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Giants Postgame Transcripts

Head Coach Tom Coughlin

A great win for our team tonight. A win that we really needed – to be 2-2 and tied for the division lead is outstanding. We're excited about that. Our defense played superbly. I feel badly that we turned the ball over and they ended up with a field goal there in the third quarter. I thought we…the ten sacks…the disappointing thing I think was the ball being turned over to us twice in the first half and not coming away with any points at all. That was frustrating. We did stick with it. We ran the ball – they're a very good defensive football team – Peppers is an exceptional player, their linebackers are exceptional – they did an outstanding job of that. But we're excited to win. I thought that Matt Dodge did better in the second half. He came back out and kept the ball pretty much away from 23 (Devin Hester), which helped us win. An outstanding win for our team. Good solid week of practice again – we've had a couple in a row. It paid off for us tonight, although we still had turnovers – we've got to somehow get that under control.

Q: Is that about as close to a perfect game as a defense can play?
A: They played very, very well. I don't know what the numbers are – I haven't seen those – but I know that it was very difficult for Chicago to get a first down and we really did well against them on third down and that's a team that, a week ago, battled a divisional rival – the Packers – and were able to win. I know that they suffered – they lost their starter – and according to Lovie they think he'll be okay.

Q: You've had trouble sustaining the rush against the pass. Especially without Kiwanuka, what do you think the key was?
A: Well we got in good position. We had good speed on the edge. We gave some multiple looks. We got some good one on one…we had success in our one on one matchups tonight. We came from different spots – from both outsides, we came up the middle – and we were able to consistently put pressure on the quarterback.

Q: Did you see any improvement on special teams?
A: I felt like we…we had Chase (Blackburn) out there…we had a better feel for what we were doing. I don't know that the results are a whole lot better but I think we made some progress.

Q: What is it like witnessing that many sacks? Do you get caught up in it at all? Are you aware of the numbers?
A: No…well, yeah, because the ball keeps going backwards and the ball was coming out with the sacks as well and that's what you try to do is get the ball turned over and that was the route that we were able to take and plus we created some very difficult down and distance situations for them.

Q: Tiki Barber got booed at halftime after being critical of you and the team this week. Do you take that as a sign of the fans' support for you and your team?
A: I don't know what he said, to be honest with you, and I wouldn't comment on it but if it's to the betterment of our football team, then yeah.

Q: Offensively what was different after the touchdown drive in the third quarter?
A: What was different? Well, we had a good mix. We hit some passes to get the thing going and we made some outstanding runs. You know, it seems at times like we were a little bit tentative like we were trying not to make an error instead of just playing the game. We put ourselves in some…we got behind the eight ball a little bit with long yardage situations. I don't think we were very good on third down, but we did hang in there – it just shows you that if we didn't turn the ball over tonight and we played the kind of defense that we played and if we could do that with some consistency, then if we can stay with the run game and continue to work at that and use the play action pass a little bit more, not get in those long yardage situations, not turn the ball over – although again, the turnovers – we had two turnovers, two fumbles on the run game, and the pass…the passer got hit and the ball came out and that was a three step drop – so you know that the quality of the rush was pretty good.

Q: The linebackers seemed a lot more active. How do you assess Jonathan Goff's progression?
A: He's coming along well. He had a couple of nice plays…its unfortunate, the penalty, because he's well aware of the rule there and we had an interception. Jon's made good progress.

Q: Was Bradshaw hurt on that fumble?
A: I haven't heard a thing yet, but I haven't been in there.

Q: Could you talk about how you just attacked Chicago's run game?
A: Well, we did…as I said, we did a good job of preparation and we tried to make sure that all of our gaps were covered and when they did run the ball, we were on the spot and sometimes we had a couple of guys…we created a situation for ourselves where they weren't able to block the second guy.

Q: How much did you just need to win tonight?
A: Oh, we needed to win. We needed to grow and we needed to gain confidence. That's what this thing is all about and any game is like that. It's a game where despite those things that occur which are not good, you've got to hang in there. Your resiliency, your ability to stay focused, your resolve – overcoming, whether it be great plays by the opposition or plays which affect you because of the way you've conducted them. To win helps you because you've been in the winners circle, you've won against a real good team and hopefully it's something that we can build on.

Q: Are you still disappointed that Matt Dodge is having first halves like that?
A: Well, sure I am. Any time you've got a lump in your throat over what should be routine things, you're going to have that issue.

