Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good morning. The Houston Texans – an outstanding football team that played very well. As you well know, they're 3-1 – their only loss is to Dallas. We've studied all of these games. They made an outstanding comeback at the Washington game. Number one rushing team in the NFL and the number one rusher. Outstanding zone scheme, play action pass off of the run game. Last week they stuck exactly to what they wanted to do against Oakland – running the ball and throwing play action. They didn't get any sacks, they didn't have any turnovers, so they played a very good football game. Oakland did come back and it was a very good game, but they were able to win, so... A team that is good against the run, a team that is very good rushing the ball, outstanding personnel – big receivers, fast receivers. We all know that Johnson is in whatever category he's in. He was inactive last week with the high ankle and we'll all have to see how that goes, but a very good kicking game, outstanding return game. If Jones is out, Anderson seems to be their punt returner. Slaton is the kick returner. He's a blur – he's very fast. A good team.
Q: Is this as balanced a football team as you'll see?
A: They have displayed outstanding balance. Now, the Washington game – they threw for almost 500 yards…didn't run it quite as much.
Q: What'll be different on defense with Brian Cushing in there?
A: Well, they've talked about his aggressive play. They like to bring him in making a five-man rush. He does a good job in coverage when he drops. He was rookie defensive player of the year, so…
Q: Where are you with Ahmad Bradshaw's ankle?
A: Bradshaw is sore. We're going to see what he looks like – he's taped and he went to the jog thru here. He seems to feel a little bit better under that circumstance, but we'll see. We'll see how much we can do with him today.
Q: What about Kenny Phillip's knee?
A: We started to actually do a little bit less with him on Wednesdays. We started that last week. He calls it tired and sore. It's not – according to the training room – it has nothing to do with the past surgery or anything of that nature. We're just trying to maintain it.
Q: Anything new with Mathias Kiwanuka?
Q: The tests yesterday didn't show anything?
A: Nothing that I can report.
Q: Do you have a time frame for that?
A: Really all we're doing is getting information from the doctors – that's all. Time frame – I think that there will be a time frame if it's a wait deal and then we'll have to – once that time frame is met, then a decision would have to be made.
Q: Is this similar to Antonio Pierce's injury last year?
A: I think that you can generalize and say that categorically maybe, but no two injuries are the same. It's not the same injury.
Q: Adam Koets and Shaun O'Hara: Are they both equally hurt?
A: Well, Koets feels better today, but he does have an MCL issue and O'Hara is just a continuing process. He did try to run. The results weren't all that good, so that remains the same.
Q: Bulluck, Hedgecock, and Umenyiora – are they practicing?
A: Hedgecock: no. Bulluck: no. And Osi will go tomorrow.
Q: Is Rich Seubert next in line at center?
A: Yes he is.
Q: Koets has an MCL issue?
A: Yeah, he came out of the game and looked fine and then the next day his knee was bothering him, so he's wearing a brace. Feels better today.
Q: Will he practice today?
Q: Without Hedgecock, are you confident in Bear Pascoe at the fullback position?
A: He did a nice job last week, so we are.
Q: If Rich is at center, will Shawn Andrews play guard or tackle?
A: Well, we could do it either way. They've worked at both. Today Dave (Diehl) will play guard and Shawn will play tackle, but we'll flip it – they'll both see duty at either spot.
Q: Did you do anything differently on defense last weekend to generate the rush you got?
A: Well, you'd have to look at the tape. Yeah, we did some things differently. Sure
Q: Was that because of the Bears?
A: Game plan.
Q: Does it have anything to do with their style of offense and those deep drops?
A: Well, it had to do with the whole…as I said, after we studied them and looked at them, we put our observations together and made decisions based on that. But we are going forward, right? This is Wednesday and we are talking about Houston, I hope.
Q: They have a different style than Houston? A little shorter…
A: Oh absolutely…Well, no – they had 11 sacks going into last week's game now. They did stick to play action and they had great success running the ball so they could stay right with that, but it's a totally different…each week is a totally different scheme.
Q: What kind of challenge does that play action pose to the secondary?
A: Well, you need people to defend the run. You've got to get up there and defend the run, so obviously you've got to do a great job of recognition in terms of your keys – what you're seeing – and relate real quickly the run/pass.
Q: You said O'Hara tried to run?
Q: And the results weren't good?
Q: Is that a setback? He seemed so optimistic…
A: We all were. He led all of us to be very optimistic by nature of…he's a positive guy to start out with and he walked very well and it looked as if he might be able to get up on his toes and run. I was not out there, but apparently that was not the case.
Q: How do you bring last week's energy and focus on the road?
A: Well, that's the way you play. That's the way you're supposed to play. The energy and enthusiasm – I liked it all. I liked the leadership on the sideline and as we talked about – let's keep it going. Let's capitalize on it.
Q: If Bradshaw has to sit, will you play him like you did last year where he doesn't practice but he plays Sunday?
A: I don't like to do that. He doesn't like to do that. He knows how sharp a guy is when he's had a good week at practice, so I'm hoping that regardless of what happens today he gets more tomorrow.
Q: What's missing when he doesn't practice?
