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Postgame Quotes (9/29): Coughlin, Manning


Coach Tom Coughlin**

"I thought our defense played hard today, and I thought for the most part, had we had some offense to go with it, particularly in the second half, if only to get them off the field for a while. The finish might have been better. We took the ball away from them some; they hadn't had any turnovers and we got some turnovers, but we didn't do anything with them. We answered right away with the first touchdown. We should have had it tied at halftime with the missed field goal. That was one of our better no-huddle drives, right before the half. But our inability to do anything with the ball in the second half, there's no excuse for that. That's poor; that's extremely poor. The special team errors hurt very much. The punt return down the middle to the excellent returner, that's going to bite you. If you do it and continue to do it, it's going to come back and hurt you. Then allowing them to keep the ball and run more plays after the penalty and fourth down, there's no excuse for that. I did think that the effort was good. They played hard and wanted it. They sustained it pretty much the whole ball game. With that it was improvement over last week. The second half offensively and the mistakes on special teams, you're not going to have a chance to win."

Q: Especially until that return, you were right in it
A: "Yes we were. They challenged when it was 4th-and-miniscule, and if it hadn't been on the 30-yard line, I would have gone for it on fourth down. But if I would have gone for it on fourth down and didn't make it at that point in the game, that would have been a foolish error. So we punted the ball and he punted it right down the middle of the field and of course back it came."

Q: Is this what they did to you or what you did to yourselves offensively?
A: "They have a good defense. That's been proven in the first three games. Our lack of execution is not on them, that's on us. They did get reasonable pressure on the quarterback; they got to him a couple of times, but I thought we did a pretty good job with the rest of it. There were some times when the play call was a down-the-field throw that he couldn't hang in there quite long enough to accomplish that particular play, and that's sometimes down and distance and there's really not a lot you can do. They have a good defense; can't take anything away from that. However, our inability to make a first down and then make another first down and drive the ball, we've seen way too much of that."

Q: Where do you go from here?
A: "Keep trying. What do you mean 'where do we go from here?' We go back, take a look at the tape and at the next opponent, we come together, we try to plan again. We go back to work. What else is there for us to do? Go back to work and see if you can make something happen that allows us to be more competitive, to play a second half of a game rather than one half, to play four quarters and put some points on the board to give our defense a chance to re-group rather than send them back out there every three plays."

Q: On the effect of deferring the initial kickoff to the second half
A: "Again, three plays and out. You're talking a 10-7 score, we've got the ball back. It's three very poor plays. I wouldn't say that they were executed very well. So it negated that part of it. I thought there was a chance there by deferring that our defense would go out and stop them. We did stop them in six plays rather than three, but I thought we would get better field position than what we did out of it (I think they drove it to midfield). That having been said, that part worked fine. The part that didn't was that we did nothing with our second half kickoff return, which is twice I've deferred and twice that's happened."

Q: On feeling deflated after the missed field goal at the end of the second quarterA: "That was a good drive. We moved it down (the field), and there it was sitting, a circumstance where we had to make a play on fourth down; I didn't like the 53-yard field goal so we made another play and then with 18 seconds we made another play and we got it to where it was a 44-yard field goal. It was on the right hash. Had I had my druthers, I would have had it moved off the hash but that hurt."

Q: On the noise level at Arrowhead affecting the game
A: "I thought we handled the noise well. We had prepared for it. We know it's a very loud stadium. But I didn't think that was as issue at all. In fact, I think it probably got our guys at the beginning of the game revved up a little bit."

Q: On the attitude of the locker room, especially not having been in a position like this before
A: "I'm depending heavily on the leadership and the character of the guys in that locker room. I'll take the lead and try to do the best I can to make sure that, yeah, there's nothing I can do about tomorrow, we have to talk about the game. But come Wednesday, we'll give them some information that I think will help them prepare for the next opponent and pick ourselves back up, have a good week of practice, go play as hard as we can play and try to improve on this second half debacle."

