LB Jonathan Casillas
Postgame vs. Detroit, December 18, 2016
Q: As one of the few guys in this locker room with a championship, does it get to a certain point in the season where it starts to feel like a championship caliber team?
A: As of right now, I think that's what we're looking at ourselves as, a championship caliber defense, a championship caliber team. We're starting to get these games together, we're starting to put them together and we're finishing. At the end of the day, December rolls into January and you want to be finishing these games and when the opponent watches the film the next week, they want to see you finishing, that's a little bit of an intimidation factor.
Q: How much of that is getting yourself to believe that late in the season and getting that confidence?
A: We've been believing, especially defensively. The times we've come from behind and held on to some unfortunate situations we've been put in or the ball doesn't bounce our way sometimes, we always have that confidence and that motivation to get out there and make a play and turn the game around for us on defense.
Q: Does it help the confidence in a way when you've overcome the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul and now Janoris Jenkins? I know you don't want to lose them but to play well without them is pretty impressive.
A: Yeah, it is and I think everybody is stepping up. I think everybody is elevating their game because we're talking about two of the best players in the game, not just on our team, that we're missing. Janoris got sidelined today during the game and I think guys stepped up and that's not just in his position, guys throughout the defense did.
Q: The crowd really seemed to feed off the defense today. Did you feel that?
A: MetLife, these Giant nation fans, they've been amazing all season. We might have to get some help to play here again but we would like that to happen. They've been magnificent.
Q: Only one sack, but you seemed to have Matt Stafford off his spot today. How special was that?
A: It was good. This was a good quarterback we played against and we might see him again and he's a guy that if he gets time, he's very dangerous. You can see with Golden Tate, he had a day today and sometimes it happens but good thing, it was just only him. I don't think nobody else had a day like that and we basically bottled up everybody else. You can see how explosive their offense is just by one player.
Q: Coach Spagnuolo has been saying that it's hard to take everyone away so you have to pick your poison but over the past couple of weeks you guys have done a good job of shutting down every dangerous guy out there.
A: I think that says a lot to our defense. Some guys are playing in positions where they're soloed on certain guys and coverage. Already had one-on-one against pretty good offensive linemen and we win them. That's what it comes down to, winning one-on-one battles.
Q: When you guys made those moves in the offseason, did you know it would come together in year one or did you have a 'wait and see' attitude about it?
A: You always hope that you can get to a point like this where you're holding the last two week’s, division leaders, to six and seven points and week-to-week. You hope but you can never predict it. Hope as much as you want. Who knew we would be 10-4 at this point in the season?
Q: When it all started to come together, do you remember a certain game or practice where it all clicked?
A: I think it's a process, it's been happening throughout the year. I think the only real step back we had was Pittsburgh, but besides that, I feel like we've been progressing. It's been a step forward, a step forward every week. It's just all coming together now and our defense is really solid.
Q: On Thursday's game.
A: We know that every time we play Philadelphia, it's going be a hard-nosed, hard-fought game no matter what the record books is, no matter what time of the year we play, no matter what day we play. So we're looking for a battle when we get to Philadelphia.
Q: You'll be motivated to take care of the playoff situation that night?
A: We're going to try and win the game. Every game, we focus on winning. Playoffs, it's a thought process but we know if we handle our business, it'll take care of itself.
Q: Is there anything added knowing it's right there?
A: It's Philly, you don't have to add nothing to it! It's Philadelphia, man, playoff implications, all that. We're going to be ready because it's Philadelphia.
Q: We've seen teams in the past that attempt these rather extreme makeovers, bringing in a lot of players. What convinced you that this could work?
A: The time, the result of these games, the implications of some of these guys on these games, on these plays, making big plays. Janoris Jenkins all year long. Damon Harrison is probably the most dominant force in the NFL right now. Olivier Vernon, one of the premier pass rushers in the league and he's showing it and he was hurt the first half of the season and now he's almost unblockable.
Q: Did you have any concerns about that when you saw the mass bringing in of new guys?
A: No, not at all. I had the utmost confidence in the guys upstairs and Jerry Reese. Jerry Reese got me here and I think that was a good free agent signing last year (laughs). I think we did what was necessary to correct the last-ranked defense in the league last year and I think we did a good job.