Head Coach Ben McAdoo
October 18, 2017
Opening Statement: Have an excellent football program coming in here on Sunday afternoon. It’ll be a great challenge for our football team. We have to be on point with our preparation, especially our mental preparation this week coming off of a west coast-type trip. Offensively – they’re led by one of the best leaders in the ballgame, Russell Wilson. He throws with accuracy, has a great touch on the ball. He does it from inside and outside the pocket. We know he can extend plays. He does a good job creating on the move with his feet. He gets better as the game goes on, which will be a big challenge for us. Surrounded by a lot of playmakers – guys with size, guys with speed and some guys with a combination of both. (Doug) Baldwin and (Jimmy) Graham are two of his favorite targets. They have four very talented backs around him when they’re healthy and their offensive line is working to gel as a unit, fixing some injuries there.
Defensively – they’re a very good tackling team. They’re fast, they’re physical, they’re a confident unit. You can see that as the series go on, as the game goes on. Very confident in each other and it shows. They’ve played a lot of football together. (Michael) Bennett, (Cliff) Avril and (Frank) Clark are dynamic defensive ends up front for them and (Sheldon) Richardson and (Jarran) Reed are a strong duo inside. Very physical players and good with their hands. (Bobby) Wagner, (Earl) Thomas, (Kam) Chancellor and (Richard) Sherman – they cover a lot of ground for them on the perimeter in their cover-three scheme and they’re playing a lot of man-to-man as well. They’re special players indeed.
Special teams – (Tyler) Lockett is a dangerous returner – has been since he got into the league. (Bradley) McDougald is a productive player and a challenge on coverage teams and Jon Ryan can still boom the football as the punter.
With that, we’ll open it up.
Q: CB Eli Apple was excused today?
Q: What happened?
A: Personal. Personal reason.
Q: Did you know about it ahead of time?
A: Knew about it ahead of time. Yes.
Q: Do you expect CB Eli Apple back tomorrow?
Q: What was it like to have CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie back at practice?
A: It’s great to have DRC back. Had a lot of energy. Welcomed him back with open arms.
Q: Why did you decide to welcome him back this week?
A: It was a decision we decided. Welcome back. We’re glad to have him back.
Q: Are you confident that any difficulties are in the past?
A: Absolutely. Great day today. It’s good to see him back.
Q: Did he need to prove to you or show you anything in the meeting for you to welcome him back?
A: We’ll keep our private meetings private and personal meetings personal, but it was great to have him back today.
Q: What’s your message to the team right now?
A: Last week was last week. This week – mental preparation is a big part of it. We need to be where our feet are. We need to stay in the moment – focus on our preparation and we know our formula and we need to stick to it.
Q: The Seahawks have had trouble moving the ball. Does anything in particular jump out at you?
A: I think they’ve used a variety of backs and they have some different combinations up front as well, but it’s key each and every week for us. We need to be focused on stopping the run game. We know they have some talented backs. We know they’re coming off of a bye week and they probably have worked on the run game and we know the quarterback can pull it at any point in time. So, we need to be ready for it.
Q: Seattle has given up six (explosive?) running plays on defense. Last year they only gave up four. Did anything change back there other than personnel or is it luck?
A: No. I think they faced some pretty good running teams. Tennessee just jumps into my mind, but they look good on defense. They’re coming off of a bye week. (Sheldon) Richardson is a guy who’s acclimating to the system and seems to be doing so very well. (Jarran) Reed is a guy that’s very talented inside. We know their defensive end positions are very talented. (Bobby) Wagner can cover a bunch of ground for them and they’re talented. We have our work cut out for us.
Q: What kind of schematic challenges do the Seahawks present after a bye week?
A: I mean, they may have some wrinkles. They may dust some things off. They’ll be fresh legged. We have to start fast in the ball game like we did last week. That’s important.
Q: What kind of challenges does their secondary present?
A: When you look at each individual player – they’re talented. But, their strength is they’ve been in the same scheme for a long time. They’ve been in the same scheme a long time together, so they fit together like nuts and bolts and they seem to communicate very well. They challenge each other very well. You see that whether it’s seeing them play live or seeing them off of the TV copy. They’re a well-led group.
Q: What was the energy like today at practice?
A: The energy today – we brought them in, we had an early start to today. It was a transition-type day for us coming off of the trip we just came off of and we had half-speed, half-mental with our practice today. So, the energy was good initially. We slowed it down a little bit at the end – gave them a chance to cool down, gave them a chance to get some extra mental reps. But, we practiced well. We did practice well.
Q: How hard is it to get everyone on the same page with a dramatically different offensive formula?
A: Well, to me it’s the type of integrity we have in our locker room. We have players who aren’t selfish. Talented men of integrity who want to win football games, and I believe they all see the best way for us to win football games is to be physical in all three phases, heavy-handed, stop the run, run the ball, get timely conversions and timely stops on third down and play good special teams play.
Q: What adjustments does QB Eli Manning have to make to the formula?
A: Again, Eli wants to win as bad as anybody in that locker room and he’s thrown the ball plenty in this league, but wins are tough to come by and we have to do what’s best for the team and we will.
Q: Did you take over the play calling last week at the end of the game for the four-minute drill?
Q: What has clicked for the running game?
A: I’ll say first thing, you know, the guys up front are playing physical. They’re playing with the right mindset. That helps. The tight ends and the receivers are blocking for them. The tight ends are a big part of it and the receivers sticking their nose in there is a big part of it too because it takes – it’s the ultimate team game. It takes all 11. Eli (Manning) does a good job directing it. The backs are running big. They’re running big. They’re running heavy. They’re running physical. Sometimes it’s not the cleanest picture, it’s not the cleanest read, but they’re not afraid to hit it and fall forward for a few yards.
Q: Yesterday at the NFL Owner’s Meetings Giants’ Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch spoke to us about the play-calling decision. Was that something that you have been moving towards for a while or something after the Chargers game?
A: Early last week, I made a decision that I wasn’t going to call it. So, the office next to mine is Mike Sullivan’s. I walked into Mike Sullivan’s office, I said, ‘You’re calling it this week.’ Jerry (Reese) is down the hall. I walked down to Jerry’s office. I said, ‘Jerry, I’m not calling it this week. Sully is calling it.’ Then I walked down to the quarterback room. I said, ‘Hey Eli, Sully is calling it this week.’ And, that was it.
Q: What did you see from WR Sterling Shepard today?
A: Practiced well.
Q: Any indication of any hitches?
A: Looked better than he did last week.