HEAD COACH GREG SCHIANO
Q: With the 8-point lead in the fourth quarter it looked like you started blitzing Eli and left his receivers in man-to-man for a chance at some big plays. What was behind the thinking?
A: Well, really it was no different than we’d done all game. If you look at the distribution of pressures, it was the same. It wasn’t more or less. They did a nice job. Eli did a good job all day of identifying. We missed a few times where we were supposed to check and we didn’t. Overall it was a cat and mouse game and they won it.
Q: You took that time out before that one big play. What was your message to the team then? Did you make sure they were right on that blitz?
A: We had a situation where we would have been jeopardized if we ran the play.
RE: A career day for
A: They made plays. They were able to make them and we were close, but we didn’t. We have to do a better job all around – coaching and playing.
Q: Do you feel like you let one get away? Did you feel you had a hold of this game?
A: We had a pretty good lead. If you look at the game, it changed. In the first half, we got takeaways. It’s not like we did a great job of shutting them down in the first half, but we got takeaways, so that led to points. In the second half, they got takeaways. They got three, we got two. At the end of the day, they have five or six minutes more of time of possession than we do. All of those indicators, that’s how the game kind of flipped. If we kept even one takeaway, we could’ve put it over the top, but we didn’t do it.
Q: What did you and Coach Coughlin talk about after the game?
A: That’s between the coach and I.
Q: It appeared like you had a bit of a disagreement.
A: We had some stuff we had to hash out, I guess.
Q: Was it regarding the kneel down?
A: Some of it. I don’t know if that’s not something that’s done in the National Football League, but what I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us the game is over. There’s nothing dirty about it. There’s nothing illegal about it. We crowd the ball. It’s like a sneak defense and we try to knock it loose. If they watch Rutgers, they would know, that’s what we do at the end of the game. We’re not going to quit. That’s just the way I coach and teach our players. Some people were upset about it. I don’t have any hesitation. That’s the way we play: clean, hard football until they tell us the game is over.
Q: Did you let them score after?
A: That play happened right at the end of the game. They scored before that.
Q: You talk about the fight in your team. Obviously the Giants went up with 30 seconds to go, but still the offense had an opportunity to re-tie this game.
A: They did. There was a close play down there on the end. With 12 seconds we’d be down there going for a touchdown to tie it and who knows. That’s not what happened. We got overturned. We turned it over and that’s where we stand today.
Q: Coach, was this one where you second-guessed some of those blitzes late that let to big plays or do you feel that that was the right call at the time?
A: I don’t second-guess. When you make a call based on the information you had ahead of time, you make it. When it doesn’t work, you sit there and you wish you’d done something differently. You call what you think and you go all week in preparation. There’s a two-minute game plan. There are all different game plans. Those are the decisions we made. We stick to it. We make slight adjustments, but not overhauls. You go with your plan.
Q: When you took over this job, you said one of the first things you noticed was all of the big plays made in the passing against this defense. What really changed today? What was the reason for all of those big plays today?
A: We have guys that are close and they have to make a play. Maybe we need to do it a little better in our coaching. Maybe we need to do it a little better in our playing. Altogether, it’s a collective effort. We have to do a little better. Eli Manning, I tip my hat to him.
Q: Josh did some nice things, but the one interception when you guys had the lead – can you talk about the decision to throw the ball late?
A: I’m sure he wants it back. We were up by seven. That’s a critical juncture. We made a lot of good plays too. We’ll continue to work on eliminating those and increasing the good ones. He’s going to be a very good quarterback.
DE MICHAEL BENNETT
Q: Does it hurt to know you had the lead and a chance to win it in the fourth and still came up short?
A: It hurts, but I still believe in my teammates, and the coaching, and the staff. It’s going to come together and it’s going to be something great.
Q: Eli had a career day passing, could you imagine him throwing for 510 yards?
A: No, I can’t imagine a game like that, but this is the league, and things happen, and we have to move on and get ready for the Cowboys. Every game is one game at a time. We have to believe that we’re going to be good at the end of the season.
Q: Was it an adjustment to what you guys were doing or did they just pick up the blitz better?
A: I think they made some adjustments to the things we did, obviously, because they started picking up the blitzes better as the game went on. Those things happen in this league.
