DB Nate Ebner
October 27, 2020
Q: You’re going up against a familiar opponent with the quarterback this week. What have you seen from him so far in his new uniform?
A: It’s Tom Brady at the end of the day. Obviously, I played with him a while. I know he’s a great player, he continues to be great. He’s going be a very tough opponent to prepare for as he’s been all these years.
Q: Is there anything you can bring from your experiences with him in New England that might help this defense get ready for him?
A: I know Tom as a person and played with him quite a bit, but every year brings a new year. We’re going to have to prepare for not just him but a plethora of other great players and a great team. We’re going to have to take this year for what it is and prepare of the Buccaneers of 2020.
Q: With all the craziness that’s gone on this season, is it disappointing when guys go out and they get photographed with their masks off and things like that?
A: I’m not really here to speak to that. Today we had a really good practice. I’d love to talk about our preparation for the Buccaneers. I’m focusing on right now, which is what can we do to win this game. We’ve obviously had a rough go at it and left a lot of opportunities out on the game field on Sundays to come away with a win. We’re trying to do what we can right now to come out with the outcome that we’ve worked so hard for. That’s really where our focus is at, especially mine. Preparing for tomorrow so we can do better on Sundays.
Q: Coach was talking earlier about this team laying a foundation for the future. You mentioned you guys haven’t won enough games. You’ve been part of some good teams. Do you see signs that there is a good foundation being laid here and that this team could be pointed in the right direction pretty soon?
A: Yeah, at the end of the day, it comes down to winning football games. We can say what we want about the work we put in, but ultimately, we’re just trying to get the outcome that we strive for. Everything that’s happened up to this point is out of our control and it’s behind. All we can control is what we have going forward and that’s what we try to continue to do every week. Obviously, it’s been disheartening with some of the results, but I can tell you that the work is to the maximum every week and it continues to be so. Guys really want to get the outcomes that we work so hard for. I can speak to that, the guys in this locker room, there’s no quit on this team. Guys are fighting hard for each other. Like I said, we’re going to work each day to get better. Right now, our focus this week and really tomorrow is to get better. That’s we can control.
Q: Last week the special teams had some rough patches there. As one of the leaders of that special teams unit, what kind of message do you give to your teammates about shaking that off, learning from it and moving ahead?
A: Like I have been saying, this whole team, really all we can focus on is what we have going forward. Everything that’s happened up to this point, it’s kind of out of our control, it’s behind us. We have to put our best foot forward and work on the things we didn’t do so well. Prepare for the opponent we have coming up to the best of our ability and work extremely hard at it. Go finish plays on Sundays, that’s when it counts. Like I said, everything is behind us. At this point, we have to control what we can control and that’s the Buccaneers this week.
Q: Speaking of the Buccaneers, when you look at them on tape, they seem like they are pretty complete. What do you see specifically from their special teams, which I think have been playing really well?
A: The entire team has been a great team. We have a lot to prepare for. Strong, big, physical team. They’ve been good across the board, like you said. We have quite a bit to prepare for. We’re going to have to play 60 minutes of complementary football where really all three phases impact this game for us to get a win against a really good team.
Q: If anyone in the Giants building qualifies as a Joe Judge expert, it would be you. All these years with him, certainly on special teams, really knowing him better than anybody. Neither of you did a lot of losing and this year it’s been a lot of losing. How is he handling it as Joe Judge the person you know and also as Joe Judge the head coach?
A: He’s doing what he’s always done, whether it’s been the outcome that you hope for or the outcome you don’t hope for. It gets back to work the next week and put your head to the grindstone and get after it. That’s all we can do to impact our futures. Whether we have won every game to this point or lost every game to this point, that’s all we can do going forward. Joe’s done that and he’s instilled that in the team. It’s what we expect from our leader. He’s been great with that. Like I have been saying this whole time, all we can control is what we have going forward. That’s really where our focus is at and continues to be week in and week out.
Q: Have you seen anything different with him as a head coach handling this as you knew him as a coordinator?
A: Not particularly. At the end of the day, it comes back to just getting to work. Whether as a coordinator or a head coach or as a player like myself, or whatever your role is, it’s to get to work each week. He’s done that, he’s done that for all the years I’ve been with him. He continues to do that really at a higher level even now. I just try to follow that example. Like I said, we’re trying to get back to work and get this thing right.
Q: You’ve played a lot more snaps on defense this year than you have the last couple of years in New England. I know earlier in your career you played some safety but more so this year than the last couple of years combined. Was that expected of you? Has that caught you by surprise? How comfortable are you at safety after not playing a lot of it the last couple of years in games?
A: I’ve practiced every day to play safety. I’m in every meeting like everybody else. I’ve been in the league my whole career playing safety. I try to be as prepared for it as I can be, like anyone else. At the end of the day, whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to try to step up and do it to the best of my ability. If that means jumping in a role defensively, whatever position it is defensively, I’m going to try to do that to the best of my ability because I’m trying to help us win games. That’s all that I really care about. If they want me to go play wide receiver, I’m ready to go. Whatever the teams needs from me, I’m going to do to the best of my ability. That’s really all I can do.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk any rugby with Jordan Mailata last week?
A: No, I didn’t, but that’s a big dude. He would be scary to see running the ball. Obviously, our focus was to win that game. I really didn’t even think about it until after the fact. That’s a big dude.
Q: We asked you about Tom, but how about with Rob Gronkowski? You must have covered him quite a bit in practices and things like that?
A: Yeah, quite a bit. Great player, obviously, you’ve seen what he’s done. He’s an amazing player. Physical, fast, great hands. He’s going to be a handful.
Q: Are you surprised he unretired?
A: I really can’t speak for him or anything. I don’t really project other players’ futures. I’m just happy for him that he is feeling healthy and he’s out there playing ball, doing what he loves.