Good afternoon. I looked at the tape today, the coaches did, and we got together and talked about it. Just had our meeting, at least I had my meeting with the team, they're still downstairs looking at the tape. I think the drive at the end of the half, the drive at the end of the halves were just outstanding. The play that gave us the touchdown was obviously something that was extremely exciting. We all went crazy on the sideline. Just to think that we had actually taken the ball and won the game at the end of the game, we had a couple of situations earlier this year where the other guy had the ball and they won the game. So it was really an exciting time for us. The locker room was great. There were very good vibes, very good language coming from the players in terms of what it meant to win a game of that nature. I don't think it was our best game in many categories. I don't think we obviously played as well defensively as we'd like to have played. We did not rush the ball the way that I would want to. And I did tell our team that we pretty consistently have this 50 percent thing going in the green zone and it's not going to improve until we can rush the ball with some degree of confidence. And I do believe that. The numbers, there were lots of numbers—Eli played extremely well. Made a lot of great decisions, got us into a lot of outstanding plays, the exception being the last play before the half where with 11 seconds left we elect to throw the ball into the end zone. If you don't like it, you throw it away. He had to move a little bit there and therefore I think it took a little something off his throw. If he would have had it higher or further away where Odell would have been the only one that could have got it.
The TV people asked me at halftime and I said, "Look, that's behind us. We certainly would have liked to scored right there, we didn't, so we've got to move on. That's all we can do." And we did. The second half, San Francisco did a good job offensively, without a doubt, against our defense. Put some points on the board, 21 points on the board. But we were able to come up with the key drive at the end of the game to win the game. There were many outstanding players' performances in the game. There was no doubt that Josh Brown had a big night—three for three field goals, five of six touchbacks. Eli with his numbers and a 110 quarterback rating. Shane Vereen with a big night, eight receptions 86 yards, a touchdown, the big screen at the end of the game there. Odell with seven for 121, 17.3, a long of 49, and a touchdown. And of course the catch by Donnell. I thought, defensively, Damontre Moore had two sacks, three tackles, and a caused fumble. And DRC had a nice game. He was physical on the rocket screen, which we needed to turn away, and he does continue to turn away on his side. Five tackles, two caused fumbles, so he played well. I think for us to win a game of that nature, we knew that the 49ers would play in a very loose fashion, that they would have the attitude that they have nothing to lose. And, of course, the one thing that came out of it was Kaepernick's game was elevated. Here's a guy that had a 16 quarterback rating against Arizona, came in here and had a 107, threw the ball well, did not throw an interception. Another disappointing thing for us was on special teams and defense, we did not get a takeaway. We've done an outstanding job with takeaways, in terms of converting them to points. Not to have those last night was a real issue. We did have the ball on the ground a couple times, didn't get it back. The Kaepernick fumble would have been an ideal opportunity for us with DRC knocking it out and us going down and getting the ball would have been denying them points. It didn't happen. We're pleased to win, we're excited about the way we won. It was great for the fans to hang in there with us and be ecstatic at the end of the game.
I really enjoyed the fact that we could come through for four great Giants that were inducted into the Ring of Honor last night. I really wanted to honor those four gentlemen by playing well. Two of them are our own, Chris Snee and Osi Umenyiora, those are our guys. We wanted to be able to do that. I really was pleased to be able to go and give them a hug at halftime. And we also wanted to win the game, and we dedicated the game to Daniel Fells. On Skype in our team meeting today, we handed or showed him the game ball that he will receive. Everybody was able to cheer him on and try to make him feel better. He was very nice in saying that he watched the game and he was very proud of the way that we finished it. Anybody have a question? I doubt if you do, this thing ran on and on.Q: What was Daniel's reaction to getting the game ball and how is he feeling?
A: I think he's pretty much having a third day in a row where the progress is being made and he feels better than he has. He's gotten two or three straight nights of good sleep. I think that's helped. As I said, we dedicated the game to him. So in a win, he was very gracious about receiving a game ball, was excited about that happening. Just told his teammates what he felt about them based on their game. It was nice.Q: What's the status of the hamstring issues with Beckham and Randle the day after or is it too soon to know?
A: Well, we're going to have to see. They're going to have to treat. They've got a couple days when they can be treated as Thursday will be a Wednesday. So we do have a couple of days and we'll take full advantage
of that. I did tell our team that the important thing on a weekly basis, week in and week out, is to play these really tough physical football games and come right back and do it again the next week. We need more of our guys on the practice field, we need some consistency with our weeks. I'm hoping that we can get Odell and Rueben at least on a limited basis for the entire rest of the week. I know that's (optimistic), but I would hope we could do that.Q: Did they go take MRI's?
