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Postgame Quotes (12/15): Manning, Rolle

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Quotes from Giants players and coaches after the 23-0 loss to Seattle


Coach Tom Coughlin


I expected a great effort today. I think defensively and with our special teams, we got it. Offensively we did not – there’s no way to sugarcoat it. A pathetic offensive performance – we didn’t block anybody, we didn’t make any plays, we didn’t create any opportunities for ourselves. I told the players who prepared and gave great effort that I appreciated what they did, and I told those that were obvious they had not, that I felt sorry for them because they’re missing the whole point.


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Q: Is it surprising for you because during the week you felt you were going to get a good team effort?
A: Hell, last night I did. The meeting was intense; it was good, positive. I really had no indication. [I’m] not taking anything away from their defense. They’re number one in the league for a reason. They’re a good defensive team, but that’s no excuse for what went on out there. Just to turn the ball over and keep putting our defense on the field over and over again.

Q: A few years ago, Eli threw 25 interceptions. He has 25 again this year. What’s the message you’re giving him? Is it similar to a few years ago or is it different circumstances?
A: The messages are that you can’t turn the football over. Each play is unique. Each one of them is unique – how it happened, so on and so forth. Today, a couple of them were that we’re depending on our best people to try and win, and we didn’t win, and the ball was thrown up, and we got out-fought for the ball as well.

Q: You’ve shown so much confidence and patience, understandably, with Eli over the time you’ve been together. Is there a point, and is that point now, where it turns to concern for what he is just not doing?
A: Well, there’s concern. Obviously there’s concern. You perform that way and you have those sorts of results – there’s no way around it. I mean, there’s no production, there’s turnovers. We didn’t rush the ball for anything to help, to allow some of the balance to take place, but we didn’t do that. All we did, even at the end when we had the opportunity - it looked as if we had the chance for a touchdown in the corner – out-jumped, tipped up in the air, and that turned into an interception. That was just, as I said, a very, very poor performance on the entire offensive team.

Q: Is there any thought that what you’ve seen from Eli this year is just where he’s at in his career?
A: I just don’t believe that. As pointed out, we’ve had some of these circumstances before. If we had a better running game, obviously we could tighten this up a little bit and not create those circumstances. But we actually went into this game with good thoughts about remaining balanced, and we tried to continue to stay that way even when the score got a little bit lopsided, when we weren’t having much success running the ball either. We got beat upfront in a couple spots, you saw it as well as I did. I’m not going to point any names out, but we got consistently beat in a couple of spots up front.

Q: Do you think Victor [Cruz] might be in danger of not playing again this year?
A: I don’t know. I haven’t been into the medical room. I haven’t looked at that play, but the kid went up and made a heck of an effort and came down on the side of his helmet. They’ve said what happens when his hand is under the ball and then the ball rolls out of your hand and you hit the ground. But anyway, I haven’t had a chance to visit in there. I know he came down on the side of his head, so we’ll see.

Q: Do you have any problem with the hard tackle he took on that play?
A: Not that I can speak to right now. It wasn’t called anything intentional or any penalty called.

Q: Did you contemplate taking Eli out earlier, especially after he threw the 4th interception and you’re down 23-0?
A: No. You dig your own hole, you’ve got to fight your way out of it. He’s our guy and I’m not looking to make that decision at that point in time. No.

Q: With Eli, is it more of a matter of his teammates letting him down or is it his performance and he’s just not playing good football?
A: That’s a very good question, and I think it’s not one that can be an absolute answer or in black and white. I think it’s a little bit of both, to be honest with you. I know we evolved for a lot of years and depend on our skilled guys, and let’s face it: Seattle has two, maybe three, outstanding corners who are having outstanding years, but we didn’t have the kind of success that we thought we would have tonight.

Q: You mentioned the interception in the end zone and it involved Nicks. There was another one involving Nicks. What are you saying about his effort today?
A: I would have to look at the tape to see that. I mean, he got out-jumped a couple of times. The second one there, the ball was just kept alive. They have a very good safety that was able, with the ball in the air, to get position.

