Coughlin Transcript

Here is excerpts from Tom Coughlin’s press conference from yesterday: (Per Giants.com)

“We looked at the game this morning and I had my normal meeting with the coaches.  We really did think that the effort was good.  We thought that the preparation in terms of the guys knowing what they were going into and understanding what was at stake, etc, etc, and how the game would be played there in terms of a playoff atmosphere type of a thing, I thought the guys handled that part of it very well.  And of course we had some great results defensively, I thought.  We made some things happen.  We kept our team in the game.  We gave ourselves a chance to win the game by virtue of the way in which we played on defense.  The safety, as a matter of fact, the ball is laying right in the end zone next to the quarterback and unfortunately we don’t have anybody really close to Justin Tuck and Mathias, at that time, who could scoop the ball up, and allow that Romo does knock it out of the end zone, which is a smart play by him.  But we did defensively give ourselves a chance.  Now obviously you don’t get perfect execution.  But the effort was outstanding.  And I thought special teams-wise we punted the ball very well and we gave ourselves some opportunities field position-wise by virtue of that.  We made the key field goals – the 47 yarder, which put us within one score, made it a one score ballgame.  We did those things well. We didn’t do a great job with our kickoff and coverage team in terms of being in position – tackling inside the 20.  We didn’t do a great job with our kickoff return outfit.  But we did make some plays on special teams with the punter and kicker that gave us some opportunities.  Offensively we just haven’t made a play.  We have not made a play really in a couple of weeks.  Obviously we are under a lot of pressure.  We got some hits on the quarterback – both quarterbacks took some licks last night; both Romo and Eli.  We did some things but they were sporadic.  They weren’t with any consistency.  We had a couple of runs but we didn’t have anything consistent.  We did have a couple of drives start well and gain some plays right away and then it just slowly bogged down.  We had a couple of opportunities for plays that just didn’t materialize.  We had, I thought, an opportunity on a go-screen to Mario Manningham – had we been able to negotiate one more defender, it might have been – right into a blitz that might have been a big play.  We had the play on the sideline to Hixon which we couldn’t get both hands up to the ball.  We had the play on Amani on the flag route which was — the contact was there but for whatever reason there was no flag issued which would have given us outstanding field position again.  So you can’t depend on someone else to get your work done for you.  You have to go out and make those kinds of plays.  There was no problem with the try-hard.  I thought that there were some occasions there where the noise was a factor and just the way in which we started a play – whether we were fast to start or not, and we weren’t.  But there was no problem with the effort – it was just that there was very little getting done offensively and we are just unable right now, or haven’t made a play in the last couple of weeks.  And we really do have to make some plays.  So we are really disappointed.  The players are very disappointed.  We had the long – as you did – the long ride home to think about it, early in the morning in a very short amount of time to spend in the sack – for rest period.  But the facts don’t change. So we really do have to try to make some kind of a  — something out of this in a positive way for our guys and then go ahead and get ourselves ready to play another outstanding team this weekend.Q:  Is it just about correcting plays – as you say ‘making plays’ — or is it more complicated than that?

A:  No, no.  There is more to it than that.  It is not necessarily just pointing the way.  It is when the situation is on the line, making it happen then.  I don’t know that I mean as much that something is being done improperly.  It is just that we don’t seem to – on one end or the other – make the proper connection that would give us the kind of play that would give us a little boost.  So it is more the – right now it is just not happening. 

Q:  Have you seen your guys lose some confidence over the last few weeks?

A:  Are you talking about the offense?

Q:  Yes.

A:  We don’t practice with any lack of confidence.  I don’t see that.  And I certainly see the guys that provide some motivation and some inspiration out on the field are still doing that.  So I don’t see it from that standpoint.  But we obviously haven’t done much in the last two weeks.

Q:  Can you update us on your offensive line, whether it is Seubert or McKenzie and what is your level of concern with maybe the drop off in play when they weren’t in there?

A:  First of all, anything that has to do with Richie Seubert is strictly with me. If there are things that Rich wasn’t able to get done in the game – I had tremendous appreciation for the fact that he went in and tried it – which we all knew that he would because of the competitor that he is.  But he was not – when I say not feeling well, that is an understatement.  And the only reason that he probably got on the field was because he was not running a temperature.  But he clearly wasn’t – he played probably for three quarters based on the energy level that he had and did the very best that he could under the circumstances.  And as I said, I give him great credit for that.  Obviously when he came out we had to make adjustments.  And when Kareem came out we had to make adjustments.  And we had some issues with those guys in the game and we had some issues without them in the game.  So we have to be ready.  We have seven guys active.  Kevin Boothe, Grey Ruegamer are ready to go.  Both have performed in spot duty without a lot of notice in the past.  And they are well aware of when they are called upon they have to perform at a high level.  So that is – you don’t expect to have to play two in one game but it did happen that way and that is the way it is.  