Q: Any special significance to what all went on tonight – the Ring of Honor, the breast cancer awareness ceremony, the night game?
A: Well, there isn't any question that we spent a lot of time talking to our players about the Ring of Honor and the incredible fact that 85 years of football for the New York Giants franchise and 30 men are inducted – 22 players – and one of the players is in our midst all the time, Jessie Armstead. Michael Strahan was back this week (on Thursday) and came through the office, spoke to the defensive guys. So we wanted to win this game to honor those members who have gone into the Ring of Honor here for the New York Giants franchise, so that was very important to us that we did do that and that we did salute them in the right way. It was a defensive struggle and that's probably the best way that we could acknowledge them.

Q: Is Hedgecock's injury serious?
A: I don't know anything about any of the injuries yet. He didn't go back.

Eli Manning

Can you sum up your first half?

We have to find ways to take advantage when we get great field position.  Our defense was playing outstanding, getting us turnovers.  We had the missed field goal and had a couple of opportunities where we were kind of going backwards.  We didn't have any positive plays once we got down there.  That is something we have to work on.  We have to find ways to get touchdowns and at least get away with something.  A couple of them we were going backwards instead of forwards.  We hung in there until the end.  We played smart.  Early on we didn't have turnovers.  We didn't put our defense in a bind in any way.  We kept fighting, kept grinding it out running the ball and eventually tired them out a little bit and finally hit some plays in the passing game.  We did some good things, but they are a good defense.  They are talented.  Not many teams have scored many points against them, but it was good to find a way to win.

What clicked on that 90-yard drive?

We hit a couple play-actions.  We finally just got a first down and got some rhythm going.  It is hard to get plays going when you have no rhythm.  It is first, second, third down and you are out.  We threw it to Steve (Smith) on second down and got a first down.  The next time we hit a deep play-action and slowed them down a little bit and hit Hakeem (Nicks) on about a 20-yard pass.  Then had a run, had another play-action, hit (Travis) Beckum down the middle of the field.  A good job of run, pass, mixing up the play-action, and that is kind of when we are best.  To do that you have to be able to get some first downs to start with, get a little rhythm, then you can find what you are doing.  You can run, you can play-action off of it, you have good down and distance, and you can start to dictate what the defense is doing a little bit.

Were passing conditions difficult tonight?

No.  I don't think they were difficult.  I had a couple I would want back a little bit, one to Hakeem on a slant that was too high.  Conditions weren't difficult.  The first play I should have had a big chance to hit a big play just (Julius) Peppers, Peppers is a good player, he was coming around the corner and I just had to throw it before I wanted to.  I thought the offensive line did a good job protecting against a talented defense that gets a lot of sacks.  We ran the ball against the number one defense against the rush.  We had a big night running the ball and that is what we needed to do.

Can you talk about your offensive line's overall performance?

I thought our offensive line played really well against a talented front seven.  You don't see many front sevens better than the Chicago Bears.  A bunch of defensive linemen, those linebackers can really run, they do some good things, and I thought we protected well.  We ran the ball tough; we hung in there, and kept grinding it out.  That is kind of the old school Giants football.  Hopefully our defense can keep playing to that level, they played outstanding, but our offense kept grinding and finally in the second half we started getting some good things.  We started getting the play-action, we started to run the ball, which opens up the play-action, and that is when this offense is at our best when we can mix in the run and the pass and do some of those things.

Does the quarterback in you look across and feel bad when you see the opposing QBs getting knocked out of the game?

Yeah a little bit.  You see nine sacks in the first half and then the third quarterback comes in.  It is not ideal to get your first playing time in your career when the two quarterbacks in front of you get knocked out of the game.  It is fun to watch our defense when they are doing that.  When they are making plays and getting sacks it gets the crowd fired up.  They set the tempo early on in the game by playing outstanding.  We have to help them out sometimes and we did a decent job until the fourth quarter getting a couple turnovers.  We should have had a shut out, but we gave them great field position and gave them a field goal there at the end with the fumble.  It was a fun game to watch, our defense played great, and offensively we did what we had to do to win.

Any extra satisfaction winning on the night of the Ring of Honor ceremony?

Yeah, definitely, definitely.  I was reading the program today and all week just seeing a lot of the names and great players who were going into that ring of honor.  Had a good amount that were here today watching the game.  Got to see Y. A. Tittle before the game and some great players so it is always special when you know some guys are going to be here and you are honoring some of the great Giants that have played here to go out and get a win and play pretty well.

Did you think about the game against the Eagles three years ago when the defense had so many sacks?

I am just trying to figure out Chicago's defense and how to get the ball in the end zone.
What has Ahmad Bradshaw's development meant to the offense?

