New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan played for, graduated from and coached at Army. So, Veterans Day is “very special” to him.
“It is a very important day. It's obviously a time we recognize those men and women who have served and all of the sacrifices that have been made. None of us get to do what we're doing had it not been for those sacrifices and also to keep in mind those who are currently serving,” Sullivan said Friday as the nation marked a salute to its veterans. “It's a special day, the 11th day of the 11th month and if you really know your history and you go back, it was the 11th hour in terms of when World War I ended as far as why it’s November 11th. Very special, meaningful day.”
Sullivan was recently announced as the Giants nominee for the “Salute to Service Award.” The award, presented annually by USAA and the NFL, honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA is the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL.
“I'm humbled by that. First off, for this organization to nominate me, I just think the world of the New York Giants from top to bottom, just an incredible organization,” Sullivan said. “I'm humbled to be recognized, I should say to be nominated, by the Giants for that. Just honored to represent them and honored to be included as a nominee in that program.”
Now on to some of the takeaways from Sullivan’s remarks about the Giants’ offense.
On the loss of offensive guard Justin Pugh ...
“I think you have someone who was producing, doing some good things. It gives an opportunity for somebody else. I think you look at a Brett Jones that went in there not having had any snaps throughout the week at the guard position and just had to rely upon his work ethic and preparation. The guy is a student of the game, he's a grinder, he's a tough guy and he's going to be put to the test this week. We're excited about the fact that he's had an additional week. He's had the snaps, he's had the meeting time, he knows. ... It's a challenge but we can't focus on that, we just have to focus on what we can do, what he can do and how he can help us be successful.”
On what the offense can do to get better ...
“We took a step back during the bye week and tried to evaluate what was going well, what wasn't going well and, most importantly, the reasons behind that. Whether it was personnel groupings that we had on the field, formation wise, where is this receiver aligned in this formation as opposed to this other formation. Who are some of the different players who are getting some opportunities. And you do that just to give guys, like I said, opportunities. Give the young guys a chance to show what they can do but then also to keep some of the more veteran players fresh. It is a mixture of many factors. I think we made some progress, but dang it, we still have seven negative plays. We still had some of the setbacks, the turnovers, the things that have prevented us from being the best that we can be. We are working, making improvements in certain areas but it continues to be a work in progress.”
On encouraging signs from the league-worst running game ...
“I think if you look at just from the second half particularly and we were in that end of game, four-minute mode, if you will. We were able to have some success running when they had a pretty good feeling we were going to run. We had a big run getting the ball on the edge. So, you see some of those flashes, after having some of the setbacks in the first half. ... I think the fact from that second half, despite some of the setbacks, we were able to do some good things and something positive to build upon.”