Coach Tom Coughlin
Good Afternoon. I met with our team a short time ago and we discussed the disappointing and the frustrating loss from yesterday. We also talked about today, a day in which we put the frustration and the disappointment aside and come back to the realization of who we are, our strength as a team. Our strength is in unselfish commitment to each other, to focusing on those aspects of a team sport, the greatest team sport in the world, and the realization that sometimes when you do experience something of that nature, you’re frustrated. You say some things that perhaps you shouldn’t say and you should bite your tongue, not that there’s anything to say about anyone that really didn’t take place or wasn’t a fact. The statements that I made postgame about the defense and about special teams and about questioning the offense… Really it turned out to be it’s not as much effort as it is execution and the execution was very spotty. The performance was very inconsistent and obviously the turnovers and the rate at which they occurred, in a game in which we only had again -- for three games in a row a low 50 in terms of the number of snaps we had -- ruined any opportunity that we would have for any type of rhythm or ability to sustain any drive. I thought again that our defense played very hard. They weren’t perfect. No one is. We’re all human. There were plays in there that could have been made. The third and 11 touchdown should have never been a touchdown. That should have been something that we stopped, forced another field goal, if you will, at that point in time. Our special teams, although we played hard, we did a lot of good things. We made some nice plays on the punt returner. The punt returner also hurt us. He created some field position for them that even though we had spent a lot of time and effort in preparing ourselves to stop Tate that he did show his ability and gained some valuable yardage with regards to that aspect of it.
As a team, again, we did not win a game. We tried today to realize that the frustrations of yesterday and the disappointments of yesterday have to be a part, after today, of the past and we’ve got to find a way to move on. We have two very important games for us; one away and one at home again. So we look forward to trying to improve and move on from this game. And, to be honest with you, Seattle is a very good football team. They are well-rounded. They have an outstanding running back who we were able to hold under 50 yards. The quarterback hurt us with 50 yards rushing, but they are diversified to the point where they don’t turn the ball over. They have a running game that they can count on. They play outstanding defense. They have a superior group of defensive linemen who they maneuver in and out and they create a lot of problems for you because of their ability and their speed and quickness. I thought their corners played very, very well yesterday. We didn’t have a lot of success against them and so what I’m trying to say is they have a good football team and we’ll take nothing away from them.
Q: Do you have any news on Victor Cruz?
A: No, I don’t.
Q: During this disappointing season, you were always happy about how the team stuck together. Were you surprised that the frustration seemed to come out a little bit?
A: Surprised? To be honest with you, no. There was a lot of emotion going into that game. We were convinced that this was an opportunity for us to gain some respect playing very well against arguably the number one seed in the NFC and so there was a tremendous build-up during the course of the week along those lines. We practiced hard, as we have been. As we got closer to the game and the game was being played at home, there was some obvious emotions involved in that as well, and the idea that we could go out and play together and complement each other was something that had been talked about at great length and so the frustration when in fact it didn’t result that way, it didn’t work that way, the frustration was there. It was very real. It was very emotional. Am I surprised by it? No. I was surprised by some of what was made of it. But we have an outstanding group of guys and they are competitive and it was a difficult loss in a frustrating year, to be honest with you, and so some of that came out. But today is a day of, as I put it, healing again, recognizing who we are.
Q: You mentioned that it was less effort and more execution. Is there a fine line between the two in your mind?
A: I don’t know if it’s that fine. There were individual plays in that game where you saw a breakdown and right away you want to stamp a player. ‘Oh my God, he’s not playing very well,’ and you get this impression. There were some of those, no doubt. The start of the game for us offensively wasn’t very good. It was three plays in a row that were, ‘whoa,’ and it does enter into your mind that way, but when you look at the nature of it and you see the competitive aspect of it, some of it was justified and some wasn’t. Some of the comments were and weren’t.
Q: Antrel Rolle said the offense showed no pulse and some players played with no heart. Those are very cutting things for a player to hear. Do you think that will cause any ill feelings in the locker room?
A: I think that Antrel will make sure that it doesn’t.
Q: Should he say those things?
