Coughlin: Good Morning. Beautiful morning, we’re looking forward to practicing outside. As we begin this week,
Q: What have you seen from the Packers recently; seems like they’re playing their best football:
A: They’re playing very well. They’re playing very well. They put themselves in a position where they address, as everyone does, but I think you can recognize this, who they’re playing, how they’re going to play, how they’re approaching the game, etc. They certainly are a prolific offense, the numbers probably aren’t where they want to be right now, they’re 18th. Their defense is 12th, that’s a tremendous turnaround in terms of where they were a year ago. If you remember last year, it was incredible the number of takeaways they had. That was really the key to the way in which they played. They’re still very much personnel-oriented; they play lots of combinations of people. They have a bunch of young people, rookies, that are playing in that secondary. Their special teams is outstanding. There’s nothing that as far as I know, as I look at them, that they don’t do well. They cover well. They return well. (Randall) Cobb is doing it all this year, and he’s having an outstanding year. He’s the leading receiver, they run him out of the backfield; if you haven’t seen any tape, you’ll see him lined up as the single-back and they do run him from that spot. He’s the punt returner, the kick returner. As far as I know, he’s not selling any programs coming in, but he does it all now, and he’s done a good job with it. They’ve been able to keep right on going. (Aaron) Rodgers is having an outstanding year with a 107 quarterback rating, 27 touchdowns, six interceptions, playing extremely well. He will pull the ball down and run. In the redzone, they’ve done a tremendous job, they’re 67% touchdowns, and a lot of that is, if it’s not what the quarterback likes, he’ll pull it down and run. They’re playing very, very well, and they’ve put themselves in position. The Bears are 7-3, the Packers are 7-3, the Giants are 6-4. Both teams this weekend, the last two Super Bowl winners, play. Each is in the lead in their division. It’s got a tremendous and exciting format.
Q: What about their defense is better this year?
A: They’re stingier. They’re giving up very little. As far as the run totals and the pass totals, they’ve got them down obviously. They’re doing a good job on third down; they’re doing a good job in the redzone. They’re playing very well.
Q: You mentioned the way the secondary caused a lot of turnovers last year. Do you think they may have become a little more conservative this year and that’s why the overall defense has been better?
A: You look at the tape and you wouldn’t use that term. There’s no conservative. I mean, they play every personnel combination you can think of and play well.
Q: Eli’s numbers over the last few years after the bye, the production has been pretty good. Looking back, what do you think contributed to that?
A: He’s excited, I can tell you that. He’s excited about playing. He’s looking at this as if it’s a start to a new season. That, perhaps, is the way he’s approached all games after the bye.
Q: What is it about
A: Power, speed. He’s pushed it in the end zone for us. Ahmad has done that as well. Didn’t like him getting flattened out a couple weeks ago, but again, he stayed pretty much north and south the other day.
Q: He likes to go over the top.
A: If it’s available, I’m all for it.
Q: Do you have to present your guys on offense with two different plans? One with Packers LB Clay Matthews and one without him in?
A: He’s in. That’s the plan. That’s the way we approach it. He’s in. I’ll tell you, the other kids that have played for him, they played pretty well.
Q: Is there anything you see? I mean, they had six rookies on the field last week. Is there anything you see? You said they’re playing well, they’re stingier, but you hope you can do something with them?
A: Sure, obviously. That’s what you study for.
Q: Have you seen any overconfidence in your team?
A: I haven’t seen that.
Q: When did
A: He’s been kind of back and forth with it for a while.
Q: Rivers’ knee was just a bruise?
A: Bruise. Pretty good bruise, but a bruise.
Q: He won’t practice today?
A: He’s going to go. Or, try to go.
Q: You have a roster spot open. Are you going to make a move today?
Q: Aaron Rodgers put up pretty big numbers against you guys in the last two regular season games you’ve played them. In the playoffs, you limited him. What’s the difference in that situation?
A: Well, I think we were playing better. Obviously, we played very, very well that day and quite frankly we were plus-three in Green Bay. We were minus-one here and plus-three in Green Bay.
Q: Do they run the ball more?
A: They run the ball. They get into sequences where they rush the ball a lot. Starks is playing a little bit more now again and he’s powerful and they may test the water, like what they find and then rush it three or four or five times in a row and throw some play-action off of it and then all of a sudden go to three or four wide. That’s how they play.
Q: What motivation will you draw on this week?
A: The fact that we are coming off of a bye clinging to a very small lead in our division and have to win football games and the fact that it is a six-game schedule for us now. One game at a time for six weeks, everything we’ve got, full speed ahead, prove the quality of our football team. We’re, quite frankly and rightfully so…I’m not saying that it isn’t the way it should be, but I’m really tired about answering all the questions about what’s wrong and I’d rather we play a game and play it well and answer the questions that way.
Q: Can the Packers raise the motivation because they are the Packers and how good they have been? You guys seem to play well in big games.
A: There’s no question about that. This is a huge game. It’s a huge game for them. It’s a huge game for us. I’m not going to stand here and talk to you about motivation, but I can give you a half an hour of it. Why wouldn’t we be excited about playing? Look at the time of the year. After Thanksgiving, you better be playing your best football or on your way towards playing your best football if you’re going to be representative.
Q: Do you think your team rises to the occasion at some of the bigger moments?
A: In the past we’ve done that. We certainly have intrigued people along the way, though, and some opportunities we could’ve taken advantage of that we didn’t. So hopefully we’ll continue to play well and every game is a big game to me. I have a hard time answering that one.
Q: Will you challenge your Special Teams players given the way they’ve played the last two games?
A: The challenge is there. That’s been well-addressed this morning.