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Quotes (12/11): Manning, Tuck, Cruz

Posted Dec 11, 2013

Giants.com takes you inside the locker room with quotes from players and coaches


Head Coach Tom Coughlin


Good morning.  I’ll go over a couple of things about who is going to practice and who isn’t.  Prince Amukamara is ill and they decided that it would be best if he didn’t work today.  Cullen Jenkins with some soreness in his legs, who appeared to be working really well yesterday, but for whatever reason, they’re not going to let him go today.  Jason Pierre-Paul (is) not to go today.  Cooper Taylor with a hamstring.  This is Terrell Thomas’ normal day which he doesn’t work and then Webster is going to work limited and has been limited for probably about a week or two.  He’s still in the process of trying to get himself ready to go.  

We prepare for a very good Seattle Seahawk team.  Their offense is 12th in the NFL, 3rd in rushing.  They do an outstanding job with the rushing game.  They’re averaging 27.5 points per game.  They’re 9th in the league on third down, they’re sixth in the green zone.  They only have 16 turnovers, which is the fifth-fewest in the league.  Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are the two keynote people to be recognized, but it is an outstanding offensive line and tight end combinations with outstanding wide receivers, who make very good plays, a lot of plays off of the play action.  A very good core of offensive players.  

Their defense is ranked first in the NFL.  First against the pass.  They’re outstanding against the pass, their corners do an outstanding job of just putting themselves in position to dominate the receivers and the pressure upfront helps that tremendously as well.  They’re allowing only 15.8 points a game.  In the red zone they do an outstanding job of keeping the opponent out of the end zone, they’re third in the league in that capacity.  They have 28 takeaways, which is 2nd most in the NFL.

Their special teams do an outstanding job of punt coverage.  They’re first in the league in punt coverage.  Fourth in the league in punt returns.  Not quite as good statistically on kickoff or kick return.  (Steven) Hauschka, an outstanding kicker, and (Jon) Ryan, who is a major contributor to why the opponent punt return is of little or no significance because his hang and his distance go together and he pounds the ball very high in the air and the coverage teams are outstanding, led by (Jeremy) Lane, an outstanding gunner.  They are a well balanced football team, a physical football team.  They travel here to play us in MetLife Stadium.  We’re excited about the opportunity to play against a team of this quality and we look forward to getting into our preparation starting today.

Q: How emotionally do you guard against the disappointment of last week?
A: I’ve mentioned how this has been handled many times.  We are a resilient team.  I believe we will bounce back.  Mondays are difficult.  Wednesdays, we start to come up.  My job has become to encourage, to lift us back up, to point us in the right direction, and that is what I continue to do.    

Q: You guys have done really well against the run, but last week they had some yards against you.  Did something change?  What did you see there?
A: They blocked us.  I don’t think we tackled really well, but they also have a good scheme with a big offensive line and a nice mix.  When you do that and have less numbers down, no matter if you’re in a one back or however, you better be in the right position and gap responsibility, and you also better be able to handle the people that are coming off.  Give credit where credit is due.  

Q: San Diego ran a lot out of the shotgun.  Did that change anything for you guys?
A: That’s our league.  Our league has become very much that way.  Everyone seems to have moved in that direction.  We have as well.  The runs are not necessarily all that complicated out of the shotgun, it’s just the idea that most people are geared to play in the pass and if you don’t have people to quickly drop down in the box, you can give away those, which look like not much, but ends up being 4 or 5 yards, 2nd and 5, that type of thing.  

Q: Will you use what’s remaining to take a look at certain players?
A: We’re going to try to play the best we can and win with our roster, the roster that we have.  If the opportunity is there, then so be it.  That’s not going to be the number one thought on our minds.  Our roster is our roster.  We’ve been playing a lot of people.  You do have to look at special teams as well, to make sure you know who is out there on special teams, so you can ask me questions about the younger players.  Who are the younger players and if you have somebody you’re specifically referring to, I’m glad to answer that.  Our number one objective is we have a three-game schedule.  We want to play as best as we possibly can.  Over the course of these x-amount of weeks, people have established themselves in their positions, rightfully so, fairly so.  I’m not commenting on the degree of where we are in regard to that, I’m just saying those people who are playing have earned their right to play.      

Q: I think one of those younger players was Adrien Robinson that I think a lot of people were curious about. What’s his deal at this point?
A: He was hurt for a long time. He’s practiced for a few weeks now. He did a nice job of being a scout squad tight end for (Antonio) Gates a week ago. He’s improved from that I can tell on special teams and if he can continue to improve, perhaps that opportunity will come.

