Q: How’d you think your team handled this week in terms of preparation?
A: We had a solid week of preparation. Can’t wait till tomorrow. Launch day is a big day for us. Get some speed back in those legs and finalize the plan.
Q: On the Cruz touchdown, you said that the play didn’t start off the way you wanted it to and you started looking at your fourth-down call. What was it at the start of the play that you knew didn’t go right before the improvise?
A: I had my fourth-down call ready. They had a better call than we did. It’s a great example when you have two tremendous players that have played a lot of football together. Haven’t really done it in a while but they were on the same page. Vic has great body language and found the second window. It was really a good example of an extended play for us. They did a nice job playing above the X’s and O’s.
Q: For his first game in 23 months, what would be the best thing that Victor Cruz showed on Sunday?
A: He shows he can still stick his foot in the ground. Confidence. He has some confidence and that’s the toughest thing to find for a player that’s missed some time. It’s to get that confidence and that swagger back and he certainly had that. It was good to see him go up and catch a ball that was a little bit high and behind him. He turned his body a little bit to make a catch and that was encouraging.
Q: What kind of care does he need? He’s still coming back after missing two years?
A: We keep an eye on everyone’s workload. We’ve talked about that. There’s certain days we want to ramp him up and certain days we want to monitor him. You don’t want to handle him with kid gloves. You want to make sure he goes out, harnesses his body and is ready for the full season.
Q: JPP said he expects to play Sunday. Do you have that same expectation?
A: If we would’ve had practice today, he would not have practiced today. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow. He’ll have an opportunity to get out on the field tomorrow at practice and we’ll go from there.
Q: Will he be questionable?
A: He’s on the injury report, yes.
Q: Any doubt in your mind that he’ll be available in some capacity?
A: We’ll look at him tomorrow and see how he feels. See how he wakes up the next day and recovers.
Q: What happened with Olivier Vernon?
A: He’s got a sore wrist.
Q: When did that occur?
A: Sometime during the course of the Dallas game. He got a sore wrist. Practiced this week but (would have been) limited (today).
Q: Any concern with him for Sunday?
A: There’s always concern when someone is on the injury report, yes.
Q: You have some guys that are newcomers here. Vernon, Snacks and especially Jackrabbit that had really great debuts. They now get to play in front of the home fans. I was just wondering if you can sense for new guys in this defense, how important that is? That they signed big contracts to come here and deliver and this is the first chance they have?
A: If you would have been inside in our meeting, Snacks gave a great speech to the defense. He’s inspired to play well this weekend, like the other guys. I’m sure they’re excited to get out in front of the home crowd. There will be a lot of energy and electricity. We have to give them something to cheer about.
Q: What made it a great speech?
A: Very inspired, cares about his teammates. The willingness to hold each other accountable is special on that side of the ball.
Q: Was that just in the defense?
A: Just the defense.
Q: Was that something that he wanted to do?
A: I’m going to leave it at that.
Q: What is it like for you to see guys come in and fit into the team?
A: Anytime you add free agents to the mix, you want to make sure they’re your type of character guys. We brought in some great New York Giant type characters. They’ve fit in well, are pushing the group. It’s good to see we have a very good and healthy locker room.
Q: When you signed Harrison, did you know he had that type of leadership ability?
A: I think they all have leadership in their own way. They’ve all had opportunities to step up, and I give Spags credit for that. He’s given these guys opportunities to step up on Fresh Friday and they step up. They speak from the heart. It’s great to see.
Q: What have you seen from Rashad Jennings and that Week 14 stat? He’s led the league in rushing since then.
A: He’s taken the bull by the horns. He’s always taking great care of his body and I think that shows. When the run started last year at Week 14, usually backs are starting to fall off at that point. He got better as the season went on. He takes care of his body and is a great leader by example for the other players.
Q: Every week when we would talk to you we would talk about the running back situation. Do you think in hindsight that Rashad is fresher at this point and is in better shape because he was limited early on last year?
A: Last year was last year. I think he does a great job taking care of his body. Last year was last year.
Q: It was a nice week for Sterling Shepard last week. What do you say to him to keep him focused and so he doesn’t take his performance for granted?
A: You just flush last week and move on to this week.
Q: Will JPP have a say on whether he plays on Sunday?
A: Right now, if we would’ve practiced today, he wouldn’t have. We’re going to practice tomorrow and see how he recovers on Sunday morning. We’ll go from there.
Q: Did something happen that made it worse for him?
A: Not that I’m aware of.
Q: What was it like having Josh Brown back this week?
A: Great having him back. He kicked well.
Q: Did you talk to him at all since he’s been back?
A: All the discussions between Josh and I are private.
Q: What do you look at from your first NFL regular season game as head coach and say, ‘Okay, this is where I need to concentrate on getting better’?
A: As a team, we’re looking at making that jump from Week 1 to Week 2. Players and coaches. We’re all included in that. We have a chance to get better this week in the way we dictate the game and play the game.
Q: Did you speak to the team at all about the talk about a player you’ll see on Washington? Obviously after this week, that’s going to be a big focus.
A: I’m focused on this week.
Q: Are you okay with your players focusing on that?
A: We need to be focused on this week. One week at a time. One day at a time.