Coach Tom Coughlin
Good Morning. I’ll talk a little bit about the injury situation to start out with here. Brandon Jacobs is going to come on the field and test it out and work today. Trumaine McBride will do the same. He may not extend beyond the individual period, but we’re going to find out where we’re at with that. Jason Pierre-Paul will work on the side with the trainers. Terrell Thomas… this will be the day that he normally is off and Corey Webster is going to work as well.
We prepare ourselves this morning for the San Diego Chargers, a team that has the same record that we have of 5-7. They have beaten, in our division, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys, as you know. They lost in overtime to the Washington Redskins. They beat the Colts and beat the Kansas City Chiefs, so this is an explosive offensive team. They’re fifth in the league in total offense at 401. They’re second in the league on third down, which is outstanding. Philip Rivers is having a great year. He has a 70 percent completion (percentage), 23 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 104 quarterback rating. Their defense… this is another team that I really refuse to look at the numbers. If you watched two of the most recent games, we’ll start with Cincinnati; it’s a very physical game. They’re battling back and forth. It’s a very low scoring game. They lose to the Bengals, a good Bengals team. But they are a physically aggressive, pressure outfit, which you can expect upwards of 40 to 45 percent pressure in every game that they play. Their special teams has Nick Novak, who is nine for nine over 40 yards. Mike Scifres, their punter, has a 39.9 net and a strong leg and, of course, they have outstanding people back there to return in (Danny) Woodhead, (Keenan) Allen, (Lavelle) Hawkins and even (Eddie) Royal when he’s healthy. So this is a team that’s a very talented team, an explosive team, a physical team and a team which we look forward to as we dive into with the players being as interested and as anxious as we are to know as much as we can about this team and to study them because we’ve played them twice in the last eight years, but not recently.
Q: Is it an encouraging sign that JPP is going to be doing a little bit of work today?
A: Anything is encouraging if we can get him out on the field.
Q: How difficult is it to defend Rivers because he seems to spread the ball around well?
A: He does a good job of that. The ball comes out quick. They’re diversified in how they operate. All you’ve got to do is look at that third down number. That’s hard to do in this league now and because the nature of their offense, the complicated looks that they see on third down, you have to give them a lot of credit for that.
Q: It’s been 10 seasons since Eli and Philip Rivers were traded for each other. What are your memories on that day?
A: I remember Ernie Accorsi making that deal, of being 100 percent in belief that this was the right thing to do for our franchise. I remember that Ernie had studied Eli since he was a freshman in college and had really a strong, strong feeling about him. I remember the fact that he had the confidence and the constitution, if you will, to push the deal through. It wasn’t an easy deal to make. I can remember him informing Mr. Mara what he was trying to do at the time and I’m sure Bob Tisch at the time as well. But it was a move that he made with great conviction. Philip Rivers has had an outstanding career in San Diego and Eli Manning has had an outstanding career here, so I think you have a win-win situation there.
Q: In all your years working with general managers, have you ever been around anybody who has had that much conviction about a player?
A: Yes. I think so. Sure.
Q: Had you seen a lot of Eli at that point yourself?
A: I had seen him on tape and I had been to the workouts and that type of thing.
Q: Do you remember the brain trust being very much in agreement at that time or do you remember Ernie (having to convince people)?
A: No. There was solid agreement. I don’t know that Ernie needed us, but he was convinced of what he wanted.
Q: Do you remember doing much pre-draft work at all on Rivers?
A: Oh yeah. We did it all. I was at Philip Rivers’ workout, too, which was an outstanding workout as well. It was a good year.
Q: How unusual is it to have both guys still starting for their teams 10 years later?
A: That’s a good question. I don’t know how unusual it is at that position, but to be playing as well as they’re playing, I don’t think that’s unusual either when you pick the right ones.
Q: In a year that’s been a little bit inconsistent, could you talk about Justin Tuck’s consistency this year and what he’s been able to do?
A: Well, he’s played solid. He really has. He hasn’t had the number like he did last weekend, I understand he’s the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, as well. To me, he’s played solid, he’s practiced hard, he’s worked hard, he’s done things by example. He’s been one of the guys that I’ve referenced when I talked about if we got credit for the sacks that we’ve kind of missed or whatever, he’s one of the guys that I would include there. To have six and a half sacks, to play the way he’s played, to move in over the guard at times, to start outside at times, I think he’s played a solid game and we now can hopefully expect that he’ll do the same for the remainder of the season.
