COACH TOM COUGHLIN
Very disappointed today because I felt there wasn't any question that our guys practiced hard this week. Everybody wanted to win. Everybody was very sharp. The way in which we approached the game is exactly the way I would want it approached and then we beat ourselves so the oldest axiom in football is the first thing you have to do is keep from beating yourself before you can beat the opponent and we didn't do that. Now, we had the ball in the first quarter down in for two scores, came away with two interceptions. Our defense played well the whole game until the game – I don't say got out of hand, but, when we didn't score when we had the chance with a little under eight minutes to score twice, we drove it all the way down there again, we got in a position where it seemed to be that we didn't get the ball snapped on time, the communication between the holder and the line of scrimmage, the clock ran down, we missed the long field goal. We had made long field goals, but we did miss that one and that hurt. There's no question that that one hurt. I think when we got the ball off the goal line and had the unfortunate penalty with the high-low block, it gave them two points, that gave us the chance to get the ball at midfield but it was almost as if it just wasn't going to happen. I thought that there were a lot of parts of our game that were well played. I think that the part of the game that is so frustrating to me is the turnovers and the penalties and that's my responsibility. The way in which we play in between the lines is my responsibility and I'm taking full responsibility for that. This is a game that we should have won, we didn't win. A week ago we got our butts handed to us, this week we came out, played hard, played well at home, should have had the home crowd advantage, should have had all of those things going for us and yet we were not able to put the ball in the endzone with the continuation of the turnovers and I thought that we were resilient – we used that word many times this week – we did come back and come back and come back but each time we seemed to do that we didn't have a whole lot at the other end of that to finish. So, it was a very disappointing loss, the players are very disappointed, we all understand that we beat ourselves today, but we have 13 games to go and obviously we've got to improve.
Q: How is it your fault when you have all those interceptions and penalties? Shouldn't the players be held accountable?
A: They are held accountable. They've been told that they do not have the freedom to hurt our football team, to take actions which hurt our team. Penalties lose games – they know that, they've been told that, they all know it – what the repercussions are of losing the turnover battle – they all understand that…against a team that had seven turnovers a week ago and had none today. It is frustrating, but it's my fault, it's my responsibility, put it on me. Let's see if we can get a team to come out of that locker room as one and understand what we've done. We called for better execution this week, we got it. There's no question we got it. I think there was one long run by the runner, that's an exceptional runner, everyone knows that. We did execute. We didn't get the run going right away, but after we threw it a little bit, we were able to run it a little bit, so that's kind of the way that sometimes it goes. We did play better football. We gave a game away that we should have won and I'll take the responsibility for that.
Q: Special teams has been horrible.
A: They've been horrible and they continued that way today. You know where the double team is coming – and this is a thing that really bothers me – is everybody knows where the double team is coming from, anywhere 90 is gets the double, so realize that. Here the guy comes out right down the sideline and gives them excellent field position. They got field position off of that and they got field position off of penalties. They had the ball at midfield at least two times in the second half having done nothing.
Q: Was it winnable until the two McKenzie penalties?
A: I think so. I mean, we were there. Well, let's put it this way, it was very winnable when we missed the field goal, but you take a delay of game there – I mean, that's another one that's…the young holder needs to get us going.
Q: Where do you start to turn it around?
A: I think you start to turn it around by not turning the ball over.
Q: Have you ever had a team called for five personal fouls?
Q: Why did that happen?
A: I can attribute it to the retaliation. It's another one of those deals where macho…you know, he's doing this…but they all have heard it a million times and yet it happened.
Q: Are you disappointed that those came from veteran players?
A: I'm disappointed that it comes at all, that it comes from our team because, as I said, it'll be very, very difficult to win football games under those circumstances.
Q: Could any of those be a result of frustration?
A: I don't think so. I think it came from something that took place on the field.
Q: You took two guys out of the game after personal fouls – Rolle and McKenzie – did you speak to either of them about those fouls?
A: I spoke to Kareem after the first one and I spoke to the team right in here, collectively, just now.
Q: What did Eli have to say about that left-handed interception?
A: I have not asked. I didn't get a chance to talk to him.
Q: What did you see on that play?
A: I can tell you this - I know he thinks he's trying to make a play. We would have come away with at least three.
