Coach Tom Coughlin
We don’t make it easy on ourselves, but we did find a way to win, and I think the only way that happens is that the players believed at halftime that [they were] going to win. That’s basically the way it happened. If you look closely, we were minus-one, but we traded off some of the really bad or good plays, and I think that was very much a positive. We couldn’t have fathomed starting the game off like we did, and then we block a punt. They intercept and score; we intercept the ball and go to their three-yard line. So it kind of went back and forth. Andre Brown certainly… I told you 40 carries the other day, and I certainly didn’t mean to mislead you. It was 30. He gave us what we needed. He had a little spark out there – some power runs. Almost broke free a couple times as well.
Our defense rose up in the second half. Goal line stand, illegal procedure put the ball back on the (six)-yard line. That was huge. They kicked a field goal to keep within range for us. All those things contributed. I would’ve certainly liked to have scored a touchdown. We have studied teams that have left the ball on the one-yard line. San Diego did that. Pittsburgh did that, and in fact it cost them the game. In this case, when we didn’t get in, we kicked a field goal and we were fortunate enough because of field position and our defense to be able to hang in there and win the game. A lot of outstanding plays and a lot of bad plays, to be honest with you, some things just going forward we have to do a better job.
Q: Was the wind a factor today?
The wind was a crosswind. It seemed like it was swirling all the time. Even pregame it was swirling. We were trying to make the call whether or not… We were throwing the ball very well pregame into it, with it, into the swirling winds or not. We were doing that and talking with Eli, I didn’t think it was a major factor. We have taken the ball the last two games and won, and we took the ball today.
Q: How impressive was Andre Brown’s workload?
That’s very impressive. And he had four-five guys on his back for a while. The league and the policy as far as the three-week build-up after you’ve been on the short-time (IR) is a good thing. Over the course of those three weeks, he built his stamina, he built his confidence. I know when he first came back he thought he was missing some cuts and he thought he wasn’t as natural, as instinctive, as he wanted to be. The three-week period, the 21 days, I think he felt better about it.
Q: Was there anything consistent with special teams? It looks like they were getting consistent pressure up the middle on the punts.
Unfortunately, we got pressure ourselves, too, which that gave us a bad taste in our mouths. We got pressure right away. We got pressure later on. Their punter did an outstanding job of keeping us backed up, way backed up, in our field position in the first half.
Q: What do you think a day like today means to Andre Brown after all the things he’s been through physically?
I don’t think there’s any doubt this is very rewarding and very satisfying. Perseverance does pay off and he is a guy who has persevered. He had torn his Achilles and he was off our team, he came back, he got hurt with the leg, he gets hurt again. He hangs in there. Give Jerry [Reese] credit thinking he would be back and he is back in the same season, with a break in the last preseason game, so we’re real happy. There’s no question. I don’t think you can say enough about him, from one game coming back. He hadn’t been hit, literally. That was my concern going in, ball security, he hadn’t even been tackled.
Q: On the same vein, what would you say about Terrell Thomas’ perseverance?
A: How about that? The same belief in himself and the same feeling, the desire to always make it back, believing that he could, and then making that play today. He’s a smart football player, a good football player. You saw Terrell with his tackling two weeks ago. I don’t know that he had as many tackles today, but he certainly was the man on the spot for the interception. It’s a shame he didn’t get in the end zone.
Q: How big was that play at the moment, though?
A: Huge. They’re at midfield, or wherever it was, and all of a sudden our offense gets the ball. We hadn’t had the ball. The third quarter, they had the ball. All of a sudden, we got the ball on the five-yard line and we’re holding our breath for the replay, although we thought that he was down. Then it came from the three back to the five.
Q: On the last possession in the first half, you let the clock run down. Does the wind play a factor, or after the pick-six, you just decided to re-group?
A: I decided to re-group. We’ve taken the ball with 41 seconds and driven it the length of the field and Eli has been superior in that situation. I thought we had quite a ways to go, with not a lot of time. We’ve done it before with that much time, but that’s on me. That was my decision to get in there at halftime, and thank goodness it worked.
