Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Tennessee comes in this weekend. They're a very good football team. A physical battle the other day between the Steelers and the Titans, lots of turnovers. I'm sure both sides-Pittsburgh created some opportunities for themselves and took advantage of it. I'm sure Tennessee looks at it the other way. A talented team, a physical team, an exceptional runner and quarterback, who can both run and throw. A defensive team rated No. 1 in the league right now in both run and pass. Outstanding kicking game. Good, young returner. So a good football team.
Q: Are you anxious to see how your team bounces back and responds to adversity?
A: I think we will. I'm looking forward to that. We lost a game the other day and didn't play as well as we think we should. Move on. That one's behind us. We've got to move on. Learn from it, but move on.
Q: There were some messages that the running backs weren't satisfied.
A: We're not too satisfied either.
Q: Can you identify some of the problems and are they correctable?
A: They're correctable. Yes, they are. Yes, they are.
Q: You met with Brandon Jacobs on Monday. Will there be any issues going forward or is that all behind you?
A: Well, I hope so because whatever the questions were, (they) were answered specifically. Again, the discussion led to some of the other areas—just the professionalism in terms of meeting with the media and that type of thing. So I'm hoping that the lesson learned from last weekend as well as the incident with the helmet, I'm hoping that Brandon can grasp the importance of keeping your poise, keeping your cool, that type of thing.
Q: Were you disappointed with what Antrel Rolle said yesterday?
A: Antrel and I had a conversation yesterday afternoon as well. I think that, although the conversation remains private, it was a good conversation and I think he understands better the circumstance.
Q: Do you know what he meant by "too controlling?"
A: I'm not going to talk about the conversation.
Q: Was there any point to what he had to say about a lack of leadership?
A: What this year's captains have done is really done an outstanding job of trying to be good leaders. When the game is on, we're all involved in our jobs so exactly what's taken place there. But there is strength and leadership in all three of our captains, and I count on those guys to be the communicators with our team. And I'm sure as the relationships get stronger between the new guys that are here, etc., the guys that have been here, then I think some of those things can be worked out.
Q: The leadership council in the past was pointed to as a big thing. You didn't do that this year.
A: Well, I'm relying on the captains right now to communicate with the players, and then the captains and I will meet.
Q: Do you feel like that's the best way to communicate internally?
A: At this point in time, I feel good about that. Unless if a guy wants it to be brought up by the captains or by me in one of our meetings, that would be fine. I did not feel that the leadership council a year ago was as effective as it's been in the past.
Q: What about what Antrel said about all the downtime? Do you think there's any validity to that?
A: I'm not commenting on the conversation that I had, but I think anyone knows that when you have a game at night there's a lot of time. There's a lot of time that you wait to play.
Q: I know you'd much rather talk about football than this stuff, but it's been awhile since we've questioned you on things like this. How do you get the players back to that and any reasons why all of a sudden these guys talk to the media and openly complain?
A: I really don't. I'm not sure. I think once the conversations have been accomplished between me and the players—it is well understood by everyone that whatever those issues are, they should be discussed internally.
Q: In a way, haven't you been looking for more leaders?
A: To do it the right way. Yes, we are always looking for guys who are strong and who will lend to the leadership process. You cannot do it just as a captain. You have to have an outstanding group around you. Before you can be a great leader, you've got to be a great follower. So yes, no question about that. However, it all has to be done in a very positive and good way.
Q: Do you think a guy like Rolle and Keith Bulluck in their situations have to sit back at first before they step up?
A: I think that you have a couple of different ways in which that is being accomplished. I think the personality of the individual is one thing, but however, I do give credit to those that make an attempt to do it. And first of all, it has to be done by example. It's done on the field. It's done in the classroom, etc., etc. Just proving a point that the only interest is the No. 1 interest in making our team the better team.
Q: In signing guys like them, what consideration is given to their off the field presence?