Q: You didn’t have any sacks this game, was that a tribute to their blocking?
A: I don’t know if it was a lack of a pass rush or not, or he was just escaping a lot of things. We had a lot of pressure on him, obviously. He threw three interceptions. His passer rating went up in the fourth quarter as the game went on. People are going to say things; we’re not really worried about that right now. We’re just worried about going back to the drawing board, and attacking the season the way we need to attack it. You know people are going to say, “we don’t believe in the Bucs, it was a one game fluke,” but as long as we believe in ourselves, we can’t really care what people think about us.
Q: What happened at the end?
A: We just lost the game.
Q: What happened on the final kneel-down?
A: We just did a play. We’re supposed to play till the end of the quarter, and coach told us that if we can get the ball back and keep going that we should never give up and continuously fight.
SAFETY RONDE BARBER
Q: What did you think of Eli’s performance?
A: Numbers don’t lie.
Q: Do you feel responsible?
A: It’s not just on the secondary, it’s on the whole defense, but it’s not easy, especially how it started. We played them how we wanted to in the first half, we knew we could rattle them a little bit, and they gave us the ball three times. If you would’ve asked if we would pick them off three times in the first half, we would’ve felt really good about ourselves. We have to be able to finish them, we weren’t. He’s very good at throwing up balls, and giving his receivers opportunities to make plays.
Q: Did you feel in-control of this game?
A: Never. I’ve seen too many Giants games. You can’t ever feel like you’re comfortable with this guy, he’s made a career out of it. So…no.
Q: Can you describe the final touchdown?
A: It was a blitz and we were single-high, he ran past me. I wasn’t expecting it to be a go, not on third and two, with pressure coming. I don’t know how Eli got that ball off. It was a great throw and catch.
Q: Did you blitz any more or less at the end of the game?
A: I think he called the game the same the whole way through. We gave some single-high looks; some double-high looks; Bill (Sheridan) and coach Schiano both are definitely aggressive play callers, so that didn’t change.
Q: They just handled the blitz better in the second half?
A: They played well. Like I said, he made some throws. What do you want me to say? He called the defense, we played the defense. They get paid, too. They made more plays than we did.
WR MIKE WILLIAMS
Q: Did you make that catch along the sideline at the end of the game?
A: I have to hold onto it. I have to go all the way through the ground with it. It’s one of those situations that I have to learn from right there. He kind of popped into my view real late, I couldn’t get it all the way up to my chin, and it bobbled out.
Q: What about the effort of the team?
A: I think we fought hard. We played hard to win this game. We made mistakes. We went out there and lost, but we lost as a team. I think we played hard though.
Q: Did you learn anything about your team?
A: We’re going to fight no matter what the situation is. We were down seven and we go down for a quick score right away. They went down and they scored. We had like 30 seconds left, we went down with a quick strike too but they called it incomplete. I would have loved to see the play that was going to be called next too.
Q: Could the offense have helped out the defense more?
A: Our defense played great. As an offense, that’s our job to try and put up points and put the game out of reach if our defense is playing that good.
TACKLE DONALD PENN
Q: What are your thoughts on the game?
A: That’s a tough one to lose it like that. It was a knockdown-drag out battle all game and they just made one more play than us. We have to learn how to finish. I know one thing, with everybody looking at this game, the Bucs aren’t a joke. The world knows that the Bucs aren’t playing around this year.
Q: What happened on the WR Mike Williams touchdown play that tied the game up?
A: I was blocking and I had Osi (Umenyiora) running around there and I was trying to stay with him. I saw the tail end of it. It was a great catch. Mike Williams might be one of the best in the NFL at going to get a ball that’s in the air. That was a great play and we needed it. We have to continue to do that. We have to come out in the second half and not make it close. We have to finish. That’s the main thing we have to take away from this game.
Q: What happened on the last drive of the game?
A: I can’t talk about the referees too much but it seemed like it was a lopsided game. They came and bit us in the end. (Mike Williams) caught the ball, got two feet down, got hit out of bounds, and the ball came loose. It’s a fumble out of bounds. It should have been a first down. That’s what happens. I knew that there was no doubt that we were going to score. We had a good game plan and practice two-minute every day. We didn’t get that break.