Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern
August 2, 2016
Q: Middle linebacker seems like a pretty open competition.
A: It is an open competition. We have a lot of guys in there with some experience. Obviously we have added B.J. Goodson to the mix, so there are a number of guys competing for playing time right now.
Q: Where do you stand at middle linebacker at this point?
A: Wide open. Everybody is competing. Obviously we have three guys primarily that we are looking at, but all those guys will have opportunities to play going forward. Again, this is really the first time where we have shoulder pads on. We will start to find out once we get in and watch the tape a little bit. We will start to learn more about the guys.
Q: Jasper Brinkley has been running with the ones almost all of OTAs and minicamp. What has he shown you to deserve that honor?
A: He was there last year. He finished the season that way. He has worked hard like all the guys have worked hard and, again, I stress to you that it is an open competition. Everybody is going to get shots in there and nobody is etched in stone in any position right now.
Q: What does B.J. [Goodson] have to do to kind of make up ground against some of the veterans?
A: Well, it is going to be now, as we get into the competition part and start playing against the offense with pads on --- he is going to have to perform. He is going to have to show up. It is not just assignment football anymore where you just kind of have shorts and T-shirts. Now it is going to be, okay, what is my technique, how is my --- what can I produce, and when he starts going against better competition, does he produce.
Q: Because he is a young guy, do you find yourself getting on him a little bit more?
A: I think I am pretty fair getting on everybody. I think I am pretty equal on that, but I would say, obviously, what you try to stress with him being a rookie is that there is a sense of urgency out there. We canít get it right in a week or two, we have to get it right now. That is one of the big things that myself and some of the other guys in the room are trying to stress to him and to one another.
Q: Has he been receptive?
A: Absolutely. The whole room is a really positive environment. Those guys really challenge one another and enjoy competing.
Q: Where has B.J. taken most of his snaps?
A: At MIKE. He has had a couple at WILL, but he is at MIKE.
Q: You see a lot of running backs running those crossing patterns and tight ends coming underneath. The Giants have struggled in that area. How do you improve that?
A: Well, I think obviously you have to work on your technique, but you are going to study as you get into game week what your matchups are, what coverages you can get help with, different formations that maybe you can cheat with and what tendencies and what routes tend to get run on certain formations. There is no easy way. That is why teams are all running them. It is a lot about matchups and trying to get somebody who just is more athletic than the other guy across the ball.
Q: Is there somebody you have in mind who is the most athletic in your room?
A: No, again, right now we havenít gotten into where we are banging and hitting everybody yet, so we will find out more as we go along.
Q: Are you looking for someone in the middle to play all three downs?
A: Iím looking for a guy at all three positions who can play all three downs. We will take any of those guys and I think that is what we are looking for. We are kind of studying to find out what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are and then trying to play to their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
Q: How difficult is it for you to really assess the competition?
A: No, there is a lot that goes into it. I am excited to get back up there to watch todayís practice when you start seeing guys actually banging one another. Not only that, but it is finishing the plays, too. You are going to be in hand-to-hand combat with somebody, but then you are going to have to come off that block at the very end and you have to make that tackle, too. You canít get close; you have to make it. So that is the hard part to judge and without --- until you get into the preseason games, you are going to see guys who, okay, he knows where he should be going, he knows where he should be and then when you get into the preseason, you hopefully continue to produce at the end.
Q: Do you tell the players how many snaps to expect in the preseason games?
A: We havenít talked about that yet, so Iím not sure what Benís or Spagsí feelings are on that, so again, once we talk about that, that will be something we will probably talk about shortly before the game, but I donít know that right now.
Q: How different do they use the linebackers here than maybe what you have accustomed to in the past?
A: I think more --- when you get into different styles, there will be times when you bring guys in certain defenses and you are going to basically play them in coverage. A 4-3 defense primarily is your linebackers are more in coverage unless you become more of a blitzing team out of it. A 3-4 linebacker, you can bring any one of the four at any time or a couple of the four. It just varies on what your philosophy is, so we bring our backers, we drop our backers, we kind of do it all and that is what the challenge is. They have to be good in all areas.