Q: Not to go down the roster but…
A: You say that every time you ask me a question and I know you’re going down the roster.

Q: What about Brandon Mosley at the guard spot? Any plans to take a look at him?
A: Well, he’s been the XO tight end, did a nice job with that the other day. Hopefully you noticed that. And again, if the opportunity presents itself, so be it. But who would you like me to take out? Brewer is also getting playing time, if you haven’t noticed. He hasn’t had a whole lot of time and he’s getting playing time and he is responding, so I’d like to see Brewer continue to get better, too.

Q: The decision to put Brandon Jacobs on injured reserve, was that something that, even if you were still alive, you would have made or has his knee just gotten that bad?
A: I believe he was for the most part incapacitated. He needed to have this done and that’s why medically they made the decision to do it now.

Q: What’s the plan with JPP moving forward this week?
A: It’s as always. What are the medical people telling me, how good does he feel, where is his confidence level, physically, strength, how much strength is there there, can he defend himself, can he do the things that he has to do in order to play. Once those questions get answered, maybe I can help you a little bit better, but right now, it’s still, even though he’s very optimistic right now and if you asked him he’d probably tell you something very optimistic, but again I look at the sheet and he’s not going today. Shows you my tremendous influence in the medical profession.

Q: Against a team like Seattle, how important is it to not only play hard but to play smart? They don’t beat themselves a lot.
A: You’ve just summed it up. You have to be physically prepared to go against a very good and physical team, a team that’s a little bit unusual so there’s some solid preparation there. They don’t turn the ball over, they do things the right way. They lead the league or are second in the league in takeaways; therefore, you can’t make a mistake as we’ve learned the hard way over and over and over. I told you I came in at halftime the other day, two turnovers, two touchdowns. It’s amazing.

Q: How do you handle that with you guys? You had a lot of those offsides penalties.
A: Handle what? The week before we had one, last week we had penalties. We jumped around offsides. We didn’t do a good job of that. Our concentration was poor, our defensive line committed three of those. We were offsides on special teams, you know the deal. How do I handle it? Just like I’m handling it with you. Talk about it, tell them how poor it is, it does not relate well to a good football team and has no place at this level. You watch the football, you’re not careless. Focus more on your individual time because that’s when all these drills are taking place.

Q: We haven’t seen any of Ryan Nassib since the preseason. How is he developing and is there a possibility that he could get a suit in the last three games?
A: Not at this point in time. He’s done very well as a scout team player. He’s taking all these running quarterback roles and done a great job with it, played some safety, done a lot of good things. He’s a very good, very sharp kid. Works his tail off, knows what his spot is, he’s in that room with those guys and he’s like a sponge, that’s what the intent was.

Q: You mentioned having to encourage them going forward, did you take the countdown clock off the wall so they don’t have any reminders?
A: I didn’t put it up, so I’m not taking it down.

Q: Is it sill there?
A: I don’t know. You tell me.

Q: Some of your players have talked about how the last three weeks are an evaluation period. Do you have to talk to your guys about how what they do the next three weeks will affect their future not only here but in the league?
A: I don’t use it that way. I continue to talk about being the best you can be, always put your best foot forward. Obviously you’re under heavy scrutiny right now in terms of preparation and how well we play on Sunday, which is no different than any other time of the year.

Q: You’ve never really been at this point before except for maybe your first year, so what do you expect from the fans on Sunday?
A: Support. We are the New York Giants, we are playing at home, we are playing against a very good football team. We’re going to try as hard as we can, we’re going to prepare as hard as we can, and hopefully we’ll play as well as we can.


QB Eli Manning

Q: Seattle’s defense, they seem to have the whole package.  What is the one thing that they seem to do better than everybody else that makes them so successful defensively?
A: They don’t make many mistakes.  They play fast. They just do everything pretty well.  They do a good job getting a pass rush, a lot of times just by bringing four guys and mixing in some pressure.  They play a lot of man to man on the outside with their corners and they’re physical with them.  They have a good scheme and we’ll have some things that will hopefully give us some chances to make some plays and run our offense efficiently.  Everybody is going to have to do their assignments very well.  

Q: How much different have they looked on the road to you than at home?  On the road is where they have had their losses.
A: I haven’t analyzed the difference between on the road and at home.  I’m just kind of really looking at scheme and looking at their defensive side of the ball and trying to get an idea of how plays are going to look and what plays we’re going to run and where our chances are going to be to be successful.  

