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Coach Tom Coughlin's Press Conference


Good afternoon. Thank God. Football is here. Holy cow. I told the players, starting two weeks ago my wife to anybody who would listen to her said would you please get him out of here, please. And that's pretty much the way I think probably the other coaches and the players and their wives, the way they looked at it as well. We're excited and we're really looking forward to starting our camp with this new experience here at the TimexPerformance Center. It's also a new experience with our new CBA. We're trying to decipher all of the information that's come forth from the league in a short amount of time and we've changed our practice schedules and schedules for camp probably ten times and hopefully now we can stick with something. I'll just start by saying that we have, I'm going to say, 77 people in camp. Seven of our draft choices are signed, as you know. We had one PUP, one did not report. We have six new contract issues that won't be able to practice until August 4th and we probably have seven guys, they ran well, but their body fat is probably a little bit more than we would like. So we'll keep our eye on those guys. Four of them are rookies and so we'll go from there. This was not a conditioning test. It was a conditioning run. I told them that what I really wanted to do was just to see them, take a look at them, to know where we are and to know how've they've done in this time off, if they've trained meticulously. How will they will be in running shape and of course when they hit the weight room. With that we'll meet tonight and then we'll come in and go through our routine tomorrow and then practice with helmets and shells tomorrow afternoon at 6:05.

Q: Who's your PUP?A: Barden sits out on PUP.

Q: Reason for time of practices during camp?A: We felt like that was the best opportunity that we had to, I think it's probably three or maybe four to one, the mental part of game that we go forth into it. We've had no time, even with our rookies. There's been no opportunity to tell them about the culture of the New York Giants, to introduce them to Giant football. Our new players, our [unrestricted free agents] will be the same. So what I felt was that this was the best opportunity for us since we are afforded one practice, whether it's a shell or a padded practice plus a walk-through. We feel like the meeting and the walk-through, the meetings of installation and then tying it all together for camp later in the day gives us the best opportunity to bring people up to speed with what we want to do. I think as we get going, what we can do in the morning, which is better than normally you can do in a two-a-day, is we can correct, we can teach off the night before's film. We can jog through corrections. We can expound on corrections to different things that might take place and the same defense or offence that an error has been made. I think we can do a pretty good job of teaching and bringing people up to speed. I think it will be good for us to go maybe six, eight practices and then take another look at how it's all coming down and shaping up and then give an opportunity again to evaluate what need's to be adjusted and so on and so forth. I felt that this was our best way to get started. Our best way to install, practice and correct.

Re: meeting with Plaxico…A: I'm looking forward to it. I'll be open minded about it. It's an opportunity for us, in a confidential setting to sit down and really, what I feel is it will be Plaxico's opportunity to speak. I'm going to listen and decipher and I'll ask questions, but basically I would like to hear what he has to say.

Q: Where you personally hurt by what he's already said on ESPN?A: Not at all. Not at all.

Q: Have you heard it?A: At the time, it really was typical of what we've heard prior to and after and I will just leave it at that.

Q: What has changed? You are who you are…A: Let me just say this to you, what is there to change? When you sign on to go to work for somebody, the basic thing is you got to go to work. You got to be there. You get there on time. What's there to change? When you come right down to it, that's the basic ingredient or rule. Jump into the team as hard as you can, as fast as you can. Be a part of the team, but understand your responsibility. People depend on you.

Q: Are you the judge and jury to see if he gets to the next step?A: As we say, that's the first step. How I feel after that, I'll communicate to Jerry, to ownership, and we'll make decisions and go from there.

Q: Kind of a lot to gather from one meeting. Can he change your mind in an hour or so when you meet?A: I think it certainly would be a good starting point. If it's a positive meeting and we decide that we would like to hear the next stage, then we can talk about the next stage.

Q: Why were you willing to take this meeting?A: Because number one, ownership would like to think that we could sit down and talk about it. Secondly, this is business. It's not personal for me. It's business. I can separate the two. I have no ego in terms of what I have to accomplish with regards to him or anybody else. I'm willing to listen

Q: A few years later, what's the impact?A: No one person determines the winning or losing of games. The fact of the matter is right there. We were 10-1. We did go 11-1. We did finish quit very, very well the day that we didn't have him and it was under a very emotional circumstances. It has to have been, if you remember. There isn't any question that our team was in position at that time. We gave people an opportunity. Obviously, if you look at the film with Plaxico not on the film, I'm sure adjustments were made and we got into the playoffs and didn't score very many points.

