LB Jameel McClain
Conference Call, September 22, 2014
Q: Can you talk about the challenge facing such a quick turnaround?
A: It is always a challenge to have this type of turnaround in the NFL, to go from a Sunday to a Thursday night. How I look at it is both teams are going through the same thing. It is more of a mental preparation style week because of the physicality [of the game]. Most people’s bodies don’t really recover until Tuesday or Wednesday. It is really going to be a mental preparation type week for us.
Q: How do you view the performance by the defense yesterday?
A: I saw a defense that was having fun. I saw 11 guys out there running around and enjoying the game and playing the necessary assignments. We did give up some yards, so there is room for improvement. Initially it was one of the better defensive performances this year. It shows that we have an even longer way to go and a lot of improvements to do. … still have things to correct. It is only uphill from here.
Q: You haven’t been around long, but did you see a noticeable change in Tom [Coughlin’s] attitude last week?
A: I actually did see a noticeable change. Obviously to start with the music. The music on Friday was a little different, but was something that gave people energy. I noticed that little thing, but other than that, I am more of a just keep my head down and work type of guy. I don’t really see much of anything, but I can hear music from anywhere.
Q: You have been on some pretty good defenses in Baltimore…Is this the best group of starting cornerbacks that you have been around? What does it allow you to do as the rest of the defense?
A: These cornerbacks are phenomenal. From the top to the bottom. DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie]. Prince [Amukamara]. Tru’ [Trumaine McBride] comes in and does amazing things. And Z-Bo [Zach Bowman], I believe, is a great corner. When Walter [Thurmond] was out there we have so much depth and so much talent that these guys can just go out there and play ball. Our job is to make them look good as the front seven. So [the opposing team] can start to pass the ball and we can get our defensive backs with the ball in the air… It gets dangerous at that point because it is fair game at that point.
Q: Do you think you guys may have been playing a little tight as a result of so many new faces getting together and playing for the first time?
A: I think it is a mixture of everything. When you have a collection of so many people that are trying to get used to the standard or to get used to what exactly it is or how something is supposed to be done or what exactly a coach means, everybody has to get on the same page. I think what we are seeing now are players getting on the same page. Players and coaches speaking the same language. Not saying we didn’t speak it before, but now we are speaking it clearer. This is only one game. We wanted to stack these games, so now I can consistently tell you this is what we are doing and how we are rolling better. I am not a person to jump the gun. Although I am excited about the performance like everyone else is, we still have to keep building on top of that.
Q: It seemed in the 4th quarter the coaches decided to go with the rookie Nat Berhe…When you looked at the film today, how did he do?
A: He did good. He was a rookie coming in and making plays. He handled it well. I have been a big believer in Berhe for a while. I like Berhe’s abilities on special teams and what he brings to the defense. I always speak to him any chance I can and it was great to see him get an opportunity and go out there and show the coaches what he could do in the defenseive sets.
Q: What do you see that Nat Berhe brings to the table as a safety on this defense?
A: In my experience from seeing him play in training camp and seeing him in the preseason is that he is a hitter. I am a sucker for a hitter. Some people like certain things and I like people that come down and hit and that is one of the things I like about him. Obviously he has a lot good things to his game. What I like most is that he will come in and hit you.