Head Coach Ben McAdoo
September 7, 2016
Weíre excited to open the season this week in Big D. Offense, they have a good offense that is led by an offensive line that is one of the best in the league. Theyíve added two talented backs to the mix in Elliott and Morris, fine players. Dez looks like heís primed for an excellent season. Heís in great shape and is healthy. Witten is one of the finest to ever play the tight end position. Their defense is well coordinated. They have some players out up front but their effort and energy is tough to find in this league and both Crawfords are very disruptive players. Sean Lee is a talented, instinctive player and you can find him all over the film. Their secondary plays very well to their front. They anticipate balls and do a nice job there and Byron Jones is coming into his own. Special teams, they have a nice group of core players, probably too many to mention, and Lucky Whitehead provides some juice in the return game.
With that being said, we have our work cut out for us.
Q: Do you expect with a rookie quarterback and running back that theyíre going to lean on that offensive line quite a bit?
A: It doesnít matter to me whoís playing for them at the skill positions. Theyíre always going to lean on that offensive line. Itís one of the best in the league, if not the best. Theyíll take their shots down the field, but theyíre going to lean on that line.
Q: Whatís the challenge like when youíre facing two guys that thereís so little game tape on? How do you go about that?
A: I think you trust yourself and trust what you do. We have a good scheme. Weíre going to trust our scheme and put our players in position to be successful.
Q: Is it more about you than it is about them at this point?
A: You obviously do your work. You study the tape as much as possible. Early in the season, there are a lot of un-scouted looks out there in all three phases. You have to trust your scheme and put your players in position to be successful.
Q: You go in this year and three-quarters of the defensive line is new from last year. Do you feel more confident that you can compete against that really good offensive line with the guys you have up front?
A: We feel that weíve added some nice pieces to the mix for us. We have good scheme, good coaches and good players. Iím looking forward to Sunday.
Q: How about for yourself? Thereís only one time that you get your first game as an NFL head coach. Any excitement level or anxiety level for you?
A: Iím excited. Champing at the bit. Canít wait for Sunday. Itís a long week. Itís good to get out here and go through our normal Wednesday practice. Hit the pads tomorrow on Thursday. Iíll take it one day, one play at a time, like the rest of the team.
Q: Do you get nervous? Victor Cruz said he gets butterflies and nervous before any game. What are you like before a game?
A: If you donít get a little anxious to go play and go coach, you probably have to find something else to do. I think thatís normal, thatís healthy.
Q: Iím sure youíre not going to tell us but have you decided how you want the offensive play calling to go?
Q: Do you want to tell us?
Q: Is that something that you want to stay consistent with the entire year or is it something you might change?
A: Possibly, possibly.
Q: What have you seen from Odell Beckham coming through this whole summer, training camp and preseason that indicates to you that he could be even better this year?
A: The numbers heís had the last couple of years, theyíre going to be tough to duplicate. We always talk to the offense that we canít go out there and play with two footballs. There are a lot of guys that deserve opportunities to touch the ball. We donít always dictate where the ball goes, we let the coverage dictate it. Heís matured. Heís a guy thatís been out there in the offseason and at camp healthy, working at staying healthy and learning the intricacies of the offense. Not just as an outside receiver but learning inside. Heís developing into a leader for us.
Q: In what ways could he be better if we canít see it in the stats? How can you tell heís better?
A: They donít keep track of assists in this league, but they go a long way with your teammates.
Q: You said you wanted to watch the tape before you made a judgment on Will Beatty. How close is he?
A: He made some progress two days ago. It was good to get him out there. Walkthrough yesterday and weíll see him here today and tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a big day for him getting the pads on for the first time.
Q: Will the three guys on the injured list practice today? Jonathan Casillas, Darian Thompson and B.J. Goodson?
A: In a limited role.
Q: All three?
A: In a limited role, yes.
Q: With Thompson still in a limited role, do you feel confident having Nat Berhe work with Landon Collins with the first team?
A: Absolutely confident. Absolutely.
