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Postgame Quotes (12/21): Giants vs. Rams

Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin

(On the team wearing the black patches on their uniforms) "The first thing I want to say is that we wore this (black patches) because the New York Giants wanted to honor and mourn the assassination of the two New York City policemen that took place last night in our city. We also wanted to wear this pin to represent peace. Let's hope that the voice of reason can prevail. Violence never solves anything. I realize there are issues, but solve them with non-violent means."

(On the game) "The game today was a very physical game. We knew we were coming in to that. We knew it would be very physical and it was. There were some distractions in the first half. The one thing I complimented our players on is that we did not allow any distraction to keep us from the reason we came here. We came to win and we did win. We continue to play good solid football. We got some points today, we were plus three in turnovers. We gave up some plays and we got some big plays. That kind of evens itself out. I was even worried right at the end there, they had no timeouts, but they did have the two-minutes and the bad snap from center. (DE) Kerry Wynn should be recognized for some of the things he is doing as a young player and taking advantage of his opportunity."

(On if the players thought a play was too dirty) "I have no comment about that stuff. You saw it. I saw it. The next thing you know it was a ruckus and that was all I knew." (On if the players were coming to the defense of Odell Beckham Jr.) "You are not going to get me to say it. That is not my purpose for being here. I didn't see exactly what happened. Will they defend their teammate and have his back? Yes they would. Obviously, they thought he was in danger."


(On if he felt Beckham was "in danger")** "Don't ask me! I am not answering. What am I going to say?"

(On if he noticed anything that would indicate the Rams were focusing on Beckham) "I didn't."

(On the Rams being penalized for dead ball fouls) "We got flagged for it. He finally got flagged for his celebration. That was an issue, because here we are kicking off from the 20-yard line and they got the ball with great field."

(On if protecting Beckham seemed to spark the team) "I don't think it hurt, to be honest with you. I think that quite frankly settling down the Rams sideline and settling down our sideline became the issue. We got it under control. We came in at halftime and we had it all settled."

(On if he spoke to Beckham about the celebration penalty) "I said something to him when it happened. When he was called for it I said something to him."

(On if that celebration had something to do with the fight) "I think they are aware of the young player, I am not going to give any reason for anything other than the fact that I know they were trying to defend."

(On if Beckham will tone down the celebrations) "He will tone it down, he will. He did."

(On Beckham's penalty) "Can we talk about…does anyone care about the game? Are we just going to talk about this? What else do you want to ask me about this?"

(On what the difference was with this celebration and what he has done in the past) "We have talked about his celebrations and the officials called it this time. I am sure that he will learn from it."

QB Eli Manning

(On if today was as good as the offense has played this year) "Yeah, definitely. The offense was clicking from the start, moved the ball well. We ran the ball well, got the ball out, had a couple big runs, got the ball out quickly. We had a couple big plays down the field, which was nice, and we were pretty effective against a good defense, a defense that's got a great front four. Lately they've been getting a lot of pressure, a lot of sacks. Not many teams have been scoring many points on them and no touchdowns in a while, so it was nice to go out there and play well and have a good feel for what they were doing."

(On wanting to establish the run against the Rams defense) "We wanted to try to run the ball and slow down the pass rush. We didn't get into a whole lot of third down-and-longs where they know you're passing and they can get in their sprinter's stance and get up the field. I thought we ran the ball pretty well. We got into a lot of third (down) and manageable situations, which is nice so that way on the third downs you don't have to hold the ball too long. We got them in a few scenarios where we had great protection, got to hold it, hit the ball down the field – the one to (Giants WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) in the post. I had great protection by the offensive line. I got the coverage we were looking for and hit that one, so I thought the offensive line played outstanding. We had the one sack, which was really on me. They did a good job blocking, the ball should've come out quick on that to the outside, so that one was all on me. But, besides that they played outstanding."


(On if Beckham Jr. is getting under defenses' skin with his touchdown celebrations)** "I think he's been playing well. He has a little something, a little flare to him, which obviously we like, the fans like and people like, but opposing teams will try to get in his head. He's a young guy. They're going to try to not let him high step and do his things on the sidelines sometimes, and it looks like they weren't going to let him get away with that or showboat. So, he's just got to know around the sidelines when people can take shots on him, they're going to try to get him. Our guys, we're going to protect our teammates and protect our guys out there and we don't like to see that happen."

(On what he made of the sideline scuffle) "You never want to see that. You don't want to see it get to that level of where it got where guys are getting ejected. That's not what it's about, but there is kind of a side where it's the second late hit on Odell, a pretty obvious one and the guy kind of gave him a little extra as well after the hit. So, our guys are going to come to the protection of our teammate. That's kind of a part of it, but you don't want it to escalate, obviously, to a level where guys are getting thrown out of the game."

