HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER
It was obvious that we found a way to win a game against a really good football team. A very talented defensive group and offensive group. They’ve got a lot of playmakers but we were able to get the ball back when we needed to and it was important for us to catch the football after what happened to us last week. Special teams really started good and finished, getting the ball for a return and a great play on the one-yard line made the difference for the ballgame. A nine-point turnaround and we bounced right back and played very well.
Q: The defensive line allowed a lot of yards but only allowed 10 points, how do you account?
A: We buckled down and they didn’t collect. It happens. We got the stop. There were a couple more left out there but overall they hung in there. They’re a good group and they played hard together and that’s important.
Q: What about the offensive adjustment from the first half to the third quarter?
A: We were looking to keep the run game going. Adjustment here, adjustment there, we had a great tempo. We always had a very good tempo and making decisions and executed what we needed.
Q: How big was 21’s block in the end zone?
A: It was huge; it’s important to keep people backed up on the one yard line and inside the two, sometimes there’s things that happen and we question them. And obviously that was a big play for us.
Q: There were a lot of personal fouls and penalties on both sides.
A: We had one called on McCort, which was a tackle, I had one on Jason, but I don’t know about the last one on Griff. The other ones, that’s their issue; they can explain that.
Q: The penalties from Giants’ turnovers turned into key plays. How did you keep your guys coming out physically and keeping up the tempo?
A: Well we set a standard that we’re going to go all out and play harder. Carry respect for your opponent but play hard.
Q: What happened, do you think they missed the holding call in the first half?
A: I thought I saw a false start and I thought I saw two holds.
Q: You substituted your defensive line in units; was that to give the Giants a different look or to rest them?
A: It’s to keep them fresh. We’ve got to play four or five plays . They get tired and they come stand by us. That’s what goes down.
Q: Talk about the progress of the play of the Rutgers players McCourty and Britt?
A: Kenny made big plays. There were two big catches and he made them. Jason won the starting job and played very well for us; we may be without him for a week or two, I think he’s got a slight forearm fracture; he didn’t return in the game but Altrerraun Verner came in and played well. We’ll know more on his injury later in the week.
Q: How did Verner feel filling in?
A: He was fine; he’s competitive and he works and plays hard.
Q: Did you flip the script from last week?
A: No, but last week was one of those things that happens. We couldn’t protect the football and they made good plays. We just protected the football and ran the ball and do it intelligently and make decisions and played hard on defense.
Q: CJ looked like he was bottled up most of the day until he broke the 42-yarder.
A: I’ll say this today and I’ll say this probably for the next thirteen weeks. The defense is going to try and stop CJ. That’s what they do, but we have to find other ways to win games. Keep handing the ball to him and he’ll make the plays.
Q: It was a pretty hard-hitting, feisty game. Down the stretch do you think it was your poise that separated you from them?
A: I don’t think we lost our poise, I thought we just played harder. You can’t afford to lose your poise in a ballgame. We had two penalties that created big plays for them and we had to put an end to that.
Q: Was this a testament to Vince’s ability to bounce back today?
A: He’s expected to bounce back. It was a difficult week a week ago and difficult feel of the ballgame. He bounced right back early in the week and got the game plan and that’s where I thought he would be, he’s a great pro.
Q: Could you do anything to help to promote their mental state?
A: We just played hard. We just wanted to play hard and we wanted to execute, that was the thing. We want to play hard and play fast. Try to play physical, but we needed to execute today. We weren’t perfect. We have a long way to go and a lot of things to correct. We did come into a tough place to play a difficult team and get a win.
RB CHRIS JOHNSON
Question: Was last week just an anomaly?
Response: Last week we didn’t execute well when we had a chance to execute. We had a long run called back last week, the run for the record. This week, we were trying to be able to sustain drives and stay close enough in the game where we didn’t have to go away from the running game. My hats off to the coaches to never get away from the running game when it’s not working in the beginning. At the end of the day for us to be a great team and go deep into the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl, a lot of teams are going to try to play us like the previous team played us and put a lot of people in the box, so it’s going to take the players on the outside to step up and make plays. We’ve been getting better week after week and making plays out there. I think it’s just going to be tough for defenses to contain us.
