Running Backs Coach Craig Johnson
November 10, 2017
Q: What has been the key for RB Orleans Darkwa when it comes to his success?
A: I think that obviously the first thing is that heís had a lot of opportunities. The second, when he has had those opportunities, heís produced and heís been able to stack it. Heís been consistent. Heís played well back-to-back-to-back-to-back. So, I just think sometimes everybody gets different opportunities. Heís got his opportunities and heís made the most of it.
Q: Is it nice to see him capitalize on those opportunities?
A: Iím very happy for the guy. He epitomizes what it is to be a New York Giant. Heís had to fight his way. Heís been given nothing. Heís earned his way on this team. Heís earned his way to get the time heís done and he has, again, had a lot of success and heís stacked it. So, heís going to continue to get a chance to do that.
Q: What is his style has led to his success?
A: I think a lot of it really is that he is a very strong north-south runner. He doesnít try to dance too much in the hole. Every backís got their style, but his style is definitely more vertical and he has a tendency to fall forward a lot and heís got good speed for a big back.
Q: How has Wayne Gallman recovered this week from a tough fumble on Sunday?
A: Like defensive backs, you have to recover. You have to get over that. As a young player, weíre going to go through that. Weíre going to practice our ball fundamentals every week. We know how critical that is because it is key to the game. However, when youíre on the field, you got to play and you canít worry about turning over the ball. So, you have to trust your fundamentals and as a player Ė all the players came up to him, told him to get over it. Heís got to be able to do that. Thatís whatís going to lead him to becoming the player I hope he can become.
Q: Do you see that in his makeup that he can get over it pretty quick?
A: I think so. It really helps him I think coming from such a strong college background. Heís used to being in the spotlight and having a lot of attention on him and he has shown me that heís mentally strong enough to get through it. Thatís part of playing football. Regardless of position, but specifically if you ever have a turnover and that play is causing you problems play after play, then youíre not going to become the kind of player you want to become.
Q: Do you look at (Wayne) Gallmanís fumble as an isolated incident? How did you guys assess that?
A: What I told him when he came off the field is there is no excuse ever in my mind for a back ever to turn the ball over. I just refuse to accept that. With that being said, when it happens, you canít change the past, but you can go forward. So what Iíll tell him is you know what, donít dwell on it, move on, trust yourself, trust your fundamentals, but understand that ball security is a really critical element. But when youíre on the field, you got to play. I donít want any player being timid and being scared about playing with a football. They got to make sure they protect it and go on and help us win.
Q: Whatís the line between you canít have fumbles, but you donít want to have a kid lose confidence in himself?
A: Well, I think they all have to understand that there are repercussions because, again, ball security is really critical for our position and all positions. As a young player, Iím going to try not to break his confidence because if youíre doing that, all youíre dwelling on is the negative instead of all of the positive things heís brought to the table and heís done a lot of good things like I thought he would and I expect even better things in the future.
Q: How do you think Paul Perkins can work his way back into the running back rotation?
A: Paul Perkins, early in the season, I think he can tell you, he wasnít the Paul Perkins that we all know. He started off slow, wasnít where he wanted to be. He sat out for a while, got himself a little healthier and all I can tell you is, out on the practice field right now, Paul Perkins looks like Paul Perkins. This is the guy I know. But he understands weíve got a talented backfield and I know this, with running backs, you will always have your opportunity. So, he will get his opportunity, itís just the way things play out. When that happens, I expect him to play at the level that he was at last year, even if not better.
Q: Were you able to put a finger on what was missing from Perkins earlier in the season?
A: No, because obviously if I could put my finger on it, Iíd fix it. But, no, I canít say what it was, but I know this much: he averaged over four yards a carry the year before. He wasnít at that pace this year, for whatever reason, I donít know that reason. But I know this, this past week, he looks like Paul Perkins.
Q: Has Perkins been more decisive on the practice field?
A: This week, definitely. Heís playing at the speed that I expect him to play at.
IMO the coaches did Perkins a disservice by anointing him preseason. Instead of getting the ball and letting instincts take over he started to think too much - "I don't want to lose my job" (remember Gallman's off the cuff comments in response to a reporter's question - when you think; that's trouble."; probably something heard in the RB room.)