G Kevin Zeitler
November 9, 2020
Q: This thing you guys do where to rotate three tackles and whenever Will comes back, you Will and Shane at guard. It’s very unusual. Why do you think it’s working? Why is shuffling guys in and out working for you guys?
A: I do agree, continuity is a big piece. We also have a unique situation. We have a lot of young O-linemen in the room, very talented O-linemen. I think given how the season has started, I think the ability to get them in there has been really good for us. Obviously, as you saw, Will unfortunately had to be gone for two games. Shane, even in practice to be able to rotate in and get reps, he was able to step in and go right away. It’s not like we missed a beat. I think it’s big because it allows Us to prep and know if any injuries happened down the road, I think it’s going to be good for us.
Q: I know you guys have to strike a balance between acknowledging this a big game coming up for the division and treating it just like it’s the next game. Where are you straddling that line?
A: It’s the New York Giants versus the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s always a big game. It’s a very talented front over there. We’re always up for a challenge.
Q: How aware are you of what’s at stake here? What a win would mean for you in the standings.
A: Obviously, it’s a big game. We know where we’re at, we know where the division is at. Obviously, every win in the division is a big thing.
Q: There’s a winless team here in New York. You were part of a winless team. Do you root for other winless teams to get a win? Do you want other teams to have those lessons?
A: The way I see it is, it’s hard, no matter what a team like the Jets is going through, they are still a talented team and it’s the NFL. Any given Sunday that can change just like that. It’s all good.
Q: After losing Saquon you guys had to change some things up front with how you block. Can you talk about that difference? Was that more Marc Colombo, Jason Garret, how you guys had to change a lot of the stuff you’re doing up front?
A: I think it was just a group effort. I think it was the coaching staff, the players all figuring out what we need to do to move forward. You never want to lose a guy like Saquon. He’s unique and one of the best of the best out there. I’ve been very happy with the way our running backs have been playing. They’re all playing hard, they all have their unique style. They’re all getting the job done and that’s very good for us as a team.
Q: You’ve come in after games, after losses and have to go through the corrections and things like that. When you go through a day like today after a win, I don’t know if easier is the right word but how different is it?
A: It definitely helps. Coming in after a win, it just has a better vibe in the building. It always helps push you forward. Obviously, you can never let that be a distraction. You have a lot of things to fix and we need to keep working every day to get better.
Q: What was that one practice like when basically the entire offensive line was quarantined? You were the only starter on the field and there was all the uncertainty about who would actually be able to play in that game?
A: It was a fun practice. It was me and three other guys. It was kind of funny given the way this year has gone. We expected something might happen but until it actually happened it was pretty crazy. I think more impressively than anything, we had a great day of practice. The guys who were there worked hard, the whole team. We got a lot of great work in and we didn’t miss a beat. I was very proud of that fact about our team.
Q: I’m curious how you handled last week with the trade deadline and how you approached that mentally? Your name was one of them that was out there a little bit? ‘m curious how you approached it and if the team came to you and said this is where we’re at, or we’re not trading you or whatever it may have been.
A: About all that, I did not hear much at all in the building. I knew nothing about anything. I had only seen rumors pop up in the paper or what not. I hadn’t heard anything. Obviously, nothing came of it. I’m glad to be in New York, I’m happy to be here and to keep continuing to build this O-line.
Q: What’s the difference in your opinion between the O-line in Week 1 and Week 9 or 10?
A: I think the biggest thing is we’ve had that continuity. Unfortunately, the first part of the season was our continuity building. The new coaching staff, new offense, new O-line coach. OTA’s obviously would have been very helpful for us this year but hey that’s just not how the world worked. I think the more we have been able to play against competition, kind of like I said earlier, we’re figuring it out. Things are starting to click here and there. It’s starting to build the group up all together.
Q: Can you give us some thoughts about the communication process with Nick (Gates). Obviously, this is his first year as a center. When you have had to line up next to Matt (Peart) how they have communicated. Sometimes I know that can be a little shaky with young guys.
A: They’re both doing great. One thing I was really impressed with, especially when Matt and the other rookies came in, they were very prepared. They were very smart and really on top of the ball right away in training camp. Even OTA’s on the Zoom meetings. That’s impressive, being in this league for these last couple years having a lot of rookie classes, I would definitely say this was the most prepared, straight up. As far as Nick, I think we all knew in the O-line room Nick had talent. Obviously, he was able to make the most of it. Watching him out there, it’s pretty fun. He’s a fireball and he’s doing great things on the communication side too.
Q: Is that something that makes it easier for yourself? Being the veteran on that side you don’t have to necessarily worry about the guy on either side of you because they are so well prepared?
A: Yeah, definitely. It’s nice when everyone knows what they’re doing. It speeds up communication, it speeds up the process and it helps the whole team in general.