Head Coach Ben McAdoo
December 28, 2016
Alright, tough challenge this week in the division. Offensively, Kirk's playing at a high level. Heís seeing the field, moving in the pocket well, we know he can make all the throws. Their offensive line has gelled together nicely. Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson provide a strong one-two punch at the running back position and they're loaded on the perimeter with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder. Crowder is really playing well for them.
Defensively, their 3-4 scheme, they have a ton of pass rushers, Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy and Chris Baker. Will Compton does a nice job directing traffic. Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland are both playing at a high level.
Special teams, they're an aggressive unit, they'll take some chances, as we saw out here in the first game, and Jamison Crowder is a dynamic returner.
Q: How do you plan on approaching this game with potentially resting guys?
A: We have 53 on the roster, we're going to activate 46. We have to go down and win the ball game.
Q: Are they going to be your normal 46?
A: Yeah, we're going to play to win the ball game.
Q: When you were in Green Bay, Mike McCarthy rested guys when you were locked into a spot. So what makes you change that up?
A: We're going to play our players and go win the ball game. That's what we're focused on.
Q: So Eli will play the whole game?
A: Eli's going to play the game, yes.
Q: Are you going to approach it based on health status and maybe put guys on a snap count?
A: Yeah, the injury report always figures, but we have one roster. We don't have two rosters. We're going to play the players active in the ball game.
Q: To clarify, you said Eli will play the whole game?
A: Eli's going to play the ball game, yes.
Q: Would it mean anything more to keep a hated division rival out of the playoffs?
A: Hate is a strong word. We have a division challenge this week. They're a good football team. They're going to be hungry, we're hungry. It'll be a heck of a ballgame.
Q: We haven't really talked to you much in the last few days. Since we talked, your team clinched a playoff spot. How do you approach that, how satisfying is that and how do you celebrate that with your team?
A: We'll take it one week at a time. Talked to the team, told them it's exciting to earn a 17th game. Can't play that game this week, we can only play one game this week and Washington is on the schedule.
Q: Does the way everything turned out in 2011 when you were in Green Bay and they rested guys. Does that at all play into your decision here?
A: 2011 in another city has no impact on what we're doing here.
Q: Compared to what you've seen from your offense, where would you like to see strides made Sunday?
A: We were excited about the opportunity to play on Thursday. We had 88 attempts at the plate, had a chance to move the ball a little bit. We need to finish drives better, finish plays better and finish the game better. So we need to finish.
Q: What else did you learn from that game? Historically, that's not a desirable number of passing attempts (63) in terms of earning a win, for example, and you were running the ball at times pretty well. Did you take some lessons from that game?
A: Our run-to-pass ratio in the last four games has been favorable on first and second down. When you look at the ballgame, 40-45 of those attempts were in situational football. We didn't get a ton of first downs on first and second down, we had a lot of third downs in the ballgame. And when you have 88 plays, you're going to have some throws in there, so I'm comfortable with it.
Q: You are going to have 10 days between games. Do you think your players have taken advantage of the extended time off?
A: Absolutely, every team plays a Thursday night game. It was good for us to get away from football a little bit after the game, spend some time with our family and the holidays, and get refreshed, recharge the batteries, get ready to go. We had a good day today out there in the elements and tomorrow we'll have a chance to get physical with the pads on for a little bit. It's good to be back.
Q: Do you think the Thursday night game came at the right point in the season?
A: The last one of the year. It's subjective.
Q: Is it important to put together a better effort on the road going into the playoffs?
A: We're going to prepare to win the ballgame. It's always good to play well, no matter where you're playing.
Q: How is Janoris Jenkins' back coming along?
A: He was limited today.
Q: How close was he to playing against the Eagles? Saw him working out before the game, how close was he to playing Thursday night?
A: I didn't feel he was ready; we didn't feel he was ready.
Q: Is there a balance there with a guy like that with deciding whether it's worth it to play him in this game or get him even healthier?
A: We'll have to see if he's ready to go.
Q: Are you more inclined to err on the side of caution?
A: This is pro football. We get paid to coach and paid to play. That's what we do, it's what we do for a living. Another game on the schedule, it's a division game, it's an important game.
Q: Did losing in Philadelphia create an extra need to win and create momentum this week in Washington?
