Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 29, 2017
Opening Statement: Just got done with the Friday practice. Heavy red zone, got a little bit of coolness in here because we opened it up so we got a little acclimated to the weather. Hopefully weíll get outside for our walkthru tomorrow just to get that feel. I feel good about it, anxious to play the game on Sunday, looking forward to it. With that, Iíll open it up.
Q: Was it good to see Dave (Gettleman) around the building today?
A: Yeah, just real quickly I got to go in and shake his hand and at least I know now that I got one other person that understands my Boston accent. We can both be speaking the same language.
Q: What was your conversation like with him?
A: It was quick because I was actually going to a meeting and he was just getting settled in. I gave him a big hug and it was good to see him, good to see him. Weíll get a chance after this here to spend some time.
Q: What was it like working with him in the past?
A: Yeah, heís a joy to work with. Down to earth, football guy, knows ball. Talks football, loves football and I can appreciate that. I like being around people like that.
Q: Did the hiring of Gettleman lift the spirits in the building? Instead of someone getting fired, someone got hired?
A: I would think so. Get a Giant back in the stable so to speak. I would think so, yeah.
Q: John Mara just said again that you would have a chance to interview for the head coaching position, does that in any way gain a reaction?
A: Yeah, I mean Iíve said this before and I do stick to this, I put the blinders on and Iím focused on one thing. Itís nice to know that thatís said, but weíll worry about that when the time comes. Iíll say it again, itís all in the good Lordís hands and Iím good with that.
Q: Was it tough sitting out Evan Engram for the last game?
A: Oh yeah. Look, he really wanted to and when I say that, his mind wanted to, but his body is not going to let him right now. I forgot to mention this that Geno Smith was not at practice today. Heís going to be a dad here soon so he was excused from practice. Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that.
Q: You donít have your top four receivers out there from the beginning of the season, did you ever think to not throw Eli (Manning) out there?
A: No. Eliís a competitor. Iím sure heíll tell you that heís willing to go out there and lead this team and this offense with anybody. I just think thatís how he feels. I didnít have that conversation, but thatís my guess. But youíre right about the wide receivers, but itís a great opportunity for these young guys. I thought a couple of those guys had a real good practice today. I hope that carries over.
Q: How do you think guys like Marquis Bundy and Derrick Mathews responded to possibly getting their first NFL action this week?
A: Really good during practice. Derrick, heís been here a couple of weeks, but heís built thick and low as a linebacker and leverage in special teams is really important. He moves real well so Iím looking forward to seeing how he does. And Bundy, thatís a big wideout, thatís a big target. Hopefully heíll be an advantage for us.
Q: What do you think has gone wrong on defense being that you rank last in total defense?
A: You know Iím not big on stats. The one stat Iím not really big on is total yardage. In my opinion, there are so many more indicators of good defensive football. Now we have struggled. Iíll give you an example, in New England, they play really good defense. Bill (Belichick) does a great job, but itís not about total yardage up there either. Itís about situational football and winning games and points allowed and thatís usually what we focus on. To me, that doesnít mean anything. If we were number one in total yardage, it wouldnít help us going into this game.
Q: Are those the indicators? Points allowed?
A: All different ones. We have a certain number that we use, certain categories that we use and when we do it, we take the things that most directly relate to keeping points off the board and those are the ones that are the most important to us.
Q: What is the message knowing that this is the last time that these guys will be out here together as this group?
A: Itís inevitable in this league and really any team that is going out there thatís not going to the playoffs is in the same situation. This group of however many it is, 60, 70 whatever it is, coaches included, itís never the same. There are always going to be changes and thatís part of working in the NFL, part of being in the NFL, but you cherish the relationships and those usually go forward.