OC PEP HAMILTON
What jumps out about a Wink Martindale led defense?
"Very aggressive style of play. They do a good job of attacking protections. To say the least, Coach (Wink Martindale) is well-respected and has been around a long while. We have our hands full."
What has the conversation been like with you and WR Brandin Cooks leading up to this point?
"Brandin (Cooks) is a pro. He's a pro. When it's football time, it's ball time. He knows how to prepare. He'll be ready to go."
How would you assess the production from the wide receivers last Thursday without WR Brandin Cooks and WR Nico Collins?
"I felt like it was a great opportunity for some young guys, some guys that haven't had a lot of opportunity to play to step in and show that they can play winning football. Chris Moore, he made a ton of big plays. Phillip Dorsett, he's made contested catches throughout the season. Those guys were able to step in and make some plays, and now we have to do that for four quarters so we can end up with a W."
How can you salvage the season these next couple of games?
"You go back and self-evaluate. Ultimately we've just got to go out and find a way to call a good game and play a good game for four quarters."
How much more challenging is it when your top two receivers are out and were you able to gather anything from the time they were out to apply it to the offense now?
"That's understood and that's the nature of professional football. It's the ultimate war of attrition from week-to-week. You're going to have guys that aren't going to be available and that's why the guys backing up our starter have to be prepared and ready to step in a play. It was good to see those guys go out and make the most of the few opportunities that they had to make plays."
How do you handle preparing the depth of the wide receivers since there has been so much movement there the past year? Is that difficult?
"It's difficult. It's difficult for Davis (Mills). It's difficult because a big part of the passing game is continuity, rhythm and timing, and ultimately trust. But nevertheless, we still have to play the game. We have to supplement our time during the week to make sure that we get those guys up to snuff and they're ready to go out there and play."
How much of the gameplan changes when you know you have some people with little knowledge and it's going to grow later?
"It changes. Of course, you're never going to ask guys to do something they're not prepared to do. We have to adapt the gameplan from week-to-week and really series-to-series sometime."
How do you put together four quarters?
"I think just from our standpoint as a coaching staff, we have to understand that over the course of the game there is going to be adjustments made. There's going to come a time in the game where you have to give your elite playmakers a chance to go out there and make plays in those critical situations, and that's the nature of the National Football League. You watch games from week-to-week and there's a lot of different ways to win games, but it all starts with the playmakers. So, we've got to give those guys a chance to go out there and make plays for four quarters."
Midway through the season what is your evaluation of RB Dameon Pierce?
"I think there's no question that he can play with the ball, and he's improved with playing without the ball. I don't know that he has many limitations. I guess the one thing that you can't teach and coach is experience and the more he plays we'll continue to see improvements."
How do you describe the offense for WR Brandin Cooks and his role?
"I would say that from week-to-week teams are going to prepare to stop some of our featured playmakers from previous weeks, and we'll continue to do a good job of moving guys around and finding ways to feature our playmakers. That's our job."
Where does Giants DL Dexter Lawrence rank for you. Is he a top guy at his position?
"He's another guy that we consider to be a game wrecker. We'll have our hands full, not just with Dexter Lawrence but their other defensive tackle. Their defensive unit as a whole, they're very aggressive, they play hard, they rally to the football and they're a tough group."
How important is it for FB Troy Hairston to build as a blocker and become a security net in the flat?
"With Troy (Hairston), you talk about tough and a guy from week-to-week if you look at the film for four quarters, he's hammering the opponent. He's a guy that can do anything we ask him to do, and we're excited to continue to feature Troy in a multitude of roles."
How do you describe OL Laremy Tunsil as a player and a person? How does having him help you build your gameplan?
"I think Laremy (Tunsil) is an elite player in this league. I think that is well-documented. It was important for Laremy to come out and just be available for the continuation and duration of the season. He's an elite player. He comes to work every day, doesn't have a lot to say. Leads by example. He shows up on gameday and you can count on Laremy doing his job."
When you evaluate QB Davis Mills, can you tell me what's fair and not fair?
"What's fair, is in spurts you see Davis (Mills) do everything that he's asked to do. At times, you've seen Davis show the ability to solve problems with his legs, extend plays and make the off scheduled plays. He'll continue to improve with experience, and he'll continue to make plays."
What's changed since you haven't been going to RB Dare Ogunbowale as much?
