Head Coach Tom Coughlin**
Coach Coughlin: I'm disappointed. Again, this time we put together seventeen straight points and obviously it wasn't enough, but getting the ball back down there at the end of the third quarter and having a turnover, the fumble. The unfortunate thing, the most disappointing thing for me is from that point on, I didn't see any offense. I don't know what happened there, but we didn't really, until the last series when we got the ball to midfield with the penalty, we didn't press beyond after that sequence at the end of the third quarter, for us. Defensively, you know, they did what they have to do. They drove the ball, they threw the ball, they ran the ball, they did what they have to do and they came from behind and the last play to [Julio] Jones, surprise, surprise down the sideline. But, you know we played hard for a long time, we played hard. I would have definitely come in front of you and said it was an improvement over the first game. You know we ended up with a turnover which really hurt us. We've been doing a superb job of taking care of the ball and you know sliding up in there trying to make a play and getting, coming around the edge from behind and Eli [Manning] did not obviously see the player from behind and the ball came out. But that hurt, no question, that hurt and the things that happen in the course of a game, you know we're covering a guy down the sideline and don't really know the ball's being thrown, the ball hits us in the back. You turn around there and catch the ball, the game's over. It's inside two minutes, they don't have any timeouts, the game is over. But finishing the game, getting the game done and finished the way we want it to obviously we're struggling with that.
Q: You talked about the play to Julio [Jones], "surprise, surprise" that they went to Julio. How is it that they we're able to get in that spot and get open in that situation?
A: He was covered one-on-one, but he evidently, I didn't see the middle part of the play, but he just ran by him. It was just a go route I think, he just threw it up in the air and he went and got it.
Q: Tom, on the flip side, Odell [Beckham Jr.] was so productive in the first half and not in the second. Was that just part of your frustration with the Offense? Do you have any explanation for that?
A: Yeah, yeah it is. It really is. There really isn't. I mean we had the look that we really wanted, where we could get him where we wanted him and it was too spotty our ability to take advantage of it. We got to it late, we got to it early, but not enough. But, you know, you're trying to mix the run in, you're trying to mix the pass in, you've have other people to get involved when the coverage is leaning one way. You have to try to take advantage of some other things with other people. That didn't happen today either at least to the extent that the ball was down the field. I thought Shane Vereen did very well and you see why he's here. He had a very, very good game and again it would have been nice to have enough time to take advantage of him in that last couple of sequences there which we weren't able to do. But he did play well.
Q: Coach, you got hit with a delay of game and then after that you had one that almost was another delay of game. What did you see, what did you hear happening?
A: I have no, there's really no reason for that. There was plenty of time when we were out over the ball, plenty of time, and I think, the only reason I can offer is, he's changing the protection around and he loses track of the clock. But to go from third and seven with a legitimate chance and quite frankly, a good play called at third and twelve—and at that point of time, let's face it, we had lost [Ereck] Flowers and they had their ears pinned back because you know there was, we were throwing the ball, throwing the ball, throwing the ball and anytime you get out of a sequence where you can mix or screen or something like that, to help you, they had edge rushers that were very good and [Vic] Beasley [Jr.] kid is very good. [O'Brien] Schofield on the edge is very good and they were powerful in the middle and that affected us as well.
Q: On Sunday you said that you didn't know what happened with the Offense after that fumble. Was there any change in your play calling, philosophy, you started aggressive…
A: No, no, not that I could tell you. I mean we were trying to be as aggressive as we could. There was no reason not to, you know, because they took it and drove it. So no, not that I would comment on right now.
Q: The last couple years you started 0-2 and never were able to get your way out of the hole. You're 0-2 again now, what could be different, what will you try to tell them to do?