Q: Where has the offense gone? What do you see as the problem?
A: "There's no continuity, no rhythm. There's a play here and a play there, but there really isn't any rhythm. We don't make any first downs. Play calling is like throwing a dart at a board. There's no real feel for the ball being continuously moved down the field. I think that's some of it. Is that all of it, maybe not. The first half, we had some runs that were pretty good. That gave us that play action pass which was the deep touchdown. I thought we were going to have a good mixture the second half. It didn't quite prove that way, ended up being throw, throw, throw and that's not good."

Q: On his confidence that the players will follow his lead: "I think they will. Yes, I am confident that they will."
A: When you say that the play calling is like throwing a dart, are you considering making a change in who calls the plays? "No, I'm not saying it's bad play calling. What I'm saying is that when you make first downs and you get into a rhythm it's a lot easier than it is when you have a third down. We've had trouble making third downs. Let's face it, we're not doing much with third downs. When you don't do that, your first downs are minimal and you've got issues with any kind of drives. I think the drive before the half, that was probably one of the most lengthy drives we have had all season."

Q: On WR Hakeem Nicks' injured thumb causing his dropped balls
A: "I don't think [his finger was the issue]."

QB Eli Manning

Q: How frustrating is this?
A: "Well it is disappointing. Offensively, not being able to do anything, it's just bad. We had one big play to Victor (Cruz) and a pretty good drive before halftime, but besides that we were just three-and-out. The defense got us some turnovers, and we weren't able to do anything with it. We are just not playing very well offensively."

Q: How well do you think you are playing?
A: "Obviously not well enough. I fumbled the play, had an interception. It seems like we get in a lot of 3rd-and-long situations, had some penalties and not very good first and second down production, not finding completions when we throw the ball. I thought we had some chances on some plays we just couldn't finish them."

Q: Coach talked about the lack of continuity in the second half, do you feel like that was why the momentum swung the way it did?
A: "Yeah our defense got us some turnovers in the second half, and we weren't able to do anything with it. They get us a turnover and then we go three-and-out and give the ball right back. We get no drives going and then we got no rhythm offensively. We have to find a way to get things going and start making some plays."

Q: Do you know why that is happening, that hasn't been a problem in recent years?
A: "I think it comes down to our first and second downs. Our production is bad. We are going backwards to start the game, lost yards on a pass the first play, the next play we throw it away and you have 3rd-and-11 right out of the get go. So if you're living in that world you can convert some, but that's a world you don't want to live in."

Q: Talk about how the overturn of the 3rd-and-25 play affected the game.
A: "Obviously we had another 3rd-and-long. I hit Victor over the middle and they overruled it. We punted it, and they returned the punt. That was a big swing right there, and that was obviously the difference in the game. We feel a little short that they took the momentum from there."

Q: Was the blocking in front of you any better?
A: "I thought up front they did some god things. We obviously have a good four, and I thought they competed. But I feel like we have some more work to do."

Q: What happened with the interception pass targeted at Rueben Randle. What happened?
A: "We had some miscommunication, Rueben and I. I thought he was going to keep running and he cut it off. We'll talk about it and try and make that correction."

Q: Talk about their defense.
A: "They have good players and a good defense. They get out there and make it tough on the offense. They play a lot of man-to-man and you have to go out there and hit the plate. You have to hit some go-routes. We missed one to Victor. That was the game plan coming in. They are going to give us the opportunity, and we have to make some big plays."

Q: A lot of talk last week about keeping your spirits up, how much tougher is that now?
A: "We just have to keep working and come back and figure out offensively what is going to be our best way to get things going. What is going to give us a chance to compete, move the ball and help our defense out. We have to search and find a way to play better."

Q: Is this as puzzled as you've been in a long time?
A: "Yea. You feel like you have good preparation and guys competed today, but we just aren't making many plays. I think we have play makers. They're just not doing too well, but I feel like we can play better."

DE Justin Tuck

Q: How far does this go for you right now?
A: "We worked. I wish somebody would pinch me, so I'd wake up."

Q: As one of the veterans on this team, how important is it for you guys to come together?
"That's obvious. We're not going to be separated. It's not about offense against defense. We're a team. We win as a team, we tie as a team, and we lose as a team."

