Quotes (9/3): Coughlin, Manning

Posted Sep 3, 2014

Full transcriptions from Coach Tom Coughlin and QB Eli Manning's Wednesday conference calls


On how close he thinks his team is to being a tough team in the running game and on defense:

“Well, we’ve made strides in the running game from last year and preseason. We didn’t get after the passer quite as much as we’d like in the preseason, but I think the potential is there for that. We’ve made some strides, done some good things and some bad things. So, this is what we’re trying to iron.”

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On how the offensive line is progressing:

“Well, we’ve had some different combinations that we’re working on. We’ve continued to do that, whether voluntary or involuntary, right up through the last preseason game. For the most part it’s been ok, but we certainly can and must improve on that.”

On how the Lions defensive line will challenge the Giants front:

“They’re a very, very good defensive front. They’re aggressive, they’re penetrators and powerful. They cause significant problems as you prepare. We just have to get ourselves ready and get our football team in a position that we want to be in.”

On if he is disappointed on where the offense is after the preseason:
“That question has been asked a million times because everybody jumps on the bandwagon over, “Where is the offense?” The biggest factor of course is the terminology change. A lot of what you see would be very difficult for anybody to differentiate. But it’s there, it’s a new system, new pieces in place here. We’re a work in progress, let’s face it. I mean, I don’t feel like anybody claims that they’re where they want to be before the season’s even begun. We feel like the extra game helped us and we’ve worked hard at it. Many times our backup guys came through for us in the second half of the preseason games, so there’s been some progress made, but we need to go ahead and have some more. On occasion we did score some points, but our first group didn’t score a lot of points, not that that’s unusual. I can’t remember a year that we did. We’re striving to be as good as we can be.”

On how difficult it is to prepare for a defensive coordinator that hasn’t called plays in the NFL before:

“I think it’s always going to be an issue when you don’t have a lot to go by. You pick your spots in the preseason games and study basically the ones that are in there, or notice anything different or unusual pressure or a coverage or an adjustment to a coverage. Other than that, we’ve got to go play and play our game, be prepared to adjust no matter what happens.”

On if he looked at Lions Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin’s college tape for preparation:

“There’s value in studying everything. We’ve gone back as far as we can go and we’ve studied when he was in Baltimore and some big games there. We’ve looked at a lot of these things. Even though he may not have been the play-caller then, he certainly had a lot to do with it as a secondary coach.”

On how much he studies last year’s game against the Lions:

“I think you always go there. You have to go there. It gives you a starting point when you’re zooming in on some people against your people, whether you’re people are still in that position or not. I think you have to go there.”

On if he changes his game plan specifically for Lions WR Calvin Johnson:

“Well, you better know where he is and where he is all the time. You better have some adjustments prepared for him and you certainly have to set your coverage, or set some of your coverages to try to be in a position to take the things he does really well, he does a lot of things really well, and at least be able to contest with those.”

On if he knows Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell very well from his trials in the NFL:

“I know Jim and I’m not going to say we call each other on the phone every other week, but I know of him and I know of the good job that he’s always done and the respect people have for him. I was happy for the guy when he got that job. I’ve certainly been aware of his career, the responsibilities he’s had and where he’s been.”

On difference in Lions QB Matthew Stafford’s game during the preseason:

“Well, I think what I did notice is the balance in the offense and the real obvious attempt to not turn it over coming through preseason with a plus turnover ratio. I would imagine that’s something that was a goal and they did it. They accomplished it and they had a good preseason on top of that.”

On opening up on Monday Night Football being special:

“It certainly is to be recognized as one of the teams, one of the games that the networks have thought would be something that could feature on national television. I think that it’s fair to say that a great percentage of the nation watches Monday Night Football, and so we’re excited about that aspect of it.”

On preparing for a Monday night game:

“Well, I don’t say that you prepare any differently, you are aware of all factors- one being indoors and noise. So, you got to take that into consideration and you got to be prepared for that as best you can, much different that preseason games obviously.”

On moving up the coaching ladder in terms of wins:

“No, I’m worried about tomorrow to be honest with you.”

On passing former Browns and Bengals Head Coach Paul Brown in total wins:

“I have tremendous respect for Coach Brown and the accomplishments he had, what he did with both the Browns and the Bengals franchises and the quality of the individual that he was in terms doing exactly what he wanted to do and being advanced in the game in terms of the way in which he operated a messenger system, etc. (It was ) before its time, so (he was) an innovator certainly and (I have) great respect for Coach Brown.”

