COACH TOM COUGHLIN
Looked at the tape, basically told you last night what I felt and I think that it was reinforced. I did see some progress on special teams. The cover teams did a better job. We played Victor Cruz out there at the gunner. He did help us and drew a penalty on one particular play. The punting game was improved and we got our typical good force out of our field goal rush team. Our return game, there was an opportunity for one return, and there was a bad cut made by Darius (Reynaud) for whatever reason – if he stayed with it, I think we would have had some yardage, even though it was questionable whether he should have brought the ball out. That having been said, looking at the defense and the offense, I think we did not execute and certainly the other team did. They executed very well and I told the team after the game, that Colts team a week ago was in the same spot that we're in today and we can do something about this this particular week.
Q: Did any injuries show up today?
A: Michael Johnson's back reappeared and Shaun O'Hara continues to treat and work with the Achilles/ankle situation.
Q: There's been a lot of talk about Brandon Jacobs and his helmet incident and his rumored request for a trade…
A: As far as I know, there has been no request for any trade. That one was a surprise for me and I didn't even learn about that until about 5:00 today, but that's the first I'd heard of that one.
Q: Has he requested to sit down with you to talk about his role?
A: His role has been defined. That was I don't know how many weeks ago that you brought that up and we did talk about it at that time. I'm not sure why that keeps coming up.
Q: Because he keeps expressing frustrations…
A: Well, the response two weeks ago when I gave you the position that I had on it and the fact that we had discussed it hopefully solves that answer for you. I mean, there has been no request to come and talk to me about anything. I'd be more than happy to talk to anybody…any individual and their role and that has been expressed and it's expressed by his position coach.
Q: What was the thinking in making that change with the backs at the outset of the season?
A: We felt that, as I've said from day one, it's going to take more than one back to get it done at this level. You saw two backs last night as well, but the fact that we felt that Bradshaw earned that right and it has not changed, but both guys are important and both people have a role to play and we will need both players all the way through the year and they're both very good football players.
Q: Is he going to face any discipline for the helmet incident?
A: We'll allow the league to take precedent here.
Q: What kind of a running back do you see Brandon as right now?
A: What do I see him as? A big, strong runner – the same that we saw him before. Didn't like the east-west running last night. Same position. Run the ball north. Take it up in there.
Q: When did he start that east-west business? He used to be north-south.
A: He did. How does it happen? I think he was thinking he was going to make a cut and outrun the defense, but he didn't get to the edge and if ever that occurs and when you have a chance to turn it up in there, go ahead and turn it up in there.
Q: I don't mean an isolated incident, but when did he start doing this more often?
A: I really haven't seen that that much this year. That was the one time last night. You asked me about a specific play and I said, yeah, that play I thought Brandon should have run it up in there but I haven't seen that much this year. I haven't seen any of that.
Q: Even if you accept the explanation that the helmet going into the stands was an accident, he was still throwing the helmet in frustration. Does that part of it still upset you?
A: The whole incident upsets me. Now, if you remember, I was looking…I didn't know anything about this until after the game. It really makes no sense. It's a senseless act. I don't know what you're going to accomplish by that. Even if it was an accident, the frustration, you've got to learn to deal with it. You've got to have poise, you've got to have some patience, you've got to have some control, and you've got to be able to control those kinds of situations. The only reason that I emphatically say that is God forbid someone would have been hurt.
Q: Is that what you communicated to him? Did you get your point across?
A: No, we talked briefly right after I left you people last night. I'm sure that…we'll talk again about it, but Brandon understands the consequences that could have happened there.
Q: David Diehl struggled last night. Was that an isolated incident or something to worry about?
A: Well, the struggles…actually on both sides we had struggles. The speed and the jump that the defensive ends got at home was very impressive, to say the least. There were a couple of occasions where they were not up the field speed rushes, they were bull rushes – particularly Freeney. He knocked Dave back almost into the quarterback, so they're two very good football players. We knew that going in. We studied them, Dave studied them. They played very well last night, they played with great purpose and they were effective.
