QB Eli Manning**
Q: How's the mood?
A: The same. I'm obviously disappointed. I thought we had a chance to win the game yesterday. We were very close. I thought the offensive guys played well. I thought the defense played well and everybody played well enough to win that game. It was a little high throw at the end and that took our opportunity to win a game.
Q: How do you deal with the 0-6 start?
A: You just keep working and you try to get better and that's all we can do. That's all we can control is this next game and try to get a win. We don't know what's going to happen with the rest of the NFC East. We've still got to play five more games between the NFC East, but obviously we've got Minnesota next Monday night and it should be an opportunity for us to go out and get better. I thought we made some improvements this week offensively with running the ball and pass protection and making some plays. We've just got to eliminate the mistakes.
Q: Do you have to look at the positives in this situation?
A: Yeah. In each week you always build on the positives and you find the mistakes. You find the negative things and you try to eliminate those things. You learn from them. All we can do is just keep grinding and keep working. I have been proud of the guys with the way we fought last night after a very bad start to the game, but we responded well and got back into the game and kept playing hard. We've just got to build off the good things.
Q: How much does the 0-6 start weigh on you?
A: It's tough. We work hard and everybody game plans and practices hard to go out there and try to play well. It's not fun playing this game and losing and not feeling like you're helping your team and so it is tough, but it's not going to change the way I treat each day or treat each practice and treat the games. I'm going to compete. I'm going to work hard and do whatever I can do to try to put our team in a situation to win a game.
Q: Do the interceptions hurt your confidence?
A: No. I'm going to keep throwing. I'm going to keep trying to make good reads and throw the ball. I'm not going to get gun shy. After the two interceptions early in the game, I didn't change my confidence or making throws or being aggressive. I've just got to continue to be conscious about them and not making bad throws. I think the first one was really my only bad throw, bad decision. Those are the things you've got to control as a quarterback is your bad decisions. Sometimes you have a bad throw and those things happen, but the decisions are the things you can truly control.
Q: Did you check down a little bit more than you have been?
A: I probably threw a few check downs, but I don't think any more than normal. It just all depends on the routes and they were taking away some of the short stuff and just went through the progressions. Going into this game that's something we said about playing Chicago, we thought we were probably going to throw more check downs than normal just because of their style and some of the things that they do taking away your throwing lanes. I don't think it was anything uncommon or trying to play any different.
Q: Going back to last season, you have lost 11 of 14. Do you think the team isn't good enough anymore?
A: I'm not worried about last season. I'm worried about right now and we're not playing good enough to win these games and that's kind of the way it goes. I think we've been close on some, but just overall we just haven't played the style that we need to, to win these games.
Q: Do you have to make changes to get this turned around?
A: No. I don't think you do a lot of changes. You just keep working on when you get into that bad situation or if you've got pressure or if you're forced to throw the ball before you want to, whether you throw it away or just tuck it and take the sack; those are kind of the situations that come up. You've just got to keep making smarter decisions on that and just visualize it and train myself to be smarter in those circumstances.
Q: Are you and the receivers not on the same page sometimes?
A: No. That hasn't been the case...Guys jumped some routes on the touchdown one and then I just had to throw the ball before I really gave the route the time to run its course and so it's just an unfortunate play.
Q: Is there something about Rueben Randle that you keep throwing him the ball?
A: I'm just going through my reads or progressions. I try not to pick favorites or I'm not forcing the ball to one person. It's just based truly on what the progression is or what the read is and I have great confidence in all of my guys that they're going to do a great job.
Q: How do you assess Rueben Randle's progress?
A: I thought Rueben has done a good job making some plays and running routes and understanding the offense. I've been pleased with what he's been able to do.
Q: Do you feel the season can still be salvaged?
A: Yeah. You never know. You don't know how it's going to turn out. Right now, the other NFC East teams have two wins and the best record team has two wins. We've got to stick together and just keep fighting and keep making improvements and see if we can get on a hot streak, but obviously it's just take one game at a time and worry about getting that first win and that will be a nice one.
Q: Would you like to see a lot of adjustments for the next game?