A: Of course not. That’s not for a public (conversation)… This is a family. You stay within the family. I’m sure he’ll go to the people that he needs to and discuss it or talk it out and it won’t be an issue. But you have to understand in our game, to generalize, you can’t do it. I can’t do it because you’re always going to find someone that it doesn’t apply to and that’s the nature of it. There’s a play here, a play there. Way too many of them and we’re still doing it offensively, tripping over our own feet, but you can’t just blanket anything because you’re going to see an outstanding play. It took us a long time. We tried to trap right away, and I know we missed the guy we were trapping a couple of times because of their speed and ability, and then all of a sudden you get a good one and that’s the problem with trying to say something in general that doesn’t apply to everyone.
Q: When you look at some of the really good stretches of football Eli has played, how do you consider the process to get him back to that level?
A: Well, I think it’s probably going to come in small gains, but I believe it will come. I really do. Don’t forget, he doesn’t operate on his own. The whole package has got to be there.
Q: When you talk about the whole package, do you still have faith in the offensive coaches and the people?
A: Yes, oh yeah.
Q: How emotionally taxing is a season like this on a head coach?
A: It’s very emotionally taxing. It’s taxing in every way, but again, I come to the point where I just believe it’s not about me. You’ve got to be able to reach out to everyone in the organization, but for sure the players and the coaches, and give them the kind of reinforcement that they need to go forward.
Q: Is that hard to do? Ultimately it is your record, your wins and losses. Is it hard for you not to …?
A: Not anymore. At one time, it might have been. This podiums still up here. Nobody sits in the front row I’ve noticed.
Q: You’ve kind of talked the past couple of weeks about who you are in terms of personnel and who you have. Has that changed at any point after watching that game?
A: It doesn’t change in terms of who our roster is.
Q: Does it change who is going to play going forward?
A: We are who we are.
Q: You said you wanted the opportunity to show who you are compared to the number one team in the conference. Are you surprised at the disparity between the two after you had the opportunity to play them and get that test of who you are?
A: I’m not going to answer that so that it sounds as if they’re in another league. Offensively, I’m very disappointed that we weren’t able to play at a higher level than we did. I would say that if you took the turnovers away, maybe defensively we would have proven that we were there, that we could compete.
Q: You got a good look at all of the offensive plays and how your receivers competed. What was your sense on that, specifically Hakeem, because he was involved in most of the interceptions?
A: I think you can always make an argument who jumps higher and so on and so forth. There are times when you would like to think at least you can get the ball knocked down. Then again, perhaps if the ball comes out just a little earlier, a little further, maybe it’s a little bit of a different story.
Q: You said you have your faith in the offense and the offensive coaches. Have you sensed this is kind of a difficult year for Kevin Gilbride, given the pieces that he has lost and obviously Eli has struggled? I can imagine it’s hard to find plays that work.
A: It certainly hasn’t been a connect-all-the-dots from day one type of year. Kevin’s a pro, he’s been around, he’s done this a long time. We try to find ways to take advantage of things. It hasn’t been easy.
Q: If all of the pieces are in place, you believe that his offensive scheme, philosophy, play calling, all of that should work?
A: That’s exactly right.
Q: From this vantage point, it doesn’t look like this offense is even close to being a highly competitive offense. Do you evaluate it differently and see areas where it’s much closer than it appears from the outside?
A: I certainly see what everyone sees and in greater detail than perhaps you do.
Q: Any word on Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: No. I don’t have anything new from that standpoint.
Q: Hillis left the game with a concussion?
Q: When you say you see things in greater detail in the offense, does it boil down to execution? Is it almost as simple as that, almost as complicated as that?
A: Probably as complicated as that. Everybody being on the same page, firing at the same time. You have to have all 11 of them on offense.
QB Eli Manning
Q: Obviously you guys didn’t play well yesterday, and some postgame comments from players suggested a lack of passion. Is that an emotional comment or did you not see everybody trying as hard as they should be?
A: I think guys are trying, obviously we got outplayed and that first half we just couldn’t get anything going. There’s nothing much to be excited about. We had a lot of negative plays and I think it’s frustrating for us. We were frustrated as an offense, I’m sure the defense was frustrated seeing us going out there and not playing very well.
Q: Coach Coughlin has talked all year how Mondays are the hardest for this team, but you guys have been able to pick it up, get together, and then come Wednesday you’re ready to go. Do you have a similar feeling today?
A: Yeah. It’s not from watching that film and seeing us not be able to run our offense like we want to. A lot of things to correct and go over and hopefully we can make some adjustments and figure out a way to be more efficient offensively. I think guys will put it behind them and we’ll move forward and try to get ready for this next game, going against another talented team in Detroit, and hopefully play better than what we did yesterday.
