Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good morning. In the division, we're 1-0, Dallas is 0-2. Most important game of the year right now for us is this game. It's the next game and it is in the division. I know that there is a lot going on in Dallas as a result of the change, but our focus is on our team and preparing our team against a very talented Dallas team.
Q: Does it make it more difficult to prepare with the new coach?
A: Well, I would imagine that there will be something different. There's no doubt. Paul Pasqualoni being the defensive coordinator, having returned back from Miami where he was the defense coordinator there – he's been there with Wade, been to all of the meetings and probably has some ideas of his own that we may see, but we've done a little research on that. Whether or not there will be something we would be surprised by, I'm not sure.
Q: Do you go back and look at Miami?
A: Yeah. It's a little different.
Q: How much can they really tweak now that it's halfway through the season?
A: Well, it's been done before. There are a lot of hours in a day. I'm sure that they're going to do whatever is in the best interests of their team, regardless of what they've done in the past. We've got to somehow be ready for all of that.
Q: Can a coaching change be a spark for the team?
A: I have a sense that it would be and I think that there are a lot of reasons for that and some of them are what has been stated – that everyone is up for evaluation. The indication that no job is safe and that everyone in the program is being evaluated.
Q: Did you reach out to Wade Phillips?
A: I did not.
Q: Do you know him well personally?
A: I do know Wade well – no, I wouldn't say well – Wade came to our Jay Fund function a couple of years ago. It was very nice of him to do that. And, of course, we've competed against each other for a number of years. I've known Wade when he was the head coach at Buffalo, I've known him in his outstanding career as a defensive coordinator. What I said the other day sticks. We all feel very badly about that and wish Wade and his family well.
Q: Outside criticism of a coach – how do the coaches and players respond to that?
A: Well, you would hope that everyone in the program rallies around each other – it's not just about the coach, but that everyone rallies around each other and uses whatever it is -- that particular form of motivation -- to pull people together and make them closer and play better.
Q: Will O'Hara practice?
Q: Plans moving forward with him?
A: We're pretty much day to day.
Q: Do you plan this week like O'Hara is not going to play?
A: We prepare the guys that are healthy to play. That's what we have to do and hope that we get some of these people back faster than is being predicted.
Q: Do you play Rich Seubert at center?
Q: Who is at left guard?
A: We'll see. What are you doing?
Q: Are you less worried about the offensive line shuffle because you've been doing it all year?
A: Well, the one advantage that I think you saw the other day was that when Kareem came off for that play and in goes Koets and Koets just goes to center, Richie goes to guard and that kind of was an indication to me that moving people around and having to spend a lot of time with guys in different spots in preseason, like it or not, does have its merit in situations like that, but we've just got to get positions stabilized and get the people who are going to be in the backup roles prepared and ready to go.
Q: What did you see from Mitch Petrus last week?
A: I like it. The way he played in the fourth quarter was very aggressive. He pulled and did a nice job. He is physical. He enjoys playing. I was encouraged by it.
Q: He sprinted onto the field.
A: He did. He sprints on and off. He likes to.
Q: What about Shawn Andrews made you think he could be a good left tackle?
A: To be honest, when he first came with us, he talked about that – about playing tackle. We know the experience at guard, so we maneuvered to have him play guard and tackle, just as we had done with a bunch of guys who had played center and guard. Last week Koets played tackle for a day. We experimented in different spots and along with that came all of the things that you do in terms of pass rush drills against the very good pass rushers in our own building, so there were some positive signs.
Q: He looked like he had good feet.
A: He's got good feet. He's a good athlete.
Q: So do you like him at guard or tackle better now?
A: We like the flexibility. You do whatever you have to do based on what the other personnel can do. A lot of it has to do with what you have around you.
Q: Is Kevin Boothe ready?
A: In about 15 minutes it'll be Boothe's time to go. He's got to go.
Q: Is it a challenge to get hyped up for this game since Dallas hasn't been playing very well lately?