Q: Where do you and your teammates find motivation for what’s left?
A: Just in doing our job.  You get into this game because you love playing football.  You love competing.  You love going out there and trying to win a football game.  In that aspect nothing has changed.  We want to go win a game and play well.  We’re going to work hard and game plan and prepare and then hopefully we can go out there Sunday and play a good game.

Q: Eli, you and Victor have had quite the chemistry.  He’s almost at 1,000 yards again this year.  Can you talk about his season and his last three seasons?
A: Victor’s done a great job of working hard, improving his game.  Early on he was mainly just a slot guy, but now he’s outside and winning those matchups one on one on the outside and getting better at that.  He’s a guy who comes to work every day and in practice and in games, he has made a lot of plays for us.  

Q: When you watch Richard Sherman on tape, is his 6-3 size the first thing that catches your eye?  What is it that makes him so good?
A: He’s very physical.  He’s got long arms.  He gets his hands on the receivers and doesn’t let them get a lot of clean releases.  Our receivers are going to have to be physical with him and he’s going to hold and grab and use everything.  We’re going to have to do a great job of beating that press, man coverage.  He plays the ball very well in the air and on the go routes.  He’s a good player, but I think we’ll have some routes and some different things to try to take advantage of his style of play.

Q: Were you surprised that with this team and the talent that is here that you’ve been eliminated this early?
A: Yeah.  Obviously I’m surprised.  I thought we were prepared to have a big year and do some good things.  It was just tough.  We had some opportunities to win some games that we didn’t, that were very close and definitely within reach in the fourth quarter and we didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.  Therefore, we’re in the position that we’re in right now.  

Q: Do you find motivation in the fact that this is one of the NFL’s best team, one of the NFL’s best defenses?
A: Yeah, this game for sure.  I think it’s a great challenge for us to go against, on paper, the best defensive team in the NFL right now.  Their offense is explosive, it scores a lot of points and they’re playing about as good as anybody.  I think that’s motivation for us and to try to go out there and play against one of the best and see if we can get a win.

 Q: A year ago you didn’t get sacked that much and this year it’s a career-high.  What’s the difference?
A: I haven’t looked to see exactly what the difference is.  I think every sack could be different.  You can’t just say it’s the offensive line.  That’s not always the case.  It’s running backs, it’s receivers getting open, it’s me setting the right protections and doing those things.  I think there’s a combination of a number of things, but hopefully we can get back to eliminating those and get the ball out quickly, but also have some chances to get the ball down the field.  

Q: With the Super Bowl here this year…
A: I think you always hope to get to a Super Bowl, especially when your own stadium is hosting it and your city is hosting it.  Obviously that’s not the case this year.  

Q: Is it weird not seeing the clock?
A: I don’t know.  I didn’t even notice it was down.  I didn’t really notice when it was up either. 


WR Victor Cruz

Q: You’re almost at 1,000 yards for the third straight year. Talk about your relationship with Eli on the football field.
A: It’s been great having a guy like Eli on my team and on my side to be able to, from an individual standpoint, believe in what I can do and be able to trust in the fact that I’m going to be where I’m going to be on times down the field and getting me the ball and do some good things. So to be able to achieve an individual goal like that between myself and Eli for these past three years has been an amazing feat, but obviously it’s about this team and it’s about what we do collectively.

Q: Their cornerbacks are very physical with receivers. Can you talk about the challenge that poses for you guys?
A: It’s going to be a challenge. We understand they’re very physical and they like to play one on one coverage on the outside and it’s something that we’re excited about. We’re excited about facing that. We’re excited about having our own personal challenges between ourselves and their corners and doing some good things against (that), so hopefully we’ll come ready to play and ready to do some things against that.

Q: Have you ever seen a corner with the size and physicality like Richard Sherman?
A: No, other than the last time in 2011, but other than that, not really. He does a good job of getting his hands on you and moving his feet and doing some good things. He’s a very cerebral player. He understands routes and route combinations and stuff like that. It’s going to be a challenge. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but obviously it’s something that we can rise up to and be able to combat and it should be a good battle come Sunday.