Q: On the reversal where Brandon Myers was stripped, was there any talk on the sideline about the referees putting more time on the clock?
A: They probably put a few seconds back. I thought they did.

Q: You’re obviously not happy with the offensive effort, and a week ago, your defensive players talked about being flat. With two games left, how concerned are you about that? That’s two weeks in a row where the effort wasn’t what you thought it would be.
A: The effort two-thirds of the way today was outstanding. Then you have to get into that perhaps the effort was good offensively, but we didn’t have a lot of success. Somewhere in there is the answer, which we’ll try to determine.

Q: What do you do going forward with the guys who you feel didn’t give the effort?
A: Well I told them we’re never going to stop fighting. We’re never going to stop working. We’re never going to stop believing. That’s all there is to it. This is our team. These guys have to respond.

Q: With the 9th loss, this is going to be your first losing season since your first year here. Personally, how hard are you taking all of this?
A: Not very well. Not very well.

Q: Justin Tuck said, going into this week, said that with this Seattle team, if you don’t play well, they can embarrass you. Would you use that word today?
A: I said two-thirds of the game was played in an outstanding fashion. Had there been some balance, some time of possession, where our defense, their offense wasn’t on the field the whole game, who knows.


QB Eli Manning

Q: A couple of years ago you threw 25 interceptions in a season and today you threw your 25th. How do the two years compare for you?
A: I can’t really compare the two. The only thing I can worry about is today and this season and trying to make improvements and get better and eliminate the turnovers and figure out a way for our offense to get going a little bit and play better than what we did today and trying to help our team and our defense and get things going.

Q: Can you describe what it’s like for you to finish the game on the sideline like that?
A: You go into this game and you know you’re out of the playoffs, but you kind of look forward to the opportunity to compete and go against a good defense and try to go out there and enjoy those three hours of playing football and doing something you love and competing and trying to have some good plays, but it’s not fun when you get dominated like that, when you get beat and you can’t get anything going offensively and obviously struggle and throw interceptions and have bad plays. So that’s not enjoyable and it’s tough to deal with.

Q: Do you think you’re throwing the ball well this year and with as much zip as you have in the past?
A: Yeah. I don’t feel any differently on my throws, so I don’t think that’s a reason for some of the interceptions.

Q: Do you have any single explanation in your own mind that you would share in terms of the interceptions?
A: No. As they say, each one has its own story and sometimes it’s a bad decision or a bad throw or today it just seemed like their guys made plays. They went up and grabbed some balls and took it away from our guys.

Q: Was there any point this season where you felt the offense was in a good stretch and in sync?
A: I thought we had a couple of good games, but when you can single out certain moments, you know you’re not doing very well offensively. I thought when we played at Philadelphia, offensively we were moving the ball up and down the field and had to settle for a bunch of field goals, but at least I felt we were driving the ball. There have been times when we were able to move it. Obviously today, every time we had a little spark or got a first down, we followed it up with a bad play or a negative play right after.

Q: Coach Coughlin was talking about gaining respectability. Do you feel like that was not achieved?
A: Today, I thought our defense played well against a good offense and did a lot of good things and kept us in the game for a long time, but offensively we just didn’t have much. We didn’t run the ball very well. We didn’t throw the ball well. We didn’t block things well, so they took everything away from us and we just didn’t have much to lean on. They had a good game plan and they’ve got good players. There’s a reason, I think, if they’re not the number one defense in the NFL, they’re right up there and they showed us why.

Q: You and Tom Coughlin both said their guys made plays. Is there a sense of frustration that your guys aren’t making plays?
A: Yeah. We knew we were going to get a lot of one on one matchups and we were kind of looking forward to trying to take advantage of those matchups and see if we can win those individual routes and we took our shots. Sometimes you kind of feel it out and you say we’re going to take our one on one matchups. If we’re winning, we’ll keep doing it. If not, then you kind of go elsewhere and right off from kind of the get-go, we threw a couple of those one on one down the field throws and both were intercepted. So that’s kind of not what you’re looking forward to and so right away you give them the ball and they’re kind of taking us out of what we were planning to do.