Q: Are you concerned with Diehl going forward in that spot?
A: Well, Dave's played there for a number of years and when you're playing against someone of that caliber…there were some built-in aids that sometimes we weren't able to take advantage of. We tried to chip and put the tight ends there off the ball so there wasn't as much room. The one unfortunate hit that occurred where the ball came out and was recovered in the endzone for a touchdown was off of a short side. It was the back side of the quarterback. He doesn't have eyes in the back of his head.
Q: As a competitive person, isn't it expected for Jacobs to be upset that he's no longer a starter? At what point does it become a distraction?
A: That's fine, but there's a way to go about that. Go out on the field and prove it. Talking about it and constantly bringing this up is not the answer. I know you enjoy that part of it, but that's it. That's not what it's about.
Q: Did you say that to him?
A: Have I said that explicitly to him? I don't know if I've used those kinds of words, but we have commented on it to any player. Go to the field and make it happen. Be productive.
Q: He has indicated to us that he's very unhappy. Do you get that feeling?
A: Not to the degree you're describing, no. I'm not in your meetings (with him).
Q: In the preseason you talked about leadership. Is this a week when you think you'll see that emerge?
A: Yes. I do.
Q: Have you seen it thus far?
A: Yeah. I spoke very definitely about it after our opening game, about the quality of our leadership on the sideline during the course of the game. I thought it was outstanding. I think we'll see it again this week.
Q: Does it reveal itself differently after a win than after a loss?
A: Well, after a game in which you lose and don't play particularly well, obviously you're looking for strong people to get you in the right direction and no doubt that happened – we've talked about the Colts – it happened last week for them.
Q: Osi told us last night that something was missing on the defense. What do you think it was? Physicality?
A: Well, that's a start. We weren't as physical as we were the week before and when you play the run and you face up against the run and obviously you're expecting that you want to win the physical battle and we talked about it all week long – win the physical battle. That's part of the formula that we always talk about.
Q: When you play a team like the Colts and you're not necessarily expecting the run, was it a subconscious slowness because they were caught off guard?
A: That kind of turnaround…during the course of the game, it has to come back to you when your numbers go the way they did. One week they run it 10 times, another 43 times. When you've spent an entire week on schemes, on pass protections and adjusting your course or route to the quarterback based on the protections and now you're in a game where there is an excessive number of runs, you have to buckle down and win the line of scrimmage against the run.
Q: You lost some games last year that were one sided? Is this different though? Did it still feel like they just quit?
A: No. I never said what you said either. That word, I'm not using that word. But no, I never saw any of that. Different style? Yes. The necessary number of big plays down the field wasn't there last night, but the drives and all the things we said that we wanted to do going into the game happened on the other side – turnovers, running game, time of possession, they were three for four in the red zone, touchdowns, they rushed for more yards than we did.
Q: Have you thought about any offensive line changes yet?
A: I haven't thought about any of that yet. I mean, I could think about it, but whether we do anything about it is another thing.
Q: How is Shawn Andrews acclimating to the offense at this point?
A: Well, he's been working at it for quite a while. He worked as a guard and then last week he worked as a tackle so they're two different positions so he's got to work his way through that again now. Hopefully he's got some degree of comfort with the new system.
Q: He worked both sides. Is there a side you prefer him on?
A: Not necessarily.
Q: Any update on Will Beatty?
A: He was in here the other day. You must have missed him. He seems to be…he came through the surgery very well…he seems to be recovering well. His family was here with him. I saw him just briefly only 24 hours after the surgery and he seemed like Will to me.
Q: Will Kevin Boss practice this week?
A: We'll see. First he's got to go through the exams.
Q: Could you tell from the tape whether Peyton was checking down to the run or whether those were planned runs?
A: I would say that just probably a great percentage of them were called at the line of scrimmage.
Q: He saw what you were putting out on defense and changed it?
