Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: It is supposed to get very cold in Cincinnati this week. How closely do you monitor what the weather is going to be like and does it affect what you do as far as the way you practice?
A: Yes. It affects everything that we do in terms of trying to be outside. Yesterday we had a problem with our field because it was covered – it was frozen. But we will be outside today and it is not as cold as it is anticipated in Cincinnati. But we do monitor the weather, we also do our research on the field, and what people are wearing on the different fields that we play on, the type of shoes that they are wearing, and try to emulate that a little bit in terms of how we practice.
Q: Would you be outside if it is really, really cold – would you be outside this week anyway?
A: It depends on – if I were to look at a schedule and see that I could accomplish a couple of things in one or two days, I may take the other day and work inside just so I am sure that I get the focus and the proper reps and we can throw the ball properly.
Q: Do you have confirmation on Tiki making the Pro Bowl?
A: Yes, I heard that this morning. Tiki did make the Pro Bowl.
Q: If there is one thing you can pick out that you are most proud of him for this year, what would it be?
A: The way in which he has dedicated himself to having the kind of year that he has had in terms of running the ball. Ball security, for the most part, has been outstanding. His attitude, his positiveness, the way he interacts with his teammates, all of those things.
Q: When you came in, you had hoped to be more balanced with he and Dayne. Are you surprised at his durability to be able to keep producing after this many carries?
A: I don't think surprised is the word. But I certainly am cheering for him. He has done very well and he has, without a doubt, proven that he deserves the carries that he is getting and under some circumstances, even more. But I do think you need more than one ball carrier and I will remain believing in that because of the experiences that I have had.
Q: As you look forward, he will be 30 next year. Is that something you have to keep an eye on, that he can carry this kind of load?
A: He has always been a guy who is in great shape, great condition. He does a lot in the offseason. He did a super job last offseason in our strength program, our free weight program. He trained very hard. He takes good care of himself during the season, as well. So I am hoping that he remains a young 30.
Q: Did you make a big deal of it as far as telling the team that he made the Pro Bowl?
A: Yes, I told the team about the guys that have made it, because it is very important. It is very important to his teammates as well, that they have an opportunity to acknowledge the fact that he did make the Pro Bowl, or any number of guys that would have that opportunity.
Q: Were you told if you have any alternates?
A: I was told we had alternates, yeah. We have David Tyree is the first alternate. Jeremy Shockey is second alternate. Carlos Emmons is a fourth alternate. All of those guys, all people that have been recognized, even as alternates, over the years it is an outstanding recognition and many times they end up having a chance to go and play.
Q: Did Will Peterson miss a meeting on Monday?
A: Anything that happens between a player and the franchise is going to remain a private matter.
Q: Will he start this week?
A: That is going to remain a private matter.
Q: Is it possible that he will not start?
A: I am not going to comment on that.
Q: He left the game on Saturday for a couple of plays. Was that because of anything that he did?
A: He left the game because of the circumstance. We had maneuvered Frank Walker in on both sides and we are going to do that throughout the…. and had an opportunity to bring both corners to the sideline at one time or another.
Q: So this was a personnel move, not a disciplinary move?
A: No, not by any means.
Q: How valuable has Kevin Lewis been this year?
A: He has done an outstanding job. He has stood in there and pounded away with every group that has come at him. He is a very physical football player who enjoys that part of the game, who has really, literally, backed down from no one, no front, no offensive line. He has really been a very solid plus for us.
Q: Is it valuable that he is basically the only person left on that front seven from the beginning of the season?
A: Well, it certainly is. Without a doubt he has proven that he can stand in the middle there, as I said, against the best and take on offensive linemen and lead blockers and so on and so forth, and still remain in there physically and tackle the back. That is the kind of game that is his best; that is best suited for him. That is his strong point and he does well at it.
Q: Is Kendrick Allen going to practice?
A: No, he won't make it today.
Q: Will William Joseph start?
Q: What have you seen from William Joseph in recent weeks? Has he not progressed as much as you would have hoped he would have progressed?
A: Well, a couple of weeks ago against Washington our whole front didn't play very well; William was a part of that front. He does some things very well and in other things he is still trying to learn how to utilize his skill and his talent better. Hopefully this year's experience is going to help him grow. Those interior guys have got to be people who can not only anchor down against the run, but be involved in rushing the passer. He has had experience at both ways. He has done a good job in certain circumstances on both occasions. But we need more consistency out of everybody.
Q: What about Allen, do you feel that he is playing well?
A: I did. I think Kenderick was coming along well and he was an anchor in there and really helped us with regard to that. Fortunately Demane Duckett has been the same kind of player and hopefully he can anchor in there now for us as well.
Q: Has Chris Snee been cleared? Are doctors convinced they know that is going on?