A: I thought we played better than we did last week. We didn't get the turnovers and that was the huge difference in the game. We can't make mistakes. We have to count on the other guys and we didn't get any today. Had we got some today, and got some pressure on the quarterback, there were a couple times where he was floating around in the middle and we still couldn't get to him. So we'll be talking about pressure, I'm sure after you look at the tape. I just asked them to search down inside, we talk every week about finishing. That wasn't a finish for me. We talk about "don't keep score, I'll keep score." I'll let you know when the games over, but that's not what happened again today. The whole theme this week was to trust your instincts, trust your preparation, go out and play the game, compete, challenge your opponent right to the very end. Don't worry about the score, I'll tell you what's on the scoreboard, and we'll continue to do that. The competitive nature and the finish of the game has got to improve.
Q: Can you talk about the challenge now of going into a quick week?
A: We're not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we didn't do that last week. There was frustration but there wasn't anybody feeling sorry for themselves. It's our own doing, there's nobody to blame but us. Maybe it's better for us to jump right back in. Were not going to get to look at this tape with the players, we'll look at it as coaches but we've got to jump right on to the next opponent.
Q: Through two games how do you evaluate Eli? In a moment you need your quarterback to lift your team, he's been unable to do it so far this season?
A: He'll get better, he'll improve. There are times when its tremendous and other times when its not. I'm frustrated like you are in terms of, at that point in time all the engines have to be going full speed not the other way around.
Q: Anything about Flowers or Rodgers-Cromartie?
A: The only thing I can think of with Cromartie was protocol. He has to go through the protocol. Flowers, I hope it's not going to be a continuous thing that bothers him all year long. **
WR Odell Beckham Jr.**
Q: Does it make it more difficult because for the second straight week you guys did have the lead late in the game?
A: No it just makes it difficult losing, period. You never want to lose that is never the goal and I feel [like] this team played great today – offense and defense you know we're flying around and it is the second week in a row so no confidence is lost. I actually feel really good about not where we are as a record but where we are as a team and where to go from here. I think the [offensive line] did another great job tonight in being able to give Eli time to find his targets and make some throws but at the end of the day you've got to finish and you have to win games.
Q: It seems like you have some stuff to clean up – dropped balls, fumbles, turnovers and things like that. Do you think if you can clean those things up…?
A: Absolutely I feel as though we beat ourselves. This game, last game I don't compare them so I'm never going to believe that we didn't beat ourselves and there [are] things that we need to correct – dropped balls, fumbles, whatever the case may be we just need to clean it up and find a way to get it done.
Q: That last [ball] that you had to you that went off your hands – do you feel like you should have had that?
A: Absolutely, I saw it go through the window and the backer kind of ran out on it and it looked like he was about to get his hand on it and you have to play for a tip as well, you don't want any interceptions so just try to follow the ball and it ended up not being able – he didn't get to it and it got up on me and I didn't make the catch but we even got a first down from there so we've just got to keep finding ways to keep going forward.
Q: What about trying to get out of an 0-2 start again?
A: Well we are 0-2 so that is the case and that is what we have to do.
Q: Do you know if it was going back out there in the second half was it something that the Falcons changed defensively?
A: No we just need to come out and we need to keep going. We need to stay on them and keep attacking when we are up and like I said you have got to finish the game. At the end of the day you have got to finish the game. It is 60 minutes of football it is not 30 minutes, it's not 45, its not 59 it is 60 minutes so that is what it came down to today and we couldn't get it done.
Q: Just two games but is there anything you can put your finger to about not being able to finish these games so similar?
A: The scoreboard, them having more points than us at the end. Like I said it comes on us as far as being able to execute in crunch times like this.
Q: Odell with the quick turnaround here -- a ballgame on Thursday how does this team re gather and go forward?
A: Well whatever times we've got tomorrow you get there and go to your meetings and go through the same schedule as we always go through. When Thursday comes you know it will be another game time so we just look forward to having another game, seeing what was going wrong and you have to be able to correct your mistakes that is the biggest thing. Like I said we have got to finish games, not the way we wanted to start but teams have gone 16-0 and not won a Super Bowl and this is a long season.
Q: Did Atlanta do anything significantly in the second half with you?
A: Not really it was kind of the same thing we expected from them and they gave us the same all game it just didn't turn out how we wanted.
Q: Is there frustration about not being able to finish the games?
