Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good afternoon. After looking at the tape I really don't feel a whole lot different than I did post-game with you last night. The three turnovers, the 11 penalties, the one for four in the green zone, the special teams issues – those things haven't changed. I think that we had an opportunity in this game, we played…certainly statistics have nothing to do at this point in time…but I thought we played hard, I just didn't think we played smart and when we ended up with the penalties and we ended up with the turnovers, it didn't really give us a chance to accomplish what we set out to do. Now, having said that, the score was 19-10, we miss a field goal, we fumble a ball on the six-yard line – I'm not a great mathematician, but I'm figuring that that's 20-19 and those are the kinds of things I expressed to our team – the opportunities that were there. Tennessee's average starting position yesterday was the 38 yard line. Ours was the 23. We provided them with exceptional field position on any number of occasions and even though for a long time during the game we played good solid defense, we never forced them out of their comfort zone. We never forced them do to something that is not a part of their game. It just never took place. And they didn't have to because they were playing in the lead and they were able to take advantage or be the recipients of yardage and turnovers that put them in good standing. As I said, we're disappointed in the outcome. I think that it was a shock for all of us to have the penalties the way that they were, as was expressed. The setback in regards to that alone has to be corrected.
Q: Are you disappointed that they really got under your skin out there?
A: Any time you're distracted by virtue of that type of thing, yeah, it's disappointing because that's what you spend your time talking about during the course of the week and the fact that it happened…especially when it did take place. I mean, let's face it, it was second and ten and we ended up with the personal foul. It was a missed field goal that ended up at midfield. It was after the fumble at the six, the ball was at the 20. We didn't even put them in a position where they had to worry about how they were going to get the ball off the goal line, so it is…disappointing is probably the best word that I could use. The frustration level was high and the frustration level was attributed to the fact that we hadn't had success offensively – we'd take it up and down the field but not get it in the endzone – and turned away a couple – really twice – where points should have been on the board. You're talking about a third and two from the two and got the ball up to the six yard-line. Take care of the ball. Even if you come away with…everybody's looking for touchdowns…but even if you're forced to just come away with points, get something positive done for your team, give your team something that lifts your team rather than the opposite.
Q: With that on film, do you expect other teams to try to test your frustration level?
A: No. I don't think so.
Q: If you saw a team that had a lot of personal fouls, you wouldn't try to push their buttons a little bit?
A: Oh yeah, push their buttons, but it's not as if that's the…I don't see that happening. I think there would be individuals who might get tested and they're going to have to be prepared for it.
Q: Do you think they're up to that challenge?
A: I'm certainly very hopeful.
Q: Is there an update on Shaun O'Hara?
A: Not really. He's still in the boot and we'll see. I'm not sure where this is going to lead. He is seeing another doctor today.
Q: Does that affect your plans for the O-Line moving forward?
A: Well, Adam in the middle of the line had a couple of occasions where he could have done better, but he was pretty solid in there. We certainly think we can go forward with Adam at center, we've played him an awful lot, he's had a lot of preseason work, he's had game work now.
Q: Considering McKenzie's fouls, does that change your thinking on how much playing time he gets?
A: I'm not going to go down that path. No. I haven't given that a lot of thought right now and so I won't really make any comment one way or the other on that.
Q: What did you think of Shawn Andrews?
A: He did okay. What we'd like to do is get Shawn where he's really coming off the ball. There's a little bit of hesitation occasionally…could be assignment oriented, could be the fact that he's actually playing three spots for us now.
Q: What's been the problem on special teams?
A: Ask the question. I mean, we certainly have not done anything with our return game. We did not cover. We talked about coming out after the half and covering the kick and then being able to play good solid defense, get the ball back, that type of thing. They got the ball at the 48-yard line. We had an unfortunate safety and were to punt the ball down the field and I've seen Matt punt the ball 70 yards, there was no pressure, he comes away with a bad punt and they had the ball at midfield again. Too many times the ball was at midfield and it's easy to say okay, let's just flat out take care of our kickoff coverage group today, but our first kickoff return, they kicked the ball deep on us, but we did have some returns. The first one we could have returned. We didn't really block it the way it should have been blocked. After that it was a little bit better, but right now you can't afford a negative return, for example, based on people not getting the job done, so there are some areas that have definitely got to be improved…if it's nothing more than field position. Let's not let the other guys start at midfield.
