Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good morning. What can I do for you? Practice is in five minutes.
Q: Will Aaron Ross be at practice?
A: He's going to try. He'll be an individual. We'll see where he goes from there.
Q: How did Shaun O'Hara feel on Monday?
A: He did okay. He felt better, yes.
Q: Corey Webster?
A: Yes, he's going to go.
Q: Last year, the Panthers really ran the ball down your throat. Is that something you're concerned about going into this week's game?
A: The good thing about the preseason is we played against so many teams that do run the ball well. This is a team that has an outstanding run game, period. They have an outstanding scheme, outstanding blockers, outstanding runners, depth. Sure, it's a concern. The defense is challenged.
Q: Do you feel confident it won't happen again?
A: I do. It's not going to be easy. I think we'll do a better job. I think we will.
Q: What made Matt Moore so effective that day?
A: He was accurate, and he was able to take full advantage of the play action and the roll out action. He made some plays down the field.
Q: You guys have made changes in the defensive backfield, will that help eliminate that?
A: I expect that will be different, yeah.
Q: Will Kenny Phillps play Sunday? What about practice?
A: He'll practice.
Q: What do you expect from him Sunday?
A: (I) expect him. We'll see how the week goes.
Q: Will you start him or ease him in?
A: The easing part, I think, is over. We're going to see what he does. He'll try and practice without reservation, and see how it goes.
Q: Do you think the goal is to have him start?
A: The goal is to get him ready to go. We'll see. You guys are so hung up on that word (start). We need as many players as we can get.
Q: What safeties can be moved to corner if Ross and Webster are limited?
A: We have other corners. Terrell, (Bruce) Johnson, D.J. Johnson.
Q: How is Shawn Andrews doing?
A: He's coming, he's coming. We have lengthened him out each time we've worked him. We feel like he's getting there and he'll have to contribute.
Q: Does he need to learn the Giants plays?
A: That plus getting him to continue to bring him back into football, physically.
Q: One of your most flat games was against Carolina last year, have you reminded the team of that?
A: Well, this (pointing to the screen behind him) is covered up, but yes.
Q: What's written back there?
A: It's not for family entertainment.
Q: Decisions on captains?
Q: Outside of Darius Reynaud, what are your other options for kick returners?
A: We have Danny Ware back healthy. He's ready to go. We have other players in depth but I'm not going to go into each one of them, but they can do it. We are aware of who can and who can't.
Hakeem has done it.
Q: Anything on Gerris Wilkinson?
A: We're going to see what he can do today. He's going to be out there.
Q: The two tight end system is such a part of this team, is Travis Beckum making progress and getting healthy?
A: Yes, he's improved.
Q: What have you seen from the new stadium turf in three preseason games there?
A: It's fine.
Q: Is Dillard the only one not practicing today?
A: No. Ross is going to be on individuals until we see where he's at. Then we'll determine what else he can and can't do. He's made progress, just how much.
Q: Have you seen enough from Keith Bulluck to be ready for him to step in?
A: I think he'll be ready. I think he'll be ready to go.
Q: Is Ross' shoe situation settled?
A: I think it's a work in progress.
Q: How has Carolina looked this preseason?
A: Good, very good. They did a really good job defensively all preseason. They're playing a lot of different personnel combinations and tremendous movement. Special teams is strong. Their offensive team is their offensive team, they didn't try to do or show much in preseason.
Q: Do you really want to spend a lot of time reminding the team about last year?
A: Not all the time, no. Granted, it's not necessary. They're pretty much aware. When they came to work in March I think they were aware.
Q: Describe what you think the atmosphere will be like at the new stadium this weekend?
A: I think it will be the first regular season home game. Exciting. Enthusiastic. Physical. A lot of words you never heard before, right?
Q: Is the wind the same in the new stadium as it was in Giants Stadium? How is it different?
No. Well, you've got the louvers and the different openings. It really hasn't been a big factor in the preseason games so we're going to have to continue. We study the wind and we study the sun so we know by game what to expect. However, there is no sense in believing that it won't have something different on the inside than it does on the outside.
QB ELI MANNING
Q: Seeing that this is a team that beat you guys pretty bad in the last game at old Giants Stadium, do you guys look at this as a chance of redemption at the New Giants Stadium?
A: I look at it as a new season. It is the first game and we want to get off to a fast start and go out there and play well. They are a good team. They do some good stuff defensively – they have good players and are very well coached. And it is just a matter of execution with these guys. We want to open up the new stadium the right way and go out there and try to get a win.
Q: What do they do well defensively when you look at them?
A: They are just very sound. They do some different looks. They are just very sound in what they do. They don't make many mistakes and have good players. They are aggressive and they are just fundamentally a very good team. It is a matter that we have to be the same way. We have to be consistent; try to continue to get positive plays – don't let them get the big plays. They are good at getting sacks. They are very good at getting turnovers and they don't give up many points. So offensively we have to find ways to move the ball, get first downs and don't let them get the big plays.
Q: How hard is it to prepare for the opener, given that you haven't shown all of your stuff offensively in the preseason and you haven't seen all of what they have got?
A: Right. You can go look back at last year, obviously, and see what they have done in the past. We have played them these past few years. You can look at what they have done against us. They will have a new wrinkle or something new, but that is going to be every week. So I think we can get pretty well prepared for what they do, what some of their base looks are. They will have a new look here or there on third down – on first down. But we should be able to make fast adjustments and be ready to play.
Q: Do you think there will be – not only for you but for the other guys – any extra adrenaline knowing that it is a new stadium in front of your fans?
A: I think so, the fact that it is the first game – running out of the tunnel with the home crowd in a packed house on Sunday, it should be an exciting time. And it should be a great atmosphere for football.