Q: Over the last seven games, in five of them, you've run the ball for 100 yards or more. What's been the biggest difference, improvement, you've seen in the running game over that period?
A: We're committed to it. We're comfortable and confident in our ball carriers. The offensive line is working hard, the tight ends are improving, the receivers are working at it; they understand how important they are in the grand scheme of things. We had a couple of runs that could have come out on Thursday for big ones and we need to finish better on the perimeter and that's the focus for us.
Q: How important is it to be an ascending team in the playoffs? Do you think youíre an ascending team right now?
A: I think that itís important to take a step forward this week and how we play on offense, defense and special teams. I think every week is a new week and every team is a different team. You have to prepare for each week, itís a new week every week.
Q: I know you donít know your opponent yet, but does anything this week have to do with the 17th game?
A: Upstairs, it does.
Q: On Saturday, were you watching games? What was your reaction when New Orleans won?
A: I was shooting hoops with my kids on Saturday. I spent a little time at home on Saturday afternoon, so that was good. Other than that, had the opportunity to watch a couple of ball games. Iím happy for the Saints, it was a big win for them.
Q: Now that youíre in the playoffs, do you view that as an accomplishment?
A: Weíre fortunate to be able to play a 17th game when it gets here. Until then, weíre focused on Washington.
Q: Can you talk about Paul Perkins. He looks like heís getting to the point where heís more comfortable, heís ready to break a big one?
A: Heís a young back, heís learning each and every week. He had some ups and downs today in practice, but we expect him to get better as the season goes on.
Q: I know you said momentum is not a factor for you. You play to win the game, thatís why youíre going to play this week. Considering there are potential benefits of resting, I guess Iím wondering why play to win the game?
A: Thatís what we do for a living. We only have 53 players on our roster. Itís tough to go through a game if you rest your starters. We think we have 53 starters. Everyone plays a role on the team and you go in, you have an opportunity to play this week, we have to win the game this week.
Q: Why risk the guys that are banged up then? Not necessarily your starters, but guys like Jonathan Casillas who for the three days going into last week was stuck in a bed with his knee. Why not give him the extra time if thatís an option?
A: If players are cleared to play and healthy, weíll play them.
Q: Some of your players have expressed they do want to play on Sunday, does that factor into your decision at all?
A: Yes, I mean thatís what they do for a living. They like to play games, games are fun, practices are work. Games are fun, thatís what we do for a living and itís exciting. We have an opportunity to go play a division opponent, weíre 7-1 at home, they knocked us off at home. It will be exciting to go down to Washington and play a game.
Q: How is Jason Pierre-Paul progressing?
A: Heís getting better; I havenít had an update on him recently.
Q: Are you seeing him? Obviously youíre focused on whatís in front of you?
A: Iíve seen Jason (Pierre-Paul), yes.
Q: Any idea when he could get back?
A: When they tell me. Itís a medical question.
Q: Back in September when you saw the Redskins, so much was made about Odell (Beckham) and Josh Norman, we asked you too constantly. This time around, I donít know if itís an understated storyline for you to even pay too much attention to it. Do you have to say anything to Odell (Beckham)?
A: No, our focus is on our football.
Q: Given that the game after this one will be extremely important, do you have any concern with Odell (Beckham) that he might do something that will hurt his chances?
Q: Do you have a preferred opponent in the playoffs that youíd like to see?
A: Weíre excited to play Washington this week. We have some coaches upstairs that are working on some things for down the road. Weíll be ready to play whoever we play in that 17th game.
Q: What do you want to see out of Eli (Manning) this week?
A: We want to take steps as an offense, we want to move the ball and finishing drives just better. Finish throws, make good decisions, and take care of the football. The Dukeís like a bar of gold this time of year, and we need to take care of the ball, thatís the most important thing.
Q: Youíve gotten to know Eli (Manning) pretty well, but youíve never seen him as a playoff quarterback in person, as his coach. Do you notice a pep in his step at all now that heís going back?
A: Unfortunately, I saw him twice. Again, weíre focused on Washington.
Q: Coach, with the Pro Bowl selections, the Giants had four players go, what can you say about the seasons those guys have had? Do you believe anyone was snubbed from the Pro Bowl roster?
A: Thatís a great question. I think itís a nice accomplishment for the players and their teammates.