Q: Is there an issue with the coordinator?
Q: Are you going to make any changes?
A: We may have to get a couple more people involved that haven't been involved.
Q: Are you going to start using some of the regulars in there?
A: It may be that way, yeah.
Q: Do you still feel positive after yesterday?
A: I still do. I definitely do. I think that what was said last night in the locker room, what was said here in our team meeting today, I think those things are…we're obviously very humble, we're very quiet today, we're down, but we'll be back up. I told the team that, just like you would like it to be, let's move on, let's learn from it, get yourselves rested and ready to go for Wednesday. I think we'll definitely respond.
Q: Well, looking at the standings, it's not like you're on the bottom of the heap…
A: Well, no. We talked about that too. 2-1 and the rest of us are 1-2.
Q: What were some of the things in general that were said last night?
A: You were in there last night. With the exception of my meeting with them, I think that I let you know exactly where I was coming from last night. Team. There's more to using the word, there's responsibility, and when I say don't let the other guys down, what do you think I'm talking about? Don't let the other guys down. You can't make the errors. You cannot be careless with the football. You're not going to win at this level. They had seven (turnovers) the week before and none (yesterday). We're benefitting nothing from the ball being ours anywhere. We're not getting any benefits in terms of turnovers and we're turning it over. Penalties. They had eight. Nobody pays any attention to what they had. We had 11, five of them personal fouls. That's 15 yards every time. It's not easy to make that ground up.
Q: You tried to take responsibility last night – what can you do differently this week?
A: Try to make sure that when I talk to our team about details – I can tell you that there are details within everything that we're doing that are not being done exactly right. Same thing is going to be for my attempt to verbalize exactly what I see when I talk to them about the next opponent. Exactly what I see. But it's not only me speaking, listen to what's being said. Apply it – apply what's being said. So I'll remain consistent in trying to get that done.
Q: Is this team listening differently or something?
Q: Tuck and Phillips were shaken up last night. Did any injuries appear with them today?
Q: What's the problem with the interceptions bouncing off of the receivers?
A: Why this is taking place with Hakeem…you've got to catch that ball. I can tell you, yeah, the routes should have been this way and the quarterback should have put it here and so on – you've got to catch the ball. If you throw the ball inside the numbers in this league and it is tipped, it's intercepted. That's all there is to it. Goal line – the goal line interception, acrobatic as it was – the interception that…we had a couple of other balls that were tipped that I was holding my breath on and they weren't surprises. It wasn't a surprise. You expect a guy at this level, if he gets his hands on the ball, he better catch the ball. Period.
Q: Is it taking too long for these guys to come together as one team?
A: Well, I think that you have a long season and you flow. We didn't talk about it much after Week 1, but it's an entire season that you're talking about now, it's not just at this point. You start talking about it in training camp, you try to identify the areas which perhaps are not as in the circle as you'd like them to be and you try to move those guys and that element into where you are. It goes on. It's an ongoing thing. You have the ebb and flow of the different personalities and all that business and you have to try to make sure that they're focused on what they should be focused on. And they have lives, too – they live lives and they have issues.
Q: Hakeem seems to have issues early in the game. Does he need to change his warm-up or something?
A: Catch the ball.
Q: Is he in a slump?
A: I don't think so. I hope not.
Q: Kareem said that you spoke to him today about what happened yesterday. Do you feel that yesterday is in the past or is it something you have to worry about going forward?
A: Well, we did speak and it's just like anything else. Kareem is a very sincere, very intelligent young man who recognizes the error of his ways and realizes that he flat out got too upset. He lost his poise and you just can't get to that point.
Q: Did O'Hara go to North Carolina to see Anderson?
A: No I don't think so. I didn't hear that one, no. That may be something that you were just twittering. Is that Dr so-and-so. I know you're on his list – his mailing list.
Q: Does Bradshaw have a mechanical fumbling problem and can you fix it?
