Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: What do you know about Brian Witherspoon?
A: We worked him out a couple – three weeks ago. He worked out very well. He is very quick and fast. He will be a nice addition.
Q: Special teams?
A: Special teams, at corner; that type of thing.
Q: Michael Clayton and DevinThomas, they haven't really had a chance to show you anything on offense on the field on Sundays. Do you expect that to be different this week?
A: I do, yeah. I do. They are in the mix. They are practicing, they are involved. So hopefully they will certainly show what they can do this weekend.
Q: Are they fully integrated?
A: I think so, yeah.
Q: You have had so many different line combinations this year. Is there any sort of different personality when, let's say, Kevin Boothe is at left guard or when Shawn Andrews is at left tackle? We can look at the numbers, but is there a different nature?
A: I don't think so. It is the personality of the individual. When Richie is in the middle he is stirring it up all the time. And I think that is a very positive thing. The other guys, quite frankly, are grinding to make sure that their assignments are accurate all of the time. Boothie is real sharp. And he does have the ability to tell other people exactly what to do. I think all of those guys are very good at coaching one another – talking to each about what they see and what they like and what they didn't like. And I think that is a positive.
Q: When you look at this week, do you think we will see David Diehl at tackle and Boothe at guard? Or will we see Andrews at tackle and Diehl at guard?
A: You will have to wait and see on that one.
Q: Is there a concern about Andrews' back holding up through a whole game?
A: I don't think so. This is kind of a routine that we went through once before and built up. And so he has had some build up time. Hopefully, if he does have that opportunity then he will be able to go the whole game.
Q: Do you get a sense with the injury situation at wide receiver that the running backs and offensive line are looking at it and saying, "It's on us."
A: Well, they know exactly how they are going to be relied upon, yes. Again, it is balance for us. And we did have a real good running day the first time we played them. And so I think the balance is still what we are after. But, yeah, we would need to be able to count on being able to make some yards on the ground.
Q: Those guys talked about fronts from Green Bay that just forced you to throw the ball. Does it just get to the point where, no matter what you see, you are going to have to run it?
A: I remember the run, the first time around, that Brandon Jacobs broke a couple of tackles. There were a lot of folks around the ball that day, too. Sometimes the runner has to take the extra guy out. If you can get some power momentum going you can still make four or five. So you just have to keep pounding away. And of course, there are plays in the offense, in the run game, that are designed to be all right with the eight-man front. So that is where you have to go.
Q: Are you worried about Corey Webster?
A: I think he will make it. I wish he would have practiced today. Hopefully he will practice tomorrow.
Q: Any update on Shaun O'Hara?
A: No, really nothing there.
Q: You talked about on Sunday, with those guys and the one-on-one matchups – they didn't cover well. How disappointing is that, knowing how well they had played in the past?
A: I can't just isolate that. There was a lot of disappointment.
Q: The news out of Chicago yesterday is that Coach Smith is going to play all of his starters and the Bears want to get a win in Green Bay. Do you read that and feel anything?
A: All we can do – I have been asked that question and other questions relative to, "What do you feel about the way the playoff situation is?" But my only concern is with this game and us playing the Washington Redskins really. We would certainly hope that Chicago would go all out for the win. Our experience has been that that is the way to go. We have to take care of our game. There is no greater example than taking care of your own business than on Tuesday night.
Q: Richie Seubert told us yesterday that after winning the game, the second most important thing that he wants to see is the Giants being really physical.
A: Yeah, that is what we need to be. That is supposedly what we are. And for whatever reason it wasn't that way the other day. For us to play the way we are built and the way we are capable of playing, we have to win the line of scrimmage.
Q: What do you see? Do you see guys being thrown around?
A: No, I just see us getting knocked back. You have to penetrate. You have to drive people back off the ball. Your leverage people on the outside have got to knock people back off the ball. You have to have a place to run. You have got to feel like you are in control of the line of scrimmage – whether it be the front seven, whether it be the front eight. I don't care how many we have got down there – just be more physical.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: How much different is this team and what they do under Rex Grossman than Donovan McNabb?
A: I don't think there's a whole lot of difference in what they're doing. I think there's been a little bit more emphasis on the run game. We see them playing extremely hard, much harder than what they played earlier in the season. Torain is back I think and he's running well. The offensive line has jelled a little bit better and they're blocking well and I think the run game is a concern.
Q: Are they moving the pocket as much?
A: Yeah. We see some boots and some rollouts and that type of thing, you see some drop backs, so to me the scheme hasn't really changed as much. McNabb has a really big arm, Grossman has a good arm, but he doesn't have the big arm like McNabb has.
Q: How do you explain the difference in the defense in the last five quarters of play?
