LB Jonathan Casillas
December 15, 2016
Q: Does the fact that they rely so much on the pass play into your hands?
A: Not really. They have strengths and we have strengths and we're going to put them to the test this Sunday. You can't take anything from these guys, they can run the ball even though they choose not to run the ball because they have such a good quarterback. People don't talk about him, but (Golden) Tate is one of the better receivers in the league. He can change the game with one play. He has the second-most break tackles in the NFL at receiver, so he's doing a really good job and they spread the ball around.
Q: On the confidence in the Giants secondary.
A: As much confidence as you can have in anything else. The guys are playing lights out. Landon Collins is probably defensive MVP right now. Guys are playing really great and we're complementing them with a great pass rush and linebackers.
Q: Did you know Janoris Jenkins was this good?
A: I did not, no.
Q: What's your reaction been? How did you realize it?
A: The first couple of days when I saw him strapping people up. He's a tremendous football player, such a great football IQ. From where he's from, those guys are bred to play football. You can see it in guys like that. He's just a baller, straight up.
Q: You've been around this league for awhile so what was your impression when they signed this guy to a big contract?
A: That he had to be some type of player to get that type of deal. Within a few months, I realized that this dude is top tier, top 2-4 in league, and he's been proving that week-in and week-out. Dude is making incredible plays and shutting down some pretty good receivers.
Q: What does that do for the rest of the defense when you have a guy who...?
A: Makes it a lot easier, I can tell you that much.
Q: Coach Spagnuolo was saying that Eli Apple has been doing a good job too as far shutting down receivers.
A: Yeah, he has been. He had some rookie issues there like any other rookie would have, but Eli is doing very well and surprising me a lot. You're not really used to corners shooting up in there and sticking in there like that, but Eli gets up in there and hits somebody.
Q: Detroit is the definition of comeback kids and obviously they have to have a special mentality to be that way. Do you have to be aware of that and how do you count them?
A: Oh for sure. You’ve got to stay out there for four quarters-plus. You might go a little longer than four quarters because that's the type of team that they have. The offense they have, they can score points very fast and very late and they have the quarterback that's willing to do it. At the end of the day, it's going to come down to who wants it more; we want it a lot and you see that every game week-in and week-out, so you’ve got to tip off your hat to them and we’ve got to be prepared to play four quarters plus.
Q: The passing game must put a lot of stress on your linebackers right?
A: Yeah, Riddick is really good out of the backfield. I think he's got the third-most targets in the NFL. They find him a lot on third down and they find him a lot in the red zone. I think he had about five or six touchdowns in the red zone so he's definitely a viable option and he's willing to do as the quarterback is willing throw.
Q: As good as last week was, is there an attitude of not wanting to be satisfied coming into this week?
A: You can never be satisfied, you can never be content and every week gets bigger. We may not play a one-loss team this week, but it's a division leader and it means a lot when it comes to the playoffs. Every game is going to get bigger, whether the record of the team that we play against is one loss, two losses, three losses, whatever it is. The games are going to get bigger and this is the biggest game we have to date, is this one.
Q: On facing Stafford.
A: The competition in the playoffs, it's playoff level. All these guys have the potential to make it to the Super Bowl. So you have to take that mindset that every week is important leading up to it and then we get to the dance, that's it, it's the dance. You’ve got to come prepared and do everything you can to be prepared for every game.
Q: Because of how well Roethlisberger played against you guys, is there any motivation to face another elite level quarterback?
A: We're always willing to step up to the competition. Roethlisberger did what he did against us and if we had an opportunity to play them again, sometime in February, it'll probably be a little different. That's looking down the road and as of right now, we're worried about this elite quarterback that we have coming into MetLife on Sunday.
Q: If Keenan Robinson isn't able to play, how much would that affect you guys?
A: It's huge, Keenan has been a very productive player for us. He's huge and he’s been doing a really good job and hopefully we can have him out there, but if not, everybody's got to step up. We missed Jason Pierre-Paul last week, but how much did we really miss JPP (laughs), and that's because everybody stepped up. Romero Okwara played lights out, Devon Kennard played inside as a defensive tackle, defensive end and everybody played lights out. But when you miss somebody that significant, like a JPP, like Keenan Robinson that does so much, everybody has to step up.