Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: What is the situation with Ahmad Bradshaw?
A: He is practicing. He is fine. He has a sore wrist, but he will work his way through that.
Q: He will play?
A: I think so, yeah.
Q: Did it happen during the game?
Q: Special teams has obviously picked up recently. What would you attribute that to?
A: The opportunity to work together. There is some pride coming forth in the unit. I think the other day we did a good job, for example. Our kickoff coverage has been pretty good for quite some time. We did a good job with the placement of the ball and the coverage was good. We didn't get hurt by a very good return man. It seems as though every game we play there is someone back there that can ruin the game for you. So they do have to step up and play well. And the kicking part of it has to be done, and then of course the coverage part.
Q: What about the new blood?
A: It has helped. We have got more speed and guys are doing a pretty good job of that. Michael Coe has done a good job.
Q: Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith both worked again today. There were no setbacks from yesterday?
A: No setbacks, no. We are calling them limited, but they are working their way back.
Q: So they are on track?
A: They are on track.
Q: What about Shawn Andrews?
A: He is not ready yet but he is better – he is getting better.
Q: Are you surprised by Nicks' progression?
Q: Is he ahead of schedule?
A: I think he is, but he has been --- he wants to play. So he is doing everything that he can to get out there.
Q: I'm assuming that the doctors gave him good news last night and he checked out okay?
A: The doctor did. Yeah, the doctor said that he could go ahead and resume duty.
Q: Will he be full or on limited?
A: We'll see. We are calling it limited.
Q: Are you anxious to get everybody back considering what is at stake and where you are heading?
A: It would be good to get as many as we can back. The one thing that you worry about when people have missed time is, 'how fast are they going to get up to speed again?' And that is the something that is a concern. But you can't get to where you want to be unless you get started again. And that is the good part about this week. And the good part about last week is Steve did get some work last week as well.
Q: Any concern - David Diehl has missed a lot of time.
A: He is getting a lot of good work with speed right here as he goes.
Q: What do you expect from him in spite of the missed time since he knows what he is doing, because he has been at that position and has played against this player before. Do you think that will help?A: That will help him make up the ground. But the speed of the game is going to be another new experience for at least a little bit.
Q: Did Shaun O'Hara come through yesterday okay?
A: He did, yeah.
Q: I know Aaron Ross isn't on the injury report this week, but did you ever figure out what exactly was bothering him?
A: No. They checked all of the tests – they didn't think there was anything that would keep him from going. He did have a few days – quite a few days, maybe a week of - intestinal what he thought was stomach pain, and then ended up that the doctors thought it was more of a strain in the back area. And that is what they called it. But he seems to be doing okay.
Q: His pain is gone?
Q: With Bradshaw, what exactly happened and when did you guys find out about it?
A: Through the course of the game. He has some swelling there and some discomfort. He has played with so many different things - being a problem for him that really we figured he would come though and be ready to go. And yesterday he was - that and his normal wear and tear, we figured it would be best just to hold him yesterday.
Q: He has been a good third-and-one option, third-and-short option this year. What makes you confident in him in that situation?
A: He is powerful. He normally – it takes more than more. He will get you more yardage after the first contact. He will get you yardage. He is a good goal line runner as well, he really is. He is a powerful guy.
Q: He obviously has security issues. Will the wrist affect that at all?
A: Well, we hope not. He has another hand.
Q: Was he full today?
A: Yes. I think we listed him as full.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: What is the challenge of their defensive line?
A: All of them. They're good players and always in the noise of the away stadium or away venue and then in an indoor stadium, it makes it very, very challenging. They're as good a defensive group as you're going to face and that defensive front is certainly one of the strong points.
Q: Rich Seubert has downplayed the value of what he has done moving to center. Can you speak to that?
A: It's hard to put a percentage of how valuable it is, but it's not nearly as easy as he has made it sound. The thing that is impressive is that not only has he gone in there, he's played extremely well at the center position and the center position is so vital in terms of communication and coordination and the cohesion of the whole group and certainly Shaun O'Hara is a great player and losing him is a big loss, but we anticipated it was going to be even more devastating and it hasn't been only because of the way Richie has played. Richie has been outstanding.
Q: Eli is going to make his 100th consecutive start. Were there times you really didn't think he was going to be able to go?
A: Dallas was probably the most and then the one in Oakland with the foot injury, but he's a lot tougher than I think he's given credit for and he does a great job of his preparation and what he does in terms of getting his body ready to play, so from all of those standpoints and I think there is also a determination to get out and play. I think he's very proud of the fact that he's playing too even though he doesn't express it necessarily, he realizes that that's what gives our team a chance to win.
