Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Could you give us a little update on the mental state of your team after the long travel ordeal?
A: Well, I think they've handled it very well. I think that the guys realized right away that it was out of our hands and really fully out of our control. We fully expected to get into Minnesota – that didn't work, we diverted to Kansas City, tried to resume our meetings last night and just as soon as we did – about a half hour into the meetings – we got word that the game was going to be moved – probably moved to Monday night, so we quickly knew that we had another full day, so we tried to prepare our team for that, then early morning I got the phone call about the collapsed roof and at that point in time there were a series of phone calls back and forth between the owners and the commissioner and that type of thing, so we actually spent most of the morning waiting. I had scheduled a couple of meetings, which I thought were going to be information meetings, but I really didn't have any, so we kind of waited it out and then the decision was made and Continental could fly us, which was another question mark, even today, because it's storming here in Detroit, so Continental thought we had a window and we took it. We are here, it is snowy, et cetera, et cetera, but we're here. I think that having finalized exactly what the schedule is and when we will play and the fact that we're in Detroit and that type of thing, I think that as our meetings begin here this evening shortly, I think our players will zoom back into the mental part of it. It's back into the hands of something that we can do something about. We're here, the game is scheduled for 7:20. We got an unexpected – we were going to leave very early in the morning this morning. That changed with the news last night, so we backed that off a little bit. Actually we've been doing a lot of waiting around for information.
Q: Will the inability to have any physical work the past couple days be a problem?
A: I don't think it will. Most of the guys will go to the stadium tomorrow and go on the field and do some vigorous exercises – running, et cetera – and then come in and shower and dress for the game, so I think that part of it will be done. It's obviously not the way you want it to be, but you do what you have to do. We have to be focused now on the fact that we've had some issues here with weather and we've had some problems as a result of it, but the time awaiting us is very close to that intent.
Q: Have you had any time to get a jump on next week's Eagles game since it'll be a short week?
A: As soon as it ends up being a Monday night game, you click with your staff into a Monday night game preparation in terms of using your time, for example tomorrow morning, to be organized for the next opponent. We will do that, it wasn't expected, we didn't travel with that information. We didn't travel with a lot of clothes, to be honest with you. We've got most of our players and coaches here with a couple of days worth of clothes, but we will kick into a preparation mode in the morning tomorrow and then of course shut it off in the afternoon for the game.
Q: Do you expect Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks to play?
A: Well, we'll see how that goes, but the decision will be made tomorrow on both of those guys.
Q: Does this compare to anything you've ever been through?
A: No. No. I have been asked that question and I have tried to think of anything that's even close, but to be honest with you, I don't think there is anything.
Q: Are the players in high spirits?
A: They are. This afternoon while we waited we were entertained a little bit by some of our rookie vocalists. That seems to always stir them up. They've handled it well and we certainly are fully aware of it. I think tonight's meeting will be really sharp, so here we go.
Q: Have you done anything to keep the spirits of the team up or anything like that?
A: Just kind of talking through it and getting with the coach and figuring out what our schedule is, and doing whatever we have to do to get ready. You toss that around with the players and make sure that the guys do everything they need to do to stay focused and that we're doing everything correctly to get our minds right. Earlier today when we were sitting around trying to figure out where we were going to play this game and we didn't know where we were playing, we had a meeting and I made the rookies do a little singing, and kind of lighten the mood a little bit with all the players being around each other and just kind of hang out and have a little fun and take advantage of this opportunity to do a little team bonding. This is different, but I thought we've kept good spirits and good focus. We understand that this is an important game and it's going to come down to who treats it with a business-like mentality and stays prepared.
Q: Are you worried about the physical part at all since you guys haven't really done anything physical for a couple days?
