Coach Tom Coughlin
It’s a beautiful, sunshiny day. I have nothing to tell you. It’s Monday. We play Sunday, for crying out loud. I watched football like you did. What else do you want to know?
Q: What about the leaves?
A: I saw some red ones the other day. I know there are a lot of them on the ground. You don’t have to look too far.
Q: Do you know when David Wilson is going for his test?
A: He’s doing that today.
Q: So you should have something by tonight?
A: By February we’ll probably know something.
Q: It’s a pretty important MRI.
A: I’m not saying that. It’s very important for that young man and for our team.
Q: Are you anxious to make a decision one way or another this week?
A: We’re anxious to say that he’s perfectly healthy, to be honest with you. We don’t even want to think about the other part of it.
Q: What was the mood of your team today?
A: Good. Glad to be back. Glad to be working. Anxious to get to the eight-game season that we have.
Q: When you left here, you had won a game and everyone else in the division had lost. Everyone won in the division yesterday. Did you talk to the team about that?
A: No. We’ve got to take care of our business.
Q: How did the self-evaluation go during the bye-week?
A: We evaluate offense, defense, special teams, and then all of the individual aspects coaching-wise. Fundamentals are what we’re after, first and foremost, but we look at each specific play or defensive call or whether it be kickoff return; we look at each one and we critique each one and then give that information right back to the players in terms of how they can improve.
Q: Do you think there’s anything dramatic that needs to change?
A: Yeah. We need to play better. We need to play better and we need to win more. That’s the dramatics.
Q: Are you looking forward to getting Andre Brown involved this week and activating him?
A: We’re looking forward to that, yes, and getting him back. It’s been a long time.
Q: Has he been progressing?
A: Yes, he has. He’s practiced well.
Q: Do you have any reason to think that once you activate him he’ll come into play and have a moderate load?
A: I don’t think he would get the green light without the approval.
Q: How is Markus Kuhn coming along?
A: Good. He’s been coming along well, too. He’s very anxious to get out on the field.
Q: When you look around the league with John Fox and his heart condition and Gary Kubiak going down last night, do you sit there and think that most people don’t understand the stress of the job?
A: My thoughts go right to two personal friends that I have that are obviously in need of our prayers and best wishes. I don’t know much about Gary’s situation. I did text John back and forth a little bit. I told him we would pray for him and I think he’ll come back stronger than ever.
Q: Do you worry about the amount of stress involved in this business?
A: I worry about it, but when you sign up for it, it kind of goes along with it unless somehow the competitive aspect of the game changes. It’s just as much that as it is anything else. It’s all about the grinding away inside, the competitive part of this thing. It’s all part of it. It’s what the individuals are made of that are at this level.
Q: Is there a coaching depth chart that’s mapped out in the event that would happen?
A: It’s usually not in this kind of circumstance. It’s normally not this time of year, either. Let’s wish him well.
Q: How close have you paid attention to what’s going on down in Miami?
A: I just heard about it like you did. I really didn’t know much about it until the Thursday night game.
Q: How much effort do you put into policing the locker room?
A: We do a lot of work along those lines, a lot of positive work, a lot of team-oriented work, a lot of encouragement, but recognizing that there is peer-pressure involved. I don’t know one thing about (the Miami situation), so don’t ask me what that’s about. I really don’t. I’m not commenting on that other than the fact that there is peer-pressure involved and there is competitiveness involved, but if it goes beyond or over the line, then of course we’re involved.
Q: I assume you have guys in your locker room that will police it.
A: We’re all policing it. We have assistant coaches. We have players in leadership roles and they’re very much involved, whether it’s in their own individual meeting rooms or whatever. For whatever reason, if I have to get involved and talk to someone about their behavior, yay or nay, then that’s what happens.
QB Eli Manning
Q: Now that you’re coming off of a bye week, what do you think the biggest benefit was to get away for a little while?
A: I think just to get some rest. After eight games, your body needs a little rest. Get some guys back who are healthy and obviously we have an eight-game season, which starts this week with Oakland, and we know we have a challenge ahead of us, but we’re looking forward to it. We’re ready to go attack it.
Q: I know you know what Foles did to Oakland yesterday, don’t know if you saw it on television, but what do you usually see out of a defense that gets ripped like that when they come back the following week? Do they usually respond?
A: I think it’s usually the way it works out. Each week is different. You can’t just say what happened to a team the week prior, and automatically assume it’s going to happen again. Usually it doesn’t. They come with something to prove and come out with a better performance. We’re looking at all of their pass gains and they played Pittsburgh very well and there’s only two games I’ve seen so far. They have a talented defense and make plays, so we have to be ready and expect their best effort.
Q: As a quarterback, you can understand and probably put it into perspective, seven touchdown passes in a game, he didn’t even finish the whole game. How does something like that happen?
