Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good afternoon. After looking at the tape, we saw a lot of good things. I think you have to start with the fact that we won, that we did win the battle of turnovers, that we did rush the ball for considerable yards and we were able to stop the Lions and their rush attempts reasonably. We did give up the big play, which we were concerned about going in. It was our number one goal to prevent it, and we did give up the big play to the outstanding receiver. We did give up a 21-yard return and a 58-yard return on kickoff, the 21-yarder was on a punt, to an outstanding return man but that's something that we'd rather not see, obviously. Saying that, I think it's important to recognize that Deon Grant in that case did make a touchdown saving tackle for us, too, right there at that spot. Our penalties were down, and we felt good about that. Felt very good about our ability to control our emotions, particularly down at the goal line when they did pick up that one penalty. That could've been like a powder keg where both sides were penalized, but I thought our guys maintained themselves and remained very cool under that circumstance.
Q: What do you think Antrel can do differently with the Johnson TD, does he need to help his corner more?
A: You want to see the angle. The only thing I would say there is that you know it's number 81, so you know where the ball is probably trying to go. We were in a two-deep coverage, and they may have been trying to bait us to think that it was between the safety and the corner was where the ball was trying to go, but as we started to make the break over, it was almost parallel to where we were and there was too much elevation on the ball to get that angle. You definitely have to get over there, judge all those things, maybe take a little bit different angle, and get some more depth out there.
Q: Comment on Osi's play:
A: I think the entire season, he's been playing really well. He certainly has given us some excellent opportunities to create turnovers. We were just talking about this upstairs that there was a time where we were frustrated because when the ball was on the ground, no one knew it was there. Justin has been there a couple of times to take advantage of the fumble, quarterback fumble. Osi has played well, well against the run and well against the pass. He's shown the ability to bull rush, get on the edge, come underneath, and be in conjunction with TE and ET move and that type of thing. We encourage him to keep it up.
Q: Osi has missed practices, is it surprising how good he's been?
A: He practices. He's out there two days a week, every week. The managing part of this thing takes place on Wednesday, and we get him back Thursday and Friday. He does a good job in the class room, and he looks at the tape right along with everyone else from Wednesday's practices. He doesn't get a chance to go through some of those things, but he learns as we go along just as everyone else in the meeting room. He does have two days of practice and he's done well with it.
Q: Talk about the run game and how Bear Pascoe has helped with that, if he has:
A: He was, he was. He does a nice job as a lead blocker, and a lot of it was up inside. He did a good job with just an awareness thing. He helped out and he did some chipping. He helped when there was an error once inside when someone picked up the wrong person, and he shifted out to pick up his man. He made a nice play in the flat to convert it into a first down for us. A lot of his plays were heads up plays.
Q: Is Bear more of a legitimate option at fullback than you expected him to be?
A: * *He certainly had a good game, and everyone was aware of that. I'm happy for him. The guy gives you everything he's got. He's there every day, works his tail off, plays multiple positions, runs scout squad, and does all those things. Come game day, he was able to take the practice field into play and really do a nice job for us.
Q: Status of the placekicker?
A: Which one?
Q: You still have two?
A: Today, we have two.
A: We'll see. You have to gauge this by the medical part of this thing.
Q: Is Tynes feeling better?
A: I think he's feeling better. I have not taken him out today and watched him plant his foot, but I know he had a little bit of bounce in his step, even on Sunday.
Q: It looked like Detroit lost its composure on Sunday. Did your team learn from the Tennessee game to keep its composure in those situations?
A: Well, Detroit was the number one penalized team in the league so we tried to be aware of that and stress the need to keep our emotions under control and how it was that we were able to not get caught in the retaliation business, and I thought the guys did a good job of it.
Q: McKenzie and Rolle both held off from retaliating again this week. Did you positively reinforce that with them?
A: Well, we did. We talked about those – something we were really proud of was only the two penalties.
Q: Talk about the development of Travis Beckum.
A: We have seen that. We have seen the growth. He missed literally the entire preseason, which was very difficult. To understand he needed to work, he didn't get the work, so he has picked it up as we've gone along – made a really nice play the other day. The catch was an outstanding catch.
Q: How did Shaun O'Hara do and how did he come out of the game?
A: He came out okay. To be expected, he's sore. He hasn't been in there for a couple of ball games, but he came through it well and he played well.
