QB Eli Manning
Q: After looking at the film, any thoughts?
A: No. I think just the same. I thought we did some good things, but we just made too many mistakes that were big mistakes and left a few opportunities out there on the field that we needed to make. We just didn't make the plays in crucial moments. We are going to continue to get back to work, continue to make improvements, and know as an offense, we have to score more points.
Q: Does it feel like there is something close there, whether it is drops, whether it is with the offense?
A: You feel like you see the opportunities. You see the plays that we made and you feel good about those. You see some of the plays that were out there to be made and we had good opportunities to make them, we just didn't execute quite well enough. We didn't finish some drives well enough and so we have to eliminate some of those mistakes that are preventing us from putting points on the board and sustaining drives and converting third downs. We saw improvement and hopefully we can build off that.
Q: When you look at the tape last week as well as this week and you see mistakes. Are they more fundamental or are they breakdowns mentally? **
A: No, obviously just turnovers. Turnovers always hurt you and you have a few drops here; missed a throw to Rueben Randle on a corner route. Those are just missed opportunities. I think from doing the right thing; I think guys for the most part are doing the right things, going to the right spot, running the right routes, understanding the protections, and doing everything correct in that aspect when we are changing or checking plays. I think there are a lot of good things and guys are getting things, so I think you are not getting a whole lot of people just doing the wrong thing. It' just more of better execution and just making the plays that are there to be made.
Q: The fact that you are talking about blowing a game or losing a game because of turnovers. Is it hard to take at some point?
A: You've just got to understand you just can't have them. I think we are doing a better job of not turning it over as often. I think some of the ones we had were just some weird plays. A tipped ball on the first one and Rashad Jennings slips, arm hits the ground and the ball pops out. It wasn't like he got hit; he's being conscious of it, just kind of got some bad plays. So I think we have been more conscious of it and we just have to continue to be even better.
Q: Coach brought up the no-huddle as one of the things he felt made a big stepper forward in progressing that game. Did you feel that and what was it about it that you felt worked for you?
A: Yeah. I think the no-huddle the last two weeks has been pretty good to us. I think we did a good job, I think the no-huddle is always better when you can get some first downs and you start getting into a rhythm and going. If you are getting three and outs, it doesn't really serve its purpose, but I think we sustained a lot of drives; had a lot of good drives. I think when you can have a 12-play drive, you can have 13-play drives and get going, it does give the offense advantage, can tire out the defense a little bit, slow down the pass rush and those types of things. I thought we were up to the line of scrimmage quick. We were able to see what the defense was doing, get into some good protections, get into some better runs, check some things. I think it is going well for us and hopefully we can continue to do it and do it well.
Q: Can you use it more or is it something you have to sort of pick and choose your spots with?
A: I think we used it a decent amount throughout the game. I think you want to be able to mix it up a little bit. Even when we huddle, we try to be a fast operation and get in and out of the huddle quickly, but sometimes you want to change personnel. You change personnel and it kind of takes the no-huddle out of it, you give the defense a chance to substitute and it slows things down. It depends how much we want to substitute and get into different personnel.
Q: Do you have the sense you better get a win soon or this can go south real fast?
A: Well, I think when you are 0-2, you want to get a win soon. We've got the Houston Texans coming in, we've got another home game so hopefully…we've got to get better, but we have to do it soon. We don't have a whole lot of time to keep waiting to get better. I thought there was an improvement, we've got to keep getting better. We've got to start making the big plays , we've got to start playing better in the clutch situations and so we will get better in our preparation and having better answers for circumstances that come up during the game.
Q: On that first interception. When a guy trips like that when he is going into a route. Does that hurt because maybe it takes away kind of a target for you to aim at?
A: Yeah, especially off of pressure. He is kind of my hot throw on that and he trips. It kind of puts me in a awkward situation, a guy kind of coming on you in pressure and I think I probably tried to pull it back a little or maybe hope he regained his footing. I didn't want to throw a line drive and throw it high right to a guy and so it was kind of a bad scenario, but I'd do a better job taking a sack there and not turning the ball over.
Q: That is hard. A sack is a failure, but it is better than an interception so it's a hard thing to rectify.