A: Oh yeah, they've done it all. But we'll see, we'll see how fast they can respond.Q: Victor Cruz was supposed to meet with the doctors today to go over the progress of the injection last week. Have you heard anything on that?
A: No. No I haven't heard. You know more than I do, I didn't know that was happening.Q: Is it your understanding that if Fells continues to make progress that he's going to get out and make what is hoped for, a full recovery?
A: Oh absolutely. Yeah, for sure. That's my understanding, for sure.Q: There was some speculation that he was facing some pretty grim possibilities there.
A: Well, I don't believe he's out of woods, I didn't say that. I think these three straight days are really a wonderful sign, but there's more tests to be done. And again, the response to the antibiotic is critical.Q: I know you mentioned it in the postgame locker room, we saw the video, last year being 3-2 and going to Philadelphia. How is the team handling the situation now from what you've seen so far?
A: Well, we finished playing at quarter to twelve, and we brought them in here because we knew that they'd want to have the same kind of schedule basically—we pushed it back an hour. They're reflecting on last night and listening to the comments and watching the tape of last night's game. So they haven't gone much further than just the locker room comment post game to get their minds right and make them understand what's in front of us. We'll know more when we see them on Thursday.Q: What's different, in your estimation? You won three in a row last year, you were 3-2 also. Going into this game, what's different for you with this team now?
A: Well, the grit, the way in which we play, the energy that is spent, the scrappiness, the will, the ability seemingly to have people miss games and others kind of step up and help us win. So those would be the things right off the top of my head. Last night, every guy that was dressed had to make a contribution and they did. (Geremy) Davis, look at the catch he made, a 16-yarder on third and one. And that was a critical part. Myles (White) is out there running around and gave a good performance and accounted for himself. Will Tye played well. These guys are coming up with some games that are helping us.**Q: Have you ever had a guy quite like Shane Vereen and what his versatility has meant to your team?
The Giants Broadcast team hands out its game balls after the Giants defeat the San Francisco 49ers
A: Well, this is as we go along and get further into the season, we see and develop more in terms of how we can utilize his talents best. Last night was a great example of some of the things that he can do in certain situations when the defense may in fact think they've got you in a position where they have the upper hand. And someone like Shane can determine that might not necessarily be so. Have we ever had a player like this, to be able to utilize his talents? Probably not to this degree. So we're just looking forward to continuing to utilize his talent and his ability along with the other players that we have offensively.Q: The running back rotation changed; Shane, obviously, and Rashad Jennings took most of the snaps. How much of that was the game plan and did the situation dictate it? How much of that was a concerted decision to go with those two guys?
A: It was just the way the game unfolded. There's an order sometimes, but it became more of a zebra game and that's why you saw it the way it was
Q: What's the story with Jon Beason? I know he's in the concussion protocol. Do you hope the extra day might help him?
A: I think it will. Yeah, I think it will. He seemed to be in pretty good spirits and pretty good shape this morning.Q: What happened with Jonathan Casillas? He wasn't able to go yesterday. Was that a decision that was made before warmups or did he go and it wasn't good enough in warmups so you guys decided to go the other way?
A: Well, the part of the trainers and the medical people and Jon himself, in trying to get ready to go, had limitations. In the final hour, in my opinion, it wasn't something that was worth a calculated risk, so we just dressed a healthier guy. And then Cooper Taylor, we got a lot of things done on special teams. Cooper took a lot of special teams snaps last night and did a good job. It was unfortunate that Jon wasn't ready to go, but we did get some good play out of Cooper.Q: Did Trumaine McBride reinjure his groin?
A: No, I think he came out of it okay.Q: Why was Trevin Wade in at the end?
A: Because he's a good football player and we decided to give him an opportunity there.Q: Is there a scenario for Monday night where you just wouldn't have enough personnel at receiver and might have to address that this week?
A: Well, we'll see. I would think if you try to look at the different things that can happen, that certainly would be something that's within the realm of possibility. I hope it doesn't, but we'vegot a little bit of time here to see how that's going to stack up.Q: He obviously caught the game-winning touchdown, but what did you think of Larry Donnell's overall performance? Blocking wise and catching?
