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Bob Sanders Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 17

(Can you talk about the challenge of facing Eli playing at the level he's playing at?)

He's done a very, very nice job in managing the offense. He's doing a great job not turning the ball over. It's going to be a real challenge for us. Those guys are doing a good job running the ball, they've got a good play-action scheme, and then when they have to drop back, they've got excellent weapons all the way around. So it's going to be a challenge for us. He's doing an excellent job, especially this last half of the season he's done a tremendous job managing the offense and getting them in the right plays, doing the right things. It's going to be a real challenge for us.

(When you face a big back like Jacobs does it make you sleep easier knowing you have Ryan Pickett in the middle?)

Certainly, we'd like to have all our guys. But him being back, he's kind of our leader in the middle, so to speak. Having him back certainly helps us. We miss guys like Johnny Jolly and Colin Cole, those guys we had earlier in the year. We miss those guys, but certainly getting Ryan back is very, very good for us.

(What does Pickett do to be so effective?)

He's big, he's fast, he's physical. He does what we ask him to do as far as technique. He works at doing the techniques the way we ask him to do them. He plays the scheme very, very well.

(Can you imagine a collision between him and a 265-pound back like Jacobs?)

I hope there's a lot of them in the middle in there. Certainly he's an excellent back. He does a lot of good things for the Giants, and he causes a lot of problems. It's going to be a real challenge for us to stop the run.

(When the Giants line TE Kevin Boss out on the sideline, what kind of mismatch are they trying to create?)

They did a lot of things with Shockey because he was such a great athlete, and I think it's just part of their offense. Again, mismatches it may be, depending on what personnel grouping we decide to go against those looks with, but certainly those big receivers on smaller DBs, if you end up with a match-up like that, I think that's what they're trying to do.

(Does a linebacker go out there to cover Boss or a safety?)

Not to divulge a lot of the game plan that we have, certainly we have the capability to put a number of different looks on that particular offensive look.

(What specifically has Eli been doing to be so effective the second part of the season?)

Only in the games we've broken down, and certainly like I say I have a lot of respect for Eli. He's an excellent quarterback, he's done a lot of good things. And like I say, his quarterback rating, he's not turning the ball over, they've been very, very effective on offense, and that is a tribute to him and the coaching staff, getting him ready and then him executing with the other guys. He's executing the offense I'm sure exactly the way they want him to execute it. He's done an excellent job. He's a very heady player and he knows what to do with the ball, and he's been executing that.

(Have you had to warn your guys about getting over-physical after what happened in the last meeting with some late hits?)

We talk to them about that every week. Mike does a great job with that, addressing that each and every week, alerting our guys not to get into those types of situations each and every week. It's really no different than any other week. I thought the Giants were a very physical football team, and so certainly we want everything between the whistles, nothing after the whistles. Because we don't want to give them anything, because they are a good football team, and when you give a good football team those extra yards, it hurts you. Our guys understand that, and Mike does a great job of addressing that with the defense and our whole football team.

(Can you talk about the maturation of Atari Bigby?)

Really the last half of the season he's gotten better and better each and every week. He's been in position to make some plays and he's made them. Certainly the longer you play, the more experiences you have, the more things you see, the game slows down. He's getting in better position, and he's a very physical player, and he's playing very, very well. Kurt Schottenheimer and those guys in the back end have done a great job with him. He's a guy that works hard at it, and he's trying to do the right thing, and he's done with the communication, and he's just getting better and better each week. He's improved each week, and certainly that's our goal even now, just to improve each and every week, and he's done a real good job with that.

(What's the key to the defense getting off the field on third down?)

It's a lot of things. It's the rush and the coverage. The guys in the back end have been very effective, and the rush is getting the ball out on time. When the rush doesn't get there, or the coverage is not there, when they don't work together, then that's when we have problems. Certainly our guys are working together and the coverage helps the rush and the rush certainly helps the coverage. That's how we're based, and our guys have done a good job with that.

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