Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: How are Hakeen Nicks and Justin Tuck?
A: Neither one of them practiced. Tuck with an ankle and Nicks had a tight hamstring. So we thought it would be smart to not have them go.
Q: When did Tuck sustain the ankle injury?
A: He was limping a little bit after the game. But he went through it - yesterday was fine and it got sore overnight evidently. So he just backed off. I expect him to be okay.
Q: Both of them?
A: I hope so. Maybe they will work tomorrow. Hopefully they will work tomorrow.
Q: How productive was practice with the wind conditions the way they were?
A: A lot; a lot. It is a beautiful day out there. You sound like a player.
Q: Having Shaun O'Hara back – he was kind of dealing with a chronic type of injury. Does it look like he has turned the corner a bit on that?A: He came through the game well. So I'm thinking that --- I'm not ready to make any long term statements, but he came through it and he practiced two days. So he seems to be doing well.
Q: Did Lawrence Tynes practice kickoffs today?
A: Field goals. I'm not sure. He probably did kickoff some ……at …… I didn't see the kickoffs. But he kicked field goals. He seemed to do fine.
Q: You had crowd noise for Matt Dodge……same thing for the offense?A: Yes.
Q: What was the thinking behind having crowd noise for Dodge?A: To put him in game situations. Let him punt the ball under the circumstances that he is going to run into.
Q: Is he somebody who you think would benefit from kind of trying to rattle him a little bit during practice?A: Well, you want to create the situation that they are going to be in when they play. So that is why we did that. We usually do that when we play on the road.
Q: How has Keith Bulluck looked this week?
A: He has moved around well – no issues today or what have you.
Q: What do you expect that he is going to add to the defense now?A: Well, I think he can add physical play. With he and Jon (Goff) in there, I think we will have our best foot forward against the physical part of the run.
Q: With him coming back does that mean you don't have to use the third safety as much?A: You will have to wait and see on that one.
Q: Why and how does an NFL team accumulate an excessive amount of penalties?A: That is a good question. I wish I knew the answer to that. I think there are probably a lot of answers. If you are talking about defense, what happens up front, you have someone who is lured offside by a hard count or a cadence, or just trying to get a jump. Interference penalties sometimes come from going for the ball. A guy instinctively will put a hand or an arm out – restrict the other individual. That gets called. Offensively you could have the false start. ….. and depending on who the crew is, it is how they interpret holding. There are a lot different ways in which it happens.
Q: A lack of discipline or a lack of talent?
A: When it happens it is called that. Whether it is not is up to the judgment of the individual. Some can be concentration. Some can be focus.
Q: Will Matt Dodge wear the glove?
A: Whatever he feels best at. Maybe it is a catcher's mitt. I'm not sure.
Q: Are you going to encourage him to wear a glove?A: Whatever he feels best that he is most secure with, then that is what we will recommend.
Q: What is your patience level with him after the fumbling?A: I'm still -- I enjoyed it when he punted the ball the length of the field.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: What do you have to do to counteract the Dallas pass rush?
A: Their backers are like defensive ends – they're outstanding pass rushers. They're exceptional pass rushers. A couple of them, along with Ratliff…they're as good as we face. You put that in the context of the noise factor, we're going to have to do an unbelievable job just to keep them at bay and to give Eli a chance to throw the ball. Last year our line did a terrific job and we were able to get by without any sacks and as a consequence we threw the ball for 330 yards and won the game, but it's a challenge. We certainly are very cognizant of how talented they are.
Q: Jenkins had a great year last year, but this year he's committed a ton of pass interference penalties. Is he doing something different or getting a little sloppy?
A: He's a tremendous athlete – he's got great quickness – and I think that sometimes if you're not careful, they get a little bit overconfident and they think they can get away with some things that they maybe didn't expect to get called on, but he's right there – he's in contention for the ball almost every time.
Q: The Giants forced Tony Romo into one of his worst games as a Cowboy last year in Dallas, what do you remember most about that game?
A: The comeback. Winning at the end, that's what I remember. But most of the time when our defense is out there I'm preparing for the offensive side, so I don't really get to see our defense, but I know they ran the ball on us like crazy last year and for whatever reason he had a difficult time throwing, but all I know is that he came back and he threw the ball unbelievably well the second time, so I'm sure he's not worried.