Q: This is the first losing season since your rookie year. What are your thoughts on ending the season with a losing record?
A: It’s tough and not what we’re used to around here. It’s obviously been a tough year. We started off poorly and then we kind of got where we were playing pretty good football and these last two weeks, from an offensive standpoint, have not played well at all and so it’s tough to deal with. You feel like you prepare hard and you game plan and you practice well and we come out on Sundays and we just don’t execute and play at the level we need to win games.

Q: Tom Coughlin said that he feels sorry for some guys, those that did not prepare properly. They really didn’t seem prepared to play today. Did it seem like some guys weren’t in the game today?
A: I can’t call anybody out or do anything like that. You can look at the film and maybe see it, but I just think we just got beat. We got outplayed at a lot of spots and I would hate to think guys weren’t prepared or didn’t come out here ready to play. I think they just wanted it more and obviously they’re playing for bigger things than we are and they outplayed us.

Q: In the past you’ve had an off year and you bounced back pretty well from that. What’s your degree of confidence that next year you’ll have a bounce back year or are you concerned that this could be the beginning of a trend?
A: No. I’m not worried about next year right now. I’m worried about next week and playing Detroit and trying to get back to where offensively we can play better than what we are and be able to throw the ball and make good decisions and make some plays.

Q: What do you think happened on the first sack? It looked like you were in the middle of four defenders. Did you see them coming from all sides?
A: Yeah. They got into where they had almost five defensive ends and I knew they were going to come with some man pressure. We were expecting that. We had a play call and we were kind of hoping or almost expecting that pressure. We did not block it up very well and they got penetration right away and I just knew I wasn’t going to have anything and so went down and tried to avoid getting backed up or trying to scramble or do something and risk a safety or making things worse than what they already were.

Q: Tom Coughlin said the offensive performance was pathetic. When asked if it was more your teammates letting you down or your performance, he said it was a little bit of both. Do you agree with that assessment or just guys not making plays?
A: No. I didn’t play well. I didn’t play as well as I needed to. Some of the throws that were intercepted could have been better. They could have been better throws. You hope some of them aren’t intercepted. I think overall, offensively, I don’t think there was… I think probably every position got outplayed and beaten on a number of instances, which led to that performance.

Q: You were the first one off the field after the game. Can you share what your immediate thoughts were as you were walking off the field?
A: Obviously just disappointed in this game. I was looking forward to this game and looking forward to kind of see where we stood up against one of the top defenses. I was looking forward to coming in here and competing. I thought we had some good plans and thought we were able to run our offense pretty efficiently against this team. We knew it would be tough. We knew they were going to give us some troubles and they were going to make some plays, but I kind of felt that we were going to win some of these matchups and win some of these one on one matchups and had some good thoughts on some plays that were going to work for us, but those plays… we kind of got the looks that we wanted. We just weren’t able to execute very well and so obviously I’m disappointed in today’s outcome.

Q: Is that the hardest part that you were thinking you were going to see how you measured up and then you got shut out? What did it tell you about how you measured up?
A: It pretty much shows why we’re in this situation and why we’ve only won five games and why they’re at the top of the NFC and playing great football. We were not very good today and we obviously have some things that we need to improve on and it showed today.


Safety Antrel Rolle

Q: Tom Coughlin was pretty upset with the offense, he thought the defense played well. I imagine you’re not satisfied with what you saw overall out there?
A: Satisfied? Absolutely not. Offense is offense, I never really comment on offense. Defensively, I think for the most part we did great at certain times and at certain times, we didn’t do so great. Guys not sticking to their assignment, doing their job or trying to do too much. The way I look at it, the most their offense should have gotten on us is maybe two field goals had everyone done their job, but it’s a part of the game, we live and we grow from it and we get better from it. We just have to capitalize on our opportunities and play within the scheme and do what the coaches do throughout the week.

