POSTED: Friday January 2nd 2009


January 2, 2009

Q:  Steve Smith?

A:  He has a little – he had some tendonitis.  I think he will be okay.

Re: availability of injured players next week

A:  We will see.  I’m encouraged but rather than say something that comes back to haunt me, we will just have to wait and see.  I’m hoping that some of the guys can get back.

Q:  did you have a good work week with the team

A:  We did.  I told them we wanted the full speed deal.  I didn’t want them to do anything stupid but I wanted the speed.  We ran to the ball pretty well and finished our plays pretty well.  So it was good; it was good work.

Q:  Will you watch both of the NFC games?

A:  I will watch all of the games.  Everybody will.  It is this time of year. What else – this is it.  This is what it is all about.  I’m not going to miss these games.

Q:  Do you have any game plans on potential opponents.  Do you start game plans already?

A:  We have all of the information done, as I said the other day.  Everything is done; everything is in the computer.  We have taken a couple of teams and looked at some tape with the players.  But as far as sitting down and putting a plan together, no; we wouldn’t do that until we see what happens after that second game on Sunday and we know who we play.

Q:  Do you have a plan in mind just in case Steve Spagnuolo gets hired somewhere else?

A:  I’m not even going to touch that one.  You are always thinking and you always have thoughts, but I’m not going to share anything with anybody about that.  Our focus is on winning and that is where Steve is, too.  And that is where it should be. 

Q:  As a head coach, you always have to be prepared for this kind of stuff?

A:  You are prepared.  But we will just see how it goes.

Q:  Things you wanted to work on this week.  Were you able to accomplish everything you wanted to your satisfaction?

A:  I don’t know that you ever—we will have to wait and see.  But we have worked on the areas that we really wanted to work on.  We were very thorough, very fundamental with a lot of things.  And hopefully, just by virtue of the emphasis, we will get that.  Do you know what I am saying?  Just by virtue of the circumstance, what is at stake and the emphasis, we get better.

Justin Tuck, Jan. 2, 2009

Has this week been as productive as you want it to be?

No, not for me personally. I’ve been battling a little injury but it has been good though. I think a lot of guys got a lot of work in. Anytime you get the opportunity to get work in and get healthy at the same time I think it’s a great thing. Hopefully we can take full advantage of it.

Are you going to watch the games this weekend?

If I had to make a decision right now, I’d probably say yes but I don’t know. It depends on what arises during the day.

Do you feel good about what you guys accomplished during the regular season in terms of having this weekend off and being entitled to that because you got the bye?

Absolutely, I think we’re in the position that everybody wants to be in with the number one seed, a first round bye, and home field advantage. Yeah, I think we worked very hard to get to this point and it’s a complete team effort from the coaches down and hopefully we can take advantage of it and utilize it to repeat.

There has been a lot of talk about Spags….

What’s different? That was the case last year. Our focus is these playoffs and I’m sure his is, too. We’ll handle that when the time permits it I guess.

How much respect do you have for him and what he has accomplished as a defensive coordinator? What has he been like to work with?

It says enough by saying we want him back. I think that says enough. Obviously the numbers and success speaks for itself. I don’t think we won a Super Bowl before he got here. I feel as though he has been a huge part of the success we’ve had – not only defensively but this entire team is appreciative with the way he goes around here and goes about his business. When the question comes “Do we want him back,” obviously.

If he were to leave, would like to see someone on the staff replace him?

I don’t get paid to make those decisions. I would like to see the best available candidate replace him. As of right now, Coach Spags is still our defensive coordinator and that’s how we approach it.

Road to the Super Bowl goes through the Meadowlands. Last year you were road warriors. What does it mean to have home field advantage?

It means we don’t have to get on a plane until we go to Tampa. Other than that we went on the road last year and beat people in their place so I don’t know how much it means. It means we have a bye and we get to play in front of our home fans. Is that an added advantage? Who knows? We still have to go out there and play the games regardless of whether it’s at home, London, or wherever it is. You still have to play the game and win it. Obviously we like this better than the other way but we’re not giving ourselves any fake confidence with the fact that we are playing at home and not on the road.

What qualities would make Spags a good head coach?

You have to ask Spags that. He knows all his qualities better than I do. I know what makes him a good defensive coordinator. That’s his willingness to listen to his football players, his knowledge of the game and he goes out there with every intention of having fun. This game is tough regardless of how you slice it but when you have a guy who has full focus on winning and having fun doing it – it makes your job a whole lot easier.

Do you want to see McNabb and Westbrook again?

I want to see whoever comes here. It really doesn’t matter at this point. Obviously, we feel that we can have success against any team that comes here. Whether that’s McNabb and his group, Kurt Warner and his or Matt Ryan and those guys down there too - we don’t care who we play.

Steve Smith, January 2, 2009

Did you guys get a lot of work done in these past few days?

Yeah, we got some good work in. We corrected some things and went over our statistics the past five games and different opponents. We’re just trying to get better.

Is there a plus to facing someone you are familiar with or a team like Atlanta?

I think so. Playing somebody we’ve already played, we know them. We are familiar with them and that goes for them, too. They know us so we can work on some of the things we did well in the game and correct some of the mistakes we had and if we play somebody new - it would be exciting to play a different team and have someone new come in here.

Will you be watching the games this weekend?

Oh yeah, I’m going to watch the games.

Can you get anything from watching on TV?

Not really. Kind of if I really sit there and focus on it and see what kind of coverages they are playing. I could watch the cornerback’s tendencies and things like that.

You watching more for fun than scouting though?

Yeah definitely, I’ll wait until we come here to work to do all that. I’ll watch and enjoy the games.

Barry Cofield, January 2, 2009

Is there any difference going in as the favorite?

It’s a different feeling. It’s a different feeling when you turn on the TV and you’re a higher seed and at home. There are some differences but there is no difference with the way you approach it, there is no difference in our mindset, there is no difference in the way we practice and prepare. The only difference is that you get to be at home and people are patting you on the back but we still have a mindset, we still have our goal set on the ultimate prize.

You have always been an “Us against the world team” but now people are out there picking you guys….

We still have that feeling. We have just enough people who pick against us that it gives you enough ammo and you still read some things and I’m not sure we’re the favorites. We still have some fuel for our fire and we have tough opponents. When you get to this point everyone is so tough and teams are so talented that there is no part of you that wants to take it easy.

Do you worry about everybody’s interest in your defensive coordinator?

No, I’m pretty sure he is going to be here through the end of this season and that’s all we worry about. Spags will be a great head coach. He has all those qualities but for now he is our defensive coordinator. He doesn’t talk about it in our meetings. He was the same old Spags today and practice went the same way so I might get a few text messages here and there asking about Spags but he has been professional about it so we’ll follow his lead.

What are those qualities that make him a good head coach?

Just his attention to detail; he commands the crowd, he is a short guy but he has a big personality. He is a guy who I can definitely see filling that role.

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Keywords · NFL · New York Giants · football

Name: Avis Roper
Organization: New York Giants
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