Q: You talked about the halftime locker room, how is that different than earlier this year, where you had a lot of mistakes too in the first half?
A: I don’t know. This locker room, this halftime, I told the guys to get their chins up. It was a little bit quiet, but I told them exactly what I believed and we’ve been in a lot of tougher situations and circumstances before, but this was certainly one difficult situation, but it wasn’t the toughest we’ve ever been in. We thought we could come back.
Q: Eli’s interception was such a backbreaking play. Just a bad throw?
A: He did have a guy coming off of the corner. He did have one up the middle and we had a basic route, but I think he let it go and didn’t even see the nickel, but he was there.
Q: What did you guys do to try to slow down Terrelle Pryor? Your defensive line obviously had a pretty good game.
A: We did, but we had a couple of occasions where they did a nice job and blocked everybody that we had assigned. With the keeper play on the edge. We did a good job, I thought, of the sprint out contain and the bootleg contain, he hurt us a little bit but I thought we were in good position. A few times we got the intentional grounding, we tackled him behind the line of scrimmage a couple of times, so I think we were in a good contain position with that. I will have to look at the option, the keeper stuff, because he hurt us with that.
Q: Update on JPP? He went out then came back in the game?
A: No, he came back in the game.
Q: What would it mean for your offense as a whole if Brown can do what he did today and that other teams have seen him do it?
A: It means we not only have balance, we’ve had balance, 31 and 32 carries the last couple of games, but not only do we have balance, but we’ve also got some production.
Q: How much of that workload is the game plan and how much is just him?
A: Nobody draws a play up that you just block everybody. They’re all blocked on paper, but it doesn’t happen on the field. You saw him. He made some plays after first contact, probably quite a few of them.
Q: Did Peyton Hillis’ fumble play a part in that also?
A: I’m sure it did. He’s been so solid. I could write a book about screen plays this year. What in the world is going on? Is it Halloween every Sunday?
Q: Three in a row and you have two more home games in a row…
A: I’m glad to be home and now we can turn to the next (…)
Q: Do you feel like you’re in this thing?
A: Well, we’re trying to go one game at a time and see where we are. We just made it another notch closer.
QB Eli Manning
Q: What was it like having Andre Brown back there today?
A: Andre played great. He ran hard and also hit some big runs, got some 10-yard, 11-yard runs, which was nice. And obviously that last possession we knew we were going to need two first downs to run out that clock and that’s exactly what he was able to do. Get huge first downs, not give the ball back to Oakland and run out the clock so that was a great job by that offensive line and Andre, he did help us out.
Q: What happened on the pick six?
A: The guy just undercut it. I didn’t really get to step into the throw like I wanted to and he read it and made the play.
Q: Did you have to compensate for the wind?
A: A little bit. It was definitely windy, a few kind of got away from me. On a comeback to the left the wind caught the ball and kind of kept it going towards out of bounds but that’s just kind of what you get sometimes here, you’ll have some throws that get affected and some that don’t.
Q: Is that the case with Victor Cruz in the end zone?
A: You know, I’m not sure. I think it might have got caught up in the wind a little bit and just died somewhat and kind of prevented it from being where he could run out and get it. I think the guy made a pretty good play and got his hands up in there but, you know, we had an opportunity. Obviously a touchdown there would have been nice.
Q: Is that the play on the three-yard line?
A: No, that would have been the one further out. They had the defense jump offsides so we got the first down with the offsides but later on, yeah, that one I just put out a little too far.
Q: There is still a lot of football to go but is there a sense in the locker room that you guys are now getting back into this race?
A: Well, yeah. We’re finding ways to win and that’s nice and obviously we’ve won three in a row but we still have to figure out some things. We still have to play a little bit better but we are coming together as a team and finding ways to win games in the fourth quarter and playing a little better so obviously that’s good to see. That’s what we need to do and we’ve got to keep working offensively. The defense has been playing outstanding, they’ve been playing really great. Offense, we’ve got to start being a little more consistent and having some better drives and obviously not putting them in a bind and turning the ball over.
