Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Can you remember the last time you had all 53 in pads?
A: Probably not, to be honest with you.
Q: Did Shaun O'Hara look good to go?
A: Shaun worked. He's had good work and we'll see. We're always looking at the next day to see how the guys recover.
Q: Shaun O'Hara?
A: We're talking about Shaun O'Hara, I believe.
Q: What did you list him as?
Q: How about Shawn Andrews?
A: He worked a little bit today, too, and we listed him questionable, too.
Q: Will O'Hara depend on how he feels tomorrow?
A: A lot will.
Q: What do you need to hear from him?
A: I'm not going to give the exact wording, but he's got to feel like he gets up tomorrow morning and feels better than he did the day before.
Q: You've been running the ball well. If you shift the line now, is there a danger that you lose something?
A: I can't really feel that way. I think that like I've always said, the more quality players we have, the better off we are. We are fortunate in that a number of the guys can be interchangeable, so from that standpoint we've always gotten a bunch of guys ready to play and I hope that that prevails again.
Q: Why did you guys decide to use crowd noise today?
A: To be honest with you, the defensive guys like it. They do. They thought that since we're at home the noise would be going with their offense and those guys wanted to. Hey, what do you want? What do you need guys? Just play your rear ends off.
Q: How gratifying is it to see the running game come together the way it has the past two weeks? Can it be sustained for the rest of the season?
A: I hope so. That's what the whole thing is about – balance – and quite frankly I'd like to see the throwing and the passing game work hand in hand with that because that's where your opportunities come from.
Q: How do you cut out the Eagles' big play?
A: That's their ability range. They throw the ball well down the field. They have an outstanding runner. They screen well. They pop the run through quickly with a speedy runner and that's difficult sometimes to be in a position where you've always got him contained or controlled, so they're a good team and they rely on that.
Q: Can you win if you allow even one of those?
A: Well, you've got to believe you can. Sure you can. You've just got to come back and match. You're going to have to come back and do something about it yourself. It's really interesting how close the big plays are. If you look at them between the two teams, there's not a whole lot of difference.
Q: Has O'Hara been a contributor on the sidelines?
A: Oh, absolutely. He's in it all the way.
Q: Does he play a role in changing up some things the past couple of weeks?
A: No. He's a supporter and he's always there to talk about the experience that Richie or whoever the guards are are having and whatever he sees he shares with them.
Q: How is Manningham?
A: He seemed to be okay today. A little bit better.
Q: The last game: two McCoy runs, two crossing patterns. Did you focus on each of those this week?
A: We always focus on the big plays, we always focus on how they fit within how the game goes, but all you've got to do is think about the long run. It's fourth and one and he goes 50. They bobbled the ball, otherwise we're coming off the edge. Osi misses the ball by that much or maybe that one goes the other way. You've got to be aggressive and you've got to be in there, but you've got to be in the right position to defend all those things and that's easier said than done.
Q: On that play were you in the right position?
A: No. I just said that. Because we thought the ball was being bobbled, we weren't in as good of shape as we could have been in, but Osi was very close, even then.
Q: How much can you take advantage of a rookie at middle linebacker? Is it as easy as maybe a rookie at cornerback?
A: I don't know that easy is the right word. He played very well in the job that he did the other day when he came in without knowing that he was going to have to play, so I'm sure they've built on that, but there are things he has not seen.
Q: Eli said that the urgency is there for him in practice this week. Do you see that?
A: He's had a good week. He was sharp. He did a good job today of not throwing the ball into some coverages that weren't necessarily the way we had them on the cards, but he wasn't going to take a chance on the ball. I thought that was good.
Q: Was that a reaction to last week maybe?
A: Maybe a reaction to realizing that it's okay to throw the ball away.
Q: Does Pierre-Paul have more responsibility now than when you guys played the Eagles the first time?
A: He has more jobs, yeah.
Q: Can you elaborate on that?
A: He has more assignments. He is a bigger part of things.
Q: Do you expect Andrews to play?
A: We'll see.
Q: Why indoors?