Q: DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer are two explosive pass rushers. How do you compare what they do to a Dwight Freeny and Robert Mathis having faced the Colts already this year?
A: You had to bring up a bad memory, didn't you? Very comparable. Again, you just package that with the noise factor, and you get two guys who are outstanding pass rushers. Last year we were very fortunate that our guys did a tremendous job and as I mentioned earlier, we were able to get through the game with no sacks, which is almost unheard of down there. It's going to take a collective effort to slow them down. In other words, it can't just be our tackles, it's going to have to be our backs, our tight ends, our scheme, and maybe very careful with the selection of plays so that we're not throwing a lot of deep balls and we're mixing in some short throws, some quicker throws along with the deep ones.
Q: Last year Jacobs and Bradshaw struggled to get the ball moving down in Dallas. What can you do to try to open up the alleys for you backs?
A: There's nothing easy. I wish there was an easy blueprint we could follow, but it is certainly the quality of the linebackers, but it's also a recognition that their two guys you mentioned as pass rushers do a tremendous job of bookending the plays. They stop the plays from getting stretched out, so they kind of funnel everything back to the inside. You try to do whatever you can personnel-wise with your formations, with your movement to get into a position where maybe you can create a flank that allows you to stretch the play enough where you start to widen the holes and maybe you get a chance to take advantage of some running room, but it's not easy.
Q: Hakeem Nicks has been dealing with a hamstring, what are you concerns about how that might impact him in terms of his big plays down the field on Monday night?
A: Well, if he can't run, obviously it's going to be a detriment and it's going to detract from what he can do, but I'm assuming that he's going to be able to go full speed and what he does is he gives you a big strong receiver that is able to physically battle those guys, so even if they are with him stride for stride, he's got great hands, he does a great job of adjusting to the ball, so he's able to make plays even when he's covered, which not everybody in the league can do, so hopefully that won't affect him.
Q: Is this the type of defense that you max protect against and bring the tight ends in to protect Eli?
A: We will certainly mix that in. It's an integral part of what we do anyway – we call it chipping. A tight end or a back – we'll do it with both – and sometimes we even use an extra lineman with Shawn Andrews, so we'll mix all of those things in and I think that that's the only way you've got a chance. You mix some longer throws with maximum protection, you mix in some shorter, quicker throws where you're getting everybody out. You have to keep them off balance, because if you fall into a rhythm that they can predict, then…they're too talented and we'll have our hands full. Hopefully we'll mix up things enough, keep them off balance to be able to move the ball the way we need to.
Q: Are we starting to see a little bit of what Travis Beckum can bring?
A: Yeah, I hope so. I think that we got him outside and he's finally been with us long enough after missing the entire preseason where he's familiarizing himself with what we do offensively, that we can see the athletic skills that he has, the things that we always thought he had, but it's just a matter of eliminating the mistakes, letting him grow in his knowledge and comfort of what we're doing. Yeah, I think you see a little snippet of his athleticism.
Q: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of playing a team twice within a month?
A: From a schematic standpoint, you'd say, good, you just played them, so you don't have to go back that far to refresh what they're going to do. What I've found has happened, amazingly, is that when you play somebody – like last year or two years ago when we played Philadelphia near the end of the regular season and then turned around and played them right away or a few years ago when we played Buffalo when I was at the Houston Oilers, we played them the next game in the playoffs. Ironically, teams make more changes then than ever before and you would never think it would be that way, but it's like, hey we just played them, we're going to have to modify everything, so sometimes the degree of change is more than ever before, which wouldn't seem to make sense, but it's almost like there's a need that people feel – we just played them, they've got a feel for us, so we've got to change up some things. The only advantage is just the familiarity, otherwise there is no advantage.
Q: Do you hold some plays in your playbook and not use them and save them for the next game?
A: If you knew you were going to win, you'd do it. The problem is, you're usually pulling everything you've got out to get a win that day and then you hope you've got something left for the following day. In a perfect world, you'd do it. I don't know how realistic it is. I think you do whatever you have to do just to win that first game.
Q: You obviously expected Ahmad to be productive, but is there anything that he's doing that has exceeded your expectations?