A: Right. I guess it just kind of depends, you know you are hot, you are getting ready to throw it, guys running on you and you see them trip, you just kind of pull it down and it's hard to throw it away in that circumstance when you have a guy running on you don't really have a place to throw it away. Just kind of got stuck in a bad circumstance, but I have to make a better decision.
Q: When things like that are happening around you. A guy trips, five drops or so that are out of your control. Do you feel like it was out of your control or do you go and look at the film and think, "there are still some specific things that I could of done?"
A: Definitely things I can do better. A lot of them are probably doing better things in pre-snap. Getting into a better protection based on the blitz or changing a route to something different. There are definitely some things I can do pre-snap to help out the situation.
Safety Antrel Rolle
Q: It would seemthat Walter Thurmond's injury is a pretty tough blow to the secondary. How do you guys overcome?
A: It's very unfortunate. Walter, we were looking forward to him being a great player for us in our secondary. Like I said, it's very unfortunate but we have to find a way to move on as professionals. I think we have guys that are going to step in. Right now this week, it's going to be Trumaine McBride and I have all the confidence in the world in him.
Q: Does that put you back in the situation where you might have to mix into the slot or do you think Perry Fewell will keep it the same way and just keep Trumaine there? **
A: Well, right now we just have Trumaine there, so that's the game plan right now. Like I said, we have all the confidence in the world in him.
Q: I know it's early in the season, it's only two games and there's still plenty of time to turn it around, but do you feel there's more pressure on you now after what's happened these last two weeks to get this thing right?
A: Absolutely. I think there's always pressure. This is a pressure business. This is a business where you win. It's either win or you find other ways to win. I'm confident in this group, though. I feel like we left some plays out there. I feel like we can definitely grow and get better but I felt like through the course of the game, we did get better. Offensively and defensively, I felt like we got better. We just didn't find a way to win. You can't give the games away. You can't have four turnovers and then create no turnovers. That's already putting yourself at such a huge disadvantage, but like I said, I felt the passion, I felt the want to win that game, which is a huge plus for this team. We've got to find a way to win. We've got to find a way to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and find a way to get on top. Just believe in what you see, making the play and making the best of opportunities when they present themselves.
Q: Is last year and this year a different situation?
A: We're not worried about last year.
Q: You guys came in thinking how good this defense collectively could be. Now without Walter Thurmond and with a question mark with Jon Beason going forward, how does this team rally?
A: Well you have to find a way to rally. One guy doesn't make this defense, two guys don't make this defense, although they are huge additions to our defense. We need them out there, there's no doubt about it. Jon and Walter are both huge assets to our defense, but unfortunately in this business, when things go down you have to find someone and a way to make the standards stay the same or even higher. We have to find a way, we have to dig deep. I'm confident in the backups that we have. The way they always coach, there are no backups in this league. We're all starters. It just so happened that we all happened to be on the same side of the ball, the same team. We're going to bring those guys along with preparation and giving them all the confidence that he needs to go out there and perform. I don't expect any drop off at all. The way we've been playing thus far, I feel like we picked it up a little bit better defensively this game but we still left some plays out there, there's no doubt about it. We're looking for a better week this week.
Q: When you say you saw improvement in the defense this week, do you think more people stayed true to the scheme, did their jobs as opposed to trying to do too much outside?
A: Well yeah, I think we stayed a lot more true to the scheme, not trying to do too much but at the same time, I think we just need to play a little bit smarter on the defensive side of the ball. A lot of it is instinctive, but your instincts are what's going to carry you to the right play and doing the right assignments, so we have to be a little better with that. We're all guilty of it, myself, all 11 guys on the field. We're all guilty of the same thing, so there's no one without sin. We can all get better. I'm definitely going to start with myself and hopefully it snowballs all the way down.
Q: Are you scratching your head a little bit about… there are plays where you put the offense in situations where you would like them, like third and 13 or third and 14 and yet they're converting. Are you sitting there going, 'How is this happening?'
