Jump to content
SportsWrath

Spagnuolo Q&A


Dragon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Giants.com Story

 

June 19, 2007

 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – At the conclusion of the full-squad mini-camp last week the Giants’ three coordinators discussed the offseason progress of their units with reporters. Today we hear from Steve Spagnuolo, who is in his first season as the Giants’ defensive coordinator. On Monday, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride had his say. We’ll hear from special teams coordinator Tom Quinn later in the week.

 

Q: Are you happy with the defense so far?

 

Spagnuolo: “Yes. When I talked to them before we went out to practice (Friday), I felt they really bought in to what we are doing. I’m not talking about schemes, I’m not talking about any creative anything, I’m just talking about how we play football. They have shown it out there. I showed them some clips on what they did the last few practices to prove to them that they were doing it. They don’t even realize it sometimes, but it’s becoming habit forming and right now we are happy.”

 

Q: How has Mathias Kiwanuka developed after making the switch from defensive end to strongside linebacker?

 

Spagnuolo: “He is getting there. It is baby steps now. I have been involved with many guys trying to make that transition from being down to going up and it doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of things are foreign to him now, but he is battling through it. The biggest thing and I posed this question to him the other day when it was just he and I – ‘Is this really what you want to do?’ And he said, ‘Coach, I really want to do it, I want to make it happen.’”

 

Q: Were you pleasantly surprised by what you saw in the mini-camp?

 

Spagnuolo: “Yes. It wasn’t all smooth. There were a lot of bumps in the road and we worked through those and we expected that. What I tried to get through to them was that if we could eliminate the repeated mistakes, we could live with that and we were getting somewhere. Then we had some repeated mistakes and then you’ve got to take the next step and get it ironed out. But for the most part, we threw a lot of volume at them because we are trying to find out who we are and what we are, with things they did last year, things they are used to and I thought they responded to those things well.”

 

Q: Is it safe to say you offer more positive reinforcement than criticism on the field?

 

Spagnuolo: “That’s just me, I’ve always believed in that. That is not to say that when there are mistakes out there, they don’t have to be pointed out and addressed in a certain way. I believe in the old saying a picture is worth a thousands words. For me to stand up there and praise, it’s better to just put it up and say, look at it, that’s what you are, that’s what you guys have become.”

 

Q: What are your thoughts about Corey Webster?

 

Spagnuolo: “Corey is still a little bit of a mystery to me because he really didn’t go that many practices - he just went these last couple of days. I did think I saw some positive things, but there’s a long way to go, there’s not enough reps there for me to watch Corey.”

 

Q: Does he have to work his way into the starting lineup again?

 

Spagnuolo: “We are taking the approach where, well obviously there are certain guys on this defense, good players that I can’t imagine some guys knocking them out, but I don’t consider anybody a starter right now. Now that is tongue-in-cheek, let’s be obvious. But there are some positions where it’s balanced out there and we wanted that. Jerry Reese created that, Coach (Tom) Coughlin has created it and we want to continue it and I think all the guys understand that.”

 

Q: Is competition what you are going to need to be successful?

 

Spagnuolo: “Yes. I think there’s enough guys there competing and I think there’s mutual respect there and guys with talent. We just keep working out there and keep pushing them, I think we will be okay.”

 

Q: Do you envision having Michael Strahan and Kiwanuka rushing the passer from the same side?

 

Spagnuolo: “There is no question about that (being huge) and those guys understand that, so if we can piece it all together and all 11 are doing their job, then it makes each individual position’s job a little easier.”

 

Q: Can the other linebackers help Kiwanuka’s transition during a game?

 

Spagnuolo: “I never thought of it in that context, but that’s a good point. I think the guys playing in front of him who have been in the league - and AP (Antonio Pierce) is a very intelligent football player and does take control - I think that’s very helpful. On the flip side, if there is a rookie MIK linebacker who is trying to get some guy who has never played there before, that would be tough. I think there is a comfort level with that and I think it is a huge advantage.”

 

Q: Re: Strahan

 

Spagnuolo: “I’ve got a lot of respect for Michael Strahan. I mean that guy, playing against him, we had him three times out at the Pro Bowl, he’s a class act and he assured me the other day he’d be ready to go. I’m not really worried about Mike.”

 

Q: Did William Joseph play defensive end in the spring camps because of the injuries at that position?

 

Spagnuolo: “Right now, it’s a need thing. It’s nice to have a guy that is versatile like that and he basically has done both in this camp, playing a little bit of tackle, too. Whenever you have down guys that can do both, that’s a big thing.”

 

Q: Is your vision of the defense taking shape now?

 

Spagnuolo: “I think it almost has to. We are at that point right now, it won’t be long now before we will be going to Dallas and playing in that game (the Sept. 9 season opener). But having said that, nobody hits the panic button, it’s a natural progression, we will take it as such and we will be smart about it. If the volume of the defense gets to be so much, we will just cut it back. We want guys to play. This is probably not 100 percent true, but if you lined up in one defense and one coverage and did everything perfect, you should be able to be okay. Now I’ve got a lot of respect for the offensive coaches in this league and they figure out how to attack things, but there is some truth to that. I look at it as a great challenge and we are excited about it. I’m just glad we got this part under our belt, because the unknowns I had before with not knowing some of the personnel, I feel more comfortable now.”

