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Postgtame Coach Coughlin Interview


TC: Patriots are a heck of a football team. It was a heck of a game. I could sit here and pick it apart, but getting the four turnovers, wasn't too happy about the two that we gave them back, but nevertheless, the way in which it went 10-10 and then back and forth it went, and then the final two drives were outstanding and then the play there at the end. Again, the ball was down there at like the 6-inch line and we have one timeout left, and we do get the ball in the end zone. There is never, you know you never feel like you're got enough. I remember when Tom Brady had 35 seconds and I wasn't real comfortable there, and here we are with 12, I wasn't real comfortable. But, the guys did a really nice job. So, the defensive package, the pressure… You know, I don't know what the numbers are, the run/pass ratio or anything like that, but I do know that we got some pressure on the quarterback, which we tried to do. They kept two tight ends in there a lot which made it kind of difficult to rush and yet they were still very effective with their passing game, so I give them a lot of credit for that. And again, Eli [Manning] came back from the interception and made two exceptional touchdown plays and we able to just barely have enough time to win.

Q: Coach, can you talk about the effectiveness that [Brandon] Jacobs brought?TC: He played really well. He was powerful and there wasn't any east/west or any thoughts of that today. I mean, he just dropped his shoulder and ran and he pounded his way to some really nice runs. And he also, when the hole wasn't there, he made two or three many times, which second and seven is a lot better than second and 10. So, I thought he played well and I thought he played tough, so our offensive line and tight ends and the pass group all did a nice job.

Q: Were you having Super Bowl flashbacks?TC: No.

Q: The way you came down the field 4 years ago and you did it again today?TC: No, not really. This is a whole new game. Just trying to be in the moment against a really good team and didn't have a lot of time to think about that kind of stuff.

Q: Jake Ballard found some spots early on, but then to make a catch in man coverage…TC: Well, to throw it down the middle of the field and then he goes up and gets that one. I mean, they are coming to take the ball away there. And you know, he knew enough after the last situation going the other way. I mean, I thought he was clearly down, but the official wanted to make that he held onto the ball. I guess nobody could hear a whistle out there. Must be what the problem was there. Yeah, he has come up big, he did focus and concentrate and put the ball away. And did a good job on the power run as well.

Q: Was there any thought of running that last play that went to the touchdown?TC: There is a sequence there, when you only have one timeout, there is a sequence. If you run the ball there and you don't make it, then you have a lot of trouble getting the next one off.

Q: On a third down you don't have a timeout, correct?TC: That's right.

Q: How long does it take to get the field goal team?TC: Longer than what, 16 seconds. That's tough when you are coming from the sideline like that. We have to be playing for the win though. I mean, that's what we were thinking all the way.

Q: Talk about Eli's poise in the final drive and the season he is having.TC: I mean, he stood in there and there was pressure. He got blitzed 0-0 and hung in there and directed traffic and threw the ball where it should have been thrown. Kept great poise and was resilient as heck when he bounced back after the interception that we were thinking 3 [points], maybe 7. You know, and we didn't get it, but we came right back and did some good things on defense and battled away and found a way to win.

Q: Did you get an explanation on the [Mario] Manningham penalty? What that was all about?TC: I got some explanation, but you can't see. You know it's over in that corner and I'm over here and the guys are celebrating. I mean, I have no idea. First of all, to put your team in a position like that, even if it's close, I mean, you can't do that. You can't do that. I mean, everything is being called. This is like a… so, you got to get away from people, you got to stay away from any circumstances that causes a foul to be called. I told him that he made a great catch, he made a great play. A couple games in a row, he's done that. But when I look out there and we have to kick the ball off, way back, and they have two really good returners back there. Lawrence [Tynes] did make a nice kick there though.

Q: People talked about the first part of the season being about easier competition. Do you think this says anything about the team and will the win will do anything for their confidence?TC: As long as we prepare the same every week, for every opponent, and I think you come to the end of the week and you feel like you've earned the right to win. And then you have got to go play it, compete and you've got to make the plays, but the whole thing that I am interested in is the way that we prepare. All the clichés come flying out, it's an eight game schedule now, so it's on to the 49ers.

Q: What do you think, Tom, about that second half offensive production given your starting running back is out, your top receiver is out, your center is out?TC: Guys have a chance. Look at the play Ramses [Barden] made. I'm sorry he didn't get into the end zone down there, but he makes a great play on the sideline there, stretches out with his length, But, guys just got to keep playing. Whatever happens, whatever works during the course of the week. We have been doing that all year and there is no reason to stop doing that now and you might want to take a second and Kevin Booth does a really good job when he plays.

Q: How did it feel in the locker room after the players put you on their shoulders in celebration?TC: I was thinking they were going to drop me on my head, is what I was thinking.

Q: Not to harp on this, but on the interception, was he [Eli Manning] throwing that one to [Victor] Cruz?TC: He was headed to the corner of the end zone.

Q: Would you talk about Steve Weatherford and what he did in the first half?TC: That was really the key for us, I mean, the number of punts. Two of them were on the 5-yard line and really kept them backed up. If you want to talk about reflecting on things, you remember the pre-season game, they went 90 just like that. The ball was first down at the minus 10 and they drove it. Yeah, but he did a really outstanding job in the first half. And he put them back where they had the long field.

Q: You have been with Eli [Manning] since his start. Has he had a better stretch than this season?TC: You know, I think he does an awful lot of good things even when some of the numbers aren't as good, but he certainly has earned, and played well and deservedly so, the respect that he is getting.

Q: Does this compare to the playoff stretch on the way to win the Super Bowl?TC: I don't know. This is, we won a game under difficult circumstances and that's all I am concerned about. No comparisons. As I said, we have a long road ahead of us, but if we can come together and play like this. You know, help and support each other, and stay away from the turnovers and we get ourselves in a position where we are, to some extent, stopping the run. I don't know what the numbers are again, but I thought we did a little better of a job at that tonight.

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