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Quotes: Cruz, Nicks - 12/26

Posted Dec 26, 2012

Quotes from Giants players as the prepare for the last week of the regular season

COACH TOM COUGHLIN

Coughlin: Good morning. As we prepare for the Philadephia Eagles in the division, a team that’s 12th on offense, 14th on defense. They’re sixth in punt return, they have a lot of outstanding football players, and regardless of what you think, in the last five games they’ve played very well. They had a last-second victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they lost to Washington last weekend the exact same way. Last play of the game, they’re in position to tie the score, they were not able under those circumstances to make the play. Have they improved? Yes, they have improved. Have they made all these adjustments with personnel, coaching, et cetera and still come through this storm very well? I think that they have, and that speaks to the job that Andy Reid has done. This is a physical football team, it is an in-the-division game, it will be a very physical game. My concern, you’re going to ask me about the playoff scenarios and all of that business...my concern is that our team plays well in the 16th game of the year for us. That’s my concern. I would like to see our team play an outstanding football game, a game in which the execution of our team is significantly better than what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. The answers to all of the speculative questions you want to ask, maybe they’ll come at some point, but they’re not going to be answered now. What I’m looking for is improvement in our football team and how we execute offensively and defensively. As I mentioned the other day, what I thought our special teams unit did, I thought that unit last weekend played pretty well. I thought that, by far, they were the one unit that showed the quality of the performance we might have as New York Giants.

Q: How much is the 40-something plays hurting you on both sides of the ball right now? How can you get that going against Philly?
A: Well, how is it hurting in a 41, 47-play game? It means that, number one as I said the other day, our defense is not stopping anybody and our offense is not holding the ball long enough to keep our defense off the field, and doing something to put us in better stead. There’s no question that it’s hurt us. Our third-down production is two-for-ten, our lack of, our numbers are very poor and have been for a couple of weeks. It’s all three phases playing well together. You have a couple of phases that are not doing their jobs right now, and they have to, if we’re going to resurrect a little bit of pride here in our last game.

Q: Now that you hear that (Michael) Vick is coming in, and he brings that element, what was your reaction when you found that out?
A: Michael Vick is their quarterback. Let’s get ready. What other reaction am I going to have?

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QB ELI MANNING

Q: How do you prepare yourself mentally for this game given the circumstances?
A: I think you prepare like any other game. We have to go and handle our business. We have to go win a football game. That’s the only thing we can control and that’s the only possibility of us making the playoffs, it starts with us handling our business and going and winning that game. For anything, just going out there and playing good football and getting that feeling; that’s what we do when we’re football players. We go out there and play to the best of our ability. It’d be good to get back and start playing better football than we have the last few weeks.

Q: After two disappointing weeks in a row; how do you put those behind you?
A: That’s all you can do; you put it behind you. That’s all you can do from each week. You just go from one week to another. Whether you’ve played your best game or a game that you know you could’ve played better, you put it behind us and you try to figure out how you can play at a higher level where we had some opportunities and just make a game of it. Get the game into the fourth quarter and try to win it then.

Q: Knowing you don’t control your own destiny, do you still think about that going into Week 17?
A: I think everybody knows what the circumstances are and it’s obviously not the circumstances that you want, but at least you have a circumstance. Sometimes that’s all you can hope for. Again, it really just comes down to first off, us handling our business, and us going out there and playing the style of football that we know we can. That’s really what we’re trying to get back to. Let’s play better football and work on doing that. Everything else will hopefully work out for the best.

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GUARD CHRIS SNEE

Q: All the other games that you need to have happen are all in-division games, all rivalries. Does that give you any more hope?
A: We can’t focus on that. Coach said there is a scenario where we get in. We’re aware of what it is, but we have to focus on beating a Philadelphia team who’s playing very well. They’re fighting hard and I’m sure they’ll like nothing more than to keep us out of the playoffs.

Q: If you do get in the playoffs, do you still think you can do some damage?
A: Well, I mean we’re not going to go in there not being confident. That’s not like this team. If we’re fortunate enough to be able to get in, we’ll have to go on the road and play better than we have in recent weeks. We’ve been a good road team traditionally, but not this year.

Q: A few years ago you were in a similar position where you won, but still didn’t make it into the playoffs:
A: Yeah, that’s what happens when you take it out of your hands, which is what we’ve done. Not the situation that anyone wants to be in, but that’s what we have in front us and all we can focus on is 9-7. What happens, happens.

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WR VICTOR CRUZ

Q: All the other games that you need to have happen are all in-division games, all rivalries. Does that give you any more hope?
A: We can’t focus on that. Coach said there is a scenario where we get in. We’re aware of what it is, but we have to focus on beating a Philadelphia team who’s playing very well. They’re fighting hard and I’m sure they’ll like nothing more than to keep us out of the playoffs.

Q: If you do get in the playoffs, do you still think you can do some damage?
A: Well, I mean we’re not going to go in there not being confident. That’s not like this team. If we’re fortunate enough to be able to get in, we’ll have to go on the road and play better than we have in recent weeks. We’ve been a good road team traditionally, but not this year.

Q: A few years ago you were in a similar position where you won, but still didn’t make it into the playoffs:
A: Yeah, that’s what happens when you take it out of your hands, which is what we’ve done. Not the situation that anyone wants to be in, but that’s what we have in front us and all we can focus on is 9-7. What happens, happens.

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WR HAKEEM NICKS

Nicks: You could probably say that. I was injured this year, it happens in football. You can’t control that aspect. You’ve just got to hope for the best, expect for the best, and play hard each and every day. Coming off of a long season last season, get right back into it this season, and having a rough off-season, it is what it is. I just had to play with the hand that I was dealt. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for it. As a man, you’ve got to take… I’ll learn from this, I’ll definitely get better from it, and look forward to it.

Q: You were upset about not getting a catch last week.
A: I was.

Q: Upset about not getting a catch? Or not being targeted?
A: I was probably just disappointed in myself. Being a playmaker, you always want the ball. You always want to get the ball thrown at you, always feel like you can make a difference. I’ll always feel like that. I feel like that’s what makes me the player I am. I’ve always had the competitive drive in me. I feel like if I didn’t have it, it would be time for me to step away from the game. I know that I’m nowhere near that phase. I’ll just keep trying to get better. I’ve got to heal up and I’ve got some time to heal up. We’re just going to go out there this week, and it’s still not over for us. If it is meant for us to be in there, we will be in there. We’ve just got to control what we can control, go out there, play this last game hard and we owe it to our fans, and give our fans a great game.

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