Getty Image - Chris McGrath
With Antonio Pierce out for the season and Jonathan Goff making his first NFL start, Michael Boley was the quarterback of the Giants defense during New York's crucial victory over Dallas on Sunday. Boley wore the helmet with the earpiece and made the defensive calls as New York pretty much saved its season. Here's what Boley had to say on a conference call on Monday.
Q. You were the only every down linebacker on the Giants defense yesterday. How many of the defensive calls, signals and adjustments did you make during that game?
A. All of them basically. I made the huddle call. When Jon Goff was in the game he was the guy as the “mike” linebacker, he was the guy who set the front and got everybody lined up. After that it was kind of everybody talking, especially in the back end, guys talking about coverages and different things.
Q. Did you have the radio headset in your helmet?
Q. How surprised are you that it went so smoothly considering AP has been the guy doing that for many years and then Chase Blackburn was doing it?
A. I am not surprised that it went good. It is one of those things that you have to take in stride; you can’t, especially in a situation like that with new pieces, you can’t panic. Situations come up all the time where people have to fill different roles. So stepping into those roles, filling those shoes, is different but something you don’t really panic about.
Q. Had you done that before in your career?
A. I haven’t had that as far as that being my main role, but I have had experience in times before, especially in practice going through that role and helping out.
Q. But that was the first time for having the radio headset in your helmet?
A. No, I had it in last week also. The Denver game.
Q. Since you played with two young linebackers like Goff and Sintim yesterday, how did they do?
A. They did good. I haven’t had a chance to get in to watch the film but from what I saw and felt on the field I thought they did a pretty good job.
Q. What did they add?
A. Each person brings something different to the field. Goff’s first start, he was excited, he was real up-tempo and upbeat, and you like that, especially when you have guys in there who are kind of new to it. They hit it running and hit it going full speed, so it’s good.
Q. Is the mood of the team a little different after this win than it was with the Atlanta win?
A. Oh yeah, it’s a big win, it’s a division game. So of course guys are riding high after the game. We are at the point in the season where it was kind of a must-win and we needed it. This was a game that we needed to jumpstart the rest of our season.
Q. You said it was kind of a must-win. You have another one coming up this Sunday night.
A. Oh yeah, big game. It’s another division game. Our next two games are division games, so they are all important. Especially after the way we went up there the first game and they kind of put it on us pretty bad.
Q. Do you think the personnel changes that were made and the results that you got were the things that were needed to make this playoff push?
A. I think as a team we got a different mentality with how things are going. After all the changes that were made, nobody has their head down. Even though we made changes, everybody had a chance to play and contribute to the win yesterday. Guys are looking at this as a positive thing and this is where we need to be to make a late season push.
Q. You missed some games with the knee surgery. Do you feel 100 percent physically and do you feel like a Giant now?
A. As far as the first one, no, nobody is 100 percent at this point but I think I am as healthy as I am going to get at this point of the season. The second thing, yes, I do feel like a Giant.
Q. Last year you went through something similar to what Osi is going through now by getting taken out of the starting lineup. Did you have any advice for him during the week?
A. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. Some guys don’t like to talk about it. It is one of those situations where you have to keep your head up and keep pushing. As players, we can’t do anything about personnel changes and what not. All decisions like that are out of our hands. So basically all we can do is sit back and keep playing. We are employees, we are here to work and whatever they tell us to do, we do it.
Q. Do you think you confused the Dallas offense with all these changes and wrinkles?
A. I don’t know. At times there were points in the game where some things that we did they were kind of unsure about. But that is every team going into every week. Teams are going to always throw something new at you that you haven’t seen before. I think it was one of those things that they haven’t seen before and I don’t think they were ready for that.
Q. What do you think the number one key was to the rush defense yesterday?
A. Being physical. Getting our front seven really involved in the run game was huge for us. I think our D-line did a great job of getting penetration deep into the backfield and stopping the running backs before they got going.
Q. You talked about wearing the headset and that was something that Antonio Pierce did. Now that he is on IR, do you feel like you need to be an emotional leader on the field and can you be that guy?
A. I think we do have emotional leaders. I think the guys we have out there feed off each other. As far as being an emotional leader, I think I can be that. Being a leader is much more than being vocal. It is about what kind of swagger you have, guys flying around, feeding off each other, having that emotion with each other.
Q. So even though your tenure with this team hasn’t been very long do you feel like you are one of those guys?
A. Oh yeah. I am an emotional guy, especially during the game. It’s a part of us. As players, it is a part of who we are. A lot of guys show a lot of emotion, especially flying around the field.
Q. Do you think you and some of your teammates on defense are not going to do any crying about maybe having seen the last of Jason Witten this season?
A. No, not at all. He is a good player. As I said earlier last week, he is one of those guys that you would hate to have to play against week in and week out.
Q. How do the players feel about Coach Sheridan and what is the relationship like with him emotionally and professionally?
A. The guys like Bill. He is real upbeat, up-tempo. I think guys feed off that. His intensity, the way he attacks the game and the way he approaches things.