A: Not really. We thought we had a good back. We think he's going to be just as helpful – staying healthy, continuing to play so he can practice, keep himself as ready mentally and physically as he needs to be in order to perform on Sundays, but I always thought that we have a special back if we can do that. Again, it's a long season. We're only six games in, but if we can keep him healthy, I think he gives you not only the toughness that's obvious, but there's a quickness and an explosiveness, and I think that his attitude is pretty important – I think our guys really respond well when they see the extra effort that he puts forth.
Q: Why do Jacobs and Bradshaw complement each other so well?
A: Their styles are different. One is a quicker, more darting, whirling dervish kind of a guy. The other guy is just best when he's running one cut, north-south, and when he's palming people and he's been doing that, so they've complimented each other well. Knock on wood it will keep going.
Q: You guys beat them last year with the pass. What have you been telling your wide receivers about what it will take to win on Monday?
A: We threw the ball very well last time. There's no question that we did, but as much as it was the wide receivers, we protected very well and it's hard to do that down there. Two years ago we got embarrassed down there with that and then last year we didn't give up a sack – our line did a terrific job and as I said, you can't just block those guys with your line. It's a collective thing – the backs, the tight ends, whoever, whatever, but we did a great job of giving Eli a chance and the receivers responded very well, so I think that if can do that again, certainly we'll have an opportunity to move the ball through the air.
Q: Is it more important to have Shaun O'Hara back this week?
A: Yeah, you're going against a great player. Ratliff is not only a great pass rusher, he's a great run stopper, so to have your starting unit back is obviously a great advantage and certainly in pass protection, just seeing things – they do a terrific job of moving around and making it difficult to…they don't just line up here to here with a defensive tackle and a defensive end, they're moving all over the place. They do a great job, so having a guy who can identify and call out who is where is probably as important as anything that we do in our protection.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: The Cowboys have turned the ball over a lot. What can you guys do to try to coax them into more of those mistakes?
A: I think we just have to play our game. We have to be aware of the ball – if it's on the turf or in the air – and obviously we have to go out and hit hard and play hard and play with great intensity in order to create some of those turnovers so that we can get off the field.
Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing the same team twice in one month?
A: The familiarity is really good, so you like to think that you've got a better feel for the opponent once you play them twice within a month, but they see some of your strengths and they see some of your weaknesses and they're able to expose them. You do the same – you're trying to expose each other's strengths and weaknesses. You just hope that your plan is better when it comes to looking at their strengths and weaknesses when you play each other in that short period of time. There have been some opponents that have completely changed and you wonder how they do that on such a short notice, but there have been some opponents that do that when you play them within that time frame. You're just trying to expose each other.
Q: Would you be one to want to show them a completely different look the next time?
A: You really can't answer that until you go into the game, you find out what your plan is like, how the plan was executed, how they responded to the plan, then you take some of the good and some of the bad and you try come up with a different plan, so it will be difficult to answer until we actually play these guys.
Q: It appears that you're going to get Keith Bulluck back. How does that help you and your defense?
A: Veteran leadership, physical presence, knowledge and know-how of how to play the game, leadership, so that's a big plus for us when he comes back.
Q: You've had a lot of success with the three safety alignment. Does his presence change your thinking on that?
A: Some. We'll do a number of different things just based on what the opponent will do, but just having Keith back in and back in the huddle, it definitely helps us from a defensive standpoint.
Q: What have you learned about your top three corners since you've gotten here?
A: They're good cover guys. They compete each and every down. Nobody is perfect, we can do some things to help them and they can do some things to help us from a coverage standpoint. I'm able to do different things within the game because of them and using their strengths and some of their abilities and they give me a lot of flexibility. They really do. Even in a ball game, I'll ask them, "We haven't done this in a while. Can we do this?" And they're veterans and they're able to step up to the plate and say yes, we can do these things.
Q: Of the sacks you've gotten, how many would you say have been coverage sacks so to speak?
A: There have been a number of coverage sacks. I couldn't give you the exact number, but I think that that group as a whole has worked really well together and there's been good coverage with sacks and there has been some not so good coverage and we've gotten some sacks, so it's worked hand in hand.
Q: Are you reluctant to reduce the use of the three safeties?
A: No. When you study an opponent, you try to figure out if that particular package can work and if you can make it work and if it fits with what the opponent is doing, etc. How can you dictate to the opponent what you want him to see? So having Keith back in there is a plus for us and it doesn't really lessen the three safety package at all.
Q: Have you seen many wide receiver groups as big as these guys?