Ahmad played tough today.  He did some good things in the run, had a big screen for a first down, in his pass protection, he is playing hard.  He played really tough against a good defense.  I think it is a great mix with him and Brandon (Jacobs).  When Brandon came in he ran well also.  Both of those guys need to run the ball and play well for us and it is good to get them both going.

What happened on the fumble?

I don't know.  I have to look at it on film I guess.  We just didn't get it.  That is something we have to fix.  They had pretty good penetration on the defensive line getting back there, but we can't afford to do that when our defense is playing well.  At the end of the game we have to find ways to run the ball, don't turn the ball over.  That is the last thing you can do in that situation. 

How much of an inspiration was Jessie Armstead's speech to the team?

Jessie is a guy who is around the locker room, he is around the players, my time here never overlapped with him while he was a Giant, but I remember him playing.  Just a ferocious player.  He came in and had a great talk just about our responsibilities as a player, as a teammate, what we are doing, how other people are looking at us, how he played the game, and how he conducted himself.  He is a great influence and presence around the locker room.  It was good to have him there last night and give a good speech before a big game.

How long did he talk to you guys for?

He probably talked for 10 minutes at least, maybe a little longer.

Osi Umenyiora on tonight's defensive performance:

That is the way we are capable of playing.  We needed to honor those guys who were inducted into the Ring of Honor tonight.  We have to give a lot of credit to those guys.  And with Michael Strahan here, he is one of those guys who paved the way.  We were just in position tonight to rush the passer.  And we were able to rush the passer hard tonight.  Sacks are like that – sometimes they come in bunches and sometimes they don't.  And everybody needs to understand that tonight was one of those nights. 

Justin Tuck on tonight's defensive performance:

You know what; we need to have a Ring of Honor ceremony every week.  Tonight just kind of steamedrolled.  Osi came in and got the party started early.  After that we shut down their run game.  We were just able to go out there and let it loose.  I'm hoping that tonight is kind of a wake up call for this defense, and especially for the d-line.  We have kind of been shut out the last couple of games.  We just want to get back to the old ways and tonight we took a huge step toward that.   Tonight was just all about execution and I have to take my hat off to the secondary.  They gave us a lot of time.  They were blanketing their receivers tonight.  He had nowhere to throw the ball.  We wanted to make sure Jay Cutler didn't have anywhere to run – and we kept him in the pocket.  And the pocket just shut down on him a few times.  When it rains it pours, I guess. 

Ahmad Bradshaw on the 90-yard drive in the third quarter:

On that drive, we just knew what we had to do.  Defense kept us in the game the whole night.  We knew it was really important for us to go down and score at that particular time.  In our offense, the pass and the run compliment each other.  And that is exactly how that drive went.  For each of them to work effectively, we have to run the ball well and pass the ball well.  It's great to watch our defense.  They get so pumped up and they are so entertaining to watch.  Both ends are so competitive.  It is just a great thing to watch – to see how competitive they are. 

Chris Snee on the 90-yard drive in the third quarter:

We knew we had to start holding up our end of the bargain there.  Defense played phenomenal tonight.  All of the stats speak for themselves.  With what they were doing to that team over there tonight, we just knew we had to get into the end zone.  We just had to add a little cushion because it was clear that they weren't going to get anything on our defense.  On that drive, coaches put us in all good situations.  And we just went out there and executed the way you are supposed to.  Tonight's was a really important win because now we are 2-2.  And now we are back to .500 and there is a three-way tie in our division.  We are right back in the thick of things.  We just have to play smart football from here on out. 

Terrell Thomas on interception:

We were in a nice cover-two and my guy progressed all of the way across the field and I didn't have a deep threat.  And I was able to make a play on the ball.  We were jelling tonight.  Our d-line wouldn't let him throw the ball, and they did a great job of attacking the quarterback.  That is one great thing about our defense – we don't care who gets the glory as long as everybody is making plays and we are winning. 

Deon Grant on his interception and on tonight's defense:

It was a great call by the d-coordinator and I was just playing my technique.  Tonight was perfect.  We'll take 10 sacks any night.  With the d-line coming after you like that, they have to get rid of that ball quick.  And because of that, some of the balls are going to come our way.  It is just great when our d-line is playing like that.

Hakeem Nicks on tonight's game:

On our first scoring drive we just started to click as a unit.  We just had to come together as a team and put everything together.  Hats off to the defensive line tonight.  They held it down and they got 10 sacks, which is just great.  We just felt that the way the defense was playing tonight, we just had to put some points on the board and they were going to protect whatever we put up. 