Q: You haven’t had any linebackers put up the kind of numbers that Beason did last week, you know, 13 solos. He’s put up those numbers before but you guys don’t usually see those numbers. Is that an aberration?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think that’s the way he plays. He’s a very much-involved guy, period. He can go sideline to sideline, he’s a solid hitter, he looks for the contact. He’s got, I think, outstanding values and makes a very, very strong commitment for his teammates and for his team. He enjoys the role that he plays in terms of being a play-caller. I don’t think that it is at all. He’s had double-digit tackles since he’s been here.
Q: That sideline to sideline is something at the linebacker position that you guys are looking for.
A: Everybody’s looking for that.
Q: Do you think you found it?
A: I think so.
Q: With regards to Damontre Moore, you’re working him in. Is there a formula with defensive linemen, and him specifically, in terms of development?
A: It depends on the path that you have to take based on the individual. I think if this young man wasn’t hurt in the preseason for the length of time that he was that he might be more advanced than he is now. Right now he’s a very aggressive, solid part of special teams and we’re trying to work him in as best we can. He is a necessary part of the rotation right now.
Q: You go back to Tuck’s early years, he didn’t have gaudy numbers early on. Do you go back, obviously Damontre is a different type of player than Justin, but do you go back and look at how you develop these guys? You’ve always had kind of a chain…
A: You do. Again, if you remember Justin was on kickoff coverage and did a good job with that his rookie year, too.
Q: Brandon Myers has had a couple of good games here these last couple of weeks, do you sense that he’s finally settling down?
A: Yeah, I think so. I don’t know what that means, we’re late in the season. I would hope he would be. He has made some plays for us at this time of the year that have been huge plays, none more than that third down the other day, that short-yardage third down. That was really something.
Q: Has Beason lifted up the rest of the defense? Is he that kind of player?
A: He’s one of those energetic guys that have definitely helped. Antrel is that kind of player as well. You have some guys that are… but if you do have someone that goes as hard as he does and loves it as much as he does, there isn’t any question.
Q: When you look at Danny Woodhead…
A: Yeah, he’s made an outstanding contribution. Woodhead, you can see that Phillip Rivers has relied on him. All you have to do is watch, maybe you didn’t watch the last drive against Kansas City, he goes to Woodhead twice. Woodhead makes a play with the clock bearing down on him where he fakes like he’s going to run out of bounds, ducks back inside and picks up probably another 11 yards before he runs out of bounds. He had two of those big plays at that point in time. He’s become a very reliable guy. Rivers knows where he is all the time and goes to him. His run after the catch stuff is still extremely good and he still runs the ball as a third down runner and primarily he’s jumped back there and has their longest kickoff return as well.
Q: Do you have an appreciation for guys that kind of come out of nowhere? A small, unknown school like this guy who kind of grinds through and was cut a number of times.
A: I think we all do have an appreciation for that and, of course, where we saw most of him was when he was up north.
Q: How did Jayron Hosley stand up the other night?
A: He did okay, he did. We were just so fortunate to get him in the game and play and play well and stay in the game so I think that has helped a lot. I think this will help him.
Q: Any doubt Ernie Accorsi made the right call that draft day 10 years ago?
A: None whatsoever. There are a couple things out in the hallway you might want to take a look at.
Q: When you look at Eli, he’s been sacked 31 times, more than he ever has in his career. How has he handled that sort of pressure mentally, of maybe being under more pressure than he has in the past?
A: He really shows very little angst or very little being upset about it or whatever. He gets back up, shakes it off. Nobody wants that, we don’t want that, we’re not looking for that, believe me, and I mentioned that this morning. He does a great job of handling that.
Q: Do you still anticipate that you can still make big plays when you go into every week?
A: We do, we anticipate that, sure.
Q: His completion percentage was very high Sunday but you’re still not getting those big, downfield shots. Do you feel there is a reason for it? Do you feel like you’ve had to work differently in designing your passing game week-to-week?
A: No. I don’t think we have had to work any differently. The opportunities to go down the field, perhaps for us, haven’t been as much as we would like. We missed a couple of them the other night just barely, we thought we had one to Victor in the middle of the field.
Q: Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 for being on the field in Baltimore last week. Have you ever found yourself on the sideline where you kind of lose track of where you are?
A: Sure, yeah. Right now there’s so much of a premium on, “You better say off the white, you better stay off the white.” We’re all yelling and screaming that. We’re reminded by the officials about that every week, too. You find yourself sometimes running down the sideline on the white but nevertheless you’re not even supposed to be on the white because the officials have to have access there, and that is a most difficult (15-yard) penalty to absorb.
QB Eli Manning
Q: San Diego on tape, what do you see?