Q: Were you frustrated when they were holding you for a lot of short gains?
RE: Of course I get frustrated, but my teammates, my coaches they do a good job of keeping my head in the game. I have a lot of one, two, zero yard gains, loss of yardage, but I just hope for one to break and we’ll be OK.
Q: Would you like to get this many carries every game?
RE: Whatever coach calls. I’m a team player. Whatever is going to help us get the victory I have no problem with it.
Q: What does it say for Vince that he rebounded the way he did this week?
RE: I like the way that Vince rebounded. He didn’t come in pouting or with his head down or mad at the coaches. He just came in not saying too many things to a lot of people, but he just came in with a business face and worked on his game to complete good throws in practice. He knew what defense they were going to be in and was ready to get back on the field and make plays.
Q: What did Bulluck say about catching you on the long play?
RE: Yeah if he wouldn’t have hurt his knee, he said he would have caught me. Bulluck, since I’ve been here, we got kind of close, and he was one of my closest friends when he was on the team. Looking over there and seeing him was kind of crazy, but it’s always fun playing against him.
Q: Did he say anything to you on any of his tackles of you?
RE: No, not really. He’s just a funny guy. He was talking all game though.
Q: Did you ever doubt Vince’s ability to rebound?
RE: No I never doubted Vince’s abilities. He’s a great player. When you look at last game, we had seven turnovers, and all those turnovers weren’t Vince’s fault. I had a fumble. We missed a couple blocks that caused quite a bad couple sacks. It wasn’t all Vince’s fault. I felt like the whole offense had to rebound and I feel like we did a better job. I think we still can get better. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
Q: How much was protecting the football preached this week?
RE: It wasn’t so much of the running backs and receivers running the ball and getting hit and tackled, it was more of us just knowing who to block and blocking for the quarterback so while they’re trying to make throws, they’re not getting hit and letting the ball go.
Q: What did the Giants do early on to stop you?
RE: They had a lot of people in the box. They were disciplined. We had just four passes in the first half, I guess. When Vince started to make throws and backing them out of the box, then we started having more success. Throughout the whole game, every time we were running to the outside we were having some success with it. But basically we stayed with the run and it was able to work for us in the end.
Q: Did anything change on the drive you had where you had the 50-yard run?
RE: No nothing changed. We just stayed with it and eventually it started to work.
DT JASON JONES
Q: First interception the result of tough play?
A: Yep. Sen’Derrick got one. We preach just run to the ball. He ran for the ball. The ball fell right in his hands. That’s it right there, you just have to keep running or you’ll know what happens.
Q: Do you guys feed on that?
A: Oh yeah, we feed on that. Anybody makes a play, especially on the D-line, that’s great to get an interception. We feed off of that. We go out there next time and want to do the same thing.
Q: A tough game, did you guys do a good job of staying poised?
A: I think we did. Fisher brought us together in the third quarter. He came to us and said we’ve got to calm down, play a little bit smarter, keep playing hard, keep being physical, but cut out all of the mental errors.
Q: Could you detect that you guys were starting to rub on their nerves?
A: Maybe because they got out of line. They had a few personal fouls that cost them seriously. So I guess their coach is going to handle that. But we just had to control our emotions.
S MICHAEL GRIFFIN
Q: How demoralizing is it for a team to get all the way down the field and turn it over?
A: We saw that last week, I’m just glad it was on the opposite end. Last week, when we managed to get inside the red zone, you know our fate, with the turnovers. It’s a positive thing. It’s overwhelming to get the ball on the opposite end. You come out with a win against a good team, the New York Giants, Super Bowl champs in 2007. So it’s a great feeling right now to go home with a win.
Q: Downing ball on the one?