A: Well, that's the way their offense is. Run or pass. A mismatch or however he's…I'm not sure exactly how he's taught, but that's what their scheme is about. It's the matchups.
Q: Did Aaron Ross come through the game okay?
A: Yeah, he was sore but I think they expect that he will be okay.
Q: Is Kenny Phillips okay?
A: He was fine (last night) and fine this morning.
QB ELI MANNING Q: After looking at the tape, any more thoughts on yesterday?
A: Yeah, we got outplayed and that's what it came down to in a lot of areas. We couldn't get in a rhythm, and we had too many third-and-long situations. It wasn't like we made a whole lot of mistakes and we were not doing the right things, we were just outperformed and we couldn't get anything going with too many turnovers. I have to stop fumbling the ball and turning the ball over. We have to fix those things and the Colts scored every time off that. It's one of those things where their offense is moving the ball and scoring, and we couldn't match them. When you get down versus a team like that, it's tough. Their pass rushers are not worried about the run anymore, and they're stretching up field and it makes it hard on your offensive line. It's hard to have time to get the ball upfield.
Q: Did this game resemble the collapse last season, did it feel like it?
A: No, we're worried about this year. You play this game long enough, you're going to lose games. That's a part of football. You're going to get beat sometimes. You're going to go out there, and you're just going to get beat, and that's what happened yesterday. We have to learn, and find how to make adjustments and see what we can do and how we can improve and get back to playing better football.
Q: How does the leadership on this team differ this year from last season, like to rebound after a big loss?
A: On any team, you're going to have losses. That's a part of it. You have to understand that we have to get better. Any team is going to go through a bad loss where you get beat, and you can't let it affect your confidence, preparation, or mindset. We have to come in on Wednesday and get back in here, start our preparation, have a great week at practice, and get ready for the Tennessee Titans.
Q: Have you had any specific talks with Brandon regarding his helmet toss or where his head is at?
A: I had lunch with Brandon today, and the whole helmet situation was just an accident. I didn't see it happen. He was frustrated, obviously, and threw his helmet, and he didn't mean for it to go up high, unfortunately. He felt bad about that, and that's all I know about the subject.
Q: Do you sense he wants to be here? Reports are floating around that he wants to ask for a trade:
A: I don't know. I don't have any information on that.
Q: Do you still want him here? Do you think he and Ahmad can coexist?
A: Yeah, definitely. I think Brandon and Ahmad are great talents and they have done great things for us. They can be a great tandem in the NFL, and they work well and they know the offense. They know what they're doing. We have to give them the opportunity to go out there and do their job.
Q: We have a view that Brandon seems like a distraction to you guys, is that what he's like to this team?
A: No, I mean guys aren't talking about it. We know Brandon and he wears his mouth on his sleeve a little bit. He's very emotional, and he's going to say some things. There are some people who do it just to do it, and he wants to win, be out there, and help this team. That's just the way he is, and you have to love him for it and you need to understand where he's coming from and why it happens. It's because he's competitive, and he wants to do well. He wants to be in the game, and he wants to help us win games.
Q: In a team meeting or anything, was any of this brought up?
A: Nothing has been said. It was an accident on his part, and he wasn't trying to throw his helmet into the crowd, that doesn't fix any problems. It's just unfortunate.
Q: Did he apologize about any of this?
A: No. We haven't made a big deal about it. I think a lot of guys didn't know what was going on at the time. We didn't see it happen, and we heard some commotion going on in the stands, and we didn't know what it was about or how the word got out that it happened. The guys who saw it realized it was an accident, and quickly found out that he wasn't doing it on purpose.
Q: Do you think that with this being a major media market, and giving the position that Brandon is in with starting or not starting, do you think this is something players have to deal with?
