Re: How much has Demarcus Ware impacted your defense the way you are able to move him around and keep people guessing?
Well, we haven't moved him around that much. I would say he's helped, but he was offsides three times in the Oakland game, which probably cost us the game. So, he's coming along, but there are other guys that have helped I think equally as much that are young.
Re: So, we shouldn't put him in Canton (Ohio) just yet, right?
No, nothing. Nowhere near it. In fact I don't think he should be east of the Mississippi yet.
Re: Were you surprised how well your team played this week given the first couple of weeks?
Well, we played a good game against San Diego and we had been up and down a little bit honestly. We could be 1-4 here easily, but we could easily 5-0 too. I think that's a little bit of a mark of a team like we have right now, which is going to be inconsistent because we are going to do some dumb things. But, we do have better players than we had last year generally speaking. And we have a little bit more depth. So, were not ' we have some definite deficiencies. There isn't any doubt about it. But, we're generally better off in some positions than we were last year. I think the Giants are as well. In looking at them, it looks like some off their offseason moves have certainly paid dividends already for them.
Re: So, are you looking at last week's game as an isolated occurrence that you would dominate a team and such?
Well, I don't think you can ' hey you can never look at handling the ball 40 something minutes in a game as going to be(ing) the norm. Not in this league. So, I think it probably ' I certainly don't think it is an indication of what Philly is capable of doing because I have seen them be down 24-7 the week before and come back and win. They were pretty impressive doing that at Kansas City. That would be a pretty unusual occurrence. So, I don't think that would be a reflection on them and I think that it is probably jaded as far as how we played because everything pretty well, pretty near perfect for us except for one play.
Re: So, did you have to play mediator between your quarterback and receiver?
No, that was nothing. I mean that's nothing. Really, it's nothing. Those two high strung guys ' Actually I had told the team the week before or two weeks before: 'Hey listen if you don't trust each other enough to air out your differences, you are never going to have a team. If you are afraid of conflict within the team and afraid of confrontation within the team, you are never going to have a team. That's not a team. That's a bunch of guys soaking around wondering what the other guy is thinking.' So, I am not saying that I encourage that, I tell them that you have to trust your teammates enough to be able to say what you want to say. If you don't do that, then you are never going to have a team. I have always believed that. You guys know from the teams I had. They weren't exactly uninhibited.
Re: Has Drew been as good as you expected or even better than you expected when brought him in?
Well, I think he's done a good job, but these quarterbacks are really ' If you do a good job blocking for them, they can function well. If you don't do a good job blocking for them, they don't function well. And so we have to do everything to make ' and the Giants are doing the same thing with Eli Manning in trying to make him comfortable and we are trying to make Drew comfortable. If you can make the quarterback comfortable, he's got a chance to function. And if you can't make him comfortable, then there's probably going to be a lot of bad plays.
Re: Has being in the same division with Tom Coughlin impacted your friendship with him at all?
No, I don't think so. No. I have a high regard for Tom. Everyone knows that. And I like him very much personally. He's a great competitor. We're on opposite sides of the fence right now. We both know that, but that doesn't have anything to do with how I feel about him personally or how I think he feels about me. We have a lot of history together and it's all been good.
Re: You said before that there are some other young players besides Ware who have helped out? Who else are the younger guys?
Well (Chris) Canty has done a good job for us. (Marcus) Spears has done a pretty good job for us. We have a young running named Tyson Thompson that had 70 yards last week in the second half. We've really got young guys all over the place to tell the truth. We have 10 or 11 rookies on our team and a couple of guys who didn't play last year that are really for all intents and purposes rookies. We have a rookie right tackle. He's done a really good job for us so far named (Rob) Petitti.
Re: Can you elaborate a little bit more on him?
Would I elaborate' Yeah, he's been pretty good from really the get go here for us. He was really much overweight there at the Senior Bowl weighing 361 pounds. Our personnel guy Jeff Ireland was sitting next to me and when he got on the scale at 361 he just elbowed me real hard to make sure I noticed what it was. Then, his toe hurt there at the Senior Bowl and went home, which probably finished him in the draft for most people. But, he had been a four year starter at Pittsburgh. They had done pretty well when Walt Harris was there. I had seen the kid play quite a bit. I'm not saying I'm taking any credit for this, but I mean he was a fifth or sixth-round draft choice. I forget which one it was. It might be a fifth, sixth I think it is. But, he's done a good job for us. He's smart, he's down to 325, and he's in good condition. Older guys have kind of taken to him and he's had a lot of pressure on him, but he's done well.
Re: He draws (Michael) Strahan this week. Is Strahan a different player at 255 than he is at 275?
I didn't know that it was his exact weight, but I did recognize he had lost a lot of weight and I think it has helped him myself.