Q: It sounded like Tom Coughlin tried to take a lot of the blame for this game and you wouldn’t let him.
A: Coach Coughlin can’t take any of this blame. Like I said, personally, I won’t allow that. He can’t take any of this blame. Coaches coach and they did a phenomenal job getting us prepared for this. We had a great week of practice. Everything that we saw out there from their offense, we went over with our coaches, defensive coordinator, assistant coaches, so forth and so on, and they did an exceptional job preparing us for today. Coach Coughlin, he’s a coach, but he can’t coach heart, he can’t make a play or have heart, he can’t make a player have passion about this game, and that’s what we were lacking out there today. Like I said, coach can say what he wants, but personally, I won’t allow him to take that because coaches coach and the players play the game.

Q: Is that one of the most emotional postgame locker rooms you’ve ever been in? It sounded like it was pretty intense.
A: I don’t know. If you don’t have passion about this game, you don’t need to be out there on the field and that’s just the way I look at it. Obviously sometimes out there today, we looked like we didn’t have a pulse and you can never do that playing a game of this magnitude, playing a game that’s this physical and playing an opponent like the Seattle Seahawks that live and die by pride, swagger, confidence. We knew that coming into the game today. They imposed their will on us today.

Q: Would you say that about the defense though? Tom Coughlin said he was pretty happy with the defense.
A: I think the defense came out and played extremely hard. I think the defense came out there and played extremely hard today. I think we made some great plays out there today, I think we challenged each and every one of their plays. Just a couple times our guys were out of position and didn’t take their assignment, didn’t do their particular role and every time it happened, it cost us.


DE Justin Tuck

Q: First losing season since ’04. Your thoughts right now?
A: Yeah, it would be my first losing season. We just haven’t played well enough toward that, obviously. Today was another prime example of that.

Q: What was so tough with Russell Wilson?
A: You pick your poison with him. Obviously he’s a great athlete and he’s very quick. He’s patented that little pump fake. He makes it tough out there, and you don’t know. He really gets you in between your rushes. If he’s rushing, you’ve got to be more under him, step up in the pocket and prolong the plays. If you sit back there and try to kind of mirror him, it gives him more time and allows more wide receivers to get open. He did a pretty good job there today.

Q: It must be hard in a game like this not to get frustrated with the offense, with how much you guys were on the field.
A: I think what we preach on defense and what they preach on offense, it goes hand-in-hand. We always preach that we can control what we can control. We can’t control what the offense does and they can’t control what we do. So it’s hard not to get frustrated, but frustration doesn’t help you go out there and do your job. I’ve been around here long enough to know there’s been a lot of times we’ve played like crap on defense and our offense has bailed us out; that’s our mentality. We’ve got to bail them out. We’ve got to get some turnovers. We’ve got to set them up in good field position to try to get them rolling a little bit when they’re struggling.

Q: You’ve had a lot of great games with Eli over the years. How shocking is it to watch a season like this and not make the playoffs?
A: It’s shocking. It’s just a prime example of… and for him, he hasn’t been able to clear the yard this year. That’s tough. I know he’s a guy that’s here before the sun comes up and doesn’t leave until after it goes down. I know he’s put in the work, it just hasn’t really come to fruition for him this season.

Q: Do you see a difference in the way he plays? Is there something you’ve noticed in him, whether it’s the coaching or it’s something that just looks different to you?
A: No, not at all. I think he’s been around and going about his business the same way as in the years he’s led us to the Super Bowl and his Pro Bowl years. He’s done it the same way. That Toyota is parked in the same parking spot when I get here at 6am and it’s the same thing over and over again with him. You always see him come in the locker room and getting the wide receivers together and meeting with them, doing extra things. And when I’m getting out the cold tub or when I’ve had a meeting late or something like that, I always see him still in the locker room. He’s going about the business the same way. Like I said, it just hasn’t paid off for him this year.

