Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Has there been any decision made on whether you're going to take JPP with you on this trip?
A: I'll talk to him, but really the normal procedure is if the guy is not going to play, he doesn't travel. But I will visit with him on that.
Q: If he wants to, is that something you would…
A: I would consider it. I'd consider it. Yeah.
Q: How much of a lift do you think he can give the guys just being on the sideline?
A: I think if the guys are really, really focused that they'll be as into the game as they can be.
Q: Uani 'Unga was a full participant yesterday?
Q: When you look at the way the Saints have been playing lately in that building and everything that goes into it, what concerns you most going into this game?
A: The way they've been playing. For two weeks they've played very, very well. They certainly started out as we did, and they've gotten better and better and they're plus-five in turnovers in the last two ball games and only one turnover, one interception, they rushed the ball very well last weekend, which gives them the balance that they want. Brees is very, very accurate. So all of the above. I think their special teams is outstanding, they blocked the punt against Atlanta for a touchdown. There's a lot of things you have to be very mindful of, but we've prepared well and we look forward to it.
Q: All of these guys have played in loud atmospheres but is there something different about the Superdome?
A: That's a good question because I really don't think there's anything different about it. The fans are great participants there, they remain that way. There's excitement because it's Halloween weekend and all that business. But we've had it, and if you've walked by within three miles from here while we've had the noise on in there, it's probably louder in there than it's going to be down in New Orleans.
Q: Last week, Orleans Darkwa emerged a little bit. What do you see as his potential?
A: He did a nice job during preseason, that's where that all started. Yeah, he ran the ball well in preseason. He's powerful, he makes good cuts, he seems to have the proper gate going through the line of scrimmage as his own runner, and so the opportunity that he received last weekend, he did well with it.
Q: What's the difference when Odell Beckham practices versus when he doesn't?
A: When he practices, he practices. The timing is something that has to be taken up a notch to allow for his speed and his maneuverability and it makes the quarterback sharper, it makes the practice better. Whenever people practice, if they practice at the right speed, then they are preparing themselves for the game, so that's what I think happened this week.
Q: Do you think Eli is more comfortable going to him on game days when they do have that midweek preparation?
A: I think he's comfortable communicating with him anytime. And Odell, the same way. And any of the receivers. He'll meet with the receivers here in probably 10 minutes. That's his routine.
Q: With JPP, is there any sort of indication based on what you've seen on the field he could be ready one week, two weeks, four weeks?
A: We'll advance him next week and we will see where we are. And that's all we can say.
Q: But he's come through so far so fast?
A: Oh he's done—whatever you ask him to do, he does it in flying colors.
Q: But don't you want to get him out there soon?
A: I do want to get him out there soon; that's the whole idea, but I want him ready when he goes out there. I want him for the rest of the year.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul**
Q: How's it feel to be back?
A: Great, great. Feels good.
Q: Do you have anything to say about the accident that led to the situation you were in or your feelings about that, what you want to share, the mistake you made?
A: No, not at all. Not at all. I have no say so about the incident.
Q: What did it mean to you that the Giants tried to look out for you, that they still looked out for you, that they welcomed you back with open arms, and your teammates welcomed you back with open arms?
A: First off, I'd like to thank God and all the people that supported me—my family, my friends. And the Giants organization supported me throughout the whole process. Fortunately, I was able to come back from this injury and now I'm ready to play football.
Q: How does the injury affect you as a player?
A: I don't know yet, you what I mean? Hopefully it doesn't. I'm still the same Jason Pierre-Paul, skillset hasn't changed, probably got even better. So I'm ready to play some football and help my team win.
Q: What lessons have you learned from this?
A: Things happen, mistakes happen, incidents happen.
Q: What went into not allowing Ronnie Barnes and Jessie Armstead in to see you? Was that advice that you got?
A: No, not at all. You can't do nothing when you're under anesthesia. Waking in and out, going in and out of consciousness. I had no reason not to let them in, I just didn't know.