A: You can fix it, but the individual must put himself in a position where when he is helter-skelter, which, let's face it, Bradshaw is really good at always straining for extra yards. He strains and you've got to love him for that. He fights for every yard. He makes the defense pay – he pays a great price – but he strains for every yard. Well, while you're doing that, you do have to take care of the ball and sometimes when he's maneuvering, he gets the ball off of his side and the one that was there yesterday was supposed to be an outside play, it got turned back in, or at least he turned it back in. You get turned back inside and there's a lot of people in there looking for the ball and that's kind of what happened. Yes, yeah you can, but you have an awful lot of…under the pressure of performance you have to apply the technique that I'm talking about and that's not easy.
Q: Did Shaun go to a specialist? Hospital of Special Surgery?
A: He's local, I think.
Q: Are you considering any personnel changes?
A: Well, we're going to talk about it as we do every Monday night and Tuesday, we'll evaluate the personnel that is available to us. If we do make some changes, we will. If we decide that that's what will help us, we will.
Q: After Week 1, you said that there was no time for patience with Dodge. What about now?
A: Well, I was upset last night, but we didn't punt. I'm upset that we didn't punt.
Q: He had the hold and the delay of game…
A: I understand. I didn't expect to go through that one. I didn't expect a delay of game on a field goal. That's bad football, that's all that is. He's not the only one responsible; you've got a group out there. Let's get up and go. Get up there and go. We have a holder, we have a snapper, we have veteran players around that team. Everybody can see the 40 second clock – it's right in front of you – let's go. But I didn't expect that one, but I was upset with the free punt. That should not have been like that – there's no pressure, you've got to get the ball out of there.
Q: Is part of your frustration that you know that this is a very talented team and you know what they're capable of?
A: Well everybody keeps saying that and I think that we have to come together to prove that. I think that has to be proven. I think that we have to play as one in order to get to that and yes, my frustration is that because I'll remind you again, in '08 we set the all-time record for fewest turnovers in the history of the National Football League and here we are. Last year was nothing but absolute torture with turnovers and we've started out this year as well. As I said last night – I said it real quick – you're not going to stop throwing the ball, for example. You're not going to stop running the ball, for example. The ball that Hakeem tipped was the most common and simplest of routes – probably one of the two or three individual routes that you start with – so if you're going to throw some things out to get back to basics, that one stays in. And the play that we turned the ball over with Bradshaw, that's a play that had gained a lot of yards in the game up to that point and you're well aware of that.
Q: Bradshaw's chop-block – would you have benefited from a larger back in the backfield? How did you see that play?
A: I see that play as another situation where we're wrong. You're leading me down the path here. I'm not making an excuse, but I'm just going to tell you that when the chop block rule was put in, it was put in for the right reason. It was put in for the fact that people were being lured as rushers and then being cut and being hurt by that. This was a different situation. The center is over here, sliding that way with his hand up, just feeling his way and Bradshaw comes in and it's a bigger body so he…it's not like we were luring. He was not being lured in to be trapped and cut, no, that wasn't the case so under the strictest letter of the rule, yes, he did have his hand on him. Yes.
Q: He could have gotten called for grabbing his facemask…
A: But we didn't. I'm telling you, I'm not making an excuse. I'm not defending it. That's the letter of the law and the rule is the rule, but it certainly is not the way it was intended. There wasn't anybody going to get hurt by that, by being lured in there.
Q: Was Tennessee doing anything to instigate the linemen? Is it always the linemen who get called?
A: Of course not. Of course they weren't. Everyone in football knows the oldest adage in the world: if you're the second one in line, if you're the one who decides that after the fact you're going to go ahead and take your frustrations out after something has happened, you're going to get caught. The second guy is always going to get caught.
Q: Eli is an accomplished quarterback. Are you confident that he won't be affected by the tipped balls and the fumbles and so on?
A: He has a great ability to go to the next play, if that's what you mean. He's always been able to do that, but let me just tell you, everybody is upset about it. It shouldn't be. It shouldn't have happened. You just made a nice big play and now you've got a chance to make another first down. As I said, there goes the ball. It shouldn't have happened. To their credit, the defense held them to a field goal.
QB ELI MANNING
Q: Any additional thoughts after having a chance to review the game?
A: No, pretty much the same as yesterday. A lot of good stuff to see, and a lot of bad stuff. It makes it hard after a game to watch it because we saw a lot of opportunities and chances we had to win the game, but we just didn't do it.
