Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Just to reiterate some of the things we said last night, I was very pleased with the way the guys handled last weekend. Although some parts of our game didn't reflect it, I thought we got ourselves ready to play. Our defense certainly played well and bailed out the two interceptions early on as the offense got started.
I thought the running game was outstanding. I thought the two-minute drive before the half was outstanding. I don't think we were as effective with the passing game as we have been or will be.
I thought that the special teams, our coverage teams, let us down and I do think that there were some signs of heavy legs there. It's not an excuse, it's just reality. It's what it looked like to me. I'm sure that can be improved upon.
Again, the number one thing we went into this game for defensively was to stop the run, and we did do that. We did it with consistency and we did it throughout the game against one of the premier if not the premier runner in the game. I was pleased with that aspect of it.
We did feel like the Vikings have an outstanding defensive team and it would be an all-day kind of a battle. We probably ran the ball as well as we could've expected. The throw and catch from Eli to Kevin Boss right before the half was just an outstanding way to finish the half ending up with three seconds left. The thin post on the outside to Hakeem Nicks was an outstanding football play, we just need more of them. We need more production, more points, and obviously more big plays. We don't want to step back in terms of the big play aspect of it, and as I said, I think our coverage teams have been doing better.
Certainly our kickoff coverage team had been doing a good job. Our punt coverage team has had lapses and that's obviously got to be eliminated.
Overall, we went out to Minnesota with the idea of 'get the win, keep the pace' and that type of thing, and that was accomplished.
Q: How have the preparations for the Eagles on the unexpected short week been different?
A: When you play a Monday night game, you prepare for utilizing Monday, and I think I've already said this to you, a great part of the Monday in terms of the next opponent. We were able to do that. We did not know we were going into a Monday night game so therefore we weren't able to be as efficient as you might want to be with all the time that you have. We did the best we could with it. We did have some down time when we were all waiting for the assignment of the exact schedule that we would keep so that was time that was spent waiting rather than being productive. We did get some work done and we're trying to make up for the rest of it right now.
Q: How does the week feel – do you feel back to normal or has your normal routine been turned upside down?
A: We aren't in our normal routine, obviously it's not the same. We make adjustments, and we did make adjustments as we usually do after a Monday night game. We allow that the first part of the Wednesday day is also done in preparation. The players come in a little bit later, and that way we do give them a chance to have a good night's sleep and a little bit more rest before they come in to start the new week. That's how we'll catch up. I think that by Wednesday night, we will be on our normal schedule.
Q: Will that allay any of the concerns about the heavy legs you thought you saw?
A: I think we need work. I think it looked to me like we could've benefitted from some activity. I think we'll make up for that this week.
Q: Any ideas about the two receivers who were hurt?
A: No, they're undergoing MRIs and tests right now.
Q: Any sense of how they felt today?
A: No. Both sore.
Q: How about Clint Sintim?
A: He has an ACL. As soon as they get the swelling down, he'll have to have surgery.
Q: What is at stake this week for you guys?
A: When we came away from there with the loss, and a game or two after that even we had made the resolve that we needed to get ourselves going and be able to keep pace, we needed to put some wins together to have the opportunity to play the Eagles again and be in the position that we're in. So, we all know first place in the division is at stake, and what Philadelphia has done and what the Giants have done is to give themselves an opportunity to be in position right now to play for the lead. That's where we are, and it is of huge significance. These are the kind of games you want to be playing in the middle of December in the National Football League.
Q: Do you think you have a better team right now than the one you took to Philly three weeks ago?
A: Well, we have a team that is striving to be as good as we can be. We've won three games in a row which has given us some confidence and some things to rely and build on. I think for the last two games anyway that we've had some outstanding numbers in our rush game. Our defense continues to be solid. Two weeks ago we had a tremendous number of turnovers, last night not as many, but we accomplished the objective that we knew we had to accomplish going in. Namely, to take a team that averaged 39 rushes a game and try and stop the run, and we were able to do that. From that standpoint, the objectives have been made and we'll have new objectives this week.
