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Quotes: Tom Coughlin, Prince, Jennings (12/31)

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Coach Tom Coughlin**

Q: Jason Pierre-Paul and J.T. Thomas going today?
A: No. Jason Pierre-Paul? We're going to try. He's going to go. J.T. is not going to make it.

Q: Is there any chance you get one of those safeties back?
A: We've been hoping. At this point in time, it doesn't look good, but there's still hope.

Q: G.J. Kinne is your other option there at this point?
A: He would be, yeah.

Q: How would you assess Landon Collins? I know you guys put a lot on his plate this year, but in terms of what he was able to show you?
A: He's definitely improved over the course of the season, without a doubt. He's become more aggressive. He's done a nice job down in the box. He's learned to time up his pressures better. He's gotten himself in position in the secondary better. So he's learning as he goes. I think he's going to be an outstanding player going forward.

Q: Was that one of those things you knew going in, even before he took the field, that there were going to be those growing pains?
A: No question. No question. For any young player all of a sudden put in that position. He was very good in college, very good down in the box. Good tackler, did all those kinds of things. The other responsibilities here at this level, the coverage ideas, he had to learn all of that stuff. He's going to be a real good player.

Q: Did you maybe have to ask him to do more than you would have liked?
A: If you're going to start and play, you're going to have to do a lot of things. I don't think we did more.

Q: Would he ideally be a strong safety, though?
A: Today, call them what you want. People hardly even identify anymore because however you're going to play it, they've got to be down, they've got to be back.

Q: We've asked you a lot of questions about how you feel heading into this weekend. One thing I don't think we've asked you is do you want to come back?
A: Do I want to come back? I don't know if that's a great question right now. What I want to do is win a game on Sunday, that's the bottom line for this group right now. I always have the competitive spirit. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to figure it all out when it's over. Right now, let's stick with the game and let's go win a football game.

Q: What did this year teach you from a coaching standpoint? You're always learning and evolving as a coach, what did you learn most of all from this season?
A: Win the close games. Find a way to win the close ones.

Q: I know you want to stick to the game…has it been a distraction for you at all? People have been bringing it up to you. Is it something you're able to avoid?
A: Just you. Just you. Just you and all my other friends right here.

Q: I'm sure it wasn't our badgering that led to the decision, but you've gone with kind a primary running back now with Rashad Jennings and sort of complementary players.
A: And what has he done? He's exerted himself and that's what we were looking for and that's what he's done.

Q: What led to that initial decision?
A: He's been successful. He's gained yardage consistently and he's been the kind of guy that we felt like if we gave him more opportunities, he would continue to do that and he has.

Q: On the flip side, Andre Williams looks like he's struggled a little bit. Has he taken a step back or what's going on with him?
A: I don't know if he's taken a step back, but he obviously hasn't had as many opportunities.

Q: This is philosophical and I'll confess it's partly because of what just happened in Philadelphia…I'm curious, over your career and perhaps especially now, how important do you think relationships with players are? Do you feel like you have an open-door policy, they can talk to you about something if they want to and they'll be heard, that kind of thing?
A: I think it's very important. I think the way in which that we've operated here, probably since the '08 season, has been a good example of that. And we do have it, they can come and talk to me anytime, anybody. They don't like to come upstairs, you know that. They don't like it when you go looking for them. I sometimes have to go look for them.

Q: How do you see the players doing so far this week? Just in general with their mindset, you want them to stay focused on the game.
A: That's the whole key.

Q: But how do you think they're doing with that?
A: I thought that yesterday they did a pretty good job of that. I'm not sure how it all went with you guys. They did a good job in here practicing yesterday. Hopefully they'll be able to maintain.

Q: You had mentioned yesterday that you were going to talk to Odell.
A: I did.

Q: What was that like?
A: That's between he and I, but you can imagine what it is. You've read all his material and you heard him and spoke to him yesterday and you know exactly how he feels, and the fact that he's taken full responsibility. I think that's what he expressed to me, even to the extent that we began to talk a little bit more about the future.

Q: What have you seen from Prince Amukamara since he got back from his injury?
A: A little bit up and down. To be honest, last week I thought there was more on the up side.

Q: He's very honest and forthcoming when he talks to us. It's clear that he thinks about free agency and his contract. Do you, in general, have advice for players to deal with those kinds of situations?
A: Play as hard as you can. Do as well as you can. That's your resume. I don't normally get into those kinds of discussions with them, unless I feel it's something that would help the player to be—maybe the player is missing the point about some of that stuff and not doing the things he should do, remembering that everything that he can do is going to take place out on the field. Normally, a free agent, my discussions with everybody is normally about team. I don't like to go that way.