"Nothing changed. It was just the sequence of plays in the game. It just didn't happen that way."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR FRANK ROSS
"We're going up to Jersey. New York Giants. A lot of brain power on that staff. Coach (Brian) Daboll has done a great job of assembling a lot of smart people. Cerebral across the board. A special teams coach that has been trained and worked under a lot of head coaches. You can see that they're prepared. The games that they've won have come down to situational execution and things like that. Of course, we're going to try and beat them between the lines on the actual physical point of attack, you know, one player against another. But we have to be prepared for multiple exchanges and things like that. So, a tall task at hand. Going to play in what Texans consider a cold football game. Where I come from that's sleeveless weather. We'll be ready to go to the best of our abilities."
What is your assessment of K Ka'imi Fairbairn's season?
"Every week we go out with the goal to achieve being a consistent specialist group. Snap, kick, punt. To this point, we've got to continue to every time we go out there, put our coverage players in a position to succeed, and then the same on our field goals, we've got to go out and execute points. It's going to be different going up to MetLife relative to conditions that we may see."
How much does having DB Tavierre Thomas give you a boost on coverage?
"I think personally when you're covering kicks and you're tackling inside 25 and inside the 20-yard line, especially when the hits are an impact level, you can feel a little bit of it. That sets you up hopefully for a good defensive stand that follows up. Sets the tone for that next drive. Just being able to represent your team with toughness covering kicks, we got to do that every single time we get an opportunity."
Have you noticed anything specific about how the wind blows in MetLife in your experience?
"I've only played there once, so not a ton of familiarity up there. But from Cam Johnston being with the Eagles and playing the Giants multiple times over his career there, he'll have a little bit more experience, and we'll see what it is when we get up there. It definitely is a unique place. I'm excited to see it change from when I played against the Jets there to how it turns over to look for a Giants field."
How would you describe LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin's contribution on special teams?
"How would I describe JRM (Jalen Reeves-Maybin)? Tough, find-a-way-to-make-it-work guy. He might not be the biggest linebacker, might not be the fastest linebacker, per that matchup that he's going against. He just has a knack for being a savvy football player. He's kind of that junk yard dog from Tennessee that just grew up being a ball player. He was a quarterback. Playing linebacker at Tennessee, whatever, maybe he was a DB. Played special teams in high school. Just whatever it takes to find a way to make a play. Getting him at the point of attack or from a back side perspective, he's done a good job so far. We need to continue to play with that element of toughness and aggressiveness, so everybody alongside him can feed off him."
What is it like having a punter with the leg that P Cameron Johnston has?
"We've got to be able to match coverage of course, but there's going to be a time when we're backed up and maybe it's going to be a go-ahead, or we have a tight lead in a game and have a go-ahead drive that they're going to attempt, our defense needs to stand up. At that point, we need to give the longest field possible. So, you're really letting him rip it and get after it hopefully in those instances. You've got to have the leg talent to do that, and then you've got to hit a good ball. Cam (Johnston) has been working hard. Expect him to continue to get better as we go here into the second half of the season. Just be consistent and use his tools to the best of his ability on each rep."
What does FB Troy Hairston bring to the special teams unit?
"Aside from the fact that he is a high motor, he's not stopping in everything he does. The physicality, I think you guys have seen that from a physical point of attack at the full back position where he brings that. Low, plays aggressive. The thing that has impressed me most so far is his willingness to try to learn. To try and take whatever assignments we're giving him and maximize it. I probably have more conversations with Troy than really anyone. I'm trying to bring him up to speed. He knows he has a lack of experience. He was a D-end, and how he's playing fullback and special teams. Things that are totally foreign, so that learning curve has been bigger. He's embraced that challenge. There's going to be mistakes. Hopefully the next time it comes up in the same thing he's seen before. He's asked about it through the week. He's asked, 'Hey, how can I protect against this? Or how do you see me executing that?' He's trying to execute and trying to ask the questions, so that hunger has been impressive. I think, this isn't a certain, but there's going to be a high correlation with everybody that's inexperienced, there's going to be a high correlation that if you come in willing to ask, willing to learn, of you having a great chance to improve. He's done that so far."
Are you going to rely on P Cameron Johnston's knowledge of MetLife Stadium during Sunday's game?