Q: Any new injuries appear after the game?
A: Just bumps and bruises. I don't think to this point that there's anything to report.
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul's big hit on Follett – was he hurt on that at all, too?
A: Well, we're very glad to hear today that Zack is doing well. That is a major relief to everybody, I'm sure, on both teams. Jason did not appear to have any medical issues.
Q: Did you have to talk to him at all after that? That kind of thing can really shake up a player.
A: I didn't get a chance to spend any time one on one with him, but if I feel like that's necessary… I'm sure that the news that Zack is doing better would help in that area.
Q: Was there anything that he could have done differently technique-wise?
A: Both guys were trying to do their job. It's unfortunate. Sometimes the head does get in the wrong position. You stress it and you coach it. If I stand in here for a special teams meeting, I'm just hearing over and over and over from Tom Quinn and Thomas McGaughey about keeping your head up – keep your head up, keep your head up, keep your head up – and that kind of stuff. Some of the guys who have played on our special teams units have been kind of backed up or taken off of a unit because the head has been in the wrong spot.
Q: There is talk today that the NFL might consider suspending players for helmet-to-helmet hits. How do you feel about that?
A: Well, I think that – I didn't mention this because I was not asked, but I do feel along with some of the things that I hear – I don't get a chance to catch up on a lot of things, but if we play at home I do get a chance to watch highlights and that type of thing on Sunday night and I know that one of the recommendations or the strongest one has been that since the money does not seem so be a deterrent, then it has to be more than that. Always it is quite frustrating, to be honest with you, if a player is forced to leave a game because of an illegal hit and the other player continues and what have you – that doesn't really seem right. I'm sure there will be stronger measures taken.
Q: When you say you take guys out because their head was in the wrong place – was that for safety reasons?
A: Well, you're trying to coach them not to – when I say take them out, there is no taking them out. We may back them off for a week – maybe they're the second guy now – but you do have to continue to coach and to tell them that – a lot of these things happen when a guy gets hit on the side of the helmet or he ducks his head down rather than keeping his head where it should be. You don't teach the helmet-to-helmet or the head in those kinds of spots anymore anyway.
Q: Wouldn't you say that most of those are not planned?
A: Oh, they're not planned at all. They just happen because it's force against force and it's such a full-speed momentum play. You've got guys running from the other 30-yard line and building up speed as they go. Jason has done an outstanding job for us on kickoff coverage – he had two tackles yesterday again – and that's a force coming down the field.
Q: By the nature of the play, it's really never going to be completely safe, but would you say that the elimination of the wedge has helped some?
A: I would say that it has helped – I would think that that's a safe thing to say. It has helped.
Q: Do you have any updates on the injured guys? Kevin Boothe will be eligible to come off of the PUP list soon.
A: We do have the ability, starting Tuesday, to put Kevin on the field and I'm not going to tell you for sure that it's going to be done this week, so you'll just have to stand by with me on that one. Any other updates: Beatty – out of the boot, still very much in the recovery/rehab process. You'll see him walk around with his shoe on, not a boot, so there's progress being made, but how soon we'll get him back…hopefully fast.
Q: How about Hedgecock?
A: He's not out of the woods, but he's going to run tomorrow and they're going to see what his status will be for the week.
Q: Any update on Kiwanuka?
A: Not to my knowledge with Kiwi. I think he has travelled to L.A. for another consultation with the doctors so something perhaps within a few days will be forthcoming.
A: Bulluck is going to work.
Q: Was he close this week?
A: He thinks he was, yeah.
Q: What do you think?
A: He's getting there. They weren't ready to just stamp approval, but he did come into the Saturday morning workout and had a nice change of direction and stuff in the end zone, so I think he's definitely making progress.
Q: What has changed from the offseason to now with Osi?
A: Osi has played well and he's made up his mind to play well and I think that his teammates and the encouragement, what he brings to the table in terms of his ability, his conviction, his desire to be the very best that he can be. That's, I think, where he is. He's an excellent football player playing very well.
Q: How surprised are you that the Cowboys are 1-4?
A: I'll look at the tape and let you know.
Q: What did you think about Grant playing through the fumble and recovering the ball? That was a key maneuver.
A: It sure was – and you could see him on the ground, just the two of them with their hands out trying to get the ball back. All of those plays are big plays. Look where the ball was.