A: I see a talented team. They do a good job of getting to the quarterback. They have a number of different looks and blitzes and have good players across the board. Their offense has scored a lot of points and is effective, so we’re going to have to go out there and play great football if we expect to win.
Q: Do you guys talk playoff scenario possibilities or is it just one game at a time?
A: You just have to keep it one game at a time. I think we kind of know what has to happen, but if we don’t handle our business, we’re not going to have a shot anyways. All we can do is worry about this next game and going out there and trying to get a win. After that, we’ll see what the scenario looks like next week.
Q: The last couple of weeks, Brandon Myers has caught some significant passes. Is that more because of you guys just tweaking the offense to find him more, or is that take what the defense gives you?
A: It just kind of depends on the week, when certain pass plays are called, what the coverage is, and he’s been doing a good job of winning his one on one matchups. He’s done a good job of getting open when we need him to and that’s good. That’s a big part of our offense, getting that tight end more involved, and he’s done a good job.
Q: Obviously there’s a connection with you in San Diego in Philip Rivers. You will probably always be connected. Do you have any thoughts about going there for the second time?
A: It should be an exciting game and obviously kind of a must-win for both teams. I’m just looking forward to going out there and seeing if we can get a win.
Q: You’ve got a little more hardware than last time you made that visit. Does that change anything?
A: No, I don’t think that changes anything. You’re playing for this year and this season and it’s the next game on the schedule. You’re just trying to go out there and play a good ball game.
Q: What are your recollections of that day, maybe the craziness of the draft day, and how it all went down?
A: Just the excitement of being drafted and then traded to the Giants. A lot of things went down that day. Ultimately, I remember it as a positive day and a fun day of my life.
Q: Are you and Philip tight at all?
A: I know Philip, I met Philip in college and did some football camps and different things together. I’ve sent him text messages and called him over the years, congratulate him on seasons and different things. I’ve gotten to be around him some and I think he’s a tremendous player and I’ve always kept up with him, just because he came out the same year and followed him in college and knew him a little bit. He’s had a tremendous career and is playing great this year and he’s a good football player.
Q: Have you ever reminisced about what might have been?
A: No. I’ve never looked back on those things and I think it’s worked out well for both programs.
Q: (…) in that whole circle too?
A: Yeah. Same year. J.P. Losman, as well, but obviously the guys who you come out with, especially quarterbacks, you’ve kind of followed in college and play in college some. You kind of know your draft class of quarterbacks and how their careers have gone.
Q: Sometimes you get to those decisions and one guy clearly works out and one guy doesn’t. You guys have both had successful careers, other than J.P. Three of you did.
A: Obviously Ben and Philip, and all three of us have had good careers and been in the same spot for ten years, which you don’t always see. I definitely have kept up with all of those guys and got to know them some and got to talk to them, but you’re kind of proud of your own class. You kind of hope your class will go down as a good class of quarterbacks and players.
Q: Have you ever talked to Ernie Accorsi about your draft day and the trade?
A: Maybe one day when I’m done playing I’ll sit down with Ernie and hear some stories, but no. Obviously I know what happened on my end and that’s good enough.
Q: You do know how he rated you and how much he wanted you out of that class?
A: I didn’t know. I read some things over the years that Ernie said, but at the time I didn’t know what was going to happen and I haven’t thought much about it really.
Q: If there’s anything negative that came out of that, I guess it’s the perception in San Diego that you didn’t want any part of the city. Have you ever gone there on a vacation?
A: No. Nothing against San Diego as a city. We had our rookie symposium there, but besides that, I have been to San Diego for a few other things. I know it’s a beautiful city and great weather and has a lot of great things to it.
Q: Ten years later, what was the reason you were kind of against that?
A: I forgot, I think.
Q: How has your body felt this season?
A: Sometimes sacks don’t always lead to more soreness. Sometimes it just depends on the type of sack or on the hit. Sometimes a hit is usually worse. If you’re throwing it and get hit, that’s when you can sometimes take a bigger hit than if you see a sack coming, you can go down or you kind of get more tackled. It all depends on how many big hits you take and I really haven’t taken too many.
Q: You’ve been around Justin Tuck for a long time. You’ve seen the way he’s played this year. I know some things haven’t gone well for you guys, but is he, in your mind, a bright spot?
A: Yeah. If you’re winning games and have guys playing well and get defensive player of the week. Whether it’s Justin Tuck or Terrell Thomas, defensive, offensive, Andre Brown, you want your guys to have success. If they’re having success, it usually means the team is having success. If you’re winning games, you want those players to go out there and have great games.