Q: Do you feel frustrated and angry after reviewing a performance like that?
A: No. There's a little frustration because we felt we beat ourselves on this one. It wasn't like they just came in, and we couldn't move the ball and execute. We executed really well on a lot of stuff. We moved the ball up and down, we just had too many self (inflicted) mistakes that caused us to lose the game.
Q: How do you regenerate a positive vibe after these two games?
A: I think you take it one game at a time. I think we came out with good energy, we just had some mistakes. Not all of them are mental mistakes, some are physical mistakes that just hurt you. Sometimes those things just happen. We did a lot of good things, we just didn't deserve to win that game with some of the things that we did wrong. We just have to keep working on. You look and you watch the film and you say 'Hey, you see a lot of really good things being done and a lot of big plays, and a lot of moving the ball up and down the field.' We just have to learn to finish our drives and we can get better at certain things. Certain things we're doing very well.
Q: Coughlin said yesterday that the loss was on him, what do you think of that?
A: That's kind of what happens with football games. A lot of it goes on the coach, and a lot of it really isn't his fault. It's our responsibility, the players' responsibility, to go out there and perform well, do our job. We were well coached, well prepared, we had a good plan, we executed a lot of things really well. Certain plays we have to execute a little bit better. I can't turn the ball over, we can't fumble the ball, we can't have some penalties and wind up giving up points. When you watch the film, we had more good plays than bad plays, but in this league, the bad plays were really bad plays. There were turnovers, and they were game changing plays, and you can't afford to have those.
Q: To be fair, Tom always stresses how turnovers, sloppiness, and lack of discipline hurt the team. How many times do you have to hear that before you're able to clean things up and make sure they don't happen?
A: Yeah, I mean it's just going out there and playing football. We don't need the penalties. We don't need the personal fouls. I don't have an answer for that, that's just unheard of and we have to eliminate those definitely. It wasn't like there were turnovers from a lack of effort or doing stuff wrong. Maybe we were trying too hard at times. Those things are correctable. A lot of the things that we're doing, again, are a lot of good things and there are things we are not doing as well that we need to fix or things that are correctable that we can fix so can we play better football.
Q: Are you more concerned about the tipped passes now?
A: We had one drop. It wasn't like it was tipped up in the air. It was dropped and it ricocheted into a D-lineman's hands. Unfortunately, that happens. When you throw it 47 times like we did, you're going to have a drop every once in a while. You just hope it's a drop and not an interception.
Q: Defenses have been taking Steve Smith away a little bit this year, are they covering him differently or what has been the difference?
A: I don't know, I mean how many catches did he have yesterday? Nine for 100 yards, I think that's a pretty good day.
Q: You're pretty effective in the hurry up…are you comfortable in a no-huddle situation?
A: No, it's not more comfortable. In the first half, it was good that we could go down and do that and move the ball and get a score right before halftime. We try and work hard at the two minute drill. At the end of the game, we moved the ball well at times but we still didn't score on any of those. It's something we do. We work at it and do well. Guys really run the ball and throw the ball, and it simplifies what the defense does. They can't get into all their different coverages and disguises and you can see what they're doing, and you can go out there and play well.
Q: Are you playing up to your capabilities? Are you happy with your play personally?
A: I have to improve my play. You look at the turnovers that have happened on my part that I have this season. That's something I have to fix. There were two turnovers in every game. That's unacceptable, and you're not going to win games turning the ball over. It starts with me in that a lot of things we are doing well, a lot of good things, but there are too many negative plays. We have too many bad plays that are costing us games. I have to fix that. We have to make sure it starts with me and trickles down to everybody us.
OL KAREEM McKENZIE
Q: So do you think your game Sunday is something that you can put in the past and it's over?
A: That was yesterday and today is today. It's a brand new day. It's a Monday after all.
Q: In retrospect, do you think you just got caught up in the chippiness and you just retaliated?
A: Pretty much, it's just the basis of a bad day all around for myself as far as not exercising good judgment, plain and simple. We all are at times less than our best selves, and situations can get the best of us. The key is to go ahead and learn from that experience, and to be a better man for it.
Q: So you talked to Tom about this, what kind of conversation was it?
