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Postgame Quotes (11/17): Coughlin, JPP

Posted Nov 17, 2013

Giants.com takes you inside the locker room after the Giants win over the Packers


Coach Tom Coughlin

Good to win. I thought we did some things well tonight. There's obviously more to be done. Special teams had a better night, no doubt. Rueben had the nice punt return, which helped right off the bat. Felt we should have scored when we were down there in the first half and came away with no points, felt we should have scored there. In the second half, the battle went back and forth. We got a little bit of rushing yardage, not a lot. We did a great job against them as well, which we have done all year against the run, against a very good back, and a very good offensive line as well. We were plus-two in turnovers. I was pleased with that. I think we had three penalties, I was pleased with that as well. So, we are very, very happy to win at home against a very good team.

Q: Is there anything you can point to during this four-game winning streak to explain it?
A: Yeah, we are playing better defense, we've rushed the ball better. We have done a little better job with tightening up the turnovers. I think we had two games with none, we had one with one, which should have never happened. So, I think there are some definite areas to be pointed to and we have some players who are playing very well.

Q: Did you have any doubt Pierre-Paul would play today?
A: No. I thought he did his patented tight- end maneuver for the score. You had to look up quick to see it, but it was a nice thing to see.    

Q: How difficult is the play JPP made on that ball to make?
A: You have to be able to catch a ball coming at you, I don't know how fast, but coming very fast at you. And you need to be in the right spot. He got both hands up, with a shoulder injury, he got both hands up and caught it. He had kind of got himself in rhythm because they had been throwing a lot of three-step stuff and he saw his opportunity and took full advantage of it.

Q: How big a play was that?
A: That was a huge play. And it was exciting. And then when he ran in the end zone and the points clicked up on the board, you knew, in a game like this, that would be huge.

Q: What has Jon Beason meant to the team?
A: He's done an outstanding job. He's a football player. He's physical. He communicates very, very well.  He's very focused. He brings that to the table and other people have to join him in that focus. He's done a really good job. Antrelle has done an outstanding job. I don't want to leave anyone out over there. They've all encouraged each other. They work hard at it and that's been a huge plus.

Q: Is this the team you thought you had coming out of training camp?
A: Well, we are getting there, we are getting towards it. Anytime you win four in a row, there are some good things happening. There are some things that as a coach I would like to clean up, but we're happy to be in the position we are in and we'll be back in the division this weekend.

Q: Did your passing game have more of a rhythm this week?   
A: I think we did. Yup, I think we did. There are still some things to work on, but I think we did.

Q: Can you talk about the quality runs that have helped you?
A: The runs? The quantity has been good, too. Going into the game we had 31, 32, 38 carries. Today we didn't get as many, but that's a good front. They throw a lot of beef up there at you and the linebackers are really good. They are physical. You saw the numbers of cross dogs and A-gap blitzes that they came with today to try and keep you off balance. The balance part of the thing is what we strove to accomplish and I think we are accomplishing that to a certain extent.

Q: What did you see from Tolzien? You seemed to allow a lot of yards, but got the three interceptions.
A: Exactly what he had last week. They had just under 400 yards last week, they had it today. Of course at the end of the game they got a few yards. We were not going to contest those. We were going to defend against the deep ball there. He played well. He threw the deep ball well. He threw the ball over our heads a couple of times. We knew the quality of the game that he had played and the type of worker that he is. He certainly has accepted that responsibility. He played with a lot of poise. I'm sure they gave him more today. He was audibilizing and doing those sorts of things.

Q: How much did you try to throw different looks at him?
A: Well we did a few things of that nature. We tried to pressure him. We came with different disguised packages if you will. But, he seemed to not get flustered.

Q: Four weeks ago, it looked like the Dallas game wouldn't mean anything. What does it mean now?
A: Well, I'd rather spend a little more time acknowledging this one, but to get in the division and to have an opportunity, it's something we've pointed to. Each game is so precious right now, we're just excited to have a little bit of momentum going.

Q: What does Pierre-Paul's strong play, if he can maintain it, mean for this team?
A: Well, it lifts our whole front up because of the talent of the individual and what he's able to do athletically. You saw something today that was other than a sack. He has that ability. Plus, anytime you have a player of that quality in the game, the other team is really focused on what they are going to have to do to protect themselves with him in there. But we've got a bunch of guys playing hard up front. I think, no doubt, Tuck is playing very well and I think Cullen Jenkins has put two real good games back-to-back. Mathias just keeps coming. He's a tough, tough guy, who keeps coming.

