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Quotes (12/19): Coughlin, Kennard

Head Coach Tom Coughlin

Q: Do you look at these next two games as looking towards the future?
A: First of all, we are trying to win. We are trying to win, period, and the players that we have are going to all have that opportunity. Young guys have had a chance, many of them, to improve over the course of time and over the course of a year as their play time has increased and their roles of responsibility have increased, and that is all a good thing. Right now, I am worried about today, and tomorrow, I will be worried about tomorrow.

Q: How do you assess the development of your offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo in his first year?
A: He has done good job. He's a solid football coach and knows exactly what he is doing. He does a good job helping to coach the quarterbacks and the offense, his work ethic is very good.

Q: We talk a lot about growth and development of the young players. What ways have you seen growth and development in him as a coach?
A: I think his ability to maneuver in and out of situations, to adjust to some of the people that have been injured and he has compensated for, running back situation; to a certain extent, the wide receiver; the offensive line as we went through some changes. Those were all interesting occurrences, but I think he's done a good job and I think there have been times when obviously there are things that he can improve on and learn from and he has done that.


Q: Do you see a difference in his play calling now than earlier in the year? **
A: I am not going to comment. I am not sure what you mean by that.

RE: Maybe a different rhythm? Different calls in different spots.
A: He has been, I think, pretty consistent with that. I think the fact that when you get in games sometimes and you are not successful with the balance that you are looking for, it is not easy. When you are not running as well as you would like to do that, to provide the kind of the balance. That falls just as much on my shoulders as anybody else.

Q: How about the progression of Andre Williams?
A: He has done a nice job, he's hung in there, he's battled, and he's learned very well. The thing about the protection which we talked about a couple times this week. He has done a good job with that.

Q: You had an opportunity to elevate a guy this week. You chose Jerome Cunningham; he's at a position where you didn't lose anyone there. Why did you guys go with him?
A: He's worked hard, and he's earned the right to do it. He worked very hard; he's a big, strong body. If we needed a person to help us on special teams, that will be one of the places we could go.

Q: You have Jameel McClain available. What has he meant to you this year?
A: What do you mean available?

RE: For Sunday.
A: He has been energetic, a fire plug, done a nice job leading by example, he's also inspired people because of the level of energy he has brought to the table. He has done a nice job.

Q: Weston Richburg, he has a big challenge this week going up against Aaron Donald.
A: Big challenge every week. I don't know if it's any of a bigger challenge than when he sits in there against some 350-pounder. Every week presents new problems, different problems. Aaron Donald is an outstanding player, he's had a good year. I think he has played against quite a few very good football players in there.

Q: When you look at Aaron Donald, how does he do it?
A: Very quick, uses his body very well, uses his hands very well, can get people off balance, take advantage of it.

RE: The preparation of Devon Kennard
A: He works at it. He loves football. He works at his responsibilities no matter what they are. He has always been consistent and impressive that way.

Q: Overall, you have to be pretty impressed with the play you have gotten out of the rookies this year.
A: We are, two games to go, let's get some more out of them, let's continue that progress.

Q: Justin Pugh has the injury issue earlier in the year. His recent play, how much of that do you attribute to him being healthy and just learning how to fight through and come out the other end?
A: Both. I think both are. You've got to be able to play in this league with nicks, hurts, and injuries, and still be focused, and still get better. In that position, just as much as anywhere, you snap the ball when that guy is the length of a football away from you. Those guys have to learn how to deal with that. They can't let their focus be broken or their ability to understand what is expected of them and to get better each week. He fought his way back from an injury at the beginning when he first came back. He had to get going again, he seems to be able to do that.

LB Devon Kennard

Q: Is there a sense of pride of how well the rookies have done this year?
A: Most definitely. I think it starts with the class that they brought in. We have a talented group and we all want to play and we all want to help our team win. I think we're competitors and we're showing that on Sundays.

Q: You also have a feeling that you're playing pretty well, too?
A: Yeah.

Q: Jameel McClain always talks about not being a middle linebacker or a strongside linebacker, but just being a linebacker. Has that idea rubbed off on you?
A: Most definitely. I've moved around a lot in my career and I moved around and have done some different things already this year since I've been here. I think that's a good testament to how he is and how I am. Whatever the coaches need me to do, I'm more than willing to do it. I feel like I'm smart enough and versatile enough to where I can do different things.


Q: What's the most important thing you've learned this year as a first year player in the league? **
A: Just how to be consistent in this league. It's the little details that count and understanding what to do, and staying in the playbook is essential so you can go out there and play fast on Sundays.

Q: What was the hardest adjustment transitioning from college to the pros?
A: The mental aspect, in the sense of when you're in college, you don't have as much time as you do in the NFL to study. I had to get under the wings of some of the vets and really learn how they break down different things and how they view things and that's helped a lot.

Q: How has all the film study helped?
A: You can recognize different things and understand what offenses are doing, pick up tendencies of different players and how they run things. It helps.

Q: How much can you use the next two weeks as a stepping-stone for next season?
A: My focus is just helping my team win this Sunday. I want to do everything I can to help my team win this Sunday. I'm going to go out there and compete and hopefully we get the win.

Q: How have you seen your role on this team change? Have you noticed your growth over the season?
A: Most definitely. I'm trying to progress every week. I'm trying to get better at everything and all the little details. I'm nowhere near as polished as I want to be and as good as I want to be and I want to continue to get better these next two games and have a really good offseason and go on.

Q: Going into a practice or game, do you compartmentalize the idea of this is where you want to get better with what you're doing this week?
A: Yeah. I'm always looking at myself in what I need to improve on and what I need to do every week to be the best I can be and that's something that's continuing for me.

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