A: Just to go ahead and express myself for what transpired and not helping the team win a game yesterday because my actions in no way, shape or form displayed the character or the way we expect each other to play football or to coach football.
Q: So you were out there and thinking about everything they said?
A: You're not really thinking, that's the basis of it. If I was thinking clearly, it wouldn't have happened, I would like to think.
Q: Obviously there was a build-up to it though, it doesn't just happen:
A: There is a build up to any situation. It's a game of football. It's a game of aggression in which you try to impose your will on another individual on the other team, and sometimes situations don't present themselves as you would like them to and you lose your cool.
Q: Things happen on the field all the time though:
A: All the time, and it's nothing new. Nothing especially particular about yesterday was any different than any other Sunday.
Q: Any message that the coaches preached to you guys after this Sunday?
A: Nothing in particular besides the fact that you can't turn the ball over and you can't make the mistakes that we made. You can't cost yourself situational penalties that take away from what you're trying to do on the field. It's very difficult to go ahead and be successful when you have penalties that keep the other team on the field or takes you off the field.
DT CHRIS CANTY
Q: What about all the after whistle stuff yesterday? What do you guys need to do to get back on track?
A: I think as long as we take care of our business between the whistles, and play physical New York Giants football, that's where it should stop. That's where we play them. We don't worry about what happens after the play has been blown dead. You talking about my, that's stupid. No player is worth penalties, period.
Q: You guys aren't an undisciplined team, why did all this happen?
A: Well, all I can say right now is you are what you are. Yesterday, we had 11 penalties. We say we're a disciplined team but we had 11 penalties yesterday. I can't argue with that.
Q: Does this represent the team though or is it a one-shot aberration?
A: It's something that we have to get corrected. Something we have to fix. We can't hurt ourselves and give ballgames away like we did yesterday. We wanted to come out and play physical, we wanted to come out and play smart and execute. In a lot of the situations yesterday, we did. There were some key mistakes we made that ended up costing us ball games.
Q: Where does that come from? A coach can repeat that 1,000 times but in the end, that's on you guys:
A: Guys, your guess is as good as mine. We go out and we had a great week of practice last week, we practiced hard and we practiced physical. We tried to cross all our T's and dot all our I's but when it comes down to it, we got out there yesterday and didn't execute. We had some costly penalties that when they happened, hurt us. It comes down to a matter of mental focus, mental toughness, execution, and discipline.
Q: Is there somebody in the locker room who rallies it?
A: Well, we all have to be rallying it. This is a team. It doesn't hinge on one individual. This is collectlively as a team, from the coaching staff to the players. We all have to put our heads together and figure out how we can get this fixed.
Q: How do you do it going into the game? Is it tough?
A: It's simple, it's just not easy. You practice, and you continue to have disciplined practice. You continue to try and execute to the best of your ability in practice. You hope that in the game, it carries over. You have to have that mental focus and mental toughness that keeps the consistency in the game that you had earlier in the week in practice.
Q: Do you guys look around the division at all?
A: Coach made it cognizant to us that Philadelphia is 2-1, and the other ball clubs are 1-2. We're still right in the midst of the division race. We have 13 games to go, and I believe he said in effect we're one game back. Everything we set out to do at the start of the season is still all right in front of us. We have to come back to work and continue to find ways to improve both individually and collectively as a team and put it all together on Sunday with all three phases playing together as a team, not just different sects or groups playing well. We have to put all of our talent together. This team has the talent, we just have to put it all together and play together on game day.
Q: Will you watch the Bears game tonight?
A: Absolutely. It's my business to watch that game tonight.
Q: Do you watch all Monday night games?
A: I do. The more football you watch, the more you learn about the game. The more you learn about individual techniques that you might be able to implore in your game. You talk about all the players who are really elite and really good players in this league, they watch a lot of football quite naturally.
Q: Do you watch it a little closer because you're playing Chicago next week?
A: Yeah, I'll watch it a little closer. I probably won't be on the phone, talking with my dad or the brothers. I'll be honed in watching the game. It's an early study and you get to watch it in the context of a live game with situations and things of that nature. You get a feel for what the team likes to do in down-and-distances. That's very important for a player to get a feel for how they operate.
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