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Coach Coughlin talks Cruz injury, recaps Eagles game

Head Coach Tom Coughlin

I would just say this to you. There is no time for feeling sorry for ourselves or anything of that nature. Anything that happened yesterday was brought on by us, we did not play in any of the phases of the game, the numbers are decidedly so. I thought because of our week of practice, because of the way we were working on the field, in the class room, our focus on the game, looking forward to a game of impact at this point of the season in the division, I thought we would play better, much better. We did not, but we've a got a divisional game staring us in the face and as difficult as it is, we look at the tape, we talk about it. We don't hide from anything, we lay it right on the line, and we will be prepared to go to Dallas this weekend.

The idea is to rise up, we have been knocked down before, this hurts, there is no question about it. I am not trying to disguise that in any kind of way. Feel very badly for Victor Cruz, for Trumaine McBride, they are both going to have to have surgery. We need to recognize the impact that those two young men have had on our team and the importance of each one of them. We also have to have realize we are moving forward.

Q: When you say Trumaine McBride needs surgery, what is it on?

A: He has a thumb.

Q: Is that something that will end his season?

A: That will be decision we will have to make here.

Q: Has the Victor Cruz surgery been scheduled yet?

A: I am not sure.

Q: Have you talked to him at all?

A: He was not in the position to listen to anybody last night, but that is the only time.

Q: How about Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? Is sitting him an option this week with the bye coming up?

A: Well, I would hope that we can figure out some way to try to take care of his medical issue. If it has to be this week, fine; if it isn't, it will be after this game here with the bye in front of us. That is a medical decision that is going to have to be made.

Q: By taking care of it, you mean a procedure?

A: I am not sure of that. I am not sure what the procedure would be even if it was. Again I will defer to the medical people.

Q: Have the doctors been able to tell you whether Victor Cruz has a 6 month rehab, or what?

A: No, there hasn't been a lot of information forthcoming. I am sure it will be a rehab, but knowing Victor Cruz, he will jump into that rehab as hard as he can go.

Q: Will the surgery be at HSS?

A: I believe it will be.

Q: Can you speak to what you lose, even in the locker room, without Victor Cruz?

A: Well, Victor Cruz is a very, very positive and popular young man who has meant an awful lot to this franchise. Just by virtue of his work ethic and the fact that he is a Pro Bowl playmaker. Yes, but again, it is another test for the team. I was going to say the offensive side of the ball, but really for our team. Leaders have to continue to come forward and this is an opportunity for someone else to get themselves into a position of leadership on this team, to be respected as Victor Cruz always has been by his teammates. There we go, you can't lament too long, we don't have time.

Q: How about on the field? Where do you turn to try to replace him as a wide receiver, a slot wide receiver particularly?

A: We will start with the ingredients that we have, whether it be our practice squad, and the outside, I am sure all of that research will be done, and it will have to be done real quick.

Q: Is moving Odell Beckham Jr. inside something you are going to think about or keep him on the outside?

A: Obviously, that will become a topic with the offensive coaches, but that hasn't been decided. Nor has there been a lot of time spent on that at this point. The idea, strategically, of how we would utilize any of our personnel will go on tonight and tomorrow.

Q: A couple of guys on your roster who would seem to have to step into bigger roles, Preston Parker and Corey Washington. Can you talk about what you see in those two, and how ready they are for an increased role?

A: Well I think Preston Parker has demonstrated he can play inside, and he can play outside. The issue with Preston Parker has been the ball security issue, but as far as his learning multiple positions, he has done that. Corey Washington has played basically on the outside and has done a pretty good job of learning. He practices throughout the week with multiple reps, whatever day it might be. Even in a two-minute drill he takes reps. He has had multiple opportunities to work.

Q: Is it important to you as you watch the tape and go over with the players to know why they performed at the level they did last night.

A: It's a very, very, worthy question. I wish there was an answer that was simple, there isn't. As I mentioned to the coaches, I really thought we were in a positon to play well. I knew we were very, very excited about playing. As far as trying to overanalyze, or anything of that nature, the simple matter of fact is that Philadelphia won the physical battle and they executed at a much higher level than we did. That goes for all phases.