Q: So other people were making the decisions for you?
A: I wouldn't say that because I don't know who is making my decisions. It could have been the doctors or whoever. But that's over now.
Q: Can you just describe how frightening the whole experience must have been?
A: It wasn't frightening at all. I'm not going to go into detail with it. It's something that I do every year for the kids because when I was growing up I was less fortunate to have fireworks or whatever. It just happened. I did it for six, seven years now. It happened, so it is what it is. I lived and learned from it and moved on.
Q: In terms of your career, how worried were you?
A: I wasn't worried at all. I wasn't in shock or nothing. I looked at my hand and my fiancé was going crazy, but I kept calm through the whole situation.
Q: And the pain and the turmoil you've gone through to try and recover, what has that recovery process been like?
A: I'm not going to get into all that detail. Somebody is going to get the story, I'm going to put it out there sooner or later, but right now I'm not going to get into all that.
Q: What did it mean to you to walk back into this locker room with these guys who have had your back the whole time?
A: It meant a lot because I knew I couldn't help my team win some games that they lost. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. But they've been very supportive to me and it meant a lot, you know what I'm saying? Thank God that they supported me through the whole situation and I'm here now.
Q: Does it change anything about your life day-to-day beyond football?
A: No, some things I've got to adjust to, but as far as my spirit, I'm in good spirits. My normal living is still the same.
Q: What's going to be the adjustment, you think? Q: I don't want to get into all that. Q: Coach said that he's going to talk to you about possibly traveling, do you have a feeling about that? A: Not really. He asked me, but I told him that I don't want to be a distraction to my teammates. So therefore, I'm staying up here and be ready for next week. Q: Tom and everybody right on down has talked about your conditioning and it's been surprising for being away for so long. How did you feel in these last couple of days being out there and how close to playing do you feel like you are? A: I don't know. That's in God's hands. As far as my conditioning, even when I was in the hospital, probably like two weeks after I was walking the flights, 15 flights. So I kept my conditioning up, lost weight but gained all that back in no time. My conditioning is fine. When am I going to be ready to play? I don't know, time will tell. Q: You know your body better than anyone. A: Oh yeah, I definitely know my body. Q: Do you have anything in your head like, "I could be good enough to go out next week." A: I don't know, only time will tell. I know everybody is excited that I'm here. But as far as going out there, I'm not going to put myself in jeopardy. When I'm ready, I'm going to be ready and I'm going to be able to fully go. Right now, I'm just taking it day by day. The trainers and people are just telling me to take it day by day. Q: How much, if at all, do you think about what type of player you will be when you get back out? A: I'm the same JPP that I was last year. It's not going to be a major adjustment, you know what I mean? As far as like my hand goes, I'll get used to it. I'm just fortunate enough to play football again. Q: What was your emotion once you kind of came out being in the hospital and stuff? Were you embarrassed? A: I wasn't embarrassed by nothing. At the end of the day, media is going to say whatever they've got to say. People are going to have their own opinions. But I didn't care about none of that because I knew one way or another, I was going to return back to football. Q: Have you seen that you have enough use of the hand that it can be proficient for you? A: You've seen me out there. I'm out there practicing and running around, so therefore there's nothing to say about that. Q: Can you play with your right hand on the ground? A: You'll just have to see. Q: You said that you did it six or seven years in a row for the kids. Will this be the last time you do it? Do you think you'll do it again next year? A: What kind of question is that? Of course it is. Like I said, you live and learn. People make mistakes, we're all people, we're all human. Q: Jason a lot of people still doubt that you can do this from the outside. Do you have a desire to prove them wrong? A: I have the desire to prove nobody wrong. The day I walked in, I already won, you know? People said I was going to be out for the whole season and I knew what kind of effort I put in in the offseason way before this happened. Just coming back, I already won. Q: Just talking to doctors who specialize in this, they say the key to the grip strength is really in the pinky finger and