LB Mark Herzlich
August 21, 2018
Q: (About the helmet hit)
A: Thatís not the intent of the rule. Iím not necessarily going to do things differently from that standpoint, but we do have to be careful to know what the intent of the rule is and what plays you canít do, so thereís no realÖ You never want to be hitting with your head down anyways in any situation. Itís good when it comes to playersí safety.
Q: Do you think by the time the regular season comes around they will have seen that play in which you were penalized and realize thatís not a penalty?
A: I know that every single game we play we send in different calls that the coaches have questions on, so weíll get clarification on that at some point, maybe within the week, Iím not sure exactly. I know the league looks at every single play, regardless of a penalty or not.
Q: The way that the rule is written, would you prefer it if it becomes a reviewable play?
A: Iím not exactly sure what is going to make it work correctly. If itís easier for the refs to see it as a reviewable play, thatís one thing. If itís the type of rule where theyíve got to see it fast motion, thatís kind of how it goes. But that becomes two very different penalties where you can stop and take a replay of a flag like that. That would be very different than a bang-bang play.
Q: Wouldnít have it been smarter to maybe consider the old spearing rule and just maybe been looking for that a little more closely than to actually create a new rule with new wording?
A: Obviously looking back and saying (inaudible) this is a rule that is there for us, right, so we have to now play with that rule. To me, at the end of the day, the spirit and the purpose of this rule is right. We want our players to be safe, we donít want to be Ė we want to take the head out of the game. You see in preseason a lot of times when you get certain holding calls on punt return emphasized, itís called a replay. This could be a situation where they are overcalling it right now so you get used to it, but as players, we do have to know that they are out there.
Q: Itís kind of like the play that anybody is talking about. Have you heard from players around the league? Anybody text you, former players?
A: On social media after the game, I looked at it, people were saying things. I donít have time to watch TV right now, so I donít even know what theyíre talking about.
Q: Just for you, individually, coming back after missing all last season, kind of where you feel youíre at after these first couple preseason games?
A: I feel pretty good, Iím getting back. Iím loving working with these guys on this defense and itís great working with coach (James) Bettch. We got Bill McGovern aa linebacker coach. I really love our room. It has been exciting.
Q: That fourth down stop that you had, is that kind of indicative of the way you guys have played against the run the first two games?
A: I got the tally on the stat sheet, but four guys were hitting him. Thatís what we want. Youíre not looking to have a one-on-one fourth-and-one stop, you want to have three or four guys hitting him at the same time. Collectively, thatís a great defensive play.
Q: Every year that youíve been here, it has been kind of a battle to make the roster. How did you approach this year coming off the injury and everything?
A: Same way I did rookie year. I treat every single preseason camp as if Iím a rookie and in order to make this team as an undrafted free agent, you have to make sure you know more than everybody, you have to do extra because youíre not a shoo-in and Iím never going to be a shoo-in. I want to come out here and work as hard as I possibly can, add the most value at every position I can.
Q: You ever feel comfortable?
A: I feel comfortable because I feel comfortable with me. I donít think, in terms of a roster spot, I never am confident I have one, but Iím comfortable with who I am, what I do, so at the end of the day, I know as long as Iím doing everything I can and I believe that I can, then it will take care of itself.
Q: In a nutshell, whatís the biggest difference between the position playing inside linebacker in the 3-4 versus a middle linebacker in a 4-3?
A: Itís not too different. The last couple of years with coach Spags, especially in our base defensive fronts, we had Devon Kennard playing on the line of scrimmage in basically a 3-4 defense, so youíre seeing a lot of the same run fits and every single defense has a little bit of quirks here and there. Linebacker is linebacker at the end of the day.
Q: More pass coverage?
A: Honestly, itís about the same. You got to cover guys in both.
Q: How much does the players association stuff take away from what you do here or do you have to find time to fit it in?
A: Thereís no Ďoh, by the way, Iím doing union stuff.í You got to fit it in. Weíve had calls throughout training camp and you get on phone calls after our last meetings at 10 p.m. and you just got to get it in when you can.
Q: Anything said on anthems and things like that?
A: Weíve had the discussions with the owners and those discussions are progressing and we just are hoping to figure something out with them to have a mutually beneficial resolve for this.
Q: Youíve been around for a number of years here, so the Jet-Giant game, which is a fan kind of rivalry. Anything to it for you at all? Do you tell some of the guys Ďhey, weíre playing the Jets, itís kind of fun?í
A: Just so happens that the Jets game is also the third preseason game, which is our first game plan game. Itís just a different feel for the week where weíre trying to learn about what theyíve done in the previous two games, so youíre getting in a more of a schematic type thing when youíre going out on the field. Thatís exciting on its own because youíre not going in the game as blind as you were in the first couple. This is kind of the big game regardless of who weíre playing, honestly, in the third preseason game. This becomes the big one.