S Antrel Rolle
December 17, 2014
RE: On playing better on defense
A: Yeah, we are playing better. Speaking of defense, we are playing better. Last week, our first half, we missed a couple of things. We came out a little flat-footed at times. We had to grasp ourselves in the second half and that is exactly what we did and came out and played a phenomenal second half.
Q: You have had great things to say about Odell Beckham Jr. all season long. Do you think he should be the rookie of the year?
A: There is no doubt about it, no doubt about it. There have been some rookies out there obviously making some splash. Mike Evans, a couple other names, but what Odell Beckham Jr. has done in the short period of time that he has been out there because he battled from injuries at the beginning of the year. The sky is the limit for this guy man. I think what he has done for this team and just for the league itself has been phenomenal. I am not just saying that just because he is my teammate, I am saying it because outside looking in, I am sure everyone else sees it the same way. Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. Rookie of the year, Pro Bowl, you name it, I definitely put him up there right now with the elite receivers in this league. He is a threat.
Q: Did you really think that was a possibility? Week 6 or Week 7 when he was just coming back, that this kind of breakout success was really possible?
A: You never discredit anything; you never know what is possible. Outside looking in, if you would have taken any other guy and say he will come back whatever week he came back and do what heís done in such a short period of time, I donít think no one wouldíve said he would make that splash that he did. I am happy that he did, he is a teammate, he is a phenomenal player and his future is only going to get better. The more time goes on and the game goes on more, he is going to draw a lot more attention to himself on the field. They are going to try to find ways to double him. Knowing our guys and our offensive scheme and the mentality that they have, they will find a way to get him the ball. They double him, then we have other weapons that can also contribute and make a lot of plays also.
Q: Do other receivers on other teams ever comment to you on how good Odell Beckham Jr. is?
A: Yeah, I hear it all the time. They just say, ďwow.Ē I tell people it is not a fluke; he is as advertised. It is not something that he just goes out and he goes out and just happens to have this good game. He is a baller.
Q: When you see the St. Louis Rams on tape, what do you see?
A: I see a very (physical) team. This is a team you are going to have to fight four quarters, four and a half, five quarters, as along as it takes. They donít give up. I think they have a very good defense. They are very schematic in what they do and they are going to come at you. I feel like it is definitely going to be a defensive battle game. We are going to try to make sure we get our offense as many opportunities as they need to put points on the board, and defense, we just have to go out there and do what we do, and make sure we play smart, efficient, and make plays when the opportunity presents itself.
Q: Sometimes teams like to reflect their head coach. Is that a Jeff Fisher type team?
A: I would say so. When he was in Tennessee, they were pretty much the same way. I think what they have, they are building something over there. What they have going on, itís a team that, when you guys were watching the game last week with Arizona, Larry Fitzgerald said this is a team that is the most physical team he has played in their division. They have Seattle in their division, they have San Francisco. I think that states a lot about what type of team the Rams are.
Q: A lot has been made about if Tom Coughlin is coming back or not, thatís managementís decision. Last week I heard people question if you are having your best season and whether or not you should be back. Have you heard that and what is your reaction to it?
A: I donít really have a reaction to that. The way I look at it is, outside looking in, you are never really going to understand a defensive scheme or where a person is supposed to be or what they are actually supposed to be doing. The only people that are really going to understand that is myself, the coaches, the organization. Outside looking in, I donít know how people are going to say what, or view what, but it has never really been my concern. Is this my best season? No, it is not my best season. Am I playing ball? Yes, I am definitely playing ball. I am not giving up touchdowns; I am not giving up huge plays. I am playing the way I am supposed to be playing. I am playing multiple roles. I just got out there and do what I can do. I donít really worry too much about what spectators say. They may have over the roof expectations for myself, as well as I do, but at the same time, I go out there and play ball. If I have an assignment, I get it done. That is pretty much it.
Q: When you have a big year with the interceptions like last year, itís almost like they expect the same number this year?
A: You always expect that. I let two interceptions get away from me this year, but a lot of times, if you have a crystal ball, you would say, ďman, I wish I would have had this, I wish I couldíve did this, I wish I couldíve done that,Ē but this is the name of the game. Sometimes you have to live with what you put out there on the field, take what they give you. Like I said, as far as my play, last year I would say was my better year being here with the Giants, this year has been a good year for me. I donít really worry too much about what outsiders say.
Q: Do you worry that an outside coach evaluating you as a free agent doesnít necessarily know that you are not supposed to be in the position youíre in?
A: I think when coaches break down film, or scouts break down film, I think they have a better view of what is he doing, why did he drop his route. As opposed to last game, people say, ďwell, he took a bad angle.Ē What coverage was I in? I would give someone $100 if they tell me what coverage I was in, or what responsibilities was I supposed to have. I am the kind of guy, Iíll take it, it is what it is. If you asked me what I do on that play, I did exactly what I am supposed to do. I will just leave it at that.
P Steve Weatherford
December 17, 2014
Q: Tom Coughlin said the team will always have a trick play involving the punter.
A: Itís always in your pocket, but itís deep, deep down in your pocket.
Q: Would you have to look up and see nobody on the field?
A: No. Honestly, we keep it oiled up. We definitely have all types of fakes up, not only puntÖ I think if you donít, youíre not prepared for the game.
Q: But there is a way to have it oiled up, and really oiled up.
A: Weíre really oiled up. We do all fakes on all different facets of special teams and all trick plays on offense every week. So when the time comes and we need to execute it, we feel confident in making that call, but we just really havenít been in a situation where weíve really been able to use it because depending on where youíre at in the game, if youíre down 17 points Ė theyíre expecting it. So youíre kind of better off keeping a quarterback thatís making 20 million dollars a year out there going on fourth down than you are having your punter run or something like that.
Q: So Coughlin hasnít had the right time to call a trick play with a punter in 19 years?
A: Iím not saying that. Iím just saying this year. But like I said, why are you going to put a fourth down play in the hands of a kicker, punter or a personal protector on punt when youíve got Eli Manning. Itís not something that we need to do. If itís fourth and six, you let Eli do his thing.
Q: There was a point in the second half where Josh Brown made a tackle and got up a little slow. Whatís going on in your mind when that happens?
A: A lot of things, because Iím thinking Iíve got to kick off and Iíve got to kick field goals and I donít feel super confident in planting on this ankle just yet. Itís tough enough to plant on punts, but when you come in for kickoffs and field goals, youíre putting a whole lot more energy and weight on that ankle. So Iím very thankful heís as tough as he is because I wasnít feeling real good about it.
Q: No Giant has ever won the Man of the Year award.
A: Really? I think that legacy will probably continue. They donít usually give it to punters, but I am honored to be on it though.
Q: Itís not about playing, itís about off the field contributions.
A: Absolutely. Believe me, I am incredibly honored to even to be nominated and there are a lot of guys in the National Football League, regardless of their position, who are worthy of winning the award. Just to be one of the top 32 guys, being viewed as most philanthropic in giving to the communityÖ thatís good enough for me. Iíd love to be a finalist and win it, but just to be one of the top 32 is an honor that Iíll cherish forever.