Coordinator's Corner: Haley & LeBeau

Posted Nov 1, 2012

Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley

e: Giants turnover ratio:
I think it shows what kind of defense they are. They are a very opportunistic group. It tells you a little bit about their pass rush. They are able to put quarterbacks in some situations where they make throws they normally wouldn’t make. Their guys at the back end are very opportunistic and so are the guys at their front end. They’ve all made plays, whether it’s their defensive line, linebackers or in the secondary. They do a very good job of creating opportunities for themselves.

Re: Not throwing the ball deep as much:
I think it’s because of what defenses are doing. I think Ben Roethlisberger has done a terrific job of taking what the defenses have given him. That serves us well, considering some of our guys are catching the ball based on what the defense gives us. We have some guys that are pretty dynamic with the football in their hands. Last week or the week before, defenses had their guys playing deep. They weren’t going to give up the deep ball. Roethlisberger has done a great job getting it to the open guys.

Re: Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins moving the ball well against the Giants:
I think both of those teams have very good offenses. They’ve moved the ball against a lot of people. I think the difference is that the Giants may bend some but they create opportunities at opportune times for themselves. The bottom line for a defense, and you can look at all the statistics you want to, it’s about how many points you give up. They are up in the top-10 in the league in points against. I think that’s part of what they work on every week.

Can offensive coordinators get in the groove when it comes to play calling?
I think you get more comfortable with what and who you are dealing with. I hadn’t been doing it for a few years as an offensive coordinator, worrying about one job. [As a head coach] I worried about you all [the media] on a daily basis. I think everybody is growing together and getting more comfortable. I think it shows. I’ve felt that and I’ve said that. I think that we’ve made progress each and every week. Some weeks it came out with us getting a win. The bottom line is we need to continue to get better. If we do that each and every week, eventually we will play a complete game and be hard to deal with.

If Jason Witten caught 18 passes against the Giants, can Heath Miller catch 20?
I was with Witten for a few years. Those two remind me a lot of each other. You don’t hear much out of either one of them. They do a heck of a job with anything you ask them to do. Witten has been playing that position for a long time now and has done a great job. I always root for him unless we are playing against him.

Re: Roethlisberger said Witten caught every pass running the same route:
Witten is good. He knows how to get open. He is not that much different than Miller. They have a lot of similarities.

Re: Mentioning Miller as soon as you were hired:
I had done some work on him when he came out of college. Having coached against him and I watched him play for a number of years, I just always thought he was a heck of a player. I said this week he might be one of the best football players I have ever been around, taking everything into account. He’s just a good football player.

Besides receiving, what else does Miller do well?
He is kind of the pure-all guy. If you have something unique that you need done and it requires some feel, you go right to him and he will get it done. You give him an idea of what you need to get done, and he will do it. In the run game, he is fantastic. He does a great job on his blocks. He is also a quarterback out there, helping direct receivers and other tight ends. He is just a great teammate and a really good football player. I was just excited. This league is tough. Tight ends were a little scarce for a while there. To have a solid, two-way tight end, run and pass, that’s a commodity in my mind.

Do you view the term ‘dink and dunk’ as a negative?
No. I take it as a compliment. I don’t know how I take it but not negatively. I’ve seen some really good offenses that take what you give them and then beat you when you give them openings down the field. Like I’ve said all along, I think we’re progressing and defenses are surely continuing to try to adjust to what we’re doing. In those situations, we have to take advantage of the bigger opportunities too.

Re: Learning your personnel and getting comfortable with what they are able to do:
I think that’s the case each and every year that you have new players come into the system. In this case I came to a group that had been around for a little while, but there are still new players out there that we get more comfortable with and what their abilities are. I’ve always been a big believer in less is more, that you get good at what you do. That’s why I wasn’t in a major panic about the run game, not that we’re there yet. We have a long way to go but I’m confident that the more we know what our guys can do and the more we let them do what they can do well that we’ll be okay.

Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau

What makes Giants QB Eli Manning so special?
I think it’d be, in a word, accuracy. He’s very accurate. He’s got a good corps of receivers around him. He trusts them but he puts the ball where it should be. He’s a veteran so he’s going to read the coverage and have it where it should be most of the time to favor the offense. He puts it where it needs to be. He’s a great player.

Is Manning intuitive when it comes to getting rid of the ball?
I think any productive quarterback that’s played a long time has got that innate quality, and I think you’re accurate with that statement.

