S Jabrill Peppers -- September 26, 2019
Q: Why was the second half the last two games so different than the first for this defense?
A: Weíve just got to come out better. I donít think itís any one thing, but just how we come out. I really canít put my finger on it, but I do know that if we come out like we come out in the second half, weíll be in a lot of ball games in the first half, much more so than we are.
Q: Does that mean youíre indecisive early in games, or not aggressive enough?
A: I donít think itís that because I think we come out with the right intentionóaggressive, ready to go. Either I donít know the word for it or I just donít know how to put it into words, but thatís just what it is. Weíve just got to get out of that habit. Thatís hard to do in the National Football League, is keep playing from behind. Especially now weíve got a rookie quarterback, weíve got to try to give him the greatest field position possible, donít let him go out there with a 10-point, 14-point deficit. Just come out there the way weíre supposed to and keep games close in the first half, and then come out like we do in the second half, and I think things will start going our way.
Q: Can Daniel Jones lift this team the way Baker (Mayfield) gave you guys a spark last year?
A: I definitely think so. I donít really like comparing guys, but Daniel came in and he showed sides that he hadnít shown before--great leadership, getting us pumped up, telling us to make sure we get him the ball back, just things like that. I hadnít seen that side of him before, so it was definitely a sight to see.
Q: He was talking to the defense as well?
Q: What do you think about your young players that youíve been sort of grooming all year? Has the game slowed down for them at all?
A: I think so. I think theyíre finally starting to see how much preparation allows you to play in the National Football League at a speed that you canít play at if you donít prepare the right way. Everybody takes their bumps and bruises in this league, I have no questions, no worries about those guys. I know theyíre going to respond the right way.
Q: (Redskins WR) Terry McLaurin has put up some very impressive numbers over the first three weeksówhat looks special about him on tape?
A: Heís fast, great feet, great route running ability, catches the ball, and heís hard-nosed. I remember when he was at OSU (Ohio State University) and he progressed tremendously. So, heís definitely a guy that weíve got to know where he is at all times.
Q: The safety on the other side of the field (Landon Collins) is the guy youíve replaced. How does that bring a different dynamic to this game? Obviously, heís been very vocal about how this game means a lot to him--do you feel like you have to show that the Giants made the right move?
A: I donít really think of it in those terms. I think of it more so that Iíve got to go out there and give it my all and show the type of player I am each and every game. This is a division game, so of course that brings more intense preparation, just a different knack for the game because we play those guys twice a year, but Iím not really thinking about all that extra stuff now. Iím just going to go out there and play football, and do whatever I can to help my team win.
Q: Do you know Landon at all?
A: A little bit.
Q: Have you talked about the change in positions, or you taking his spot, his number?
Q: When you first got here and you were looking at (James) Bettcherís defense, did you watch a lot of Landon Collins film?
A: Yeah, definitely. I had to because I play that position. But I watch a lot of guys, Iím moving around a lot back there. The more I become familiar with this defense and the more everyone becomes familiar with it, we can be interchangeable. One guyís here, one guyís here, weíre all on the field, weíre all playing different positions, so I definitely had to watch him, and also a couple other guys.
Q: How much does their somewhat uncertainty at quarterback affect your preparation?
A: Not really. Weíre going to be prepared for whoever we play. I think weíve got a great game plan for whoever they want to go with. But theyíve got playmakers that we have to account for, too, so those guys, whoever they put back there, they can get the ball to those guys, so weíve definitely got to be on our keys.
Q: How hungry are you to start making splash plays?
A: Iím very hungry, but one of my problems was trying to force, trying to do too much, instead of letting the game come to me and letting things happen for me naturally, instead of pressing the issue. I want to make those splash plays, but Iím not going to be pressed and try to do more than what Iím asked to do, because then Iím going to get out of position a lot and things like that. So, Iím just going to let them come to me.
Q: Have there been opportunities for those plays that youíve missed?
A: I think a couple, yeah. I think a couple.
Q: Do any come to mind right away?
A: I knew the--it was only like a five or six-yard gain when we played the Bills, and I knew that little RPO was coming, I think it was 85 who caught the ball. Typically he was their blocking tight end, but those guys self-scout themselves as well, so I knew he was going to eventually release. I second-guessed myself, got there a little bit too late. So, thatís definitely one. There was one more, it was in man-to-man, though, and I knew the route was coming, but I didnít know if they were going to do a double move or not, and I was a little late to the ball, but it was a catch-tackle, so it didnít really hurt us too much, but I felt like those plays that I couldíve made directly changed the game.
Q: What changes as a defense when a team is without their start running back?
A: It definitely hurts, but we have Wayne Gallman, bringing up Jonathan Hilliman, and those guys are very capable. In this league, itís the next man up. Injuries happen, no oneís going to feel sorry for you, youíve got to find a way to win.
Q: Iím saying though as a defense, if you were going against a team without thatólike what are the Redskins thinking right now?
A: I donít know. I know that weíre coming off a win, a couple guys had 100-yard games, so I would imagine theyíre going to pay those guys close attention and try to be sound in the run game. I canít really say what their game plan is or how theyíre thinking, but generally speaking, I would imagine thatís how theyíll go about it.
Q: Do you pay attention at all to the league stats where it shows that the Giants are last in every statistical category on defense? Is that motivation for you guys to play a little bit harder?
A: Itís definitely motivation. Iím not going to say I go looking for them, but I see them, and as a defense you want to be toward the top of that list. So, it definitely motivates you to go out there and play better.