Kareem McKenzie on tonight's game:

Tonight was just a great defensive effort.  The defense really held up their end of the bargain tonight.  They gave us a chance to get things started.  We kept cool heads tonight.  We were very patient tonight.  We knew we were going to get it going; it was just a matter of time when we did.  We stayed after it.  We didn't beat ourselves.  We played football the right way.   We cut down on penalties and we would still like to cut them down even more.  We just wanted to play a classic game tonight and play very disciplined.  We wanted to make a good representation of ourselves. 

Jonathan Goff on tonight's game:

I have never seen, or been a part of anything like this tonight.  The d-line did a great job and we all did a great job of playing together.  The d-line was really getting after the quarterback tonight.  Tonight was scheme and execution and we put it all together.  We played as one. 

Corey Webster on tonight's game:

This was a highly self motivated game tonight.  We wanted to get back to playing defense the way we are capable of playing.  We had all of the legends in the house tonight and we didn't want to disappoint them.  We wanted to show a lot of enthusiasm for guys tonight.  Tonight was a combination of scheme, execution and motivation.  We also had a lot of discipline tonight, too. 


Q: What are they telling you about your injury now?
A: I haven't heard anything definitive yet. I'm waiting to get all the opinions from the doctors, and we'll go from there.

Q: Is next week really a possibility for you with this injury?
A: Anything is possible and I'm trying to stay optimistic. The way these guys fought out there today, it makes me want to get back a little faster.

Q: NBC reported that you couldn't even turn your head, is that accurate at all?
A: You wake up in the morning and your neck is a little stiff, but I feel a lot of people are like that. It's not something that I think will keep me out for a long time.


Q: What happened tonight that was different?
A: I think things are finally starting to click now. We wanted to turn things around on Sunday Night football. We were all looking forward to it.

Q: Ahmad Bradshaw had his first 100-yard game in a while, what did his running do to open up the passing game?
A: It helped a lot. He went out there and ran the ball real hard. That always helps out the passing game.

Q: What was so difficult about getting into a rhythm out there, esp. with all the early three-and-outs?
A: It was just us coming out to a slow start. It was a defensive game at first, and we were going against a good defense. We just had to put everything together, and when we finally did, it clicked.


Q: As the game got rolling and you got better, did the confidence help you play better?
A: Not really because the game was still 3-0. It was still a good game, so at any point in the game, it could've changed in either direction so we had to keep our discipline. Our D-line did a great job. We were in a great position as a secondary, and were allowed to make great plays.

Q: Did you feel the coverage was responsible for Cutler holding onto the ball for so long?
A: It went to head-to-head. That's what kind of defense we have to be. When we are able to jump routes like that and our D-line went to the quarterback like that, it went both ways. Sometimes, he didn't even have time to throw the ball. If we keep playing like that, we'll be a great defense.


Q: Does it surprise you that a performance like this comes after you lose Kiwanuka?
A: I'm not surprised. These guys worked extremely hard throughout the week. I think a lot of guys went to each other, sat down, and had personal talks. We had guys come in and give us a pep talk, tell us things we needed to hear as a defense. I think these guys went out there and played with a chip on their shoulder. We had talks from Michael Strahan and Jessie Armstead this week.


Q: How frustrating was it in the beginning of the game when you guys had good field position but came up empty?
A: We just knew we had to keep fighting. We knew if we got our great defense to keep us in it, and they did a great job today, and I take my hat off to those guys.

Q: Those two 25-yard runs really were game changers, can you take us through those plays?
A: I think I cut back on one of them and was able to square through and make Peppers match up coming up the left side. I tried to hit the sidelines, and run straight to the end zone.

Q: How'd you feel running the ball today?
A:It was great. The line did a great job, and they executed well up front. I was able to work with it.


Q: You guys heard from some ex-Giants this week, was that really meaningful to you guys?
A: No question. To see Mike (Strahan) come run around the facility and stop by every meeting room and meet with every group. He came in and talked to us for about 15 minutes almost, and we're really thankful to have guys like Ottis and guys like that to come by and encourage us to play hard.


Q: Do you attribute the great pass rush to the guys in the secondary and their great coverage?
A: Those guys in the back end did an outstanding job. They made the quarterback throw the ball.

Q: What made you think that "going out there and having fun" was the key to tonight's win?
A: I think anytime you are able to do that, you have a tendency to win games when you go out there and are playing for each other, and I think that's what we did.

Q: Is this win a way to show that you guys still have your coach's back?
A: No question about that. He's an outstanding coach, and he has our back. We didn't like what we heard, and we had to go out there and play for him. We had to play also for all the Giants who came before us.

Q: Did it feel like that Philadelphia game all over for you with all those sacks today?
A: No. Not at all, I wasn't even thinking about that. This game was so close, we just wanted to win. * *  

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