Q: You have another big test this week coming right at you. Are you excited to jump right back in here?

A: Yeah, I am excited about this opportunity to prepare for Dallas. I would think that because of the significance of this Cowboy team and their win yesterday, our guys are going to have to get over this thing yesterday fast.

Q: You had a couple more special teams miscues yesterday. Is there any significant changes you can make there and how do you go about doing that?

A: We are continuously trying to improve all areas as you look at the guys that are in those positions. You see there are a lot changes and our players are our players and we got a couple kick-off returns yesterday from Michael Cox up to about the 25 and that was a good thing. I thought that was okay. I continue to be disappointed at one point or another with our punt game, but to be honest with you, we punted the ball six times in the first half. Going into the game, if you would have said that to me, I would have looked at you cross-eyed. I really did think our offense would have played much better than it did. It started as it always does, upfront, and we didn't do a good job of blocking their front. Special teams-wise, yeah, we do have to clean some things up. The punter has got to produce faster, we have to get the ball out, the production efficiency has got to improve there. We do a decent job of covering up until the 43-yard punt return, which drives you crazy. An outstanding returner back there, but nevertheless, we have worked on this all week long. That area right now is a real issue for us and we are continuing to try to work on it. As you know, it just is something that has been very difficult for us to wrap our arms around consistently.

Q: With Corey Washington, he obviously did a lot of good things in the preseason but hasn't gotten on the field much in the regular season. Has that been a product of just the numbers?

A: No, it is the idea that you have people that are starters who are in positions above him and those guys are going to get the majority of the snaps right now.

Q: The idea of handling prosperity is not a new question in your time with the Giants. Is that something you are looking at again? That notion of figuring out why the highs are very high and the lows very low?

A: To be honest, I haven't thought a lot about that just yet, because of the nature of where we are now. The humility should and is deserved. The ability to continue to rise and to improve as a football team is my concern. Where is the consistency?

Q: I think you were feeling quite good about the offensive line in the last two games. What is your level of concern that it seemed like you were breaking down across the line…..?

A: You can't pick any one person out because we certainly took turns. The pass protection breakdowns were something that we haven't seen a lot of and I am giving a lot of credit to their defensive front, they played well. They played as well as I have seen them play, and I looked at every one of their games. They played as well, or better, against us as they had all season long and that is to their credit.

Q: On the defensive side of the ball yesterday, you guys played a nickel defense pretty much the whole time. Jacquian Williams was on the field a lot of less than maybe he was in the past. What went into those decisions for you guys and how did Jon Beason do?

A: The decisions are basically made on the personnel, the list of personnel combinations that are used most often. How those personnel combinations are used as you. Philadelphia has not rushed the ball as well as they did in our game up until yesterday when they rushed for 203 yards. They had been complaining and talking about it all year long. We felt like because the top two personnel combinations that Philadelphia featured in the game, we felt we would be better off rather than getting caught in substitution issues back and forth. As they substituted out over the ball, our number one concern would be to stay in a certain personnel combination ourselves. That will be looked at again as we go forward. Jon Beason played hard; he was obviously rusty, a little bit rusty. Nevertheless, he is a force when he is in the game. I will have to see how exactly he feels today, tomorrow, etc., to be able to talk about going forward.

Q: If I can come back to Victor Cruz for a minute. You have been in the game long enough to witness more injuries than you probably care to remember, but was that just a tough one?

A: You try to separate the two. The player that you are losing, and then you focus in on what the injury was. He was in a lot of pain. It was one of those things that you wonder where the buildup was coming from prior to the actual event. You realize right away once that whole scenario took place with the dropped ball and everything, that it had occurred prior to that. Certainly there was a lot of pain, certainly he is going to have to go through a lot to get back to where he was. He has been challenged his whole life, I don't see him backing down from any challenge whatsoever. He is an outstanding contributor to our team and, one of which, obviously on the field, and the second way is the way that his strength and character, and what he meant to us. In the locker room we will miss all of those things. As I said, we have to move on.

Q: Geoff Schwartz is eligible to practice this week..

A: Geoff Schwartz is going to run this week, he is going to run. I don't know if he will practice, but he is going to run with the medical crew this week.

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