Q: There were some harsh things said about players and even Tom Coughlin was pretty harsh on some guys. Does the team need to mend some fences today? Have some bigger picture conversations?
A: I don’t think so. There wasn’t anything said that I don’t think that was totally undeserved. Offensively, I don’t know whatever word you want to use to describe it is probably pretty accurate. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t a good outing by us and that’s disappointing and upsetting. I think all you can do is come back to work and prove that you want to get better, you want to fix the problems that we have and try to bounce back.
Q: It seems like one side of the ball is playing better than the other. People tend to draw the inference that the team is divided. Do you sense that this team is divided?
A: No. I don’t sense it. The defense played well yesterday. They did a lot of good things and we didn’t help them out at all and so they probably have a right to be disappointed with us and frustrated with us, but I don’t think it is going to turn this team and create a problem. We’re going to come back to work on Wednesday and try to have a great game plan and do some good things and see if we can play better and help out our defense and try to put a great team performance together on Sunday.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Victor Cruz, and if you did, how is he feeling?
A: I haven’t talked to him yet. I’ll probably talk to him today and I didn’t know if he was going to be in today or what the circumstances are. I’m sure I’ll talk to him later this afternoon.
Q: You’ve always been the guy who has prided yourself on preparation and effort. Coach Coughlin in his opening statement collectively talked about there are some people on this team who did not have the necessary preparation or effort for that game. When he stands up and says that, what’s the reaction? Do you think it resonates in here?
A: Yeah. I think it shows that when you play a good defense you can’t have mental mistakes and you can’t have people doing the wrong thing. That’s just your personal preparation, that’s your job. If you get beat, that’s one thing. If you get outplayed, that’s one thing, but to not know your assignments and do things incorrectly or to do things wrong that have been corrected a number of times, that’s kind of where you get upset about things and frustrated. There’s a few of those plays and that’s obviously something that we’re trying to fix and make sure guys are staying focused and doing everything we have to do to give ourselves a chance to perform at a higher level.
Q: Is there any part of that that you may have seen coming, whether it was Thursday, Friday, late in the week? Was it a surprise that some guys may have been unprepared?
A: Yeah. During the week, I didn’t see some of the mistakes that got made in our plays we ran. Things were done correctly during the week and Sunday was the first time you see that mistake. That’s what’s frustrating when things are getting done correctly in practice and then all of a sudden game time comes and they’re done incorrectly.
Q: You said rather famously about two years ago that you weren’t a 25-interception quarterback and you are again. How hard is that to digest?
A: I try not to get caught up with a number of interceptions. You try to look at plays and decisions and try to see if decisions are poor or why a throw may be inaccurate, or just trying to put it all together. There’s always a part of me trying to compete, trying to make plays at the end of games. Hopefully I’ll try to do a better job and obviously not have turnovers that are costing us the game early on.
Q: Was there a throw that you would like to have back in one of your interceptions?
A: Probably the little short crossing route to Hakeem was the one that was behind him. That was probably the one that I thought was the poorest throw of the day.
DE Justin Tuck
A: Sure, everyone knows that the offense is struggling, but like I said, this team wins and loses as a team, and there will never be any division in this locker room. We have no shot if that takes place, and I don’t think that yesterday there were any signs of that. I just think there was a sign of trying to challenge guys to go out there and play better. For me, I think that’s one of the hardest things to do as a leader, to go out there and challenge guys when you think they can go out there and play better. In the same right, you’re going out there and challenging yourself, so I don’t think at any point yesterday with anything that was said that there was any finger pointing I just think it was guys trying to get guys riled up to go play better. That’s pretty much it.
Q: Harsh reality kind of thing?
A: Sure. We’re all professionals, we understand what our duties are and what we’re called to do and when we’re not getting that job done it needs to be somebody that will light a fire. I think that’s all that was yesterday.
Q: From a fan’s perspective, a lot of people say that if a team finished poorly to blow it up. Do you feel like this team doesn’t need to be? Do you feel like this team can be a playoff team?
