Head Coach Tom Coughlin
We got the win. Obviously we're happy about that. To keep pace with the eighth win, to get to 2-2 in the division – those things were very important. We tried to have four solid quarters, not sure we got it as solid as we would have liked it. I thought the first half was good. We had the turnover, but we got one right back and put it in the end zone and that helped. We were a little bit slow getting started in the second half but defensively we got rolling and the turnovers were a big part of the second half, obviously, to go plus-four. The two running backs did outstanding. Our running game was good for quite some time. They did a good job of getting the safeties down in the box – they were doing it in the beginning of the game and we made some plays with them down there and then towards the end in the second half they did a nice job of just filling all the gaps up in there and there wasn't a lot of room to run. Devin Thomas with the blocked punt – I'm happy for him, for him to have that opportunity and come through like that. Good team win for us. We added to our two core goals – the goal of playing solid, trying to get four solid quarters in, winning the physical battle and winning the turnover battle and I was glad that we were able to do that today.
Q: How important is it to get two good games in a row?
A: Well it's the time. It's December in the National Football League – it's the time. If you're going to have an opportunity to get into position, it's now. So, we're trying to improve as we play. We can improve on this day. We've got to continue to – many, many big games coming up down the stretch, so getting better each week, playing better in the games, play stronger, being physical – all those things are important.
Q: Anything wrong with Jacobs?
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks last week and two sacks today.
A: He's coming along. You're seeing his athleticism, he's comfortable I think assignment-wise, he's getting out there, getting lined up and you're seeing the natural ability start to come through. He also had some tipped balls, some blocked balls, and I thought on the go screen on the outside to Cooley it looked like he could have caught the ball. His hands came up and the ball kind of went through his hands, but he's having fun playing, he's learning as he goes and as I said, he's starting to really play well.
Q: Was the game plan to run?
A: It was.
Q: What did you see out of Brandon?
A: He played well. He played powerful, he broke some tackles, he established really a sound foundation for us as far as rushing the ball and as I said, he ran though some tackles and we had some nice holes for him. The last touchdown run of his was very good. They had at least nine guys down and we got an outstanding block at the point of attack with the safety penetrating from Bear Pascoe and then Brandon made one guy miss and then I think someone hit his legs and he still stayed up.
Q: Hagan had a good game today.
A: Each week he gets a little bit better and he did come through with some big passes, some big completions today.
Q: Talk about your patchwork offensive line and the job they've done.
A: Well it has, but I think there is a lot of pride up there. They've done a good job. Eli certainly has contributed; we've done a pretty good job pass protection over the last five games – the backs, the tight ends, the offensive front. We rushed the ball today. We needed to and that was a good thing, but this is a group with a lot of pride and the timing of Boothe and Beatty being available, coming back when we lost other guys even though right away they had to play and I wouldn't necessarily go that way if I was to have to choose, but I didn't. They had to go and they're getting better too every week.
Q: Are you going to Hagan because of what he's done or because of Manningham?
A: Well, I mean, you saw the game. There was coverage directed the other way and he was the guy that the ball would go to.
Q: Why did you go so heavy on Ahmad in the second half? A strategic reason?
A: Not really.
Q: Was the wind a factor?
A: It was. There was no question. It was the first time we've had wind in our stadium and it was probably 15 mph and the interesting thing about it was that both ends from the 30 in you could feel it, but in the middle of the field it didn't seem too bad, whether there was a crossing pattern to the wind, but it probably was a factor, but I thought that both teams really did a pretty good job of handling it.
Q: As weather becomes more of a factor, does it increase the importance of the run?
A: It always has and it always will.
Q: Is this the most you've had to use two and three tight end sets? What does that do to the overall offense?
A: Well, it's a run-oriented, play action-oriented personnel grouping and we've done a pretty good job with it. A lot of times people will match personnel for personnel and you'll get an extra linebacker – that didn't really happen today. But we try to scheme the running game from the multiple tight end sets as well as being able to substitute an extra offensive lineman into the game. Meredith came into the game and played that spot today.
Q: Eli's interception in the end zone – was the wind a factor there?
A: No. I don't think so. I think there were two factors there: I think they brought the safety off the edge, he did see him right away, he did know that he had to get the ball out of his hands quickly, I don't think that he saw the defender come back across underneath. Normally he puts it up real high – it was up high, but evidently the defender was able to jump up and get it and the only thing that saved that was we did get the turnover and got right back down there.
QB ELI MANNING
What has it been like for the offense to maintain success with all of the injuries?
