New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows Buffalo Bills' quarterback Tyron Taylor well. Spagnuolo was a defensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens the past two seasons while Taylor was caddying for Joe Flacco.
"We've all got to be disciplined against him. I've got a great deal of respect for Tyrod Taylor," Spagnuolo said. "I watched him for two years down at Baltimore give the Baltimore starting defense headaches every day, especially on Friday when it was a red zone day. If he tucked it and put it in, he was getting in the end zone. Used to drive those guys nuts. He's a good football player, he's smart, he's going to be a challenge."
Here are some of the other takeaways from Spagnuolo's meeting with reporters on Thursday.
On the disparity between the Giants' rush defense and pass defense
"It''s not really the plan. I will be truthful with you, I haven't looked at any of the numbers. I'm not a stat guy, I don't do it, I don't do it on purpose, I don't do it when I think they're good, I try not to do it when I have a feeling they're not so good. My senses, we've played pretty good against the run statistically and I know that -- one thing I review at the end of the games is the total yards and I know a lot of that happens to be pass yards. Look, we've just got to continue doing what we're doing. What we're trying to do is win the game and -- how's the best way to say this -- I think some of those yards at the end that were added. We played two really good quarterbacks and a team that was a really good football team that ran the ball, and I thought Cousins threw the ball around pretty good, too," Spagnuolo said.
"We just need to finish some things. I think third down, if we could get off the field a little bit better on third down, I think some of that would change. I'm going around and I'm not really answering your question and I know that, but I would hope that our pass defense gets better and we continue to play good run defense. I will say this, sometimes I think it's more concerning when it's the other way around. Yeah, we don't even worry about the way it's been, but I think I would be more concerned about that. We'll keep focusing on it and hopefully we'll get better."
On what Owa Odighizuwa might bring to the defense
"The first thing is a set of fresh legs, because, really, when you watch him out at practice, there's a difference. He hasn't been out there, he's well-rested, but we're going to have to live with some growing pains, we can see that already in practice because he's not up to speed with some of the things we've been doing since he's been out," Spagnuolo said. "I think he's a strong edge player, I think he can play tight ends well, so I hope that helps us in the run defense and certainly when we get to a throwing down, some of those third downs, I'm hopeful, we're all hopeful, that he can bring something to the pass rush."
On the play of backup cornerback Jayron Hosley
"Impressed. I was very encouraged with the way Hose played. He's one of those guys that's not afraid of a challenge. He accepted the challenge of last week, getting up pressing receivers and trying to keep them out of the game," Spagnuolo said. "He's one of those guys, which I'm encouraged by, that if he gets beat on a play, he just comes right back and plays football. He's got some really good skills. I saw that way back in training camp, pulled him aside and said if he just kept buying into the pressing part of it and what Coach Walton's been telling them, then I think he'd be a really good football player and he showed that when he played."
On the use of Jon Beason and Uani 'Unga
"The goal is to get Jon to 100 percent. He's a good football player and he's our leader. I love him in front of the huddle. You're talking about a rookie versus a eight, nine-year vet, so there's some value there. But we will just play it by ear on the way. We'll see how each week goes. I know we need them all. I know we're going to need them all," Spagnuolo said.
On the idea of being "relentless" defensively
"We talk about production at the ball, we've got to get to the ball, you've got to be relentless to the ball. It's unwavering, it's persistent, it's constant. It's got to be -- the guys have embraced it, it's got to be part of your thread and what you do and every player has to buy into it and I think right now that has happened," Spagnuolo said. "We've been in football games and guys have continued to play all the way through four quarters. We haven't done as well at the end of the game and that's for a lot of different reasons but I think the defensive game of football has to be played that way. Especially in this day and age, the game is so wide open and athletic people, like Buffalo has, get out io the perimeter and out in space, one guy tackling that athletic guy out in space is hard to do. You need everybody there. I think our d-line and linebackers have done a great job of that when the ball is out, turning and getting themselves to it."