A: No. I don't think you have to change that much, but then I think you can always make adjustments. But I thought offensively we ran the ball much better. I thought our protection was good. Our third down percentage was very good. Our green zone production was good. It was just obviously the turnovers and those are on me. So I've got to fix that part and we'll be in better shape.
Coach Tom Coughlin
Good afternoon. We told the team today when we started our meeting that I am as disappointed and upset about this loss as I have been about a loss in a long, long time and there are reasons for that. Everyone wants to know why aren't you winning? Why didn't you win? Why haven't you won? What is it? As if it's something that is difficult to understand or some premise that not many people can figure out. It isn't. It really isn't. When you take a hard look at what's happening, it's not that difficult to understand. There were some very good things done in the game. For example special teams and controlling Hester. Jernigan had a 36-yard kickoff return average. Hester had a 24-yard average. He had one punt return for no yardage. So we were able to accomplish some things along those lines. We rushed the ball offensively. It was a powerful running game. Our offensive line responded. Brandon Jacobs did an outstanding job of rushing. Our second half defensively was much better than our first half. Our winning percentage play by play was good in the second half and we only gave up the three points, as you well know. There were some good things, some really good things done. But when you look at it, when you break it down, if you look at the defensive side of the ball, no turnovers and no sacks. The quarterback pretty much stands back there and does what he wants to do without a lot of pressure. He can run the ball when he wants to and comes out of the pocket when he wants to. That's two weeks in a row. Really, he goes 24 for 36 in the passing game. So he stands back there and he's very accurate and not a lot of stuff being contested there. But we don't get any turnovers. We don't get any pressure on the quarterback. We do a good job against a very good rusher again who had 19 carries for 67 yards, which is good. And the yardage that they got, primarily they got some yards on the outside that should have been better defended by our force and contain people but wasn't. Then you look at the offensive side of the ball and what do you have to show again. You have the three turnovers. The three turnovers in the football game, which really right off the bat when you're talking about a team like Chicago who thrives on that and who had 55 points off of turnovers; when you see that and you go minus-three in the turnover ratio right off the bat, then you really don't give yourself much of a chance. You had 53 offensive plays and despite the fact that we… Going into the game, I felt good about our plan. We did a very good job of bringing the running game into the game, of putting ourselves in position where we would have, for example, more play action type passes and more ideas along those lines, which would give us a chance to control that. We felt good about that. We felt good about our special teams preparation. We felt good about our defensive preparation to a point where we obviously start always with stopping the run and going from there, knowing the weapons that they had, but feeling pretty good about our chances with regards to that as well. But when you look at the things that we do to ourselves and you go back to the oldest axiom in football, which is first you have to stop from beating yourself before you can go forth to beat the opponent. We're in our sixth football game and we're still talking about beating ourselves. Not what the opposition does, but what we flat out do to ourselves. Our defense makes that stop right away on the first interception and it really is a tremendous thing for a pickup and a lift for our sideline and we did really feel good about that, but then we spotted them the seven points, which seems to be we're spotting someone points that we can't afford to and we did that once again. When you talk about the game and you look the players in the eye and they want answers, just like you want answers, I can break it down for you very simply. We're not doing the things which we've always done here to take care of the football and to give ourselves a chance to be in position. Last year, we had a tremendous number of takeaways. What's happened? We've had sacks over the years and they've been a great compliment. I think this year we have five sacks in six games. We're not getting to the quarterback. Our pressures are not getting to the quarterback. We're just not exerting the kind of pressure that we always have in order to help neutralize some of the great talent that we play against. I say that. I am upset. I'm very disappointed. I can understand why Giant fans feel the same way as we do. We're working as hard as we can to try to make, in your opinion, probably some subtle changes to try to take care of some our problems. We took care of some things last night with some physical play up front, I thought, on both sides of the ball. It was a better second half. Field position was not good last night for our offense in the second half. We had the ball at the minus-eight twice and the minus-10 once. That wasn't something that we would have planned to have had, but without turnovers, you don't get the short field. You don't get the quick score opportunity. It just doesn't happen for you and that's the dilemma that we're stuck in at this point in time.
Q: What can be done in terms of the pass rush?