Q: What has Berhe shown you the last couple of weeks?
A: Heís a guy thatís been struggling to get out in the field. Heís finally had a chance to get out there and stay out there. Heís learned the defense and is improving as a communicator. Heís our heat seeking missile out there, fast and aggressive.
Q: Is Randy Bullock your opening day kicker or is that still to be decided?
Q: Yes, heís the kicker?
A: Yes, heís the kicker.
Q: You talked about Olivier Vernon and how good he looked this summer. Have you seen progress from Jason Pierre-Paul as well? I know you said he thought he would be much more comfortable after the operations on his hand?
A: Yes, I canít wait to see him play on Sunday. I canít wait to see him play. Heís made progress. Look forward to seeing him turn it loose.
Q: Where do you need to see the biggest improvement from what you saw in the preseason to the regular season?
A: Itís a different season. I mean, weíre starting right now. We built that foundation. We have a strong football team and weíre very confident in our football team. We need to go out and play physical, heavy-handed football. It doesnít have anything to do with the preseason. Weíve moved on from the preseason.
Q: With JPP, did you limit him in the preseason? It seems there were times where he was anchoring the line instead of rushing?
A: It depends on the scheme, what heís asked to do. What youíre asked to do at the defensive end position changes based on what the call is.
Q: How do you feel about the tight ends and the progress theyíve made blocking?
A: Theyíre working to get better. They made some progress the last week. Today and tomorrow, tomorrow is going to be a big day for everybody.
Q: I know you said it was going to be a committee approach, but is Will Tye likely to see most of those snaps in the backfield?
A: Itíll be a committee approach.
Q: Why is tomorrow such a big day?
A: First day of pads with the 53. Itís always a tough practice.
Q: Thatís going to be your toughest practice of the week? The Thursdayís before games?
A: Yes. Situational football. Weíll tax them between the ears and weíll have the pads on. Itíll be physical.
Q: Friday is more recovery? Saturday is still a launch?
A: Yes. Fresh Friday.
Q: How well do you know Jason Garret and do you take anything from maybe watching how he took the head coaching job as a young coach and learn from that?
A: I know Jason. I donít know him well. Weíve had a conversation, but Iíll leave it at that.
Q: Any opener is big, any season opener for any team, but going back to Dallas, this Giants team has lost a bunch of openers to Dallas. A division game, your first game, is there a way to make this game too big or is it as big as a lot of people think it is?
A: No, I mean itís the biggest game weíll play this week. Itís one of 16, but we do understand that division games usually count as two when itís all said and done. Itís an important game for us because itís the one this week.
Q: Your two years here, the team has started out 0-1. Are you a believer that the first game can set the tone positively or negatively?
A: I think each week tells a new story. We need to go out each week and be ready to play. We have one game this week, so we need to go play that game and go play it well.
Q: What do you see when you look at the Cowboys defense?
A: The faces change but the expectations stay the same. Theyíre built upfront to be disruptive and to penetrate. They use a lot of line movement. Theyíre very aggressive and theyíre fast and physical. The linebackers, safeties and corners play off that front four. Just because the names change doesnít mean they arenít going to play well. They have some good pieces and players up front.
Q: Have you seen that your running backs have a better idea this year than maybe last year coming into the season?
A: I donít see any difference from this year to last year, no.
Q: Do you expect Rashad Jennings to carry a bigger load this year than he did last year early in the season?
A: Tune in.
Q: Do you hope or expect that your defense can take advantage of some of the things a rookie quarterback may do?
A: Again, weíll find out the way the game goes. I have a lot of respect for Dak. Heís a player that has won a lot of football games, not necessarily at this level but heís shown a lot in the preseason. We need to be ready for his best shot.
Q: Do you believe in the idea that guys can get too emotional come Sunday? Do you look to reign those emotions in? Do you like the emotion? Do you think it works or do you want to reel them in a little bit?
A: Each player is different. However they play best as an individual is how you want them to approach the game. At the end of the day, we need to have discipline and poise. Thatís most important.