A: Well, we just haven't played well for whatever reason. Last week we thought we prepared well, I thought we were ready to play, I thought we would perform well, we got a hold of a hot quarterback, he was extremely accurate, which we thought he would be and he was good that day and we've been knocking out quarterbacks and he knocked us out and then we just didn't finish against Philly, so we're trying to redeem ourselves, we're trying to come back, we want to put a win on the board, we want to play much better than how we've played. When I look at the tape I think it's some of the little things that get away from you a little bit. We weren't as physical as I would like for us to play last week and we need to get back to being a more physical football team.
Q: On the line of scrimmage or all around?
A: All around as a defense. Period. We pride ourselves on punishing and being physical and we weren't as physical as I thought we should be.
Q: Well what happened?
A: That's a great question. I can't answer that question because if I could it wouldn't happen. You don't know what happens in the psyche of a player or what have you, but we just weren't as physical in that physical battle. We battled, don't get me wrong, we battled, but when I say physical I mean we've been dominating and we didn't dominate. They dominated.
Q: That first play to Kuhn right up the middle was almost like a statement that they were going to match you physically.
A: I thought that they tried to match the intensity, they tried to pick the intensity level up and I thought that we were going to pick the intensity level up, but that first play – the opening drive of a game is a tempo setter and whether that was the key or not, I can't say, but I just didn't think that we – we haven't finished well in the last five quarters.
Q: How much does Corey Webster's injury affect your planning this week?
A: We've inserted another player. We hope that Corey will play, but it won't affect what we'll do and how we'll do it. He's still in our plans and we're going to attack and go after Washington like Corey was on the field.
Q: How much of a difference do you think a guy like Mathias Kiwanuka would have made the last two games?
A: I think about that all the time. Tom tells me don't cry over spilled milk. You never know the impact of a player, but I think about him like, 'boy if we had him, we could do this, we could do this, we would be like this, we would be like that, we could change our complexion a little bit more,' but we'll never know, but we do miss him. There's no doubt about that.
Q: Do you find it interesting that the Vikings kind of used your plan as a blueprint against the Eagles on Tuesday?
A: I did find it interesting. I did.
Q: It also means that it could work if you ever got the chance again?
A: Yes it could. It can work and it will work if we get back to it, no doubt. I look forward to that.
Q: How much is that potential for a rematch in the back of your mind?
A: Let's just win this weekend and then I'd love to answer that question next week.
Q: How do you motivate your players after what has happened the last two games?
A: I'm a upbeat, emotional, I'm a get after them, talk to them, pat them on the butts, chew them if I have to chew them – I take the approach with them that whatever we need to do to get ready, I'm going to try to do it to help them get ready and get us ready to perform, so sometimes it's some chewing, sometimes it's some patting on the butt, sometimes it's some loving. Each guy is different, you push buttons with different guys different ways, so it's not like I have one blueprint for the whole defense. I try to speak to as many of them individually as I possibly can because each of them ticks differently.
Q: What are your feelings on what has happened the last two weeks?
A: I have to disregard that because I've got to move on to the task at hand.
Q: You were plus-five in the last Washington game. Do you have more turnovers when the defense is more confident?
A: I don't think they think at a different level. I think that they feed off of - the way we perform in practice and the way we have performed in ball games is that we feed off of hits and turnovers and plays like that. Just like an offense feeds off of big plays, we feed off of our plays and our intensity level rises, our acuteness rises, we become more aggressive and so when that happens in succession for us it seems like there is no stopping us. That's that snowball effect. When we don't have those things happen for us frequently, we play steady football, but we don't play turnover, get after it football, so we have to – I try to keep an aggressive mentality and I try to do that with calls, I try to do that with a lot of different things that we have in our package to keep us acute, aware and aggressive.
Q: So you need to get back to that early on Sunday?
A: We need to start fast. That's one of our deals. We need to start fast, no question.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: A couple guys mentioned that Green Bay showed you some fronts that forced you to throw the ball. Do you think this week you're just going to have to run anyway?
A: Yeah, I'm not really sure what they're referring to because they didn't really show us anything that we hadn't seen or prepared for.
Q: Shaun O'Hara said the Manningham touchdown was a diamond front.
A: Yeah, but we had expected that and that's why I called that play. It's just an eight-man front that we had actually gone to a couple of runs, but that one we knew we had one-on-ones and we were going to take advantage of it.
Q: You're playing musical chairs again this week on the offensive line?
A: Maybe in a few spots – offensive line, receiver, who knows? But we've had to do it before and we've shown the capacity to adjust and the guys have stepped up and done what we needed to do to get a win, so we certainly look forward to them doing the same thing this week.
Q: Do you have to get yourself up for a game when you've kind of lost control of your own destiny?
