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Coughlin's Corner


Q: Last week in Philly, you had contributions from players like Victor Cruz, Jacquian Williams and Rocky Bernard, who you said played well on the goal line stands. You're always talking about how you need everyone to win a game. Can you point to that game now and say "this is what I'm talking about?"Coughlin: "You need everybody. There isn't any way around it. The status of the league indicates to you that your 53 are all involved and are all necessary in order for you to win. So that point was driven home by the fact that so many guys contributed last week. That's what you're looking for. You're looking for contributions out of everyone, and you're looking for the idea that in order for you to win, I firmly believe that you have people that are recognized and that you're counting on. But guess what, people that you don't necessarily think – or aren't necessarily recognized by the media – somebody like that has to come through for you."

Q: Last week was a big emotional win against a team you hadn't beaten in a while and everyone targeted that game. Looking from the outside, the game in Arizona this Sunday looks like it can be a letdown game. How do you prevent that?Coughlin: "It's all in your preparation. What this team has been appealed to understand is that if you properly – if you understand how this league works and how over the course of 16 games this works, what you're looking for is you're aiming much higher than one single game. You're trying to use this game or any game as a stepping stone to further success. You're trying to use whatever you did well that week as a model to try to, again, recall how it happened, why it happened so that you, quite frankly, can do all those things in future preparations."

Q: The Cardinals have a new defensive coordinator (Ray Horton). You said in your news conference you don't know the Cardinals as well as you do some other teams, which requires extra study. When do you do that?Coughlin: "In the offseason, you go back, you study, you do your research not only on the team and the individuals but on the coaches and where the coaches come from – what tree are they from? So you trace it back."

Q: So you study Pittsburgh, where Horton coached the previous seven years?Coughlin: "(Offensive coordinator) Mike Miller, quite frankly, is a Pittsburgh guy too, born and raised there. (Head coach Ken) Whisenhunt, that's where his tree is, too."

Q: You were asked about Eli and said everybody is involved in reducing interceptions and turnovers. Do you keep driving that point home to him, even telling him if he has to take a sack and you have to punt the ball, it's not so bad and you'll get them next time? Do you see him developing in that area?Coughlin: "I think he's focused on that. I think he's very aware of that. I think he does everything that he can to avoid creating a situation that might be a turnover. I think he's worked very hard at that. And hopefully everybody on offense is the same way. Ball security, whether you're a receiver or a runner, protecting the ball as a quarterback, knowing when there's a sense of people being around you, two hands on the football. You can't expect a man to have eyes in the back of his head, but it helps."

Q: You spoke to Aaron Ross last week and he had two interceptions in Philadelphia. If you could guarantee those results, you'd have one-on-one conversations with each player every week. All kidding aside, were you pleased with the way he responded after you spoke with him?Coughlin: "The way he played, he really did an outstanding job of understanding the level of the game and nature of the game and what was happening according to time and field position and the number of timeouts that the opponent had and all those kinds of things. I thought he really was into the subtleties of the game, the game within the game, if you will. I thought he did a nice job of that."

Q: Going in, people probably looked at (Philadelphia defensive end) Trent Cole and thought he had a matchup advantage against Will Beatty. No one asked you about Beatty, which I'm guessing indicates he did pretty well.Coughlin: "He played well. He did a good job. Cole is an exceptional football player with a great motor. I think Beatty studied him well, and he knew the way in which Cole likes to play – the starting point from which his game comes, which is power. I think also you have to give credit to the backs and the tight ends and everyone else that was involved in the process of protection, where the uncovered helped, where the backs chipped, where the tight ends took up space and got help. So there was a lot of different means by which we tried to go about protecting the quarterback against an exceptional pass rusher."

Q: Last week you played Jacquian Williams and Deon Grant a lot to combat Philadelphia's speed. Do you think with your defensive personnel you have the ability to play well against many different styles of offense?Coughlin: "You've already done that in a lot of ways, just because of the nature of the teams that we've played to this point. So I still say it starts with pressure. You're trying to reduce the amount of time that the quarterback has to sit back there. It's a physical game, and the more physical that we make it, the better off we are."

Q: Antrel Rolle talked about his penalty and the scuffle he got into in Philadelphia. It's emotional for him going back to Arizona. In general, do players sometimes walk a fine line between playing smart, physical, aggressive football and overdoing it and getting caught up in the emotion?Coughlin: "I don't know about the fine line. It's a very physical game, and Antrel has proven to everyone, really, that he is a physical player. He plays down at the line of scrimmage. He tackles well. He does a very good job of that. So that part of it has been established and everyone knows. He came back the second day and said that no penalty is acceptable. A player has to walk a very fine line from one standpoint. It isn't about the individual, it really isn't. It's about the team. Every time you have a chance to make a decision about what consequences come from your behavior – if it's not going to help your team, then you can't do it. You just can't do it."

Q: You made a decision to go for two points after the first of your two fourth-quarter touchdowns against the Eagles. If you had kicked the extra point your lead would have jumped from four to five points, which doesn't seem like it would make an immediate difference because a touchdown would still put you behind. At that point, do you have to project what could happen later in the game?Coughlin: "Sure. You have to. That's why you keep a chart, too. The chart said go for two. The thinking being that if they score and go for two, you can still beat them with a field goal. You don't usually go that early, but that game against them at that point with, what, eight minutes left – they can score fast. You have to do what you have to do. The next time, it appeared to me with 3:32 left, they had no timeouts left. So if you could bleed them and recover the onside kick, there's no threat."

Q: One of the first attributes about the Cardinals that jumps out is their ability to block kicks, as well as their return specialists.Coughlin: "Best since 2008 (an NFL-high 10 blocked kicks). Their two returners are unbelievable. The young rookie (Patrick) Peterson, the two kickoff returners (A.J. Jefferson and LaRod Stephens-Howling) average 30 yards and Peterson averages 18 yards a punt return. They run, they hit, they're physical. They've got physical players on their team. They do a great job there. Their field goal block team in exceptional. You've got a 6-foot-7½ (Calais) Campbell in a spot. They knock the living daylights out of you. (Darnell) Dockett, the backup nose guard (David Carter), Campbell, (Clark) Haggans, (Adrian) Wilson and off the edge comes the rookie with 4.37 speed, the 219-pound corner, Peterson. They're good. They cover. They run. You've got Jay Feely's little bump, you've got to watch out for his little dribble onside kick. You've got a lot of stuff now, a lot of stuff."

Q: Another team that likes to blitz a lot…Coughlin: "A ton. You've got a big percentage, a big percentage, pressure team with a lot of blitz. It's probably the same or maybe a little bit more on paper than St. Louis. They have a lot of pressure."

Q: I imagine you're getting accustomed to playing teams that play that way.Coughlin: "A lot of people are doing it. Wilson is very good at it. He'll be down at the line of scrimmage most of the day the way he plays. The linebackers are fast. They're a veteran team. Look at the outside backers. They've been around a long time (Joey Porter 13 years and Haggans 12)."

Q: Does (quarterback) Kevin Kolb look like he's settled into that offense?Coughlin: "You can see where his arm is exceptional. It's quick, too. He gets it out quick. He gets the ball to (Larry) Fitzgerald anyway they can. He makes plays."





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