A: We're going to take a hard look at that. Why is it that we are not getting home? What can be done? Perhaps we can tweak the system a little bit. Be creative in some respects trying to get some things that will help us. But by and large, you've got to beat the guy who is trying to block you and we're really not doing that with any degree of… Now we have some pressure. We can force the quarterback to throw the ball on our time occasionally, but as far as the sack, minus-seven chance for turnover, which you know we had in that game last night; we didn't cause Cutler any problems.
Q: How do you make sure to keep the guys together?
A: You ask me this every week. I tell you the same thing every week. We start out the day after and it's not very pretty. Everybody is disappointed. Everybody wants answers, but they are committed to each other and I think they will remain that way. We have good character. They know the only thing they have is each other. That's all we have. We have the support of one another. We have to stay close. Stay the course. Believe in each other. Support one another. Be advocates for each other. We have to do that.
Q: Tom, David Wilson said that his injury could be season ending in the locker room. Do you share that concern?
A: That's not the way that it was presented to me. He is going for a second opinion, as you know. The thing that gave me some confidence is, David had an occurrence of this in college. He talked to me exactly about how it came about. It wasn't a top of the crown type thing, or anything of that nature. It wasn't that type of an injury. It's a disc issue and they will determine the severity of it and whether or not over the course of a couple weeks, three weeks, four weeks, if that can become a better circumstance, then he would have a chance to come back and play. If it's determined that's not the case, we'll go from there.
Q: What did you think of Beason?
A: He played hard, he played physical, he's going to help us. He's a good football player, obviously, very good against the run. He had a lot of tackles, was very much a force in the game in that respect. There's a lot to learn. Just in the subtleties in the way one team does certain things and the responsibilities involved, so Jon's going to get better and better at that.
Q: Can you talk about how this season is affecting you? I know you're a team guy.
A: I don't want to go there. How do you think an 0-6 head coach feels?
Q: How difficult is it to come in each Monday and try to lift these guys up?
A: I don't know that it's difficult. It's part of the job. I look at it as just another challenge and my whole focus is on our team, our players. I'll do whatever I have to do to help them. We're all trying. I thought the coaches did a heck of a job last week. We had a lot of challenges in facing this team and we did a good job with regard to getting our team, which five out of the six times we played now, our team has been in position to win the game. The very disappointing thing is, again last night, we were right there. We didn't accomplish our goals. It's back to the drawing board. Let's find a way. Let's create some way in which our team can get in that spot and win.
Q: Do you maintain the focus on this year and this week, or at any point do you have to start thinking about the future and taking a look at a young player who hasn't gotten an opportunity?
A: As in who?
Q: It could be anybody. One of your young lineman, Michael Cox maybe?
A: The way things go in the National Football League, you'll have some opportunities along the way with young people. If they're not in the mix as a one, the chances are at some point in time, they'll be in the mix is a very high percentage. Do I think ahead? No. I don't think any more than the next game.
Q: Eli talked about the number of games left within the division. Do you think this thing can still be salvaged?
A: Absolutely. Not unless we start playing a heck of a lot better and doing the things that I just described. We know the formula. We've used it for years here. There were years that we set the record for fewest turnovers. Seems like a long time ago.
Q: There seems to be a wide range of outcomes on plays involving Rueben Randle. How do you assess his progress in the offense?
A: Well, you want to know about the one play. There was a play last night where they were not on the same page. It was the obvious one, the Jennings' interception. One guy signaled one thing with his body language and the other guy didn't pick it up. That's kind of the way this has been with him. He's made some outstanding plays as he did the other night. I wasn't real happy about the play where he threw the ball on the ground either. You have to be smarter than that. You have to understand that could have gone the other way. Here we are knocking on the door. He's a talented young man who is figuring this thing out. He brings a lot to the table, we just have to keep working with him and refining that talent.
Q: On the interception that was brought back, the cornerback sat on that. So Rueben was supposed to do that right?
A: Yeah he was, but his language was a little bit indicative that he wasn't going to and then he did. By that time the quarterback had thrown the ball. Eli should have seen the corner. It would have helped him to go somewhere else, whether Rueben was right or wrong. I'm sure he would tell you the same thing.
Q: So it takes two to tango on that one?