Q: Hillis fumbled the ball on a screen, coach talked about how he’d never seen this the way you guys are running screens. Your assessment of how you guys are running screens.
A: Yeah, today we ran two of them. One was a fumble and the other was an incomplete there at the end to Andre Brown. Our screen game has not gotten going, which is something we need. We have to figure out a way to get some easy throws and quick throws and slow down that pass rush. We’ve got to find a way to get that going a little bit better.
Q: Did you expect Andre to run the ball as much as he did?
A: Yeah, I knew we were going to have to run the ball against this team, they’re good against the pass. They’re going to keep two safeties high and try to slow down our pass game so we were going to have to run it and run it well and we did. I don’t know how the rotations go with Andre and Peyton Hillis and the crew but he was running well and obviously did a good job on first and second down having him back there and he hit some big runs.
Q: You had gone a couple games without an interception. Did you get the feeling like, “Oh know, here we go again?”
A: No, no. I’ve been playing this game long enough. Some interceptions are going to happen and you just try to make better decisions next time.
Q: Is it somewhat of an encouraging sign that you’ve gotten three wins in a row and have gotten back into the race? You haven’t really played at the level you’ve played at in the past, is that something that actually could be encouraging if you get in stride?
A: I’m worried about wins and obviously getting wins. Today, sometimes you’ve got to fight and things weren’t easy for us but we were able to put together a couple of good drives when we needed to to go do down there and get some points. Obviously we have to get a little bit better on third down and they had a good plan, they did some good things to slow us down. We just have to figure out how to execute a little bit better, especially in the passing game.
Q: How does it feel to be hit after not being hit?
A: I’m a little sore, you know, my back. I knew going into it that I was going to come out a little sore. I’m going to have to go sit in the cold tub at the house with a little salt and stuff like that so it won’t affect me too much tomorrow.
Q: Did you know you were going to carry it 30 times?
A: I carried it 30 times? It felt like 50. There were a couple times where I was like, “Ahh,” tapped myself and got out of there but I didn’t know… I guess coach did say… what did he predict, 40? He was 10 off. Yeah, I didn’t expect that many carries but when we’re down there running the ball like we did, I guess you stay on pace and you stay on track. I guess we just keep it rolling.
Q: Talk about coming back from the multiple injuries, particularly the leg. What was your mindset?
A: Just staying positive, you know. A huge shout out goes out to all of the guys in the training room, Ronnie Barnes and Byron Hansen and Steve (Kennelly), they really put me back together a couple times so I really respect what they do in there. Even Ronnie, even though he hated my singing, he stayed on me and they really kept me positive and motivated to come back out here and play. Other than that, coming off the injury, you know, just staying positive and being around the guys and making sure that I was helping them out. They were making me feel like I was a part of the team. It goes out to the offensive line, everybody feeding off of me and I’m feeding off of them. It’s a good feeling right now. We’re going to enjoy this win and then watch the film and go back out there next week and get ready for the Packers.
Q: After your touchdown you fell to your knees.
A: Yeah, thank God.
Q: What else were you thinking?
A: Jesus, thank God. He put me in the position where I can come back and really have fun and play this game that I love. He’s the first person I always thank. In order to remain positive and stay positive, I’ve done a lot of praying and thanking, thanking the man above for the blessings that he’s given me.
Q: Did you doubt that a day like this would ever happen for you again?
A: No. I kind of get that out of my head. You can’t think about or dwell on the past with an injury. Just have to go in and continue to move forward and remain positive. Don’t look back. If I looked back at all the injuries I had, I probably wouldn’t be here right now. Just move forward and keep working.
Q: You talked about being with the line this week, do you think that helped you out?
