Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 7, 2017
Opening Statement: Not a lot to report. It was windy and chilly out there, which was great. I thought we had a good day of practice. I thought it was a little bit better than yesterday. We did a lot of third down, which was an emphasis. Weíll do a bunch of red zone tomorrow and hopefully by then we can wrap it up and be ready to play a football game. So with that, Iíll open it up.
Q: How do you determine whatís a good practice?
A: Gut. Truly it is. You canít see everything so I donít know until I watch the tape whether the mistakes or the techniques, where they were. Itís probably more the tempo. We didnít have to repeat as many plays, but that has been an emphasis. Weíre going to try to get the football right so if we donít get it right the first time, weíll go back and do it again and the guys have been great about it.
Q: How much time are you spending with the offense this week?
A: Yeah, not as much. In a perfect situation, I would have had time. There would have been an offseason, but I think itís smart to trust the offensive coaches going forward. I got a summary of everything early in the week, Iíll get another summary at the end of the week, and weíll piece it all together and have three phases ready to go on Sunday.
Q: Have you had to remind yourself out there that youíre not just the defensive coordinator?
A: You know, that hasnít been that much of a problem. What I have to remind myself is functioning as the head coach because I start to venture over to the defense rather than the other way around. But the staff has been great because itís a little bit different for them too and I think the players have functioned pretty well too.
Q: With Ben (McAdoo) not being in the mix anymore, obviously Sully (Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan) is taking on more. Are you looking at anyone else to help him out?
A: They all work together. But even prior again, I stay in my lane so I didnít have my nose in anybody elseís business, but from the last two or three weeks, Mike has really assumed most of that role. Iím sure with input from Ben, I donít know that for sure. Iím pretty confident in what the coaches are doing right now. I popped my head in there in some of the offensive meetings yesterday. I think those guys function well together. There is a lot of experience over there and Mike is doing a great job.
Q: How much are you coordinating with Eli (Manning)?
A: Tomorrow is Friday, the way Iíve normally dealt with a head coaching schedule is as I get into Friday a little bit later and Sunday morning, Iíll have some time with Eli to talk about game management and things. But you know, Eliís been in this business. Heís got a lot of experience under his belt and so does Mike so Iím going to rely on those guys heavily for certain things.
Q: Whatís the plan for Saturday?
A: Tomorrow wonít be a very long practice, but it will be similar to today in tempo and then Saturday will be your conventional walk through. We wonít have helmets on, but weíll walk through offensive and defensive plays. Weíll do some situational football, thereíll be some special teams in there and weíll try to get them out of the building and get them rested.
Q: Was there anything on the top of the list from the last time you were a head coach that you would have like to have done better?
A: I was trying to think of something funny, but it was going to be related to you guys. I canít come up with anything. But not really, I would have to go back. I didnít look at it last night, it was a couple of days ago and I went through it pretty quick, but there will be enough in there, I guarantee you there will be enough in there. But look, you learn as you go. There are things Iíll learn this week that I didnít recognize the last time. But I just feel blessed to be going through it in a lot of ways even though as tough as it is and I just deeply believe for our players and staff and myself that the way God works, something good will come out of it.
Q: Has there been a big change with things settling down a bit the last 24 hours?
A: Compared to the Monday, Tuesday hours, yeah. I canít even explain it to you all. Itís a difficult thing to go through because thereís emotions, and thereís people involved and itís real and yet, we know weíre in a big business. We have to move forward so weíre trying to do that and I think the guys have functioned pretty well. We got a little more work to do with meetings this afternoon. I think thatís important. Get them some rest tonight, come in tomorrow, and get a quick practice in.
Q: As you get ready for game management stuff, were you a part of that here?
A: No, no. That was the head coachís role and I thought Ben did a great job of that. Thatís all a part of the challenge. Iím fortunate that Iíve gone through it before. Now look, every game is different and every situation is different. You have to go with your gut, you have to use the guys around you and weíll do that. Hopefully weíll make the right decisions going forward.
Q: Is everything this week about Sunday and then you exhale?
A: Right now, yeah. Then you take a deep breath and move onto the next one. I got scolded last night because Maria (Spagnuolo) said I better get home and get more sleep. Sheís right, I mean she is right. That is a big mistake I can make because you think you have to work more and work more. But Iím going to give it everything I got and do that and get through Sundayís game. And then you just re-load, take a deep breath and get ready to do it again for the next one.
Q: Are you worried about the team crashing at some point on Sunday?
A: I didnít know that was what you were asking. I donít feel like weíre overexerting them, I really donít.
Q: What happens third quarter Sunday when the emotions are gone?
A: I will say this, that the way I have always functioned in this league and Iím just being honest, I would hope that every week everything goes into that game. Really, in all honesty, theyíre all important. There are only 16 of them. Hopefully that doesnít happen. Hopefully weíll have enough juice going forward, but it has been a little draining.
Q: Where does Eli Apple stand right now?
A: Itís been back, itís been hip and groin. He just doesnít feel right, right now so itís a day to day thing, it really is.
Q: It seems like Sterling Shepard is headed in a positive direction and Justin Pugh the other way?
A: That would be a good assessment. I talked to Justin yesterday, he went out there, and I think he went and had another MRI. I donít have any information back on that. Sterling Shepard is headed in a positive direction. He did some things today so hopefully weíll get him back knock on wood.
Q: And Jasonís (Pierre-Paul) hand?
A: We havenít done a lot with him this week because we donít want to stick that in there, but weíre hopeful that heíll be able to go. Weíll see what he can do tomorrow.
Q: Itís his damaged hand, right?
Q: Was the gut call to go to Eli Manning, did any of that have to do with emotional part of the game and dealing with real people?
A: My guess is itís all wrapped into that. Consciously I wasnít thinking like that, I just wanted to do what was best for the team as a coach and it probably comes with a little bit of my experience with Eli and all of that was wrapped into it. Look, we made the decision, weíre going to go forward. I think the guys have functioned well with it. I thought the offense functioned pretty good. There are some things we got to iron out a little bit from practice, but weíll see how we do.
It's not you.
Regardless of his qualities/success as a coach, he does not set off the BS meter and comes across as honest and informed. One of the frustrating things about this season, for me, is that the transcripts of the opposing coaches were interesting and informative, while the Q&A from our coach was not.
He talks with a genuine fan like passion and just kind of shoots the shit, he's cool.
I think he may end up as a better head coach than a coordinator in his career. I think he is a leader.