Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: You're without your punt returner. What's the situation going to be for that on Sunday?
A: We have some guys that can. Darius can return, Aaron Ross can return, Corey Webster – we've had people work back there all year.
Q: How challenging has Tom Quinn's job been this week?
A: Well, I think we've all tried to help in that regard and I don't think that it's been a whole lot different than any other week with the exception of trying to pull everybody back together and try to get them to shift gears moving forward rather than backward and most of the time the questions have been about going backwards.
Q: Is Blackmon's injury something that could be long term?
A: I think the way it is right now is that it's somewhat manageable, but it does flare up and when it does flare up it's an issue. The last time he was out for a while and it's the same kind of thing.
Q: Same knee?
A: He has two knees. That's as far as I'm going.
Q: Is there any thought of putting him on IR?
A: Possibly. We'll see what that looks like.
Q: Where are you on Tollefson?
A: He's the same time schedule. Nothing has changed.
Q: After spending Sunday evening in the dark for a couple hours, how would you describe your mindset right now?
A: Terrific. I'm excited about the next game. That was just a circumstance following a very big disappointment and that's the way that I worked my way through it, but it's all forward.
Q: Aaron Ross was going to be your punt returner this summer. Is it advantageous that he's prepared for that role before?
A: He's caught punts all fall and so has Darius.
Q: These losses can put your team in the tank or they can serve as an impetus. What have you seen this week that makes you confident?
A: I think each day it has built up and the emotions have been really good, the energy has been good. I think we're excited about playing, I think the idea of you can't do anything about yesterday, but we can do something about today – hopefully it'll be cumulative for the weekend. I think that has set in. We've got good leadership and as I've said, there isn't anybody who doesn't realize what is at stake.
Q: Why do you think this team is so good when their backs are against the wall?
A: I don't know if I could even explain that, but it is a force-builder in terms of pulling everybody together and that's the way we defined it for them Sunday night and that's the way it is.
Q: Is that the way you've always been?
A: I would a little bit that way, yeah.
Q: What have you seen from Alex Hall throughout the year?
A: He's helped us when given the opportunity on special teams – he's covered well, he's run down the field well, he's got some size.
Q: Did you get clearance from Tollefson's mom to list him as out?
A: I just learned about that maybe a year ago – about how she gives him a pep talk and she spares no verbiage, either.
Q: How do you manage the day to day when they're in these sorts of situations?
A: They've done well with it. In our meetings we talk about it, we're open, we're focused, all of the coaches are on the same page in terms of how we proceed throughout the week and you just try to build that energy in always looking forward and what I've done this week is I'm in all of the special teams meeting, but this week I've kind of come down a little bit earlier and just visited with people coming through the hallways and things like that and I've been pretty pleased with the response.
Q: Make your presence felt a little bit more?
A: The presence is always there, it's just how you go about it.
Q: How does Eli addressing the team manifest itself positively on the field?
A: I think it's a collective one. He wanted to speak to the team as a highly respected captain who doesn't overuse that. We've had player meetings before, but it's not an overuse thing. Usually the defense is with the defense, the offense is with the offense. When he asked to speak there wasn't any question in my mind what his purpose was and because he's so well respected – it wasn't a lengthy meeting now, I had set aside ten minutes and within six or seven minutes I got called and told the meeting was over – but he obviously spoke from the heart, he spoke about being one, he spoke about putting things behind them, about how much was at stake and everyone had to pull together and we would all act as one. I think that was a nice message and I think that got the guys going and that was even before I got downstairs.
Q: How much of an impact does a frozen field have on the running game and how much do you have to prepare to adjust?
A: It won't be frozen, not theirs, theirs is heated underneath. I hope that's not an issue, but if it is, it is. We've been on fields before that were like that. I thought you were referring to our practice field.
Q: The forecast is for 25 and snow showers. That doesn't sound too bad. Is it a factor?
A: Well, I read the report like you do and it is that time of year, so we'll deal with whatever it is. We've played in it before, we've played in much worse and hopefully that's the extent of it.
Q: The Packers' defensive coordinator was your defensive coordinator for a couple of years in Jacksonville. What is the most challenging thing that he does scheme-wise?
A: Well, many, many years ago he was a part of the fire zone scheme as it first was developed and he has continued to build on that scheme, he has continued to utilize the players in that scheme. He's a good football coach and Dom is a guy that is very thorough and that's basically what you see. His defensive team is built scheme-wise around some very outstanding athletes who are converted from first and second down positional players to nickel and dime players of a different regard, so he uses the personnel well and it's a good scheme and they do have a good cover behind a good solid rush.
Q: How important is it to sell play action with an aggressive defense like Green Bay's?
A: If you can run it, it's real big, so that's usually where we start on first and second down and if we're running it, we'll have pretty good play action.
Q: At the Championship game the field wasn't that bad, was it?
A: No. It was hard, but the guys seemed to do alright. There wasn't a lot of falling down.