Well I think when we do have good drives, when we do score, we are very consistent. We don't get penalties. We are running the ball well on first and second down and getting into some play-action, hitting some deep stuff and keeping the defense off balance. I think our offensive line, obviously, that is where it starts. They have done a great job in pass protection, did a great job today running the ball, the backs are running tough, receivers are blocking safeties, throwing it short, and just maintaining drives. Staying out of incomplete passes, staying out of getting zero yards on runs or losing yards. I think the first half was great. I think we didn't have many third downs and the ones we had were third-and-one and third-and-two. We had another about third-and-three where we ran the ball and got close to getting it. That is kind of what you like. You like to stay in your base personnel and keep things simple and just go out there and execute. Second half we had a few drives where we got into a penalty here or some bad football and that is where we got stalled out a little bit. We were a little limited, we had the lead and especially in the fourth quarter you are kind of just running the ball trying to run the clock and not trying to take too many shots. I thought we played really well, smart football, the defense is playing outstanding getting a lot of turnovers. When it comes to December in Giants Stadium you are going to have to run the ball and we were able to do that.
Do you foresee the wind being a factor late in the season in the new stadium and what is the difference between the wind in this stadium and the old one?
It is tough to say, we have to play a few more games. It was a windy day, but I thought the stadium handled it pretty well. I thought the far endzone from where we run out of our locker room was kind of the windiest endzone, blowing kind of into the field. Throwing fades into that corner kind of like the old stadium that kind of far endzone is probably the toughest one. The middle of the field I thought was very manageable throwing the ball. I threw a couple, I am thinking of one kind of a long comeback to Mario Manningham in the fourth quarter, kind of a long sideline throw and the wind didn't hold it up. So I thought that was a good sign. It seems like the stadium kind of maintains the wind a little bit better. We will have to see. There will be some games when it is even windier than this and we will see how it holds up, but we had a good gameplan and we executed.
Was the wind a factor on your interception?
No. Just a good play by them. I had Kevin Boss open and it is one of the hardest ones. We had play-action right kind of throw back left and you are kind of buying in that that mike is going to jump the play-action. He did and I had Boss open and had pretty good pressure from my left side and threw it and he just fell right back into it. It is just one of those that you kind of hate for it to happen, but it is tough to see it. Boss is open, you see him open, and it is kind of like fool's gold a little bit. They got us on that one, which is disappointing as it would have been good to get another touchdown there, but besides that we played really well.
What are the good and bad of using so many two and three tight end sets?
Well I think the good thing is you probably limit what a defense does a little bit, just kind of what their blitzes are, what their schemes are. When they stay in their base personnel you get a pretty good feel for what they are doing. All of a sudden you get into three and four wides that is when Washington likes to bring some of their exotic blitzes and play different stuff. We stayed in our base and you kind of have your core plays that you run a ton and over and over and right now having receivers hurt we feel that is kind of our best personnel. You have playmakers on the field and guys know exactly what is going on when you are checking and doing different stuff. Today we went some with three tight ends and had a few big passes out of it, hit Manningham on one, hit Boss on one. You get some play-action, you run the ball, and it is a good mix and sometimes it simplifies what the defense does and you get a better key to what they are going to do.
When you get your receivers back are you going to go back to a lot of three and four receiver sets?
We just have to see. Hopefully we get them back this week. Hopefully have Steve (Smith) back and Hakeem (Nicks) back practicing so that would give us some more options, some more weapons. We still have to hopefully continue to run the ball. You want to have as many personnel groups as you can that work and you feel confident with and as soon as we get receivers back we should just have more flexibility and more options.
Do you feel like you have a good rapport with Derek Hagan now?
Yeah and Derek has been here over the years so it wasn't like a brand new receiver coming in. He was here all training camp and the last couple years so he is a guy who knows what he is doing. A lot of times that is what gives you confidence and timing and throwing it when you are sure the guy is going to run the right route and you are sure that he is going to be doing the right thing. When you get new guys that is when you get a little hesitant and sometimes the throw is going to be off. Derek played really well today, a lot of big catches down the field. They were matching Hall with Manningham all day; he was following him around. Not that we were staying away from him, but we were working the other side. Mario had a few big catches near the end.
This was the first time in quite a few games that you had scored a touchdown on the opening drive, did that give you confidence?