A: Well, he made a good contribution in terms of receiving. The yards per reception weren't necessarily great, but the last play was. And as a blocker, he does a good job knowing full well what he does best and trying to ask him to do that. So his contribution, I was just mentioning this morning that he certainly is playing better and he does look like the year's experience has benefitted him. That was a heck of a play that he made last night.
RB SHANE VEREENQ: How does your experience with this team in terms of how you've been used and what you've been able to do, how does that match up with what you expected?
A: That's a good question, because I didn't really know how much to expect. Me personally, I just knew I needed to come in and get my role down and get my plays that I needed to learn and get the playbook kind of situated and really feel comfortable with that. That was really my main goal coming in. Now that I've got that, I'm kind of able to play a little more freer.**Q: When you were choosing a team, how important was it to get the right quarterback and how important was it for Eli to be that guy?
* A: When I was looking for a team, I just wanted to go to an organization that a) cared about the players and b) had some success winning. And that's exactly what has been happening here in New York. I couldn't have picked a better organization. I can't speak highly enough about this organization, about the coaching staff and the job that they've done so far this season. Hopefully we can continue to improve.Q: Do you think this team knows you and knows what you can do? Or is still a learning process and you have more that you can offer? A: I think it's a learning process on both ends. I still think I have a lot to learn and I still think there's some things out there that we can improve on as on offense, me personally and as an offense as a whole. It's still only the fifth week of the season, we just played our fifth game, so we still have 11 games to go. We still have a long way to go, so there's a lot of room to improve, there's a lot of room for adjustments and things to change throughout the rest of the season.Q: When you were going into that final drive, obviously Odell isn't there, Rueben's not there, did you know you were going to be the primary target on that drive? A: Not exactly. I knew I had been singled up for the whole game and it had just been one-on-one coverage. So I knew that I was going to have opportunities to make some plays. So I was just focused on winning, just winning my matchups and trying to be an option for Eli to throw the ball to.Q: Did they do anything different? Were the safeties deeper? Is that one thing that helped make it successful? A: I don't know if that was it. I think it was just the fact that we were able to get favorable one-on-one matchups across the board and we were able to win and move the chains. And then the screen, of course, the O-line did a great job. Richburg did fantastic.Q: On the screen, I think Tom Coughlin described it as it looked like the Red Sea parted. Did it look that way to you, too? A: Absolutely. As soon as I caught the ball, I turned around and I saw Richburg had kicked his guy out. I saw nothing but green grass and it's very comforting as a running back to see a lot of green grass.Q: You're on pace for 80 catches this year. What do you think when you hear 80 catches? I know we talked about expectations before. A: Yeah, that's a lot of catches. Take it game by game, still got 11 more. Still got some big games coming up and we've got Philly on Monday. So hopefully we can go to Philly and get a win.*Q: What do you tell these guys about handling success? For a lot of them, this is their first time in first place here. You were on a team that was pretty much there all the time during your career. What
can you tell them about how to handle that?**
A: Keep your head down and keep grinding. We still have a long way to go. Long, long season ahead of us. We really are just getting started, really just getting started in the season. So we still have a lot to improve on, take it week to week, and like I said, we've got Philadelphia on Monday at Philly, big game. Can't wait for that, it's going to be a good test for us.Q: For a lot of these players on the Giants, first place is someplace they've rarely been or never been. For you, it's a place you've been pretty often. What kind of feeling is that and do you sense that some of these guys are looking around and saying, "Wow, what does first place really feel like?"
A: You know, I haven't really gotten that feel from the team. I think guys were happy that we were able to get a good, emotional win, a good team win last night. But I think mentally that we know that we've got to go do it again next week. We've got to go do it again the week after that, and the week after that. The job is not done, the job is just getting started.Q: What have you been told about what happened last year? The Giants were in the same spot, 3-2 going into Philadelphia.
A: Not too much, to be honest. It was mentioned today in our running back meeting, that's about it. As far as I'm concerned, that was last year, this is this year. Just move forward. Just try and get another win, just to keep stacking them together.
DT JONATHAN HANKINSQ: What do you remember about the last visit you guys had in Philly last year?
A: It wasn't a good feeling, we lost that game, and we went up there and laid an egg. Hopefully it'll be different this year.Q: How did you feel to wake up in first place? That's the first time you've had a chance to do that.
A: It feels good…coming together for Daniel (Fells)…It feels good, but it's just one game and we have to take it one game at a time.Q: Was it important to the team to see Daniel on the skype this morning?
