I’ll just start by saying largely what I said last night, although you couldn’t hear me over the guy yelling, ‘Coughlin, you’re 7-9.’ We all heard that one. We played our first preseason game, we are getting everyone involved. I thought the players did a nice job of focusing. We didn’t have any of those normal substitution error type things. We were late a couple of times coming on the field but it wasn’t as if people weren’t aware of the fact that they were supposed to be in such and such spot at such and such a time, so that was good. I thought there was a physical nature to the game, and when I say that, I speak for both Buffalo and the New York Giants, in that the game was pretty well played, the tackling was pretty good; you didn’t see a lot of missed tackles. Both teams had occasions where they ran the ball and the fronts were blocked up well. From the standpoint of the way the game was played, the effort in the game, the focus, the concentration, being very respectful and honoring the Hall of Fame and all of the fabled charter members of the Hall of Fame plus the new inductees and honoring them in which the game was played and the effort that was made was good.
Q: Any further thoughts on David Wilson?
A: Not any further than what I expressed. I told the staff here at about two thirty that we had pretty much braced ourselves for not good news, although trying to be optimistic and not trying to go ahead and make some kind of a statement prior to getting that information. You naturally feel bad, you feel down. It is just a natural thing. I have to say when David came in and we sat and talked, he is such an up-beat young man. He is so positive. The smile is still on his face, even though he has received this kind of news. The statement that gets you is he told his dad when he was eight years old that he wanted to play in the NFL and he did that. Not only that, he was a first-round draft choice in the National Football League. He certainly expected for his career to be longer, but sometimes it doesn’t work. The way he expressed it was, ‘God must have something in mind for me. I want no pity. I want no one feeling sorry for me. I am not going to be down about this. No one will catch me in that frame of mind. I am going to stay positive and I am going to continue to be.’ He said ‘I am an optimistic person by nature and it is going to remain that way.’ I thought that was a wonderful thing for him to say and a great lesson for all of us.
Q: Will [Wilson] have any function on the staff/team as an assistant or anything?
A: I don’t think so. That hasn’t been spoken of yet at this point. I would say probably not. David recited for me the things that have been heard all week because of the Hall of Fame and because of Michael Strahan’s induction. Once a Giant, always a Giant. He heard it earlier in the week and it is true. He’s a Giant. He’ll always be a Giant. He is welcome here always and I think and hope and asked him to keep me informed as to once he got settled and visits with his mother and father about what direction he wants to go in, to keep me informed.
Q: Did you come away with any serious injuries [against Buffalo]?
A: I don’t think we did. The list is long and it’s amazing. Of course, 12 members of that list were a part of it pre-game, but as far as I know, there is an injury to Daniel Fells. I think he has a bone bruise, but I think that is where we are on that.
Q: How did you come away with [Ryan Nassib’s] performance?
A: As you people mentioned last night and pointed out to me, the quarterback rating was very high and the percentage was very high and there is a direct correlation between 38 runs and you know not a lot of long runs but some steadiness there. There is a direct correlation between a clock and keeping the ball in your favor and being able to throw the ball when you want to throw it basically, and occasionally that’s not the case and you are going to have to make a play. I thought that Ryan, for the most part, did a good job. The one interception that was overruled, I thought, was a very bad play. I am not sure why that happened. We will have to talk to him about it. For the most part of it, he did direct his team and he did throw the ball well enough and I am sure he is looking forward to continuing his development and getting in the game next week and having more opportunities.
Q: Were you guys preparing yourself for this possibility in the offseason before he [David Wilson] suffered the burner?
A: You’re wrong about that. If you look at the preseason rosters, there were a lot of years we had six runners and one fullback, for example. The preparation and numbers that you looked at were training camp numbers. That’s just the way it is. From year to year, different years, different situations, you feel like, maybe, I don’t have. So you are constantly trying to look at positions and be able to have the numbers that you want in camp from that standpoint. Certainly it’s on your mind. Certainly you have to put yourself in a position where if it doesn’t work the way you like it to work, that you have thought it through and you have some answers. I don’t like speculation, I don’t like those kinds of questions but you always have the numbers that you need for your camp even though you are trying the best you can and hoping and praying that someone who has been injured comes back and can play and perform at a high level. We were certainly excited thinking that everything was going to be okay with David, but in the back of your mind, how are you going to be affected as a team. It would be irresponsible not to give some thought to that.
Q: You kept Will Beatty out. Will he play this week?
A: I am going to wait and see what the medical people tell me.
Q: Do you have enough running backs now? Do you think this group is enough to go into the season?
A: Well, you’ve got five guys and two fullbacks and Henry can play running back if you chose to do that. If we think that there is a circumstance at the beginning of the week that will jeopardize your ability to practice, then I am sure we will have another one in here. The answer is yes.
Q: How about Corey Washington?
A: How about that? Wasn’t that some play by that kid. He has done that in practice a couple of times where he has done some things that were pretty spectacular that got our attention. One, as a gunner, just flat-out running and splitting the double-team and then moving on down the field to make a play on the punt returner. He did that in practice and was recognized and very noticeable, and he has made some of those catches here on the practice field where he has gone up over the top of people and caught the ball, like what he did last night. We are running it, running it, and running it, just as they had run it, run it, run it. Then they decided on a first down to take a shot and they took the shot and Bowman picked it off. In this case it works for us, though it was a little underthrown and Corey had to go up over the top and get it and he did. So we have to give him credit, Ryan for getting the ball out there. It could have been a little further, but Corey going up over the top of the defender because of his height and being able to bring the ball down.
Q: How attractive is that to you since you don’t have a really big receiver?
A: Well it is really big. We’ve got a guy here that has done it in games. Reuben has gone up over the top of people and caught the ball and he did it. It is something that you notice when you see it because you’re always thinking can you take the ball off the top of the defender and certainly Corey just showed that he can.
Q: Did David Wilson’s sense of optimism and perspective and hope for the future take you by surprise a little bit?
A: Not at all. You have to know the kid. Not at all. He came in my office with a big smile on his face and he had been with Jerry [Reese]. Nothing that was said got him to a state of melancholy or anything and he wasn’t going to go there. That’s the impression I got. If you think back on it, that’s the way he always has been. I tried to explain to you when he first had the surgery, maybe ten days later, he is in the weight room. I walk in and he is in there doing some things with his legs with a big smile on his face and I say, ‘David, take it easy, will you?’ He was taking it easy for himself and in terms of the way he thought. He has always been one of those effervescent young men and it’s a very attractive part of him and he carries himself well, has a great attitude, and there's a lot to be said about his inner strength right now and certainly what he learned as a youngster from his parents comes shining through.