(On if he didn't expect two rookies in Beckham Jr. and RB Andre Williams to play such a large role in the offense this year) "No, I don't think you expect it for them to play the role that they have been lately. Andre kind of carried the load in the backfield and being our feature back and Odell making the plays he's making at receiver. It's good to see. You start to see in the start of the second half of the season, we talk about our rookies no longer being rookies. They've gone through some growing pains and gone through some things, and they've got to raise their level of play. Those guys certainly have. (Giants G/C) Weston Richburg, kind of throw him in that mix as well. Young guys who have come in and played well for us and really the second half of the season played really well."

Giants RB Andre Williams

(On the Giants' running game today) "We had a lot of inside zone in the game plan this week. You look at the film and Arizona had a lot of success running the inside zone so we figured that we could have the same success. In the first half we ran one and I missed a huge cutback and I told myself I wasn't going to miss it again. The opportunity came where it showed itself again and I just had the wherewithal to hit it that time."

(On running over the defensive player on his big run) "That really was the pass of least resistance. Sometimes the defensive backs look like they are there but they're really not there. Now that the season goes on and people watch tape on me they know it's better for them to go low. I haven't really figured out how to combat that one yet but he didn't go low so I didn't either. I just lowered my shoulder and had success."

(On if he liked the way that the team supported teammate Odell Beckham Jr. during the brawl) "Absolutely. I mean we are supposed to be playing as a team. I don't think we are really coming out on Sundays to get in a fight but we knew it was going to be a physical game and we can't lay down and let people hit us after the whistle. I'm glad that we rallied. I'm not glad that the play turned into a huge brawl. I don't think that is really part of our identity but it came to it and we had to defend our own."

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul


(On the physical tone of the game)** "It was a physical football game and two teams going at each other, both wanting to win. We both play a physical style and at the end of the day it was a tough game and we knew we were going to be in a fight. We didn't know the Rams very well and they didn't know us very well, but we came out and did what we had to do today."

(On if the style of play became frustrating) "It was very frustrating with guys getting kicked out of the game. But, at the end of the day we had a job to do. We did it and we won."

(On the play of Giants QB Eli Manning) "Eli is a great quarterback. He pulls through when we need a big win and that's what he did. He connected with Odell Beckham and (Andre) Williams too. The running back, he did a great job too."

(On if the Rams played dirty) "It was very dirty. At the end of the day it is what it is. The referee called the game and there's nothing you can do about it."

Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.

(On if the Rams physical play got under his skin) "To an extent, I definitely felt that. Since the first play it felt as if there was a bunch of hawks and they were all eyeing you. We knew that was going to be the case. I was just trying to find a way for me to keep my composure and not get the little penalties that were going to hurt the team. It was sometimes difficult today, but I tried my best to keep my head in the game and stay the course."

(On his teammates coming to his defense during the brawl) "I love it. That is a team that is playing for the man next to you. It's something that we can't do though. You play the snap and whistle, whatever happens after that we leave it alone. I definitely apologize for our actions, but the intensity and the passion that they brought to the game, I can't fault them for that."

(On the play that sparked the brawl) "He (Alec Ogletree) took me out of bounds and then I'm all the way outside on the white where he tried to pick me up and dunk me. I just kind of lost my temper for that split second. It was crazy to see teams flying over to the sidelines to brawl. Like I said earlier, I apologize for our actions, but the way that they played, the passion and everything else that they brought, I can't fault them for that."

(On the taunting call after the touchdown) "That wasn't directed at anybody. I spun the ball in front of me. I don't think it was even past my feet. I didn't quite understand the penalty, but it was something that was a penalty. Coach Coughlin addressed it with me and he said, "You know we can't get those," and I completely understand. That's just being young and trying to learn the rules and what you can and can't do. I didn't know that was going to be a penalty or I would have never done it."


(On the T.J. McDonald taunting call)** "I was running out of bounds and he went to hit me. I just protected myself with a stiff arm and he went to talking. I kind of just tried to put my hands up and let the refs know that I'm not saying anything because the ref had already warned me about taunting. I just tried my best not to say anything."

(On his touchdown dances in the future) "I don't think spinning the ball in front of myself was taunting anybody, but that was what the penalty was for. I'll just have to learn, take from it and move on.

(On if his touchdown dances fuel the fire for other teams) "I don't think it fuels them. I think it fuels me. Of course I don't want the penalty, but were out there having fun. If you get into the end zone you deserve to celebrate. It's what we work for."

(On the 80 yard touchdown) "It was a play that we had called and they ended up giving us the perfect coverage for it. I got up on the safety and just made a move outside, then came back inside. It was great to have the offensive line give him (Eli Manning) time to take shots down the field."