Q: Is Eli getting better? Were you alarmed by the interceptions yesterday?
A: Well, you're observing and you're watching and you're seeing. Nobody wants the interceptions. We started out talking about the fact that we did not want to turn the ball over. We had done really a good job the two previous weeks with the exception of one error and we wanted it to stay that way. We know that therein lies the opportunity that you need to win in our league is to not give it away and to take it away, so from that standpoint we were all disappointed and Eli is more disappointed than any of us, but that as I mentioned to you, having people back is a very nice thing. I think that Eli would probably tell you that the first throw was a poor throw and didn't accomplish what it had to and probably the second one he counted on the individual in the pattern to win against his opponent and he didn't, so the timing of the route was there and the ball had to be delivered or thrown away – I suppose it could have been thrown away, but he counts on people in that case to win and that didn't happen so we started off with two blemishes, but we did not let it stop us and our defense went out and bailed us out. There isn't any question that Eli is in the right frame of mind and excited about this opportunity as we all are and he'll be at his best this weekend.
Q: Was anyone in there today?
A: Oh yeah. There were a few of them in the weight room and a bunch of them in the training room but there are always guys around.
Q: Did you get a chance to catch up on any sleep? How do you feel?
A: Well, there is no way to catch up when you go to bed at 4:00 and you get up at 7:30, so that's just probably where everybody is today, but you'll get a little bit more perhaps tomorrow night and we'll go from there. We had at least one night – my catch up night is usually the night before the game, so I had one night with a few hours sleep more than normal, so the idea is to just stay sharp and different individuals are sharpest at different times. Mine is early in the day. I like to be up early and the thoughts are clearer, so today exemplified that probably.
Q: Are preparations different than after an expected Monday night game?
Q: Do you get more physical or scale back this week since guys might be tired and sluggish?
A: Well, the first thing you do is that our Wednesday afternoon is really nothing more than introducing our first day and will be a little bit better than a jog thru and that gives us a chance I think to catch up and then have two good days with Thursday and Friday being normal.
Q: If you don't have Steve Smith or Mario Manningham, how ready are Michael Clayton and Devin Thomas to take more snaps?
A: Well, they've been here for a few weeks now or a couple of weeks anyway, so they've been in meetings and they've had an opportunity to understand what's going on – they've had an opportunity to do it on the practice field, so it's one more week that they've prepared.
Q: Seen any progress in them?
A: Yes. I've seen them adapt and be more aware of what we're asking them to do.
Q: Any changes in the Eagles that you've noticed since last time, especially in their big play capability?
A: No. They still rely on the big play. I think the one interesting thing is how well they ran it the other night at the end of the game?
Q: Did you watch in the hotel?
A: I watched it up to a point and then did not finish watching the game, but I did watch it up to a point.
Q: Do you think the winner of this game will win the division?
A: We'll see. I'm not going any further. This is supposed to be about yesterday. Today is a day in which we're just getting started and re-collecting our thoughts on the Eagles, whether we've played them a few weeks ago or not and so let's basically leave it at that.
Q: Diehl was back this week. Did you sense a difference with him back in there?
A: Yes. No question. His veteran leadership, his positiveness – all of those things. It was very good to have him back. We should not have given up the sack. That was he was expecting help there and for whatever reason we got beyond being able to help in that situation, whether we were in a hurry to get out or whatever, but we did think we were pretty well protected over there and it just was a little bit of a breakdown.
Q: Will O'Hara be ready?
A: O'Hara will practice more and we'll go from there. We'll see how it is.
Q: How is Tuck?
A: Tuck – I think he's a little sore, but I don't think anything is going to hold him back.
Q: What does it mean to have Brandon Jacobs this fresh at this point in the season?
A: I think watching the two backs working together, I think the distribution was more even this past weekend and certainly both guys are – I think Ahmad is much better off than he was a year ago and I think that also holds true for Brandon.