On the Lions secondary:

“You got to pick your spots again and find areas where you’re looking for vulnerability, but I thought they played well in the preseason and you don’t see, you know, you have a double move that a lot of people fall prey to that in the preseason. You have that, Detroit’s got them. They got Oakland, so it went back and forth that way, but very sound, good football players. Guys that have played together for a while.”


On how he feels about his team coming out of the preseason and if it’s close to being the team he wants it to be going into the regular season:

“Well, I think we know there’s things we need to do better. I think they’re things we’re doing well and have a good feel for, but I think we’ve got to keep growing each week. We didn’t show everything in preseason, but I feel like we’re in a good spot to compete and do our job. I think as the season goes on, we should get stronger and stronger.”

On what he’s seen and expects from the Lions’ secondary:

“It seems like they’ve been doing a good job and they’ve been mixing up coverages and techniques. They’re playing aggressive and have been doing a good job not giving up any big plays.”

On what differences he’s seen from the Lions’ defense schematically from last year:

“It’s not a team that we play every year. We played them obviously late in the season last year, but I don’t know if a whole lot has changed. I’m sure they haven’t shown thrown everything out there in the preseason games as well, but they’ve still got talented players and do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback.”

On if he’ll focus more on the Lions’ personnel rather than scheme on Monday night:

“I think we’ll obviously watch the preseason to get an idea of the personnel and what they’ve been doing. Also, look back at Baltimore, where the coordinator (Teryl Austin) came from and see what schemes they ran there as well to get an idea of what might come on Monday night.”

On solving the Giants’ protection problems:

“Well, we’ve added some new guys to the offensive line. We got some other guys back and we’re a little bit more experienced and are back healthy. We should be in better shape and be able to protect, but (the Lions) are talented up front and do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback, also with some of their blitzes. We’ve got to do a good job up front of protecting. Also, I’ve got to do a good job of getting the ball out of my hand.”

On if he expects more blitzing from the Lions than last year:

“I think they could possibly come with a little bit more pressure and bring some different looks, like Detroit has done in the past. I think we’ll have to see on (Monday) what their plan is and what they’ll be showing.”

On what last year was like for him with the sacks and interceptions he faced:

“Well, it’s tough. It’s tough not winning as many games as we used to, but I was proud of the way we fought last year. We got off to a terrible start, but in the last 10 games, we won seven of our last 10 and found ways to win. It wasn’t always pretty, but sometimes that’s what you have to do in this league, find ways to win games. I think we learned a lesson in that aspect and hopefully can build off that.”

On opening the season on Monday Night Football:

“Well, that’s special. For the networks to think we are deserving to open up on Monday Night Football in primetime is special. We’ll hopefully take advantage of that opportunity and go out there and play well.”

On not having WR Odell Beckham Jr. available to start the season:

“Well, that’s a part of football. You’re going to have some injuries and guys get banged up, but we’ve got to move on. We’ve got talented guys out there playing receiver and guys who can make some plays and who have proven themselves. We’ll keep fighting and keep working. Some guys have to step up and find a way to make some plays for us.”

On his favorite commercial he has made with his brother:

“No, I don’t have any favorites. It’s always fun getting to do something with my brother. I don’t get to see him a whole lot, so sometimes things like that in the offseason create an excuse for us to get together and get to hang out. We just try to have fun with it and not take myself too seriously.”

On whom the better rapper is - him or Peyton:

“I think we both lose in that department. It’s a no-win situation.”

On what jumped out to him about Lions CB Darius Slay:

“All the corners have done a good job of being aggressive and making plays, but also not giving up any big plays. (They’re) keeping defenders in front of them, doing good mixing up their styles with both press and some off-coverage. We’ve got to be prepared. They’ve got good corners. Our guys will have to do a good job and be very disciplined in their routes to get open.”

On Lions DT Ndamukong Suh:

“He’s a good player and he does a good job of being disruptive in the run game and the pass game. You’ve got to keep an eye on him and know where he is and hopefully you can have a couple of guys on him sometimes. If not, our guys are going to have to step up and do a good job.”

On how much reaching the Super Bowl is a focus for him and his brother when they start the season:

“Well, obviously that’s always the goal. Only one team ends up happy every year and that’s the team that wins the championship. We know that’s always the goal, but right now our focus is on winning this game. You’ve got to have your short-term goals and ours is getting off to a fast start and handling our business in Detroit on Monday night.”

On what Giants RB Rashad Jennings has brought to his team:

“I thought it was one of those positive things we did in the preseason, we ran the ball pretty well. Hopefully that will continue. I think Rashad brings that power back, a guy who catches the ball well out of the backfield, a smart player. He and Andre Williams have done a good job carrying that load and hopefully they’ll continue to do that.”