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Coach Tom Coughlin Interview


Opening Remarks:

Good afternoon. It is no fun. The best way I can say it is that they had the ball last and that is what I really believe. There are a lot good plays. They make a lot of good plays and we make a lot of good plays. We make plays that I would like to have back and I am sure that they would say the same thing. We throw an interception and it scores and they throw an interception and it takes us two plays but we still score. That balances off and the fumble before the half, I really think that we are going to go score. That is what we deny ourselves. They miss a field goal after having recovered it but I think we are going to go score so we take points down for us, which you don't want to do. We ran the ball and we stopped the run. The quarterback had 32 of their rushing yards last night and he hurt us. The one drive, he had an 11-yard run and he had a 13-yard run. He hurt us pulling the ball down and running, there is no doubt. It was one of those games and it was very exciting, except for the conclusion.Q: Can you talk a little more about the guys who had to step in on short notice?

A: I complemented them again today because I am always illustrating to our team examples of things in life that I want them to understand, whether it is historical or whatever. There is an example right here of a guy who was ready when the opportunity came. When he came to the stadium, I don't know if Mitch Petrus knew if he was going to dress, but not only was he going to dress but he is now starting at left guard and plays the entire football game. It wasn't perfect, but you see his power, you see his ability and you see him up against some really good defensive people who are really big, sizeable defensive linemen. He plays well against them and I like his attitude and the way he went about it. There were no big eyes or anything, he just went to work. He trusted himself, he trusted his preparation. You know now that he does prepare and when given the opportunity, he played well.

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Q: Does it impress you more because he was going up against B.J. Raji?

A: He did and sometimes Raji was over there where Snee was and sometimes he was on the left side. You are right, whomever you put there, they were all massive individuals. The other guy is Boothe. How do you not recognize what this guy has done. Whatever you ask him to do, he does it. With five minutes notice or with no notice, he just goes and plays. I said to him that there was one time that you notice where Eli was bobbling the snap when he was up under the center and then he threw a 67-yard touchdown pass, so I would take the bobble if the result was going to be that every time.

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Q: Does Boothe look at it as if it is a big deal?

A: To him, it is probably the way he thinks, the way he plays and the way he reacts. It probably wasn't. When I talked to him it was like, 'here you go, Boothe. You are now the center' and he was like, 'ok' with a big smile and away he went. There were a lot of guys. Defensively, there were a lot of guys moving in and playing all over the place. We lose Kenny Phillips so we have to make adjustments right there on the fly with coverage and guys playing certain positions. We do have this and we don't have that. It is not unusual and it happens all the time at our level but for once, it is probably a good idea to recognize the way guys go about their business under pressure when changes have to be made. 

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Q: How much of a concern are David Baas' headaches?

A: He is going to spend a great deal of today with various medical people in trying to decide that.

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Q: Was it from the hits or anything?

A: I am not sure about it. I wouldn't want to say anything. We do have an idea and we are going in that direction but I wouldn't want to say anything until it is proven. Hopefully it can be gotten under control.

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Q: How serious is the issue with Stacy Andrews?

A:  It is a very, very serious medical condition.

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Q: Will it end his season?

A: Yes, it will.

Q: Will he be able to continue his career?

A: Yes, but he just can't go back to football right now and I am not sure that he has even been told.

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Q: How bad is Kenny Phillips?

A: He is over (at Hospital for Special Surgery) most of the day and I am not sure yet.

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Q: It is serious?

A: I don't know…honestly because you have seen them jump up and run off the field and the next day it is an ACL.

Q: Is the run game better because Ahmad is back there?

A: Brandon had some powerful, powerful runs and Ahmad sends the message. He really does. He's not going down. You see what he did on that opening pass play where he caught the ball, was knocked around, boom, boom, boom, boom. It looked like a three-yard gain and all of a sudden it's a seven-yard gain. He brings with him a serious, serious attitude about playing the game and being physical and not accepting things that don't go well. He's serious.

Q: Is the offense more suited for Ahmad?

A: No, I'm saying that we've developed a certain style and we really didn't waver from that except for one play with Ahmad. So I'm hoping it's going to continue. I liked our approach there. We had a two-point play, was a huge play, and that was Danny Ware and he did a good job with that. And [he] caught a nice pass prior to that, too, to get us down in there.

Q: You talked about the team becoming closer because of this?