A: I guess you think you’re a backup on special teams and then you get your opportunity to go out there and make a play. Special teams wins ballgames also and I think that might have been the turn around. Defense stepped up. Offense stepped it up, starting putting points on the board. So from that point on, the whole team turned it on, got some points on the board and prevented touchdowns.
Q: How big was that swing?
A: We jumped on them quick. It was 10-0. Then they managed to tie it up 10-10 going into half. So it was a 0-0 football game going into the second half, but this time around we jumped back out on them and we didn’t let them get back into the game. So the way we ended the game is the way we’ve got to start out and finish every week.
Q: Was the two points the turning point in the game?
A: It put us up, so we could have won the game, 12-10, but we can’t try to protect the score. We’ve got to keep scoring on offense, let the offense do it and defense has got to prevent touchdowns. That’s what defense does.
Q: They completed passes, but you seemed to make them pay a price every time?
A: You know, as long as they’re not getting into the end zone, that’s the most important thing. Stats look great, but no completed passes for touchdowns with two interceptions. I think that’s a positive on our end, just not allowing them in the end zone.
LB WILL WITHERSPOON
Q: You’ve come up with big plays at critical times?
A: Yeah, that was huge. The safety was a huge deal for us. That really kind of started things over for us in that period and we went ahead and moved on. We said, alright guys, this is where we’re starting, we’re going to keep doing that. Turnovers in the red zone were huge.
Q: Bradshaw’s fumble five yards from end zone, that’s got to be a blow?
A: Yeah, I think that probably was. You fumble right there, it was a chance for them to score, to really put the game in a whole different light. To come away with a fumble for us, for them not to come away with it, that just flipped the script for us. That really sets the tone for us and says, alright, now let’s get back on top of it. Let’s play our game.
Q: Gave up yards but no touchdowns because of turnovers?
A: Yeah and that’s what’s great. You can be a defense that… You don’t want to say you’re a bend but don’t break mentality but, you know what, if a team is driving and they get to that red zone, that’s where you don’t want them to get in. You don’t want the other team to score. I think that as a defense, we’re all just looking at it saying damn we really shouldn’t have given up that seven today. But, it happened.
QB VINCE YOUNG
Question: How tough was it for you to stay patient?
Response: That’s just part of the game. I’ve got to be one of the most patient guys in the league. I kind of understood what we were going for. We were thinking about the running game early. Whatever it takes, smaller passes and things like that just to try to back them off so we could continue to try to get CJ going.
Q: In the second half you went up 12-10 on the safety, then seemed to kind of let things loose…
RE: Right, just looking at the pictures on the sidelines we saw some opportunities for us to take advantage on the outside. Coach Heimerdinger did a great job of calling some plays, the offensive line gave good time, and the receivers did a good job winning on the outside and making some plays for us.
Q: As a team how important was it for you to bounce back after last week?
RE: I feel like it was very important. Like I said, during the week, I feel like our team knows how to put something in the past and get ready for the next game, and that’s what we did. On Monday, we watched films, looked at our mistakes and things like that, and basically moved forward and got ready for the Giants.
Q: How important was it for you personally to come back and play well?
RE: Definitely for my teammates, I wanted to show those guys that it was a rough week, but overall I wanted to show those guys that I put that in the past and got myself prepared to play so I could lead them to a victory. The guys understood that, and from the slapping hands on the sidelines and smiling and joking in the locker room, guys learned that. That’s why I respect my team. Guys respect me and I’m always going to give them the same respect back.
Q: Looking back, how tough of a week was it? Was it a long week?
RE: Not so long. I was really so focused getting myself ready to play because I knew that the whole house was going to be watching. At the same time, I wanted to go out there and be consistent, move the ball down the field, and get us the victory. Everything played out the way it’s supposed to be because of the fact that everyone played and took care of our responsibilities and put points on the scoreboard.
Q: Only four passes in the first half, then you came up and opened it up in the second half. Talk about that adjustment.
RE: There were some holes that we saw out there that we could take advantage of on our side. Our receivers did a great job of running some great routes. We wanted to back the defense off CJ a little bit so he could get his chance to get the big runs that he did. It was something that we adjusted at halftime to come out and throw the ball around a little bit so we could make some plays.