A: Absolutely, being a competitor you want to win every single game no matter what and these are tough bullets to swallow but these are the ones that build your team – they either make or break your team I feel and I feel as if we can only get stronger. You can only hang your head so low. I think we played a really good game of football we just didn't finish. **
Quarterback Eli Manning**
Q: Eli, it looked like (the fumble play) should've been a game-sealing score and then the fumble after that, the team's offense kind of seemed to disappear. What seemed to happen in those last drives?
A: Well, a lot things could've happened in the drives after that. The next drive we actually had a pretty good drive going, we were driving down there, we got to the third-and-two, they called a timeout, we came into the huddle and we had a run play and we didn't get it, we got stopped right there. So that was a costly third down; one and a half, two yards. We got to convert right there. I thought we were pretty good on third down most of the day but then right there we were in their territory, had an opportunity to run some more clock and get a score and get us a nice lead. I'm trying to think about our next possession, we had got into a third-and-seven and had a big convert. I don't think it was a matter of what happens this period to convert on third downs and they made some plays.
Q: What led to the delay of game and then the play after that it seemed like you brought the playclock down to the one again?
A: Yeah. Third-and-seven, was trying to get to a play that had a good coverage on. I thought I got the ball snapped, so that's on me. Can't afford a penalty there. We had deep coverage trying to get to a better play in those circumstances. Same thing on the next play, just checked it late to a different play trying to get a first down.
Q: Eli, there's been a catch phrase for a number of years here about finishing the football game, do you have to go back to that? Is that one of the things here this team needs to focus on?
A: I think just playing better. I don't know if catch phrases are going to work at this point. It's just a matter of playing four quarters and we have—we're not making the plays in the crucial moments, we're having penalties and mistakes at different times that are preventing us from being as good as we can be. Bad plays are going to happen. Things are going to happen, fumbles, turnovers, that stuff we got to be able to bounce back a little bit better and overcome those things and don't let it affect us for future series.
Q: Did you feel pretty certain that you were going to score before that fumble?
A: You know, we had a pretty good drive going, I don't know if we would've gotten the touchdown right there. I was kind of buying some time. I was about to throw it to Rueben Randle on the left side of the end zone, he was scrambling for me and that's when I was getting ready to pull it back and that's when I got hit. It would've been tough but nice to get the field goal there, but just can't afford turnovers down there in the redzone.
Q: You're the guy who picks your teammates on the offense up if they make a mistake. How do you do that for yourself? Especially after these first two weeks.
A: You just move on. Try to think about the good things, think about where we can make improvements, come out there and practice, play well and trying to figure out how to play our best and get the win.
Q: Frustrating two games for you personally though?
A: [When you don't win it's frustrating]. When you lose a game, you take things very seriously and if you miss a play, you always know there were opportunities. Today had the ball a good time and timeouts and got the ball to the midfield and then right there we didn't get anything right there, four incompletions and didn't get a chance to get in the end zone.
Q: You and Odell had some good rhythm in the first three quarters of the game, did Atlanta do anything to take him away or limit him in the fourth?
A: They were better in the zone. So they were playing zone all day and trying to get into the lanes, not let you get the ball out in rhythm. Make you hold it and make you work and make guys in second windows. They did a good job and they were finally starting to get some pressure there in the last two series and prevented us from holding the ball long and getting guys open. Really good job, they've got a good plan, they were making us throw the ball underneath a lot all day. We hit a couple guys. We hit the big one to Odell but we didn't get the ball down the field, they weren't going to let us do that.
Q: Does Thursday become a must-win game now?
A: I guess the only time it's truly a must-win game is when you're in the playoffs or you've got to win to get into the playoffs. This is an important game, we know that. It's a short week and don't know much about Washington, they've got some new defensive coordinators so we got to look at a lot of film quickly, get prepared and hopefully go out there and play better.
Q: You had a couple incompletions late in the game, Donnell and Preston Parker, the passes weren't perfect but both got their hands on it. What is the level of frustration that your receivers are not catching it?