A: It always does. It's more than one. It's a team game. The first interception, we should have picked the pressure up. We work all week on that one look and here they come with a nickel and we don't pick him up. He rushes the throw there. Let's lineup and play another play. Throw it in the ground, let's play another play. Let's not have a catastrophe. We don't need it. It's not necessary.
Q: Do you get a sense that when you come in on Monday that everybody is taking this as hard as you, or do you think there are guys that aren't taking it as hard?
A: If they're not, they're not smart enough to figure it out. I think there's a majority of guys in the room who are very much aware, and frustrated. Sometimes we don't come in. We just stay here.
Q: Some of the guys said this weekend off might be good. Do you think maybe these guys can get away for a weekend for themselves?
A: Well, I asked them to do that, coaches included. Think. Get some rest, think about the situation we're in and how your part can be a part of the solution.
Q: Do you tell yourself that too?
A: I haven't had that lecture yet with myself.
Q: Eli was pretty despondent afterwards with us, talking about his frustrations not only for himself, but for his teammates and his coaches. Have you talked to him.
A: No, I didn't have a chance today.
Q: Do you sense that he's really getting on himself about not being up to the standards that he's used to, and it's really frustrating and kind of baffling to him?
A: Last week we had a conversation and we'll undoubtedly have another one.
Q: Last year we asked you hundreds of questions about where the pass rus was. Part of the answer was we're not stopping the run. This year you're doing a much better job in that regard, so is that part of your questioning, why aren't we getting home?
A: I don't even include that part anymore. My question now is why aren't we getting more pressure on the quarterback. We are doing a pretty good job against the run. Two weeks in a row, we've done a pretty good job against a pretty darn good back. The quarterback has hurt us, as you know. One of the challenges for our coaches is let's figure something out here as far as getting someone to pressure the quarterback.
RB David Wilson
They're just telling me to sit out until further notice. I'm just as clueless as you all are.
Q: After the game you seemed pretty confident that you were fine. You said that you got checked out and you were fine.
A: Yeah, all my physical strength… passed all my physical tests. Like I said, everything is ready with me. I feel perfectly fine but the x-rays, one vertebra is closer to my spinal chord. That's a precaution thing. Of course I feel like none of my spine is lined up perfectly especially after years playing football, we've all got something here or there. They said they want to be cautious and check it our further.
Q: Do you have any tingling still?
A: Like I said, perfect. Nothing. No pain, all motion, all strength, there's nothing wrong with me except the x-ray. They want to be cautious about it. That's the most frustrating part is feeling like I do. Feeling healthy.
Q: Was surgery something that was discussed at all? Is that something that's on the table?
A: I have to get a second opinion; we don't know yet.
Q: Are you going out to L.A. for that?
Q: What is the range of possibility here. I know surgery is not something you really want to deal with right now but is that worst-case scenario? Is best-case you come back in a week? Is that the range we're looking at?
A: Best case, I'll be back after the second opinion. That's what I'm hoping and praying for because I feel perfectly fine. It really doesn't make sense to me right now. People say, "Oh, but it's the neck." But I feel like I'm fine. I'm willing to go out there and sacrifice and play with my team, this is what I love. That's my choice.
Q: Is your appointment on Sunday or Monday?
Q: Do you know what happened when you got hurt? Do you have any recollection of the play?
A: Yeah, I remember everything. The only reason why it took me a while to get up was my whole body went numb. I was kind of shocked and waiting for the feeling to come back. Halfway to the sideline, jogging to the sideline, the feeling came back. I got up and I was still numb. When I got to the sideline they were like, "Are you alright?" because it took me a while to get up and I was like, "Yeah, my whole body went numb." After I said that, I thought it was nothing and they were like, "Whoa," and grabbed me. They said we had to check that out and bring me to the locker room and I was like, "I'm fine, why do we have to check it out?"
LB Jon Beason
It went well. As the mike linebacker, you're in charge of making the calls, getting the guys lined up, making checks. For the most part I feel like I did a good job but there were some plays that I wish I could have back. At the end of the day, if you don't win, nothing really matters.
Q: You got pretty much a full load.
A: Yeah, I haven't played that many snaps in a long time so it felt good just to be out there in the first. You try to make an impact on every play, obviously by doing your job first. I felt good, man. I'm a little sore but that just means that I went to work.