Q: Can you talk about the luxury and the rarity of having a quarterback who is always in there?
A: The luxury is that you've got the most important position on your football team out there. Just having a player that has done it, is experienced, who you depend upon both with his ability to perform the position and also for the ability to lead and direct the rest of the attack – it's hard to win without your starter out there even if your backup is an experienced player and a talented player, he hasn't done it. The guy that's done it, has run your offense and implemented your scheme and understands the nuances of what you're trying to do and knows what the checks are – it just gives the whole team a better chance to be effective.
Q: How much has he grown in the time that you've had him? Do you remember when you first got him?
A: It's light years. Like it was yesterday, I can still remember that one of the checks was "Toss here" because he couldn't think of what the term was, so we've come a long way from that point. He prides himself on being able to be an extension of us – of the coaches – and he does a terrific job of that. I've said many times, a lot of the success of our running game is attributed to the fact that he knows what the weaknesses are in the front and where to direct and what plays to get in and out of and he does a tremendous job of that.
Q: Was that in a training camp practice?
A: Oh no. That was in a game.
Q: Was it his first game?
A: No, but it was the first year.
Q: Had to be the Ravens.
A: The Ravens – that's a great one. They were just toying with him, turning their back on him and everything else because he was trying to point out who the mike was and when he'd go to point out who it was they'd turn around and show him their number. It was not a good day.
Q: How did that play work when he called toss?
A: Good. We picked up a first down. Sometimes we give the defense too much credit.
Q: Do you remember the name of that play?
A: It was a crack. We ran a toss crack.
Q: The Vikings don't look like they've blitzed a lot defensively. Do they make you earn your way down the field?
A: That's a great question. They're not like some of the teams we play that are going to blitz 45-50% of the time – they're not going to do that – but if the game is close, they blitz a lot more than their statistics would reflect otherwise. We've got a four-game breakdown that says that on third down they played two high almost 80% of the time, but if you look at the games, it's the games that they're blowing people out that they're in that Tampa two, but when it's close it's much more man free in a mixture of the two high and the blitzes come at a much higher percentage. I would not call them a blitzing team. They are an effective blitzing team and they do a nice job of trying to take the double teams off of those great pass rushers.
Q: The third and short toss plays to Ahmad still work. Why is that?
A: Because it's not all we do. It's still a low percentage of what we do, so if you're defending that then you're making yourself susceptible to some of the other things that we do, which we do more frequently, so it's been effective for us.
Q: Is it also that he can get out of some tackles?
A: He's a good player. There's no question. Especially in the open spaces, he has the capability of making people miss.
Q: He's not your typical short yardage back.
A: No. That's why we usually employ him with three wides, four wides and that kind of thing, so it's a passing formation that we are going to pass from more than we run from, but when we do run, it's been effective for us.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: Is it more difficult to prepare because you're not sure who is going to play quarterback on Sunday? Do you have to prepare for both guys?
A: Yeah, it is. It's more difficult for us as coaches just from a planning standpoint. The offense will remain the same. We know that, but then you have Favre and then you have Jackson and they're two different styles, so which style do you practice and prepare for? You have to practice and prepare for both.
Q: Do you just take some plays in practice for one and some plays for the other?
A: Yeah. That's what you try to do. You try to divide your practice up where you have the Favre style and you have the Jackson style of what you may see.
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul – what has happened to him over the last few weeks where he has seemed to come along very rapidly?
A: I said this during the course of the season, but we've been spoon-feeding him because he hasn't played a lot of football and we do a lot of things defensively and so for him to recall and execute and function at a high level, it's taken him just a little bit of time but he has been playing consistent football for us. Now it's becoming natural for him and he's executing much better and he doesn't have to think about his assignments as much and so as a result, you're seeing the production.
Q: When you spoon-feed a defensive player do you just give him a few situations rather than the whole thing?
A: Yes. Exactly.
Q: Do you sense from your players that there is something to prove this week after last year's performance in Minnesota?
A: No. Their focus has just been on really winning a football game up in Minnesota. It's been about more us than what happened then and so I'm probably the wrong person to answer that question because I haven't even brought that subject up. Our focus has just been on preparation for what we're going to face on Sunday.
Q: Do you talk about rankings with your team or does that matter to you much?