A: Absolutely. When you look at the film you see exactly how it's happening. When you look at the film, like I say, the film doesn't lie. It's about being smarter and knowing what situations you're in. Third and 13, very rarely is a team going to try to get those 13 yards, they're going to try to catch you off guard, lure you to sleep and throw some little misdirection at you. That's exactly what this team did. They ran a draw a couple times and were successful with it. We've got to do a better job with our fits and understanding the ins and outs of a defense, knowing that you have to make the ball cut back inside because that's where all of your help is coming to. You don't want to let guys get on the boundary, that's where teams are going to hurt you. We failed to do that in a couple situations in this last game, but like I said, we're coaching to get better. We're going to keep drilling it, keep drilling it, keep drilling it until hopefully it sticks.
Q: In those situations, is that exactly how one small mistake can lead to that?
A: Yeah, yeah. That's exactly what it is. Not saying that they were at the wrong place at the wrong time but it's a part of just fighting over that one guy, getting the outside leverage. Something that little can be something that huge. Like I said, we're going to keep continuing to drill it and make sure we get better from it.
Q: How do you address the penalties? Seven in the secondary.
A: Some were questionable, some were very obvious. Those are the refs, they're going to make the calls and we have to play within the rules or do our best, too. They're going to call some on us and it's fine, but we're not going to stop being aggressive. We need to be smarter, you can't hold a guy. Illegal contact, some things like that are going to take place throughout the course of a game. There are certain things we saw on film today, when you're jamming a guy and you're holding and you're looking at the quarterback they're going to call that 100 percent of the time so we have to be smarter. Practice makes perfect and that's pretty much it.
Q: Is there a thought that, with these new rules, the better players will handle it better? Sometimes more skilled guys do a better job. Do you think that can be the case or…?
A: Yeah, I mean, we're definitely a good group. There's no doubt about it. But when you're playing the cornerback position or the safety position and you're in man-to-man coverage, we've been used to getting away with certain things so it has nothing to do with your talent level, it just has to do with breaking bad habits, the habits that are prohibited now with the new rule change. Like I said, we just have to get better.
Q: When you looked at the film, are you confident that the mistakes you're seeing are indeed correctable and something that you can get comfortable with very quickly?
A: All mistakes are correctable, you just have to apply it to doing it better next time around. The same mistakes are the ones that are going to kill you. You have to play smart, you just have to play smarter. You have to take chances, I don't feel like we're taking enough chances as a defense as far as believing what we see. If you see it – go get it. If they make a play, we line up and we play again. You have to take chances. You can't be a defense that's scared to get beat or, you know, not sure, second-guessing yourselves. We're all smart guys. We all have played the game a long time so if you see it, you've got to go get it.
Q: Is that where the turnovers come in?
A: Absolutely. I think you're only going to get very minimal opportunities to get turnovers in a game so when an opportunity does present itself, you have to go get it, you have to attack it.
Q: Is that a matter of maybe jumping more routes? Is it that simple?
A: In certain times it can be that simple but at the same time you still have to play within the defense. Just because I may know a slant ball is coming to my left side and can anticipate it and can even make that play, I can't leave that backside guy hanging. You have to play within your defense. You can't get too greedy; you just have to capture the ones that come to you. You can't play out of the defense and start doing your own thing because that's when everything's going to get out of control.
Q: Fair to say you saw those plays on film when you guys watched?
A: Yeah, there were a few plays that I think we left out there and that we could have made. We contested a couple of them but we need to get better and we will get better.