A: For me, the quality of the practice. They'll play. They'll play outside. They've done that before. I want the focus.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: Have other teams adopted your game plan since the last time you played the Eagles?
A: I wouldn't say that. The Bears attacked them the way the Bears like to attack people – they have a specific style. Hopefully we can be successful like them.
Q: You used a lot of the three safety formations against them. When do you remember thinking that was a formation you could use?
A: We're a lot more athletic as a defense when we use that particular package and that's why we like to use that package. Really, the thought process was back during training camp, it was during OTAs as I looked around at the players and we were evaluating our players, et cetera, just putting them in the right positions and having the right chemistry was a thing that was going to be important for us and it took a little while for us to get that right.
Q: Then a few weeks into the season you realized this could be something that could work well for you?
A: Oh yeah. We used it in Indy, but we didn't use it the right way. I didn't have the pieces in the right positions and we just kept working with it in practice and then we felt like we would be able to be successful with it and use it when we needed to use it, but it had to have an identity and we had to attach an identity to it and we just tried to do that throughout the season.
Q: Were there things that you wanted to put in the game plan this week but you didn't have time?
A: No. We were prepared to roll. We treated it like a Monday night game, which it was. We were prepared when we were in Detroit – we broke down Philly on Monday and talked and planned, so no, we're ready.
Q: I know you didn't win last time, but when you look back at your game plan, did you accomplish what you wanted to?
A: We thought at the time that it was good plan. Obviously we didn't win, so it must not have been very good. We thought it was the right thing to do at that time.
Q: Do you feel like you kept Vick on edge and disrupted their game plan?
A: We felt like we disrupted some timing and that type of thing the last time we played them. You have to hold this team – not allow them to have big plays against you, so that was the main focus, trying to accomplish that because they had just bombed Washington the week before with a lot of big plays.
Q: Well, now they know what you did and can try to counteract that, which maybe means you have to do something totally different?
Q: McCoy can make big plays, too. How do you deal with his big plays versus the receivers?
A: In my opinion, he is the guy. The receivers, they get all the accolades, but if you look at the games and who damages you in the fourth quarter, against us it was McCoy, against Dallas it was McCoy. He's the guy who inflicts the pain on you and the other guys get the glory, so he's a tough cat to handle now. First and second down he's getting that run, be it run or be it screens or what have you, but he's just pounding away at you and then in the fourth quarter he gets stronger. He's got a great will on him and he fights and he busts runs against you and he's a very tough man to cover with 60 minutes of football.
Q: There has been a lot of attention paid to Vick's hits. How thin is the margin on that on whether to hit him or pull up?
A: You've just got to play within the rules is my opinion. When he pulls the ball down he's a running back, so he's fair game. When he's in the pocket, you've just got to play within the rules and see what you hit, but we're going to play good, clean football and the objective is to put hits on the quarterback and to punish him.
Q: So do you expect to radically alter the game plan?
A: I'm going to keep that a secret.
Q: DeSean Jackson has a foot injury. Does that figure into your thinking?
A: When you're out there on game day – they told me when we played the Lions that Calvin Johnson had a shoulder and couldn't even raise his arm and the next thing I know, he was running 87 yards down the field, so I don't take those things into it. I say he's going to play and he's ready to roll and I've been burned by that one other time, so unless he doesn't show up, I'm saying he's full speed.
Q: With pressure on Vick, do you go after him first and try to get the sack and then worry about the other stuff later?
A: Well, you can pick your poison because he's such a good athlete and he's such a good quarterback – he's throwing the ball very accurately – and I think you just have to calculate the times that you want to pressure him and you have to calculate the times that you want to try to make him be a quarterback, so it's a game of chess and hopefully you can win some of those matches.
Q: Last game you were in the three safety look 75% of the time. Why do you think that has been so successful?
A: Because of the athletes. The athletic ability of those guys allows us to have very disguises, various movements, a lot more flexibility within what we can do and how we can attack people because of the athletes that we can use.
Q: Have you ever had a defense like that at your disposal?
A: We used something similar to that in Buffalo, but not like we do here. This is the most athletic group of defensive players I've been around.
