Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 11, 2017
Opening Statement: Alright, let me try to help you out a little bit here. So, you guys are probably aware Darius Powe Ė heís going to have surgery. Landon (Collins) Ė we got to find out a little bit more on Landon, but heís going to tell you heís going to play all the time, which is what he just told me. But, weíll see as the week goes and how much work we can get out of him, but heís a little gimpy right now and really I think you know about Justin Pugh. Other than that, just a bunch of bumps and bruises. Weíll see where we are.
Today, again, you all know itís a little bit different this week. We just had them in. They just got through meetings. Thereís nothing physical. Just rehabbing. A little bit of lifting and theyíll be off and theyíll have all tomorrow off and then weíll be back to work on Wednesday.
Just a couple things on the game. Again, you know, extremely disappointed. Felt like we played 52 minutes of pretty good team football and thereís enough mistakes in there, but certainly well enough to win. Weíre in a 10-10 game with a division opponent and itís a dog fight and then all of the sudden, it turned real quickly on us and it was tough to rebound. I thought Eli (Manning) played really good football, real solid. Watched the film. Got us in and out of some things that probably only he can do because heís pretty special that way. Iím sure heíll tell you thereís a couple of throws he would like back and thatís probably true of any game. And, you know, every quarterback when youíre down one score probably feels like I want to bring the team back and get there and that didnít happen, so Iím sure heís disappointed in that.
I think you asked about the fourth and seven and the fourth and three and the decisions to punt. The fourth and seven, Iíd do again just because of how long it was and the situation. And, the fourth and three was early. I think I talked about it felt like it was going to be a field position game. So, we played it that way. In talking, these are the things that just sharing with you, like Iím talking with coach (Tom) Quinn. Thatís a tougher punt for a punter than you really think. Itís hard to get it in there, so weíll be smart going forward.
The three red zone runs that were asked about yesterday. Really, when you look at it, we got the first and 20, no problem with the first two and then really we were trying to pop one there on the third down play when they were in a two-high safety defense and it didnít work out. But, we came away with three points, which is what weíre always trying to do. Weíre always trying to come away with points. Ok, Iím sure you got some questions for me, so Iíll just open it up with that.
Q: Has there been any resolution on whether Justin Pugh will be able to play again this season?
A: Donít know that until he gets the second opinion that heís having done.
Q: Is that today?
A: I want to say tomorrow, but donít quote me on that. Wednesday.
Q: Any thoughts on shutting Landon Collins down for the rest of the season?
A: Not until I know 100 percent what heís dealing with here. It sounds like from Ronnie (Barnes) that itís a re-injury of what heís been dealing with something all year long. The thing you have to be careful with Landon is sometimes you got to protect Landon from himself. Thatís really what youíre saying. But, weíll see.
Q: How much do you weigh next year for these guys in terms of things that can linger into OTAs?
A: Injury wise you mean?
Q: Yes. I mean, you have Landon Collins dealing with stuff and Damon HarrisonÖ
A: I guess it would depend on what that injury is because, I mean, if itís a finger and a shoulder. Some of those things are going to heal naturally throughout the offseason. Now, if youíre talking about surgery, then I think you got to be smart about it. Without looking at the whole thing, I donít know if we have anybody in that situation.
Q: Whatís the deal with Eli Apple?
A: I talked with Eli before the game when we deactivated him. He sat in my office and I said, ĎLook, we need to get you going. Everybody wants you here helping us out, but this wasnít the week to do it.í He didnít get enough reps during the week. He did get some on Friday. I just didnít think it was enough to have him ready to do the things we were going to do in the defensive game plan and he understood that and the goal there as we shook hands and hugged was, Ďletís get you up and running next week.í
Q: What do you think about Eli Apple tweeting during the game?
A: Yeah, I heard about that. I had a conversation with Eli about that. I was disappointed. I told him I was disappointed. Weíll decide exactly what weíll do with it, but it was disappointing. He apologized and weíll move on.
Q: What does Eli Apple have to do because this isnít the first time heís had disciplinary action this season?
A: I guess thatís true. Some of it has been injuries. Itís been back and forth. Heís struggling. We all know that he went through a struggle personally. I mean, I think youíre all aware of that and sometimes it takes a little while to recover from that. Iím not saying that thatís an excuse, but heís got to step up, show his teammates, his coaches that heís ready. I believe he wants to and is going to do that. We just need to see him do it. Last week, it was a little bit of a groin I think early in the week and then felt a little bit better. Now, something about a back. I hope you all can understand that a lot is going on in this small brain of mine from last week, so I canít piece it all together, but Iím hopeful and optimistic we can get him going. Iím disappointed in the tweeting thing, but hopefully we can get over these hurdles.
Q: Do you sense frustration with him?
A: I think thereís some of that. Yeah. Sure. With any player, if you go through injury and then youíre not out there playing with your teammates, Iím sure heís frustrated.
Q: Eli Apple liked a tweet about a big play made against you. Does that concern you?
