Q: Coach said it was about as frustrating a loss as he could remember in a long time. Do you feel the same way?
A: It’s pretty frustrating. I don’t know where it ranks on my frustration scale, but we had our chances to win this one. There’s a lot of people wanting us to win it, and just like Eli said, you don’t make any excuses about it. We were prepared to play our best tonight and we didn’t. That’s a great football team out there, so they didn’t need any help from us, but like I said, we didn’t play our best football tonight.
Q: What did you see out there from the defense?
A: I thought it was in spurts. I thought we knocked the line back on some plays and then on some plays they just leaked through and kept getting forward momentum, and then that long run at the end – that’s just a missed tackle and him falling through. I thought we saw a lot of that where we had them stopped right at the line of scrimmage or for a loss and they’ll find a way to break out and end up with four yards, and then stopped with 3 and end up with 10. Most of that came from us not tackling well.
Q: As animated as Coughlin has been in here describing that loss, was he similar in the locker room?
A: You could tell he’s disappointed. We had a lot riding on this game. Everyone knows about what’s taken place this last week in this area. A lot of us have been affected ourselves and we wanted to come out and put some smiles on faces. That’s frustrating itself, but then knowing you had the opportunity to beat a great football team at home and letting that slip through your hands. We’ve been a team known for finishing; we take the lead in the fourth quarter and we don’t sustain it – that’s frustrating; that’s not us. We’ve got to go back and look at this thing tomorrow and try to come back next week and get to 7-3.
Q: Sometimes when you’re emotionally inspired to play for a cause, it’s hard to give that emotion for three hours. Do you think there was a point at the end that maybe that emotion wore you out?
A: No, I don’t think so. I thought Pittsburgh did a great job of executing in the fourth quarter. That screen pass with Wallace – it kind of broke the momentum and started to swing it their way. We weren’t able to get it back. I don’t think anything about the emotion from this week with Sandy or anything like that affected us. I thought, just like Eli just said, we were prepared to play our best football, it didn’t happen. A lot of that goes to the fact that Pittsburgh played pretty good.
Q: Can you talk about the offside penalties?
A: We always preach that “give us an inch and you’ve got somewhere to stand.” We still had two yards to stand and it just didn’t happen for us today.
Q: You’re used to playing in the fourth quarter and getting the rally going, is it surprising to see how it happened?
A: We kind of built this team around finishing in the fourth quarter and we’ve been successful in doing that, so when you see us needing a score there at the end or needing to come up with a big stop, we had all the confidence in the world that we were going to be able to do that. It didn’t happen today, but if we’re in that situation next week, we’re going to still have the same confidence because most times more than not, we’ve been successful in that regard.
Q: You controlled them for three quarters. Do you think you guys were just on the field too much in the second half?
A: That will never be an excuse. You enjoy playing the game and regardless if you play 60 plays or 90 plays a week. We practice pretty hard and we’re in pretty good shape. I look at it like this: as a defense we’re out there for 90 plays, the offense is out there for 90 plays, so they’re wearing down too. It’s all about your heart, it’s all about your want-to. I feel like we had that, but the ball didn’t bounce our way tonight.
Q: This is the ninth game of the season; it starts the second half of the season. What’s the message to the young guys out there, considering some of the history with this team and having some dips?
A: Let’s not (repeat) history, unless it’s going to end up how it did last year. For us, we understand what November has meant – getting off to a fast start and kind of lulling here. I don’t think tonight was a case of that. We played hard, we had our shots, but hopefully we can rectify all that next week. We’ve got a huge game out in Cincinnati and I think we’ll be up for it and hopefully we’ll end