A: No question, I do. You’ve got to take into account a lot of factors. We’ve lost a lot of great people due to injury. You come out and start 0-6, it’s hard to come back from that. I think it speaks to our character that we had any shot of making the playoffs after that. I don’t believe that you’re going to see 10 (Eli Manning) play like this too much longer. Everyone knows the type of quarterback he is. We go as he goes. He’s had a down year this year but I still have the utmost confidence in the fact that next year he’s going to come back and be the elite quarterback that he’s always been.
A: Because I just see how hard he works. You can’t keep a good guy down that long. I said it yesterday, he’s the first guy in here and as you can see right now again he’s probably going to be the last guy to leave. He puts in tremendous effort to go over everything with every offensive player. He meets with the O-line, he meets with the wide outs, he meets with the running backs constantly and I just feel like when you put that much effort into something, given the talent that he is, it’s going to flip a switch. I truly believe that he will bounce back from this. He’s got one of those memories where he doesn’t remember the last interception and I think that’s a great thing. He’s not going to allow what people are saying to him to dictate what he needs to go out there and do, he’s going to continue to fight and try to improve how he’s playing and I think we all take a lead from it.
TE Brandon Myers
RE: Last night’s Twitter posts
A: I let my emotions get the best of me. The thing that we have to do the next two weeks is just stick together as a team and play together and try to get two wins, finish off the season. That’s about it. It was a miscommunication. Like they tell us all the time, think before what you say and what you put out there. It was just a bad part on me and I’m just going to move on. We’ve moved on, it’s not a big deal.
Q: Was there something that provoked you to be so emotional?
A: It was just the emotion of the game, the way we were playing. It was frustrating. There are better ways to go about it. Talk about it, be men. That’s what we are here. Everyone’s got each other’s backs and just move on. That’s what we’ve done, so it’s not even an issue.
Q: So there wasn’t a situation where you were personally called out by a teammate?
A: No. It’s really not that big of a deal.
Q: You could understand how it was read that way?
A: Absolutely, and once I looked back on it, if you could take it back, you would but you can’t. Man up to it and move on. Come together and the next two weeks, get two wins.
Q: What is your reaction that some defensive players in here, Antrel being the loudest voice, talked about players on the offense not having a pulse. What is your reaction to that?
A: I think that’s just him being emotional. He’s a very emotional player, he plays with his emotion on his sleeve. Offense, we didn’t play well. It’s the truth. We just have to come together and figure out what’s going on and how we can fix it and move on from there.
Q: What about words like ‘pulse’ and ‘heart.’ The performance was one thing, what about those two words?
A: It’s just the way he’s talking. It all means the same. We have to do our job and pick up on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: On Twitter it seemed like it was a teammate who had cursed you out.
A: I’m not very good with my words. It wasn’t in reaction to somebody, it was just being frustrated. I used poor words, I used poor judgment. I should have just waited until today. Everyone’s talking about what we can do to get better and move on.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: It seemed like a lot of people got some things off their chests last night. Did you guys need to come together today and patch it up a little bit?
A: I don’t think there was too much to patch up. I think everyone saw the game that was played yesterday, everyone knows what took place. Things like that are going to happen within the football team, especially when people care about their job, their profession, their performance. There’s nothing to patch up. Everything here is fine.
Q: It is one of those things, though, where you say, there’s nothing to patch up but there’s obviously something that you guys didn’t see in certain players on the team yesterday that I would imagine you want to see come this week.
A: Absolutely. We definitely want to see more fight, more attitude, more passion for the game. That’s something that coach talked about today and I think, as players, we all understand that. Especially after going back and looking at the film, you can’t say and point out particular individuals because I think for a lot of time, it was collective. As a team, we have to get better, we have to have more fight and more attitude about this game.
Q: It was kind of depicted that it was the offense against the defense type of thing. Did you guys talk it out at all just to kind of clear the air?
A: Offense against defense?
Q: Yeah, the defense maybe thought that the offense wasn’t pulling its weight.
A: Who said that?
Q: That’s the way it was depicted.
A: We’re not responsible for what people are saying or what has been said. We’re a team. At the end of the day, we’re a team, win, lose or draw. We do that all as a team. There is no group that’s greater than the other. Obviously right now our offense isn’t where they want to be and neither is our defense. There have been several times, as long as I’ve been a Giant, where the offense has had to pick up the defense and save our butts plenty of times. Right now we’ve just got to find a way to win, find a way to stay together, come together and do whatever it takes to get a W on Sundays. That’s what it’s all about at this point.