Coach Tom Coughlin
Coughlin: Good afternoon. We'll just start with some of the thoughts about what needs to be corrected right away, the obvious being the 10 penalties, seven on defense, so we're back into the business of defensive holding and illegal contact, which definitely was an issue yesterday because there were many times where the opponent would have been off the field had it been for a penalty, which allowed them to stay in a drive and those statistics when the defense helps are very, very high in favor of the offensive team scoring touchdowns. We did give up 124 yards rushing, I was a little bit surprised at that postgame but not that they didn't have some runs. I thought we… we set out in the beginning of the week to really stop the run and we had, for example, some of those unusual formations were pretty well gapped out in our favor. Later in the game or after the first couple of attempts, I think we did settle down, play a little better run defense but the damage was done with a couple of back-to-back long runs that hurt us. Of course, the 14 points, you're not going to beat anybody in the National Football League with 14 points. We've got to score. We had some better numbers offensively, we had better contributions. The quarterback played better, without a doubt, but we still didn't have the ball in the end zone and we certainly were there any number of times. I think one of the ones, not to say the only one, that hurt was the third and four at the 40 where we were incomplete and we punt the ball and no one is, the gunners are not in position to down the ball and it goes in the end zone for a touchback and the ball goes to the 20, so you get a 20-yard net in terms of your punt there. … We have the four giveaways with no takeaways, which extenuates, again, we're not taking the ball away from the opponent. We did have, the first interception was a case in point where the pressure was on, there was no doubt, they dropped an end off to that side, both sides actually, but we were trying to come underneath with Victor Cruz, take advantage of the fact that they were filling the middle, get the ball and run up the field. The end was there, I tried to stress to Eli, 'Just throw the ball away. Throw it away, we'll line up and have another play,' because we did drive. We were already in field goal range and you're just taking points off the board when you do that. The no takeaways is an issue now. We've had two games where we have not had a takeaway, no fumbles, no interceptions. This is something that every team counts on in the NFL. Counts on getting extra field position, bonafied field position from some type of a takeaway, whether it be special teams or defense, and we have not had that. We have driven the ball a little bit better yesterday but still, again, not enough, no points to show for it. … We clearly lost the fourth quarter, that's something that I drill and drill and drill in addition to no turnovers, win the physical battle. It's win the fourth quarter. I thought that we're sitting there in a great situation in probably the midpoint, almost the midpoint of the fourth quarter. We were in the lead or were shortly behind there and we were not able to do anything about that. And then we hit the scenario with the dropped pass, the punt returned for a touchdown, the kickoff return fumble and we find ourselves in that situation. Still, with 22-14, we drive the ball into their territory, we're at second and 10 at the plus 17-yard line and we have a fumble, which was difficult to explain. Not that there was any huge gain that was going to be going with that, it would have created a third and nine or a third and 10 but points would have come out of the drive. I feel very strongly about that. And so we look back upon those situations. It was a 12-play drive that stalled right there with the fumble. … Beat ourselves, yes. We're back to that axiom again, the oldest in football. First, you have to keep from beating yourself before you can go forth to defeat the opponent, and that's what I felt like yesterday. Give credit to the Cardinals, they came in here with a very strong defensive team, a team from the midpoint of last year on that had played very well together and scored a lot of points, put a lot of yards on the table for their team. Certainly their starter at the quarterback position did not play but Stanton played very well. And what one thing did he do that helped his team win? Did not turn the ball over. So that, kind of in a nutshell, is the way that I saw yesterday. I did see things that were improvement for our team. We do have to build upon that but these other staples that I just talked to you about, the fundamentals of winning and losing in the National Football League, those things have got to be gotten under control. If you don't have any questions, I'll go back to work. Quickly.
Q: The secondary on paper is built to be the strength of your team. Seven penalties and no takeaways, what has to be done differently with this group?
A: We did have, I thought we had a couple chances for an interception. Why we're not playing the ball as sharply as we need to, I thought Stevie Brown had one, a relatively deep ball that was not that far from his aligned position in center field. I thought we had another opportunity perhaps that Dominique could have maybe had a play on the ball at one point as well. I thought there were a couple out there, maybe a third that we should have had that we didn't. What could be done? Well, the point of the matter is -- you've got to be in the right position, your eyes have got to be in the right spots, you're either locked onto the receiver that you're covering or you're playing some type of zone coverage. Your eyes have to go to the right spots, you've got to have a good feel for it. I thought on a couple of occasions the quarterback was actually staring the ball where he was going and still we weren't influenced enough to go in that direction and be in position to make a play. One of them was a third and 10, you'll remember the play. What do we need to do? We do have athletes, they are good athletes. We did, I think a couple years ago, we referred to Stevie Brown as kind of a ball-hawking guy in center field when he had that opportunity. He's just not there yet, he's not back yet to where he was a couple of years ago and let's hope he gets there. There was one play down the field that I thought that Dominique, having jumped up in the air, might have been able to make the interception. We're getting closer, I think we're in position. We've got to catch the ball.
Q: A couple of those things, like following the quarterbacks' line of vision, you talked about how much talent you had in the secondary, isn't that some stuff that maybe should be ingrained in them by this point? **
A: I hope so. I would think so. Obviously we're not as good at it as we should be, so we've got to sharpen it up.