A: No. And as talented? No. Very impressive outfit.
Q: It must help that your corners are not tiny either.
A: Yes, that does help. This group – they're big and they're physical, so we have to try to match that physical intensity and physical play that they display on Sunday or Monday.
Q: Are most teams keeping three corners on the field against them?
A: Some three. A lot of them three, yes, and sometimes four. Various people have attacked them different ways, but most of the time three corners are on the field with those guys.
Q: How have you guys been able to get so much pressure?
A: I just think that the guys up front are really good at what they do. Again, the secondary is able to compliment them by some of the things we're doing in the secondary that hopefully make the quarterback hold the ball another second or so and I think it's just a good marriage right now the way we're working together in order to get those sacks as well as get the turnovers.
Q: How do you explain Osi's dramatic turnaround?
A: I wasn't here. I always viewed him as a hell of a football player and that's what he's showing me. He's just playing the game.
Q: Some teams play their corners on certain men. You play yours on the side of the field. Why do you choose to do it that way?
A: Just philosophy. Sometimes I go in and I match them up, sometimes I say that it's better to see everything from the left brain than the right brain and then switch brains, so it's just philosophy.
Q: Do you feel like Osi bought into your scheme right off the bat?
A: I can't speak to… He's been great. I'm telling you – as a matter of fact, he's even come and helped. Whether you say he's bought in or what have you, I think he's just made a commitment to be the best football player that he can be this season and he's playing lights out and as I've said before, Osi is a leader in his own way and he's showing his leadership qualities and he's doing some great things out there. I'm enjoying watching him display his talent.
Q: Did you have to have any heart to heart talks with him?
A: Osi has been professional from day one.
Q: You coached Jamon Meredith last year. Were you asked about him?
A: Our scouting department asked about Jamon. When he was in Buffalo, we acquired him from the Green Bay practice squad. He's a young man with a lot of potential and this environment and this system may be beneficial for him.
Q: Have we seen what Keith Bulluck can bring to this defense?
A: No. You haven't seen that yet just because number one, he's played in two or maybe three ball games and then was injured, but he didn't play as much against the Colts as we would have liked him to, so no you haven't seen that.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: How's the ankle? Did you hurt it during the game last week?
A: It'll be alright. It's something we've been dealing with for a while now.
Q: Why did you have to sit out today?
A: It hurt worse today than it did yesterday.
Q: Will you play this Monday, do you think?
A: I'll play. I'll be out there tomorrow.
Q: This ankle injury, where has it been hampering you the most?
A: In my ankle. I don't really get specific about injuries. You have to ask Coach Coughlin about that, we don't really talk about injuries that much. I just hurt my ankle.
Q: How would you categorize a Dallas week compared to other weeks?
A: For us, it's a very important week because it's a divisional foe. It's a team that we understand what we're getting ourselves into as far as how much they hate us and how much we hate them. I've said that a few times when it comes to Dallas and teams like Dallas. In college, you would think of this game as a big time rivalry game. I'm from Alabama, so it's kind of like it's an Auburn game or something like that. We understand that there is going to be a lot of emotion going into this game. They're going to be fired up and trying to get their season back on track, and we're going to be fired up and trying to keep the good times rolling that we've had the past couple of weeks.
Q: Their running game hasn't been as effective this year as it has in years past, why hasn't it?
A: I don't know. I guess you'll have to ask Dallas that. It hasn't, and it seems like they're still trying to figure things out. Hopefully, they won't figure it out this week.
Q: A lot of Dallas penalty issues come from their offensive line. Why are they getting themselves into those situations?
A: When I watch film, I look at not necessarily what the Cowboys have done but what teams have done against them. They've played some good defensive lines that do a lot of movement and have gotten after them pretty well. I think that has a lot to do with it. They have been up against a lot of pressure of late. Dallas likes to change their pass protections a lot, and there's a lot of stuff on memory, especially when you have a split second to remember. I think a lot of that adds in to the fact that they've had so many penalties, especially on the o-line.
Q: What can Keith Bulluck do for this defense when he's healthy?
A: I've seen, in the first couple weeks he's been playing, I think he picked up pretty much where he left off at Tennessee. He is a guy that felt confident in a leadership role on the football field, making calls, playing at a high level. We feel very confident in what he will able to do once he comes back.
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