Obviously we have the 3-0 Bears coming in here. It's an exciting week for us. I had an opportunity to look at probably half of the game the other night as it was being played. It was a typical battle between people in that division - the Packers and the Bears - and the Bears obviously came out the winners in a game that was a very physical game, as they always are - came right down to the wire. The Bears demonstrated, again, an outstanding passing game, a big play passing game, a quarterback with outstanding mobility, speed at the running back spot, speed at the wide receiver spot, comfortable with the tight end position and the quarterback and his ability to get the ball there. Defensively - an outstanding front, an aggressive front, penetrating front once again - (Julius) Peppers obviously drawing an awful lot of attention in that division. A very good kicking game - return game was quite obvious the other night - not only punt return but kickoff return as well. So, we prepare this week for a very physical game once again. Glad to be playing at home.
Q: Are the Bears putting Julius Peppers in a couple of different places like the Panthers did?
A: Well, they flip him from side to side. He does play right hand, left side and they did stand him up in one particular fashion this week in the A gap like they were going to mug him but he's been very productive coming from the outside.
Q: Any advice for your rookie punter against Devin Hester this week?
A: Kick it out of bounds. Don't let him have the ball.
Q: Given how good their return game is, are you expecting a lot of personnel and schematic changes?
A: There's always schematic changes as you go forward in the game plan as to what they do, so that will take place. We do have some regulars that will play on the kickoff coverage team or that will alternate in there on the kickoff coverage team but by and large we've got to rise to the occasion, no matter whether it's kickoff coverage or the punting game or whatever. Field position is a huge issue in the game, there's no doubt about it. We have to be in a position where we're helping ourselves out. If you noticed the other night, the rookie punter from Green Bay - you don't have much choice when you're punting the ball out of the end zone now. You don't have much of an opportunity to kick the ball directionally anywhere, you've just got to pound the ball as far as you possibly can. They did and the interestin things is that the speed of Hester - it looks like there's a person in position to tackle him - he doesn't have that window that he had on the 28-yard return - and yet the defender kind of hesitates a little bit thinking that he doesn't have enough leverage to beat him to the edge where he turned it north - it almost looked like a zone running play - and the rest was history. He couldn't get there to make the play.\
Q: How has Matt Dodge progressed as a directional punter?
A: He's made...obviously he didn't get any last week, so we missed a ball game in which - I'm not complaining - but we missed a game in which he didn't have an opportunity there. He's making some progress there, yeah. Not an easy thing for a young guy.
Q: He's had trouble kicking the ball period, though. Are you concerned?
A: You said that. I didn't say that.
Q: He has though.
A: Well, you've got to believe that he's going to be able to recognize the level of competition and rise to the occasion. That's what we...we're working with him every day. All day long people are in his ear and hopefully it'll sink in.
Q: So are you okay giving him that extra responsibility?
A: We're going to work at that this week and we're going to assess where we are.
Q: When did Mario Manningham suffer a concussion? How serious is that?
A: The nature of it I guess was late Sunday night that he contacted people in the training room. He really appeared to be fine Monday when we saw him. We didn't expect that there would be any slowdown in his performance today in practice. There was, so hopefully we can do the tests again and see how that comes out, but we're a little bit surprised that there's an issue here.
Q: Slow down when?
A: Right here, right when we came in. He did the test this morning and that was the first that I heard of it - right here in the team meeting.
Q: So he will not practice?
A: He will not practice, no.
Q: Is Victor Cruz or Ramses Barden next up for that spot?
A: Well, Victor would be coming from four to three and work today. Ramses would work, so they're all going to get plenty of work.
Q: Did Mario know when that happened in the game?
A: I think he can refer to the play.
Q: Is there anything new on Shaun O'Hara?
A: Not really. We're still in there.
Q: Is he still in a boot?
A: Yes. No. Wait a minute. This morning, earlier, he didn't have it on, but I'm sure that if he's going to walk around or be moving he's going to put that boot back on.
Q: What do you have to do against these dangerous Bears pass rushers, especially Peppers?
A: Well, obviously your schemes have to reflect that. You have to recognize where he is - he's going to line up on the right side, on the left side, he's going to line up to the open side, he's going to line up to the tight end side - and you've got to make some adjustments with your schemes. He's obviously doing that for a reason. You have to basically adjust right along with him.
Q: Brian Jackson - what have you seen from him?
A: I liked him when he came over here to us and showed us some ability - a big kid, a big strong kid - we're going to start him at the corner position and see exactly how that goes but I'm very interested in watching Brian.