A: I think there are a lot of things to learn. Like in other markets, if you're a starter and then all of the sudden you're not a starter, you're going to get grilled on it a lot, and that can be frustrating. That can be a hard thing to handle. To talk about it is one thing, to have it happen and always discuss it is always going to make it tough. In any place, like New York, you have to learn how to win here and you're going to be praised after winning, maybe a little bit more than you should, and after a loss you'll be criticized a little bit more. You're going to be dealing with the good and the bad the same way, and keeping a level head and going back to work that next day and being able to stay on an even keel, answer the questions, learn how to deal with your mistakes, and move on.
TACKLE KAREEM MCKENZIE
Q: There's been talk of other teams voting for decertification and all that stuff. Did you take the vote today?
A: Did we take a vote today? Not an actual verbal vote, but we did discuss that option.
Q: Are you in favor of that?
A: I mean, it's one of the many options or one of the tools that we could use to go ahead and to force the issue, but of course that's something that we would not like to go ahead and enter into. We would like to go ahead and for all intents and purposes have a CBA on the table by hopefully November.
Q: Do you feel guys are now more on the same page after this meeting?
A: I would think so. I mean, that's one of the great things that (NFLPA director) DeMaurice (Smith) has done is to go ahead and make sure that everyone has all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Q: When will the vote be?
A: When will the vote be? We'll have to go ahead and wait and see what develops. I mean, of course that's not something that we would like to go ahead and take right now, but hopefully they'll come to some sort of agreement and have a CBA on the table before November.
Q: Some teams have already voted to decertify.
A: I guess so. I'm not sure. I haven't been given that information.
Q: Did the way the game went yesterday, the pace of it, that's actually what you guys didn't want to happen, right? Be in a position where you had to throw the ball.
A: I mean there were a lot of things that happened during the game of course that we would have liked to have gone differently, but it's week two of the NFL season. It's something that obviously was a wakeup call for all of us to go ahead and take the necessary steps to improve our game and to go ahead and take the next step to be a better football team overall.
Q: The way they rushed the passer, obviously it was a big challenge for the tackles.
A: Definitely. When you have a team like Indianapolis where they have a great pass defense and they go ahead and have that great offense out there and they get ahead and their home crowd gets going, it's a very tough environment to play in. It's something that you have to go ahead and obviously set up third-and-longs and make sure you keep pace with that offense.
Q: How close is the running game to finding itself because it seemed like there were times you would get the run and other times it just wasn't there?
A: That's something you'd have to talk to the coaches about because obviously I don't think it's ever where an offensive lineman would like it to be, especially in a loss. But some of that is a continual work in progress and it's something that we'll have to continually try to work on and be better at next time.
Q: Would it be fair to say you're not satisfied?
A: I don't think anybody can be satisfied with anything that transpired last night. I don't think that would be a fair assessment of what transpired. The only thing that you can take away from is that it's a game in which we basically got embarrassed. It's something that we need to go out and do something about.
Q: Was DeMaurice Smith here today? Is he the one that spoke to you?
Q: How long was it, two hours?
A: Two hour meeting? No. It was about an hour I guess.
Q: When you looked at the tape today, what would you identify as the pass protection issue?
A: Blocking people, plain and simple. You can't go ahead and find yourself in third-and-longs and giving them the advantage of going ahead to really get that rush going and it's something that obviously is very easy to take care of—don't put yourself in those situations.
Q: Tom said last night after the game that he mentioned to you this was a team, the Colts, who played poorly the week before and played very well in this game. Is that kind of like a thing that makes you think, 'Maybe next week that can be us?'
A: Well I mean you have to go ahead and take that mindset. You can't go ahead and develop yourself or develop a mindset of, 'OK, well that's just one week.' We have to go out and do something about it now. We can't wait and say, 'OK, that's just a misnomer. It just happens.' We have to go out there and improve this week, plain and simple.
Q: Have you played against a pair of speed rushers like (Robert) Mathis and (Dwight) Freeney?
A: Before? Yes. Yes. We played the Colts before.
Q: But I mean another team.
A: Another team? A tandem on another team? On that type of surface? I don't believe so. No.