coughlin]’s motivation for hiring from within. We’re basically going to run Steve [Spagnuolo]’s package that he brought with him. The differences will be very subtle.