Q: Justin, you’ve had a frustrating year in the past. When you see Eli go through his frustrating years, is there something you can draw from your experiences to share with him, or is it so different and unique?
A: No. At the end of the game today, I just went up to Eli and I said, ‘Listen bro, just keep your head up.’ I don’t think you have to tell him that, but obviously you want to be there for him because he’s the same guy that was telling me those things when it wasn’t going our way. And I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to bounce out of this and be the old Eli heading into next year. I don’t necessarily worry about him because I see the work he’s put in, I see how he goes about it. You can’t keep a guy like E down for long. Like I said, this season, you scratch your head and wonder why. But I don’t believe that you’ll see too much more of this.

Q: But there does become a point in a QB’s career where it starts to turn downward. You think he’s still years away from that?
A: Yes, I think so.

Q: As a champion, seeing Seattle come in, you guys obviously want to play against the best. But is it even more frustrating to see them do what they did today, knowing what you guys were?
A: Yea. I mean you don’t want to lose to anybody. That was a great test for us. We felt confident we could come in here and really see who we were and gain some respect for what we are as a football team. But obviously we’re a long way away. Like I said, hat’s off to them. They played the game pretty well today. We had our shots, we were able to convert them and get some momentum going towards the end of the game and they butt us a little bit. They blazed when they needed to. I wasn’t overly impressed by what they did today, but at the end of the day, it’s a 23-0 win and it looks definite.

Q: First losing season since ’04. Your thoughts right now?
A: Yeah, it would be my first losing season. We just haven’t played well enough toward that, obviously. Today was another prime example of that.

Q: What was so tough with Russell Wilson?
A: You pick your poison with him. Obviously he’s a great athlete and he’s very quick. He’s patented that little pump fake. He makes it tough out there, and you don’t know. He really gets you in between your rushes. If he’s rushing, you’ve got to be more under him, step up in the pocket and prolong the plays. If you sit back there and try to kind of mirror him, it gives him more time and allows more wide receivers to get open. He did a pretty good job there today.

Q: It must be hard in a game like this not to get frustrated with the offense, with how much you guys were on the field.
A: I think what we preach on defense and what they preach on offense, it goes hand-in-hand. We always preach that we can control what we can control. We can’t control what the offense does and they can’t control what we do. So it’s hard not to get frustrated, but frustration doesn’t help you go out there and do your job. I’ve been around here long enough to know there’s been a lot of times we’ve played like crap on defense and our offense has bailed us out; that’s our mentality. We’ve got to bail them out. We’ve got to get some turnovers. We’ve got to set them up in good field position to try to get them rolling a little bit when they’re struggling.

Q: You’ve had a lot of great games with Eli over the years. How shocking is it to watch a season like this and not make the playoffs?
A: It’s shocking. It’s just a prime example of… and for him, he hasn’t been able to clear the yard this year. That’s tough. I know he’s a guy that’s here before the sun comes up and doesn’t leave until after it goes down. I know he’s put in the work, it just hasn’t really come to fruition for him this season.

Q: Do you see a difference in the way he plays? Is there something you’ve noticed in him, whether it’s the coaching or it’s something that just looks different to you?
A: No, not at all. I think he’s been around and going about his business the same way as in the years he’s led us to the Super Bowl and his Pro Bowl years. He’s done it the same way. That Toyota is parked in the same parking spot when I get here at 6am and it’s the same thing over and over again with him. You always see him come in the locker room and getting the wide receivers together and meeting with them, doing extra things. And when I’m getting out the cold tub or when I’ve had a meeting late or something like that, I always see him still in the locker room. He’s going about the business the same way. Like I said, it just hasn’t paid off for him this year.

Q: Justin, you’ve had a frustrating year in the past. When you see Eli go through his frustrating years, is there something you can draw from your experiences to share with him, or is it so different and unique?
A: No. At the end of the game today, I just went up to Eli and I said, ‘Listen bro, just keep your head up.’ I don’t think you have to tell him that, but obviously you want to be there for him because he’s the same guy that was telling me those things when it wasn’t going our way. And I have no doubt in my mind that he’s going to bounce out of this and be the old Eli heading into next year. I don’t necessarily worry about him because I see the work he’s put in, I see how he goes about it. You can’t keep a guy like E down for long. Like I said, this season, you scratch your head and wonder why. But I don’t believe that you’ll see too much more of this.