Q: What about Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble?
A: As I said, you talk about trying to figure out how to beat yourself…we just…over and over and over. I mean, there was a touchdown with momentum. There was a score coming with momentum. There's the ball on the ground.
Q: What can you do to get this message through?
A: Well, obviously we can focus on it, but we played lousy football a week ago and had three penalties. This week we had 11 – five personal fouls. We should have won the football game. This team out here (Tennessee) coming into our game had eight one week and 11 another. We'll get it under control, but you're going to get it under control as soon as the player realizes that when he retaliates, there's only one flag. They never see the first one. It's the retaliation that gets it every time.
Q: You lead the league in turnovers. Do you need to do anything differently?
A: Well, we can't stop trying to move the ball. We start every week out with a gauntlet drill that is designed to implement in their minds about ball security, but you're right, someone asked it earlier, I've never seen so many tipped balls. It seemed like any ball that's up above our eyes, our hands are very late to go up for the ball. It happened again late in the game. It didn't turn out a turnover, but there it was.
QB ELI MANNING
Can you explain the left-handed pass that was intercepted?
Just saw Kevin Boss open and was trying to get him the ball. That is one of those things where everything is telling you to try to get him the ball, but you just have to know you can't afford to have a turnover there and especially can't afford to float it in that situation. Sometimes you have to know when to stop competing a little bit, just say, 'they got us,' and either throw it with your right hand or don't throw it and take the sack and get the field goal.
Can you explain the difficulties in the red zone today?
Just mistakes in the red zone. It is not production on that one, just a mistake on my part. Had a fumble later on and those things are going to cost you. When you don't score down there it is one thing, but when you turn the ball over and get zero points you just can't afford those. It is hard to overcome those things. That was kind of the way it went most of the day. We did a lot of good things and got down there a number of times and made some good plays and then just had mistakes. Either mental mistakes or guys doing the wrong thing, a lot of the plays they made were just bad football on our part, mistakes that we were making. In this league you can't do that. If you make a mistake, it is going to cost you. Sometimes you are going to get beaten and that is one thing and sometimes the other team makes a play, but when you hurt yourself it is hard to overcome those things.
* * Do you have any explanation for the amount of tipped passes that you have had lately?
No. I thought the receivers did a good job today, caught a lot of passes. Obviously early on in the first series we were driving down there pretty good, running the ball, hit a pass, moving the ball. We have a first down play, have Hakeem Nicks wide open, we are going to get another first down right there and we get a dropped tipped up interception. I don't have an answer for that. Sometimes those things happen. We have to catch the ball, it is that simple.
Any reason for using more screen passes in this game?
I think we ran two screens to Ahmad (Bradshaw) so it is just trying to slow down the rush a little bit. Mix up some different plays so you are not just standing in the pocket every time. We tried to do a few things, we didn't have a whole lot of success on them, but it is a good thing to do to slow down the rush.
Was this the most undisciplined game you have ever been a part of?
Yeah, it was frustrating. It was just so many sloppy things that happened. It is just tough to think about some of the mistakes that happened. Not blocking the right guy on certain things, tipped balls, fumbles, interceptions, penalties, and there is not really an answer for it. It is a day where you are doing a lot of good things and you can look back on the day when we watch the film tomorrow and we'll see a lot of plays, 'hey that is a great job, it is a great job,' but it is the bad plays that are killing us. We are just having too many negative plays. It comes down to being more consistent. We have the playmakers to do good things, but if you are going to make mistakes, if you are going to screw up so many things, it gets cancelled out.
What happened on the left-handed interception?
I am not very good at throwing left handed and it was a bad decision on my part.
Just trying to make something happen?
Yeah, I saw him open and it is just one of those things where you see somebody open, you want to try to make a play, and I have to watch the film. I don't know why the ball is in my left hand anyway or why I couldn't throw it with my right hand, but it is just what happened trying to get it to him. I think I threw it high and it got tipped up and intercepted.
You threw a pass left-handed last year?
Yeah, bad habits. You don't want to try to throw it left-handed. It is one thing if you throw it and you are sure you can get it there, you throw it low, but you can't float it, float it high in the end zone down there in that situation.
