We started the second half with some runs and it looked like we were going to be able to utilize that in combination. That was the drive that Victor (Cruz) caught the quick slant and took it to the 10-yard line. It looked like we would be able to continue that, but it didn’t happen; we weren’t able to continue with that balance. The final drive, as we all know, whatever you want to pick for the circumstance, you can do that, particularly in hindsight, the penalty really, really hurt us. That’s the way we play. We’ve been able to do that by virtue of putting the ball in the hands of the quarterback. Having him make good decisions, etc., etc. This one didn’t work out. Would we change? Yeah, sure, today you would. Today it’s easy. You have the ball at the 28 and you run it once to the 26, you run it again and put it in the middle of the field, but there’s no guarantees that a 44-yard or 46-yard field goal are going to be easily handled either. If I were to do it over myself, would I be as conservative with 15 seconds? Not this morning. This morning, I would throw it to the sideline or something of that nature and take a chance on that. What happens if you get a sack there? What happens if you try to fit one in tight, and it gets, whether you catch it or not, you get tackled in bounds? Game’s over. Last night I chose to do that, knowing full well that the clock was not in our favor, we had no timeouts. I fully expected the type of coverage that would take the short throw to the sideline away from us. I’m not going to know whether or not that was the case because we didn’t try it. I take full responsibility for that, and as I told the players, I’ll start the meeting off by talking about my sins, and that is one that I’ll confess to. Defensively, you are talking about an incredible difference in the halves.
The first half, we stopped the run, we did a great job, we almost had an even distribution of time of possession in the first half, which was a goal of ours. The second half got way away from us in terms of time of possession, and the second half was where we set out to obviously kick the ball off and do the things that we needed to do again, stopping them, etc. But then the flaws in the run defense showed up. We lost contain, we couldn’t really tackle the runner, they got into a really simple formation and ran two consecutive, the same runs, plus 34, plus 22 because our force wasn’t really good. We didn’t get a very good defensive play at the point of attack. They were able to do what they wanted to do in the first place, not the put the quarterback in a position where he has to throw the ball to come back and win themselves. They’ve played us that way many times and it’s been favorable many times for them. They run the ball, we do a sloppy job of tackling and containing the runner, the quarterback pulls the ball down in key situations when he notices contain is not what it should be, runs around the corner on us and puts us in a bad situation.
Now, do we have a great goal line stand? You bet. You talk about rising up, Kiwanuka makes a great effort play, tackling the runner from behind. We line up at the goal line and it’s first and goal at the one, and we stop them three straight times with an outstanding effort, and we force a field goal there, and we force a field goal again at the end of the game, but it costs me the two timeouts that we cherish so much when you think you have to come back and win a game with a two-minute drive. Lots of inconsistencies, etc., etc., but the fact of the matter is that we had an opportunity to win the game and we did not. We had the game in our possession, we were in position, we were in field goal range, we had an opportunity to do that and we didn’t get it done. All of those things, put the blame right here. It’s right where it should be. The game was in hand, we let it get out of hand.
All the analysis afterwards is fine and dandy and that’s what we all do for a living, myself included. Analyze, analyze, analyze, and try to figure out where it went astray. It’s not hard to figure that out when you look at the total body of effort, but on the other hand, we were there to win the game and we didn’t get it done. That hurts. Remorse for opportunity lost, and you see it in the eyes of the players today, you see it in the eyes of the coaches today. There wasn’t any sleep here because there wasn’t any sleeping. As soon as you laid down, it came right to you, “why didn’t you win the game?” It’s no fun when it doesn’t work out the way you planned for it to work out.
Q: Was the mindset to keep attacking and keep moving forward at the end?
Coughlin: That’s the way we usually play unless the clock is radically against us. If it was under 20 seconds, that would have been a different story. It wasn’t, so what we’ve been able to do with success has been to continue on the attack. We feel quite frankly that with our quarterback that’s the way we should play. Do you have to be reasonable and smart? Yeah, sure you do. We had a run, that run was for two yards. We take another shot and, quite frankly, that could have been controlled as well, but it wasn’t.
Q: Tynes’ career long was a 53-yarder, was that the goal?
Coughlin: That was exactly on it, that was right on it. It was 54, we knew that. Coming down we talked about, “hey, we need to have the ball at the 35.” The ball ended up at the 36, didn’t have a lot of choice there. To be point blank honest with you, it wasn’t a perfect execution of the kick. The snap wasn’t great, getting the ball down wasn’t great, I think it did interfere with the flow and the rhythm of the kicker, whereas he had kicked it long enough but to the left on the timeout play, which I don’t know, but maybe you guys know better than I do, but I don’t think we got those five seconds back on the clock either. It went from 15 to 10 and I don’t think it ever got put back to 15 did it? I don’t think so. When we line up to kick, this time he kicks it right square down the middle, but the mechanics of the whole deal, I don’t think he got his best foot into the play because of it. It was probably two or three yards short, which had we been able to pick up five yards, he would’ve been right on the mark.
Q: You did the one inside handoff?
Coughlin: The draw.
Q: Did you think that play would work better?
Coughlin: That’s exactly what you’re after, but it didn’t quite turn out that way. Somewhere along the line you give them a little credit too. They were able to rush, yet recognize the difference in the set. They stopped the play, Landri made a nice play.
Q: Update on
Coughlin: Right now it’s an MCL; it’ll end up being a week-to-week thing.
Q: Similar to
Coughlin: Wait it out, yes. Different position.
Q: Was that the balance between Bradshaw and Brown that you were looking for?
Coughlin: Nineteen runs is not the balance. However you look at it, if we have the ball more, with some more opportunities, and we’re doing some things other than just feeling like we have to throw the ball, it becomes a little bit better in terms of seeing Andre a little bit more. I have no problems with how it worked out. As you all know,
Q: What contributed to the skewed run:pass ratio?