Q: When do you expect to see Osi?A: I don't know. I'm not sure. Hopefully tomorrow.

Q: Are you operating as if he will be on the team?A: I am. I will continue to do so. Osi is an excellent player. He's part of our team. He's under contract. He gives us a great chance to win. The more outstanding players you can have, the better. Again, I realize what has been said here, but what I would like to see happen is obviously Osi come in, sit down and talk to Jerry and then decide that he wants to be a Giant and make a difference on our team.

Q: Have you talked to him today?A: I have not. We talked prior to the lockout.

Q: Football standpoint, can Plax perform after his time away from the NFL?A: That's the speculation. He'll also be 34 years old in a little. I know he was thin coming out of incarceration, but what he did, as far as conditioning goes in there – I will say this and we all know this, he's a very rare athlete.

Q: What do you want him to say?A: That will be between him and I.

Q: When was the last time you talked to Plax? Late in the 2008 season?A: Yes.

Q: Did you consider visiting him?A: I didn't consider it seriously. I know that his position coach went to see him, which I thought was nice. Listen, regardless of what my feelings might have been then or whatever, I felt very, very badly for his wife, for his son, the fact that he had a daughter born while he was not home. My only concern went to, not thinking that there would even be this opportunity when he was released, that he would be with his family and have some opportunities to spend family time and to create some type of normalcy for his wife and his kids.

Q: Difficult to start camp without O'Hara and Seubert?A: Absolutely. It's hard to start anything without those two guys.

Q: How hard is it for you to play catch up, to get some rhythm?A: I wouldn't be surprised if it takes the better part of a week. Just think about when six contracts are going to join us. August 4th we still are not at 90. I would like to be there. We have some positions where the numbers are not where they need to be for us to even have a quality practice. We need to solve some of those issues too going forward. We fully expected and anticipated this, knowing full well that if it went as far as it did and was very late getting settled, that it would be a scramble. Our people have worked their tale off. They've done a good job. These things don't happen fast. We would love to pick up the phone and talk to somebody that's over and done with and they report the next minute, but that's not the way it works.

Q: Do you have to hear remorse from Plaxico?A: What I have to hear is sincerity.

Q: When you say a player can't practice until the fourth, does that mean no strength coaches?A: No.

Q: Can they watch practice?A: No. They are not to be on the field.

Q: Can they watch from inside?A: My office is available if they'd like to sit there. 

Q: Were you surprised you were asked to meet with Plaxico?A: Nobody asked me to do that. It moved to that. We had talked about it. Quite frankly, I said exactly what I said. I said I'd be willing to talk to him.

Q: Does the state of the league factor into what you're looking for?A: I'm hoping that what commitment means is commitment.

Q: Left side of the offensive line?A: We'll see. It's time for other guys to have opportunities.

Q: Who came to you and said you can't have two-a-days anymore?A: I followed all along. I followed it all along. We were given some ideas about what might come down at the league meeting. So a lot of the steam got spent from that point on. But I am a firm believer in you have to worry about the things you can change and have something to say about, but this one's not one of them.

Q: Are Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin enough or ready to replace Barry Cofield?A: They certainly are going to have every opportunity. With Linval's talent, he should be. I'm hoping Marvin can come along as fast as possible. Maybe someone will come out of the hunt to a degree.

Q: Did Marvin look like a guy who hasn't played football in two years?A: Jogging back and forth, I can't tell you that.

Q: How confident are you in bringing back Bradshaw, Boss and the others?A: We'll see. I'm hoping.

Q: What are you expecting Plaxico is willing to do what it takes?A: That's what I'm hoping. That's a positive sign, I think. What I mean by that is, a person can change. All of these questions you're asking me, I haven't seen him in two year, why wouldn't I have an opportunity to sit and talk with him, especially if he wanted to talk.

Q: Do you think you can determine if he's changed in however long the meeting is?A: Maybe. I'll have a pretty good thought, a pretty good idea.

Q: Why wasn't Brandon here?A: Brandon's one of the contracts.

Q: He's going to have to wait until the fourth?A: Yes.

Q: Impressed Eli was holding practices during the lockout or did that scare you?A: Not at all. Great. I like it. I'm glad he took the initiative.

Q: Because you restructured Jacobs' contract he can't be here until August 4th?A: He can't. Until August 4th he can't go.

Q: Any reaction to your contract extension?A: Glad to be here.

Q: Anyone impress you?A: At the physical? I wasn't at the physical. Thank you.

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