A: I think that there is consideration given to that, and I think once you have an opportunity to spend some time with the individual you can assess that as well.
Q: How do you think Keith has played?
A: I think Keith has played well in the role that he has had, and as he comes along he will play better. I think I saw some physicality the other night that I was looking forward to.
Q: What's the status of Kevin Boss?
A: He is ready to practice.
Q: Is he going to go fully?
Q: What about some of the other guys, Phillip Dillard and Chase Blackburn?
A: Dillard is still being held out. Blackburn will run during the individual time with the trainers, and they will assess where he is, how far along he is.
Q: You said you might change some of the offensive line.
A: I didn't say that. You guys said it. We have a situation here with Shaun O'Hara out. We have seven guys that are on our active roster that are healthy. So those guys will be used to the best to their ability.
Q: You said Shaun O'Hara is out?
A: He is out for practice today, yes. We're going to try to look at that day by day. He's wearing a boot. He's trying to go back to where they were before.
Q: Is Shawn Andrews taking reps at guard?
A: Guard, tackle, running back.
Q: It's not either tackle or guard?
A: Well, a week ago we tried to introduce him to the tackle spot. Now quite frankly, we would like him to know the offense.
Q: With the offensive line options being so thin, is there any way you can adjust assignments or schemes?
A: Basically the group that plays has been here awhile, and they understand the schemes. With Shawn, who is a new guy trying to grasp the concepts, it is a little bit foreign to him. But he's made good progress.
Q: What's keeping Linval Joseph from playing on Sundays?
A: The 45. He is plenty good enough to play and dress and be a part of the team except the fact that's it very difficult and you have to plan for this. We kept nine defensive linemen and you keep them for a reason because as you get further and further into the season and have your bumps, etc., you find out that you need all the outstanding players you can have. I feel very badly for Linval. It hurts as a coach to have to tell a kid that he's not getting a suit, but you do have to stick to the 45 and you do have very serious special teams considerations. It's not just offense-defense. What the other considerations that you make after the starters is you have to have a special teams—make an impact on special teams.
Q: If last week was not a week where defensive tackles factored into the game, do you think they will this week?
A: More balance involved, sure.
Q: Have you thought about adding an offensive lineman to the active roster?
A: The difficulty is that, again, someone has to go to do it.
Q: Obviously most offensive tackles will get beat by a very quick pass rushing defense.
A: Occasionally. On the road, even more than normal, yes.
Q: Is that an issue you expect or anticipated?
A: We don't want to expect it, believe me. But there are other ways to help the tackle. However, referring to the other night, there are ways in which you can keep the help away. I'll leave it at that.
Q: Given that Kerry Collins relieved last weekend, and he is so different than Vince Young, as you go into practice this week, how much do you have to deal with the two-headed quarterback situation?
A: Well I think we prepare for Vince Young because, quite frankly, it's been stated that he would be the starter.
Q: How has he changed since you saw him in 2006?
A: He is much more in control of the game. He is much more poised. He is much more calm in the pocket. The ball comes out quicker.
Q: Will you stress to these guys to expect a comeback?
A: It's a 60-minute game. It'll be a four quarter game without a doubt.
Q: Are you going to make an effort to make sure that he's on the ground?
A: I knew that was coming. Let's not ask anymore about that play. I slept pretty good since then.
Q: What about Jeff Fisher? You've coached against him 18 times.
A: Coached against him a lot. I've been in Iraq with Jeff. Good friend. Good coach. He's been a representative of that franchise for a long time.
Q: Is Chris Johnson a one-of-a-kind talent?
A: He is unique, let's put it that way. I mean he is obviously extremely fast. He has two weeks with a 76-yarder and an 85-yarder. 85 was called back, but nevertheless.
Q: He also runs between the tackles.
A: Right. And he moves the pile.
Q: Who would you compare him to?
A: Chris Johnson.
Q: What about recently?
A: I'm not into apples and oranges.