A: No, I thought the receivers played well today, did a good job. I've got to make better throws. I've got to hit that one to Larry and get that ball down and give him the opportunity to make that catch. The last one I really didn't get to see, kind of wasn't an ideal situation. Didn't have a whole lot of time to let the play develop and get the ball down the field and I didn't quite see what happened. Everybody's got to play better, everybody's got to do their part and it starts with me and let's get back to work and get to it.
Q: Last two years now you've started 0-2 and really had been unable to turn the season around and now you start 0-2 again, how much does it wear a team out to have to battle back at the beginning of the season?
A: Well, it's a new team and new guys and new situation, so we've got to battle. We started out 0-2 and turned it around and went on a hot streak, so we need something to bring us together, get a break and make our breaks and start playing better, get the win and see if we can build up that momentum.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara**
Q: On the play before their last touchdown, the 30-yard gain down the sideline, was that a situation where you get pushed off on that at all?
A: I'd have to look at film. I can't recall, but Julio is one of the best wide receivers in the game. And I feel like I'm starting to be one of the best in the game. It was good on good, he just made a play. It was a good throw and catch.
Q: Were you supposed to have any help there?
A: No. They were throwing slants, and a dart is a one-step in, and they've been throwing that a lot. I just had to make better judgment. I was playing for that. He just released outside and Julio is 4.3, 4.4 guy. If he has one step, and no one gets hands on him on the line, he's going to go. That was the case.
Q: Did you not look for it because you knew he had the hammy and he had to really push it to go deep all day?
A: No, not at all. He was running good, he was stopping on a dime, so he looked 100 percent out there.
Q: Most of the day you guys kept him to the short stuff, kept him in front of you. Did you feel like that was really successful despite the number of catches?
A: Right, yeah. I feel like we did a pretty good job on him the first half. I think the second half he was starting to heat up. On that play with me, he just made a play.
Q: When the pass was released, you were too late already?
A: Just by his release, I could tell he was getting the ball so I had to hop on my horse. Then I tried to play with his arms to slow him down, but he's a strong guy. Matt Ryan, I don't know if he overthrew him, but he put it out there, and Julio had to lay out for it. It was a good throw and catch.
Q: Did you talk with DRC at all?
A: We came in at halftime and he was there. I read that he was done, he said that he was done. I haven't talked to him after the game.
Q: Defensively it seemed like midway through the second quarter, third quarter—there was a point where you guys forced three straight three and outs. Did it feel like you guys were starting to get the defensive rhythm that you didn't have in Dallas?
A: Yeah, I felt like we were starting to be in sync, I felt like we were playing great. I don't think we got a turnover this game, and that's what we pride ourselves on. We just have to get more hands on balls. We have to get back to finishing. Coach Coughlin always preaches finish and I think this team needs to get back to that.
Q: This is the second straight game where finishing was a problem. Obviously Dallas looked like it was wrapped up. This one kind of got away in the fourth quarter. What's been the issue with finishing?
A: We're just hurting ourselves. In the NFL, anytime you don't put a team away or you give a team a chance, there are great quarterbacks, there are great receivers, there are great playmakers and they're going to take advantage of that. We just have to do a better job closing out games.
Q: You had said before the season you talked about 0-1 becoming 0-2 becoming 0-6. Do you keep worrying about that right now?
A: You just hear the chatter. We have like (Jonathan) Casillas who came from the Patriots, but he was with Tampa Bay. We have a lot of guys that aren't used to this little slump that we have. I'm just there to encourage them, say, "Hey, the Giants are a winning organization, too. Just keep your head up, we're going to get it going. There is light at the end of the tunnel." We hope.
Q: You see guys hanging their head during the game?
A: No, never seen that. I think all three sides of the ball, I think everyone was fighting until the end. Coach Coughlin is always bringing up his mottos, his phrases. He always says just keep playing. We had a phrase this week. A tennis star had a tattoo on her arm, and it said, "How high is the mountain?" She answers it on her tattoo and says, "Don't worry, keep climbing." So that was our mindset. Coach said keep playing, the refs will tell us when the game is over. I think for the most part, we did a good job of that.
