Q. What’s the difference between the lead-up and the prep for this playoff game, compared to your playoff debut last year? (Mike Sielski)
NICK SIRIANNI: You’re trying to perfect your process and tweak it, so there’s obviously little different things that you’ve done, that you’ve added over the year, like hey, we’ll add this or we’ll take this out. There are little things like that, that are changed.
What’s the difference between this preparation now today and the one against Detroit? Nothing. The moment of the game and who we’re playing and where we’re playing, that doesn’t change. That’s been our consistent message all year and what our players know and what our players do as you get ready for each game, and you treat each game exactly the same because every game is big in this league.
Q. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of facing a team you have so much familiarity with? (Dave Zangaro)
NICK SIRIANNI: I guess you would say that they know us well, and we know them well. You know the personnel really well. You know the schemes really well.
So, there are advantages and disadvantages to both ends of that.
Again, you go through your process. You have a process for everything. You’ve got a process for a Monday night game. You have a process for a Thursday night game. You have a process for the second or third time that you play a team that you’re trying to go through in that matter.
But it’s familiarity, and that can be both good and bad because it’s not like we’re just familiar with them; they’re familiar with us, as well.
Q. What’s your feeling for how QB Jalen Hurts is feeling and functioning now relative to last time he was getting ready for the Giants? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Same thing I’m going to tell you. He’s better today than he was two weeks ago, and he’s continuing to get better, and he feels good. I’ll let him tell you how he feels.
But looking forward to seeing him go out there and practice today and go through everything today.
Q. Your philosophy of shorter training camp practices, days off in camp, walk-through Wednesdays, all that stuff, getting guys off their feet, what kind of made you believe in that when you first got here, and how much do you think it’s paid off this year? (Reuben Frank)
NICK SIRIANNI: Long season. Really long season. You take things that were good at places you’ve been in the past and head coaches did things in the past and you take things that are bad, and you look at your team, and you want to keep these guys healthy. It’s a long, long season. 17 weeks is long.
Then obviously when you’re playing in the playoffs, it’s even longer, and the preseason. So, you’re trying to do what you can do to keep them healthy while still making sure they’re ready physically, making sure they’re ready mentally, all those different things.
Really do like the way we practiced here. Obviously, it’s helped us. Now, we’ve had some dings along the way just like every team, but we feel like we’re pretty healthy going into this playoffs, and that’s a tribute to all the people that work to make sure that — gave me the information, and I’ve got to make the decision what I feel is best for the team, but all the people that gave me the information that I needed from our trainers and our training staff and our strength staff and our doctors of what could be best for our guys’ health and everything.
Q. What was Sunday like for you guys? Did you guys watch the games at home or here? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: We were here.
Q. Just turning the page, watching that game and on to the Giants? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, we were here. We were preparing. At that point you have three different teams you can get ready for. We were preparing for the teams and did a lot of work on the Giants that day. Just so happened to be a lot of work on the Giants that day. So, we guessed right there.
Q. Did you watch the broadcast? (Bo Wulf)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, it’s on in the background as you’re going. You’re more focused on that than you normally would be because you’re looking back and forth, seeing how things played out.
So yeah, it was on while we were planning.
Q. What did you accomplish last week, and why the pads on Thursday? (Zach Berman)
NICK SIRIANNI: We just wanted to get in pads again to make sure we had some good-on-good work, some speed work so we can be physical and also work on some of the run game stuff that you might not get quite as much of when you don’t have pads on because we wanted to work on the fundamentals.
That was the main emphasis is really working hard on our fundamentals. Again, I say this all the time, that this team is going to call a good play and this team is going to call a good play and this player is going to be good and this player is good; what gives? And that is going to be fundamentals.
So, we worked on the fundamentals of our plays and the fundamentals of the football. That was a big emphasis last week.
Situational football was a big emphasis last week, and so those were two big things that we really worked on, and obviously we did a lot of self-scout just like we did coming off the bye week in the year, as well.
Q. What did you make of the way that Giants Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale called the game against the Vikings versus what he had done previously for most of the season, in terms of blitzing, not blitzing, a lot of zone? (Jeff McLane)
NICK SIRIANNI: He does what he needs to do to win the football game. I know that’s their philosophy. It’s all of our philosophies, do what you’ve got to do to win the football game. Obviously, I wasn’t in their game plan meetings of saying, hey, this is what the Vikings do on offense and this is how he needs to call it. We noticed how he called it and just watched it from there.
Q. When you go back to your first experience in the playoffs, you said the preparation doesn’t change, but what did you learn as the head coach and your staff in that environment for the first time? (John McMullen)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, maybe that was my first environment as a head coach, but really it keeps coming back to the same thing. Just because you’re in this moment doesn’t mean you change anything about how you go about your business. You don’t put more emphasis on ball security or taking the ball away because if you do it now, it wasn’t important leading up to it.
Really it just keeps coming back to that. We got good experience of being in the playoffs last year. Obviously it didn’t end the way we wanted it to end, but it was my experience with everything last year really is like don’t look too far ahead, stay in the moment. I know that makes for a boring press conference at times, but it truly is be in the moment, be where you are, and to me that’s what good teams do. That’s what good players do, and I think that’s what good coaches do.