Well, I just think he's more active. I just think he's ' I think it was a smart move. I give him credit for that. He must have decided that and someone talked with him about it. I don't know what it was. But, I think it was pretty smart. He reminds me a lot of what George Martin at the end of his career with less ' type guy. I'm not comparing George Martin to him as a pass rusher, but I'm just saying they are very similar now as I look back. George was probably 260 his last year ' 262 somewhere in there.
Re: Is your approach any different with having so many contributions from young players?
Yeah, I think it has. When you have as many young ones as I have, you have to make sure you don't drive them into a shell. You can't expect them to know very much of anything and they certainly don't understand and they certainly don't understand the game or pro game and how to prepare. It's just a lot ' it's just different. You have to be more patient with them because we kept them on the team. So, once you decide to do that, the domino affect of that is as a coach you have to realize it's not like having a veteran team. There's going to be some blimps. Now if a guy makes too many, then you start to figure hey maybe that's just the guy. But, you have to be a little more encouraging, a little more explanatory, a little bit more patient is the word, and but you still have to put the hammer on them because like any young people they can get feeling good about themselves in advance than when they should. Whereas a good veteran player, which I'm lucky to have some of those, they keep the rookies in line.
Re: Who would that inner Parcells circle of players be now?
I don't know if I have an inner circle, but I have a lot of guys here that I have some history with and there are guys that have been here now three years with me. They kind of know what it is now. It really hasn't changed much.
Re: You mention Drew trying to get comfortable, are you comfortable there' Do you like coaching there' Are you comfortable coaching Dallas and with the future of that franchise?
Yeah, I am. It's a good organization and they support you well. Hey I'm an east coast guy, I have always been, and I always will be. Most of my family, in fact all of my family, is still in that area. From that point of view, you know you are paying a price to be here and at my age I'm not getting any younger. You don't get to see and do a lot of things, but that's my choice and that's what I decided to do and I'm quite happy that I did it.
Re: Is it finally just another game or is it still special against the Giants?
Well, I have coached against them. It's been so long now. It's so early in the season. I think that everyone knows in the division now that we have all seen enough of each other to know that it looks like it's going to be a battle. I think that all four teams have showed enough to let you know that it's going to be a battle. We've had the most division games the quickest of anybody. I don't particularly like the fact that we are playing all our division games at home the first time around. I don't think that is necessarily an advantage. In fact, I think it is an disadvantage, but that's the way the schedule was this year and that's the way it is. I mean I'd rather have some of them at home later in the year myself. I have always liked that.
Re: Does it still spice it up though with this rivalry that you are both off to a good start?
I still think it's a little early in the year to be ' I think we're both probably trying to do the same thing. You have to put some wins together here now in this month of October if you can and we got one thank goodness. We have a tough schedule coming up. We really do. We have Seattle after the Giants at Seattle. You know no one can hold them under 30 (points) and we have a stretch there ' Monday night in Philly and home to Detroit on Sunday, and then Denver on Thursday ' of three games in 11 days. So, that's a tough thing for a team to do too. So, looking down the road between now and Thanksgiving I think is going to be a key time. Fortunately, we have most of our games at home. We only have a couple of trips between now and late November. Actually, I think it's December. I think we only have two trips between now and when we come to New York.
Re: Is it surprising to you that Eli Manning has been so successful so early this year?
Well, I don't know. I think they have done a very good job with him. They really have. I think they have done a good job and I think he had some good things to work with and they put him in there last year and they paid for it, but it's paying off now.
Re: Do you still enjoy coaching as much as you ever have?
Well, I think the coaching yeah, but some of the peripheral things not as much.
Re: Like what? What are the peripheral things?
Well, it doesn't make any difference.
Re: You mean like us (the media)?
I mean the coaching part I enjoy, but there's a lot ' I'm not that nostalgic and I don't look back and I don't wish things were the way they used to be. I really don't. I think I'm a futuristic looking person and I'm ready to accept change and everything, but there are just a lot of things going on that we didn't have to deal with.
Re: How amazed were you with Vinny (Testaverde) being able to come back off the street and help the Jets win last week?
I wasn't amazed. He's a ' I'm going to tell you and I really mean this. I'm saying this is not an overstatement. He is as remarkable, physical specimen as I have ever seen in sports. I mean he is remarkable how powerful is. It is to his credit because I know the regimen. You go ask him to show you his workout book from 1992 on May 7 and he has what he did. You think I'm kidding' I'm not kidding. He will tell you what he did. So, it's not an accident. I kind of called him myself Sunday night after they had won the game and told him I was happy for him. Hey they'll love him now. He's the underdog now. They'll love him. So, it'll be fun for him and I hope he enjoys it. He's a good kid, he really is.