A: What we did this morning – there isn't any denying the turnovers. They're minus-seven in the two games that they've been away from us, directly correlating with 42 points, but if you look at the Jacksonville game now, that's a heck of a game. It's 14-3, they've got the ball 3rd and 1 at the one, 4th and 1 at the one with the time running out in the first half. They scored there. It's 14-10. They had untimely turnovers in that game. They weren't in position. But that's kind of been the story. They're extremely talented, there are a lot of playmakers. You list their playmakers and try to rank them – there's a lot on either side of the ball plus special teams and they're playing hard and so, again, the most important thing is that we recognize that, we recognize their ability. I don't pay any attention to their 1-7. We're looking at the divisional record and we've got to get ourselves ready to go.
Q: How much different is it to prepare for Jon Kita than Tony Romo?
A: Well, we've had almost three games to look at Jon in that position and it's not a whole lot different from what was happening before other than the individual playing the spot. In terms of how the design is, they're doing a few things differently. Bryant is playing a little bit more on first and second downs. He is the third receiver. Those types of things, which we study and look at and then the design of what they're doing, putting the ball up the field, so we're aware of that.
Q: Do you feel like you need to ground your team at all?
A: No. Ground them? No. I mean, we've shown outstanding focus. We've played well the last few weeks under whatever the circumstances were. I fully expect that we'll play well again. It's good to win. It's good to go forward. It's good to make progress. It's good to ascend. It's not fun not to.
Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you? I know you have some vets coming out tomorrow.
A: Veterans Day is a chance for us to honor our great warriors and those that have provided us with the opportunities that we have in this great country to live under the blanket of freedom. We can't do enough for these people. I was able during the bye week to attend a Wounded Warriors function over in the city – General Odierno was there, Greg Gadson, Colonel Gadson, was there – it was an incredible night. We had testimony from one wounded warrior about his particular story and I mean there wasn't a dry eye in the place, so the more we can do to acknowledge what these men and women have done for us, the better and to put them in a very high place and to recognize this day as a very important day in our country's history, if you will, just to say thank you for all that has been done for us.
QB Eli Manning
Q: Is this one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't games because of how the Cowboys have been this season?
A: We look at it as a big game. It's Dallas, and they have a new coach and a new attitude. Talking to my dad and other players, whenever a new coach comes in, you feel like you have a new season. Everything has been erased, and you can start over. That's the attitude they're going to have. They're going to come in fired up and we know they're talented all over the field. We have to make sure we take care of business, have a good week of preparation, play our hardest, and try to find a way to win.
Q: What's the key to winning this week's game?
A: Offensively, we have to stay in rhythm. Don't turn the ball over. We have to protect with our front five. They're talented and they get to the quarterback, and they can cause turnovers and pressure so we have to block those guys up and play smart football.
Q: How about the changes on the offensive line? Didn't seem to slow you down on Sunday:
A: On the offensive line, those guys work hard. They work well together and they accomplish a lot in meetings. They come into the game very well prepared and know what they're doing. They're playing fast and playing confident. We have to keep that up. We're running the ball well, and I'm not going to try to sit back there and hold it too long and get the ball out fairly quickly into the receiver's hands.
Q: Given this rivalry, do the records matter?
A: No, I think when you get in the NFL you can't look at records. Records don't mean anything. You have to look at the team that's coming in, look at their players, understand where their strengths are, where we feel we can attack, and try to go with that. It's still comes down to coming out there on Sunday, playing smart football, figuring out what kind of game it's going to be, and go from there.
Q: Will they have a bit of boost because of their new coach, Jason Garrett?
A: No question. No question that they're going to come in fired up. They're going to feel like they have a new season, and nothing would make them happier than to come into the Giants' stadium and beat us. We know they're going to come in ready and as we said, we know they have great players and have talent. We have to make sure we know where those great players are at all times and be prepared to block them up and make adjustments, and run our offense.
Q: What real changes can a team make in such a short time period between the two games?
A: They'll have a new defensive coordinator since obviously Wade was a defensive minded coach and calling their plays. They can put in a few new things and a few new tricks. Maybe a different blitz here or have a different philosophy on defense. They can't come in and completely change everything but you can have a different approach and mix up some things. We expect that. They'll have some new wrinkles and we have to be prepared for that.
Q: How much changes for you when the members of the offensive line shift around?
A: It doesn't change for me. I'm still running our offense and I have to worry about getting us into good plays and their coverages. The offensive line will handle everything up front.