Q:  Any update on their health today?

A:  Richie is going to recover and feel better, without a doubt.  He felt a little bit better this afternoon.  But he was sent right home to kind of get back in the sack.  So I would expect that by Wednesday he should be feeling pretty good.  Kareem is getting all of the tests done today.  And we will see where he stands as we get ready to go back to practice.

Q:  What is your plan with Brandon Jacobs this week?

A:  We’ll see.  We’ll see how he feels and how the people in the medical area feel about his progress. 

Q: You have played two teams that absolutely needed to win and they played like it.  Now with so much on the line as far as seeding and getting a bye, do you sense a little bit – I don’t want to say ‘desperation on your team’, but a little bit more oomph as far as what is on the line?

A:  I certainly thought that we presented everything to them, to our team right after the Philadelphia game.  The guys are well aware of that.  Plus they are very much aware of what the opponent has at stake as well.  Obviously I haven’t seen or had the team together today and won’t see them tomorrow – but on Wednesday we will come back in and hopefully we will have better resolve and we will go back to work and try to fix the problems that we have and get ready for another big opponent.  I don’t know that the ‘desperation’ word is something that we have used in our situation yet.  But obviously we are running out of games here.

Q:  I know the team has changed some, but last year you struggled in the 14th game and then had a strong final two weeks of the regular season and obviously you won it all.  How much do you think that experience will help you down the stretch here just on muscle memory or do you think it will help at all?

A:  Well we certainly will make our team aware of circumstances that we were in one year ago following the Washington game.  And I think that they will reflect on that.  And hopefully we will gain some strength, some confidence, from that.  But as you always say, no two years are ever the same.  And if we can draw some positives from that experience, then so be it.  We can use them.

Q:  What do you do to re-instill that sense of urgency?  What can you say?

A:  I don’t know that – this is what is difficult in the team game.  You are insinuating that it is not there.  I honestly don’t agree with that.  The defensive team played with a great sense of urgency.  They played the way that you would want them to play against a very talented team.  And if you can imagine sitting there at 7-3 deep in the third quarter, having played the way that our offense was playing, you would understand where I’m coming from on this.  And as I said, it is not a matter of not sharing that on the other side of the ball; we just didn’t get anything done.  Now would I like to see us put it all together where we would have the quality game in all three areas and be playing our very, very best and be able to control the game?  We haven’t controlled the last couple of games.  We haven’t been in a position to be able to do that because we are not dictating with our offensive team at all.  But to be able to do that would be a very important thing for us right now. 

Q:  Controlling the game – how much of that is lost when you don’t have Jacobs out there?

A: He is a big part; there is no doubt about it.  And the other guys have played well when we have asked them to do that.  But in combination, to have all three of our backs ready to go, which means we can do a little something with spreading their wealth around a little bit on special teams helps us as well.  So there is no doubt that Brandon can set a physical tone that we have responded to very well over the course of the season.

Q:  Is the offense in a slump or have teams found away to defend you now that you don’t have a deep threat?

A:  I don’t know that a ‘slump’ is…obviously it’s a word that you would have to consider.  But I wouldn’t say we don’t have deep threat, now. That wouldn’t be the word that I would use, either.  Hixon was pretty much all by himself a couple of weeks ago.  And I think that with regard – I thought Steve Smith played well last night.  And I thought Steve did a nice job with his routes and his quickness.  And I think Mario Manningham is coming along and he definitely does have the speed.  And Sinorice has the speed and the quickness.  It is too bad that he had to leave the game.

Q:  Will Jacobs practice Wednesday?

A:  No, I don’t know that yet.  

Q: That is two pretty big plays that Hixon was not able to make in the last two weeks.  One of them on the deep post and then one inside ……………  both probably would have been touchdowns.  Do you need to talk to him at all to – not settle him down but make sure he is not feeling a little too much pressure to be what Burress was?

A:  I don’t see him thinking that way.  Last week he really didn’t have a chance to practice only the one day.  And I think that definitely affects any player. I think we need to have just – if we can – have a really good solid practice week with Domenik.  And I think he will respond.

Q:  Given that you proved last year that you can win a championship on the road, do you think getting one of the top two seeds and the bye week is actually more important than securing the one-seed and the home field advantage that comes with it – just to have that week off?

A:  I think that is important.  And of course the way we have taken it is in the order by which they can be accomplished; with first being the bye week.  We would like to think that we could do both. And if that is the way it is going to be, that would be a great thing for us, but first things first.  With one win we will get the bye and I think that might be good for our team.”


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