Does it seem like any dissension in the locker room is affecting things on the field?
No, no. I don't think it bothered this team last week. A lot of times when stuff is said to the media the players don't even know a whole lot about it. The only reason I know about it is I get asked about it by the media. We are just creating distractions so we have to eliminate that. We have to know that whatever happens we have to keep it in-house, keep it amongst the players. We can't afford to have distractions. We have to worry about football.
How important was it to have Kevin Boss back in the lineup?
Kevin did a good job today and obviously hit a big play right down the middle in our second drive. Again, we just didn't capitalize on some of the big plays that we made. Blocking, having him receiving and doing a lot of good things and he played well so it will be good to build on that and keep going.
How surprised are you that the major penalties all seemed to be on veteran players?
Yeah, some of them. Both sides of the ball had them. The Titans had some personal fouls also, but obviously we didn't capitalize on them. When you are at the end of the game you can go down and score and get back in the game and have something happen, you can't afford to have a personal foul and now you are stuck at 3rd and 30 or whatever it is. Right there you put yourself in a situation that makes it tough to win, tough to have success, and those things can't happen. It is one thing if you go out there and you just get beat and they are better than you, they outplay you, or they out-scheme you. Those things sometimes you can handle and you can learn from it, but I don't know what you learn from…all we learned is that we can do a lot of good things and we made stupid plays that we can't overcome. We have to learn to just be more consistent. If you know your responsibilities and there are plays there to be made, you just have to make them. We are not asking you to do anything unbelievable, just do your responsibilities.
Are there certain drills or techniques that the players can do to reduce the tipped pass interceptions?
I don't know. I don't have the answer. It is just catching the ball. Some of them in the first game were high balls, but at this point I don't have the answer for the one today. It was just a drop. It got dropped, got tipped, and a d-lineman catches it. It is just unfortunate. I don't think there are drills to do. Maybe throw it lower or something. It is frustrating.
Can you talk about the long pass to Mario Manningham that would have moved you off the goal line that got called back due to a penalty?
Yeah we had a great play called, we get a big play, and all of a sudden at that point you are right in the game. You are down just a little; I think the game was tied up at that point right? The game is tied up, you are on the 50 yard-line, you have some momentum going, and all of a sudden now you are down two and they get the ball at the 50 yard-line after the kickoff and they go down and score. Now you are down nine all of a sudden. After that we still moved the ball, we are going down to score again, get down to the five yard-line and have a fumble. We did everything we could possibly do to lose this game and that is the sad part.
Is it a bit of a comfort that you haven't played any of the other NFC East teams yet?
You have to beat everybody. All the games matter. It is not like some games don't matter. Every game counts, every game is just as important as the next, and when we get into the division it is not like those games get any easier. We are playing all really good, tough teams. You have to try to win games at home and when you have opportunities and you feel like you are playing well in good conditions and we feel like we are playing well, we just have nothing to show for it.
Mathias Kiwanuka on today's game:
This is about as frustrating as it gets. We definitely have to work on not beating ourselves. We have to give credit to them because they played hard and they executed. And they deserved to win. We lost today because of a lot of combinations. There is plenty of blame to go around. We will go back and figure out where we messed up. But the one thing that really sticks out is that you can't have the penalties that we had and expect to win the game.
Barry Cofield on today's game:
We just didn't play well enough to win. We are just not good enough as a team right now. We can get better, we can get worse or we can stay the same. The way we are now, we are not good enough. We are not good enough to overcome mistakes. We are not good enough to overcome penalties. We have to either grow and we can go uphill or we can go downhill. There are a lot of things that can happen. But as construed right now, we are not good enough. We are not playing well enough to win.
Kevin Boss on today's game:
I thought we dominated them statistically, but statistics don't always win games. It is so frustrating with the outcome the way it is. I thought defense played good. Offensively we consistently hurt ourselves. I thought we were unlucky there a few times, but of course, you make you own luck. Offensively we couldn't be stopped. We just stopped ourselves.
Steve Smith on today's game:
We basically hurt ourselves the whole day today and there were just too many yellow flags on us. We just have to suck it up and go back to work. I thought Eli was pretty sharp today but when we had our chances to put the ball in the end zone, we didn't come through. We left too many points out on the field. Turnovers and penalties have a way of stopping you when you are down low. We can't allow that to happen – and that is on us.