Q: And what about your Johnson, Michael?
A: He won't practice either.
Q: Aaron Ross?
A: He's going to practice, yes.
QB Eli Manning
Q: What do you take out of a game like the Sunday night game?
A: I think you have to look at it and see what you can do better. A lot of it was just individual efforts, and it wasn't like we had mental mistakes, guys going the wrong way, and we fixed a lot of things that we did incorrectly the week before. We just got outperformed. We were outplayed in a lot of areas, and that's unfortunate. You don't like for that to happen, but when you play this game long enough, you're going to have those types of games. It's part of sports and it happens to the best and worst of teams. It's a matter of coming out that next week and being hungry and dedicated. When you go through tough times, it's about the team rallying around each other. You'll have a lot of people looking in and saying things. It's about trusting your teammates and having each other's back and stepping up for each other, and going out that next week and proving that wasn't us. We can play better football than that.
Q: Is everybody on the same page here, from your perspective?
A: Yes, I believe everyone is on the same page. Everyone knows what we're capable of doing and what we need to do to win, what our game plan is. We have had good practices. I think we have done things well and made corrections. We've been responsible to each other and committed, and we have to go out there on Sundays and play better football.
Q: Brandon just apologized to everyone. Do you get a sense that he has refocused and he's back to where he should be?
A: I hope so. We need Brandon to play well for us. He's a big part of this team, and he's been a great teammate for a number of years. We need him to support everybody, and be on track, committed, and have the same focus and determination as everybody else.
Q: Did you or any of the guys get together with him and talk it out?
A: I ate lunch with him and I talked to him a little bit. Brandon is fine, and it's part of being in New York with the media. You can make mistakes sometimes, no matter how long you've been doing it, it's easy to make a mistake. You have to learn from that also.
Q: Antrel said there is a lack of leadership here. Do you think that's right?
A: No, I think we have good leadership on this team. I think guys like myself, Justin Tuck, Chase Blackburn, or the offensive line or anyone who has been here, or even Antrel himself. We have great leaders, and guys who are committed to winning and doing the right things. Sometimes you're going to have a loss, and you can't start blaming things and making excuses right now. We have a long season, and we have to get back to just playing football.
Q: Good to get this out of the way early?
A: Maybe so. You get it out of the way and you learn from it. We just say, 'Hey, we need to stick together and we have to play better football.' All the talking isn't going to help anything. Going out there on Sundays and playing your game is the only way to get things back on track.
Q: What new challenges do the Titans bring to your offense?
A: The Titans are very good, and they have been a good defense for the last number of years. They're very consistent, well-coached, disciplined, and they have good players who make plays. They find ways to get turnovers and make things happen. They do a great job getting to the quarterback and stopping the run. They're going to try and stop the run, and that's what their main focus is, and they're good at getting to the quarterback also.
Q: What have you seen from Keith Bulluck so far?
A: Keith is a tremendously smart player, and he just knows the game of football. He brings great leadership and intensity to the game. He has a way of being around the ball and making plays. It's been fun to watch him practice, and to talk to him, and learn from him and also seeing him out there on Sunday.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Peyton after the game the other night?
A: Just talking. I told him he played well, played a good game. He didn't have much to say.
Q: When established players like Keith Bulluck and Antrel Rolle come in, does their leadership start in Albany or does it take a few weeks or seasons?
A: I'm not sure. I think it starts early when you see the way they practice, and the way they conduct themselves. The way they play the game and prepare. I think those types of players with that type of intensity goes onto the practice field, in the meeting rooms, and on game day.
Q: Tom Coughlin said there is no leadership council this year because last year it wasn't very effective. What are your thoughts about that?