A: Yeah, we’ve got good guys. William, Boothe, Dave. I rolled with Justin to the game today because I needed a ride. I guess we’re going to… he said after the game we’re going to start that as a tradition because we had a good game. Being around those guys is a very positive thing. They just help me out, I even lift with them in the weight room from time to time, not too many times a week, but they’re hard workers and I really respect what they do up front. I probably owe them a dinner this week or something like that. It’s fun.
Q: I know so much of this sport is a week-to-week thing, but do you feel like there’s momentum building now?
A: Yeah, I would say so. With a win, you’re going to continue to gain confidence in yourself and go back out there and get ready, you’re a little more driven to study hard, go the extra mile, get ready for the next opponent. That’s what we’re planning on doing. Enjoy it for the rest of the day and get ready for the Packers.
Q: Are you concerned at all with how you’ll bounce back? You’ve never had this many carries in a game.
A: No. Football, let’s go. Cold tub it up, little salt and let’s ride.
Q: When was the last time you did have this many carries?
A: 30 carries? Probably my sophomore year in college.
Q: You’re playing now with this shin guard specially designed, is that correct? Is that something you will…?
A: Yeah. For the rest of my career.
Q: Do you notice it? Do you feel it?
A: I didn’t feel a thing. Nope.
Q: How were you able to do that?
A: Run. I’m running for my life out there. It’s pretty simple.
Q: Terrell Thomas had a couple of big plays as well and he had a couple of injuries. Have you guys kind of talked at all over the months or years?
A: We say… remain positive. He will say, “What’s up Dre, that was a big play,” when I scored off of his interception return. I went back over that and I said, “Good job.” He’s another guy, he showed perseverance and he knows how to deal with adversity and he continues to go out there and play ball. Last week he won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week and this week he put up good numbers and he’s playing good ball. Guys like that, you feed off of. I really want to go out there and make sure that I’ll be a guy they can feed off of and continue to go out there and get Ws.
Q: You told him good job when you went to the sidelines?
Q: And what did he say to you?
A: He said, “Just keep pounding. Keep running around.” That’s how we’re going to keep it.
Q: Did you feel like you were physically ready weeks ago but because of the way the rules are you couldn’t be eligible until today?
Q: How did you manage that anxiety or that anxiousness?
A: Playing a lot of video games, I guess. That’s about it.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: Can you talk about the defense’s performance today, the way the guys held up after the turnovers?
A: We always talk about… give us a yard, it’s our job to make sure they don’t score. Today we kind of had some opportunities to prevent some scores and did a good job of it. That’s pretty much it.
Q: Three in a row now, is there a new sense of optimism now? You guys are totally back in this race.
A: Honestly, we really haven’t lost any of that optimism. Even at 0-6 we still felt as though we could still climb out of the hole we were in. We still are in the hole but obviously it feels good to have three in a row here and two more games in a row at home. We’re starting to play with a lot of confidence and that’s something that hopefully we can continue to build on and continue to get back in this race.
Q: JPP said he was going to have a big game today, he injured his shoulder, went out and came back. What did you see from him?
A: He’s starting to get a little more confident and starting to trust himself. For him, the sky’s the limit. He knows that, we all know that, so we just try to be positive with him and make sure he knows that he’s the next kind of something great around here and I think he’s starting to get back. That’s kind of scary because he hasn’t played bad but he could play tremendously better once he gets back to his old form.
Q: You almost had the pick, did you see the end zone right there?
A: Yeah, that’s going to be in my dreams tonight. It’s something we’d seen in practice and I got a good read on it. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my other hand up to get two hands on it but it was a good play and it got us off the football field. Believe me, it was an opportunity that I feel like I missed and hopefully I get the opportunity to do that again.
Q: Do you think sometimes that a team needs to be pushed to the brink to get that extra focus?
A: No, I don’t believe that. That’s how it has happened this year but there have been years around here when we’ve started fast and hadn’t been put in a hole like this. But for us, that’s where we are and hopefully we don’t have to get back to that brink to keep our focus. Right now our focus is pretty good and we’re playing together as a football team. It wasn’t pretty today but when is it? As long as we stay together as a football team and continue to support each other, we’ll be fine.