Yeah that was nice. Last week we had a field goal and it was the first time we had scored on an opening drive so we kind of said, 'hey, we are getting better now so let's take it to that next step and get a touchdown.' That is a big help, just to set the tempo for the game. When you get the ball and go down and score a touchdown the defense is all of a sudden fired up when they get back on the field and the offense is feeling great with the way we ran the ball. Then we get the ball again and do the same thing, go down there running the ball well, hitting some passes, and play-action. Hopefully we continue to do that, but if not we have to find ways to continue to move the ball and get points on the board.
What about the job Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe have been doing on the offensive line?
Yeah the whole offensive line is doing outstanding. The way we have been running the ball the last couple weeks has been great. Big holes for the running backs to run through and Ahmad and Brandon are both running tough and running hard. In pass protection I think that is five weeks since we had a sack so that is something we have to build on and keep working, especially next week going against a tough Minnesota team that gets a lot of sacks. It is a combination of the way we are running it, our play-action, receivers getting open, getting the ball out quickly, and so we have to continue to keep that pace and play smart football.
How has Bear Pascoe's development helped the offense?
Bear is doing a great job. We have asked Bear to do everything you can possibly ask of a guy this season. Through training camp, preseason, he was our only tight end there for about three weeks and we treated him like gold. We kind of let everybody else run full routes and he would go half speed just because we were so limited. At the start of the season he is on practice squad, but right away he is brought up and he has to play tight end, he has to play fullback and today he had a couple big catches. He does great in blocking, he knows his assignments, he takes great pride in what he is doing, and he is one of those guys you like to have on your team because he is going to do the right thing and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He had a couple big catches today for us so he has done a great job picking up this offense and playing new positions for us.
Do you see a role for Hagan once Nicks and Smith are back healthy?
I think he has earned a spot for sure. Whether he is a fourth receiver or a third and you mix him in or bring him in the way he is blocking the safeties. He has definitely earned a spot on this team with just the way he has prepared and the way he has played, especially this week. He played really well. A couple big time routes on some comebacks, some hitches, some inner routes, so he has done a good job. We have to see how it all works out. I assume when you get Steve back and when you get Hakeem back his playing time will probably diminish a little bit, but there will be a spot for him on certain things.
It looked like you had an opportunity to hit Mario deep on a pass on third down that got knocked down, what did you see on that one?
Yeah it is one of those where he had a linebacker on him and the safeties got real wide and I kind of wanted him to just run straight down the field. It is one of those where we got the blitz that we had in practice and rarely do you get that. When they bring a certain blitz or they are bringing two off the side and going back to two and we had the play and in practice he kind of did the same thing, he went a little to the flat and I said, 'hey, just take that right down the middle. You have London Fletcher running with you man to man.' Kind of the same thing happened today so that is kind of what happens when you are short receivers. You have guys running routes that they are not really used to running. Right there we would have Steve running that route and he has run it a thousand times, but you are trying to mix and match. Mario does a lot of good things for us, but when he is running routes he is not used to running you get little things wrong or you miss a big chance and that is all that happened.
DE JUSTIN TUCK
Q: On the defense feeding off the offense today.
A: Our offense did a great job of coming out and giving us that cushion to begin with. It was 14-0 and we had only played three plays on defense. That's something we've been preaching all week and in the locker room before the game. We wanted to start fast regardless of who was up first, and it just so happened that the offense was up first and they go down and they score. We get a stop on defense and they go down and they score. We had another opportunity to go down and score again. We really fed off it, especially how they ran the ball and how physical the line was and how hard Brandon and Ahmad ran today.
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul's game today and his progression overall.
A: I taught that guy everything I know. He's starting to listen. We kind of gave him a hard time three weeks ago because he didn't have any sacks, and I was asking him, for you being the 15th pick, we have really gotten our investment out of you. And he's responded. Four sacks in two games and he's all over the place. Even when he's not sacking quarterbacks, he's in their face. He's deflecting passes, he picked up a fumble, the guy is really playing well. You can tell how much he's listened and how much he wants it. You can tell he wants it. He's there an hour before the game, going over the playbook with the coaches and making sure he has every bit of the gameplan down, and it's benefitting for him.
Q: How much do you appreciate new players coming in on offense and keeping the Giants alive until the offense gets healthy?
A: You have to. A lot of kudos go to guys that come in in the middle of the season; they don't know the offense, they just kind of plug in – I don't know how many catches Hagan had today but he just seemed like he's been here all year. Clayton, Thomas, all those guys. I've never been in that position so I don't know, but I can imagine that it's tough coming into a new system and being thrown into the fire, right now you've got to perform and they have. Give Eli a lot of credit too because he's done a great job of coaching them up through the week. And like you said, hopefully we can get some guys back in the next week, but the reason we are still in this race is because a lot of guys have been thrown into the fire and have really stepped up.