A: He has not been cleared to play, no. Well, he hasn't had all of the results of all of the tests that they do back. He did go back to see the doctor a couple of days ago and he is not cleared to play.
Q: Do they know what might be wrong with him?
A: As I said, they have eliminated an awful lot of things. But as far as saying exactly what it is, I don't know that that has ever been said.
Q: In terms of your relationship with Chris, what kind of impact has the uncertainty had your family?
A: Well, the entire family is anxious, as you might imagine, as to how he was doing, etc, all kinds of phone calls from my brother and my sisters; the whole family trying to inquire as to how he was doing. So, it has been upsetting.
Q: The Bengals had a year to nuture Carson Palmer. What are your thoughts on that philosophy versus the philosophy here where Eli was thrown in at midseason?
A: Well, I think it all depends on the circumstance and situation you are in. I don't think there is any one formula that everybody follows. You can go ahead and look at any number of outstanding players in this league that have been groomed different ways. So, one philosophy may not be the way to go in all circumstances, which obviously, I don't think it is. There are different ways to do it, and there are different opportunities during the course of the season to maneuver or do whatever you think is the right thing for your club. And that is exactly what we are trying to do here.
Q: Barrett Green yesterday said that he has a partially torn ACL? Is that something that should have been picked up sooner? How much are you concerned about going forward next year, with him now?
A: I think Barrett is considering seriously getting that taken care of, which I would think would be the right move for him. I would endorse that, and I have told him that – to have the surgery so that he doesn't have to go through this whole process again, wondering why – what takes the knee so long to come back and be stronger, etc, etc. I think he is considering this right now.
Q: Has Nick Greisen proven to you that he is a weakside linebacker?
A: He has done an outstanding job. He has proven…under all circumstances, he has made plays. He has made plays with the ball right at him. He has made plays on the edge. He has defended the pass. He has done a good job and he has been…his play, nothing more, has solidified the way, particularly our defensive staff, feels about his contribution.
Q: What is Nick doing differently now than earlier in the season?
A: He has, over the course of time, hung in there and played well and put some consistent games together.
QB Eli Manning
Q: After playing better last week, how much more confident are you this week?
A: I don't know how much more confident I am. I think I have stayed pretty confident, stayed positive that I am going to continue to improve and I have to get better than I played last week. I have to still learn what our game plan is this week, still learn what Cincinnati has to do and their defenses and try to make the right reads and just have a good feel of the game. So, hopefully I can just continue to improve and have a good game this week also. And figure out a way to get a win.
Q: How encouraged are you based on last week's performance?
A: I think we are positive. We are confident in our offense that we can move the ball. We just have to play better than what we did. We still have some areas to improve on and that I have to improve on, and make some throws that I missed in the game. So I just have to stay positive and continue to work hard and study hard this week and figure out Cincinnati's defense and figure out a way to put ourselves in a situation in the fourth quarter to get a win and get ahead in the game.
Q: Your thoughts about Tiki being named to the Pro Bowl.
A: I think Tiki definitely deserves it. He has had a great season. He has been the work horse of this offense and has kept us in a bunch of games with the way he has run, and has been a receiver also. So he has made plays throughout the season and he is definitely deserving to make the Pro Bowl.
Q: Has he helped your development at all?
A: Yeah, I think so. Because he has a great understanding of the offense and protections and when we run the ball well, it puts us in a great situation with our offense. Hit some play action and when you are not stuck in third and long, it makes it easier to convert first downs and move the ball. He has an understanding, and he knows what to do, and he comes to work everyday.
RE: Tiki encouraging you, helping you along?
A: Yeah. Tiki has been great in helping me just learn everything. And he said, one of the first weeks that I became a starter, he said, "If we are not doing something right, you have to tell us. If we are not doing something the way you want it, you have to come tell me, tell the receivers and you have to express your opinion and get everything the way you like it."
Q: RE: Tiki having confidence in you.
A: Obviously, he is a guy has been in the league a number of years, one of the leaders of this team and it felt good that he had the confidence in me to go in there, and if I needed to tell him that we needed to do something different, he was going to listen to me and he wants to get better and figure out a way to get this offense in a better situation.
Q: Can you talk about the fact that Carson Palmer had a year to sort of nurture himself in the league. Would that have been a nice luxury to have had?
A: Well, I had nine games to sit and watch. I wanted to play; I wanted to get it in. And I was competing to play. So I'm happy that I am playing right now. Obviously I went through some tough times, but I think it was a learning experience and I think it will help me in the long run. So I am sure Carson is the same way. He is getting his chance now, and he has been playing well.
Q: So often ….learning curves, it is one step up, two steps back. You made such a big step up this past weekend. What do you need to do to maintain that – what is the thing that you are most concentrating on?
