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Coach Coughlin Conference Call

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Opening remarks:

It's great to win, there's no doubt about it. We had a nice week of practice and a good preparation for the Rams, who we knew were a good football team and a physical football team watching them. Having played the week before against the Eagles, and it really was a very competitive game with the Eagles scoring on defense and having a long McCoy draw play score late in the game. But it was a good, solid football game and we know that the Rams have made outstanding progress so we knew exactly what we were up against. And it was a physical game, a back and forth game with some outstanding plays by our defense. Kenny Phillips tackles the receiver on the one yard line and we force a field goal instead of giving up the touchdown there. That's as important a play as any. The two minute drive was certainly an outstanding play, an outstanding score in the game that as it turns out, we needed very much. The second half, the long drive and score was very, very important as well. We have a lot of work to do. We are, without a doubt, a work in progress. I think we gave up a 29-yard punt return last night that really there was no reason for that. We had some people in position, we didn't tackle very well on that particular play. That was a little bit bothersome to me. We gave up some big play passes, which in the National Football League, you can say what you want, I guess that's going to occur on occasion. It's occurred a little bit too much for us in the first two games of the season.  We stuck to our guns and established balance on the offensive side of the ball even though we didn't get the yards we really wanted to get. We rushed the ball and consistently tried to rush the ball. Had some good plays and had some that weren't as good. We converted some third downs, not anywhere near where what we wanted to. Was disappointed at the end of the game that we didn't finish with the ball in our hands. It was very close. As you know, if we make the first down there, we just kneel down, St. Louis being out of timeouts. Good, solid, tough, hard-nosed game in which it was great to taste victory and to be honest with you, that's got to be behind us very quick as we have, as you know, a short week of preparation for an outstanding Eagles team.

Q: Does Manningham have a concussion and what is the update on that?

A: As far as I know, all of the tests, all of the protocol for a concussion are being conducted today, right now. He was much clearer when he left the stadium last night. He was much more bright-eyed this morning when he was in, but nevertheless, he's going through the entire battery of tests that are part of the protocol for someone who leaves the game with any type of head injury. We'll wait and see what the doctors have to say today when he finishes his exam.

Q: Hixon said last night that he could have gone in? How does he look this morning?

A: He's going to have all of the tests done in regard with his knee as well. I don't have any information at this point in time, but he too is going to be completely checked out.

Q: Is an MRI part of the program?

A: Oh yeah. The whole thing.

Q: Hixon said that maybe he didn't answer the trainer's questions correctly, that the Giants are hyper cautious. Do you ever get involved in these conversations? Do you think the Giants are extra cautious?

A: No, I don't think we're extra cautious. Do I get involved in the conversations? Yes. Am I overruled by the medical people? Certainly I am. That's just the nature of the business. We want the players, but there is a fine line. Dom came out after the half, he loosened up. He tried to go. There was still some look in his eye as to the discomfort factor and the lack of true feeling as if things were normal. That was when he came off of the field and the decision was made that he should not return.

Q: He said calf injury, but your information is that it is knee?

A: It is as far as I'm concerned. As far as I know. Wherever the discomfort was, it probably came as a result of the fact that they are looking and doing the exam on the knee.

Q: The Rams were driving and Deon Grant went down. Is that being a smart veteran?

A: Well from my standpoint on the sideline, I thought he was cramped. They were in a no-huddle situation and it was a hurry-up deal. I just thought that he cramped at that time or definitely had something that was bothersome to him. When I looked down on the field all I saw was the injured player.

Q: Is a player making a move like that smart football? Kind of like how London Fletcher kicked the football last year.

A: That's not very smart. That's a penalty and it should've been drastically enforced because of it. It did force a rule change too. The only thing I would comment on is that at that point in time the only thing I noticed was a player down.

Q: Why is the defense giving up so many big pass plays?

A: I think there were a couple things; one was perhaps being in good position but not playing the ball in the air and another time we were not in very good position. We were in a trail position more than in a good, competitive, stride for stride position. I think there are a couple of things without a doubt, from a technical standpoint, we can work on and we can improve and the players will see it on tape. I think they will try to make the best adjustment as they can to accommodate that. You are talking about a big, tall receiver who got off the line of scrimmage a little bit too quickly on three occasions and was able to go up above us and get the ball. There were a couple of occasions where we played it very well. Aaron made a couple nice plays on the sideline on one that was a fade stop ball that was a behind the shoulder ball that he defended very well. There are some technical things that can be improve on when in fact the players do get a chance to look at a limited amount of snaps from this game yesterday.

Q: How alarmed are you by Aaron Ross' play so far?

A: I just think that you have to learn and you have to get better as a result of it and you have to go forward. There are many mistakes out there on the field that we have to correct and we will do that in a positive way because we won, but nevertheless, they all need to be addressed and we will do that. Not just on the defensive side of the ball but the offensive side of the ball as well.

Q: What did you see from your defense against the no-huddle?

A: I think we responded alright for the longest of time in the no huddle. They did move it but we stopped them and forced them to kick field goals. It was a good tactic for the Rams and they do it very well. The young quarterback handled it very well. We worked against ourselves last week, which made us more aware of the opportunity or the fact that the Rams may have done that last night. We had the same thing scheduled on our side of the ball and we did get a chance to go against each other in a two minute drill which is a little faster than you normally get because it was ones against ones and not scout squad. They were effective in it. They made some plays and we made some plays. It was no surprise and it was a good tactic on their part.

Q: How concerned are you with third downs?

A: We have been concerned the whole time in preseason as well as the first two games. The fact is that we got a little bit better last night so I think the arrow is up. We had some protection errors. We had some situations where we thought we had the right thing called and as it turned out, we had people in pretty good position for the throw and the catch but we weren't able to get it off. The combination of not converting and having some protection errors and just not making, at the right moment, the proper throw or catch or whatever the reason may be, that percentage is not where we want it to be. We are constantly aware of that and working on it.

Q: Will you talk to the players about what happened at the end of last season as you begin to prepare for Philly tomorrow?

A: Seeing what we had in the preseason and not just based on that game but a lot of our games have been just to finish. We will continue for that to be one of our themes and constantly working to finish the game stronger. That certainly would be something to present to our players again this week.Q: Is there any added motivation for you?

A: There is plenty of motivation just playing in the NFC East.  

Q: Are there certain losses that will stick with you?

A: There is no a question and that will be one of them.Q: Are you coming up with two game plans depending on Vick's status?

A: I expect Michael Vick to play and if he can play, I am sure he will.Q: Do you think Osi will practice?

A: We certainly hope to see that Osi will be ready to go. We hope to have him on the practice field. Tomorrow is not going to be a full speed practice. It will probably be Thursday before that takes place but hopefully Thursday Osi will be ready to practice. If there is not a setback, then I would expect that.

Q: Are you thinking about bringing in a receiver or will you wait to hear about Hixon and Manningham?

A: We are going to wait to hear what the results areQ: Does this team have more rough edges than you would normally expect after two games?

A: I don't know if it is rough edges or flat out cohesive execution. It is just the performance end of it and the aspect of the being in position to execute the way that we want to. Let's give credit to the fact that there are 11 guys on the other side of the ball that are conducting their offense, defense and special teams as well. Our progress has to come along and I think we made progress last night. It was a very necessary part of our plan and theme all week long. It was to improve and we did. I don't know if it was as radical as we would hope we did but it is again an opportunity for us to continue to grow and develop with the idea towards the kind of cohesive execution that is needed at this level to succeed. Q: Do you want to see Michael Vick play?

A: I think that if Michael Vick can play, then he will play.

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