Q: You had high expectations for Darius Reynaud. How has he progressed?
A: Well, we're not very productive. I'm not ready to say it's just him. We would like to see him get up in the hole - what hole there is - we'd like to see him hit it a little bit faster, a little bit quicker and we'd like to see that the blocking for the schemes - if it's talking kickoff return first - let's not wait a play before we get into the scheme and block it right. Let's get the scheme going and let's give him a chance. Let's hit it as fast and hard as we can - no hesitation - and let's see if we can run through some arms and make some plays. No matter who you are, that's the way that ends up.
Q: DJ Johnson can play safety - will he get any reps?
A: That's what he did last week and that's what he'll do this week.
Q: The line as it is right now, do you expect it to stay the same or will Shawn Andrews come in there?
A: Well, Shawn is continuing to develop and continuing to get better, continuing to improve, and we'll continue to use him.
Q: Is it reasonable to expect an offensive tackle to go head to head with these great pass rushing defensive ends without any help?
A: Well, the Packers did that some the other night and they had some success - more on one side than the other - but they did have some success, so the reasonable word...that's up to judge.
Q: There's usually some help built in though, right?
A: Somehow, some way. Now, you have to understand, the defense is doing things to keep you from getting that help too. It's not that easy. There are ways to keep you from creating the help over there that you'd like to create.
Q: Do you have any sense of your team's resolve coming off of Sunday?
A: I think that there was a good feeling in the room this morning and I think that come Monday morning it was pretty strong as well.
Q: Are these opportunities for coaching and teaching moments? What leads you to think that you can come out of this?
A: I think it's a good group of people. I think that we have to come together a little bit more. We do have some new additions to our team. I think we continue to preach ‘team.' We are determined. We have great resolve. We're trying to, again, put our people in the best position that they can possibly be in - we're talking more performance and execution than we are anything else and I think that our guys will come through.
Q: How is that different in the NFL vs Boston College?
A: I don't know how...the message is basically the same. You're talking to a little bit more sophisticated audience obviously and I think that you look in the eyes of the guys and they want to play well. They want to win. They don't like this circumstance any more than anybody else does.
Q: You're honoring some of the Giants greats this week. Have you talked to the team about that?
A: We certainly will. We'll talk about the Ring of Honor and the ceremony as we get into the week, maybe perhaps later in the week. Nevertheless, we will talk about that. That being set aside, it's another reason, another occasion, it's Sunday Night Football, to honor those athletes, the great players from the past, and certainly we'll use that a little bit later in the week.
Q: Michael Strahan had some great things to say about you yesterday. Have you had a chance to read anything about that?
A: I didn't really. I understand that it was an interview that you people conducted and taped and maybe I'll get a chance to listen to it.
Q: He said he has a greater appreciation of your methods and your teaching now than earlier in his career. Is that what you're looking for as a coach?
A: Well, really what happens - to put it in very few words here - is you start out a certain way, you establish who you are - this is a game about toughness, this is where it starts - and you hope as it evolves in your leadership, the players that have been with you for a while can then go and share those values and those ingredients with the young people that come in and it just builds to the point where the players understand what this is all about. What I would like to be remembered for obviously is winning and I would like to think that we have an influence on the lives of these young men and that is very important to me, obviously.
Q: How gratifying is that for you personally?
A: I know that it brings you closer. I saw Fred Taylor earlier this year when we played New England and he said basically something along those lines - ‘I understand more now' - that kind of thing and it does give you a strong sense of gratification or satisfaction and there's no doubt that it eliminates all the in-between and makes you closer to the player.
Q: Is the O-Line starting to diminish?
A: No. I think we're capable...obviously the center is not in there. Adam is doing a fine job, but we did have five that played together for quite some time. It is a position that really does need continuity. It really does. Now everybody in the league has problems. The Bears won the other night. They had a problem - their left tackle was down - it happens. This is a unit that grows as you play and hopefully that's what's going to happen to our unit once again.
Q: For how long?
A: I hope it goes on for quite some time and I hope that it is not anywhere near the end for this group. I hope this group can continue to grow and get better.
Q: Do you have a sense of how long O'Hara will be out?
A: Well, I was hoping initially that it was a two-week period but I'm not sure now what it is.
Q: Will Rocky Bernard and Keith Bulluck be practicing today?
A: No. They won't practice today, but hopefully we'll get them both tomorrow.
Q: Is this a surgical issue for O'Hara?
A: I don't think so. We're hoping it's not a surgical issue.