A: It feels good to talk to him and just to see how he's doing. We're trying to keep his prayers up and his spirits. We wanted to win that game for him. Hopefully that can transfer to him getting in better health pretty soon. Q: How did you look at the defensive performance yesterday and what do you think is different about this group than maybe at this point last year when you went into that game with the Eagles?
A: This year we just have a different mentality. Guys are coming in…I feel like we're all playing as one and working off each other. The game…stopping the run and I think that's going to leak over to the pass and balance us on defense. Overall I think we take it one game at a time, prepare, and work on the things you didn't do so well the last game.Q: Johnathan, when the defense gives up some late scores or the offense comes back and bails out the team, what's the feeling? That was not the case the first two games of the season. Is there a real sense of relief and thankfulness that the offense was able to do that?
A: Definitely. We gave up 14, maybe 20, points in the second half and gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, which is critical. The offense fought back…we tried to help them out and get good field position but we gave up touchdowns after…offense definitely bailed us out.Q: Johnathan, how is the defense different with Uani ['Unga] in there? Obviously you guys dealt with him a couple games this season but he comes in…
A: I don't think it's really…he does good when he was in there. The beginning of the season he started two games…with him it's just going to be….Q: I think Kerry Wynn played every defensive snap last night, you ever see a defensive lineman do that?
A: Yeah, I think JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] did that before, and I knew going into this game he was going to be out there the entire game. I actually told him that. He's one guy that's been playing really good, and stopping the run, getting to the quarterback, so I rather him out there as…
OL WESTON RICHBURGQ: You guys were 3-2 last year; obviously, you know what happened. Why is it different this year than last year?A: I don't even remember what happened last year. We've got some good momentum. It's up to us to get better, we have a lot of things we need to work on. We'll have a really good week of practice to prepare for a good opponent.
**Q: What do you remember about last year against Philadelphia?
**A: Like I said, I'm not going to talk about that. I think we've got a great team this year. We've got a good group of guys up front on the line and I think if we have a really solid week of practice this week…(inaudible)…we have a good opponent in Philadelphia and we're excited for the challenge.
Q: What's it like to wake up in first place?A: It's a long season. I think there's tons of more football to play. You can continue to get better. There's tons of things…(inaudible).
Q: Is there any concern on the offensive line's part of just being a little more consistent in the running game?A: No, the game last night was kind of schemed differently with how they were lined up. It turned into—a few situations we were in there were a lot of…(inaudible)…third down situations where we needed to throw the ball. Obviously when we get the ball, the run plays are going to have a little more protection but up front we've just got to continue chopping, chopping the wood and those runs will spring. If we put more, I think those fronts will open up and we'll have at least balance there. We've just got to continue going, continue working hard on the line.
Q: Last week you spoke about learning how to win and this week, of course, you guys had a different set of circumstances you came through, can you just talk about the development of this team and learning how to win in the actual process?A: I think it takes a lot for a team to go out there for like a 1:30 left to win the game. You had to score a touchdown. That was big for us to go down there and do that. I think in the huddle there was no doubt that we were going to go down and score and it definitely shows a lot of maturation. I think in our group up front we took on the challenge and we're able to help and give Eli time to make some plays for us.
Q: You liked what you saw in the personality and the identity of….A: Yeah, I think there is a lot of resiliency, like I said, maturation, we're a gritty team. There's guys that go in and want to win and are willing to do whatever it takes. It makes your job easy when you're on a team like that.
Q: How about you yourself? Second year into it, do you have more resiliency, do you have more maturation, more ready than you were as a rookie?A: I definitely do. I think that having a year under my belt and then moving to center has definitely helped. My maturation's come a long way. I'm excited for where we are headed. If we continue to improve, continue to work hard like we've been doing, I think we can definitely do some special things here.
Q: Justin Pugh talked a little bit last night that you want to continue to prove everybody wrong. I guess things people say about the offensive line and the team in general. Do you guys…A: I feel like somebody is always going to have something to say about the offensive line. So not really concerned with that. I want to take it upon ourselves to get better, kind of prove to ourselves that we can do whatever that..(inaudible). I'm not too concerned with anybody's opinions because it truly doesn't really matter.
Q: What is your assessment of the offensive line yesterday when you got a chance to look at the tape?A: We've just got to get better, especially the running game. We've got to get the offensive coordinator to go back to the run play call. Overall we need to get more than just passing yards. I think we played physical, solidified some of our blocks
Photos from the Giants Sunday matchup vs. 49ers