LB Jonathan Casillas
September 13, 2016
Q: What did you take away from the first game?
A: Well, there were a lot of positives out there, but just watching the film, it was definitely a little sloppier than I thought and I think all the guys on the defense will tell you the same thing as well. We have to be a little more secure and detailed in our assignments and we were a little sloppy, but we played with tremendous effort and that is how we were able to contain a really good back in Ezekiel Elliott.
Q: How interesting is the dynamic? Obviously last week you were going into a game with an unfamiliar quarterback and running back. This week you are facing a familiar opponent, who has been there for almost a decade.
A: It took us a while to adjust because you donít know --- number one, it was the first game of the year, number two, you have a new running back, a new, young, top 10 draft pick running back and a young quarterback who is a mobile quarterback and is different from the starter that was previously there for the last decade or whatever Romo has been there for. So it took us a while to kind of settle down and understand what they were trying to do to us and attack us and I feel like we kind of ironed it out as the game unfolded.
Q: How different is it going against Drew Brees, when you know what he is going to do?
A: When you say you know what he is going to do, that is kind of a false statement because he is so good with the ball. You know he is going to pass it and you think you know where he is going to go with it, but he is so good at putting it in places where he knows he is going to go and he is good at adjusting, as well. I have played with him. I was a teammate of his for a few years and I played against him the years after that and Drew Brees, it is crazy how he is getting better every year. He is still throwing for 5,000 yards like he is a young kid out there and it looks like he is having fun like he has always been doing. It is going to be interesting this week because like you said, Ďyou know what he is going to do, but you really donít know what he is going to do.í
Q: When you were on the Saints, what was their defensive mentality?
A: Well, we had a different defensive coordinator then. We had Greg Williams then, so I donít know what their mentality is on that side of the ball.
Q: What do you remember about the game last year?
A: A lot of points. A whole lot of points. Drew threw seven touchdowns, I believe, against us. We werenít good at all, defensively, in any phase of the game, at any part of the game. We didnít tackle that great, we blew coverages, we let people run free. Do you want me to keep going? It just wasnít a good showing. That was one of those games where you look back and you donít watch the film because you are just disgusted by it. We have to do better and this is a guy that will make us pay on the road or at home.
Q: You are forced to watch that tape this week, though, right?
A: Oh, yeah, for sure. Every time I have skipped over it now, it is coming back to me now. Now I have to watch it again.
Q: Does this game give you guys a little chance for redemption for the defense?
A: You could say that. It is a different group and I think they are going to attack us differently this year, with us having a healthy JPP, Olivier up front, they are causing havoc up there. The way our d-line played the first game, you have to honor that and respect them because it is well deserved.
Q: What do you think you proved by that? You played six, seven men in the box pretty much against their running attack and were able to pretty much slow it down. What does that prove to you guys?
A: We got off to a good start. It is so early in the season and Dallas was figuring out what they were going to do, just like we were trying to figure out what they were trying to do, they were trying to figure it out as well, I believe. We got off to a good start, but when you turn on the film, we made a lot of mistakes. Personally, myself, who tries to be as detailed as possible and expects nothing but greatness from these guys in the locker room, you demand a higher standard from the guys and we all see it and we are going to continue to get better at it.
Q: How much difference does it make if you can stop the run without having to put extra resources toward it?
A: It is huge and this week it is going to help us out when you are going up against such a dominant aerial attack.
Q: What did you take out of last weekís game? The fact that they had the ball a lot, but didnít score a lot of touchdowns?
A: We were resilient. I felt like we were a resilient group and not at one time did I feel that at any point of the game that we doubted that we were going to win the game, even though we were down late in the game. Heading into the fourth and in the fourth quarter, I didnít feel like there was any doubt from anyone on the team, offense or defense and I donít know if I can say the same about last year.
Q: When you have a QB that throws 350 yards and six touchdowns and no picks, and loses the game, there are a lot of things that can pull teams apart. As a defense last year, was there any responsibility that you felt, losing the game but you almost looked at Eli like it could have been a game that he walked around remembering.
A: Yeah, that sucks. When you go back and look at it, it's like, you look at one side of the ball, straight Giants offense, youíre like that had to be a big win. Not that you lost by three points. That's all on the defense though. We didn't stop them at all, any time at all during the game. Two minutes, they were going on the field...it was just a bad performance and something that we canít have this year, because it won't be close, you know, 52-49 or whatever the score was of the game last year. We were lucky that we scored that many points because of such a great quarterback we have on our side. But, defensively we were atrocious last year and we can't do that ever again because we're not going to win no games like that.
Q: Is Drew Brees one of those guys that can get rid of the ball very quickly? He seems to just get it out...
A: Drew, his intangibles are immeasurable. Like, he's unbelievable. He's not that tall, you know, people always talk about. But he gets the ball down the field, he gets the ball to guys he needs to get it to. He doesn't play small, he plays big. He plays like a big time guy all the time and he's always down to make that perfect pass, the perfect play. If he has to check to a run, he would do it. He's such a cerebral player and he has full control over his offense and no one operates like. There's only a couple guys in the league, I'm talking about, there's talented guys, Cam Newton is talented, and you know thereís guys up there that are supremely talented. As in overall captains and generals of a team, offense, there's no one better than him. I mean, we got a great guy here, let's not get that twisted. But, I mean, Drew's thrown for 5,000 every year and that's not because he's got good receivers in the offense, it's because of him at the end of the day, it's because of him.
Q: After last yearís game, did you or the other defensive players feel the need to apologize to guys on the offense.
A: No, not really. I mean, the play should speak for itself. As in, we played bad one week and then the mindset in practice, you know when you go out there the first day. Tomorrow's our first day in practice, the mindset in practice should be established. That should be what you're going to do about the last game. That's what you do, you don't say apologies and say, ĎI'm going to be better, guys.í You show you're going to be better, youíre more detailed, you put in the time, you study harder, whatever you need to do, weight room, whatever you need to do, treatment, you do it. Then the next week, hopefully you can correct that. And that's a collective effort that starts individually and it expands throughout the team.