Q: You talked about some of these problems, how difficult is it going to be not having Walter Thurmond out there?
A: Well, certainly you take a guy who came here, was excited about being here, had shown the ability to run around and be in the right position, made a really nice tackle, a couple of tackles yesterday where he really broke on the ball and did a nice job. We're going to obviously miss Walter, but we have some other guys that have played and played well. (Trumaine) McBride has played well last year so he's going to have to step up and play well again.
Q: Is he the first one in there?
A: Well, he was the first one in there yesterday. I'm not ready to say what we're doing this week, but he came off the bench yesterday.
Q: How does the Thurmond loss affect Antrel Rolle? He's dropped down there in the past.
A: It's always a consideration. He's always ready to do that. It may not be preferred but we'll see.
Q: Do you know how long Jerrel Jernigan…?
A: I don't really know that. I haven't heard anything back from those guys today yet really.
Q: Is Odell Beckham any closer to hitting the field?
A: They're claiming that he's getting better.
Q: You've been in these kinds of circumstances before where it's tough and sometimes you come out of them, sometimes you don't. Is there anything that you've seen from other instances where you have come out that apply to this team?
A: What happens when you fight your way out of this is that you get yourself in the same kind of game we just had, a close, really tight football game, and you make some plays in order to win. You do gain confidence from something like that. It changes the attitude. Just like winning yesterday would have changed everything in terms of going forward, to be, again, to lose and be behind the eight ball puts everything back in motion along those lines. Somewhere, to get out of the rut you're in, you've got to play well, you've got to make plays when they're there and win a game to build the confidence that you need. As I say, we put the ball down in there on the 17 and don't score, that doesn't help. Score there and go for two and see what happens. At some point in time… to me, that's what it takes. You get in a tough game, it's a scrappy game, you find a way to win and it helps.
Q: You talked about the fourth quarter and Eli said you need to be better in pressure situations. How do you get that message across to guys? How do you get to that point where…?
A: You pound away.
Q: You've been there with other guys but this crew, maybe some of these guys haven't been in those spots.
A: Not when you keep pounding away. Yesterday we were 50 percent on third down. They were a team that probably pressured, I didn't tab it up yet from yesterday, but going into the game, 50 percent would have been just a normal game for them. I think that we did handle that a little bit better than we've been doing, the pressure and getting the ball where we wanted it and directing the protection the way it should have been directed. We did do those things pretty well yesterday, so I'm hoping that that's on the rise.
Q: Obviously a lot of the responsibility falls on the quarterback but when you have a day like that, where he has it least five drops, do you look at the film and think there's still more that Eli could have done or was his performance good enough?
A: Well, there's always more that can be done. As you referred to the drops – yeah, catch the ball. That's what you're paid for. Professional wide receivers, you've got to make the plays. Someone asked yesterday about the… and I said, 'Vic made a couple, made some really good catches in the game and there were a couple more that would have really added to things had we been able to come up with them.' What more can Eli do? There was a play, I thought, to Rueben down the field where, had he been able to step up clean, it wasn't exactly clean, the pocket was closing around him but had he been able to step up and throw the ball, I thought Rueben had the defender beaten and he was on his way to a potential score there. There's always more that can be done.
Q: Weston Richburg is going through a little bit of growing pains right now at guard?
A: Well, he went through some yesterday as well. Some good, some bad but he did battle and corrected some of the things he had done in the past. He got in a particularly difficult matchup from time to time. By in large, he came out of the game having learned, again, a greater experience playing at that spot and hopefully he'll benefit.
Q: The fumble, the ball was laying there.
A: Yeah, that was his bad, probably his very, very bad play of the day. What he did, it looked to me like a young guy focusing completely on his error, the error of his ways rather than playing football. 'There's the ball. Go get the ball, we'll talk about it later.'
Q: The error of his ways as far as not with the protection I guess?
Q: As a former wide receivers coach, Victor did make some waves last week saying he wanted the ball. Do you take particular interest in that? Did you talk to him about it? Especially with the drops, it kind of compounds things.