(On the celebration after the 80 yard touchdown) "I just picked the ball up and handed it to the ref. I didn't want to hear anything else. It feels good when all those big guys are running down 80 yards."

Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening Statement) "I guess I'll say I'm extremely disappointed in a number of areas. Defensively, we've been playing better defense than that obviously. I give (Giants QB) Eli (Manning) a lot of credit. He's been playing well as of late. We were concerned about him getting the hot-hand and he did an outstanding job today under center. Put him in position to take advantage of some of the things we were doing. Defensively, we just gave up too many big plays, didn't get the turnovers. There were way too many rushing yards in my opinion. But I give them credit for getting that part of their plan executed. Offensively we just didn't have the ball. We had the turnover, and we just didn't have the ball per se the first half. Couldn't get things going, got some things going late. Just disappointed. I thought we had some technique errors, I think we had some missed assignments, and we just had a chance to throw a touchdown at the end of the game, we got a high snap and had to abort the play and then we had another high snap. Those guys have got to get that fixed. When you jump offsides on fourth and three when the defense is on the field and they've been told that they're going to get a hard count and disregard that and jump offsides, that's how you lose ballgames. It's those kinds of things in every area that happened to us today. As far as (CB) E.J.'s (Gaines) concerned, he's going to be okay. He's got a concussion, he's got a lacerated lip, but I just saw him inside and he'll fight through it. Health-wise we came through it other than that. And then of course very disappointed in the actions on the other sideline, there's no place for that in the game. It just was unfortunate that it got out of hand over there. I thought the officials did a nice job controlling it."

(On the defense seeming aggravated with WR Odell Beckham Jr.) "I don't know. Someone said he said came out and said he was going to set an NFL record today against the defense early this morning. I was told that, I don't know. But he's an outstanding player. He's a very, very good player and he's going to be hard to stop over the years with he and Eli because they are really on the same page right now."

(On only one safety in the backfield on their first touchdown) "We had a communication issue up front. They schemed it up well. They double moved for a two-deep safety. They got the two-deep safety, but we had a communication issue up front. They're pretty good on offense and Eli does a good job with that stuff."

(On if they felt good about where they were early in the 2nd half) "We came in at the half feeling like…and we got to have the ball. We just need to make some plays, get some points, get some stops defensively. Get a turnover, get a hit on the quarterback and those things just didn't happen. We fought through, made a great play. Even at the end, I mean, the guys are playing. We had a pretty good thing going with their field goal protection. And you have to do that in more than fourth and six. In fourth and six or more. They basically timed it up and …The ball bounces different. They played hard and had a great week of practice and it's important that we play better next week. As I told them we're not going to go into the offseason with some of the mistakes we made today."

(On C Scott Wells having some high snaps) "He's been fighting through it."

(On how he felt about the pass blocking) "We need to do a better job up front."

(On if he thought they played flat today) "Go look at all those different areas when you get beat. We got beat. We weren't flat, we were prepared. We practiced well. You were out there. You saw it. We just got beat today."

Rams QB Shaun Hill

(On how disappointing the loss was) "It's extremely disappointing. We still have an opportunity to do this, but you certainly want to end the season on this kind of (upward) climb. It's certainly disappointing, but we still have an opportunity to do that."

(On how confident he was in a comeback after the blocked field goal) "Yeah, absolutely. That has to be your thought. I felt very good about it at that point."

(On if the offensive struggles were due to missed opportunities) "Yeah, just missed a couple opportunities for sure."

(On the unfortunate timing of certain mistakes) "Yeah, that's certainly what happened today. You're not going to beat an NFL team making those kind of mistakes in critical times. Guys were certainly fighting, playing hard, trying to get it done. Just too many mistakes in critical times."

(On where the offense was able to have success) "Yeah, there are certain things in every game that you try to exploit and try to get to. We had a couple naked bootlegs that worked out well for us. It's not something you'll do on every down, but it's something that's good to mix in and we felt like coming into this game, it was something we wanted to do, which was move the pocket and get some throws."

(On how today's performance was not indicative of the team's ability) "Yeah, that's the real frustrating part. To be honest with you, if I didn't know better and I was just watching that, I would think that was a bad team out there, and we're not a bad team. We've beaten some of the best teams in the league this year, we've been in most every game, and generally, we're a team that doesn't beat itself. That's what bad teams do, and that's what we did today. We're not a bad team, and that's what's frustrating. I know we're a good team. I know we are. I know the makeup of this team, and it's frustrating to look like that."

(On if the early 10-0 deficit changed the mindset of the offense) "No, you're still trying to score on that drive. Every time you touch the ball, that's your objective, to score. So no, being down 10, it's still early in the game. It doesn't change your mindset."

