Coughlin: “That’s what you do. You emphasize all that stuff.”
Q: Last year you lost your opener and then won three in a row and six of seven. Does it help having a veteran squad that has experienced that?
Coughlin: “Every team is different. We have to find out about that going forward. Hopefully, it certainly has caused us to give great effort in terms of how we’re trying to solve some of our issues. To practice better, to play better, to meet better, to focus better, to concentrate better, play harder. Last year our mantra was 'finish.' We didn’t get that done the other day. We had a great chance.”
Q: The rushing attack sputtered vs. Dallas. Will you ever get to a point where you emphasize the pass more and strive for balance less? Is offensive balance still very important to you?
Coughlin: “It is. And hopefully it can be the right kind of balance. It certainly hasn’t been and the results the other day weren’t what we were looking for, either. We’re looking for consistency. We’re looking to eliminate the bad play. We’re looking to stay away from the long-yardage situation where it’s very, very difficult when everybody knows that you have to make a play with the pass game to accomplish a first down. You’re trying to stay reasonable with regard to that.”
Q: You mentioned play action passes the other day. Is that another reason why establishing the run is very important?
Coughlin: “The play action pass hasn’t been very good for the last couple of years and that’s one reason. I don’t know if anybody pays any attention to the run. You have to block the run. You have to make room. You have to defeat the man across from you. The running back has to run through arms. There’s a lot of things that have to happen in order for you to be successful with the run, but it’s a type and a style and it’s an indicator of what kind of physical team you are. It’s all of those things. It takes time, though. It’s ridiculous to think it doesn’t.”
Q: Without working in pads at practice, is it tough to simulate the physical nature of the run game?
Coughlin: “Some teams are able to do it, so it’s not impossible.”
Coughlin: “You’d like to be able to say that about everything, but you can’t. You have so many players that have to play and he’s got to improve on that. He’s got to improve his catching of the ball ability, whether it’s on kickoff returns and the security with which he places the ball high and tight and all of those kinds of things are things that he has to be. In our league, it’s foolish to think that you can overcome that stuff. You can’t. You don’t overcome that. That’s one stat that you just don’t. Very, very rarely do you ever win a game when you lose the turnover battle. That has to be understood and you can drive yourself crazy with it, but it’s a constant and it’s something that’s always talked about and it never fails to be a part of our keys to victory. Never.”
Q: What about veterans like
Coughlin: “They all know. Everybody knows. First of all, it’s a team and the entire team didn’t perform the way that we should’ve performed, so you start there. The individual parts within that, they’re well-documented. In order for us to succeed, everybody has to play to the best of their ability. We can’t give up the big plays like we did. That can’t happen. We can’t drop the ball. We can’t make poor decisions in terms of the adjustments that we make in the pass game. We have to be consistent. We have to stay within our technique. We can’t give up the big play. We need big plays on offense. We haven’t gotten many and then just barely scratched the surface the other day, but we’re doing other things that don’t help. I mean, how does
Q: In Tampa Bay this week you’re facing an opponent with a first-time head coach with coordinators who were previously on your staff. How did you learn about Greg Schiano and what schemes he prefers?
Coughlin: “We looked at everything. We looked at everything we can get our hands on to help us and that’s just doing your research. I’d have to speculate on what you believe and what you don’t, but you have a good solid game and you have the preseason and you have a couple of games where they played the way you think they play.”
Q: Do you have to change things up with (offensive coordinator and former Giants quarterbacks coach) Mike Sullivan being on their team?
Coughlin: “You have to make adjustments along the way. We just make adjustments where we see fit.”
Q: Are they running a ball-control attack?
Coughlin: “Don’t turn it over. Run the ball. Do a good job of play-action pass. Play good defense. Stop the opponent’s run. Force the opponent into long-yardage situations. They do a good physical job on special teams at blocking the punt. They did a lot of good things according to your master plan on how you’re going to win in their first game.”
Q: Do they try to create a lot of confusion on defense?
Coughlin: “Some. They’re a good team and they have a good scheme and there’s some good disguise in their secondary, but they also have a good front.”