the thumb, that you can still be effective. Do you have a confidence that you can be? A: Like I said, I'm still the JPP that was here last year. As far as my hand goes, it's just a hand. Q: Will you have to wear anything special on your hand? A: Nah, just a glove. Q: A special glove? A: Of course, it will be a special glove; I'm missing an index finger. But it's going to be a special glove, but as far as wearing the glove, it's just a glove to play football. I don't want to be wearing a five-finger glove and it's just hanging, you know what I'm saying? Q: Jason there are a lot of deaths every year from fireworks. Did a part of you feel lucky that it wasn't more serious? A: Man look, to answer your question, I was in the hospital—like I said, I don't want to get into full details—I saw a kid die at the age of 12 years old. One they had to cut off his whole finger. I'm just very fortunate that I'm alive. I've got wounds to see and I look up every day and say, "Thank you, Lord." But as far as that, I've seen worse. There were probably 12 people in that hospital and my hand is the best one. I'm just fortunate to have a hand. Q: Talking to a couple of your teammates in the last couple days, Prince, in particular, said that he felt you were a little quieter when you came back and more focused. Is that true and where does that come from? A: Yeah, it is true, I've been quiet. It's just the person I am, I humbled myself. I was always humble but through this injury and process, I know what I had to do to get here. It took time and a lot of effort, I didn't give up. Q: We've seen you joke around and play around here in the locker room. Do you think you'll get back to that eventually? A: I'm still the same. Like I said, I haven't changed completely but I know when it's time to joke and I know when it's time to be serious. And as far as football goes, I'm very serious about it. Q: In what ways have you changed would you say? A: I'm not getting into all that. Q: Do you have any messages for young kids who might play with fireworks? A: They're very dangerous. If I can sit here and take all day to explain how everything happened, I will, but I'm not getting into all that. There's a time and place for everything and it will get out, but I'll say as far as fireworks, they're very dangerous. You shouldn't play with them, you know. Because this has been seven years I did it and it just went off. Q: You keep saying there's stuff to get out. Is there some sort of untold story? A: Yeah, there's a lot of things I can say right now about what people have been saying or whatever. But I've got pictures and everything, so when it's time to let it out, I will. Like I said, somebody is going to get the story, I don't know who. Q: Why is this not the right time to let it out? A: Because right now I'm here about football. I'm here to help my team win games, so it's not about me no more. Q: But why not stop the rumors and all the stories? A: Let them be. At the end of the day, I'm out here to play football, and I know what I'm going to do. Q: Just to be clear, you're indicating it wasn't your fault? A: No, I'm not saying that. By me buying the fireworks, it was my fault. Q: You said it went off though. A: It doesn't matter. Like I said, I'm here to talk about football and that's it. Q: Physically getting ready to play is one thing, but you also have to know Spags' playbook, that's kind of new to you. Q: Listen, I can say this, it won't take me long to learn it. I've already got the basics of it, so I'll be ready. Q: Were you able to study at all during the offseason? A: Yeah, I had the playbook, I had the playbook or whatever. I looked through but I got frustrated most of the time because I wasn't (here). So I did what I can on my own, but now I'm here so I'm appreciative they're going to get me up to date. Q: There was a perception, JPP, like when I was talking about you were under anesthesia and stuff, that you kind of turned your back on the Giants for a stretch there while they were trying to come visit you. Is that perception incorrect? A: Next question. Q: How would you describe the state of the relationship with the club right now? A: The Giants have always been a very caring organization. I think they did a great job. Through all the (distractions) I had here, the (distractions) I had for the team that I caused, I'll say that they did a great job of handling it. I thank them for giving me a second chance. Q: So the support is coming from the organization as well as your teammates? A: Yeah, both. Both sides. Q: But you appreciate that they need you on the field, they need a pass rush that you can provide. Do you appreciate that knowing that you can help? A: Yeah, you know, just looking at the games, you can tell they needed a pass rusher. The guys were doing a great job. Unfortunately, I wasn't there. So I'm here now and I've got a lot of work to do.