Coughlin: We weren’t getting anywhere. Three yards per carry. That usually will do it.
Q: Thoughts on the dropped shovel pass to David Wilson:
Coughlin: We thought it was coming out of there (signals a touchdown). It was an excellent call; it was at the right time. It was well set up. There was no indication that that was coming whatsoever. They had been subject to the crack-block in previous games relatively effectively, and if I was a defensive player, I would play it the same way. They were looking for crack. Because they were looking for crack, it gave us a chance. I don’t know if it’s an exactly perfect flip, but it should be caught; it’s there. Catch it, put it away, and use your God-given ability.
Q: Do you have a number in mind for how much time needed to be on the clock to execute another play?
Coughlin: That’s for me to know. If you’re talking about trying to do that in 15, no.
Q: Thoughts on the 0-2 start in the NFC East:
Coughlin: Well I’m concerned, but we have (four) games to go. You don’t expect to be 0-2, but we are. Am I concerned? Sure I’m concerned, naturally. I’m trying to link the continuity between playing on a Thursday night with no practice time and playing pretty darn well against a team that had 480 yards against New Orleans the week before, and then last night’s game, which was, to me, disenfranchised. The continuity of our game was not there the way it should have been. Our special teams played sound and solid, with the exception, I don’t think we punted the ball well, I don’t think we gained the field position out of the punting game; touchbacks are not what we are after. The way it went back and forth between the offensive and the defensive plays that occurred, we need to be in better harmony in all three phases than we were.
Q: How big of a role could
Coughlin: Well, there’s a couple of injuries in the secondary, as you know.
Q: How ready will he be?
Coughlin: Well I haven’t seen him yet. We’ll see when he gets out. We’ll work him out and see how…I’m expecting that he’s in very good shape, he’s known this is coming.
Q: Thoughts on LeSean McCoy’s cut-back runs, and the change from the first half to the second half:
Coughlin: We overran, we overran, we left space between the two white shirts that hadn’t been there in the first half. We arrived on the scene with three or four white shirts in the first half, and in the second half we were arriving on the scene with one guy responsible, “am I going to contain or am I going to tackle him?” No one to his leverage position on the outside to help, and even sometimes when we had people in a contain position, the next defender was also out there, which let him cut up inside. “Ok, how about if I got this gap, you take that one,” that would work out pretty well. Take nothing away from that guy; he’s a heck of a player. He really is. We had a good week in practice, by the way, working against, because we had David Wilson working in McCoy’s position and he gave us a very good week. I mean the cut-back runs and all of that stuff. That’s why I think you saw the effectiveness in the first half. What happened in the second half? I wish I could tell you.
Q: Is it baffling that the defense couldn’t put two halves together?
Coughlin: Well, I don’t know if baffling is necessarily the word, but you’re not going to win any games at this level with 17 points. Come on. Yeah, lots of yards, lots of stuff, blah blah blah, in the end, there was 19 points. 19 points. 19 points. 17 points is not going to win games at the professional level. Everybody’s goal, 17 or less, 17 or less. You have to do better. Offensively, you have to do better.
Q: Concern about
Coughlin: How much concern can I show you?
Q: Is his status in doubt for this week?
Coughlin: I won’t know until I see what happens. Where he’s at as they go forward here and analyze him and the doctors get their hands on him again. He communicates with them. I can’t tell you that.
Q: What type of injury to his knee?
Coughlin: It flared up on him when he started to run after having all that time off. It’s a swollen knee, what can I tell you?
Q: Has it gotten any better?
Coughlin: Not that I know of.
Coughlin: I don’t think there was any severity to it.
Q: Thoughts on coaches calling timeouts to try and “freeze” the kicker:
Coughlin: Well last night it didn’t have an impact. I think when you listen to some of the veteran kickers; they don’t get all upset about that, but to the younger kickers, maybe? Maybe if you can get some way, shape, or form, some type of message in their head. Their timing was good. Most of that is thought out beforehand, if it gets to that. I think the reason that that happened last night was distance more than anything else.
Q: Thoughts on
Coughlin: He did a nice job coming in the game. He did, he did a nice job coming in the game. He did some good things. He left a couple of things on the field, but by in large, for a guy who had to be pressed into action as early as he did, he fit in very well.
Q: Did that change any game plan or play calling?
Coughlin: Not to a great extent, no.
Q: People say that a player can earn reps on offense/defense thanks to their special teams play, would you say David Wilson is helping his case at running back?
Coughlin: Yes. He works hard every day. The kid…he works hard. He’s trying to get it all figured out. He wants you to know how much it means to him and how important it is to him. He’s gone out last night and proven a few things. I mean, yeah. Is there a place for a guy that can take it at five yards and run it the rest of the way…yes.
Q: Thoughts on the blocking on the kick return:
Coughlin: It was good last night, it really was. I think you’ll find an axiom in this business, when they think the guy back there maybe has a chance to score, they block better.
Coughlin: Yeah, his hand was all swollen. He rolled three (snaps) back. Eli made a great play on the one…if there could have been a worse time in the game for that to happen, that was it. He knew where he had a receiver, and threw it away over his head so we didn’t get the added yardage to it. He did, David has a big old swollen hand today and that contributed to it I’m sure.
Q: Thoughts on the interception that Eli threw:
Coughlin: I think Eli would tell you, just should not have thrown it.
Q: If Baas still has a bad hand throughout the week, would you consider a switch with Boothe?
Coughlin: You know, he never came out and said it was an issue to the point where wasn’t going to do his job. Now you don’t want to see the ball roll back obviously. Last night, that did not occur to me.