Q: Short week is tough physically, but is it good mentally to get back?
A: Yeah. I think it's good to learn from this tape real quick and then get onto the Redskins. The media has been blowing up my must-win statement. The reason why I said must-win is because I believe every game is a must-win because we're trying to win as many games as we can. The division games, it's just more sugar in that game. It's just more sweeter because our number one goal is to win the division. This game against the Redskins, I think the Redskins beat the Rams. This game against the Redskins, we need to get a win in the division. I feel our division is up for grabs. Is Dallas and the Eagles playing this week? They're playing right now? So we'll see how that turns out. It's going to be another big week for us.
Q: Did Julio Jones just shift into another gear going down the sideline?
A: Yeah. Yeah, he did. My game, I like to get hands on guys on the line. Any guy, you just let him run free, and I have to turn up to run and this guy already has a step. Especially with a guy like Jones, who is already s 4.4, 4.3 guy. he's going to keep going. I didn't get hands on him, and he just kept going. So like I said, anytime you don't get hands on guys, these guys are fast.
Q: Looked like Trumaine McBride came on the blitz. You guys were blitzing and you were left one-on-one?
A: Right. We did call a blitz that play. Like I said earlier in the year, I said I think our strength is in the back end. When the game needs to be called, Coach is going to put it on us. We expect that.
Q: Would you have expected some deep help in that situation?
A: No, not at all. It wasn't designed for that.
Q: I know the play wasn't designed or the coverage wasn't designed. Would you have expected that coverage would have been called?
A: No, Coach always preps us and says, "Hey, get ready to compete. I'm getting ready to call this." So we knew what the situation was.
Q: That was Spags who said that?
Q: Isn't that a lot to ask for a guy like that with the game on the line, streaking down the sidelines?
A: There's seven million reasons why that's not a lot to ask. Let me think about what I'm going to say so I don't put a foot in my mouth. First of all, I was drafted first round to be that guy. The Giants are paying me to be that guy. Definitely expected. I always say the highest paid guy on the field should never get help. You're not going to double-team that guy. In that situation, I don't expect that.
Q: What if he went to the other side? Were you going to follow him no matter what?
A: No. The game plan was to stay. I think (Jayron) Hosley did a great job, too. There's no reason to travel.
Q: How big of a loss is DRC on Thursday, if that's the case?
A: DRC is one of our best corners, one of our best defensive players. You want all starting 11 out there, but like I said, I think Hosley's been doing a great job. We have some great backups this year. Trevin Wade has been licking his chops, he's excited to get in. I think we're going to be able to hold our own.
Q: Do you get tired of going 0-2 and trying to fight your way back?
A: When you think about the big picture, yeah. But when you just think about the next game, no. Especially when it was 0-2, and it easily could have been 2-0. The games are so close, but I think if you keep dwelling, it's poisonous.
RB Shane Vereen**
Q: How do you teach guys to start doing that? [continued from previous answer not recorded]
A: You gotta do it. It's inside - it's between the ears and it's in the chest. You just gotta do it.
Q: Is there anything that you've seen in these two games that sort of pin pointed you meet the needs in specific regards to mentality?
A:In these two games, the frustrating part is that we have all the talent. We put ourselves in great positions.That's the only frustrating part. We've done the hard work, we've played all three quarters. We just gotta finish out the fourth.
Q: After Eli's fumble did you feel like there was a change in attitude or a change in demeanor after the first fumble?
A: A little bit but defense stopped him. We got back on the field, the score was the exact same as it was before the fumble happened. That thought should've been gone. We should'be moved on, but things happen. It's a good ball club. We gotta give Atlanta props, they played well enough to win.
Q: Shane, 0-2 isn't too late but it can get late early. Is there a sense of urgency for Thursday?
A: We definitely need to win. We just gotta get back on track and get back to doing things that we do well and do it consistently, and not just consistently, but for four quarters.
Q: If you could've gotten a win, if you could've gotten that score to make it say 27-13, can the team sort of exhale and say 'we got this' as opposed to saying 'do we got this'?