Q: On Eli's interception, are you surprised of that type of miscue this late in the season?
A:  (Murphy) should have come inside anyway. There was no option involved there. He made a mistake. Eli should not be charged with that, but nevertheless that's the way it goes. We have to do a better job coaching.

Q: Was there a reason Nicks wasn't on the field for that play?
A: I don't know, maybe he was tired or whatever. I don't know.

Q: Has Pierre-Paul had to fight through anything other than just physical ailments this season?
A: Not that I would be aware of, or want to discuss with. They would be personal issues, if that. There was never any question in our mind that there was anything off the field that was a problem. He was fighting his way through a season in which he had a lot of attention spun his way.

QB Eli Manning

A: I think it was a good job by everybody on the offense, just knowing their assignments.  I think we ran the ball well and they did a good job to stop the run so we did a good job of throwing short passes.  Getting Brandon Myers into it, getting our backs into it on some screens, getting them out of the backfield. Linebackers are dropping deep trying to take away the receivers.  I think that’s what you have to do for an offense to be successful.  Everybody has to know their assignments and be in the right places.   If you want to take away throws down the field, then you’re going to have to throw underneath a few times to open things up down the field for big plays later on.

Q: Given the time of year that it is, are you surprised that receivers still are not on the same page?

A: Obviously, sometimes bad plays happen.   We do need to eliminate them, but I think for the most part, we’re on the same page and guys made some outstanding plays today.  Again, there is room for improvement.  Obviously, the interception down in the green zone can be costly and we can’t afford to have those.

Q: What happened on that play?

A: I threw it to the other team.

Q: Looking at the 0-6 start, do you guys look at that as an anomaly, given how consistent you’ve been playing?

A: Obviously it’s still there.  That’s the way we started, but we knew then we were going to have a tough challenge getting back into the mix, but the only thing we could do is to start getting one win at a time.  We’ve done that these last four weeks.  Obviously we’ve still got some room to go and we have a lot of digging to get back out of the hole that we made for ourselves.   Obviously, we’ve got four in a row and that’s a good feeling and we’re going to keep fighting, keep getting better, and see if we can keep winning.

Q: Granted the mistakes are down the last four weeks, but when they do occur, are you a little bit less tolerant of them?

A: It just depends on what the mistake is sometimes. Sometimes they’re on me. I’m mad at myself, but I’m not going to get on anybody. Obviously some can be costly. You hate bad plays to occur that could be prevented by just doing the right things.

Q: Talk to us about Brandon Jacobs.

A: Brandon had some big runs for us. A couple of third and shorts, a fourth and short that we convert that led to points, so that’s big when he can do that. He had the touchdown run also. Whenever he can come in and give us those tough yards and set that physical tempo, that tone of the game, that’s good for us.

Q: What did you do to get the screen plays working?

A: Yeah, we hit two screen plays for positive yards, that's a first. No interceptions, or fumbles or turnovers on screens, so that's a start. Hit one receiver screen to Jernigan and then another screen to Andre that got 10 yards or so. So, I think that was good that we could do that. Hopefully we can continue to improve on that, get some more big plays out of it. But I think, in this offense you never know who’s going to get the ball, who’s going to get how many catches. I think our guys do a great job about that, not being selfish. We are going through reads, try to get open and you'll get the ball.

Q: How has the defense's strong play translated?

A: Obviously, when the defense, when they get big plays and they get turnovers and get some three-and-outs, that just helps the whole momentum of the game. It gets the crowd into it, it gets them fired up. So, I think we obviously try to build off each other. When we go down and score and get off to a fast start and get a lead, I think that gets them fired up. When JPP gets the interception for the touchdown, obviously those are huge plays in the fourth quarter. We are rooting for each other out there to make plays and we are both starting to play better and play our best football at this time of the year and that's what we need to do.

Q: What is the challenge you see in the green zone?
A: Yeah, we just tried running the ball a few times. We got in some third-and-longs and hard to convert those in the green zone. We have to do a better job of just staying on track down there and not getting the 3rd-and-9's or 3rd-and-8's with eight yards to go. You have to have some perfect plays, so we have to do a better job staying in better down and distance and keeping the defense off track a little bit.

Q: In the third quarter, you seemed to have a mix-up in the green zone.
A: Yeah, had a mistake on that one. That hurt us. We got enough for the first down, but had a shot. Again, a new play going in and sometimes we are not as sharp as we need to be and that's prevented us from being as good as we need to be.

Q: You ran pretty well today.

