Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 28, 2017
Opening Statement: Let me start out saying this. Yesterday, as you already know, we suspended Eli Apple. Conduct detrimental. And, itís unfortunate and Iím going to kind of leave it at that. I know you all have a job to do. I know where the questions are going to go. I hope you can respect the fact that itís a family matter. Thatís the way I look at it and the other thing is there is a young man involved and Iím still in the business of restoring, rehabbing and not tearing down. This is just something that we felt we had to do at this particular time.
Having said that, practice today went fairly well. We got a lot of third down. We look forward to getting a bunch of red zone in tomorrow. Good polish up practice on Saturday and try to go win a football game. With that, Iíll open it up.
Q: What changed from when you spoke to us yesterday and then the Eli Apple announcement comes out?
A: Well, there were some things we went up and talked about and then based on all that information we made the decision.
Q: How much did what happened in practice factor in?
A: Iím not going to get into the details and why it was. It was conduct detrimental. Accumulation of things. Made the decision to do it.
Q: What do you do moving forward to try and help Eli Apple?
A: Good question. I will say this. I donít know that I have that answer, but I know that there will be efforts to do that. Heís part of our football team. Heís a teammate and heís still a New York Giant.
Q: You were so positive about the conversations you had yesterday morning with him.
A: Youíre right. Youíre right. Yeah and what I told you yesterday, thatís the truth. I thought it was very productive and positive and unfortunately went in another direction.
Q: When you spoke to us yesterday did you know Eli Apple was going to be suspended?
A: No. No. That came later.
Q: What time did the suspension happen?
A: I donít know. I donít want to get into a timeline thing. The bottom line is we had to do this. Nobody feels good about it. My hope is that something positive comes out of it. Thatís my hope. I really hope that and I believe there are times when it does work out that way.
Q: Why do you think itís even possible for Eli Apple to return and play for the Giants?
A: I donít want to speculate. Iím not talking about Eli in particular. Iím a person that looks at the positive and believes anything and everything can be restored. Thatís just how I think. That might be naÔve. You may call it stupidity, but I believe that. Whether that happens in this case or not I donít know.
Q: How do you view Sunday?
A: Thanks for asking about Sunday.
Q: How do you view Sunday with so much uncertainty and do you think at all about it potentially being your last time in this spot?
A: I havenít. I really havenít. I love going in that stadium. I loved going in the old Giants Stadium. Can I tell a little story right now? So, Giants Stadium. Iíll go back to Giants Stadium. I remember when I came here from the Eagles and I had been in the Vet all those years and then the Vet (Veterans Stadium) got knocked down. We were in a new building and I remember years later the guys that complained about working in the Vet were talking about how great it was that we were in the Vet and badge of courage. So, when I was here in í07 and í08 and we were in the doldrums of Giant Stadium and we didnít have the facilities like some other teams, I remember the players saying the same thing. I said someday when Giants Stadium is gone, youíre going to be saying, ĎYeah, back when I played we had Giants Stadium. We didnít have this. We didnít have that.í And they do it now. I listen to guys do it all the time. So, I donít know how I got on that. You asked me about MetLife and all that. It just popped in my head, but Iím not thinking about last anything. Iím really thinking about trying to beat the Washington Redskins.
Q: What would one win do for this team and for you?
A: We all want to win. What it would do for me is you always, clichť or not, you always remember the last game. Whether it was last week and youíre enjoying a win and you got to put it to bed and the whole thing. But, if you win the last one itíll feel really good. I go back to 1999 when I was with the Eagles and we struggled. Now, we were a building team and all that and we went into the final two games of the season as 3-11 and won the last two games and it just carried us to the next season. Felt really good. So, weíre chasing the feeling of what it feels like to be in a NFL locker room after a win and all that goes into all that. Thatís what weíre chasing and hopefully we can get there.
Q: Personally for you, I think the locker room after the game Sunday would be a lot different with a win.
A: Yeah. I hope youíre asking me how that felt, but weíll see.
Q: How did Geno Smith handle Davis Webb going to No. 2?
A: Geno has been a pro. He believes in his ability. I do too and that wasnít any reflection on Geno. It really wasnít. Just an attempt to do something in the last week, give Davis a chance to function as a two. Thatís all.
Q: Davis Webb goes through an almost 200-throw and 75-minute warm up before games.
A: Yeah. Yeah. Itís impressive isnít it?
Q: Will Davis Webb do his traditional warm up?
A: Thatís a good question. I have to check with Frank (Cignetti). I wouldnít think. Thatíd be too much. Knowing him though, heís probably still go out. But, I would venture to say he probably wouldnít do that.
Q: So, you guys feel that there is value in Davis Webb being the back up and going through the week and not playing in the game?
A: Little bit. Yeah. Little bit. Itís going to be hard to find a lot of Ė we know. We feel like we know. Weíll see where it goes in the game.
Q: You feel like you know what?
A: We know as much as we know right now and Iím not going to look into the future. My hope is Eli Manning takes every snap on Sunday and we win the football game. Thatís my hope. If that changes, then you can ask me about what advantage or disadvantage it was. Howís that for a deal? Fair enough.
Q: If itís a close game in the fourth quarter and youíre playing to win is it safe to assume Eli Manning will stay in?
A: Oh yeah. Yeah. Thatís a safe assessment. Thatís the way weíre going about it right now.
Q: Do you have a number or amount of possessions in your head?
A: No. No. No. I donít. You guys are smarter than I am.
Q: So, itíll be just a feel if Davis Webb plays or not?
A: Yes. In the course of the game. Yeah. If that were to happen. Iím hoping Iím not even entertaining the thought. Weíre winning.