Q: You knew you were going to play but were you surprised by the sheer volume?
A: No, I knew I just couldn't tell you that. Coach said that I was going to go out and be the MIK linebacker, we had some different packages. We were going to throw J-Wil (Jacquian Williams) out there on third down but I ended up being out there for most of the snaps. That was encouraging. I just wanted to go out there and do my job and make coach proud and try to show that this was a good move for the Giants and a good move for me.
Q: Was there any time of reaffirmation for you after getting traded and people questioning whether or not you could return to form?
A: Sometimes perception is not necessarily reality. You guys need something to write about. They made it a story down there, but for me, I'm very confident in who I am. I know what I can do, I know what I've done and you can always bank on that. Obviously I'd like to be in better shape just when you're coming back from an injury you have to recover from that before you can get better. Not necessarily an affirmation but I think I can get so much better.
Q: What are one or two really good things that you did yesterday that make you feel you can build quickly and help this team?
A: I feel like I moved around well. Mentally I thought I was there in terms of the scheme and where I was supposed to be. I felt like I played hard and the plays that I was dreaming about, making this play or making this great interception, I was close but I didn't get it. But the fact that I knew it was coming, the anticipation was there, that's how you play the game. When you're a veteran player you sit and you know when you can make an impact or a splash play or a game-changing play. I had a chance and that's something that's going to eat at me but that's how I am. I want to be perfect.
Q: When was the last time you played a game like this at middle linebacker?
A: A full load would have been Week 2 against the Saints. And then we played you guys in Week 3, that Thursday night game. That's when my knee started to really bother me so I was out for the most of that game. But I'm used to not ever coming off the field. Prior to my Achilles injury, I hadn't missed a snap in three and a half years.
Safety Antrel RolleWe've got to come back to work. We have to win out. We have to win out in order to give ourselves a shot. We have to win out.
Q: Is there any self-doubt in the sense that, if you look back to last year, you've lost 11 of 14. Do you look back and ask yourself, "Are we good enough or what?"
A: No, I know we're good enough, we're just not putting all of the pieces together and that's the funny thing. Absolutely. Yeah, we're good enough. I think right now, personally speaking, although it doesn't really mean anything…I think we could be 5-1 had we fought all four quarters and had we not let the adversity get the best of us. I think the only game where we clearly got dominated was the Carolina game. Other than that, I think we were in every game. Little things here and there changed the momentum and it all went downhill from there. We have to control that, we control that. There are no excuses. We're 0-6, we are an 0-6 team. We're not better than 0-6, we're not worse than 0-6. We are an 0-6 team. Until we go out there and prove that we're better and go out there and win some games, that's what we'll be.
Q: What does Eli need from his teammates right now?
A: Eli is a tough guy. I think a lot of people really don't understand him as a person or even a player but he's a tough guy, he can handle constructive criticism. He's a guy that can deal with pressure obviously. He's the quarterback of the New York Giants, there isn't much more pressure than that. We have to be hard on Eli. At the same time we love and we respect Eli. We know what he brings to this game, we know what he brings to this team. Realistically speaking, we don't win without Eli. That's the bottom line. We can't win without him. No disrespect to Painter and Nassib, but we do not win without Eli and that's just the reality of it. We all want to get on the same page. We're here, we're his brothers, the game doesn't always only come down to Eli. Defensively I think we did a great job in the second half but the first half we definitely left some plays out there. As a defender, we notice what takes place but then again, it doesn't really affect our game one way or the other. We have to be strong and we have to go out there and fight and overcome any kind of adversity that comes our way.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the way Tom has handled things? It's tough on all of you guys in the locker room but obviously he's a two-time Super Bowl guy that's kind of built a legacy here and this is far from that.
A: Coach is doing the best job that he can of keeping his composure and keeping this locker room together, keeping this team together. That's the most important thing at this point because when you're 0-6 a whole lot of things can turn on you Players can turn on players, coaches can turn on players, players can turn on coaches and that's one thing that we haven't done in this locker room and that's one thing that we will never do in this locker room. He's keeping us positive, he's keeping us fighting, but coach is human just like the rest of us. Of course he's disappointed. He's extremely disappointed.