A: I wasnít aware of the exact tweet, to be honest with you. I got as far as the tweeting and knew that I had to have a conversation, so I canít really comment.
Q: How are you handling Davis Webb this week?
A: Probably no differently this particular week. Iíll talk with the coaches tomorrow. Tuesday is our big game planning day now with the way the schedule is. But, I will tell you this about Davis Webb and I have actually been able to have my eyes on it all during the year because I happened to walk by. He is one of the most hardworking young men in this building. Heís here all the time. Heís a gym rat and Frank Cignetti has done a great job with him and the whole year now in preparation of becoming an NFL quarterback. There are things that theyíre doing together throughout the course of the week that, I mean, you wouldnít normally do for a Ė certainly not a practice squad player. Youíre always trying to get your guys ready, but Frank has got him thinking like he could be the next quarterback in the game. I mean, heís prepped him and gets him out there before games and they go through an extensive, I think, 40-minute throwing progression workout. Thereís tapes that Davis puts together for the offense, I believe, for the quarterbacks during the week thatís keeping him in the mold. So, thereís a lot of that ongoing preparation as we speak.
Q: Is Davis Webb ready to move up this week?
A: I donít know that. Iíll have to talk with the offensive coaches.
Q: How comfortable would you be if you had to put him into a game at this point?
A: I canít answer that. I donít know that I have enough of a feel for the offense. I would have to ask the offensive coaches. I hope you guys can understand that. Itís only been however many days that I thought about offense.
Q: Are you planning to stick with Eli Manning at this point?
A: Absolutely. Yeah. Thatís a pretty safe assessment.
Q: Has the mindset changed about seeing what Davis Webb can do? The former head coach and general manager did say that?
A: Anything prior to, I was not privy to at all. I donít hear it. It keeps coming back to me like that, but I can tell you this, the way that Iím going to function, the way that I think we should function is to take this one week at a time with the goal being beating the next opponent and whatever is best to do that, in my opinion.
Q: What about having Davis Webb as the No. 2 quarterback?
A: Iím not sure what would be gained other than if something happened to the starting quarterback he goes in. In an answer to your question, there is tremendous preparation for this young man to be a quarterback in the NFL. I donít know that it, you know, Iím not sure - this is what Iíll talk to Mike (Sullivan) and Frank (Cignetti) about. Is it that much more of an advantage to have him standing on the sideline as the second than there is having him standing on the sideline as a deactivated player.
Q: What about reps during the week even in terms of Davis Webb?
A: Thatís a pretty good example. So, there you go. A defensive coach trying to figure out how to get the second quarterback ready, but Iíll talk with Mike and Frank about that.
Q: Would you consider having three quarterbacks active on gameday?
A: Itís a thought. You have to think about why you would be doing that because, look, itís hard sometimes to find enough guys in the 46 for the positions to have all the backups. So, that would be a tough one.
Q: When you said it was a pretty safe assessment that youíre sticking with Eli Manning, does that mean for this week or the last three games?
A: Well, right now Iím talking about Iím on the week by week and letís win the next game. To beat the Philadelphia Eagles right now, Eli Manning is the starting quarterback and I donít feel that changing, but I donít know what next week is going to bring.
Q: Do you feel like you already have enough information on Davis Webb and that he canít play?
A: No. No. I canít say that right now. Again, youíre asking questions I have not had the discussions with the offensive coaches about that. But, thatís a fair question. In other words, are we not moving him up because we donít think heís ready orÖ
Q: Well, are you not taking a look at him now with an eye on the NFL Draft because you already donít think heís the guy of the future?
A: I donít think thatís the case, but you got to give me some time to put my arms around it. I canít promise that thatís going to be a public thing. I mean, weíre going to function as an NFL football team. Weíre certainly not going to Ė weíre going to try to make sure the opponent doesnít have any extra info, so I hope you can appreciate that.
Q: Would you respect it being run by you if people in the organization want to see certain players play?
A: I would certainly respect that, obviously. I think we all would do that. Authority is authority. But, that hasnít happened yet. But, I would certainly respect that. Thatís our job as people that work for the organization.
Q: During the fourth quarter, there was a third down play and the pass was incomplete and it looked like a head shot and they called the penalty and they took the penalty awayÖ
A: I know which one youíre talking about, so I canít give my opinion of what I thought it should have been.
Q: Are you going to ask the league for clarification on that play?
A: I can tell you what it was because I asked (referee) Walt (Anderson) to come over after that because I was looking for an explanation. Because I was like you all. I was like, ĎWhy was it?í because they threw the flag then they picked it up and what Walt expressed to me was he had three officials that he consulted. Two of them felt that the contact was legal and one of them, who originally had thrown the flag, thought that he had gotten him in the chin, which would have been a foul. So, based on that information, he decided to pick the flag up.
The difference in press conferences is stark.
BTW he can get away with the "I don't know"s and "I have to talk with the offense guys" for a week (or two); but there's a fine line between honesty and clueless.
There are two threads on Apple on the front page of the Corner Forum. The one in particular is Titled Eli Apple Retweet.
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