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Postgame Coach Tom Coughlin -10/21


COUGHLIN:**In the division, we knew it was going to be a struggle right to the very end and it certainly was. I told Mike (Shanahan), that's a tough concept. You are defending the National Football League plus the triple option. It's a difficult scheme. The second half we did a much, much better job. We got the turnovers; of course, we turned a couple of over, too, just to keep it interesting. Looking at the back of 80's heels there at the end, holy cow. What a great feeling that was at that point in time. They are a tough football team. They've given up some numbers this year, as I've said earlier in the week, but I'm telling you, they hang in there, they battle with you, they've got a little bit of a different scheme coverage-wise, force you to really dig down in and make some plays from the underneath and then get up top if you can. But they are tough against the run. We didn't have much success against the run. But we found a way to win, we found a way to win. Thank God for that.

Q: Does Eli ever cease to amaze you or do you expect it now?
A: Well, does he ever cease to amaze me? No, I guess. The one play right after the turnover we got, that was an interception thrown by us, that one put a lump in my throat. But then he came right back and made the play at the end with Victor. He just keeps hanging in there and banging away, banging away. When his back is up against the wall is when he does his best work.

Q: How did Victor Cruz get that open on the last score?
A: Well, it was an option involved there and he took it. That's what I can tell you.

Q: Manning and Cruz appeared off during the day but then came back to hit that last play. What does that say about the two?
A: It says they work well together and they know what each other is going to do. It didn't take much for Eli to realize what Victor was going to do when he ran through and that was a good thing.

Q: Can you imagine playing against Griffin III for his entire career?
A: We have to play him one more time this year, thank you.

Q:  Does the speed of Griffin III on tape translate to the field?
A: Yes, it does, it does. He looks like the fastest guy on tape and he's certainly the fastest guy on the field. When he pulls the ball down, when you break down contain and he goes outside, you are just praying someone is going to run him out of bounds.

Q: What about the 4th and 10 play from Griffin III?
A: Hey, he escaped, he ran around back there. I was shocked there wasn't a lineman down field. He ran around back there for what seemed like forever and he hit the tight end in the middle of the field while we had guys chasing him. JPP was right there in the beginning but couldn't corral him. So, I think when that happens, instead of lamenting and looking back, you have to look ahead.

Q: How did Bradshaw come out of the game?
A: I think he came out okay.

Q: It seemed like Bradshaw was heated and perhaps even at you. What happened between you two?
A: That's between he and I.

Q: Are you disappointed in the running game?
A: Well, we knew it was going to be tough and we knew there were going to be some openings in the pass game and you know, I wish we had better balance. We didn't. We had some things that came through pretty well, pretty clean. But we had other things that we rely on that didn't go anywhere. So, you've got to give credit to them. We'll look at it. We knew we had to sustain and get movement. You aren't going to just come off the ball. These people need to be moved. They are big, the interior three, they are big strong guys and they fit very well the way in which they tie in their gap responsibilities. They play a lot of inside arm free, which forces you to do some things. Yeah, I'm disappointed, I'm always disappointed. But we won the game. The important thing for everybody to realize is that the object is to win. Somehow, some way, find a way to win. Now, I'm not happy with the turnovers. You know we had done such a great job running it and not turning it over and we, quite frankly, kept the game alive with our turnovers.

Q: What did you see with Stevie Brown?
A: Tell you what, he has really come through for us in a big way. Stevie finds the ball or the ball finds him, one way or the other. But he has got outstanding speed and he gets to the outside and I think he is going to go. He looks like he is ready and they do cut him off, but 40 yards later, it's first down.

Q: This far into the season, can this game be a springboard for the season?
A: Well, every week is a new week. Every game is an incredibly difficult game that requires maximum preparation. You've got to be mature enough to forget about the last one and realize that preparation is the key to success. I thought we did that well this week, particularly after Wednesday. I think we were a little bit looking backwards on Wednesday. But we got going on Thursday and Friday, thank God. But it's about every week and it's about preparation and every game is a tough, tough football game and we have the schedule to prove it.

Q: Can you put into words that last back and forth sequence of plays and scores?
A: Oh, it's difficult. I know you'd like for me to be able to tell you how it is, but it seems like forever even when they only had one timeout. But you're looking for exactly what happened. They dinked and dunked over the middle and made chunks of 10, eight and seven and it looked like the ball was starting to move out of there after another outstanding touchback by Tynes. So, you're starting to think what's it going to take here. Somehow, some way, somebody's got to get us a turnover, and thank goodness, that's what happened.

Q: On the last interception, did Eli just not see the linebacker?
A: Yeah.

Q: Were you surprised how well they ran the ball with Morris?
A: No, I really wasn't because you spend all week, and there are a lot of things to defend. They come and do some conventional—that really wasn't conventional, that was the dive part and they do keep the ball and the quarterback keeps the ball without a pitch man, too. But they ran the toss and they ran what I call the 'slash' play and they had success doing that. If you only had to defend that, you might do a better job of that, but like I said, there is a lot to defend.

Q:  Did you think you got away from the option when you left the college ranks?
A: Well, I think when you saw some of these maneuvers that were made draft-wise over the last couple of years, you had a sneaking suspicion that it was coming forward. And I think the unique thing that you have to remember, you are always trying to hit the quarterback when he is in that position. But these athletes are so good, it's difficult to get a good hit on them.

Q: Where is this team right now?
A: Umm, if I'm not sure, we are 5-2, thank you for asking. Where are we? We are trying to ascend, we are trying to play well every week. What can I tell you? We are really happy to win a game here.

Q:  What are you thinking after Moss scores that second touchdown?
A: It's all the way down. They scored quickly, which gave us what, 1:32? So if you are going to score, score quickly so we have a chance to get the ball and come back and that's exactly what happened. And we left a little bit on the clock, too.


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