Coughlin: I understand that Steve Sabol died today and that’s… I feel so bad for Steve’s family and what Steve went through here for the last 18 months was just terrible, so our heart goes out to Steve’s family and all those… Steve and his dad are the recorders of history in the National Football League and what a magnificent job they’ve done, so our heart pours out to Steve’s family.
Q: Injury update on Diehl?
Coughlin: Did not practice.
Q: Extent of the injury?
Coughlin: We’ll see.
Q: It’s a day to day type of thing?
Coughlin: Well, it is until something else tells us otherwise.
Q: How likely will it be for Diehl to play on Thursday?
Coughlin: It’s highly unlikely, but I would still hold out hope.
Q: What about Bradshaw?
Coughlin: We’ll see. He’s day to day too.
Q: Talk about the challenge of preparing for Carolina’s offense on a short week.
Coughlin: They certainly showed an awful lot of offense from week one to week two. They definitely unveiled the way in which they plan on attacking and obviously the yardage reflects that – well over 200 yards rushing. Cam had a number of yards himself, but we’ve been studying and looking at this in the offseason and trying to put together our thoughts on it, so certainly I think if you had two weeks, it would be a challenge, but nevertheless we’re working at it. The unfortunate thing is you don’t have really much time to spend full speed, so it’s difficult. You can be in pretty good shape in the jog through and then you’ve got your challenge on game day, but we’re working at it.
Q: What would you say is priority one against Cam Newton?
Coughlin: Well, you’d like to be able to eliminate the run game and the option game, but he’s a very accurate passer as well and when he stands in there, he obviously does a very good job and he certainly spreads the ball around, so it’s a challenge. No doubt.
Q: Does a guy his size create different problems as opposed to an average quarterback?
Coughlin: Well, certainly he’s powerful and he can run through an arm tackle, no doubt, and he’s physically strong enough to withstand the blows that come from rushing the football. Yeah. Sure. There’s different-sized athletes. This guy is big and strong and fast.
Q: What was the primary factor in not being able to run the ball against Tampa and then being able to run in game two?
Coughlin: Their execution was so much better in the second game and they diversified their offense even further.
Q: What’s harder? The physical or mental turnaround when you have the short week?
Coughlin: I think you have to start with the mental part because the Monday, for example, is a day when it’s an analytical day usually. It’s not an emotional day because you’ve just come through an emotional weekend, but you’re introducing the next opponent, so it’s a challenge. Quite frankly, as I always say, you don’t worry about things that you don’t have anything to do with. We play Thursday night and we’re going, so the guys have done a pretty good job of it.
Q: The physical part?
Coughlin: That’s the part that you’re hoping that some of your veterans can come around fast enough to get back into a full swing that they would normally have even if you talk about a good full speed Thursday practice. It’s challenging, particularly for the people that played an awful lot of snaps and are sore or whatever and just getting back to their game.
Q: Do you think a full season of these Thursday games is good for the game?
Coughlin: I’m not going there. We’re playing the Carolina Panthers Thursday night and we’re trying to get ourselves ready to go.
Q: What about having to focus on more than one guy that rushes the ball out of the backfield?
Coughlin: They’re very diversified. How about the outside? They’ve got some people on the outside that are very good as well - Steve Smith, Lafell… These guys can play, so it’s 53 yards and one foot you’ve got to defend.
Q: Is health a major concern going into week three?
Coughlin: I don’t know if it’s any different than any other team at this point. You have some people that are nicked up, but the guys that will play will play hard and they’ll represent us well.
Q: Do you feel a little more comfortable that the running game might start to get going?
Coughlin: I thought Andre did a nice job. He certainly was the focal point once Ahmad came out of the game. David has his plays and will certainly get some more time as well.
Q: What’s the nature of Ahmad’s injury?
Q: Is it just a sprain?
Q: How are you not concerned with the officiating after what you’ve seen the first two weeks?
Coughlin: Concerned is one thing, but something that we have nothing to do with. We don’t control that issue. It might be a concern, but it certainly is something that everyone has to deal with right now, so it’s no different for us than any other team and I’m certainly trying to balance where my thoughts and how my time is spent appreciably greater on other issues than that. They are human, mistakes are made, but we’re trying as best we can to deal with it.
Q: It seems like they’re letting the DBs be physical?
Coughlin: If you look at pass interferences, it’s incredibly lopsided. 97 – 98 percent DPI rather than OPI and so you have a little bit of that on the other side too.
Q: What were your expectations of Locklear when you signed him and how has he stacked up to those?
Coughlin: We signed him as a veteran player who certainly had ability and who could come in here and solidify the position in terms of maybe he would be the third. He’s been a starter since he got here due to the injury situation and played well the other day and so we’re fortunate that he’s here.
Q: Does the win give you a little extra jump? Is there such a thing as momentum?
Coughlin: Well, there certainly is momentum. Yea. There’s no time to even focus on it. You’re excited, but the extent to when you’re happy is that evening right after the game because you’re pretty much… Things have to be done. I graded the film that night, so that my attention could go elsewhere the first thing 5 o’clock Monday morning. Whenever you have a game of this nature, coaches throughout the league have the same circumstance. They have to move very rapidly, so there’s not even the normal amount of time that you can enjoy something such as a very nice come from behind win.
Q: What’s the key to scoring inside the five-yard line?
Coughlin: Execute. Execution.
Q: Was Hakeem able to do anything today at practice?
Coughlin: No, but that was by plan.
Q: You’ll expect him to go?
Coughlin: I expect that, yes.
Q: How is the overall health of your secondary?
Coughlin: Well, we’ve had some issues there. It’s certainly not any surprise to anybody, so hopefully we’re getting better.
Q: Any better today in practice?
Coughlin: Yeah, I think so. I felt better. I felt my back pedal was a lot better.
Q: Would you like to see a little bit more balance between the run and the pass?
Coughlin: That’s what I always say, but I’ll take the 600 yards, thank you very much, and not the turnovers.
Q: How do you eliminate the big plays or is it just more experience?
Coughlin: Well, that’s part of it. When we’ve had pressure on the quarterback, the accuracy is not quite there. There have been some really terrific throws that have gone against us – the ball being right on the money. I think if you look at where Tryon was, I don’t know if you get any better position. He is what he is in terms of the height and the athlete went up over him, but he was in outstanding position. You just keep working at it and studying it and understanding it and feeling better about it and you do get better playing this game. You really do, like all games, and ours is a long game, so for example, the other day I thought in many ways we improved and that would be something that I would certainly like to see come along a little bit better.
Q: Are you more cognizant of the defensive rotation due to Cam’s ability to extend plays?
Coughlin: He extends plays, but they also have a couple of running backs that the combination of all those people was very impressive the other day, to say the least, so yeah. We have a defensive line rotation and certainly will continue to do that, but the pressure aspect of it being in the right place at the right time, defending the option in all different phases; those are concerns.
Q: Do you expect to have Prince on Thursday?
Coughlin: We’ll see. I’m not ready to say that yet.
Q: Do you have updates on Diehl and Hixon?
Coughlin: Neither one of them practiced today. We’re holding out hope against all odds that they would feel better, but we’re taking it day to day and naturally with a concussion you have the protocol they have to go through and it’s a short week. Dave felt better today, but how much better? We’ll have to see.
Q: It’s just the MCL for David?
Coughlin: It’s a knee.
Q: You’re holding out hope that Bradshaw will be ready?
Coughlin: We are.