Q: On the TD pass to
RE: It’s just him making a play. I know the type of guy Kenny Britt is. He’s a very athletic guy. He can make plays. He loves going up to get it. That’s what he always tells me out on the practice field. Him being at home, it was a good job by him to play a good game, as well as score a touchdown in front of his home crowd. So hats off to Kenny Britt for going out there and taking care of his responsibilities.
Q: Was it nice to see the other team turning it over?
RE: Yeah definitely. That was something that we preached all week, Coach Fisher as well as Coach Heimerdinger. All we have to do is protect the ball and I feel with the type of offense we have, with myself and CJ and the receivers and tight ends, the type of talent that we have on offense, I feel like we can move the ball pretty good if we just take care of the ball and make sure we go out there and play hard.
Q: Did the slow conservative first half allow you to get back into your rhythm in the second half?
RE: Somewhat. Like I said, I had a great week of practice. The type of preparation I had this week, and coach can vouch for me as well, I was definitely focused making the right throws at practice. And when we got out here on the game field, they were running pretty much some of the similar things from defense. I hit some of my check downs as well as my secondary receivers. That’s the type of game we have to have. That’s the type of game I want to have to be consistent for our offense.
Q: Was it frustrating only throwing the ball four times in the first half?
RE: Yeah we definitely want to throw the ball around. Your receivers, your tight ends, they definitely want the ball in their hands, and you can’t fault that. When you have guys that want the ball, I feel like that’s a good thing. Guys said let’s get the balls in our hands, and that’s what they did to take some of the pressure off of CJ. Guys made some plays on the outside catching the ball and that got us a chance to open it up for CJ.
Q: How strange was it to see #53 (Keith Bulluck) across the line of scrimmage?
RE: Very strange. Me and him were clowning at the line of scrimmage and during TV timeouts. That’s like a big brother right there. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He said if his knee wasn’t hurt he would have caught CJ on the sideline. I doubt that, but that’s just the fun that we have. That’s the respect that we have for Keith Bulluck.
Q: How big was it for you guys to get one back after losing one at home?
RE: It’s big. Now we’ve got to move on and get ready for a very explosive offense (Denver). We’ve got to keep those guys off the field and go out there and win the game. That’s basically what we’ve got to do, taking our responsibilities on offense.
Q: Do some of
RE: Definitely. This guy’s got some God-given talents. He’s very strong. I see this guy running over people with his size. That just shows the offseason work, and how really good this guy is and the God-given talent that he has.
WR KENNY BRITT
Q: Nice homecoming for you?
A: Yeah pretty nice to be able to come in, we had a big loss last week, we just wanted to be able to come in and get back on track the way we started.
Q: Took advantage of all of the Giants’ mistakes?
A: That’s one thing that we need to do, especially because we got the ball back and we wanted to get our offense going. We had a slow start at the beginning of the half and things like that, so we wanted to get our running in, spread the ball around, and things like that.
Q: What was it like for you to come back home and play here?
A: It’s like a dream come true because I lived five minutes down the road. I was here when the Giants played [here] for twenty-one years of my life and things like that. Coming back to play in this stadium, especially their new stadium that they have down here, it’s a beautiful stadium. I had my friends and family here. I was feeling great.
Q: And you get a win on top of that?
A: It feels wonderful.
Q: Take us through the route for the touchdown.
A: Basically, it was one of those plays that we had in since last year. We’d been working on it all week. It was a great play call by our OC and going out there and executing, me and Vince.
Q: Did you ever look back and think about how close you were to being a New York Giant? They took Hicks right before you.
A: All the time. Every time somebody asks me. They ask me how it feels coming back and being in this stadium, coming back, and playing in the game. It makes me think about it. I could have stayed home and with my family. Coming back to this game was something special, my mom could come see me. She doesn’t like to travel. She doesn’t like planes and things like that. Just coming back to this one game was helping me out so family could see me.