Q: Can I ask you real quick about Ryan Nassib? How is he coming along on the field?
A: Ryan’s doing good. Most of the stuff, he is running the scout team, but he’s making the throws and seems like he’s getting more active in the meetings and some of the discussions that we have, of trying to have a great plan for that week. Whether it’s about protections or route combinations or just some ideas on how we want to handle things. He’s a young guy, so I think it’s good he’s getting involved in those conversations and trying to add to them.
Q: Sean Ryan said most of his responsibilities have been breaking down plays for films. How is he doing with that? Is that something a quarterback needs to know how to do?
A: I think it’s good to know, he does more on Friday. He makes a cutup for the quarterbacks, a lot of green zone stuff, and we’ll go through old games or preseason games and different looks than our four down breakdowns. Obviously he wants to kind of know what plays we have and how those turn out, or what looks, or what things can give us problems and how we’re calling things. I think he does a good job of showing some things that bring up good discussion and kind of put in the back of your head…if this is a new look, be prepared for it.
LB Jon Beason
Q: This team started 0-6. The fact that you already went on a long streak, do you believe you can do it again?
A: Yeah, no question. Once you go out there and win a game, you do have that confidence that you know how to do it now and everyone starts to buy in and you’re doing things the right way; the attention to detail, the small little things that really make up the difference between winning and losing because it’s so hard to win in this league. The fact that you win four in a row, the fifth one… It crushes you, but at the same time you get right back on the winning track and now it’s all about San Diego.
Q: What is it that Philip Rivers is doing this year that makes him better?
A: Well, he’s a seasoned vet. He’s got great weapons around him, but he’s a gamer. He’s a gun-slinger. I love his game. He’s a great person. You look at the numbers… They’re number two in the league in third down conversions. That’s the money down. That’s what we call it because this is how you either get off the field or you extend drives and get points. They have some big wins in the division against Philly and Dallas, so we’ve got our hands full and our work cut out for us but we know that it’s on us this week. We’ve got to stop their offense because that’s what makes them go.
Q: There have been games when they haven’t moved the ball well and have been beaten. Is there a common thread as to why they haven’t done well in those games?
A: You try to look at what they do well and take that away from them. They run the ball well with Matthews. They have Gates, who’s a matchup nightmare for everybody. If you can take those two guys out of the game, you have an opportunity to win. But at the same time you know Rivers is going to make that spectacular play on third down, keep the chains moving and that’s how they win games.
Q: How difficult is Danny Woodhead to deal with? He seems to do everything for them?
A: He’s one of those guys who has overcome the odds and I think he keeps that chip on his shoulder. Steve Smith is the same way; a guy who’s going to go out there and lay it on the line because he’s always trying to prove himself. He never feels like he’s arrived, so from a distance you’re a fan just watching him. I love the way he plays. He’s hard. He’s a tough nosed kid. I remember playing against him in New York when he was here with the Jets. He’s a great football player, but he does some things out of the backfield with 4.4 speed. (Sproles) down in New Orleans does the same thing. It’s hard to contain those guys out of the backfield.
Q: When you look at Woodhead initially, is it easy to overlook a guy like that? Do you look at his size and say that he can’t hurt us?
A: No question, but he’s a lot bigger than you think up close and personal. He’s a stocky back.
Q: What did you think of the way Justin Tuck played last week?
A: It was great. He had a motor. He was chasing RG3 around, who is a nightmare in itself to try to get a sack on, but you do your job and you stay the course and keep pressing and that’s all he does. He’s just so consistent at continuing to strive and give great effort on every play and the sacks, they come like that. They come in bunches sometimes and it was a great performance.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul
Q: What are your thoughts for possibly playing Sunday?
A: I’m going to take it day-by-day. I can’t really give you an answer on that right now. The only thing that I can do right now is to take it day-by-day and I’ll continue to come in and get treatment twice daily and rehab it. As far as playing, I can’t really tell you when I’m going to play. I’m just taking it day-by-day.
Q: I saw on your Twitter account you mentioned acupuncture. Is that something new for you and how effective was it?
A: I’ve been doing that. I got it last night to be exact in my whole body. That’s something I’ve been doing, it’s nothing new. It does help. I’ve been experiencing it and it does help.
Q: How frustrating has this season been for you because it seems like that Oakland game, you were starting to get untracked.