Why has Manning only been sacked six times this season?
He’s very quick with the ball. Naturally, being this far into the season, they’ve had some pressure on him but he deals with it and gets rid of the ball. I’m sure his offensive linemen appreciate it. That number is a tribute to the quarterback’s ability to get out of pressure situations and throw the ball away when it breaks down. He’s very good at that.

Would you agree that Manning is comfortable throwing the ball in tight windows?
I think that’s an accurate statement. He sometimes will put some balls in there that will have a chance. We have to take advantage of our opportunities because he sure takes advantage of his. He does trust his receivers. He’s going to put the ball out there.

What area has CB Keenan Lewis improved the most in over his career?
I just think it is his experience. He’s getting a lot of playing time now. This is his second year of playing a lot and playing all the time now. He should continue to grow in the next few years.

Have you seen Lewis improve a lot from last year to this year?
I thought he played well last year and I anticipated him steadily improving in the next three or four years, and I think that’s what we’re seeing.

What has been a key to the defense improving after struggling early?
The National Football League is a 16-game season. There are a lot of ups and downs in there. We’ll see what happens in another month and a half from now. These guys are working hard. I think we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got a ways to go yet.

Re: Being effective on defense without making ‘splash plays’:
We need some splash plays. We need to get the ball turned over for our offense more. No question about it.

Do you see whether or not you made the right calls in a game when watching tape?
Just like I’m asking from them, I’m going to be talking more about their negatives and positives because this business is about getting better. I’m always looking at myself as a where can I get better. Where did I mess up? Where could I have got us in a better situation? That’s not going to change. I’m going to ask them to get better. I’m going to ask myself to get better.

Re: The Giants having 24 takeaways on defense:
I don’t have the slightest idea. I haven’t looked at one snap of their defense. You’ll have to tell me.

Would you agree that those stats are pretty impressive?
I think they’re excellent.

Do you ever get angry with your defense in film sessions?
Not in those meetings. I might go off a little bit every now and then when I see something I don’t like. Our meetings are classroom, instructive situations. We want to create an environment that we can get better in and we want to approach the solution. We don’t want to just say it’s a problem. We want to be part of solving the problem. I’ve always taught that way. Myself, I learned better when people didn’t holler at me. That’s all it’s a reflection of.

Re: Preparing for Manning this week after preparing for Robert Griffin III last week:
It’s the National Football League. You’re playing a different offense every week. But these two offenses have one thing very much in common. They’re real productive and real good. We know it’s a challenge. These guys are defending World Champions and we’re looking forward to that challenge and we recognize that we’re going against a good offensive group.

Are you happy with the pressure the defense has applied on quarterbacks?
Like I said earlier, a coach is never happy. You’re just looking to get better. I want to get more pressure. If we were sacking them every down, I guess that would be okay. I wouldn’t want more then. Until we get at least pressure on every play, I’ll be pushing for more. As I said, this is a 16-game season. You have to play well for 16 games and you have to keep getting better. That’s what we’re working on right now.

Is there a reason some teams get lots of interceptions and some teams don’t?
I think, traditionally, if you look at the teams that are ahead in the latter part of the game, they’re going to have a few more interceptions because they know the other team has got to throw the ball. This team only has two losses so they know they’re throwing the ball. Generally speaking, that leads to a few more interceptions. Other than that, turnovers are cyclical. If you’ve got a team that gets to the ball and keeps going to the ball, and some people are better interceptors than others. We’re not all created equal. They must have some pretty good interceptors over there.

Is catching the ball first a top priority when going for interceptions?
No, I don’t think so. I think that the bottom line is when they throw the ball in your area you want to get it. Barring that, you want to make sure he doesn’t get it. We can play a lot of games, and if you don’t intercept it, make sure he doesn’t get it. In that instance, I would agree with what you’re saying but you’ve got to make the offense pay for their errors. If you don’t, they’ll just keep getting opportunity after opportunity and sooner or later they’re going to hit you. If you’ve got a chance to pick one off you better get it.

What do you see from the Giants wide receivers and the secondary’s ability to defend them?
That’s one of the big matchups for us. It’s a matchup every week in the NFL if you want to be totally honest about it. With the way the colleges play football now, the wide receiver roster is deep with every team. There are just a lot of talented guys coming out every year that can run and catch the ball. I think one of the more impressive things about the Giants is that they lost some of their good receivers in the transitional period and they haven’t lost a step. These guys have stepped up for them and been equally productive. They’re very good. That’s why they’ve got the record they’ve got. That’s why they accomplished what they did last year. It’s a challenge but to be honest with you every week is a challenge.