A: I know, that was probably the longest run of my career and it gets called back. I was trying to cut back and I felt fast there. I'm sure I'll look on film and realize I'm not fast again. I felt good out there and knew versus this team there were going to be some possibilities for me to run. If they were going to play 22 man and drop everybody out, if I could step up, there would be some chances to run and get some first downs. I had to do that a few times. If that's what we need to do, that's what we need to do.

Q: Does this feel like a different team?

A: We are starting to play the way we expect to play by winning football games. Obviously, we’ve got a good run going. We are playing better. We have to make sure we keep practicing well, make sure our preparation is outstanding. Again, just find ways to win games. Play smarter football. Obviously, another big game this week, at home, another home game versus Dallas in the division. So, it'll be a big game for us.

DE Justin Tuck


Q: Last week you had a chance to do what JPP did today.

A: I mean he threw the ball right to JPP. Mine was more of an athletic play to knock it down, I think.

Q: What do you see in JPP in terms of the ups and downs that you’ve had this year and where you’re at right now?

A: He’s battled. Everyone knows where he’s come from as far as the back injury and the little thing in the shoulder but he’s continued to battle. That shows a lot about his character and how bad he wants it. You go out there and continue to play at a high level for us, that play I think was the play of the game not only because it was an interception for a touchdown but at the time of the game that it came. We really needed a big play then and he stepped up and did something I’ve never seen before in my life, he actually called it in the huddle before they even came out of their huddle and told me he was going to pick this off. I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.

Q: To what do you attribute the improved play of the defense over the past several weeks?
A: We’ve put the blinders on. We’re not listening to the good, the bad or the ugly. We’re studying our butts off, we’re doing more meeting time, all the things that we were maybe lacking before. But for me personally, it’s fun. When you’re out there having fun it shows and right now we’re out there having fun. Again, the defense played pretty well and we’re just trying to continue that.

Q: When JPP first makes that prediction about the interception, are you thinking, “What’s this guy talking about?” What was your reaction?

A: Well if you know JPP, you know he says some off-the-wall things from time to time so we’re kind of used to that. We were just in the huddle talking about how we needed a big play and we needed some turnovers and he just said, “I’m going to pick this.” I was kind of like, “OK.” And then when he picked it and all of the cameras were on him but if there was a camera out there that had anything to do with me in the picture you’re going to see me, I don’t even run out to him to celebrate, I’m literally in awe. If you could have looked at me, my face would have probably looked something like this because he literally called it and executed. I don’t know if he’s voodoo, psychic, I don’t know but that’s something I’ve never seen before.

Q: What about Beason’s play out there and how he’s helped you guys. It looked like you had some observations about his interception return.

A: Beason’s been a godsend. We always talk about how short he is, the floating joke on the sideline was, “The quarterback threw the ball four feet in the air and he still had to jump to get it.” But, again, he’s really come in and uplifted our spirits with his play and just his enthusiasm for the game. He’s a true warrior and a true leader on that football field.

Q: Could you talk about the job this defense did with Eddie Lacy today?

A: It’s the focus, man. It always starts with the run. We’ve played pretty good against some pretty good backs this year as far as taking their run game out of the contest. We would have liked to defend the pass a little better but they’ve got some pretty good wide receivers and that quarterback can throw the ball. Obviously they were real confident in him tonight. But yeah, that’s always our focal point, especially our front seven, to go out there and be the more physical unit and shut down the run and not really give the offense a two-headed weapon.

Q: How big has this Dallas game becomes?

A: Well, it’s always big. This is Dallas and New York, this is always going to be a big game. Games like this you can throw the records out. I can honestly say that we don’t like each other and it shows up on the football field so I think it’s going to be another one of those drag-out type of games where you get in for four quarters and try to find a way to win it.

Q: There was a time you wanted to throw the records out. Now your record looks a lot better than it was.

A: Yeah, it’s been a wonderful last four weeks for us considering we were 0-6 and now being back in the thick of the playoff race. Obviously we’ve still got some more climbing to do to get out of the hole that we dug ourselves but we feel confident that we have a chance now. To say that after being 0-6, in this league 0-6 is kind of like shipping your cars home and planning your vacation. But guys have really come together and haven’t allowed anything negative to creep into our locker room and have stayed together. We’ve played together and that’s what happens when you have a team that really believes in each other. The leadership we have on this team, we’ve turned it around and hopefully we can continue to do that.

Q: Last week you referred to Eli as Methuselah, he had some lines out there today.