A: Nah. To me, if you're a competitor – I play ping pong with my brother and I'm competitive, I want to win, I'm going to do anything that I can, so I think that the nature of the beast, the fact that these guys have made it this far to be professional athletes, there is a tremendous competitive spirit within all of them, so it wouldn't matter where or when or what was at stake, you're going to go out and play your very best just for pride alone. The fact that we can get a 10-win season makes it all the more appealing and the fact that even though it's not as guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination, there is still the chance that we could get in, so that in and of itself is enough motivation.
Q: O'Hara was saying that he wasn't his best the last two weeks. How much does that hurt your running game?
A: A lot of guys are banged up and trying and he's, I think, very courageous to try to compete for us. I think that's the love and affection he has for the team, he wanted to go out and give it a shot and do whatever he could to help us win and there's a lot of guys like that on our team and that's what has made them a special group and a group you're proud to be a part of.
Q: But when he's going up against Raji and not 100%...
A: It's tough. It's a tough challenge and it's a tough challenge for anybody on the best of days and when you're not 100% it makes it that much more difficult.
Q: Can getting Rich Seubert back in that spot help things?
A: We'll see.
Q: Any other reasons for why the running game hasn't been there the past two weeks?
A: You're playing against good teams, teams that are committed to stopping the run and do a good job with their blitz package, got some outstanding defensive players over there – a combination of a lot of different things.
Q: The two games where you didn't have Hakeem Nicks or Steve Smith, you ran the ball well. Did you do anything differently?
A: No. We actually had a lot of big passes in the Washington game last time to Derek Hagan which set up the run and enabled us to run, so I think that you look at both of those and even Philly, where we threw four touchdown passes, a lot of those things work hand in hand. I think that the opportunities are going to be there for us to run, we just have to do as good of a job as I think we're capable of and I anticipate us responding to the challenge of losing a few more guys and the importance of being consistent in the run game.
Q: How frustrating have these turnovers been?
A: Well, it hurts all of us. You've got to go out and play smart football and I think that when you realize that it's easy to get swept up into the way that the game is flowing and feeling like you've got to match them and so you sometimes step outside of yourself and you can't do that. You've got to just stay with it and what the play allows you to do on that particular call and just keep battling and scratching and hope you can just stay close and maybe you get a mistake by them sooner or later and all of the sudden you turn around and win a game that maybe no one thought you could win.
Q: We've seen the slow start and adjustment from you guys before. Did you have a sense that it was going in that direction?
A: Yeah, I did. We tied it, 14-14, and then they came right back and jumped up again, 21-14, and then they kicked the field goal, we kicked a field goal, and then they came and scored a touchdown again. We moved it, but you have the fumble, you have the picks, and on and on, and it's too much to overcome unfortunately.
Q: Is there a common thread in the two games where the run has struggled?
A: No. Two different opponents, two different styles of defense, so it was just two teams that have quality defensive players and are very physical and also very committed to stopping the run and they've done that against a lot of people, not just us, so more than anything it's the quality of the opponent and the commitment by the defensive scheme.
Q: What has changed defensively with the Redskins since the last time you've played them?
A: They've committed a lot more to a defensive posture of pressure. They really are coming after you. They've always been a blitzing team since Haslett has been there, but they're even more so and it looks like they're playing with great energy and great passion, which has really heightened the ability that they do have, so you combine the effort with the scheme and they've become a very formidable opponent. If you look at them on film, they're very impressive.
Q: Do you scoreboard watch a little during this game?
A: My hands are full just keeping track of what we're doing and trying to see what they're doing defensively and what adjustments we have to make, so I'll look when the game is over and we've taken care of our side of the equation.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: How did Dodge bounce back this week after the Philly game?
A: He did bounce back. He had some good punts. The consistency is still not there. He did bounce back, so that was good.
Q: Where does Brian Witherspoon fit in?
A: We'll have to see how the 45 (game day roster) breaks down and with injuries and everything else.
Q: Does he have experience at all the spots on the special teams?
A: All the spots. It fits his body type and his skill set. He's played them before.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: How is Rex Grossman different from Donovan McNabb and how do you prepare?
A: His arm isn't as strong as McNabb's, but he's still a quality quarterback. They've gotten away from a lot of the things they did when McNabb was there. They were running the ball better. That definitely takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback. The biggest difference I've seen in this football team is they're just playing hard. They've definitely had what they call distractions down there. I think they consider themselves getting rid of the distractions. I think the team has responded.
Q: Will you be looking at the scoreboard to see how Green Bay is doing?
A: I won't look at it. It's at the same time we play. To me, score watching isn't going to help our cause at all. I have to be focused on winning the football game, and that's all that matters for us. If we don't win, we don't have a shot.