Adam Koets on today's game:
We had a lot of opportunities to be successful, but we just kept hurting ourselves. We have to come to work this week and get better as a team. We shot ourselves in the foot too much today. We moved the ball today but we just didn't put it in the end zone when we had our chances. We knew we had some opportunities to make some plays but we just didn't get it done.
Jonathan Goff on today's game:
We just have to stay positive. We have to be as constructive as possible. We have to look at it for what it is. We have to come back next week and get better. We have to do what we can to help ourselves. We wanted to rebound from last week. I felt we were physical today. We were ready. Our attitude was positive. But with the outcome the way it was, it was very frustrating. We can't hurt ourselves, and that is what we did today. Even though this one hurts, we must stay positive. We have to look at the bad, but we also have to take the good from this.
DE OSI UMENYIORA
Q: There was a lot of talk during the week about lack of leadership and robotic play from the defense, did that come into effect today?
A: Not at all. All that is talk. I think everybody panicked a little bit too early, now is not the time for that. Now is the time to build our team back up. Right now we're not playing well as a team, and we have to figure out a way to get better.
Q: What stands out most to you about today?
A: Everything. I don't think this is a game we should've lost.
Q: Why not?
A: We just shouldn't have, for numerous reasons. I can't really get into all that. We just have to find a way to get better.
S ANTREL ROLLE
Q: After a lot of mental mistakes today, how worrisome is that to you?
A: It's not really worrisome, there are things that can be corrected and will be corrected. I think we played a tough game, a physical game, and a good game in my eyes. You see that the turnovers and the penalties definitely hurt us, but it's definitely something that will be corrected. We have to get back to work come tomorrow.
Q: Any explanation when you got pulled off the field?
A: There was no explanation. I got struck twice, and I struck back. There was no explanation about it. I'm a ballplayer, and that means I'm fiery. He struck me twice, and I definitely struck him back. I wasn't ejected, but the coaches pulled me out probably to calm me down. I understand that. It's a game of emotions. That guy took two strikes at me, and I made sure I struck him back.
RB AHMAD BRADSHAW
Q: What happened on the fumble?
A: Well, they got their hand on it when I cut back, and I just lost it.
Q: What about the chop block? What happened there?
A: He was our center's guy and I jumped over from the MIKE because the center took my guy, and I went to chop block him. By the time I was in the air, I didn't know whether he had his hands on him or not. They called the penalty.
Q: Did you realize you were in the end zone? Did you know that would be the outcome?
A: No, I didn't. I didn't see the flag, it was behind me. Once I saw the flag, I figured that it had to happen that way.
Q: What was Coach Coughlin's message after the game to you guys?
A: Same thing I'm giving to you all right now. We beat ourselves, and we have to make it up.
RT KAREEM McKENZIE
Q: Did they get under this team's skin today?
A: I guess so. I can't speak for anyone else, I can only speak for myself.
Q: How would you categorize your performance today, and why?
A: Poor, plain and simple. How come? You mean despite the two personal foul penalties, how come?
Q: Are you upset with your performance?
A: I think that anyone who had two personal fouls in a game would be upset from the onset, before even being taken out of the game. That goes without saying, I think.
WR STEVE SMITH
Q: What happened tonight?
A: Well, we're not playing Giant football right now. All these penalties, no matter how well we thought we can move the ball offensively, the penalties kill you. That's football.
Q: Were the Titans trying to keep it in front of them? Did you kind of expect that much chippy play?
A : Yeah, we saw that on film. They have a lot of physical players and they're chirping the whole game and talking trash to us.
DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: How tough was it knowing that you guys shot yourself in the foot so to speak?
A: That's one of the toughest parts. We came in and had a great week of practice, went out with a lot of energy and were focused. I think we played hard and physical. As a player, you can't ask for much more than that, other than playing smart, and we didn't play smart today.
Q: Tom talked about this team needing to come together quickly, where does that have to happen?
A: I don't know. It's tough to see. Until I go back and watch the film and see how we played as far as assignment wise, I think we played good together. We just didn't play smart. Those penalties killed us. Those turnovers killed us. That's a fourteen point swing right there.