I wanted to reassure you that it was as much fun watching the end of the game on tape today as it was last night. I give a lot of credit to the Cardinals. They played hard. Their situation was such. Ken [Whisenhunt] has done an outstanding job with their team, getting a young quarterback (Kevin Kolb) involved. They did an awful lot of good things last night. They were a physical defensive team. We didn't rush the ball for much. They rushed the ball well. They've started to, with a young quarterback, get the system. They still get the ball to number 11 (Larry Fitzgerald) even though everybody is looking for him in most situations. They've also got the outstanding return game which we were able, for the most part, to bottle up. We got help from a penalty one time, but that was something that was very, very important. I think it's important to recognize the fact that our own return game last night with Aaron Ross did a very nice job. Probably as big a play as any was the punt return. Probably the only punt that Zastudil really didn't hit the way he wanted to. Aaron recognized that right away, grabbed it and had a nice 18-yard return, which again gave us excitement and momentum about taking the ball, going in for that last touchdown. It was a physical game. It was a game that we knew going in would take all four quarters to have a chance to win it. They had lost two games by a total of four points and they've been fourth quarter losses. We knew it would be one of those 60-minute ballgames and it certainly was. Very happy to win. Very happy to be back here, knowing how hard-fought it was. I have great respect for the Arizona Cardinals and Ken Whisenhunt and his staff for the job that they did. When it didn't look very good for us our guys kept playing and the greatest thing that you can say about that if you're going to emphasize finish, that certainly was some way to finish. I was proud of that. There's a lot of things that we can clean up and do better. I suppose that's what you say after any of these battles, because that's what they are. Every game is a hard game. Every game is a game against a very difficult opponent and things never change. It's going to take everything that you have to be put in a lot of different situations in order to find a way to win. Last night our defense held when it had to at the end of game and our offense had the ability to move the ball with a two-minute offense. I thought we should have scored before the half, to be honest with you. We did kick the field goal and of course that was very instrumental, but I think one thing that I mentioned to the coaches was we had 29 seconds and a lot of people would say that's not a lot of time. But we drove it down and we were in position there to take a couple of throws at the end zone and we ended up kicking a field goal. But that was right before the half and that gave us a little boost going in. And then at the end of the game of course it was a no-huddle in the way in which the players reacted [was excellent]. Of course we had a lot of guys step up with big plays there. Hakeem [Nicks] certainly with a couple of huge plays. We had plays out of Ballard and we had plays out of Victor Cruz and we had Manningham contribute. The touchdown which got us started was the third down run by Brandon [Jacobs] that got us in the end zone - well blocked, but a very physical play. So there were a lot of those kinds of plays last night. Again, we were fortunate to win, but we're excited about that.
's approach and performance?
A: I think his approach has changed in that he's trying to do the best he can to stay away from being pressured into making those tight, tight throws that unfortunately have ended up going the other way. Is he aware on the emphasis that's been put on taking care of the football? You bet he is. He'd probably give you a better lecture than I could on it. He is definitely in-tune with that. We had the fumbles last night, which after the Philadelphia game it felt so good not to turn it over at all that that's what we preached going right in again this week. We had the early fumble by Bradshaw, which was a big hit by Campbell running all the way across the field on the screen. And then we had Eli's fumble deep, deep in our territory where we had just an outstanding rush and the defender came and went for the ball rather than the quarterback and it was just perfect timing for them because the left hand had just started off the ball and boom, the ball gets knocked out and they recover - point blank range. But we kept scrambling and fighting, but if you're going to say is there an emphasis, yes, there is. Does Eli buy into it? You bet he does. Has he really tried very hard without losing that edge now, because you do have to have it, you have to be aggressive and he certainly is that. But he is trying like heck to take care of the ball.
Q: If you were the Cardinals would you have been upset by the Cruz play on the game-winning drive? How would you approach that?A: You better ask the Cardinals. As we all look at the course of games, you can point to one or two things, but you know that in the course of a game you have many opportunities. Not just one individual wins or loses a game. There probably isn't just one play. I think that's what I would just say about it was that was one of many.
Q: How did you get your emphasis on finishing games across to the players?A: We've done a lot on that. I'm not going to go into all of the different ways in which we've done it, but it's been a matter of our players being interested in various ways that we've sold that message. We've done it with the use of video. We've done it with the verbal lectures. We've done it any way you can think of doing it and hopefully it will stick with us.
