Q. It’s the preseason…do you tell Brandon (Jacobs) to take it easy at all?
A. No no, he’s got to get ready to play the game. You know, we like the way he’s playing right now. I mean he’s one of the leaders on our team, he’s got to put himself in a position to play with passion, play the way he is, get himself ready to play for the season, get his pad level down, he’s playing much lower right now, he’s bending easily. I mean he’s doing the things that we want him to do, he’s on pace, there’s some fine detail things that we’re working on, but he’s got to be a strong suit for us as far as getting everybody to play up to a certain level. We’re excited about that, you know, he’s catching the ball better now, he’s been very consistent out of the backfield in catching the ball, trying to make positive yards running, catching, and blocking and those kind of things. And he’s coaching the young guys to come along within the system. Obviously we lost Derrick Ward, and we’ve got Danny Ware. You’re trying to bring him up to speed, hasn’t been on the field an awful lot. In our program right now, we see him being an intricate part in what we do as well. Ahmad (Bradshaw) stepping up and having to do something as well. Ahmad has never really had to be in two-minute, other than the Super Bowl year and those kinds of things. He hasn’t done a lot of the things that Derrick had to do. So those guys need reps and that’s where we’re at right now. Those three guys are going to have to contribute this year and help us win, keep us fresh each game, have an impact on our team, and that’s what we’re looking at.
Q. Are you satisfied with the way that the group has filled in for Derrick Ward?
A. Yes, everybody is filling in, they’re taking advantage of a great opportunity right now, to help the team, to make plays, to elevate our offense, those kind of things…it’s a work in progress. Obviously yes, you do miss a guy like Derrick Ward, who fits a certain mold in what we do on first and second down, and third down, and two-minute, and helped Eli (Manning). Eli had a great feel for how he played, and now Eli has to feel confident that these guys are now being put into that kind of role and can they help him get his job done as well. Each week it’s a work in progress, but we’ve got a couple more weeks to see where we are. As far as athletically, we’re excited about what we’re looking at right now, all of the other little fine little details, in seeing the blitzes, and seeing certain little things, getting a little quicker, getting in and out, and making those kind of plays. You know, we want to step that up a little bit more each week, but we’re pretty excited about it.
Q. Can you talk about how the running backs work with the offensive line in the run game.
A. Well, you know obviously, you know just from a back standpoint you get a feel for different linemen pulling, certain linemen double teams and those kinds of things. We’re either -- we say that we’re either creating the hole, or we’re running through the hole. It’s an art type of thing. When you look at the great backs and their ability -- it wasn’t just their one on one ability, but it was their ability to create situations and learn how to use their offensive line and how to stutter when they need to stutter when they’ve got a slower guard or a faster guard and when you’ve got a great double-team side…so those kinds of things. It’s just coordination, the mix, all of that kind of thing, and that takes time. The more you’re on the field, the more you adapt to those kinds of situations, at the same time, you’re adapting to the defense’s play. You’re trying to make defenses get out of their certain gaps and take advantage of certain coverages. As the runner, when do I take that chance to bounce outside because they don’t have a fourth player out there, and they squeezed down a little bit too much and those kind of things. So the more reps we get, the better we are.