A: Well, I am just trying to concentrate on Cincinnati's defense, try to get a feel of what they are going to do and just try to figure out what plays are good against certain defenses, know how to make my reads and just get us in good situations. Convert on third downs, move the ball and when there are plays to be made; I have to make the plays. I have to be comfortable with the plays that we are running, have my foot work all set up and throw the accurate ball. So I just have to continue to learn this game and just figure out a way to move the ball and get points on the board.
Q: You talked to Coach Coughlin about what plays you wanted last week, is that continuing to happen this week?
A: I think they saw, last week, the plays that I liked and plays that I have run and realized that I feel more comfortable in my foot work and my decision making was better because of that. So, you can't stay with the same plays every week, but we are just trying to find plays that I feel comfortable with, that I have run some. But you have to put in new plays also, and just work on getting the reads and knowing the decision making with certain defenses.
Q: RE: Cincinnati's defense.
A: They have a good defense. They do a lot of blitzing. They do some different looks that we haven't seen. But they do some stuff that we have seen in the past couple of weeks. So it is just a matter of figuring out how to get their blitzes protected and what plays are good versus certain things. It is just about what play you have on them when they are playing their defense and where to go with the ball.
Q: Can you talk about what it would be like to get that first victory. Actually, not just for the team because of its losing streak, but also for you, personally?
A: I think this team needs a win. I think we just need to get that feeling back. You can just see the spirits even lift after this week, after us playing well. It is something we hadn't had in a while. We really hadn't been in the game ….It was nice just to compete again. I think a win would fill our spirits and get everybody going again. I think we will be ready. We are going to have some energy this week. It would be just a nice feeling for everybody to get a win.
Q: What about for you?
A: It is same. I want to win; I want to win every game I play. That is why you compete, that is why you practice. That is why you come to work every day and work as hard as you do, not just to play well, but to win. That is the ultimate goal.
RE: Your play last week, is now the time to build on that?
A: I just think I am trying to improve every week and just try to continue to make good decisions and just learn philosophies on defense and what some blitzes do, what defense you play ……. I know how to make my reads and get more accurate with the ball throwing this time; to get a feel of this offense and try to improve every week.
Q: There were a couple of times late in the Steelers game, that last scoring drive where Tiki picked up yardage and put you in a prominent situation. Is that an example of the progress in that kind of situation?
A: Yeah. I think just the more comfortable you get with your protections and confident that offensive line and I know what we are doing. It just comes from practice, from seeing things and watching film where you know exactly what is coming. Getting everything protected, you know where to go with the ball. And you are in rhythm, you body and your mind is speaking together and you know exactly where to put it and you have practiced it all week. So you have done it before, and now you are not thinking about it, it just comes automatic.
Q: You just finished up a run of five defenses that easily top 10. Any one of those can be argued, top five. Was it better for your learn against these guy?
A: I hope so. We played some good defenses. You can never relax in this league – but we were playing some tough teams that cause struggles for an offense, they have been doing it to offenses all over the league. So, hopefully it is a learning experience and you get to see how hard you have to prepare and what kind of way you are going to have to play to win those games. So now, Cincinnati is up there also. It is the same philosophy as the past two defenses we have played in a lot of ways. You just have to go out there and compete and try to put points on the board.
RB Tiki Barber
Q: Did you really think that it was ever going to happen?
A: I didn't know. I'm glad it did, but I didn't know. I am happy it did.
Q: It is good to be rewarded for all of those plays and hard work you have put in, right?
A: That is what you play the game for – to try to be successful and to try to do the best that you can for your team. It is great when you have the fans, the players and the coaches around this league to recognize that.
Q: Most defensive players last year said that fumbling may have been the reason for not making the Pro Bowl. Do you feel as though that was the primary reason?
A: I don't know. You can put whatever fingers you want on it. It has nothing to do with this season.
Q: How much did Coughlin's technique early in the preseason help you to carry the ball around?
A: It changed my mentality a little bit. He focused on what I needed to focus on, which was just holding onto the ball and not causing turnovers for our team.
Q: Were you focused on making the Pro Bowl?
A: You didn't really worry about it. This is an individual accomplishment to be celebrated when the season is over. Right now, as is always, my focus is on helping this team win. If I play well, it gives us a better chance. That is what I focus on.
Q: Go back to when you came out of Virginia. What were your aspirations for yourself as a pro? Could you talk about, and reflect upon what you felt like then and now as you are about to become the franchise's all-time rushing leader?
A: Coming into this league I had no idea what I would accomplish, even what I was wanting to achieve. Typecasts were set for me; expectations were already set for me. I had to go through a lot of growing and learning pains. And that continued my entire career. But I have always been someone who has fought back and someone who has never given up on myself, which is the most important thing. After the season I have had this year, I'm being rewarded a little bit. That is encouraging and fulfilling.
