In this week's "Gunn-on-One," which you can see Sunday on CSN's Eagles Pregame Live, Derrick Gunn chats with defensive back Jalen Mills:
Gunn: Before the Chiefs game, you got to break down the huddle in front of all of the veterans. How did you get that role and what was it like to get these guys fired up for a game?
Mills: It all kind of happened last year and we were kind of going through rotations and guys were saying what they were feeling. I don’t remember what game but Jenk (safety Malcolm Jenkins) tapped my shoulder and I looked at him and he told me to let the group hear something. When that time comes, all of the anticipation comes out from waiting to play and you get ready.
Gunn: What aspects of your game are a lot better this year compared to your rookie season?
Mills: I mean, my play recognition. I am seeing a lot of plays come out a lot slower, I am seeing formations and where the quarterbacks are looking as well as run and block shedding.
Gunn: You have been tested a lot through the past two games. Honestly evaluate your play so far.
Mills: I am very critical of myself. Knowing my capabilities, out of 10 I would give myself a six. I don’t think the game against the Chiefs was my best but there is always room for improvement.
Gunn: There is a chance the secondary could be depleted this Sunday, how does that change how you all approach the game on the back end of the defense?
Mills: You have certain guys who do things well. We also have a great room. We all study together and we are communicating a lot at practice. The communication is there and we all see the same thing at the same time. I don’t think there is going to be a big difference.
Gunn: How surprised are you that the Giants are 0-2?
Mills: Very surprised. Especially with the pickups they got. They got Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, who I played against when I was at LSU. It is a long season and anything can happen. They are not going to come in and lay down. They are hungry to win.
Gunn: Giants coach Ben McAdoo said they are going to “change some things.” How do you prepare for the unexpected?
Mills: We have to trust the scheme. Whatever it is, whether it is a new running back or wide receiver, we have to stay committed and just play fast.
Gunn: Do you agree with this assessment? The worst opponent to play is sometimes a wounded opponent.
Mills: You know they are itching and hungry for a win and they will do whatever they must in their power to get that feeling. At the same time, we can’t think we are going to run over them because they will come after you.
Gunn: You played with Odell Beckham Jr. for two years at LSU. Give me your breakdown of the pluses and minuses of Odell.
Mills: Pluses: I know a lot of people see things in the media and they push a negative cloud on him. He is a great teammate who works hard. He has great passion and a great love for the game. I don’t have anything negative to say about him.
Gunn: Do you talk to Odell leading up to the game and throughout the season? Is there any trash talk there?
Mills: I don’t talk to him that much during the season. We do talk a little bit in the offseason. We both know what is at stake and we are out here to compete and win. There is not too much trash talk there with Odell.
Gunn: Is there any way to get him off of his game?
Mills: I think Josh Norman got him off of his game last year and got him frustrated, but it calmed down after that. Not much gets him off of his game.
Gunn: Rasul Douglas could be getting his first professional start. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing the same. What do you tell him to get ready?
Mills: First, if he does get the start, he has to trust himself. If you are out here, the coaches and players trust you. You have to believe in yourself.
Gunn: Malcolm Jenkins said the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East. Do you agree?
Gunn: I saw you were on the injury report with a hand injury. Is your wagging finger fine?
Mills: My wagging finger is definitely fine.
Gunn: Who has the better hair? You or Odell? Why?
Mills: Me of course. My hair is green and I think I pull it off pretty well.
Gunn: If Rasul or Patrick Robinson guards Odell, what do you tell them?
Mills: Stop Odell. There isn’t a certain formula because everybody’s body is different. I would just say do what you do best.