Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
November 30, 2017
Opening Statement: The weather has been great. I mean, weíre pretty fortunate here in November. I only say that because I enjoyed being out there today. It was nice. It was good to be coaching football and on the field and outside. Having said that, Iíll just open it up and let you all fire away.
Q: Where does Eli Apple stand, was he benched and is he going to play?
A: Eli is back in the fold and depending on what package weíre in, youíll see him out there. So, thatís a good thing. Thatíll help us.
Q: Do you need him to be a starter at this point since you lost Janoris Jenkins?
A: We got a lot of guys - yeah. Thereís a lot of faces out there. I was going through the meeting Ė I think it was yesterday Ė I kept doing one of these, I thought I was in rookie mini-camp, you know, with learning the names. Thatís normally when we have a sheet of paper with everybodyís face on it, but we got to work through that. Thereís been some moving pieces. Iím praying that Jackrabbit (Janoris Jenkins) is OK. I know yesterday he had the surgery and ĎDouble Dí (Donte Deayon) had surgery. I donít know if you all know that, but Iím praying for all those guys. Weíre going to miss them. Weíre going to miss their presence, but the guys that are here are going to have to step in. Our guys that have been here that know what weíre doing, some guys that are new are going to have to learn real quickly. You know, who knows whatís going to happen in the game. We might get another shoulder, an ankle or something. Somebodyís got to go in there. So, we fight through that like every other team does.
Q: Was Eli out because he missed practice time or has he been a disciplinary issue for you?
A: I know Ben (McAdoo) has addressed a lot of that and I think thatís a head coachís subject, so Iím going to stand on Benís remarks. Iím just glad that we got him back in the fold and weíre just ready to go play a game.
Q: Did you ever think you would be here when Eli Manning was benched?
A: I never thought that way. Look it, goes without saying, I love Eli Manning and this is tough, but all I have is love for him and let the rest work itself out.
Q: Are you impressed with Eli Manning giving it his all on the scout team.
A: Yeah, I mean, Eli has always impressed me. I havenít had a chance to really see Eli since that particular announcement, but look it, just right here for Eli in my regards because weíve been together through a lot of good things and I respect him a great deal. I really do. Anything about defense?
Q: You made a joke that itís like a rookie mini-camp in the meeting room. Do you know everybody?
A: Well, obviously, I know who they are. There are some guys I havenít seen a lot, but hopefully there are guys that we brought Ė the scouting department did a great job getting some guys in here and hopefully we can fit some pieces where we need. Itís always hard when you talk about corners and being an inside guy and an outside guy and where they play. So, weíre trying to figure that out a little bit. But, weíve got guys right now. Hopefully if we keep everybody healthy, knock on wood, that have played a little bit for us. I mean, a little bit has been dictated by what (the Raiders) do, what they put out there. They are a team in the past that has had a lot of four wide receiver sets. I donít know what it will be like now, but we have to prepare for everything.
Q: What do you expect from LB B.J. Goodson at this point?
A: Well, interesting. You guys would probably know better than me how long itís been. It seems like an awfully long time since weíve had B.J. An awfully long time since you go back to Dallas when he had 18 tackles. We really miss that. I think itís hard, you know, to think that somebody can step in, especially at the linebacker position, and play 70 plays. Thatís going to be tough. Just physically, itís hard. We found that out when Kelvin Sheppard had to go in, but weíre going to try and keep him healthy and rotate some guys in there. Itís good to have him back. Love the voice out there. Heís running real well, keep our fingers crossed he stays healthy. Heíll be OK.
Q: What can B.J. Goodson bring to you guys?
A: Yeah, you know, he runs real well. Heís a sideline to sideline guy. Weíve seen that ever since we moved him to Mike linebacker. I thought he did a great job of that in the Dallas game with all the tackles he got. Then he got slowed down by the injury. I forget what it was after going into the Detroit game, but we lost him there. But, I think he runs real well. Heís a physical guy. We need all that with this particular run game weíre going to face.
Q: Is Marshawn Lynch still a dangerous running back?
A: Yeah. Mean runner. I went on YouTube. I donít know why I did this. I went on YouTube and I just Ė I donít even know how to do that real well, but there was a lot of Marshawn Lynchís videos. He scares me, you know, but I got a lot of respect for him as a football player. Loves playing ball. The way he runs. Weíve been talking about it all week. Thatís going to be target No. 1 because heís a good football player. We canít let them get the run game going. I mean, it always begins there and this is the same with this football team.
Q: Theyíre missing Michael Crabtree this week. With Derek Carr, how dangerous does that make the Raidersí offense?
A: You know, really all of their wide outs are really fast speed guys and when you put the tape on, they donít always get it there. They have a number of times. Theyíll take shots at them, but thereís guys running downfield that are open with some speed. That concerns us. We talk a lot about that. We canít allow that explosive deep play. But, I got a lot of respect for all of their wide outs because of the speed that they possess. I think theyíre a really fast offensive team. I think they were purposefully built that way and I know theyíll miss Crabtree because heís a really good football player, but I think they have other guys in there that can do a nice job, too.
Q: It seems like Landon Collins has returned to form a bit.
A: Iím glad you brought that up. I just think he feels healthier. I asked him the other day. I think you all know that heís been battling that high ankle sprain from way back and didnít miss anything. He takes a lot of pride in that. Thatís how those Alabama guys are. They just fight through it and now I think heís finally running the way he wants. I know he feels that way, so keep our fingers crossed he can stay like that.