Q: Did you say anything to the new offensive players that have come in?
A: Oh, definitely. No question. I told Devin after the plays he made on special teams, "How in the world did we get you?" I guess you give Jerry Reese a lot of credit too for going out and getting guys that can fit this system in a hurry-up mode. Like I said, the reason we are still in this race is because a lot of guys like that have really stepped up and g
Jason Pierre-Paul on sacks and defensive performance today:
I guess you can say all of that hard work is finally paying off. Coaches tell me, "Just go out there and make plays." That is what I was able to do today. We wanted to get after McNabb today. And I think we did a really good job doing that. We brought a lot of pressure and I felt we had a complete game today versus their run and pass. We were also able to force a lot of turnovers. And that is the name of our game. We would have liked to have had the shutout, but they are going to make plays, too. And we did walk away with a pretty convincing win.
Chris Canty on today's game:
Of course when we watch film, we are going to see that there are still some areas that need improvement, but that is what good teams need to do down the stretch. Good teams re-evaluate themselves even after a win. We recognize how important the turnover battle is, especially after last week. We want to continue with that. I also thought we played real physical today. And that is the way we want to play. We knew it was an NFC East game – a rivalry game, and we knew we had to play four quarters from the start. We knew we had to execute down the stretch.
Bear Pascoe on today's game:
I thought we did a pretty good job out there today. We were very consistent in all phases of the game. It is that time of year when guys are starting to gel together, and it is important that we start playing that way at this time of the season. Last week we didn't start off fast, but this week we came out and scored on our first drive. This week we had it in our mind to come out fast and score points and keep scoring points. I think we played a solid four quarters of football today. I thought we were very well balanced today, offensively. Even though it was windy, I thought our pass game was sharp. We made some big plays when we needed to. The offensive line did a great job and our two running backs ran possessed. The offensive line takes a lot of pride in being able to run the ball. Anytime you get that many yards on the ground, you have to be pretty pleased with what they did.
Keith Bulluck on today's game:
The Redskins have a lot of talent. But I felt we had a great game plan that enabled us to play well against the run and the pass. They made a couple of plays here and there, but for the most part we were able to keep them under control. We would have liked to have the shutout, but we will definitely take the win.
Devin Thomas on blocked punt:
It felt good and I knew I had an opportunity to get in there and make a play. I got my hand out there and got a piece of the ball. It was a huge play because their backs were against the wall – we were able to capitalize on that play and walked away with some points. I thought we did a pretty good job against Banks today, because he is an electrifying runner. I thought we did a good job of containing him today and not letting him break any big ones – because he can be a game-breaker. Coach was talking about it all week – that we needed to have a complete game on all sides of the ball. I thought we played all four quarters hard and almost to perfection. And that is what we strived for, and I think we did a great job.
Aaron Ross on today's game:
Coach had a great game plan to get after McNabb today. I thought we put a lot of pressure on their offense today. We completely stopped their run and slowed down their passing game. All week we worked on trying to create turnovers. And whatever we worked on in practice – it definitely worked out for us today. We had a great week of practice – offensively and defensively and also on special teams. Like I said, we came in and executed all of our plays on both sides of the ball, which enabled us to have a great victory today.
Derek Hagan on today's game:
It feels great to be able to contribute the way I did today. All of the hard work is paying off working with Eli. I knew sooner or later the ball was going to be coming my way. And you just have to go out and make those plays. You have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line for giving Eli all of that time. They give Eli time enough to let him put the ball in the air, which enables us to go out there and go get it. We know we can run the ball, and we know we can pass the ball. And I thought today we had a very well balanced attack. We have a lot of guys who can go out there and make plays. Even though we have some injuries, the guys that were out there were still able to get it done today. With the balanced attack that we had today, defenses just can't pay attention to one phase of the game. They have to be aware of both. The wind wasn't really a factor today. Once the ball was in the air, our job was to go get it.
DE OSI UMENYIORA
Q: Talk about your unit's effort today on defense?
A: We needed to come out and make up for what happened in the first half of last week. They're a good football team, but we were just the better team today.
Q: You like the aggressiveness from the get-go today then?
A: Yeah, it was necessary. It was just a good game and overall a much needed victory for us.
Q: What is it like to force five turnovers as a unit against your division rivals?
