Coughlin: Good morning. We prepare this week for a very good Atlanta team, a team that has the most wins in the NFC, tied for the most wins in professional football. They’ve won 10 straight games at home. They’re plus-six. They’re the least penalized team in the National Football League. They’re eighth on offense, averaging 25.9 points per game, and a lot of very talented people, 44.6 on third down, 58 percent in the green zone, which is seventh in the league. Defensively they’re allowing 19.9 points per game. They have two exceptional safeties with nine interceptions in DeCoud and Moore. Abraham has 10 sacks. Special teams… Their kickoff coverage team is 10th. Their punt coverage team is 11th. They’re the least penalized special teams operation in the NFL and they’re ninth in kickoff return, so they’re a very, very talented group and we look forward to the challenge of trying to prepare for this Atlanta team. From an injury standpoint, you’re going to ask about Bradshaw. Bradshaw has a sprained knee. He will not work today. I’m not going to speculate because of the toughness of this young man on how long it would be. He’s very positive about it. He definitely wants to get back as fast as he can. Prince does have a hamstring and he won’t work today.
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QB ELI MANNING
Q: How are you approaching their defense?
A: They’re a great defense and obviously they can get pressure on the quarterback. As you said, two safeties that are very much in the mix and around the ball and two corners that are aggressive and that will jump things. So they do a good job in showing some different looks and creating turnovers on defense. So offensively we’ve got to make sure we’re taking care of the ball as the quarterback knowing we’ve got to see where everybody is and see where their safeties are, see where those corners are before you make any throws and throw it confidently.
Q: You have a big game on the road in December. What else is new?
A: These are fun. This is what it’s about. Late in the season, these games are important and they’re big and we’ve got to make sure we continue to play good football and making our strides and getting better each week and have great preparation and get excited for these opportunities.
Q: They’ve won 10 straight in the Georgia Dome. What makes them so tough there?
A: I think it just starts with just they’re a good team and so they do a good job of making plays and being sharp and their offense seems like it does a lot of changing plays and getting into the right calls based on the defense and of course anytime they can be loud and show you different looks on the defensive side and make it difficult for the quarterback to change protection and those typed of things puts them in any advantage.
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RB DAVID WILSON
Q: If you have to handle the load, how much confidence does last week’s performance give you?
A: To come out and create some of the plays that the team helped me create, and being able to show my explosiveness and getting in the mix a little bit; going into the next game it’s not like I’m just thrown in there. I had a couple plays and stayed in for a little while and had drives. It does help with confidence.
Q: How does it feel knowing that Atlanta now has some film on you and they’re going to be looking for you?
A: Yeah, last week the Saints probably weren’t expecting to even worry about me getting in the game, but now teams have film on me and they’ll be preparing. We can see what it really is.
Q: Does that change anything for you?
A: No, like I said, the whole time I’ve been preparing and working hard so when my number is called I’ll be ready. That happened last game and I think I handled it pretty well. Like I said, I’m going to keep working hard and moving forward and getting better because the season is narrowing down. I want to definitely be able to continue to contribute.
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DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: What do the Falcons do well offensively?
A: I think the thing that they do well is making sure they have the right play. They give Matty Ice the check-off when he comes up to the line. He’ll give you a hard count just to see if the safety is going to rotate and get them in the right play as far as run or pass. That makes it difficult because you have to play a chess game with the quarterback and if you show too early he’s going to definitely see anything and give them a better play. That gives him a lot of freedom and they’ve been quite successful this year.
Q: When you see all of the weapons they have, is it scary?
A: If we don’t play our keys and don’t play the type of football I know we’re capable of, sure. Absolutely. Everyone knows about that wide receiver tandem, Matty Ice, (Tony) Gonzalez, those two running backs, they have a lot of weapons down there and they’re going to be behind that home crowd on that fast turf. They’ll be very comfortable in that setting and we’ll have to play a great game to contain them.
Q: When Coach Coughlin comes up with these catch phrases like “Finish” and “Build the Bridge” do they work for you?
A: They work, they definitely do. The older you get, you kind of don’t need it, but I appreciate the fact that he’s one of these guys that studies all this tape and reads all these types of books. He’s always trying to find an edge, trying to find some trigger point for this team and he’s been very successful at it. Every year he seems to come into camp with one thing that he wants this team to be built on. I think this team does a great job of kind of picking it up and making it our mantra, too.
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SAFETY STEVIE BROWN
A: He’s a master of his craft. He knows he’s not the fastest anymore, but he still knows how to position his body to get open and he does what he does because he’s a veteran. He’s a smart football player and he’s good.
Q: Gonzalez gets conversions on third downs probably better than any other tight end in this league. You would think everybody knows where the ball is going and you can stop it.
A: That’s another thing that benefits him with him being able to position his body well. If it’s coming to him, he’ll be able to shield off defenders and is able to position his body where he’s only able to catch it and Matt Ryan puts it there.
Q: Does it look like Ryan plays to him in certain spots?
A: I wouldn’t say he plays to him in certain spots, but I would definitely say he’s his safety outlet and safety valve.
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