A: Well, I can understand wanting to be… it's kind of like… for me, it wasn't offensive because the way it read was Victor, when Victor made the statement, 'I'd like to be a captain, I'd like to be considered a captain of this team.' That's a good thing, you know. A guy wants the football, it's not necessarily a bad thing if he understands that obviously there are other people, there are progressions, there are reasons that you do and don't get the football. I'll visit with him this week, not necessarily on that subject but on a whole bunch of subjects.
Q: Quintin Demps fumbles yesterday, he also fumbled once in the preseason. Is there anything there to that and do you look to make a change there at all or is he still…?
A: We talked about that today in the team meeting as well. There is a way to carry the ball to protect the ball. It really is not an option. He played hard yesterday. He was very good on teams, he flew around, he tackled, he did a lot of good things. He almost broke out of there once, even twice, on kickoff return. But in that one regard, okay, when you carry the ball loosely and swing the ball like he did… when he started to spin, right away he's in big trouble because the natural thing when you spin, if the ball's not glued to your side, it's the elbow leaves the side a little more plus you lose a little bit of your feeling about where you are. In came the defender, made a hit on the side, this arm went around behind and knocked the ball out. Hey, you pay a tremendous price when the ball is turned over and the timing couldn't have been worse. But I wanted to say initially that the guy played hard and he wants to play and contribute, he definitely does. It's like Preston Parker, he wants to do whatever he can do to help us, which I like that attitude. I don't like seeing the ball on the ground.
Q: With Beason, I assume there's no update.
A: No, I don't have anything yet.
Q: With Devon Kennard, do you have any idea if he's going to get back on the field this week?
A: It didn't sound great to me.
Q: As far as the depth goes at linebacker, you may have an issue there this week. Do you think something might need to be done roster-wise
Q: The crowd was pretty into the game and at the end of the game they were… they left after the fumble, most of them. The mood in the area right now is pretty low. You've got another home game, should they feel better than maybe they do? Do you think that there's enough signs that the fan base should be a little more optimistic than they seem to be?
A: Well, I really don't… I would like, in an ideal world, that they would stay and remain as positive and as upbeat as they possibly can because of the way they affect the young men that are on the field. They are fans, they bleed, they live and die. The circumstances, it wasn't good yesterday. It was better but it wasn't the end result that everyone was looking for, so I would say that we need them, we need them to be upbeat. I thought they were great yesterday, I thought the noise was terrific, I thought they were into it. The patriotism was super, the response to the Giant players that returned from the past seemed to be outstanding. Everything looked, and it was a magnificent day for football. It was a wonderful experience for all except we didn't put the necessary points on the board to win the game. I hope they realize it was a very, very competitive game deep in the fourth quarter. The opportunity and the chance was there for us, we didn't get it done. Well, perhaps we could learn something from that and continue to go on and fight and accept the next challenge and be even more hardened as to what has to be done. Become close together and bound together as a team and maybe if we come out and play like that, then maybe the fans will continue to grow and to respond and be energetic about what we're trying to accomplish on the field. I don't see this as being a reason for them not to be. I think if they understand what our task and our goal is, it's to toughen up. Let's go, come on. Stop beating ourselves. This is professional football, make the plays necessary to win and do it on a consistent basis and eliminate these bizarre events, which take the heart right out of you. I hope they'll respond to the fact that I'm counting on the competitors that sit in the audience when I speak to our team, I'm counting on them to accept the challenge, to not feel sorry for ourselves and realize the work that has to be done in order for us to win, and I hope the fans will join in in that exact feeling.
Q: Is moving Victor outside an option at this point?
A: No, why would… no. He's on the outside if it's two receivers. He's the third receiver in the three-wide package, plays inside. Who's next up where inside? On the inside?
Q: On the outside with Jerrel's injury and you're going to keep Victor in the slot.
A: Well, you have Parker, you've got Washington. You've got the young kid, Washington. You've got some choices. Unless you're playing.
Q: A lot of stuff comes down, criticism comes down from outside, doubt creeps in. Where do you stand as the coach as far as you've got to believe in yourselves first in order for good things to happen and where do you…?
A: Where do I stand with that? I believe. I'm a believer. Put me up at the top, okay. Blame me for the problems, put me at the top as far as getting this thing done. And I think they can go do it.