Q: What makes their safeties so good?
A: I think it’s just the fact that Earl Thomas reads through the quarterback very well. He understands exactly where the quarterback wants to go and does a good job of using his athleticism to get there and Kam Chancellor just likes to play in that box and play with his physicality, his size and be able to play within the run as well as getting in the passing lanes as well. So they do a good job of understanding what they do well and putting them in positions to execute that. They do a good job of that and we understand that and we understand that we do some good things on this end as well and we should be able to combat that.

Q: With the team out of the playoff race, where do you find your motivation?
A: Just in this team. Every time you go out there and put on this uniform and put on this Giants helmet, you represent the people that played before, you represent the people that are going to play after you, so you want to be able to understand that this organization and this team is built around pride and character and that’s what you want to exude no matter what the scoreboard is, no matter what the record is every time you put this jersey on.

Q: Do you have to prepare for Richard Sherman’s trash talk?
A: No, I don’t have to prepare for that. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t really buy into it. It doesn’t faze me at all.


DE Justin Tuck

Q: When you look at this Seattle team, what do you see?
A: Arguably the best team in the NFL. They don’t make a lot of mistakes, play with a lot of passion, have an explosive offense. And on defense, they’re very stingy and obviously special teams are doing the same thing. They’re well-coached and pretty good in all phases of the game.

Q: How about Russell Wilson, his threat running the ball and throwing the ball.
A: Yeah, he is a dual threat. He’s going to be tough to corral. Obviously we’ve got to play our best game against him because, like I said, he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s playing like a wily vet. It’s hard to believe he’s only in his second year in the league and he’s doing pretty well.

Q: I’ve heard you at other times talk about your admiration for Marshawn Lynch. Now you’re playing him, can you give us some more detail as to what you think about him and why you’re so impressed?
A: I’m more impressed with Marshawn just for the fact that he’s a running back that gives more of a pounding than taking it. That scheme really fits him well. It’s a constant that you see him falling forward, breaking tackles. You really don’t see him getting hit for negative yardage so that’s going to keep the sticks in their favor and plus he’s one of those backs that when he does break it, he can take it to the house, so again, we’ve played a lot of great backs this year and hopefully that experience helps us out with him because he’s a load.

Q: As one of the captains this year, do you have to say anything to guys? “Yes, we’re out of the playoff picture but there’s still a lot to play for.”
A: I hope not, but if I do, it will be said. Obviously we still have three games to go, starting obviously with the No. 1 team coming here to our house. We’ve still got a lot to play for. For us, it turns to going out there and being accountable for what we need to do and that’s to try to win these three and go into the offseason with some kind of respectability and a good feeling hopefully heading into next year.

Q: I see that the countdown clock is down, is that kind of a tangible reminder that you guys didn’t reach your goals?
A: I don’t know if it’s a tangible reminder but I know there’s no need for it to be up right now. We can’t reach that goal so for us we move on to our next goal and that’s just trying to win some football games.

Q: Did the guys really notice that? Did they kind of take heed to it?
A: I’m sure they did. We notice everything over there on that board. It was up there on the board so I’m sure we noticed it.


Safety Antrel Rolle


Q: What do you think makes the Seahawks so good?
A: Their confidence. I think their confidence is the key to their success, without a doubt. When you look at each and every position, I think they play with a lot of confidence, I think they play extremely fast and more importantly, they play together and you can tell that they’re trusting the guy next to them.

Q: Even though the team is out of the playoff picture, is there still a lot to play for?
A: We still have everything to play for. To me, your pride in this league is everything. The way you go out there and perform every Sunday is everything. In this business, a lot of times we don’t get everything that we want and we learn that from playing little league on up. It’s just something that we have to deal with, something that we put on ourselves as players and we still have three games left to go out there and display what we are as a Giants organization.

Q: What makes Marshawn Lynch a tough running back to deal with?
A: You just said it yourself. He’s a tough running back. He’s a hard-nosed runner. He runs with great vision. He runs with great power. He can cut off either foot and more importantly, he’s a guy that’s looking for contact and Marshawn Lynch has pretty good speed.

Q: The previous five weeks you defended the run well, but last week they ran pretty well. What happened?
A: For one, we weren’t being physical enough. Two, just playing your assignment and not trying to do too much… A lot of times I felt like as an entirety we were trying to do too much at certain times. It’s just going out there and being physical. The run is all about being physical and attacking at the point.

Q: What impresses you about Russell Wilson when you look at him on tape?
A: He’s very poised. He’s very mature and his decision making… He doesn’t make many mistakes.