A: I was hot, yeah, I was hot but I hurt my shoulder. This season has been up and down for me. I’m not frustrated at it. At the end of the day I just have to get better and get healthy and come out and know what I can do best and that’s play football. For me not playing, it’s very frustrating but at the end of the day I’d rather get healthy than put myself in jeopardy out there if I’m out there and can’t perform at the level that I know I can perform. This season has been up and down for me but I can’t complain about that. The only think I can do now is just to get healthy and finish the season off.
Q: Are you hopeful that you will be back on the field before the season’s over?
A: Hopefully. I hope so. Like I said, I’m taking it day-by-day. I’m in the training room 24/7. Even at home I’m doing rehab. I’m doing everything that I possibly can to put me back on the field.
Q: Is it something that you are eventually going to need surgery on or is it…?
A: I don’t think so. I hope not. That would set me back some more, I hope not. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing that needs surgery on, it just needs rest. I’ve been rehabbing it 24/7, even at home, so hopefully it can get better before the season’s over with.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: What do you see when you see San Diego on tape?
A: A great offensive football team. Despite their record, I think they have a lot of multiple weapons, obviously Philip Rivers and his mechanics as a quarterback. I think he has a very good and fast release. I think he’s very quick with his decision making and like I said, they have a lot of weapons. They have a lot of multiple weapons, guys in the backfield, tight ends, receivers. I think they have a triple threat all the way around.
Q: The game Justin Tuck had last week, the four sacks, what did you think of that?
A: I think it was phenomenal. I think it was something that we needed here. I think it was something that Justin Tuck needed, as far as his career, and it just lets us and him know that he’s still got it. He’s still got it and all it takes is a little bit more effort, a little bit more push, a little more drive, a little bit more motivation, and he’s been so close all year long. Just Justin has been having those games and it’s all about that timing. Just that one split second and he was able to capitalize on that. Like I said, it was a huge momentum boost for this team and we definitely congratulate him and being the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, we’re looking forward to keep going. We’re looking forward to keeping consistent.
Q: Was there ever any doubt that he is the same player as 3-4 years ago?
A: No, I never doubt any of my teammates. Like I said, I’ve known Tuck from coming out of high school so I know what he’s capable of. Things are going to be a little different when you have nagging injuries. This is really the guy that I’ve seen since I was over in Brazil watching him play the Super Bowl. The guy I’ve seen played tons of great football here. It doesn’t surprise me that he comes out and has a four-sack game. He’s been working extremely hard all year long and it finally just paid off for him.
Q: Rivers, his stats are very clean this year. Is it because he is executing much cleaner?
A: Their offense is different. They have done some things differently with their offense and also his decision making is a lot more crisp this year. He’s not taking too many chances. He’s very decisive with what he wants to do with the football.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: You’ve played the run extremely well this season from the beginning of the year. Maybe it goes unnoticed outside of the locker room and then you have a game with four sacks and now it seems like you’re the old Justin Tuck. Is it funny how perception, when you do one thing well you don’t really get the same kind of notoriety?
A: You said it, I didn’t. Yeah, that’s why I tell you it doesn’t matter what people say as long as these 53 understand that every day we go out there and we try our best and leave it out on the football field. Wherever it ends up, it ends up. That’s one thing I can always say, I don’t really have any regrets about how I’ve played, I know I go out there and try my best. Some days they fall into place like Sunday night and sometimes you can have great rushes and they don’t show up on the stat sheet. It is what it is.
Q: Is it any harder to see a team that you play once every four years?
A: Yeah, I think so. You don’t know this team, you can watch them on film but…Dallas, Philly or Washington, we play twice a year so you know how they like to play you and how they adjust to certain things that you do. This team doesn’t, so obviously we have to do a great job of studying, being in that film room and on those iPads a lot to kind of familiarize ourselves with what they do and how they’re going to try to combat some of the things that we do.
Q: You personally have had a lot of other big games in much bigger settings but did this mean anything to you to do what you did Sunday? Was it a special day for you?
A: Honestly, it means we got a win. That’s how I’m looking at it. Honestly, it wouldn’t have meant anything to me if we had lost that football game. With the win you can kind of feel good about the performance but also understand that the only reason why I was able to get sacks was because 10 other guys were doing their job on the football field. Obviously, the NFC Player of the Week is (me), but I can give credit to my entire defense. The coverage was there, guys were pushing the pocket and you just happen to fall in, it happened that I was the one to get the sacks.
Q: How would you put it in words what Beason has done here?
A: I don’t know if I can. I think he’s been a godsend for us. 17 tackles or 18, however many he had Sunday night, he’s done that since he got here. They kind of threw him in the fire the first week in Chicago and he’s been that energizer bunny for our defense from the start. We’re very lucky to have him.