Q: Brandon Jacobs has said that his mind is in a better place now. Are you noticing that with him?
A: He's played well. He's played very well. He's been the thumper that he always has been and the combination of Bradshaw and Jacobs has worked very well. They're great supporters of each other and Brandon has made extremely strong contributions.
Q: Is it heartening or unusual to see those two competitors, Bradshaw and Jacobs, being so close?
A: I don't think it's unusual. I think that the realization that it takes more than one outstanding player to be able to accomplish what we need to accomplish…
Q: What do you think about the way the schedule has lined up and that this is your first division game and you're over a month into the season?
A: Well, this is much different for us, because we've opened for a lot of years in the division. I understand it. I know what the commissioner is trying to accomplish – I think we all do – and it was very different for us, but as you see, they come rapid fire here pretty quick.
Q: How do you divide up the season when it's different like this?
A: Well, it's usually by four games and sometimes when it's different with the bye, you may sneak another game in there, but from this point on with the start of the divisional games and the way in which the bye comes into play this year, we're considering all of this the first half of the season and then we'll go from there.
DT Chris Canty
Q: So what do you think it's like down there right now?
A: You know what, I'm going to tell you what - I'm not answering any questions about the Dallas Cowboys this week. How about that? Alright. So anything concerned about our football team and the challenges moving forward, no problem.
Q: How do you think your team matches up against the Dallas Cowboys?
A: The Dallas Cowboys are obviously a good football team. We like to think we're a good football team up here as well. We've got some things we've got to improve from the Detroit game moving forward to get to the point where we're executing the way we want to be executing in this season. So we've got some clean-up work to do today and tomorrow and obviously a lot of preparation work to do with the very big challenge going down there to play.
Q: It's getting to the point of the season where it also presents a pretty big opportunity to finish off a team you thought you would be competing against for the NFC East title. Do you guys look at it as a chance to separate yourself?
A: I'm not even going to comment to that. I mean we're concerned about our football team and improving each and every week and cleaning up the things that we have kind of lingering from the Detroit game. We've got some things, we've got to correct some things we've got to fix to be executing the way we want to be executing to give ourselves the best chance to be successful on Sundays moving forward.
Q: Is there a much different feeling in this team than there was a few weeks ago? I mean you went from what seemed like people outside thinking ...
A: I know you guys have a much better feeling about this team. You've all been writing so many touchy-feely good things about us. I mean I thought this was the New York media here.
Q: We could stop if you like.
A: Hey, that's up to you guys. That's up to you guys. We're just going out there trying to execute and give ourselves the best chance to be successful, and it starts during the preparation during the week. So I think this team has a good work ethic and that's where we start every week.
Q: Is it strange that you guys haven't played a division game yet?
A: Yeah. It's a little different. It's a little different. We're six games in and we haven't played a division opponent. So obviously we've got some tough challenges ahead of us, but I think this team is looking forward to improving. I think we're looking forward to the challenges, working together as a team to get the job done.
Q: Is it good to get into the division?
A: Well you take one challenge at a time. You take it one challenge at a time. We don't design the schedule, and so we try to improve each and every week from the last week's performance and move forward with our football team and its development.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about Osi Umenyiora in the last three games?
A: Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I don't know if this guy has a cape on or something. I don't know, man. We're trying to figure out ways as other defensive linemen to slow him down so we can get some sacks. No, in all seriousness, Osi's doing a tremendous job. He's a very talented individual, and he has the work ethic coupled with it to just make him a dominant football player. So I'm just happy that he's out there making plays for us. It makes our jobs a whole lot easier so far as applying pressure. He's getting back there and he's stripping the quarterback. He's creating turnovers, and that translates into winning ballgames. So he's making a major impact on our team and our defense.
Q: He said sacks are just glorified tackles for loss, and when you get a strip sack - that's really what you're after.A: Well we always mess with him because even when he gets those sacks, he never tackles the quarterback - he just knocks the ball out. He doesn't want to get his uniform dirty I guess, I don't know what that is. But he does a tremendous job of creating turnovers for our football team and he sees the opportunities and he just makes plays. I'm just glad to be able to line up next to him and try to help this football team win in any way we can. So it's exciting to be out there with him though because you know that at any moment in the game he can change the game.
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