RB Rashad Jennings
Q: How much is there a concern for David Wilson after what the reports are and how much do you now have to step up a little bit knowing full well that you’re going to be the primary back as long as he’s gone?
A: Yeah, I’m not sure of all of the reports that came out. It was good to see him back in the meeting room, bright-eyed and ready to work and go. As far as how I attack the game, no other person should elevate or discourage or motivate another individual to work hard. If I were to say that, I would say that I’m really not taking ownership and understanding the opportunity I have anyway. We want him back as soon as he can get back but as far as me going about my business, as far as how every other player is going about their business, it’s molding and perfecting their craft.
Q: You guys had seen him as a bonus, the front office had used that term, and I’m sure you guys saw it that way. Were you just getting used to the idea that he was going to be here with you guys for the season and maybe now that’s not as clear?
A: You know, it’s still... it’s so soon. It’s still the preseason. A lot of things, I’m sure, are going to get evaluated. That’s an injury, I don’t ever speak upon somebody else’s injury and I’m not sure of all of the details involved. When the time comes we know the front office and the coaching staff is going to make the best decision for the team.
Q: From a personal standpoint, person-to-person, that’s got to be hard to see a teammate going through that. Can you just talk about that?
A: It is. As soon as I saw him kind of like walk off the field, I started to hurt. We play this game, we’re a family and we all want to see everybody be successful. We all want to win together and it takes more than one person and he’s a big part of this team, so we want him back but it also hurts seeing someone who was grinding so hard behind the scenes, when the media’s not around, when people are not around, when fans are not around, somebody that’s working as hard as him to get back on the field and he has a little, minor setback, it’s frustrating as a brother, as a friend and as a teammate. We know he’ll do everything he can to get back and we’ll be here to support him.
A: The running backs, we’re all inside of a group text message. That’s where we push each other, we challenge each other, we laugh with each other. We all prayed with him and just let him know that we’re right here. But, again, I’m not overanalyzing anything. If a guy walks off the field with a pinky, we’re like, ‘Dang, that’s not good.’ Again, I don’t know the details of anything but we’re here for him.
Q: What do you see in this stable of running backs? You, you’ve got Andre, you have Michael Cox, you have David if he’s available, Hillis. It’s kind of a diverse group. What do you see from this group?
A: It’ special. We’ve got a special group. Every single running back has the ability to implement their talent inside the system in their own unique way. You’ve got a guy that’s powerful, you’ve got a guy who’s your speedster, you’ve got a guy who’s a little bit of both, guys who can catch the ball out of the backfield. It’s a very diverse room and it’s fun to see each one of us be able to gel inside the system.
Q: How does it feel right now to be atop of that group?
A: I wouldn’t, again, I stay inside the humility. I’m a football player, it doesn’t matter who is out there first or last. We’re all trying to contribute to the team. It’s bigger than me; it’s bigger than everybody in the room. It’s about the brand; it’s about the NY and the Giants logo on the side of the helmet. That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to help move the chains, score touchdowns, protect the quarterback and when my name gets called or whoever’s name gets called from that room, that’s what we’re going to do.
Q: Realistically speaking, it is the first preseason game for a bunch of new players on this team and a new scheme. How much, realistically, can you guys show in the first preseason game?
A: Realistically, we’re going to be able to show a lot. Obviously game planning for the first preseason game, especially the Hall of Fame game, there isn’t game planning strategically, but there is, without a doubt, competition. Without a doubt there are guys who are competing for jobs, there are guys who are trying to prove their right. You’ve got guys who are gelling on the offensive side of the system so we’re taking this opportunity to go out and put it against talent, put it against another team to come back to the board and see what we need to continue to perfect.
Q: What are you most curious to see on Sunday out of this offense?
A: Curious, you’re always curious about the contact. That’s... anybody can run around in underwear, anybody can run around and play two-hand touch but at the end of the day you know, I know, we all know, it’s about being physical and so Sunday we get a chance to crack heads a little bit and tackle.