Q: Are there specific things you might say to younger guys who haven't been through this before?
A: "Everything I'd say to a guy would be between me and that guy. That isn't really for you guys to know. I'm tired of you guys finding out what goes on in our locker room."

Q: How does it feel to be 0-4?
A: "I don't know. We just walked off the field ten minutes ago. I don't really know how it feels."


WR Victor Cruz**

Q: One of those 3rd-and-ones, you thought you had it at the time but then it fell short. What happened?
A: "Obviously, you're just running your route and trying to get open to make the play. It's unfortunate that we ended up short on that play. We've just got to keep playing."

Q: Can you describe the swing in momentum at that point?
A: "Yeah but there were other parts of the game where we easily could have changed the momentum. We had a bunch of three-and-outs and that doesn't get it done. So, you've just got to get back to the drawing board."

What's not clicking offensively?
A: "I don't know. We've got to go back, look at the film, and see what's going on. I can't tell you right now."

Did they do anything really differently in the second half?
It seemed like in the drive at the end of the first half you guys were really starting to get things going. "Nothing different from what we saw on film. They played a little more two high in the second half but nothing different than what we saw before."

You guys said all along that this was a game you had to have. You don't get it and now you're 0-4. Are you concerned about the move of this team?
"No. There's a bunch of potential on this team and you just have to keep moving forward. We understand that it's another week and another chance to win. We've just got to keep going."

Can you talk about not being able to get into a rhythm offensively?
"Sometimes we had some penalties that were hurting us on some of those drives. It's unfortunate, but you've got to take it in stride. We had a lot of opportunities there to move the ball. We had some big catches and some of them were negated by penalties, but we've just got to keep plugging forward. We have to continue to stride forward to try to get ourselves a victory."

S Antrel RolleQ: What did you think about the offense's inability to get into a rhythm?
A: "You'll have to ask the offensive guys about that. I don't really comment on the offense. If you have questions about the defense, I'll answer those all day. Offensively, we're going to keep encouraging those guys. Stay in their ear, keep motivating them. We have a great offensive unit. We just have to pick it up a little bit in all phases of our game, offensively, defensively and special teams. We'll just continue to be a team. Continue to grow."

Q: Considering the history of the teams who have started seasons 0-4 is not great, is it hard to fight any thoughts that the season is over?
A: "The season is not over. We've lost four games but we have twelve left. That's plenty of opportunity to fight. I don't care if we're 0-15, we're going to continue to fight until the last game. That's who we are. We don't let down and we aren't going to be discouraged."

LB Spencer Paysinger

Q: How hard was it to get those turnovers? You got three turnovers today against a team that hadn't had any turnovers.
A: "As a defensive player, it is our job whenever we go on the field, however long we're out there, we have to get stops. When the game was on the line, when the momentum was dwindling, we've got to make those plays. We let a couple plays, a couple 3rd-and-longs, get the best of us. It's not on the offense, it's not on the defense. It's collective."

WR Hakeem Nicks

Q: Could you put a finger on what's wrong?
"Not really. We've just got to come together. That's it. We have to come together and believe that we can still be good. We're just four games in. We've got a big one next week in the division, so we've got to take care of that. But this is definitely one we want back, but it didn't come out in our favor."

Q: Are you shocked at the offense the past two weeks?
"It was definitely something that we've got to dig whenever we put ourselves in on offense. There were some plays left out there today, definitely on my end. I felt like I could have come down with two or three that I didn't come down with. But you have to bounce back, don't start pointing the finger. We've just got to come together as an offense. We know what we're capable of doing. It wasn't that long ago when we were putting up big numbers. So we've just got to come back to that and just get it done. It's really nothing to talk about it. We've still got the same guys who still can make plays. It's still early in the season. We believe we can fix this. I believe we are going to fix this."Q

Q: Was your finger a problem in the middle?
"No. It's just something I should have come down with. I make no excuses. I should have come down with it. They expected me to, and I expected myself to. It didn't go like that. We'll bounce back."

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