A: I think it will be. I mentioned that, yeah, because of what they've been through here. I think it brings you a little bit closer together when you set your eye on something that nobody believes that you can do and you believe it and you play that way. And although it's very, very difficult, and I mentioned last night, there's no solace to playing well and losing, I'm not talking about that at all. I'm just saying they have to gain something from knowing that together they were able to accomplish it. For the most part, all three phases did support one another. I think when you look at special teams, they had one kickoff return to the 40, that hurt. But we were able to pretty much have good coverage teams. Our kickoff returns were good, could have been a little bit better, to be honest with you, but they were good. We had a 50-yard field goal. We were very physical on teams. The last drive we did get the ball started in pretty good field position as well. That part of it was good. The one drive that bothers me because you know when you give them the ball around midfield you're probably going to pay for it, was that late drive that was three-and-out. That hurt. We had the first shot, the pass to Hakeem. The third down call was a full blitz into something that we needed to make an adjustment to that we didn't make the right adjustment to and the ball wasn't exactly thrown as we would have liked it to have been. And that hurt because we had to punt the ball right back and they got it with good field position. And then, of course, the 58 seconds, which anybody can second-guess that. The question that you were asking me about last night, Mike [Garafolo], about whether or not you want a player to take a risk like that, Jacquian, the technicality of that was all of that stuff was to be played outside-in. The interior people were to be outside-in. That was the call, but Jacquian lost that position and so he did make an attempt to make a play and didn't get a chance to make a play. So you correct a young kid, a young guy who's playing an awful lot of football for someone who didn't expect, really, probably to do anything but special teams. There you go.

Q: How did you lay the rest of the season out to the team?

A: I talked to them about that because I think our goals are still in hand. Everything that we wanted to achieve at the very beginning of the season, having played 12 weeks, they're still there. This is obviously a big game in the division, in Dallas, for first place in the division.

Q: Did you discuss the various scenarios?A: I wouldn't even go that far. It's one [game]. It's the game that's right in front of us.

Q: Can you use this game for momentum like you used the loss to Patriots in '07?

A: Each year's a different year. Each team's a new team. Here we go. Which recital would you like today?

Re: the shuffling of responsibilities after losing Stacy Andrews on Saturday night

A: Not completed. I guess it was. It had to do with all of the things that prevailed after Stacy was not going to be able to go. Because Stacy worked all week as the big tight end and we had him in all of those blocking formations as the big tight end. Then when we lost him it was a question of who's active offensively, to be honest with you, and then it was a question of how are we going to maintain these different formations. And if we do, is it better to utilize the tight ends now. And that's what happens. So now Hynoski becomes someone who's really important because Bear can play some of the tight end spots. It became a numbers game.

Q: Was this just one great game for Linval or had you seen continued improvement leading up to this?

A: This game, I said to Linval, 'Stop the run, stop the run, stop the run.' And he did do a nice job of that. I think he had 10 tackles.

Re: the ruling on the Driver TD catch

A: Quite frankly, I haven't had a chance to call [the NFL office] and talk to Carl (Johnson). I would go so far as to say that most of us know exactly what the rule reads like, but I've seen it interpreted a lot of different ways. So it's confusing to me.

Re: punt return game of late

A: There's not much to talk about. There were a lot of fair catches. It's a lot of things. It's a combination of things. Some of what you saw, you're backed up and the ball is being punted down inside the 10 yard-line or attempted anyway from a short distance, maybe from the plus 46 to the minus 48, whatever. I think that kind of a kick is high, it has good hang time, it's not very long so it's covered pretty well and you end up with your fair catches there. I thought there was one opportunity, JJ had a chance, but the one gunner was not controlled and actually ended up being almost in his face. So he could have caught it. They didn't have much either, but we didn't have much other than fair catch opportunities.

Q: You guys have played well in a number of big games in Dallas.

A: I hope there's another one.

* *

Q: Any information on Prince and Paysinger's injuries?

A: Not other than the fact that they're nursing in the training room. I don't know what the speculation is exactly, but I haven't talked to Ronnie about the list.

Q: Will Osi practice this week?

A: It will end up being kind of a day-to-day thing on how he feels. The original prognosis would be no, but we'll see.

Q: How are Boley and Bradshaw feeling today?

A: Both are sore. To be expected. Bradshaw is telling me it's not as bad as you know.

Q: Tollefson's knee?

A: Yeah, but I really don't know anything about that either. He's a tough guy and if there's any way, he'll go. I don't have the actual report on [him]. They called it a contusion with swelling.

Q: The challenges last night?

A: The challenges last night, we're going to challenge [Ballard's catch in the end zone] because I just saw a picture which made me sick to my stomach, which FOX produced and showed that he's in. Don't ask me about that because I really don't know why, but I did see the picture. And the second one, I really shouldn't have challenged. It was right on our sideline, but it was a third and three and I was very much aware of where the ball was going, where it was headed and if there was any way that could have been turned around and they were hurrying up to the ball to snap it. So I really didn't get a great call from upstairs. I've been overly aggressive with those calls, not waiting for any kind of advice from upstairs. It seems like we've had a series of things that have not been clear and even when the pictures are there, not been really clear, that I've gone ahead and challenged anyway. I've done so for a number of reasons, but last night I challenged the Ballard thing. No question about that. I wasn't going to not challenge that and then have somebody tell me, 'Did you know he was in?' And then, as I said, the one on the sideline, I was upset, I really was because it was third-and-three. I thought we had them stopped.

* *

Q: Did FOX show you that picture?

A: Actually, Jerry Reese was carrying it around.* *

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