A: No. I really don't discuss it very much with the defensive players or even with the defensive staff either because what matters is the wins. I discuss the wins. I think that if we do the things that we're supposed to do, if we accomplish our goals and objectives, then all those things come together and as a result you'll be ranked high in the National Football League.
Q: What have you liked the most about the consistency of your defense and the improvements they have made when they had to?
A: I like their mentality as far as when we've had to stand up and rise up at times and we've had to play some tough, consistent football and I think we've done that. Would I like to play tougher and more consistent football? Obviously. Yes. I would like to have some plays back that I've called, et cetera, but I really like our guys' mentality – they've shown, they haven't flinched, they've shown good focus and they've shown determination and I like the way they fight.
Q: Have you seen any notable changes schematically to the Vikings offense since Leslie Frazier came in and Brad Childress moved out?
A: I think that they've gone and run the football more. I don't think the offense has really changed, but I think they've put an emphasis on the run game, they've handed '28' the ball and it's working and I think that that's probably the biggest change that I see in the offense.
Q: How has Jonathan Goff done this year in coverage?
A: Jonathan has played pretty solid. He didn't play as well two weeks ago, I think it was against Jacksonville and both he and I – I said something to him and he said, 'Yeah, that wasn't my best game,' and I said, 'Well, let's get you back on track.' Jon has been very consistent for us. He plays about 35 to 45 plays a ball game and that's hitting right in stride because he plays special teams also for us. He's a very detailed and assignment-oriented guy, so when he comes off like that it's really good for us.
Q: Have you been surprised by it?
A: I'm not surprised. We're fortunate to have a guy like Michael Boley, who is a little bit more athletic, but we're not afraid to play Jonathan in the nickel situations. As a matter of fact, we play him as the mike linebacker versus three wides sometimes, so no, it doesn't surprise me because Jonathan is very conscientious and when you have a guy that puts his heart and really studies and that type of thing, he's going to do what he's supposed to do. He'll come up to you in practice like, 'If number two does this, do I do this?' He really takes it all in. He has a great mentality as far as that's concerned.
Q: You've faced Chris Johnson and some other top backs. Where does Adrian Peterson fit in?
A: That's not a fair question! Which poison do you want? You know, just watching him on film…wow. He's something special. He can go in the C gap hole and then all of the sudden he's not there, he's in the D gap hole and then he's gone. It's tough to say which one you want to coach against, Chris Johnson or Peterson, but they're both special guys. They've got all my respect and they've got our attention.
Q: Is there any part of you that doesn't expect to see Brett Favre?
A: No. I expect to see Brett Favre. He's answered the bell every time. There is no reason for him not to answer the bell unless he just can't do it. Brett has always answered the bell.
Q: Basically you roll the dice based on 298 starts?
A: Yeah. You've got to play the percentage and I'm saying he's going to answer the bell.
Q: What happened in the five games prior to Buffalo when Peterson didn't put up as many yards?
A: I don't think that they really emphasized – I've watched some of the games, I don't watch all of the games – but when I say they don't emphasize, it seems like they threw the ball around a lot more than they did last week and I think they just said we're going to hand this guy the ball and let him go. Against Washington they handed him the ball and let him go and he got dinged. I think he got 100 against Washington if I'm not mistaken, but he got the ankle injury and I think he got over 100 against Buffalo. Coach Frazier took over at that point in time and I think Coach Frazier said to hand this guy the ball more.
Q: So it wasn't that he was being stopped?
A: No. If I can see where people are stopping him, I want to copy them!
DE Osi Umenyiora
Q: Eli is making his 100th consecutive start, what does that say about him?
A: He's been here for a while and been an outstanding quarterback for a while. It just shows his longevity and type of player he is. It's not easy to do that.
Q: You know how much quarterbacks get hit. Are you surprised somewhere along the way it didn't come to an end?
A: I'm not really surprised. He's a tough guy and we have a very good offensive line. They do a good job of preventing him from getting hit too much. I'm happy for him. It's great.
Q: With Tavaris Jackson, he has that option of bootlegging as well as passing the ball. Does that come into your mind at all when you're out there?
A: Not me personally. I don't really think too much about that. I'm going to try to rush the same way no matter who is in there. From a scheme standpoint, probably might change things up but not personally.
Q: Are you bringing the memories from last year's game into this one?
A: I remember everything they did. The blowout, them trying to run up the score, the different things they did out there. It's a big game for us this week, we have a lot to play for. No matter what they did last year, this is a game we need to win. That's what we're going to try and focus on.
Q: As bad as that was last year, was there a lot of trash talking going on?
