Good afternoon, it is an exciting week and I am looking forward to this. We did some good things (Saturday) and we did a lot of good things on defense. The 14 points, three take aways, the five sacks and 10 hits on the quarterback, the safety and all of those things were very, very good things. I thought the special teams had good kickoff coverage, kickoff returns but not so much good with our punt or our punt return team. Offensively, we did have the 27 points and eight big plays in the game but a lot of inconsistency and that has to be improved upon. We did win the fourth quarter but we do need to improve with regard to our consistency on offense so, to be honest with you, with the day in between all thoughts are straight ahead. We did grade the tapes today and talk to the team today and we got our unfinished business done and made a strong point about moving forward.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Never better. I may not be able to run for a while.
Q: Did you go to the hospital?
Q: Do you plan to go?
A: Not in the near future.
Q: Are you better than Sean Payton?
A: Let’s hope.
Q: Were the problems on punt coverage related to the punts being over the middle?
A: Yes, the punter was not as effective as he was the week before and he put the punt coverage team in the most difficult spot. The gunners didn’t do a very good job either of getting out and getting down and in position. The punter can help in most cases with a lot of that.
Q: Can a wide receiver like Nicks get into a slump with dropping passes?
A: I don’t know. I guess you can like anything else but you know with him, drops are really shocking. He has incredible hands and big hands. He just snatches the ball out of the air so you have to give a little credit to the defense. We talked to our receivers about catching the ball with people all over them and that wasn’t the case.
Q: Are you getting worried with Hakeem?
A: I don’t know if worried is the right word. We certainly would like to see an end to that.
Q: Do you have a sense of what has gone wrong in the games that you did not win at home this season?
A: If I had an answer to that, it wouldn’t ever happen. Our approach is always the same, the difference is that this week when I walked in and instead of having to win two games to win the division and get in the playoffs, it is one. We talk about the most important game of the year and this is the most important game of the year. I think the players are very much aware of that.
Q: Are you worried about the team coming out flat?
A: I really don’t think so. I don’t know why you would be, it makes no sense to me. You have outstanding people coming to play against you. You should be able to turn everything to your advantage. It should be more, inspirational and motivational approaches if you will. My continuous plea is that all three phases play well together. That is what I am always talking about. We have a game where we do an exceptional job one way and maybe get some compliments in another way but not all three firing completely at the same time, which is something that you would like to have right now.
Q: Do they relax at home? Do you have any theories?
A: Not that I can totally share, no.
Q: Can you give us a sense of where the injured guys are, like Manningham, Ballard, Osi?
A: Probably questionable to start the week. I would hope Manningham could make it. He started to feel better at the end of the week.
Re: Tuck's play Saturday and conversation last week
A: It shouldn’t be because if you play like he did the other night, that is the best message you can send and the best way you can help your teammates is to set that kind of example and follow through with it. He had fun playing the other night. He played with great energy and played a lot of snaps, he didn’t want to come off the field and those are all huge plusses.
Q: Is it really mind over matter?
A: No question. That is part of it and he was definitely feeling better but there were some things going on where he just had to say, 'hey, I am not paying attention to you this week and I am not on the injured list now.'
Q: Tuck said he played 88 snaps on Saturday. Is that evidence of his mind over his body?
A: I think that is, yeah. He obviously would know that, he’s been through the meetings. And he played a lot of snaps. We had three guys play over 100 snaps.
Q: Who played over 100 snaps?
A: Rolle, JPP and
Q: Given that, are you happy to have the extra day?
Q: What makes Giants-Dallas so special?
A: I just isolated the fact of what’s at stake. I did remind our team that a year ago we won down there and lost at home. I reminded them as we got ready to break today that it’s going to take everything we have and it has to be a great week of sharing, a great week of the veteran players helping the younger players, a great week of anticipating the kind of physical play that will once again be a part of this game, just as it was last week. This is a long and storied rivalry, no doubt about it. There have been some great, great games between the two franchises. The one a couple of weeks ago was an outstanding game and example of that. We prepare ourselves for just that type of high intensity, outstanding, high level of performance on both sides.
Q: Does the fact that you played Dallas three weeks ago add another element to this game?
A: Teams will always do something a little bit different. It won’t always be the same. You think you have a good handle on the personnel. You may be able to know the younger players better at this point of time because you’ve seen them all year and then you see them in a very short amount of time. I don’t know who would have the advantage. Both teams know each other very well and have the two games in between to study to see if there is anything different going on. Certainly it’s relatively fresh in our minds because we would pull out all of our information and go right to it and add the two games since to that cumulative information. I feel like we have a very good library of facts.
Q: How much will you consider Tony Romo’s and Felix Jones’ injuries?
A: They’re playing. There isn’t any question in my mind.
Q: Are there any precautions you can take in order to prevent the incident that occurred with you on the sideline?
A: No. I’ll move a little quicker.
Q: Nothing needs to be done to prevent something like that from occurring?
A: Just stop right there. The problem that I had is I relaxed because [the player] was out of bounds. The only thing that happened was that 10 yards later he got hit out of bounds. As John Mara said, ‘Too bad you got hurt, we got the 15 yards.’
Q: What should you do?
A: Watch the game. Keep your eyes on the field. Sometimes someone will come to you, but if there is a normal situation, for example a punt, you better not fall asleep on a punt. It’s my fault. It should have never happened, but it could have been worse.
Q: What’s the injury?
A: I am not going to disclose injuries to you.
Q: What does it say about the team that Antrel’s comments a week ago didn’t fracture the team?
A: Our team is pretty solid, I would say. I don’t know that would have been the case. I don’t know that he went to that kind of an extreme. I don’t know that he pointed any figures at anybody. I hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention to it.
Q: Did you go to treatment yesterday?
A: I did, to check on the players that were there.
Q: Update on Ballard?
A: Today, nothing different. Hopefully by Wednesday it improves a little bit.
A: Osi’s still [the same].
Q: Did you get an explanation on any of the calls that didn't go your way?
A: The same ones you got. I just think we have to look at this again. There are two or three things there – the fumble, was the ball on the shoe of Antrel? Was the elbow on the shoe? It just looked difficult to overturn something like that. The rules are exactly the way the officials are supposed to interpret them, but when a ball is taken that low after the idea that the ball was going to be released and then pulled down, that appears to me to be a little bit different story. But I had not had a chance to speak to the officials. I’m sure they will support the way that the referees judged the play and the way things are written today, it’s probably the way it should have been. It’s tough to call it that way when you’re standing on the other sideline. Those are big plays. They had had seven teams score against them on defense. It wouldn’t be anything new for us to get the ball in the end zone. That was obviously huge.
Q: What about the fumble that Ross recovered - could you not challenge it because the whistle blew the play dead?
A: That’s the one I’m talking about. That’s what he told me, yes. ‘You’re not going to be able to challenge that.’
Q: Has there ever been a season with so many reviews with so much grey area?
A: Not in my time. I can’t tell you how many of these things are inconclusive. It’s incredible, really. I guess someone else would argue from the other side, ‘What do you mean it’s inconclusive? The information is there for us. We make the call.’ But to me, standing on the field, getting information from above, is it or isn’t it? ‘I can’t see it all yet.’ All I’m doing is agreeing with you. In my opinion, which probably nobody cares about, there have been many, many circumstances this year that have been, ‘Give me something that’s solid. Will you?’ A lot of times I make a challenge simply because I don’t want to live with ‘what if?’
Q: Does the speed of the game affect the challenges?
A: I’m not sure about that part.
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