A: The instinctive reaction to what you see in front of you. The recognition of the blitz pickup aspect of it. The ability to relate full-speed to the movement that you see on defense, so you don't get any of those by standing there and watching. Your mind can be ready for it by looking at the tape but you really have to do it. And that goes for everybody.
Q: With the need to recognize play actions quickly this weekend, does that make a big, strong, veteran guy like Deon Grant more valuable?
A: Oh, sure. Naturally. And the veteran experience, I thought was where you were going. The ability to look at the tape and study and talk amongst themselves as well as their coaches in terms of recognition of the difference between run and pass is a huge factor.
Q: Do you like what you saw from Brandon Jacobs on Sunday?
A: I thought he ran with power. I thought he ran hard.
Q: How about Jason Pierre-Paul's progress?
A: He's made good progress. Good progress. I thought last week was his best – ready for the game, awareness, and I thought he responded well. It's too bad we lost the interception, but he's making good progress. He feels better about it, too. He's more confident in his learning.
Q: It was your first look for Joseph, Calhoun, and Jackson – did they show you anything on special teams?
A: Yes, they did. The two – Jackson and Calhoun did, yeah. Linval didn't have the number of snaps.
Q: Are you going to wait on Kiwanuka?
A: We are going to wait, but there will be information forthcoming from the medical people that will tell us what the extent of it is, where the so-called waiting period would end and when the decision would have to be made.
QB Eli Manning
Q: It took a little while to get the offense going last week, is it something you can build on coming into this week?
A: Yeah, I think every week sometimes it's just football. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get going. When we needed something in the third and fourth quarter, we played very well. We ended on some really good drives, and you need to be able to play well in the fourth quarter and finish games, and we were able to do that.
Q: Do you get a sense that soon the offense will be able to click on all cylinders?
A: I hope so, that's what we're working towards. Sometimes it takes time to find your style and find what's working for you this year. Being here a number of years, you learn each year some things that were great for you the previous years aren't so great now, and vice versa. We just need to find our identity, and we're doing some good things. We just need to put it all together.
Q: What's the key to beating the Houston defense?
A: We have to stay on the field. Their offense is explosive, and can score a lot of points. We have to convert third downs. They have great pass rushers, so we have to block things up. We have to run the ball, get play-action, stay in a rhythm, get a good down-and-distance, and make plays when they're there.
Q: Is it good to build off a win?
A: Yeah, I think you always build on a win. For every game, you always look at the things that you're doing well, and the things you need to improve on. I think we do a good job of looking at both of them and figuring out where we need to grow and keep on working on those things during the week.
OL Adam Koets
Q: So what is the injury you have to your MCL?
A: It's a mild sprain. Nothing serious.
Q: You think you'll be practicing tomorrow?
A: Yeah, I expect to. Like I said, it bothered me even on Tuesday, but it feels a lot better today when I was running on it. I feel pretty optimistic about it.
Q: Can you play on Sunday, the way you feel now?
A: I definitely have tomorrow and hopefully it will keep improving and it won't be a problem.
Q: Shaun (O'Hara) tried to run yesterday and the result wasn't great, so there's a job waiting for you even if you can't play:
A: Yeah, no question. Every week I'm prepared to start so I'm just trying to get ready to go.
Q: You're wearing a brace on it?
A: Yes, just for right now. It was bothering me a little Tuesday, got sore, and it feels a lot better today once I loosened up and went and did some stuff on it. Hopefully tomorrow I can get out and practice, and it won't be an issue at all.
Q: Did you hurt it on a hit?
A: Yeah, I got rolled up a little bit on the back of a run play. I felt it but it wasn't anything serious. I finished the game, obviously, and was able to be fine. It didn't affect me. It's nothing unstable or anything like that so it should be fine.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Q: At one point Coughlin looked like he was trying to knock it out of your hands.
A: He was. He was testing me.
Q: Has (running backs coach ) Jerald (Ingram) suggested a change in how you carry the ball at all?
A: No. I've just got to buy into the "high and tight." It wasn't high and tight when I fumbled the other night, and this is something I've just got to work on. I usually have it that way. I just got lackadaisical.
Q: It's hard to do though, right? It's not a comfortable position.
A: Right. You just get it up tight and the shoulders are in, which I have a looser style of running. So it kind of keeps me upright.
Q: Last year you took off during the week and didn't practice, but you still performed well on Sunday. Tom said that there are certain things missing though when you do that. Do you agree with that?
A: You get the flow in practice. You get to see the blocking of the linemen, the flow of the linebackers. They have them flowing different ways on different plays on the practice squad. So it makes it a lot easier so that you see it a lot better.
Q: You felt lot more prepared this year?
A: Oh yeah. I planned on practicing this whole year and no setbacks.
Q: Coughlin said you're carrying the ball in practice. Is that something that's translatable in a game?
A: It helps. You're always thinking about it. You never get lackadaisical and drop it to your side. So I just want to keep myself reminded.
Q: Do you think it's more concentration or technique?
A: It's more of a technique. Like I said, you've just got to always think you're in traffic and keep it high and tight.
Q: What do you think (Texans LB) Brian Cushing can add to their defense coming back off a suspension?A: Well, Xavier Adibi is good, too. You can't take anything from him. I don't know how much Cushing can bring to the game besides Adibi, but he's been in that position. He's been in that defense.
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