NYG Postgame (vs. Jets) Transcripts: CB Corey Ballentine -- August 8, 2019
Q: Your debut and you come up with an interception, a spectacular one. You fronted the receiver. I saw you do that in practice this week too, so that wasnít exactly unfamiliar to you.
A: Right. I mean, just taking it from practice and transitioning to the game was a big thing I was trying to focus on, and just improving. Coach put me in the right position, and it was up to me to make the play. So, I went out there and tried to do my thing.
Q: How was the speed of the game for you? You come from D-II Washburn. I know you had training camp. You had practice, but now this was live action. What was it like?
A: Iíve always felt like I could compete at this level and with these types of athletes, so the speed of the game wasnít too different for me. I think I handled it well, and I think Iím fast enough to keep up with them and physical enough to keep up with them as well.
Q: What did you learn about how theyíre going to call pass interference in this league? They got you for that one PI on the review, which was certainly a unique situation now that we have review in this league on PI.
A: Yeah. Itís definitely different. Iím not sure exactly how it was PI, so Iíll go and talk with my coach about it. But now that they can review it, I think itís a whole different ball game. Maybe I just need to be a little more disciplined with my technique and play the ball better. Thatís why I tried to catch the ball the second time instead of batting it away. Then I wonít have that issue.
Q: It seems as though over the last week, your star is clearly on the rise, and youíre just opening more and more eyes every time you go out on the field. Can you feel that, and how does that kind of manifest itself in your own mind as your chances to play on this team?
A: Yeah, Iím just getting more comfortable. Iím trying not to think so much and just reacting more. You know, not letting the playbook get ahead of me and just going out there and playing the game that Iíve played since the 4th grade. Itís just at a higher level now. Iíve just got to go out there and make plays. This is something Iíve always wanted to do since I was young, and now the time is here. Iíve got to just do my thing and make sure that everybody knows that I belong here.
Q: I know itís only one preseason game, but can you reflect on the pride you have right now? Youíve now played in an NFL game, even though it didnít count, and you accomplished an awful lot.
A: Iím just continuing to improve. Thatís really what I want to do. Go out here, put my hand in the pile and help this team win a championship is my real goal. Yeah, this was a game that I think I did some things well, but I think I have some things to improve on as well. So, Iím going to go back to practice, go back to the drawing board and clean some things up and hopefully I can go from here.
Q: You took the ball out of the end zone about 6 yards deep or something on the one return.
A: Yeah something like that.
Q: Did they just want you to return it, or did you just see something there?
A: A little bit of both. I think the first one, I just got a little bit ahead of myself. I was looking downfield and I was just so ready to go. The second one, I handled it a little bit better. I think they wanted to see what I could do. I think Iím back there because they know what I can do, and itís just up to me to prove it. I enjoy being back there, and Iím looking forward to doing it more in the future.
Q: Do you think that 40-yard return opened their eyes a little bit about what you can do?
A: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I hope so. Iím hoping to do it some more in the future. I just have to not get ahead of myself and take it step by step, and I think I can do some good things back there.
Q: And the interception?
A: That was just taking it from practice to the game. I think I had a couple of those in practice where I was in that same position. Just trying to transition, play good technique, and not get a defensive interference like the first one. Just make a play on the ball and be an athlete, and play the game that Iíve been playing since I was young. Just have fun with it.
Q: And when they went to the review on that one, did you know they were going to overturn it?
A: I didnít know, but I had forgot that they made that rule that they could look at the defensive pass interference. Once they had it up on the big screen, I kind of figured they might call that. I didnít really see what I did wrong, but I was just ready to go out there the next play and keep going, and make a play on the ball.
Q: You were a part of history with that. The first one.
A: Oh yeah? Well, looking forward to getting more.
Q: You donít want anymore of those, the pass interference I mean.
A: Oh no, I thought you meant the interception. Oh no, my bad, no.
Q: That was the first one to be called.
A: And Iím not sure how, so I guess Iíll look at it more when I get into the coaching room.
Q: Corey, what are some of the things youíre going to look to clean up going into practice this week, and the next game?
A: Just working on, I thinkóbecause we donít live tackle in practice, so itís hard coming in the game and getting the right angle. So, Iím just going to work on that, and just cleaning up my technique and learning the playbook a little more, getting more confident in what Iím doing, and just going out there and being confident from the start. I kind of took a little bit to warm up to the game, but then I started playing better as I got more playing time, but I just need to start faster and Iím definitely going to work on that for next week.
Q: Is it tough because thereís no tackling in practice, and then going into the first game you took some angles maybe the wrong way and techniqueóis that a big problem?
A: Iím a professional now and thatís just something Iíve got to get used to. I donít see it as an issue, but I think Iím perfectly capable of doing it. Itís just Iíve got to be more disciplined, thatís all it is.
Q: Corey, a lot of guys knock away those balls, and youíre catching them for interceptions. How do you know when to just put up one hand and knock it down, and when to go for the catch?
A: Itís hard, but Iíve been playing the position so long, you just kind of know by instincts. You kind of can tell by looking at the receiver if the ball is coming to him, his eye is getting big, the crowd gets loud, I kind of just know when to turn. Like I said, the first one I tried to bat away and they called PI, so the second one I just tried to catch itóit canít be PI that way. So, Iím looking forward to more of those.
Q: What did you do in here during the rain delay?
A: We were going over film. We were looking at plays, we were getting in formations, we were figuring out how to play them.
Q: Like sitting at your lockers?
A: We were just kind of huddled around coach, looking at the iPad, trying to figure out how weíre going to play certain things, and the older guys were kind of giving us tips on what they were doing because they started the game, and how to play them. So, thatís what we were doing to make the rest of the game.
Q: Are you running around too in here just to stay loose?
A: No, I wasnít running around. I was trying to relax because itís my first game. So, Iím trying not to let my nerves get to me, I was sitting down, I was hydrating because I knew I was going to be going out on special teams.
Q: Almost treating it like a second pregame?
A: Kind of, yes. Just trying to hydrate, make sure my body was right, Iím not cramping up, taking the right carbs and everything. Just trying to get ready to go back out there.
Q: Drinking fluids and whatever?
A: Drinking fluids, eating bananas, making sure I donít cramp, things like that, and watching film and talking to the older guys.