A: I think we'll get a little walk through or chair drill tomorrow morning just to move around a little bit and get our minds back into football. Run through some mock plays and I think that'll do us pretty good just to get to walk around and get some movement because in essence we've been just sitting around since Saturday morning at nine o'clock. We were on a plane, and have had several plane trips later and hotels. We should be very well rested, and now we have to make sure that we're mentally prepared. It's been awhile since we've run any plays and talked football. So we'll have some meetings tonight and tomorrow and some chair drills tomorrow morning as I talked about before just to get our minds focused on what we have to do.
Q: You done anything to prepare for the Eagles since it's going to be a short week?
A: No, I have to focus on this week. I know sometimes some coaches will do that but as a player, you don't want to start flip flopping. The Eagles are a team that obviously we played already and know them pretty well. My focus is on Minnesota, just going over my notes and the game plan and staying sharp on everything we have to do.
Q: Can the team bonding you guys have been doing help down the stretch of this season?
A: I hope so. I hope it's something maybe that we can deal with whatever is thrown at us. Whether you have controversy or traveling around to different cities not knowing where you're going to play the game and having the time and day changed on you. It still comes down to how you perform, in this case on Monday night. How do you perform in the game played, do you stay focused, do you have enough leaders to keep the younger guys in tune with what's going on? So, hopefully it will make us stronger. We can't make excuses and we can't complain about anything because both teams are dealing with the circumstances and we have to go play the game.
Q: What exactly is the "chair drill"?
A: We do this for any night game or four o'clock game, we have 15-20 plays we run through as an offense. We huddle up, break the huddle, change personnel, and we have other players as the defense out there who change looks and we just walk-through different things and talk about it. This will probably be the most important one since it's been awhile since we have done anything football related. Usually we have a full walk through and meetings on Saturday before the game but since we tried to leave early, we didn't do that this week. We were going to do it Saturday afternoon in Minnesota but that got cancelled. We were going to do it today in Minnesota, that got cancelled. We were going to try to do a little bit in Detroit but we got in pretty late here. A lot of scheduling has been moved around and cancelled on us, so we'll have meetings tonight but it'll be good tomorrow morning to get a little in. We'll go over plays and walking around and have an opportunity to get re-focused exactly on what Minnesota does and what we need to do for the game.
Q: Who was the best singer of the rookies?
A: Mitch (Petrus), he did a lot freestyling and stuff. He did a lot of country, mostly freestyling. Mitch, no question.
Q: How anxious are you to play this game?
Q: Any rust from sitting around all this time?
A: I think hopefully we can get that out of our system tonight and tomorrow. A lot of guys have been getting kind of tired, so right now we're trying to get off our feet and get mentally back into this football game. There have been a lot of ups and downs and a lot of uncertainty under it and now I guess things are set in stone. At least we know when and where we're playing, and the rest of it we'll have to handle on the football field.
Q: Any value of spending all this time together?
A: We're kind of getting tired of each other (laughs). All of us are in this, I guess, and it's like recreating a bad Christmas movie, that's what we've been feeling like. Doesn't have much to do with these guys.
Q: Advantage of using a neutral site and no Metrodome?
A: Well, I'm sure they like to play at home and they really thrive on their home crowd. I guess that was to their advantage, but we've been through a lot on this trip with the travel and everything. I guess the advantage kind of swings our way because there will be a lot of Green Bay fans there who will be rooting for us tomorrow who really hate the Vikings and will be rooting for us. We'll see how the crowd is when we get out there tomorrow night. Either way, we're a tough-minded football team and we know that this game is going to come down to mental toughness, which I think is one of our strong points.
Q: Seen any of the videos of the roof collapsing there?
A: I have not. I guess after this phone call, I'll look at it on the internet somewhere but I have not.
Q: All the team bonding, can that bring you guys together for the stretch run?
A: I hope so, there are a lot of positives in it. Obviously, we weren't prepared to spend this much time together but I think there are definitely positives with guys in their hotel rooms playing cards or talking with the guys next to them. It really has been a positive bonding experience and you get to know guys that you didn't know as well. Hopefully that bodes well for us going into this playoff run.