Q: What was the feeling like when Terrell Thomas got the interception and almost ran it back?
A: I was telling him it was a good thing he doesn’t play offense because I had a block where he could have hit the sideline and he cut back. All these guys want to get to the open field. But it was great, everyone knows his story and how he’s fought back from injuries. He’s been a consistent, just a great atmosphere around him and for him to come back and continue to play, he had the Defensive Player of the Week two weeks ago against Philadelphia and had another awesome game today so for him, I’m hoping that he continues to do this because he’s a big part of our success.
Q: What sort of ways did you try and contain Terrelle Pryor today?
A: Well obviously I didn’t do it as well as I should have. He’s slippery, man, there were five or six times where I felt like I should have had a sack and he kind of put on the afterburners and makes us all feel like we’re running in quicksand. But, you know, that’s kind of the way of the quarterback now. It seems like every guy we play against and you look at them and they’re 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 type quarterbacks and you’ve just got to find a way to make sure he doesn’t get out of the pocket. He did a few times but the defense was able to rally to that and keep him from making big plays like we’ve seen him do against other teams.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: Let’s talk about this defensive effort and…this team.
A: You know, that’s what it’s about. There’s only a few things you can control throughout the course of the game, and one of them is the effort. I think, defensively, we came out there and we had them (entirely). Things weren’t pretty at times, but we never broke, we stayed together, and, more importantly, we played with extreme effort.
Q: Did you feel it took you a minute to get going off the bye-week?
A: I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I think we got stuck with the short field position. It came out that we didn’t stop the run effectively, sometimes, just pulling gap schemes and just things like that. But I think, as a defense, we went out there and we stopped them and held them where we needed to.
Q: Overall, three in a row, what does this mean for this team to finally be able to get it on a roll here?
A: It means a lot. We started off really weak in the beginning of the season. Three and six, we’re moving in the right direction, but we still haven’t done anything yet. That’s our mentality, understanding where we’re trying to get to. Three straight wins is not enough at this point. We just need to keep it rolling, but take it one game at a time.
Q: What’s the benchmark for when you start to get happy?
A: Postseason, for me. That’s when I’ll be happy. I don’t care what happens. Postseason—that’s when I’ll be happy. But we’re taking it one game at a time; we’re not worried about that. We just have to go and look forward to Green Bay come next week.
Q: In the 4th quarter, the defense you guys played really kind of involved a lot of running. How’d you keep that under control?
A: Throughout the course of the game, it’s not always going to be pretty. You have to win at all costs. You have to find a way to win. I think defensively we came together. We understood what they were trying to do to us and we were able to stop the run game. They started throwing screens here and there and they were kind of successful at it. But like I said, as a defense you can bend a little bit as long as you don’t break. We never broke, as a defense.
Q: You think that’s how you win a game like that, to come back and hang in and win it after you kind of messed up early?
A: To get a win in football games, we all know it’s extremely tough. However you get a win is how you get a win. We stick together as a team. Offense came out there and ran the ball. Andre Brown, thank God to have him back. I think he had a tremendous game. They were able to keep the ball moving, so defense just had to go out there and shut it down.
RE: Andre Brown’s performance
A: He’s a work horse. You ask him would he rather have it any other way, he wouldn’t. That’s Andre Brown. He’s been with us for the past couple of weeks just running, trying to get his rhythm and trying to stay in shape. He came out there and did an exceptional job today. We definitely have to take our hats off to Andre.
DE Damontre Moore
Q: What’s your feeling when you get the block?
A: It leaves you speechless just to know that you made the play and you put the team in a great situation. It’s a really a breath-taking experience. I’m just really honored and blessed.
Q: You had that block in Pittsburgh in the preseason. Do you have a knack for blocking kicks? Is it something you’ve always been able to do?