Q: What's going on in regards to your defense being unable to stop the run the past two weeks?A: The fact of the matter is that has to stop. We talked about that this morning. We talked about it last night. We've got to sure this thing up and deny that part of the game. I was a little bit surprised how close we were [in regards to] time of possession. I didn't think it was even anywhere near that close, to be honest with you, because we weren't able to run it and they were. That's not a good formula. We're going to have to take some extraordinary means to try to solve that issue.
Q: When you say extraordinary means does that mean there's a personnel problem?A: No. That means that we're going to have to do what we have to do from a coaching standpoint to try to solve it.
Q: And why weren't you running the ball well yesterday?A: We didn't block them very well. We did not secure. We didn't create. We did at the start of the second half. We made some pretty good plays and then we ended up calling them back by penalties. We didn't block them as well as we're capable of doing. They were good up front and we didn't handle it as well as we should have.
Q: Do you attribute any of that to Kevin Boothe having to come in?A: No. Not at all. Kevin has been in there before, whether it be center or guard or tackle. He's played in lots of games and done a good job for us. There really was nothing to focus on in terms of lack of run because Kevin was in there.
Q: How's David Baas doing?A: I haven't seen or heard from him today. He's over getting a series of tests done. We'll have to wait on that one.
Q: Did he have neck problems before this?A: Well he had a burner.
Q: He had it before this game, he just aggravated it?A: Yes.
Q: Boley said there was a different urgency on the sideline in terms of finishing. He called it 'want to.' Did you feel that yesterday?A: Well what I sensed was that I think our intensity and the level of our play and everything kind of improved towards the end of the game. As we had the opportunity for stops and had the opportunity to do things with the ball, we kind of played off of each other. I mean that in terms of our defense and our offense and our special teams contributing to that feeling of momentum and we can do this. That's what I felt.
Q: With the injuries you had and opening with three of four on the road, are you surprised by where you are?A: No. Not really. I've stuck to this all along and I'm not going to change now, we have good players, we have them in position [to win]. We certainly have had some things go the other way in terms of [injuries] and feel bad about those players, but the rest of the guys have to pick it up. Am I surprised? No, I'm not surprised. But do we have to improve and continue to get better and get more out of a lot of people who need to grow and expand and develop? Yes.
Q: If you look at the season as four four-game quadrants, is there anything you need to accomplish before you get to the third quadrant?A: Yeah, you better win. Just like anything else, you better win. These are tough opponents, regardless of what division, what conference they come from. They are very difficult. You look at what Seattle's been able to do, to come back. I know they lost, but that's quite a performance against a very good Atlanta team. The week before, the Cardinal game was a very, very close game, again, in which they were able to win. It doesn't matter. It doesn't really matter. The schedule is one game at a time and our schedule is a very difficult one and each one of these opponents is very capable [of winning].
Q: You said earlier that teams have to keep an eye on Fitzgerald, do you think teams think the same thing about Nicks?A: I'm sure. But we have some balance there and they do, too, to be honest with you. They do, too. That's what we really wanted to sell our players on. They have plenty of players that can make plays. Doucet made a couple plays last night. Heap is capable of doing that. They've got speed that they can utilize from the outside. There's plenty of ability there, but you still have to know where that guy (Fitzgerald) is.
Q: Any other injuries last night?A: Just some of what going into the game we had. Rocky [Bernard] with the ribs, took another shot there. Zak DeOssie actually did pretty well coming through and playing the way he was able to play. The rest are just some nicks, some things we're going to have to see how we shape up Wednesday.
Q: How did Osi come out?A: Seemed to come out well. Had a few more plays then we thought. I think he was at 39. We were trying to go 25 to 35, but as you can imagine, the game was tight in the fourth quarter and he wanted to go. He wanted to get in there. He was able to lobby out a few more and rightfully so and thank God, he's like he is. That big sack was huge in knocking them back out of there.
Q: What about Tuck? He said it would take a miracle for him to play, but as a leader he felt it was important for him to come…A: He doesn't make those decisions. The way you listen and the questions that you ask me. He is the captain of the defense and if we think a player has a chance to play and can help, he's coming. That's all there is to it. And that's what they want. They don't want it any other way, regardless of all of the other stuff that's said.
Re: play where it was ruled Victor Cruz gave himself up.A: You're not going to get any more out of me on this one. I'm standing by the way the rule was interpreted by the officials and if you look at the way that play took place, there's no question he was giving himself up. He was headed back for the huddle. I don't know how you call it anything else.