A: I didn't really hear any of that. I really don't think the type of players they have on their team are the types to be jawing and doing those types of things. They have some good, classy players over there. I didn't hear too much of that last year.
Q: Running up the score?
A: They did, they scored forty something points. Obviously, they had to have run up the score if they did that. They are there to play a game, they're there to run and execute their offense, and as a defense we were supposed to stop them and we didn't. It seemed like we couldn't, and they just continued to take advantage of that which is the way the game goes.
Q: Usually when people say running up the score it means you're upset because they scored too much after the game was already over. Is that your feeling then?
A: No, not me. I think that's our fault for allowing that to happen. If I was on offense, I'd try to score 100. I don't care who I'm playing against. That's what they did and kudos to them for that. Eventually, we'll see.
Q: What about the challenge of knowing that this team needs to play its best every week now?
A: It's crazy. I think I've just been here long enough to know that every game from here on out is a playoff game. We have no room for error, and every game we have to go out there and win because everyone else in the NFC East is keeping place and playing very well. We can't afford any setbacks right now and hopefully we continue to play the way we've been playing.
Q: Given the way Favre plays and how this week he's injured, what do you think are his best attributes?
A: He still has a very strong arm. He's able to make all the throws and do everything that's necessary on the football field. Obviously, they haven't had as much success this year as he's had in previous years. Hopefully we'll be able to continue that.
Q: Do you assume he's going to play? Do you care who plays?
A: I assume he's going to play. I think he's going to play. If he doesn't play, we're still going to prepare the same way. I assume he's going to play.
Q: Knowing him, he'll start but do you think he'll finish?
A: I think he's going to come into the game expecting to play the whole game.
Q: Do you as a defensive lineman sort of smell blood when a quarterback is hurt?
A: I don't really think about that. I think there's so many of the things that we're focused on. Getting to the quarterback is in our job description, so no matter who we're playing if he's hurt or not hurt we're going to attack him anyway. If he just so happens to be hurt, I'm sorry about it's just what we have to do.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: How difficult is it going into this game having to prepare for two quarterbacks?
A: The good thing is we know a lot about both of them. We faced both of them. It's not that difficult but it makes things a little complicated. We'll be ready for both.
Q: Any thoughts on last year's game?
A: Last year is last year. That's why we get another opportunity and that's what we have. Another opportunity.
Q: How much of a challenge is containing Peterson?
A: That's kind of a question everybody knows the answer to. You hope to contain him. I will go out a limb in saying he's the best all-around back in the league. He's running tough, even with that supposed ankle injury. He was out there on another level last week and he's a very talented guy. We just have to do a good job of making sure he has no alleyways. He does a great job of getting two yards, three yards, negative one, and then all of the sudden, he has 75. We can't allow him to have the big home run. Make him earn everything he gets and every time he touches the ball, make sure we have three or four guys in there.
Q: They're giving him the ball a lot more than they have in the past, too:
A: We've noticed that. I think that's a great thing. If I'm a Minnesota Viking, I'm sure I'm going to get him the ball, too. It's another challenge for us and we know the challenge that he brings. We have a good defense and we'll be up for the challenge.
Q: How much heart do you think this team has?
A: You've never heard me question this team's heart. Sometimes things don't work out the way you think they should, and you learn from it. A prime example was last year. I never talk about these guys' hearts because I'm right here fighting with them. I think our heart is the same as it was last year, it's big and it's beating strongly right now.
Q: What's it say about Eli that he's making his 100th consecutive start this week?
A: He's very lucky. Seriously, he is. A lot of luck comes from preparation. He's one of those guys that prepares to -enth hour and benefits. He's definitely a prime example of that. You just give the guy credit, he's a tough guy. A lot of people don't look at Eli as a tough guy but when you think about playing through his shoulder hurting and his foot was hurting one year, he's played through some injuries and he constantly goes to work. I really commend him for that.
Q: This is the second team you face where the interim coach took over and the team has put together a win streak. Does that pose difficulty to you guys?
A: It shouldn't. It's still the same team, same guys playing better, but same guys. We know what to expect from them. They're a physical bunch of guys and they're all playing better. I said about Dallas week, firing the coach somehow creates a spark in the guys. It has in Minnesota, too, and they're playing well.
Q: Are you trying not to focus on the blowout last year or is it hard not to?
A: I definitely remember it. Last year was last year, and I'm not going to be bogged down on last year. I'm going to go out there and try to avenge that loss obviously, but last year is last year. It's not like I'm holding a grudge.