Q: How does the new stadium play from the quarterback's perspective in terms of sunlight, wind, etc? Have you had a chance to experience that?
A: It is tough to say. We haven't played there during the day. All of our games have been night games – seven or eight o'clock. So it feels great – the field is wonderful. It should be a great atmosphere and a great place for quarterbacks. And hopefully we'll throw for a bunch yards and get a few touchdowns.
Q: Their roster has changed. Do you think that changes what they are going to be doing?
A: I don't think it will change much. They are still talented. They have good defensive ends. So I don't think their scheme will change up too much. They are still very talented and make a lot of plays.
RB Brandon Jacobs
Q: Is this team where you'd like to be during Week One?
A: No question. We have a couple days left to prepare for the Panthers, a really good, fast football team. We know what happened to us last year when they came in here and we played in the game that meant so much to us. We ended up stubbing our toes. We get another opportunity in the same type of situation so guys in the locker room are ready, and just waiting for it to get here.
Q: Coach said there isn't a lot of talk about that game because there doesn't need to be:
A: No question. No one has really been talking about it, but for me, it's been in the back of my mind every day. Being with this organization for six years now, that was a painful one for me to take. I played in that stadium for five years and it really started my career, so it hurt me really bad. I know it hurt a lot of other guys but it's in the back of my head.
Q: Playing in the new stadium, will there be extra juice for the fans?
A: No question. That stadium is a state-of-the-art, beautiful money pit, we'll put it like that, which every dollar was spent the right way. The scene speaks for itself. We just hope we have a great atmosphere in there, which we know we will. This is New York, and New York has great fans. I know the atmosphere's going to be in full steam on Sunday at 1 o'clock. We just have to go in and give the fans something to be excited about.
Q: Do you feel ready for the season?
A: Yes, I feel ready for the season. My body is feeling good. It's a long grind, 17 weeks of constantly banging, so you have to be ready for it. You spend basically six months getting ready for the season. Only two or three weeks after the season finishes, we get right back at it again. You have to be ready for it.
Q: How cohesive can the running game be knowing that during the preseason you never really had all five starting linemen in the game together?
A: You know the concepts, and you know where people are going. It's kind of hard in the preseason because there are different guys in there, and you don't know how they're going to approach certain plays or certain techniques. With the five guys we go in with, you know what they're going to right off the bat. You have to go read your keys, and know where you have to go, and if anything else is going to happen, you know where it's going to happen at.
Q: You had some big games as a team against the Panthers. Is this kind of a rivalry?
A: I wouldn't say a rivalry. We burn for them when it's their week, but rivalry is a big word with that football team. We have played them almost every year, or four out of the last five years, it's a very competitive football game. Last year, we weren't all there and we're ready for them just giving into the fact that we're opening our new stadium with those guys.
Q: You and Derrick Ward split time two years ago, and whoever was hotter got more carries, do you envision that happening with you and Ahmad?
A: I don't envision anything. I come to work every day and work hard. Whatever happens happens.
DT Chris Canty
Re: stopping the run. Is it the scheme? Is it the healthy guys?
A: One of the things we went into this offseason talking about was stopping the run, and I think guys have taken a little bit more ownership of it. The style we play defense around here and the emphasis on stopping the run, that's one of the things we want to do first and foremost. So I think just our attitude going into the situation, the approach that we're taking to it, the effort that we're putting in practice and in the field room and the weight room, hopefully that all adds up to success.
Q: An emphasis too on being physical again?
A: That was one of the things that we went into the offseason, we knew we had to get stronger. We knew we had to be more physical. We had kind of gotten away from that, and Coach Coughlin emphasized that throughout the offseason and the preseason. So hopefully that carries over to the start of our regular season.
Q: They literally ran the ball down your throat last year. Is there any doubt you can stop them?
A: No, no. Absolutely there's no doubt that we can stop those guys if we play our best. We've demonstrated in training camp and in preseason that we can stop the run. We can stop the run. Confidence comes from demonstrative performances, and so we've shown ourselves that we can do it. We're looking forward to the challenge of being able to do it on Sunday.
Q: What kind of emotional edge does a team get, if any, after having such a difficult time against a specific opponent the last time out?
A: Emotional edge? I think you're trying to make something that's not really there.
Q: I can't think you guys are real happy with what happened.
A: Absolutely we're not happy about the outcome of last year's game, but that was last year. This is a new season. This is a new football team, and they have a new team as well. So we know that they have run it very well in the past, and we know that's going to be one of the challenges that we have to address. But we're looking forward to it. I'm sure that down there, they're saying the same thing. So it'll be a great test for us on Sunday.
Q: The two backs, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, how are they different style-wise?
A: You know what? Both of those guys can make it happen. I mean they're both very, very explosive. They both hit the hole very, very hard. They both run very, very hard. I think DeAngelo has a little more wiggle to his game, but both of them are very explosive. Both of them can break a lot of tackles so we've talked about it in our meeting rooms, and we're going to have an emphasis on getting these guys on the ground. Not only do they do a great job of scheming and their offensive line doing a great job of working with you-that's one of the challenges. But they also present another challenge. Once you figure out what they're trying to do, you've also got to tackle the guys. So we've got to emphasize tackling the ball carriers, getting to the football, getting our hats to the ball and gang tackle.
Q: But they're really not trying to fool you much. They come in, they run the ball, and you've got to stop the run.
A: They've got a few wrinkles here and there. They've got a few wrinkles, and we're not going to get into details. But they've got a few wrinkles that you have to be prepared for that can really hurt you. But they are going to run the football. You know that going into the game. We've got to take care of that.
Stay tuned to Giants.com for more player quotes...