(On if high snaps threw off a few offensive plays) "Yeah, we're going to have to look at the film and see what happened."

(On what positives he can take away from this game) "Once you put the film on, I'm sure we'll see that there are some guys who played really, really well—guys who made plays when they were afforded the opportunity to make them. Those are some of the positives and you try to build off of those. Right now, it stings and it's hard to see any positives. Tomorrow morning, we'll come in, take a look at it, and I'm sure there will be some that we can take from it."

(On not being able to deliver the outcome that the fans look for) "This is a fan-driven league, really. Most of Americans are NFL football fans. Right here in this part of America, we have St. Louis Rams fans. We like to give them what they pay good money to come see. At the same time, there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears on our end, I can promise you that. It's equally frustrating for us to go out there and put something like that on the field. We share in their frustration today, for sure."

(On the Rams' 90-yard scoring drive) "Yeah, that was a good drive. We just needed more of them."

(On the confidence he has in WR Chris Givens) "Chris is a good player. On most rosters, he's going to get a lot of touches. We have a lot of playmakers that we try to get the ball to and see what they can do. He's one that I have full confidence in. I know what he can do. We get to hook up in practice from time to time, and I have full confidence in him. I was very happy that it worked out for him and he got that touch(down)."

Rams DE Chris Long

(On the Giants offense as a whole) "I mean, he's a great quarterback. He made a lot of plays. Great receiver, he made a lot of plays. It's just unacceptable. We didn't play well and it's just unacceptable."

(On the disappointing loss) "It's pretty disappointing. It's unacceptable and it was bad."

(On the tempo of this game compared to the last couple of games) "It's the NFL. They're a good football team. They have a really good quarterback, anything could happen. We had to be ready for them to play well and we didn't play well."

(On DE William Hayes getting ejected) "It sucked to lose William but he had to defend himself over there. They took a shot at him. You have to be able to keep your cool. I've been there. It's easier said than done when somebody decks you and does all that."

(On the game having too much trash talk) "I don't think we were playing with too much of an edge. I think LB Alec Ogletree made an aggressive play, carried it too far out of bounds. I don't think he meant anything bad by it. One thing lead to another, it was a lot of pushing and shoving. Situations like that things happened so fast. We just have to get out from over there. Unfortunately we lost a guy, too."

LB James Laurinaitis

(On the defensive performance) "No, I definitely not (see this performance coming). Very uncharacteristic of our football team and really of our defense. That's the most disappointing thing to me, just that this is embarrassing to me to be honest. Especially at home, last home game of the year. To give up that many rushing yards and they didn't do anything really fancy. It was just self-inflicted wounds. It feels kind of like it did at the beginning of the season where things that they got were because of things that we screwed up. It wasn't necessarily a guy breaks through eight tackles and just a monster day. It was just on the long run we had guys out of position. Long pass we had a dropped coverage and it was just little things like that, that we haven't done in a while."

(On if he felt like the defense was past the mental mistakes) "Yeah, absolutely. I thought we had a great week of practice, great game plan. We just didn't execute. Just the little things. It felt like it was building up, building up throughout the game. Hopefully the guys…I'll look at it when I get home tonight. Try to TV scout Seattle and move on, but goodness, we've got a lot of stuff we've got to correct. Can't play like this, especially to end the season out next week. Can't go into the offseason after having a performance like this."

(On if it's frustrating to allow 500 yards in a game) "Absolutely. To give up 500 yards, like I said is embarrassing. We need to give them credit. They made all the plays today. We didn't get a takeaway. We didn't do enough just period in every facet of defense. Like I said, it was self-inflicted stuff. That's the thing that really gets you upset because you think you're past it, but having one more we can't finish the season with this taste in our mouth having a performance like that. It's cliché, but it's just back to work, fix our mistakes and try not to repeat them. This business is all about not being repeat offenders of the same mistakes if they are they take it and you get replaced. Fix the mistakes that you made and move on."

Rams RB Tre Mason

(On feeling like the offense was only a couple of plays away from winning) "Of course. We left a couple plays out on the field. That was a good team, don't get me wrong, but we kind of had a lot of self-inflicted wounds."

(On being down 10-0 when the offense first took the field) "It's pretty tough, but as a player if you feel like your team is going to look at you to make plays, you make those plays and try to get us back. That's how I look at it. They look at me to make the plays and get us out of the hole we dug ourselves into. I've got to do that as a player."

(On how the offense performed) "Mediocre. That's not our best performance we put out on the field, period. We just know we need to come back next week and put out a better performance and go into the offseason knowing that we left a message and that we have a new team coming."

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