"Absolutely. Call direction, if there's a huge crosswind and things like that, maybe (Cam Johnston) might know that more than others. Things going into whether a gameplan can be called a certain way or not. Definitely lean on that, but as we get to it, if there's comes a situation, if it's got to be this, then we still have to be able to kick through that or etcetera. I'd tell the same thing to the returners. Try and get as much of a beat on how that ball is travelling, how the punter is kicking it, whether that's pregame, the previous punts, the previous kickoffs. We've got to be ready to make the calls and think, 'Hey, I might be here physically, but I've got to be over there mentally."
In training camp we got to see DB Derek Stingley Jr. field a couple of punts. Is that something we will see this year?
"I think everybody is always trained in multiple skillsets. The more versatile you can be as a football player, the better your team is going to be in the depth. I feel comfortable with where our returners are right now, but things change in a game like that. We've got to be ready for the next man up at any point in time. Just generally speaking, a fast, athletic guy, let's make sure he can contribute is some way positive for the team. We'll continue to rep every single person back there that we can."
DL COACH JACQUES CESAIRE
What does it mean to have DL Maliek Collins back on the field?
"Obviously, having a guy like Maliek (Collins), seven years he's been in the league. He's been in this system and the teams that he knows about, rushing the passer, playing the run. It's going to be really vital to our success. He's been working his way back slowly. We're excited just to see him out there."
What do you attribute DL Jerry Hughes' sack production to?
"When we brough Jerry (Hughes) on, one thing I noticed about Jerry last year is Jerry won a lot of one-on-one wins. It was just a finishing part for him. I told him that when he came here. I said, 'Look, if you do the same thing you did the same thing last year but now just finish, focus on finishing, getting to the quarterback as fast as you can and taking him down, you'll have a lot more rush production.' And that's what he's done. He's really focused on that. I'm just really happy for him and what he's done."
Do you see any similarities in concepts that Giants HC Brian Daboll used in Buffalo that he now uses in New York?
"Dabs (Brian Daboll), he's a special coach. He gets the most out of his players all the time. I know that he'll have something ready for us. It's going to be a great challenge and can't wait to see him on the field."
How much has the defenses interior pressure changed since you've been in the league?
"As far as what we want to do, you always want to collapse the pocket as far as interior rushing is concerned. You want to squeeze the pocket on the outside, on the exterior rush. That's what we try to work on every single day. That's what we try and get done when we're out there on third down with the guys."
What is your philosophy on using different defensive bodies to create pressure?
"Basically, what I just told you. We want to collapse he pocket as interior rushers. It doesn't matter if you're big, small, what ever it is. We want to come off the ball, collapse the pocket as much as we can, making inside moves, drive the inside of the pocket. The outside guys we want to use speed and squeeze the pocket. We just want to create that cage around the quarterback as much as we can. Then, if he holds the ball, he's going down."
How do you prepare to face Giants RB Saquon Barkley, a guy who can run the ball and also catch out of the backfield?
"They have a great running game, and we all know what the challenge is ahead of us. We just have to play gaps on defense and do the things that we know we can do."
What do you think needs to be done to improve the run defense?
"Everybody just as a whole, players and coaches alike, we just have to step it up a little bit more. That's it. Really just focus on doing our job, prepping a little bit more, practicing a little bit harder and just get ready to get down and dirty and play good physical, run defense."
The one gap is your system, correct?
"Yeah. We're a penetrating front. Exactly."
Can you explain the different gaps system and how they help against the run?
"I never want to get into scheme-specific of what we do. I can tell you that our defensive line, we want to penetrate and that's what we're going to do."
What have you seen from DL Thomas Booker?
"Book (Thomas Booker), as a rookie coming in, he's done a great job of filling in and preparing each week to play that role, that three-technique. Whatever we need him to do, he's done for us."
Does DL Thomas Booker's versatility allow you to run a few more stunts?
"It all depends on what we're calling and what the defense is. Like I said, I don't ever want to get into scheme-specific things, but he has traits that we value in this system. He's big, he's fast, he's strong, he's violent and we're going to keep doing as much as we can to continue to develop him."
How has it been having DL Brandin Bryant on the practice squad and plugging him into this system?
"I was with BB (Brandin Bryant) in Buffalo, and he's a great plyer. He works really hard, and I'm just happy that he's with us right now."