A: I don't think that the leadership council had a whole lot of responsibility in the past anyway. I wasn't surprised and I haven't really thought about it until now why we don't have one. I don't think it did a whole lot or made a big difference in the past. I think we have great leaders on this team, and you don't have to be voted on a council to be a leader. You need all 53 guys to be leaders in some way, either by just doing their job and being accountable to yourself and this team, and you have some guys like Justin, myself, and Chase. Our offensive line has been here six, seven years, and the defensive guys have been here a long time who are all responsible and all great leaders in their own right. We need everyone to step up and do that job.
Q: How do you think that you as a captain can address the locker room in regards to the comments and actions that have occurred in the past week or so?
A: I think you just have to remember where you are. Anything you say outside this locker room is going to be blown up. Antrel is new to New York, and he has to get accustomed to that. Brandon is Brandon, and you come to deal with that. Brandon knows he made a mistake, and we've talked a little bit. Now, it's about playing football. You can do all the talking, you just have to learn. We have been through this in the past. It doesn't matter what you say to the media or making a complaint. It's not going to fix anything. If you have problems, keep it within the team and say it to the captains and the coaches. We got beat on Sunday and that's hard, but it's not what you say after. It's how you get back up and respond the next week, and how you go back out there on Sunday and play.
RB Brandon Jacobs
Q: Is there peace with you and the Giants?
A: No question. There was always peace there. We went through it. We got it taken care of. We got it all out the way, and now it's time to go out and perform and win football games.
Q: Do you feel you're in the right frame of mind now to go out and do what you want to do?
A: No question about it. No question. I'm absolutely in the right frame of mind. First off, I want to start by saying to you guys (the media), the last month, they haven't been so pleasant dealing with me. I've been in a state of mind where I hated all you guys, and I apologize to each and every one of you for acting the way I've been acting the last month or so. Secondly, I want to apologize to my teammates for putting them in a position to answer these questions about me when they should be focusing on winning games. Our organization, for the same thing—for answering questions about me when they have other things that they have to focus on. And the Indianapolis Colts organization as well and their fans and our fans, for the incident that, again, I didn't mean for that to happen. I was angry. I should have never thrown the helmet to begin with, no matter where it went to. And a special apology to the fellow that caught it, I apologized to him and his family as well and everyone else who was in the area who could have been harmed. So those are my apologies, and I mean them 100 percent. Now get to Tennessee, man. That's all I want to talk about.
Q: How do you beat Tennessee?
A: Well, you know they're a fast football team. They are fast, and they are physical. They're sort of like the guys we just faced. It's going to be a tough challenge for us to come out and to prepare for those guys. Coach is going to put us in position where we get everything right and go over everything during the week and hopefully in the game things play out good for us.
Q: Can you use your energy and channel it on the field so that you can be positive and be productive?
A: Yeah. The thing about my energy, to do what I've been doing the last month is easy to do. It doesn't really take any energy, but the stuff I've got to go out on the field and perform is not as easy to use that same energy towards that, which I'm coming up on a point right now in my career where I have to go out and be absolutely the most productive that I can be when the opportunity comes. I'm a highly energetic guy, and I am ready to use it out on the turf.
Q: A lot of the guys were frustrated, what was the source of it? Just the fact that the team wasn't getting off to a good start and you were in the process of evolving? What's sort of the source of it?
A: Well, you know this whole thing and just to put this whole thing to bed, my issue was with this whole thing was the explanation of why all this happened. I didn't have one. I have one now. All this stuff is gone. All of it's done, and we're moving forward. So that's what it was that lit my dynamite is an explanation to what was going on.
Q: Thinking of moving forward, I'm sure you guys aren't happy with the running game. When you look at yourself, have you identified what's going on and is it something that you feel that you can fix moving forward?
A: Oh yeah. We've just got to get our heads on right and go up the field. We've got to kind of go at guys. We're a physical team. We're a physical bunch. We can go up and knock some guys off the ball, one or two guys here and there, and that's going to get us to start it the right way.
Q: Can you set the physical tone do you think?