Q: But there does become a point in a QB’s career where it starts to turn downward. You think he’s still years away from that?
A: Yes, I think so.

Q: As a champion, seeing Seattle come in, you guys obviously want to play against the best. But is it even more frustrating to see them do what they did today, knowing what you guys were?
A: Yea. I mean you don’t want to lose to anybody. That was a great test for us. We felt confident we could come in here and really see who we were and gain some respect for what we are as a football team. But obviously we’re a long way away. Like I said, hat’s off to them. They played the game pretty well today. We had our shots, we were able to convert them and get some momentum going towards the end of the game and they butt us a little bit. They blazed when they needed to. I wasn’t overly impressed by what they did today, but at the end of the day, it’s a 23-0 win and it looks definite.

WR Hakeem Nicks

Q: Tough loss today?
A: Tough.  A good football team came out today.  We didn’t get anything going on the offensive side of the ball.  The defense played really good.  It’s just a game we need to go back and look at film and critique ourselves and try to come out and fight another week.
 
Q: Coach Coughlin told us after the game that he told the guys that they gave all their effort, he was kind of pleased with them, and the other guys should look in the mirror.  What do you as a player take away when he says something like that?
A: Just a self-evaluation.  Everybody does self-evaluations.  I do a lot after every game.  I’m going to watch the film and see what I could have done better and what I could have done different and go out and try to make up for it next week.
 
Q: Could you talk about the two plays that were intercepted?
A: Which ones?
 
Q: How about the one in the end zone?
A: The last one?
 
Q: Yeah.
A: It was just a jump ball.  I think I jumped too early to try to get the edge because the first one, he had good position and I was kind of trying to hold the line.  He just had good position and break on the ball.  That was a good play on his part.  Like I said, we just have to go in and watch the film and critique ourselves.  The defense was doing what they had to do out there.  Offensively, it was a tough one for us.
 
Q: Offensively, was the effort there?  Tom Coughlin used the word “pathetic” to describe the offense.
A: Like I said, I wouldn’t use the word pathetic.  I think if you lace your cleats up as a professional, I have too much respect for these men in this locker room to say it was pathetic.  Was there a lack of effort on certain plays?  There could have been.  We just have to go and critique ourselves, watch the film and try to bounce back from it.
 
Q: Is it harder to play for pride?
A: No.  It’s football.  If you want to win, you want to win.  If you’re a competitor, you’re a competitor.  I know both of those qualify in my book for myself.  I jut have to keep on pushing and take everything for what it is.


T Justin Pugh

Q: You thought you played poorly?
A: You can’t point fingers at anyone. … I’m very disappointed in the way I played. I felt like I let the guys down today.

Q: What about the whole frustration of the offense as the game kept going on? Did you really sense it?
A: Yeah. I think we kind of let it snowball. The way we started the game it went from there. We had some turnovers. We can’t get down early. We can’t put our defense in a bad position. Defense played hard today. They were hitting them (Seahawk’s offense). We’ve got to be better for them.

Q:  What got you….were they showing you something you weren’t expecting…maybe some blitzes or other pressure stuff?
A: It’s what we expected. There were plays that needed to be made. I messed up on some plays. That sack was unacceptable. So there’s no excuses, we’ve got to play better.

Q: Is it fair to say that as a team, they were a little bit more physical than you guys out there today?
A: That set the tone. I think personally I’ve got to come out and play better. I’ve got to be more physical. I’ve got to go down there and protect our guys. I’m upset by the way I played and I’ve got to get back to work. That’s all I can do. I’ve got to go out there and play better. The team needs me to play better.

Q: What’s the frustration level as an offense right now, because you guys have not been able to get into any sort of rhythm and it really seemed to come to a head today?
A: Yeah. It’s something that is obviously hurting our team. Our defense is playing hard...they’re battling. We’ve got to go down there and put points on the board. It’s embarrassing the way the game ended today.