Center Shaun O'Hara
Q: How are you feeling?
A: I feel good. I feel relevant again, which is nice. I'm looking forward to being with my teammates and contributing. Hopefully I can play half as good as Rich.
Q: When did you have a sense that this was the game that you'd be able to return for?
A: What a long and strange trip it's been. It's been frustrating, it's been tough. I know I've been saying that it's been day to day, week to week. Last week, I was able to do a little bit more, and I was hoping to have a shot last week and it just wasn't ready. With this week, it's definitely felt better and I was able to do much more this week than last week. I think it gave us all confidence that I can make it through.
Q: Did you make the last road adventure thinking there was an outside chance you'd play?
A: I think it was more of an insurance policy. I think it was more just to kind of be with the guys and little did I know what a trip it was going to be. I'm glad I made it for that. As adventurous as it was, it's something that we'll all remember forever. When Rich writes his book, I'm sure he'll have a chapter just for that trip.
Q: How difficult has this season been since you haven't been playing?
A: It's been challenging. Injuries in this game are always tough. My heart goes out to Steve Smith. He battled extremely hard, and he and I spent a lot of time in the training room trying to get ready and I was happy for him to come back. Now to know that he's not out there after all the hard work he put in, it's things like that kind of just get swept under the rug. Injuries are a part of this game, but when they're happening to you, they are a much bigger deal than you could ever imagine.
Q: With this injury, is it a matter of managing pain now or is it healed?
A: I don't think I'd say I'm healed. I think it's to the point now where I don't know how much better it's going to get and it's just where we just have to go. I don't think I can wait much longer. The season will be over. It's now or never and I've been managing pain all year so it's nothing new.
Q: Any concerns about timing, being in sync after missing a lot of time?
A: That's why we have practice. I think had I not been able to practice this week, I think that might've been a concern. We spent a lot of time together, so I think we have that going for us which is nice. We'd be kidding ourselves if we didn't say that there is a little bit of rust so I'll be looking forward to getting that first lick out of the way. Hopefully, it's on an Eagles player and not Richie.
Q: Are you more excited for this game than you'd usually be?
A: I am, I am. It kind of feels like Week One all over again for me personally. When you look at the matchup, this is an exciting time. This time of year, playing in a game this monumental, I think everybody is excited. You can feel it. Even though we all came in tired on Wednesday, there was an energy about this week and the preparation, meetings, practice. Everybody's been excited. We're all happy that it's a one o'clock kickoff because it comes early and we're looking forward to it.
Q: What kind of contributions did you make from the sidelines and how big was it to have Rich do so well filling in for you?
A: I was very instrumental. I always had Gatorade and water. A lot of towel pumping. I think that really it's a tribute to the guys, the guys like Rich. Certainly Rich doesn't get enough credit and we tease him pretty good but he's really been our MVP on the offensive line this year with everything that he's been able to do. For guys like Shawn Andrews to be able to step in when Diehl went down, and Kevin Boothe has played great. I think that's one of things you always look for is offensive linemen who can come in. For them to be playing the way they've been playing, I think you have to give a lot of credit to our o-line coaches, Pat Flaherty and Jack Bicknell. They've done a great job making sure those guys are prepared and making sure they understand what it is they're going to need on Sundays.
Q: How concerned are you that physically you'll hold up over four quarters?
A: There are no guarantees in football, but I know if I get out there, I'm going to play sixty minutes. If it takes overtime, that's what it's going to take. I'm sure that I'll make it through and that's really why practicing this week has been so crucial. Last week I practiced as well, so I think we're pretty happy with where I am at.
Q: You couldn't have picked a better game to return though:
A: Yeah. Something about playing the Eagles just makes you feel better all over. I think this is a huge game and it is the biggest game of the year this far. I think like I said before that everybody is excited. It's a huge game, we're at home, and I know we're looking forward to it. This is possibly our last home game so I know we're asking our fans to bring their A-game, and we're going to bring our A-game. We're hoping that they can be the difference maker in this game and they can be loud and just as excited as we are.