That’s what I guess taught me the most is just continue to be where you are, and that’s what last year, I think last year more so than that game particularly, but last year was what I was talking about.
Q. Does CB Avonte Maddox have a chance this week at all or is he still a little ways away? (John Clark)
NICK SIRIANNI: We’ll see. We’ll see. He’s still pushing through. He’s getting better. But we’ll see on him. You guys will get the practice report of everybody at practice.
Q. With QB Jalen Hurts, do you have to kind of manage him a little bit today or is he going to be a full go? (Mike Garafolo)
NICK SIRIANNI: He’ll be ready to roll today, full go.
Q. RT Lane Johnson has kind of declared himself ready, but do you have to keep an eye on him? (Mike Garafolo)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, you always are going to watch the guys that you want to make sure they’re progressing the way they’re supposed to so they’re ready to go on Saturday.
Q. What the Giants looked like on Sunday versus the first time you played them on December 11, do you see any differences in the way they’re playing? (Ed Kracz)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, there are some different things that they’re doing. Obviously, they’re good coaches, and they’ve got good players. When you have good coaches, they’re going to adapt to what they’re doing well, and they had a bye week over the time that we played them, and they’ve had some time off. They’ve had time to self-diagnose. So sure, because [Giants Defensive Coordinator Don] Wink [Martindale] and [Giants Head Coach Brian] Daboll and [Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike] Kafka and [Giants Offensive Line coach] Bobby Johnson and [Giants Wide Receivers coach] Mike Groh, because all those guys I respect a lot and they’re good coaches, they’re going to figure out what they’re doing well and they’re going to try to repeat that.
So sure, you see some differences in that aspect.
Q. What was behind the decision for QB Jalen Hurts not to throw on Thursday? (E.J. Smith)
NICK SIRIANNI: That was just our decision to make sure that he’s continuing to progress the way we want to.
Q. That decision you made to give up the play calling duties, I think three of the four coaches in the final four have done the same thing or that’s the way they operate. How freeing has that been for you? The record is pretty good. (Bob Grotz)
NICK SIRIANNI: It helps me manage the game better in my opinion, and it helps me be involved with the defense. I don’t want to look down at my call sheet — I’m going through it and I’m doing that at times, but I want to make sure I’m there with the defense and saying whatever I need to to [Defensive Coordinator] Jonathan [Gannon] or the players and same thing with and special teams. If I need to talk to a ref, managing the game is the biggest thing, though. That’s my job as the head coach is to manage the game. Everybody does it a little bit differently, I get it, and what works best for us is that I do it this way.
So that’s where we are. We like our processes of how we’re going. We’re always trying to tweak it and make it better, but I’ve got great coaches that I’m able to lean on there, and [Offensive Coordinator] Shane [Steichen] is doing a great job of calling it. So yeah, we like the process and the way it’s going, so it’s worked out well for us.
Q. How would you qualify Giants QB Daniel Jones as a scrambler, and what’s the process of preparing your team for someone like that versus someone like QB Jalen Hurts? (Reporter)
NICK SIRIANNI: Well, the good thing is they’ve got a lot of reps versus a guy like [QB Jalen] Hurts, so [Giants QB] Daniel Jones is dangerous in the pocket and when he gets out of the pocket. He’s really playing really good football. He’s continuing to get better. Hats off to him and that coaching staff for allowing that to happen.
But that’s one thing you always are appreciative of is that these guys, the two practices that we had last week, because Jalen still may not have thrown, but he still practiced last week, and then all the training camp practices, all the good versus good periods, they’ve had to defend a quarterback with that ability to scramble.
So, we feel like we got a lot of good reps at it, but we know also that he obviously — how dangerous he is and how good we’re going to have to be to do the things we need to do to be successful in this game against Daniel.
Q. Going back to you guys watching the Giants-Vikings game, can you provide a little color, what room it’s in, what coaches you’re with, and what it’s like when a play happens as you guys are in the midst of prep? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, [Administrative Assistant to the Head Coach] Scott Kaniecki got us — I was kind of craving Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, which I haven’t had that in a while. That’s not something I get to get at home. So, we had that. It was in the offensive staff room.
The only thing that’s negative about doing it in there, and maybe I’ll have to talk to [Vice President of Football Technology] Pat Dolan, is you can’t rewind a play in there. But you should be able to because you could at home, right, because you’ve got it on the — like in our meeting upstairs you couldn’t, ‘Hey, what was that play, rewind that; what did they do to [Vikings WR Justin] Jefferson there or what did they do to — on that particular play.’ You can’t rewind it, and you’ve got to wait for the replay. We sat in there. Obviously, I’m in with the offense getting the offensive game plan done, Gannon is with the defense and [Special Teams Coordinator Michael] Coach Clay is with the special teams, so it was all the offensive coaches that were in there watching it as we planned.
[Passing Game Coordinator] Kevin Patullo always turns the volume down like my mom would back in the day, like ‘Hey, we’re working, I’m going to turn this down.’ I said, ‘Turn it back up.’ So that’s something that happened in there. Yeah, that’s some good insight. There you go.
Q. Was there a play that caught your eye? (Tim McManus)
NICK SIRIANNI: Yeah, but that might be in the game plan this week, so I don’t want to talk about it.