Q: Did the start of your career crossover with Rodney's (Hampton)?
A: Very briefly, it did. My first year was essentially his last year because he had a knee injury in training camp and that's actually why I started my first season, because he got hurt in the third preseason game.
Q: In that time together and knowing what he had done in his career, did you ever envision getting to that level?
A: Not in my wildest dreams that I would be on verge of passing him in career yardage for Giants rushing. It's a circumstance that's been fortunate, having the right offenses around me, having the right group of guys around me to support and motivate me and having good coaches.
Q: When you visited Ronde at the Pro Bowl a few years ago did you feel like you belonged? You were there as a guest of your brother, you weren't there as a player.
A: I wasn't at the Pro Bowl site per se. Ginny and I just went for a vacation and it happened to be Pro Bowl week.
Q: Do you think it will hit you at some point when you're out there stretching with these guys or in a practice?
A: Yeah, maybe. It'll be a good feeling to know that I've accomplished a lot, I guess shattered is the word, people's expectations of what I would be early on in my career and even recently in my career. I'm proud that I was able to reinvent myself, like I've told you guys many times, and prove my worth as a player.
Q: Does starting mean anything to you?
A: Not really. I don't even know what the issue is for starting. Making it is the thing.
Q: Do you know who the other running backs are?
A: Shaun Alexander? Ahman Green? But I don't know, it could be Clinton Portis as well.
Q: Did Tom make an announcement in front of the whole team?
A: Yeah, we did it after our walk-thru.
Q: What was the reaction from everybody?
A: Just congratulations. I guess a lot of them but maybe not a lot of them because they don't know me very well but a few of them know my history here and how much it will mean to me.
Q: You talked a little bit about stressing to get stronger and I saw a piece that talked about how you were surprised that you couldn't lift a certain amount of weight; could you talk a little bit about how big of a role that played in just changing your body?
A: As you get older, you have to find ways to stay younger and for me it was to get into a power lifting program out here in Totowa. It did wonders for my strength, it did wonders for my explosion, and I think it's been a big contributing factor to my success this year and my health this year.
Q: Was the Super Bowl season crucial to you in terms of the crisis of confidence you may have had in the early point of your career? Was that sort of the turning point for you?
A: I think the season before was more of the turning point. Mainly because I found focus in what I was supposed to be and the Super Bowl year it was circumstances. Sean Payton changed our offense and it fit me. That year everything fell together, everything was working and everything was clicking.
Q: Did Jim (Fassel) help define you as a back?
A: Absolutely. That's why I have so much respect for him as a coach because he understood me not only as a player but more importantly as a person. He knew what motivated me and how to get the best out of me and he reaped a lot of those benefits.
CB Will Peterson
Q: Comments on what happened? Did you miss a meeting or something with the team?
A: No. Anything that happens with the team stays with the team. Things that happen at practice, you're all not at practice for a reason, and that's what goes on at practice.
Q: So it wasn't because you missed a meeting, it's something that happened at practice?
A: No, I'm not saying either way. I was at practice and I heard today that there were rumors that I didn't go to practice, but I was there yesterday and everything is everything.
Q: Are you starting on Sunday?
A: You'll have to see on Sunday. Aren't I the starting cornerback? I am.
Q: Your coach was non-committal when we asked him about you starting Sunday. He wouldn't tell one way or the other.
A: You'd have to ask the coach.
Q: Do you know for sure one way or another or are you in the dark?
A: I don't know, I think I'm starting come Sunday. I should be starting on Sunday.
Q: Whatever the case was, is it all smoothed over? Is there any lingering problem?
A: Any problems between me and the coaches or me and whoever in the locker room stays in the locker room. If there is a problem, it remains here and it's not for the outside to discuss, it's not for the newspaper to write about or talk about and create problems in this locker room. That's how it is right now and that's how it will be in the future.
Q: Was it a disciplinary thing when you left the game on Saturday for a couple of plays?
A: I think the coach answered that question for you already so you can take that for what it is.
Q: He (coach) said it was a personnel thing?
A: Then that's what it was.
WR David Tyree
Q: Comments on being named an alternate for the Pro Bowl?
A: It's great to be recognized by all of my peers from more or less the whole league and it's a great feeling. I truly give God all of the glory, I'm thankful and I'm grateful for everything.
Q: Who got the spot?
A: That's a question that is to be heard around the world right now. It was Ike Reese. Ike Reese? I guess I can dispute that a little bit but I'm not going to throw any shots at Ike. He's been doing it for a while so I'm sure he feels just as deserving.