A: I hope he sees this. Eli, throw the ball away. Don’t run, please. I’m sure a lot of guys are going to give him a hard time about his slides tonight but he did a good job for us, he really did. Considering all the pressure that we put on him he’s really stepped up and been the Eli that everyone expects him to be and has led us to these four wins.
LB Jon Beason


Q: How amazing was the JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul)
play as you saw it?
A: You know what, I still have not seen it. I just saw the end of it, because I was down field covering. But he’s a special guy. An unbelievable athlete. A guy just doing his job and making a play. That’s a hard catch, but I heard that’s the second one he’s done. I’ve never seen anyone do that except for Julius Peppers. I guess it has something to do with the number.

Q: Let’s talk about this team shutting down the run, which they have done for the past six games?
A: Going into this game we have a young quarterback, established offensive line, big time running back who’s a load, a hard tackle you have to swarm. We were able to stop the run and sure enough, kid comes out and makes huge plays in the passing game. We wanted to put the pressure on him, but he was able to make plays, but we stayed the course and we got some turnovers late and that was able to affect the outcome of the game.

Q: Speaking of players doing their job, the interception totally turned the  momentum around. Talk me through that play a little bit?

A: As I was saying earlier. In practice we don’t have pads on, so when they do the play-action you get really sucked up. Sometimes they’re been able to complete on us, but sure enough they gave the play-action and I felt it. I never saw the quarterback, but I knew the ball was coming, so I was able to get back in the pass-lane and he never saw me. Made the play.

Q: You really seemed to stop the momentum. They had the long field goal. They were driving a little bit and that play (interception) helped stop the momentum. Did you feel that?

A: Anytime you get a turnover, it’s a huge swing. Field position. Obviously the quarterback gets rattled, “Hey, I just turned the ball over,” so he’s more conservative the next drive. The coordinator is maybe more conservative, especially with a young quarterback. Hats off to coach Fewell, who called the play. Defense did a good job of getting pressure and I made a play, but the big play was JPP’s (Jason Pierre-Paul) interception returned for a touchdown. That really sealed the game.

Safety Antrel Rolle


Q: Are you glad to get another shot at Dallas with the game meaning something?

A: We just won a game.  Ask me about this game.  We’re not worried about Dallas right now.  

Q: Is this the team that you thought you had all season that showed up today?
A: I still think we can definitely be a better team.  I think we left some plays out there.  Right now we’re just winning.  We find a way to win.  We’re coming together offensively, defensively, and special teams.   I think so far this season, this is the most complete game we played as a team.  With that being said, we still have a lot of great football we left out there on the field today.

Q: That play from JPP coming from a lineman, how impressive was that?
A: That’s one of the best plays I’ve ever seen.  He’s freakish.  It was a game time decision whether or not he was going to play.  I just thank God and JPP that he was able to pull through for his teammates and play the way he did, with his shoulder the way that it is and go out there an make a game-winning play.  I think that definitely changed the outcome of the game and gave us a momentum boost.

Q: He and Tuck said that he called that in the huddle.
A: He called that out.  He said that he was going to pick the ball.  I guess that’s what you call speaking into existence.  I hope he speaks more to existence.  These guys have been playing good football and as a secondary, I think we gave up too many passing yards, too many big plays.  It’s something that we have to clean up and go to the film and make sure we win those one-on-one matchups.  For the most part, like I said, a win is a win, no matter how you get it.  

Q: When JPP makes a play like that, a game changer. Does it feel like that on the bench?
A: Absolutely.  Whenever you make a play like that, energy drives the entire team, coaching staff as well.  Those are the kinds of plays we look for out of JPP and I know his back is feeling better and better as the weeks go along and I’m just thankful to have him as a teammate.  I think he’s going out there and he’s fighting and that’s all we can ask for.     

DE Jason Pierre-Paul

Q: What did you see on that play?  What did you see on the pick six?
A: You want the truth or a lie?

Q: The truth.
A: Honestly, I called it before it even happened, in the huddle, and sure enough that was the play. 

Q: What did you see?
A: I read the formation, the tight end, how he was set, and I caught the ball.  

Q: What was the feeling like once you caught it?
A: I did it before, so you know a good feeling.

Q: How did this one compare to the one against Tony Romo?
A: They both were game-changers for the whole game.  It was exciting to me, and I did it and that’s a good job.

Q: As soon as you caught it, what did you see in front of you?
A: I knew that it was a touchdown.  As soon as I caught it, I knew it was a touchdown.  I’m not a receiver or anything, but I knew it was a touchdown.  

Q: How nice is it to get another W?
A: It feels nice.  Every day we take it hard in practice.  We actually (…) our plays well.  The coordinators did a great job coaching and we just leave it on the field.  

