Joe Philbin Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 17

(Talk about Chad Clifton's preparation. What's his secret to playing through so many injuries?)

Number one, he's been kind of at this for a while. He knows exactly what he needs to do to get himself ready for a game both from a practice repetition standpoint, from a mental standpoint in terms of film study, meeting time, etc. And then obviously, it's been documented, he spent some time in the training room battling those things, those little nicks that you mentioned, but the trainers do a great job. He's been through this routine before a number of times and he's in the building a long time on a daily basis getting himself ready to perform on a high level.

(What's a player like Clifton's mindset about getting ready for games with injuries, etc.?)

Well, most of the guys that I've been around, they're an unselfish group of guys. They're typically some of the hardest working members you have on your football team and they know what's required of the position. They know it's an unsung position from a spotlight perspective, so to speak, until something negative happens. But Chad's one of those guys, he comes to work early, stays late and he does what's required to get himself ready to stand up to the competition on a weekly basis every Sunday, and he's done an excellent job for us.

(What are some of the advantages of Chad and Mark Tauscher and what they bring?)

When you start talking about pass protection obviously you know the quality of the defensive ends that are out there in the National Football League. On a weekly basis they have some stiff competition. They face very, very good athletes, guys that are explosive, guys that are strong, and because of their technique, because of their ability, because of their determination, oftentimes they've had an awful lot of success over the years pass-blocking in this league. So, from a comfort standpoint for your quarterback, for your coaching staff, they provide a real solid foundation for your pass protection. The width of the pocket is something, when you teach pass protection, from Day 1 you're teaching tackles to establish the width of the pocket and by and large they've done an outstanding job throughout the course of their career.

(How big is that challenge with New York's defensive ends?)

Excellent players. I mean those guys, they're very productive. Their pass rush is outstanding, they've gotten to the quarterback more than any team in the National Football League. They put excellent pressure on Dallas. I don't remember the sheer volume of sacks, but they put excellent pressure on Dallas last week, and they have a multiple package, so those guys are going to have to play well. They're going to have to step up and perform well against obviously quality players.

(Does the pressure come mostly when they blitz or do they get there with the front four?)

A little bit of both. I mean they have a real nice blitz package. It's very well-designed. It's comprehensive. It comes from a lot of different angles, so they do have a nice package in that regard. But also they have four guys that put their hand down and come after the quarterback pretty well on their own, and that provides them some flexibility in terms of their game-plan and how they want to decide whether they want to cover certain offensive players or offensive weapons you may have. They have some nice diversity in terms of their pass rush.

(Is the key getting the running game going to keep them on their heels?)

Yeah, you don't want to let the Giants get you into a one-dimensional game, and if they do they can tee up and, again, they have overload blitzes, they've got empty blitzes, they've got zone blitzes, they've got inside crosses. They've got it all and they execute it very well, so you want to stay a little bit ahead of schedule on those guys. You don't want to get forced into 2nd-and-10 and 3rd-and-11 and 3rd-and-9 because then you're playing into their hands a little bit. Our ability to stay on track is going to be a key in the ballgame.

(How's the blitz pickup for your guys been throughout the season?)

Our guys have done a very good job. That's one of the things we pride ourselves on. We spend an awful lot of time on it. Our guys are real diligent. Edgar Bennett, James Campen, Jerry Fontenot, Tom (Clements), they spend an awful lot of time, the quarterbacks, the running backs, tight ends, Ben McAdoo and his guys. I mean all of our guys are involved in it and we spend an awful lot of time as an offense discussing it. We meet as a staff longer, they say, than anywhere they've ever been on blitz because, one thing, we don't want to see anybody running free at the quarterback. Now sometimes, based on our scheme, we're going to let somebody go, but everybody should be in tune to who's getting let go, and that should not be an issue. So we spend an awful lot of time on it. We pride ourselves on the fact that, on the tape, and it bears itself out, we don't have a lot of free runners taking a shot on our quarterback.

(After Chad's injury in Tampa, are you amazed at how well he's been able to play since then?)

Chad, I think, injured that in 2002 and then I came in the winter of 2003, so I wasn't here for the injury itself, but I was here when he was rehabbing and getting himself ready to come back and he's just been a guy you don't have to spend a lot of time adjusting for Chad Clifton. Beacause Chad, this is a difficult game enough, and if you've got to monkey wrench everything around for a specific player, boy, that becomes even harder. And, as we tell our guys all the time, there comes a point in time where even if we design some help for somebody within a particular scheme - defensively let's say they want to blitz and they want to pressure six or seven guys - you know football's a 1-on-1 game and you've got to win your personal match-up whether you're an offensive lineman or running back blocking a linebacker blitzing, a wide receiver beating a corner on the line of scrimmage on a release, and Chad, again, we don't even think about him a lot because he just takes care of business for us and that's huge.

{sportsad300}(As a former offensive line coach how much can you appreciate the blocking of your wide receivers?)

Oh, it was big. I think a run by James Jones early that's on the crossing route, there's a picture of Ruvell Martin. He is literally - we kid around all the time - he's blocking his guy into Section 127. I mean it's unbelievable and he's knocking guys off the bench, he's pushing the guy so far. We've had a lot of pictures of that, guys just giving exceptional effort. We talk all the time about, 'Hey, big plays are really execution and extra effort.' That's how they happen and we've been fortunate that our guys have bought into that and we've seen a lot of good examples of pictures of extra effort on tape.

(How much help did Mark have against Patrick Kerney last week and how much will he get against Michael Strahan?)

Sometimes, there were certain plays where we had potential help on. But, as I've said before, we may even call a particular scheme and say, 'Hey we want to give this guy a lot of help,' and the defensive look may take that off anyway. So we'll see what happens. We have a lot of confidence in our guys' ability to protect the quarterback and they've done it for a long time, and we certainly have a high regard for the Giants' pass rush. We know it's outstanding, but we also have confidence in our players that they're going to do the job.

(Is Osi Umenyiora everything he's built up to be?)

He's very, very explosive. He's very quick. He's got a real nice inside move. He's got good speed, he can beat you on the edge with a speed move. He can beat you inside, he's got a little bit of a spin. He's got the full complement. I think it's a well-coached defensive line. Those guys, they do a good job getting to the quarterback. They're not going to stay blocked. They play with high effort. So we're going to have our hands full with them, no question.

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