A: It’s never happened to me, so I don’t know, I guess. I’ll try to figure out a way. Obviously they hit some big plays. Everything just seemed to go their way, that’s just the way football goes sometimes. Some games you catch every break and you have some mistakes and end up making plays and everything just works out.
Q: Eli, after seeing a game like that, is there temptation for you to kind of change your game and what you do to maybe duplicate what Philly did and maybe have the same success?
A: No, I don’t think so. You have to run your offense. You can’t just look at a play that they ran and say, oh we have to run this play, because you might get a different defense. You might get a different response. You have to run the plays that you’re comfortable with, that you know how to execute. No matter what coverage or defense you get, you’re going to be prepared for.
Q: Eli, you guys self-scouted on the bye week. When you looked at some of the tape, what can you guys try to do to try to get back some more big plays that really defined your offense over the last couple of years but were lacking a bit in the first eight weeks of the year?
A: I think some games we actually hit a lot of big plays. We just had too many mistakes. I think we’ve cut down on the mistakes these last weeks and because of that, I think a lot of our third down conversions were low in a lot of games, because a lot of them were third and twelve or third and thirteen’s. I think we kind of went back to, hey, let’s get positive yards and stay in third and manageable situations. We do a lot better of keeping the ball and having long drives and so maybe you take less shots, or if your shot’s there, you’re going to take it, if it’s not, find your check down, let’s get four or five yards and stay in a manageable situation. We’ve done much better just having a more consistent offense that way.
Q: In your backfield, it looks like Brandon Jacobs is getting healthy. It looks like Andre Brown is going to be available to you. That’s a lot of beef between Hillis and Brown and Jacobs.
A: Yeah, we’ve got some big backs, so it’s good to have a number of guys back. It’s good to get those guys back healthy. Peyton, the guy hadn’t been playing for the first six weeks of the year and then all of a sudden comes in and gets 25 touches a game. He could use a little break and that bye came at a good time for him. It’ll be good to have Brandon and Andre back and have Peyton in the mix. We should be strong at the running back position.
Q: Eli, we always talk about X’s and O’s and things like that, but when you look around football this week, John Fox had the condition with his heart, Gary Kubiak goes down last night. Do you kind of sit there and shake your head and go, sometimes football isn’t that important?
A: Obviously people’s health is the most important thing and you hate to see anyone get injured or sick, whether it’s a player, coach, or anything. This game can be stressful, it can take a lot of your time, a lot of your energy. Whether a player or a coach, there are commitments, you hope you’re not so committed that you’re doing something that’s harming your health. I’m just thinking about both coaches and praying for them and hoping speedy recoveries for them.
RE: More on a seven-TD performance
A: Yeah, you’re hoping for that game where everything clicks and goes your way, but you have to make those happen. If it happens, great; if not, you still have to have enough plays to go out there and win the games.
Q: Is it hard to see everybody win?
A: Yeah, just because there’s a couple, I felt in the Dallas game and the Washington game that the opposing teams had great opportunities to win the game and didn’t quite come through for us.
Q: First and goal at the one …?
A: And then same with Minnesota. Minnesota had the lead and then gets an interception late, and then obviously Dallas had a good drive to get the win though.
Q: When you guys left here, you won a game and everyone lost, maybe there’s a little spark here? Coming back and everyone winning, does it …?
A: No, it doesn’t change. We knew we were going to have a bye week and everybody else is playing. All we can worry about is getting back to play well and for us to get on a hot streak and start winning games and continue this run and see if we can get back in the mix.
Q: So the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter what everybody else does?
A: It’s all about us. We can only control what we can do and it’s not happening. Some weeks a team might lose for us. Sometimes they all might win, they all might lose, all we can worry about is, hey if we’re winning, then we’ll keep in contention and give ourselves a shot.
S Antrel Rolle
RE: the Miami situation vs. player conduct in Giants locker room
A: There was nothing going over the line with us. It was a fun act. Other people took it and blew it up, but we know how we are here and what took place here. Definitely nowhere near the same circumstances that’s been going on down there.
Q: Did you catch any of the games yesterday?
A: Yeah. I caught a few games yesterday. I was just watching football. That’s all I was doing.
Q: You didn’t throw anything at the TV when Dallas came back and won?
A: Absolutely not. Every team is accountable for their own actions. Whatever Dallas does or Washington does or Philly does shouldn’t have any effect on us, although we know it does, but we have to go out there and take care of our own business. We can’t rely on anyone else.
Q: You’re going to need help eventually.
A: Create your own help. That’s how I look at it. Create your own help. If you can’t do it by yourself, then just don’t do it. That’s how I feel about the game.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: It’s kind of weird to not even have control of your own destiny at this point in the season.
A: It’s been like that for a while, around here at some points. This team’s best work has been when it’s been that way, when their backs are against the wall, when they had to win one game at a time, or win out in some cases. We’re excited to get back to work. We have a tough challenge going against the Raiders this week. We need a win. We’re going to play our butts off and prepare for it.