A: We needed it. We needed to force turnovers in order to win this game. It was an outstanding effort by us today.
DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL
Q: Did you have a moment where you said to yourself that you're ready to break out?
A: It was probably about two weeks ago. Coach said that I need to be the star of the game and I said "I'll try." Last week, I came out and had two sacks and I said that I was going to keep ballin'.
Q: Did you start thinking at some point this week that you were going to have a big game today?
A: It started on Wednesday, and Coach put in some different packages. Coach told me to come out and execute, and sometimes I'm at D-Tackle and other times I'm at the end. Wherever they put me, I'm going to try to make a play.
CB TERRELL THOMAS
Q: What does a five turnover outing and blowing out a division rival mean to you?
A: A win. It's an important win for us, and a very dominating win on our part, four quarters of football again. I'm proud to say that we're back on track. We have a tough matchup against Minnesota next week and then Philly, but we're taking it one game at a time. We're 2-2 in the division.
Q: Talk about that pick in the end zone that really doomed the Redskins:
A: They got one, and we had to get one back. Our defense is our strong point. They made a good play against Eli, and we just wanted to get the ball back. I was able to make a play for our defense and it was big. We went down there and scored the next drive. It got the momentum back in our favor.
RB BRANDON JACOBS
Q: Did you take it upon yourself to go out there and set the tone for the run game?
A: We did. Me and Ahmad talked all week and we knew that it was going to be cold. A lot of people don't like to tackle in the cold. We just had to come out, go downhill, no dodging, come right down the hill and whoever is in the way is going to feel it.
Q: Your first 100-yard game since 2008, what made today different?
A: Just coming out and reading what I had to read, making a lot of one-cut runs. Taking what the defense would give to me.
Q: How much did it pump you up to have a dominant first half as an offense, and watch the defense take over in the second half?
A: I take a lot of joy out of watching it. I like to see guys around me succeed. I like to see the defense succeed and make plays. It was how we won this game. There are always going to be four or five plays in every game that decide who will win or lose the game, and we were able to get those plays.
Q: Do you like when you guys are used as a one-two kind of thing like today?
A: It's great. It's great when both of us are used because teams find it kind of hard to make that adjustment so fast when you have me then Ahmad or Ahmad then me. Teams can't make that adjustment fast enough.
RB AHMAD BRADSHAW
Q: How important was getting a fast start on Washington?
A: It was so important. We have been waiting on this all year. We needed a great drive downfield the first drive of the game. We were enthusiastic before the game to do this, and it helped a lot.
Q: How do you think you and Brandon did as a one-two punch today?
A: He's a great back. He had eight for 103. He deserves it. The o-line gets all the credit from both of us, they did a great job up front. It's well deserved.
Q: Talk about getting 1,000 yards on the season:
A: It's a dream. To have 1,000 yards in the NFL is a big dream.
Q: Is today the perfect example of how you envision this two-back system to work?
A: With our styles, it goes both ways and they kind of complement each other. He did a great job today to open it up, and when I got in there, I just ran it in hard.
Q: What does this two-game win streak and the turnaround after being 6-4 say about this team?
A: We're confident. We have a lot of confidence on both sides of the ball. Even our special teams is playing great. If we keep the three phases of the ball going good, we'll be alright.
WR DEREK HAGAN
Q: How long after being re-signed did it to take to get comfortable again and get everything back?
A: Play wise, that was easy. It was knocking a little rust like running certain routes. When you're out there training on your own, there are some things you're just not doing. Obviously just knocking some rust off was the main thing and now I'm out there running around and trying to make plays.
Q: Were you expecting to be the go-to receiver this week?
A: I think it all comes down to the scheme of the game, whether we're running or throwing the ball it really doesn't matter. Last week, we were running the ball great and we didn't need to put it in the air that much. Also today, we ran the ball well and the safeties kept coming down in the box and that opened some stuff up for us. We were able to go out there and make plays.
LB KEITH BULLUCK
Q: You guys really seemed to gel out there today:
A: Give or take a few plays on defense, I think we played really sound all day on defense. It just says that we have the makings of a very, very good team. People have been seeing flashes all year, we just need to have that consistency.
Q: Talk about that fumble recovery, look liked you could have scored:
A: I scooped it, and maybe somebody – I just fell man, I'll blame it on myself. I don't know what was going on. I know I picked it up clean and I just started to run, but my momentum carried me forward. I have a handful of NFL touchdowns off scoops, but that was the first time that had ever happened to me.