Afther the New York Giants' deflating loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday, Steve Spagnuolo opened his weekly press conference simply.
Spagnuolo is looking forward to playing the Jets, saying that "Anytime you lose a game, at least in my mind, you want to play another game as quick as you can so you can find a way to win."
After that brief statement, Spags opened the floor to questions.
Coming into the season, the potential match-up between Darrell Revis and Odell Beckham Jr. was the highlight of the schedule. The Football Gods, or New Jersey Injury Bug, deemed that the battle wouldn't happen. However, there will be a match-up between a pro-bowl receiver and some excellent corners, just with the uniforms reversed.
The first topic Spags was asked about was how he would deal with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Spags, of course, declined to give away the details of his gameplan, but he did say that he would "mix it up". He also expressed confidence that both of his starting corners could match-up with the five-time probowler and battle against his physical brand of play, saying:
"Oh yeah, I've got a lot of confidence. He's a really good football player, don't get me wrong. He's one of the top in the league, but I think our guys will battle him," Spagnuolo said. "We certainly don't want to have a lot of snaps where those guys are all by themselves with a four-man rush. I think if we can combine a decent pass rush and put somebody over there to help them or have somebody there that has their eye on him, I think we'll be fine."
Marshall and Decker aren't the Jets' only threats. In fact, they aren't even the driving force on their offense. That honor belongs to Chris Ivory, a player that Spags is familiar with, though he wouldn't call him an "old-school" runner.
"I wouldn't use the word ‘old' with him. He's really good. I was with him in New Orleans for a year. And he's a real competitive guy that loves football, and you can see that when he plays. He's a violent runner and when he gets to the edge, he's scary, we talked a lot about that. But build a wall, set the edge, try to track the hip when he cuts it back, but he's going to be a challenge for us," Spagnuolo said.
And while the Jets are having to deal with losing their two best corners (Revis and Marcus Williams), the Giants' defense has injury issues of its own. Devon Kennard is dealing with leg injuries while Brandon Meriweather is dealing with a knee injury. Per Spags, the injury to Kennard will give the defensive playcalling duties to either MIKE linebacker Jasper Brinkley or to OLB Jonathan Casillas, whichever linebacker figures to be on the field for the most number of plays.
The injury to Meriweather means that Cooper Taylor will likely be activated, and Spags had good things to say about how he responded after being cut earlier in the year.
"Yeah, it happens a bunch in the league. I remember going back a few years, Corey Webster was deactivated for like two, three games. Sometimes that lights a spark, but it's always good to see how guys react to that. I think Cooper has reacted really well. He's come out and worked real hard," Spagnuolo said.
Ultimately, as with every week, the Giants want to get pressure on the quarterback. A reporter suggested that there might be a "middle ground" between the Giants' inability to get pressure and the Jets' not giving up many sacks. Spags wasn't too fond of that suggestion, preferring instead to try to flip the status quo on its head.
"I don't know if the middle ground would be good, want the ground to be the other way. Look it, they've got a good offensive line. I think this quarterback is really very intelligent. He makes some really smart moves on film and you sit there and go, "Wow, a lot of guys wouldn't have thought of that." I think he gets rid of the football, so it's a combination, I think, of him and that's a good offensive line," Spagnuolo said. "Look it, this doesn't change, this is the same as any other game, we've got to find ways to get there. And talking about JPP, we hope with his third game under his belt, maybe we start to see the guy that I know he wants to be."