Q: At some point, you’re going to need help.
A: Yeah. We’re definitely going to need help. We’ve gotten this far even though we started off 0-6, but we’re on a run right now and that’s all we’re going to worry about, just one game at a time. Trying to get a win each week and we definitely can’t lose any more division games.
Q: Do you like it when a team you’re playing the next weekend gets beaten up 49 to whatever it was?
A: Not at all. It makes them that more hungry. They lost a lot of close games. This has been the first blow out and they have a talented young team. We definitely have our work cut out for us. We’re not underestimating them at all. We’re going to prepare for them, because they’re a worthy opponent.
Q: Are you the kind of person that, on a Sunday, will you sit there with Redzone and root against everybody in the division, or do you just kind of let it happen and just check the scores?
A: Just let it happen and check the scores. I remember after a win versus Philly, I was like Dallas is going to win, and then they lost with 30 seconds left and I was shocked. I was happy in that moment. Minnesota played them tough and I wish they would have got the W, but it doesn’t affect us at all. We can’t control what they do. All we control is us. Hopefully we get some help down the road, but right now, we’re focused on the Raiders.
CB Prince Amukamara
Q: I don’t know if you’ve been following what’s been going on down in Miami and I’m obviously not comparing what you went through to that, but just in general, the importance of keeping an even keel with the young guys because it could get bad, right? And I guess maybe you experienced a little bit of it first-hand with what you went through?
A: Last year with what I went through wasn’t bullying at all, it was just more of fun in the locker room. Of course, nobody’s going to be happy being thrown into a cold tub of water but we need to respect our teammates and we know that things can get out of hand sometimes. I don’t know about the situation, I don’t know too many details about what happened down in Miami, so I can’t really comment on that.
Q: Did you know Incognito from Nebraska?
A: I have heard of his name and heard he was a very intense player and I got to meet him, he’s a great guy off the field. I didn’t play with him but I’ve definitely heard of him and I’ve definitely met him.
Q: Considering you’ve said what you went through was not bullying, do you think this kind of underscores exactly the gap between what you went through and what actual bullying would consist of? Assuming that the things that were said are true, acts of a racial nature, threatening nature, voice messages. And you said what you went through was not bullying, do you think what we’re seeing coming out of this story is an example of what real bullying is?
A: That’s a tough call to comment on when I don’t know the exact details but anything that’s racial or threatening, I think that’s in the definition of bullying or some type of harassment.
Q: When you start in a new place as a rookie do you worry about getting along and making sure that you’re on the same page with everybody? You obviously want to fit in, is that tough for a rookie?
A: A rookie, you know all the stories, you know that you’re going to be given a hard time and stuff, but you know that’s going to be out of love, you know that you’re going to go to a team where everybody wants to get along and everybody wants camaraderie and everyone wants just a great chemistry. That was my mindset coming in.
C Jim Cordle
Q: Did you watch any of that Eagles game yesterday?
A: No. I didn’t get to see any of it. I was driving back.
Q: What’s your reaction when you hear about the performance?
A: Well, Foles is good. I’m glad we didn’t play him. I have to watch that tape but they went all the way to Oakland and had an impressive performance after losing to us. I don’t know if Oakland is going to be fired up or if the Eagles just played a good game. We’ll see. You’ve got to take each week… it’s not like, “Oh, they just got blown out by a team we just beat, so it’s going to be an easy win.” Watch the rest of the games, Seattle has a win in overtime and has had all those close games.
Q: It is easy to flush that from yesterday? Not even trying to think about what another team’s done against that team.
A: Yeah, absolutely because it’s going to be a challenge. Every game is different and every team plays differently every week. Yeah, it’s easy to say, “Let’s look at what they did good against Philadelphia,” but the rest of it, yeah, just throw it away because that doesn’t mean much.
Q: You went home during the break and you’re coming back for the stretch and you’re the starting center. Do you think about your own stake in this right now?
A: Yeah, and I’m taking it one game at a time, too. We’ve got eight (offensive linemen) on the roster, and at any time I could not be in the top five, so I have to take it one game at a time. I didn’t come back from the bye week thinking that it’s completely mine, but I want it to be and I have to earn it each week.
Q: The coaches talked about self-evaluating and coming back and watching everything and bringing it all back to you and telling you what you can improve on. Have they come to you and what have they said?
A: Let me read it to you. Knee bend, I’ve got to maintain knee bend. Combination blocks, we’ve got to get better at the combination blocks, specifically our weak side iso play, working the nose guard to the MIC.
Q: From an outsider’s view, when you look at the offense it looked like shorter, quicker passes in the Eagles game. Is that by design and what do you expect the offense to look like going forward?
A: If we get the run game where we want it to be, I think we’re averaging… I don’t even know if we’re averaging 70 yards per game. If we get that to 100, 120 and have that short passing game, then that just opens up what we have been good at, which is play action and bombs down the field. We could really be a complete, effective offense if we do that.