Q: Did you notice the Super Bowl countdown was down?
A: No, I didn’t notice it. It has no reason to be up right now. I think as players we understand what we’ve created here for ourselves, which is not a chance to go into the postseason, but right now I think that’s not everything. We still have a lot to play for. We still have everything to play for. This is a game that we’re professionals. When you go out there each and every Sunday, you’re not going out there each and every Sunday to play for a Super Bowl. You’re going out there to play for that particul


RB Andre Brown

Q: Out of the playoff picture, yet you’re still facing one of the best teams in the NFL.  Is that where you find your motivation this week?
A: Yeah, definitely. To go up against the best team in the NFC, to go out there and fight and give them a good hit, a good lick, and try to bring back the season and make a name for ourselves.  As far as playing for pride, as a man, that’s just what you want to do and just go out there, make plays, and have fun out there.

Q: Guys still also showing the coaches (they belong)...
A: Exactly.  What you put on tape is eventually what can set up your next job.  That’s what you’re going to have to go out there and do.  Go out there and put your best foot forward and make plays and show that you belong here. 

Q: You’ve had a pretty good seat for the Super Bowl countdown that was hanging there.  That’s gone now.  Is that sort of a concrete example of …?
A: How the season went?  Yeah, exactly. There’s a bit of a letdown that it’s still not up there.  Some guys are still going out there.  You have to go out there and compete and show that you’re hungry and we’re going against a good team.  You want to go out there and put your best foot forward.  That’s what you plan on doing as a man and go out there and do what you have to do. 

Q: When did you notice that it was gone?
A: Today.  I noticed that it came down today and that’s what it is. 

Q: Brandon Jacobs was pretty banged up?  What was his contribution this season?
A: Great player.  Brandon really loves to be out there and playing ball and unfortunately injuries happen.  You could tell that he was hurt.  The way he still came out there last week and showed how much he really loves this team and loves us as a back unit showed support.  He was a great leader.  I learned a lot from Brandon and I don’t know what the future is going to hold for either of us.  He was a very influential person in my career and I really respect him a lot as a man.  Sad that he couldn’t finish the season out with us, but I know he’ll still be here.  He’s going to probably be here tomorrow and he’s still going to be around.  He’s going to still go out on the running back dinners with us every Friday, even though he’s going to be on crutches.  I know he is still going to be a part of that and I’m just looking forward to seeing him tomorrow and hope he has a speedy recovery.  


LB Jon Beason

Q: You’re playing what most people think is the best team in the league. How much can you guys make a stand and prove a point by beating them here?
A: It’s great. It would be a signature win for the season, I think. You go up against a great team, the No. 1 seed if the playoffs were today, and because you don’t have those playoff hopes, hopefully you can go out and win the game. It would be a good end to the season.

Q: How about their offensive line? They kind of set everything up for that running game.
A: Yeah, a big zone team. Guys that give extra efforts to finish the play, they’re going to play through the whistle. They’ve been banged up, they’ve been able to rotate guys and they all seem to kind of step up and keep it going. A veteran group, but at the same time, they play well together.

Q: What was it that the Chargers did? They had more success running than maybe any team since you arrived here. They seem to have run a lot of out the shotgun, did that create a challenge?
A: I think collectively we didn’t’ execute. The runs that they did get were on us. It was assignment football and that’s what it boils down to in terms of stopping the run. Do your job and then go play football. That’s what we hadn’t done the previous five or six weeks, seven weeks, guys weren’t executing. I think that was the biggest difference in the run game.

Q: Do you know if the Super Bowl countdown is missing today? Took that down from in there?
A: I noticed it. I was in here changing on Tuesday and someone came in and changed it so I went and checked it out. I hadn’t even noticed that it was down.

Q: Can the defense against the run change in a week? Just simply get back to what you were doing.
A: Like you said, what we’ve done. We’ve done it so there’s no reason why we can’t do it this week, but it’s going to take a special effort. Guys have to prepare harder, especially when you’re coming off a disappointing loss in terms of your performance. It’s on the individual, but you have to do it for the man next to you, too. Everyone has to buy in and say, “Okay, let’s get back to the basics and just do what we’re supposed to do. Whatever the call is, know your job and do it.”

Q: Are they number one with the run because they have the quarterback option with that or is it…?
A: Yeah, they’ve got a quarterback who I think has about 500 yards rushing and that’s with a 1,000-yard back. I think Marshawn is the No. 1 rusher by maybe 180 something snaps, so he’s the guy, he’s the guy that makes them go.