A: Absolutely. I think that it's still there. I can get out and set the physical tone when opportunity is given. That's what I want to do. I want to get everybody jumping up right away so we can let these teams know that right off the bat that's what this whole game is going to be like. This will get ready, and the next team that's coming in the next week, it's going to be like that for them as well. So that's what I want to do. I want to send positive energy across to my football team.
LB Keith Bulluck
Q: When you get ten years in with a team, were you hoping to play your entire career there?
A: Of course. I definitely did. I would have loved to stay in Tennessee and finished it out and played with the team that brought me into the NFL. Just being there, I know how that organization works, and no one finishes their career there. I was definitely prepared for that. In my situation, it sucks how I left because I did have an injury. The last time I left the field in a Tennessee Titans uniform, Brad Brown and Tom Mosley were helping me off the field.
Q: Have you heard from anyone yet this week over there?
A: I spoke to a couple people on Monday. It wasn't anything about the game.
Q: How strange will it seem being on the field against them?
A: It won't be strange at all. I practiced against those guys for about four or five years. They are used to me out there talking and running my mouth playing against them. Now, it counts for something and I'm looking forward to it. I know how hard these guys worked and how much the game means to them, and they know it means the same to me. This game will definitely be fun, and no holds-barred.
Q: Had you not gotten injured, do you think they would've re-signed you?
A: Even if I was healthy, I don't think I would've been back there. At the beginning of the year before the season started, they didn't sign me back. At the midway point, when I was playing good football, they didn't sign me back. I think the writing was on the wall, which is fine. It's definitely part of the game.
Q: You just have a certain shelf life when you're there?
A: Pretty much.
Q: How important is this game for the defense after last week?
A: I think it's very important just for the simple fact that we just faced the offensive MVP last week, and we're facing the runner up this week. They have two different styles. In this league, if you can't stop the run, you're not going to have a very successful season. This is a true test for this defense. We'll find out a lot about ourselves Sunday because they're definitely coming to run the ball with the best running back in the league.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: You raised some valid points on the call yesterday with WFAN, did you feel like Coach listened to them when you two met?
A: Absolutely. Coach and myself had a long talk yesterday. We had a great talk. I think he understood where I was coming from, and he had some questions of his own. We relayed things back and forth. Coach Coughlin and I have a great relationship. It has never been bitter, things here have never been bitter. It just raised some concerns after the game come Sunday.
Q: What'd you mean when you said that the control doesn't allow the players to have a dog mentality?
A: No, I'm not going to elaborate on anything I said. Like I said, what was said has been said. I think I said everything that I needed to say when I said it. Right now, I'm looking forward to Tennessee. What's said has been said. I'm done with that.
Q: You seemed to have a problem with the way people prepared and reacted with the loss to the Colts. What was the issue there?
A: I'm not saying that we accepted losing too easily, but I don't think there was enough fight and there was enough being said. I don't think there was enough attitude and anger towards the way we were being whooped. That was my problem, and that was the issue that I had. If I don't have that issue, then that's a problem in my eyes. We get paid a lot to go out there and be professionals and do what we do, so I take what I do very seriously.
Q: What'd you see after the loss?
A: There wasn't enough leadership. I felt like there wasn't enough passion going into the game, and not a lot of passion during the game even though we were down by such a large margin. It's going to be fixed. I didn't speak out of anger, and I didn't speak because we lost. I spoke because it's a concern, and I want to nip it in the butt now as a unit.
Q: Did Tom appreciate your honesty for stepping up?
A: Absolutely. He didn't have too many problems with what I said, it was how it was broadcast. I definitely should have come here first, and I apologized to coach and said it will never happen again, which it won't. Like I said, I stand by my word.
Q: Have you been feeling this way for a while and kind of holding back?
A: Yeah. I definitely felt some things. I'm definitely part of the problem myself. I'm on this team and I'm part of the problem. I can also do what I need to do to try my best to fix it. I'm just as guilty as anyone else in this locker room.
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