Coughlin: Good afternoon. As we sit and look at the tape and evaluate the performance before we move on to a very critical, important divisional game, looking forward to Washington, we went in to San Francisco knowing full well (that they are a) very talented, very physical football team that had put up some incredible numbers in the previous two weeks in terms of 600 yards of offense and lots of points and not giving up any points and had outstanding return teams, we knew the type of game that it was going to be and we really felt that it would be a fourth quarter win for us. We would have to play extremely well. We would have to do a super job of taking care of the ball, just using it as a reference, the NFC Championship Game from a year before when we had no turnovers. We knew the kind of game that it was to be. I thought that we did an outstanding job of just hanging in there in the very beginning when they unleashed their first 15 or 20 plays and moved up and down the field a couple of times, the offense hardly ever getting the ball in the first quarter. We hung in only giving up three points, and that was most critical to us. After that, it kind of evened out and we did win time of possession, we were plus-three in the turnover battle, we did have some nice kickoff return yardage, we did cover reasonably well against exceptional returners in (Kyle) Williams and Ted Ginn Jr., two guys who have historically been a real problem for people in terms of containing. I thought we did a decent job of that. We played outstanding defense, let’s face it. We played a team that had been on fire and we played very well, very sound, didn’t give up a lot of big plays, gave some up, but hung in there and battled and scrapped and got three critical turnovers. The start of the second half was very impressive with a kickoff return and then a short drive for a touchdown, two interceptions, which we didn’t convert; we kicked field goals after taking the ball over at the plus-12 and plus-five. We were upset about that. Nevertheless, we had the benefit of those opportunities, we came away with points. That was very important. The defense continued to play well, continued to pressure. The last part of the game we were able to run the ball and run the clock out and gain advantage in time of possession and able to come away with a win. A very big conference game, we were able to go to San Francisco and come away with a win against a very, very good 49ers team.
Q: Most complete game that you guys have played this year?
A: Well, there’s no question that we’re trying to get better every week. We had come off a game which we didn’t feel like we had played all together as one. We kind of felt that way against Carolina and we needed to get back to that the best we could. I thought we did. We had real good focus, real good energy, guys played hard, lots of people got to contribute and play.
Q: What do you think contributed to the defense finally living up to their expectations?
A: I think it’s the quality of the team we played against. There wasn’t any question that we were going to have to be at our very best if we were going to have a chance to win. We played hard, we ran the right plays at the right time, we had some extremely timely plays, I thought. We had six sacks in the game; we hadn’t had many going in. We kind of rose up and played well.
Q: What’s your motivational tactic for this upcoming week?
A: That’s not for you to know. That’ll be among the team. I will say this, we need to have consistency and we need to be able to play very well in a divisional game against a team that scored 38 points.
Q: What was the key to getting the pass rush going?
A: I don’t know that there was a key. I thought our guys practiced hard all week, they practiced fast. They were on the attack. We were north-south with our charges, we didn’t get flattened out. I just thought it was a determination to play the way we thought we were capable of playing, a very timely determination at that.
Q: Do the defending Super Bowl champions need confidence boosters, and if so, did you get that yesterday?
A: We all need that. I think the fact that we played well against a very good football team is a plus. It’s very early in the season, but it’s time for us to build on that and we have some critical games right flat in front of us.
Q: Have you seen Robert Griffin III’s touchdown run from yesterday?
A: No, I haven’t looked at any of that yet.
Q: You said yesterday that your defensive rush finally decided to show up and just play. Why do you think the defense waited till Week 6 to make their statement?
A: I don’t think it’s any waiting or deciding or anything like that. It’s just that we’ve been trying hard, but nothing has been happening. I think that we had a great week of practice and we focused on playing better, knowing full well we would have to. The number one thing going in against San Francisco is you have to stop the run. It was a very detailed preparation week in terms of stopping the run, period. We felt like if we could do that, perhaps we could have a chance to rush the passer, that’s all. I don’t think there’s anything more than that.
Q: Moving around some of the defensive guys, is that something you guys can use moving forward, or was that mainly for the 49ers?
A: No, it’s specifically for each game. Each game brings with it new challenges and new forms of strategy to try to defend against. Much of that designation was for the specific opponent, but it does create some opportunities for you to develop some of the personnel combinations that we used, if in fact the situation is right. I think you have to know a little about what I’m talking about to understand that. If in fact you’ve created, in order to defend personnel combinations or whatever, and the next opponent doesn’t use them, then perhaps you’re not going to see them.
Q: Do coaches fear a let-down after a big game like that?
A: I don’t think so. I don’t know how. We lost twice last year to Washington. Washington just came off a huge win and it’s in the division. We need to get going in the division. I would hope that it just does something to whet our appetite, and want to continue to play in that vein and to make more progress.
Q: Does playing against a player like Robert Griffin III, who is constantly in the spotlight, help you get the attention from your players?
A: Well I’m sure we’re going to be very much aware of the talented player that he is. I don’t know how you get much more excited when you’re playing in the division. That’s the key for me.
Q: After winning on the road at Dallas last year, you came back and lost to Washington. Is it difficult to keep that enthusiasm and focus on a week-to-week basis?
A: Well I would hope we can do that. That was last year, it’s different this year.
Q: Do you challenge your defensive linemen in particular?
A: Do we challenge them? Sure we challenge them. We challenge everybody. Everybody on the team gets challenged every week to match up and play their best against what the opponent brings to the table. The challenging part is there for all of us. Then you look at it, and you talk about it, (and) it develops over the course of the week as you really do get into the various specifics of the opponent that you’re playing. We make them well aware right off the bat, the early keys, we call them, and what you have to do in order to win. Part of that is a challenge that comes naturally to pointing out the strengths of the opponent.
A: The plan right now is for Chris Canty to come back this week and begin to practice.
A: Not yet.
Q: Does a signature win like that put a bigger target on your back than what was already there as the Super Bowl champions?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know how it could be any bigger. You just know that you’re going to get everybody’s best and that’s all there is to it. You look forward to it. It creates a greater challenge week-in and week-out for you to be at your best.
Q: Any new injuries in the game yesterday?
A: I don’t know yet. I’m not sure yet. We really don’t have any information as of yet.
Q: Thoughts on
A: He did ok. He came into the game and it was good for him to play and it was good for him to work and be in the competitive aspect of it. I think he enjoyed that part of it. I think it answered a lot of questions for him.
Q: Does Diehl stay in that role as a jumbo tackle with how well your line is playing?
A: We’ll see. We will have to see. I haven’t thought about that just yet.
Q: Status of
A: I don’t know. We’re going to have to wait and see on that. He’s going to get some more opportunities to practice; I don’t know just how far we can go with him. We’re going to have to, again, assess where he is, and that determination probably comes Tuesday afternoon.
Q: Darrelle Revis (NY Jets) will get his knee surgery from Dr. Warren, what does that say about the reputation of your medical staff and him in particular. Is that odd for you?
A: I don’t think it’s odd at all. I did not know about this nor would I spend a lot of time thinking about it. Dr. Warren is (who) we’ve always considered the best in the business and we feel like we have the best medical people in the world. For someone to make a decision that they would like Dr. Warren to perform their surgery, that doesn’t surprise me.