Q: Did you know you were going to play on Friday?
A: No, not really.  It was a game time decision and I felt like I was able to play.  I practiced Friday.  I got one practice under my belt and it felt good and I felt like I could defend myself well.


WR Victor Cruz

Q: How nice is it to get another win at home?
A: It’s great to get a W, especially at home where we want to protect ourselves and our home field. I think we played a good game. Overall we played a really good game. I’m excited to get number four and on to the next one.

Q: Eli was able to go down the field a little more this week and get the big play back in the offense. How did you manage that this week?
A: We just saw some things that we liked, saw some opportunities that we were able to take advantage of and we did. They gave us the coverages we were looking for on specific down and distances and we were able to take advantage of them. That’s what we need, this offense is definitely built on the big play as well as the balance with the running game but we definitely need a couple big plays to get ourselves going again.

Q: Eli seemed a little animated out there about some mistakes and things like that. What do you think, is he putting pressure on everybody to kind of step it up a little bit at this point?
A: No, he’s just adamant and he’s excited about playing this game. Any time things might not go your way or things don’t sway in your favor, things like that happen. You get animated, you’re passionate about the game. That’s all it is. I think we’re definitely working in the right direction and doing all the right things to stay on track.

Q: Do you feel like the passing game has turned around after all of the errors?
A: I believe so. I believe we’re in the right direction, we’re doing some good things. We still haven’t had quite that breakout game where everyone is clicking and everyone is doing the right thing but we’re back on track. This is what we want, this is how we want to play and this is what we want to do, so we’re excited about that.

Q: How important is it to have a game like this before Dallas?
A: It’s very important. I think our defense is going to do a good job, first and foremost, keeping the big play away. We’re excited to go out there and do what we do offensively. We’ve had some success against them, so we just want to continue that. Continue having big plays and continue playing hard.


RB Andre Brown

Q: Having Brandon back in the lineup, what does he do for your run game?
A: He does a lot.  He’s a bigger back, so we’re just going to hit everybody in the mouth, that’s what it is.  He’s a spark out there.  He enlightens us out there.  He’s a leader and Brandon is going to be BJ.  BJ is the guy.  He’s going to keep me motivated, keep the whole offensive line motivated, and that’s what we’re going to do.  We’re going to go out there, bang it up, and just go and play some good football.

Q: It looks like when the two of you are out there, the short yardage problems that plagued this offense in the past are gone.  What’s been the difference?
A: BJ, he’s a big back and last year I played most of the short yardage and goal line, I was on the other end.  This week of Brandon coming to get me, last year I was coming to get Ahmad out.  It’s all good and as long as we get the score, BJ keeps the pile moving and we’re good.  

Q: Andre, a lot of guys have talked about the balance that you brought to this offense.  Do you get a sense of how much you meant to this offense clicking right now?
A: All I can do is go out there and keep playing ball.  I just bring my talents to the offense and everybody feeds off of it.  I’m just going to go out there and I feed off of them and they feed off of me.  The power run, we have BJ out there and the offense has more balance to itself.  It’s just fun to be out there playing ball with everybody right now.


RB Brandon Jacobs

Q: How hard is it to run the ball on short yardage plays?
A: Everybody is gunning at you. You’ve got the big guys making a mess on the ground so you’ve got nowhere to run. It’s a lot harder than a lot of people think. It’s the hardest yard out there. It’s 100 yards out there but making one of them is the hardest thing to do when people know you’re getting the ball and they’re gunning for you.  
 
Q: When you’re in the backfield are you confident you’re going to get that yard?
A: Coach knows, I’ve been playing with Coach Coughlin for eight years. All the coaches here know me. Give it to me, I’m going to go in there and give it my best shot I possibly have in my heart and hope it’s enough.

Q: What does it mean to score 60 career rushing touchdowns for the Giants?
A: I didn’t even know until after. It’s just something I never kept track of. It’s definitely a great goal to accomplish. I’m the franchise leader and it’s been that way for a while now.    

Q: Do you think that the team is on a roll?
A: We’re not there yet. We’re playing good football, no questions about that. We definitely could be better than what we are playing like. With work during the week and pushing each other in practice, it’s going to get where we want it to be at the right time.  

Q: What do you think about playing Dallas next week?
A: Playing the Cowboys is always good. That’s one of the opponents I love to play more than anybody in the National Football League. It means something to our football team. We’ve been on a roll, ripped off four straight, and we’re looking forward to keep it going. We know we have a tough Dallas team coming in here next week, that’s coming to break that streak. We’re going to do what we have to do this week during practice and make it happen.