 

Q: Do you have a good handle now on the defensive personnel?

 

Spagnuolo: “Yeah I do, but some guys didn’t practice, so those guys I don’t know as well. One thing we have to remember is the games are played with pads on and guys change. Sometimes you think a guy is a really good football player, then you get the pads on and it’s different. So I’m preparing myself for both ways.”

 

Re: Linebacker depth

 

Spagnuolo: “I’m not (concerned). I’ve got confidence in (linebackers coach) Bill Sheridan coaching Kiwi into what he was to do. I really am impressed with AP and how he handles things, I think Chase Blackburn is a great backup MIK linebacker and I thought Jerry getting Kawika Mitchell in here was huge. He has done some real good things. Gerris (Wilkinson) has shown me some things, Reggie Torbor…they have shown great effort and a great hunger to want to be good and what more can you ask for.”

 

Notes: The Giants today announced the signing of linebacker Zak DeOssie, their fourth-round selection in this year’s NFL Draft. DeOssie was the 116th player taken in the draft. In 36 games at Brown, DeOssie started 29 contests. He recorded 315 tackles (187 solos) with 10.5 sacks for minus 59 yards, 36.5 stops for losses of 126 yards and five quarterback pressures.

 

DeOssie is the second Giants draft choice to sign a contract. Last week, defensive tackle Jay Alford, the team’s third-round selection, agreed to terms.

 

*The Giants today waived three rookie free agents: linebacker Jason Mitchell of Tennessee, defensive back Darren Barnett of Missouri State and offensive lineman Gabe Hall of Texas Tech.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its still too early to judge, anyone really at this point, but I firmly believe the D will be fine as long as it stays healthy. Kiwanuka wil make the transition fine and Deossie will learn quick. I still dont know who the starting CB's will be? That concerns me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am actually looking forward to seeing the defense play for the first time in years. It's going to be nice to see some linebackers with the potential to actually make it through the majority of the season. And I truly believe that the change in scheme will be enough to improve the backfield substantially.

 

That's not to say I expect to be top-10, but unless Spagnuolo is making daisy-chains with our ass hair, I doubt we'll be 25th again. That alone should win us a couple more games.

 

On a side note, I'm still nervous about the DEs. Hopefully I won't be come training camp, because I know the Giants are there to cater to my every whim. But right now it just seems these guys won't heal fast enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The though of Kiwi and Strahan coming from the same side will send chills down the spines of many O-coords. Osi will be able to rush free on the other side.

 

The reason this D has sucked balls the last two seasons was the lack of blitzes and zone defense. Two things we do not have to worry about from our new DC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am actually looking forward to seeing the defense play for the first time in years. It's going to be nice to see some linebackers with the potential to actually make it through the majority of the season. And I truly believe that the change in scheme will be enough to improve the backfield substantially.

 

That's not to say I expect to be top-10, but unless Spagnuolo is making daisy-chains with our ass hair, I doubt we'll be 25th again. That alone should win us a couple more games.

 

On a side note, I'm still nervous about the DEs. Hopefully I won't be come training camp, because I know the Giants are there to cater to my every whim. But right now it just seems these guys won't heal fast enough.

I agree, as excited as I am about Kiwi playing LB, a big part of me is seriously worried its a mistake with Strahans injury trouble recently. I remember Tuck was supposed to be talented when we drafted him, so hopefully he is healthy and can fill in.

 

 

I really likes Spags honesty, he didn't sugar coat anything. Anyone know what he meant about Webster missing practices? This seriously can't be a case of a guy having major struggles and on the verge of losing his job deciding not to get extra work can it? Was he hurt?

 

 

 

I think we have some depth at CB and LB. Madison, Webster, Ross and McQuarters all at least are talented enough to get significant playing time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, as excited as I am about Kiwi playing LB, a big part of me is seriously worried its a mistake with Strahans injury trouble recently. I remember Tuck was supposed to be talented when we drafted him, so hopefully he is healthy and can fill in.

I really likes Spags honesty, he didn't sugar coat anything. Anyone know what he meant about Webster missing practices? This seriously can't be a case of a guy having major struggles and on the verge of losing his job deciding not to get extra work can it? Was he hurt?

I think we have some depth at CB and LB. Madison, Webster, Ross and McQuarters all at least are talented enough to get significant playing time.

 

Thats my only concern, those guys are decent as a squad, but thats what weve had for a few yrs, average, and it stinks. I hope Ross can be that shut down diamond in the rough we Really need. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, there's nothing riveting about the interview. fact is that even if the team does tweak the defence a little bit, we should be better than last year, but it's not much of a stretch. Interesting there was no mention of Ross or Alford at all. If i was a new def coord, I'd be excited that my club drafted a guy like that to help me. Gorilla is right though, this team needs to blitz more and with the athletes we have, it should be more of a priority.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...