A: I had a couple of them in college and high school, but honestly I just work on my “get-off”. I work on my “get-off” and just go out there and play as hard as I can and listen to the scheme, and try to execute to the best of my abilities, and hopefully things will happen. Things have been happening, so who am I to doubt them now, so I just want to keep on going.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: Tell us about that interception.
A: It was a big play for us. We needed it. It was a route that they run a lot and I was waiting on it all game. They run two-by-two slants and Coach put us in a great position and I was just happy to make a play for our defense.
Q: Did you think you were going to get in the end zone after making that cut?
A: I thought I did after I made him miss a tackle. Terrelle Pryor is a fast quarterback and he looked me in my eyes and said, 'you aren't going to out run me,' so try to make him miss. Looking back, I wish I would have stayed to the sidelines but I was happy to make a great play and Andre finished it off for us.
Q: You looked skyward after the play. What were you thinking there?
A: I'm just blessed, man. I just thank God for putting me in this position, giving me the grace to come back from three ACL surgeries and play in the fashion I am. I can't thank the Giants enough, my teammates, everyone who believes me.
Q: How tough is it to maintain ball security on that run back?
A: I knew I was down, more than anything I kind of just gave up the ball. Thank God the replays showed I was down and we were able to capitalize on it.
Q: When was the last time you ran that far with a football in your hands?
A: Man, it's been a while. Maybe college. Versus Stanford, I took a pick-six to the house. It was probably the same distance.
Q: A lot of your teammates are crediting you with being their inspiration. What's that like for you?
A: It's big. It just speaks on the last two years, seeing me working my butt off in the training room and the weight room. Always here early, trying to get better and better. When you are coming off an injury, you are always trying to play catch up. So, I definitely think they see the hard work I put in and they are just happy for me as well.
Q: Being so close to being out of it, does it make you appreciate it more?
A: No doubt, no doubt. It was a long two years, sitting at home watching the games. So, I'm just happy to play football. It was ugly at first, but we are turning this thing around and I'm happy to be a part of it.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Q: Can you talk about being 3-6.
A: It's a long way. We’re just taking it one game at a time. We are not trying to think three games ahead. We’re just thinking the next game is the Green Bay Packers. You know, we’re taking it one game at a time and that's how you can take it.
Q: Do you guys feel like a 3-6 team right now?
A: Look, we've put ourselves in the hole. It is what it is. We lost six games and that was our fault and we just have to execute our plays and play well from here on out.
Q: Can you talk about the Raiders and their ability to run from a variety of positions?
A: They have a lot of runners, man. Most of the teams we faced this year were runners. We do a great job, Perry Fewell does a great job, executing plays and running them and play calling. We just have to make plays. Make plays and we'll be fine.
Q: Is this the best you've felt this year?
A: This is the best I've felt. Coming out of the game, starting the game. You know, I was running to the ball every play. I just felt good out there. You know, all I can say, I'm not fully all the way back, but I'm getting there, I'm getting there.
WR Rueben Randle
Q: Tom Coughlin said there was a different vibe in the locker room.
A: Because we knew we could win this game. Despite the three turnovers, we were still in the game, only down three. We knew just control the ball, go out there and make some plays and we could come out with the victory.
Q: Was there anything special said at halftime?
A: No, just keep fighting. We knew we shot ourselves in the foot and we put ourselves in a predicament. So, we just knew we had to fight our way out of the corner like we always do and just come out with this game.
Q: What does Andre Brown having that type of game do for the receivers?
A: It makes it a lot easier. They aren't going to be able to have those two high safeties back deep to stop us in the passing game. They are going to have to come down and get in the box and try to stop the run and so that's going to open up a lot of things for us down the field
Q: What happened on your touchdown catch?
A: Just wanted to make a play on the ball. It was just me and him. Whoever wants to play ball, just have to go out there and make their play and that's what I did.
Q: How would you assess Eli?
A: He did a pretty good job, managing us, getting us in and out of the plays. When they were in the two-high look, checking to the run, getting us out of the pass. So, he did a great job managing the ball, putting us in great positions to make plays.