A: Exactly and I think at that point, Atlanta got the fight and they said we were gonna charge back and we're going to win the game. Maybe we were a little passive, I'm only speaking for myself. That fourth quarter at the end of the game, that's when we gotta step up and start making plays.
Guard Justin Pugh
A: We have to win the fourth quarter. That's what it comes down to – win the fourth quarter every week. We lost the fourth quarter the last two weeks and lost the games, so fourth quarter.
Q: Does the frustration build on this week-to-week?
A: I put last week behind us right away and I thought whole heartedly that we were going to come in here and win this game. We moved the ball, we did good things, we just have to finish. We have to finish games better.
Q: Did you feel that the air went out of the offense after the fumble?
A: I should have recovered that damn fumble, it was right by my legs. It just could have saved us. I saw it hit and went to go get it and just couldn't get my hands on it.
A: I felt like we moved it all day on them besides the last three drives of the game and you can't have that. We have to get a first down with four minutes to go. We were in the same exact position. We got to get the first down and get our defense some rest and just change field position at least. That's something we didn't do on that last drive and it might of bit us in the ass again.
Q: Was the drive with four minutes to go especially frustrating? The delay of game penalty is a little out of character for you guys.
A: That's something that we have to get up [to the line] and get set. As an offensive line, get set and see the defense so we can make our adjustments. It's just tough. We have to get a first down there and put our defense in a better position.
Q: What happened there? Tom [Coughlin] said you got to the line with plenty of time…
A: We were trying to draw them offsides and get some yardage there and I guess it just ran out. We have to get a first down on that drive. The first play we have to get more yards and make it more manageable so we don't have to throw it the next two times. That's something we have to correct right now and as a team we need to stick together as an offense. We know what we can do. We moved the ball all day on these guys and the last three drives we can't become ghosts.
Q: Did [the defense] show you anything different in the fourth quarter?
A: No, nothing. It was the same front, same guys. We just have to go out there and finish. We have to execute. At the end of the day, you have to do your job in the fourth quarter and win. That's when you have to be at your best and today, we didn't execute when we needed to.
DE Robert Ayers Jr.**
Robert Ayers: What we do is, you know, trying to work every week and get better. We have a short week and we don't have any time to feel sorry for ourselves, so you have to look at it, reflect, learn from my mistakes and move forward. It's a simple recipe— we just have to get it right.
Q: Does it make it more difficult that it's the second straight week where you guys had that lead late in the game and gave it away, if you will?
A: It doesn't make it any more difficult; [losing] is always going to be. Whether we had finished this [game] off, it's still going to be tough every situation. We just have to finish it. It's not like it carries over— you know, 1+1=2 type thing. It's just, you know, we didn't finish. The first one was in the past— we've been off that. Now we're worrying about this one, so we're not combining two [losses]. We just let one go. We look at this one, the one that we just had— that's what we'll be looking at. That's what we're going to study. That's what we're going to try to get better off of. We can't worry about the one before that— we're going to look at this one and then we're going to move to Washington. That's how I'm going about it, and I think that's how the team is going to go about it.
Q: Do you try to take any positives from this, [like] the pressure that you put on the quarterback?
A: Definitely. We take the positives out of everything and we take the negatives out of everything. We have to be realistic with ourselves and look at things. Sometimes it's not as bad as it seems and it's not as good as it seems, so we did some things well this week and we have to look at those and try to get those even better. We did some things bad, and we have to look at that and improve. It's a simple game— we just have to understand it and grow as a unit and as a team, and when we get in those situations at the end, we have to close them out. That's what great teams do and great defenses do, and we didn't do that today.
Q: Odell [Beckham Jr.] says that two straight weeks like this is the type of thing that can either crush a team or it can bring a team together. How do you make sure it's the latter?
A: We just have to be positive. It's 0-2. It's not the end of the world. We know we can play with anybody. When we get in these situations we have to finish games and we have to build on the positives. We can't let things go up and down and up and down— when we get up, we have to keep going up and up and up, and that wasn't the case this week.