This year, Quinn had a slew of new talent and options in house, practically securing a big season for his units. The Giants were poised to have an explosive return game. Trindon Holliday was signed to return punts. The team's top draft pick, Odell Beckham, Jr., was in line to challenge him. Quintin Demps, a very accomplished KR, was brought in to be paired with David Wilson, who was coming back from neck surgery, to return kickoffs.
John Brown beat out upstart Brandon McManus for the PK job. P Steve Weatherford and LS Zak DeOssie were coming back in better shape than ever. Zack Bowman, Jayron Hosley, Jerrel Jernigan, Marcus Harris, Cooper Taylor and Will Hill were all scheduled to make major contributions as gunners, returners and blockers.
Here we are in Week Three of the regular season and the grand plan has eroded. Holliday was waived/injured after battling a hamstring all summer. Beckham (hamstring) has yet to practice with the team. Wilson (neck) is gone for good and Demps has had ball security issues. Will Hill was released after another failed drug test. Hosley is still on suspension. Jernigan, Taylor and Harris are all on season-ending IR.
Weatherford has been punting on one leg after getting run into in the Week 1 loss to Detroit, stretching ligaments in his left ankle.
Last week vs Arizona, Bowman had the Cards' PR, Ted Ginn, Jr., pinned deep only to bounce off him, allowing Ginn to streak 71-yards for s score.
Quinn has been stripped of a lot of talent once again this season. He can only work with the players the team chooses to dress each week, and the pickings have been slim. He spoke to the media on Thursday...
Q: On the punt return [for a touchdown vs. Arizona], is it as simple from what we saw as Zack [Bowman] making contact, things broke down when he didn’t get him down?A: Number one thing is you want to make the tackle. Second thing we want is more hang time and the location. We expect the ball to go to the right, and it didn’t go to the right. Whatever comes off his foot, we have to cover.
Q: Did you look at the coverage and did you get caught off guard?A: A little bit. A couple guys have to adjust. At any time you have to adjust, whether it is a kickoff or a punt, wherever the ball is kicked, you have to adjust to it. We may say one thing coming off the sideline but wherever it comes off the foot, we have to cover.
Q: With the gunners’ responsibility, Zach seemed to take it hard?A: You want to make tackles. It is his job to make tackles, so he feels bad about it. He just has to wrap up and hold on. We have to get other guys there to help get a really good returner down like Teddy [Ginn Jr.].
Q: We remember last year and the punt returns…Do you draw on that?A: I hope not. I hope we all draw that we don’t want that to happen again. You feel sick when it happened and how it happened and the impact it had on the game.
Q: Is Steve [Weatherford] better this week?A: We’ll see. He’s injured so we’ll see how he responds. The thing you worry about is the length of the game. He can go out and punt for a period (of time), but then a game is three hours long, so that is where your concern comes.
Q: Is that what happened last week?A: I don’t know. He had one good one and then two not so good and one we should’ve downed inside the 10. If he says he’s ready to go, then he knows he has to be ready to go.
Q: There were a bunch of kickoffs you guys were returning from the end zone… How do you tell a guy to go or not to go?A: We want to be aggressive. We felt like it was close. You look at the tape and one or two blocks each time and he could come spitting out of there and give us some good field positon.
Q: Even if it is five to seven yards deep [in the end zone]?A: Yeah, [the kickoff returners] have clocks in their head. If it is hanging up there, hanging up there, hanging up there and deep. A couple of those didn’t have great hang, so he was aggressive to bring it out.
Q: But even if you have a 26-27 yard return you’re at the 18-yard line?A: Yeah, but high risk, high reward.
Q: So you don’t mind when [Quintin] Demps was….?A: No we had talked about it each time based on the game and what we wanted to do. We were in concert with Tom on that.
Q: Were most of them good decisions last week?A: I felt like they were.
Q: Tom talked about him spinning and the ball coming out… Is that something you worked on this week?A: We have worked on ball security. We don’t want to spin. That is probably trying to do too much. Just let the game come to you. If you try to hit a home run, you are not going to hit a home run. Hit some singles and they’ll go out. We talked about him just relaxing. Any time you come to a new team, you want to do something that really helps the team, so make sure you do. Don’t do something that hurts the team by trying to do too much.
Q: Do you anticipate with Preston [Parker] bumping up now with his offensive snaps that you might have to go elsewhere with the punt returner?A: No, what we have on the roster is what we have. He is ready to go. He is hungry.