Q: When will you know on Sunday if the Giants are right and doing what they're supposed to be doing?
A: If you'd have asked me that question with nine minutes to go in the Philly game, I would have said we're playing the best football we've played all year. I think, to answer your question, we won't know until that clock is triple zeros in the fourth quarter and we've played our style of football, hopefully.
Q: Do you think things have to go right early in this game for this team to start getting its confidence and get a good feeling going again?
A: It would be ideal, but I don't think we have to. I've been in big games where we've started off slowly and found ways to pick it up. Obviously, ideal, we want to come out and start fast.
Q: Why should Chicago play their starters?
A: I don't worry about what Chicago does. I don't know. If you need an answer to that question, I guess you could say that it's good karma. We played our starters in '07.
OL David Diehl
Q: So we're going to see some more shuffling of the line this week?
A: Yeah, it all depends on whether Shaun (O'Hara) is going to be able to go or not. Just like always, it's going to be a game time decision. As of right now, I've been playing left guard in practice.
Q: What happened to the running game the past two weeks?
A: No, it's something that has to be the strength to the offense, to open up things. Regardless of what the situation is, you have to make it work and you have to make it happen. This is going to be one of those games that the run game is going to be crucial. It's a division rival, and a team that is familiar with our schemes and what we do. They're very similar to what we've played before, and they're playing with a lot more energy. I think that you can see that they're playing with more confidence and they're understanding the concepts of things. I can remember in 2004 when Coach Coughlin first got here, towards the end of the season things start clicking. You start getting used to the offense or defense. You start getting more comfortable with the guys around you. Right now, they have some injuries amongst the defense but you're seeing guys that are playing on their team that are playing hard and hungry because they're looking to make a name for themselves and they're trying to make the Washington team for the following year. This is a game that's going to be a 60-minute fight, and this is a game that is going to come down to who wants it more and who's going to get more physical and get the job done.
Q: How concerned do you have to be that they can play with total reckless abandon because they don't have anything to lose?
A: This is a team that has kind of done those things the last couple of weeks. They've blitzed a lot more. You see a lot of different things, whether they're having guys stand up, defensive linemen, with their radar and they're moving around. We have played Coach Haslett's type of defense before, so this is something that they might have something different. They might have something that they're going to try and throw at you. Sometimes pressure can mean big plays for you, as long as everybody is on the same page and picks it up. This is one of the weeks that we're really studying hard and really watching film and prepared for whatever comes out there because regardless of what they do, we need to get the job done.
Q: You guys won the battle and really beat their defensive tackles. Is that something that helps you going into this?
A: I think so. I think you have a little bit of confidence going in watching the film and seeing different things, but obviously they're going to watch the whole film. They're going to see what the type of adjustments they need to make are, see if there is different things that they can do to expose things, but on the same page we're going to do some different things just to try and change it up. Like I said, this is a familiar foe, one you play twice a year. They're going to pick up tendencies just like we are on their defense. It's going to be one of those games where it's a chess match. Regardless of what situation and whatever happens, you have to bounce back and be ready for the next series to make the corrections, especially on the road. The best defense on the road is your offense. Maintaining the line of scrimmage, taking care of the time of possession, and keeping momentum on your side. This is one of those games where it's going to be a fist fight, and with Giants-Redskins, this is a rivalry that started a long, long time ago. Not only is this an important game, but it's about pride and New York Giant pride.
Q: What happened against the Packers last week up front?
A: They played a better football game than us. This is a new week, and we get a chance to do something about it. That's the thing. Last week was last week, but this is a time where you have to throw all that stuff out. You have to throw it out and make sure you come Sunday prepared to play at four o'clock because this is a team on the other side that's not only as hungry to get a win and end out their season the right way, they're fighting to keep their jobs. It's no different for here. If we don't take care of business, this is our last game of the season. Whoever is out there on the field, our guys, we have to saddle up and make sure we play all of this one and do whatever we can to get out of there with a win, and give ourselves a chance to get into the playoffs. That's the overall goal, and that's why we've worked since last March to give ourselves an opportunity to still win the Super Bowl. That opportunity is not gone as long as we take care of our business and do our jobs.
Q: Do you do any scoreboard watching during the game?
A: No, the most important thing is that I'm sitting there thinking to myself that we want to score a touchdown every drive, regardless of the situation. You can't get caught up in the scoreboard stuff.
Q: Hard to be optimistic though?
A: No, it's a whole different week. Last week has no bearing on this week. There is nothing we can do to fix last week, and nothing we can do to change last week. We can fix things as long as we come out here like we have the last two days and work extremely hard at practice and make sure we're watching as much film to give ourselves the best opportunity to win this football game.