Q: When you signed here there was still come uncertainty around David. Did you expect...?
A: When I signed here and I found out about all of the guys that were here, the first thing that I said was, ‘We’ve got a chance to be... there are a bunch of guys that can play.’ Each one of us very well could be a starter, so with that being said, there’s no reason not to have high expectations back there.
Q: Do you feel like this is the kind of backfield that, if a guy goes down with an injury...?
A: Yeah, the NFL is all about the next man up mentality. I believe if you ask any team, any position, any player, they will attest to that. Being here, we have a bunch of guys who are true pros in the backfield. We’ve got a great coach, we’ve got a great system and again, each player gets to utilize their talents. With the mentality of the NFL being the next man up, it’s no different, especially with the guys that we have in this backfield.
Q: That’s the mentality you had to have in Oakland, too, right? Considering that you weren’t the man there, you were the next man up when injuries fell and then you got your chance.
A: I live by a quote, ‘When an opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it.’
Q: Do you know whose quote that is?
A: There are a couple different people that said something around that.
Q: It sounds like John Wooden.
A: From high school, in high school, I rode the bench my whole high school career. I was the fifth string running back. There was a Tennessee scout that came to watch our starting tailback. The starting tailback got injured, the second string got injured, the third string got injured. They put in a wide receiver at running back instead of putting me in there. He ended up getting hurt. The first string came back for a little bit, he got hurt again and they finally put me in. Long story short, in high school, this is high school, bare with me, this was my junior year, I had 14 plays, scored four touchdowns, two on offense and two on defense. The scout asked after the game, ‘Rashad, I came to see the starting running back but I couldn’t help but to notice you.’ It goes back to all of that dedication and hard work that all of us, all of the players, put in during practice when nobody’s watching, the way we eat, the way we sleep, all of that’s preparation. When that opportunity comes, it’s too late to decide to go work hard. That’s how we approach the game, every single player, every single position as a New York Giant. It is the next man up mentality.
Q: All of those injuries in one game?
A: All those injuries in the same game.
Q: Did he recruit anybody from the defense on the other team?
A: A couple guys did get looked at but that was a big turning point in my life. I said, I rode the bench up until that game and it so happened to be that somebody was at the right time, the right opportunity. I kept approaching the game the way I should and it ended up working out in my favor. I say that just because everybody is like that. That’s how we approach the game as professionals.
RB Michael Cox
Q: How difficult is it for you to do what they are asking of the running backs? You’ve caught the ball before but is there more emphasis on it this year?
A: Definitely, they’re throwing it to the running backs more this year. Just have to make sure you catch and run the routes.
Q: How do you think you’ve been doing with that so far?
A: I’ve been doing pretty well.
A: A little bit. I did catch the ball sometimes.
Q: What’s the difference learning the playbook this time this year and this time last year?
A: Last year, it was just learning everything, even just playing in the NFL. This year I’ve had more experience and knowing what is expected.
Q: Some guys were playing in the same offense for years. Is it tough to transfer to a new playbook after one year?
A: I’m used to it. In college, I think I had a new playbook every single year. It’s not really difficult.
Q: What about the uncertainty with David [Wilson], how has that affected you?
A: We all pray for him and hope for the best. But we’re all doing our jobs. Just trying our best and doing what we have to do.
Q: When you throw Rashad [Jennings] into the room and also the rookie Andre [Williams], what’s the dynamic like in the running back room?
A: We’re all good friends. Rashad’s been in the league a while, so he’s helping everyone. Andre’s new, so we’re trying to help him out.
Q: What would the position be like if David [Wilson] cannot come back?
A: We’re all just trying our best to contribute to the team.
Q: Has David [Wilson] been around since he got hurt the other day?
A: Yeah, he’s still around. He was in all of our meetings.
Q: What’s his [David Wilson] mood like?
A: He’s in a good mood. He seemed good.
Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Any update on David?
Q: What about Bennett Jackson?
A: I don’t know. They took him for an x-ray, probably was an ankle. Hopefully just a sprained ankle.
Q: I saw Will Beatty come off…
A: Yeah, I don’t know much about that. Whatever they were checking on I don’t know and I won’t know until I get in there.
Q: Mike Patterson and John Jerry…
A: No. One has a shoulder that’s sore and the other has a knee that has been bothering so they held them.
Q: Robert Ayers?
A: They think it was an ankle, but I don’t know to what extent.
Q: Spencer Paysinger?
A: Jesus. He was out here, good start.
Q: What is your philosophy as you look at your running backs? How you may end up using them? How the group may come together?
A: Well, I think we have some talented guys at that spot, I think Rashad has done well. I think the young kids are coming along the more we give them to do. Michael Cox has had his spots; Kendall Gaskins did some pretty good things today. We will let this thing play out, but it will be some kind of combination with people involved. Certainly, Rashad is well-schooled in the protection schemes; he does a nice job at that. The young guy will have to learn and come along and look according to that. Michael Cox has been around here for a year, we can use him in that capacity as well and he has speed. They will have plenty of opportunities in the preseason to show what they can do and where they fit.
A: He’s done a nice job, he has improved. He has to keep doing. He has a long way to go, but I like what I see.
Q: You have had guys come back from knee injuries before. How impressive is what Stevie Brown has been able to do this summer?
A: He worked really hard. He was here every day in the summer throughout the entire off season. He has worked hard to get himself back on the field. The work is obviously paying off. Again the process of making him stronger, get him to the games; that’s going to be important.
Q: Has he lost any speed?
A: It doesn’t look like it.
Q: How much time did you prepare for Buffalo? Is that not something you would weigh in the first game of the preseason? Do you worry about what they do?
A: Sure you do. It’s a game. We have prepared during the spring, you have preparation just like a game plan preparation, you’re aware of their personnel changes. You certainly are aware that they made staff changes and that will influence how you look at it as well. It is not an easy thing because they are gauging where we are and who is going to play and we are trying to do the same thing. We are trying to be as aware as we possibly can. It’s the first of five. I am sure everybody in their locker room will play and everybody on our field will play as well.
Q: What kind of progress have you seen from Cooper Taylor since the spring?
A: He has made strides. He did a great job coming back in the spring and he is bigger, stronger, and faster. Small, small steps, but he is getting there.
A: I think we have thrown a lot at them. We are probably not quite halfway through all of the installations. There is a lot spinning and we have to find out what our people can do and gauge what we are doing according to our personnel. I don’t have any issues right now but because of the fact that you play everybody, your missed assignments on a daily basis are sometimes more then you want them to be. The progress is being made and I thought we were a little sharper today in the nine on seven. If we can just keep getting better in that area, so we can run it.
Q: What do you expect to see from Ryan Nassib this preseason?
A: I expect to see him have plenty of playing time and take full advantage of it and prove to the world what he can do.
Q: How much difference do you see from this time this year and last year?
A: Very steady. Last year he was trying to find the door to the field, but this year he has a lot of offseason study, he has had a lot spring work, he was here on his own over the summer. He is a very meticulous, conscientiousness kid, studies well, and retains well. The experience factor has to come for Ryan right now through these preseason games.
Q: When you look at your tight ends in practice you see them all over the field now. How much more do they have to know….
A: For each one of those spots they have to know exactly what’s being asked of them. They are used on special teams, short yardage, and the goal line. There are a lot of different spots and each one of them requires extra room.
Q: In the spring Jerry Reese said David Wilson was a bonus if he came back? Do you look at Wilson that way now?
A: Until we here what the doctors say, I am just praying that the kid is okay. When he was cleared to play he came out and exhibited no fear, no nothing. I was really excited about that coming out. We are obviously concerned, but we will have to wait and see what the doctors say.