Senior Offensive Assistant Freddie Kitchens
Q: How'd you feel like the operation went the other day?
A: I thought the operation was smooth. It's our job as coaches to make it smooth and it's the players' jobs to coordinate it smoothly once the call gets into the huddle.
Q: How different is what you're doing now compared to what you did when you had a title as offensive coordinator in Cleveland?
A: I don't think this situation is uniquely different than any other situation. It's always a staff-oriented approach to game planning to what you want to call in certain situations and things like that. I'd say it's not unlike any other situation with any staff, even before.
Q: It sounds like you reached out to the players on what they like to do and what they think can help. Why was that important to do at this point?
A: Well, I think as coaches we always try to do that. You need to get a sense and feel for what they're comfortable with. To me, why would you call something, and this is the way our staff believes, why would you call something if a player's not comfortable running it? It's your job to get them comfortable running it. If you think it's a good scheme or a good play or whatever the case may be, it's your job to get them comfortable doing it. But if you can't get them to that point, it's kind of diminishing returns.
Q: How many of the player suggestions would you say you incorporated into your game plan?
A: I think this is a never-ending process. It's constant communication. That's what we try to stress is it's communication between coach and coach, coach and player, player to coach. It's always constant communication, so I wouldn't put a number on it. So I think it's always a continual process.
Q: Speaking of comfort, (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) had never worn a wristband before, so what was the conversation like with him about doing that? How comfortable do you think he was with that?
A: I think he saw the benefits of it. Everywhere I've always been, I think they do it around the league a lot, you see quarterbacks with wristbands. It helps the communication process, but it's just like any other thing, you've got to practice that as well.
Q: Who do you expect to have at quarterback this week?
A: I expect Daniel to come out today and practice and I fully expect to it be just like regular old times.
Q: How different is a game plan with Daniel, obviously you do a lot of read options, than with (Quarterback) Mike Glennon?
A: Well, I think as a coach and as a staff, we always try to put our players in the best situation to be successful. They have different skillsets, but that's neither to say one's bad or one's good from the standpoint of what you're going to call. It's just our plan is going to be our plan and we're fully expecting to have everybody.
Q: Does your play calling change with Daniel if he is playing with some pain in his neck there?
A: I don't see anything changing. We're going to prepare like we prepare every week and whoever's there on Sunday, that's who we're playing with. But we're going to get everybody on our – we've got 53 guys on the roster. I think we're up to 53 now, we may have 52. I don't know the exact – don't quote me on that. Whoever's at the game is going to be ready to play and that goes from player number one to player number 46 or 47, however many we have active.
Q: With the wristband, does that basically help Daniel get the play quicker? Do give him a number or something and then he looks at it on the wristband?
A: Well, it all has to do with smoothing out the communication process.
Q: So the goal is to give him more time to essentially look at the defense?
A: I'm not telling you what wristband number eight is.
Q: I wouldn't understand it anyways.
A: Well, you would if you had a wristband (laughs).
Q: The goal is to kind of get him more time to look at the defense, is that fair to say? And see what they're doing without being as rushed.
A: The goal of a play caller and as a staff and all that is to get the play to the quarterback as quick as possible. Not necessarily for him to dissect the play in his head, but for him to – you want to break the huddle as fast as possible to get to the line of scrimmage and have more time to see and react.
Q: Are you giving him any more freedom than he had had previously at the line to change a play?
A: I think it's always been our thought as a staff for a long time that the quarterback has to drive this thing, all right? The quarterback has to drive decisions. In saying that, everybody should know, if they're prepared, which we try to get our guys prepared every week, they should know what's coming. They should know the answers to the test before the test gets there.
Q: When you have a change in play callers mid-season, is there a limit to what you can do or can this offense over time start to look a lot different than it did in the past?
A: I'm not really sure how to answer that. I'm not going to get myself in trouble by saying something about that. The game plan is going to be the game plan.
Q: I assume you have ideas of things you want to do differently. I assume you also are working out of the same play book. Can there be –
A: The terminology stayed the same. Everything, our approach, from the standpoint of how we call things, stayed the same. It's all about familiarity with the players and what they're used to at this point. So the ultimate goal is to play fast when the ball is snapped. As much of that consternation that you can eliminate early before the ball is snapped, of course that benefits you to enable you to put your mind and focus on the task at hand, which is that individual play, whatever that play may be.
Q: When former players who are now media guys look at the Giants offense –
A: Oh Lord (laughs).
Q: I'm saying not just us, guys who play the game say that whoever the Giants' offensive coordinator is, is hamstrung because the offensive line is struggling so much. I'm curious, are you calling plays because the offensive line is struggling with that in mind? Or do you not agree with that assessment?
A: I think we try to put our players, each individual player – whether they're up front, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs or quarterback – we try to put them in the best possible position to be successful. Everybody has role in this, so we try to put everybody in a position to be successful.
Q: Last week, (Head Coach) Joe (Judge) said the game plan would be a collaborative effort. Is that always the case or is it you're having more of a say in what's in?
A: Every staff that I've always been on it has always been a collaborative effort, and if it's not, something's wrong in that area. We need input from (Quarterbacks Coach) Jerry (Schuplinski). We need input from (Wide Receivers Coach) Tyke (Tolbert). We need input from (Offensive Line Coach) Rob (Sale). We need input from (Running Backs Coach) Burton (Burns). We need input from (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Russ Callaway, (Offensive Quality Control Coach) Nick Williams, (Offensive Assistant) Jody Wright. We need input from everybody. I think we do a good job of communicating, working through things. What do we want to do here? Who are we trying to attack? What personnel do we want to use? Everybody has different suggestions and that's how we roll, but that's not unique to any other situation I think you find across the league. Of course, I think you have some staffs that are better at it than others, but I don't think that's anything unique.