Q: Prince doesn't want to use it as an excuse, but you talk about his ups and downs. Does the pec injury contribute to that?
A: Sure, it does. Yeah, sure it does. But I mean, when you come back, you've got to deal with it yourself, too. You've got to make a decision about it. If you're ready to go, you're ready to go.

Q: But you can see times when he's sort of limited with that arm? Is that fair?
A: I think before coming up, I've seen it much better, yeah.

Q: Did you make a decision with Owa Odighizuwa?
A: No. Not yet, no.

Q: When you process this season, how do you look at the injury situation? Victor Cruz was expected back a couple times, you get JPP back, you lose Johnathan Hankins within a game or so of his return.
A: You lose (Markus) Kuhn, you lose those guys up front.

Q: Is it all bad luck?
A: I refuse to go that way, to be honest with you. We've done, and you guys can verify everything, we've changed pretty much everything in the whole program designed to become more scientific and to have more information and more knowledge and to do a better job of adjusting our practices, if that's the way we need to do it. I think at the end of the year when this is all evaluated, we probably have as many injuries as we've ever had. It is football and that's where it goes. Do you sometimes need to have that issue (luck) that you just talked about going for you? Sure you do. But I understand New England's had a ton of injuries this year. Teams have to deal with this. It is no excuse, but it happens.

Q: I know you're focused on the game now, but when you walk off the field on Sunday, do you have any idea what emotions you'll be feeling or thoughts?
A: I'm focused on the game, I don't go that way. I'm not thinking about any of that stuff.

Q: The fans are probably going to recognize you in some capacity on Sunday. What would your message to them be?
A: There's a guy that sits about right here that lets me know every time I come off the field, and I can't use the language because there are ladies around right now. Yeah, he hasn't got my name yet. He's got a lot of those nicknames he calls me.

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CB Prince Amukamara**

Q: So they gave you the keys to the car for being named the good guy?
A: What car?

Q: Match box.
A: No. I don't think there is an actual trophy for that award, so it's just a feel good inside, one of those things.

Q: Has this been kind of a weird week in a sense that you're not playing for the playoffs and it's kind of like you're finishing out the string?
A: Not too weird. I remember being here a couple years ago and I mean even from college, all I know is to finish the games remaining on schedule strong, so that's still the same mindset and that's the same mentality that coach Coughlin created here. The culture is to just always finish.

Q: How much have you thought about your situation personally?
A: Situation, as in free agency? It's always been in the back of my head. I mean normal questions are if I'm going to stay here or if I'm going to go elsewhere; however, I think like when there were no talks before the season, I was just planning on just focusing on this season and playing this season out, not expecting anything, and that's been the case. My main focus is to finish this season and like I've said before, I'd be lying if I said it's never come up in my head or someone has never brought it up to me. My main focus is just to finish the season.

Q: Do you have a preference? I mean do you want to come back?
A: For sure. I think any first round draft pick would love to stay where they've been drafted unless they just had a horrible experience and that definitely hasn't been my case here. I love the organization, definitely treated first class here, so it's been great.

Q: When you go into free agency, what's more important, money or the potential to win?
A: I think it depends on the person. I think they go both go hand in hand.

Q: For you, is that the case?
A: I haven't really thought that far.

Q: Would Tom [Coughlin] being here or not being here have any impact on how you felt about returning?
A: That's a good question. These are all good questions, but I haven't thought about it yet and right now I don't feel comfortable being as blunt or forward as I want to be. I don't have an answer to that question right now; I'd have to think about it.

Q: Tom said that after you came back from the injury, you had some ups and downs but last week was more upside, what do you think? Do you feel closer to 100%?
A: I'm not going to disagree with my head coach, but my opinions would just be ups and downs, are you talking about getting scored on against the Jets and getting scored on in Miami? I would say those are definitely two or three plays that stand out, but I felt like overall I was myself, maybe a little rusty because I hadn't played in five or six weeks, but I mean I don't credit anything to that. I just credit the other team for making plays.

Q: Do you think the injury has hindered you a great deal?
A: Not at all. I would just say that maybe just time being off. Like I said, I would say those guys just made good plays, and I probably just read some of it wrong. As a corner, you're supposed to have short term memory, so that's why I'm short about it.

RB Rashad Jennings

Q: What, if anything, as you go into the final game against Philly, do you take from the first meeting with them knowing that they just changed head coaches?
A: We can take this is, speaking from the offensive standpoint, this is a good defense. They fly around, aggressive up front, the linebackers can cover well and fill in the gaps, and the secondary is good at having an umbrella. This is obviously the last game for them, there's a lot of pride to be played for. A lot of guys want to prove and continue to show their worth in this game that we so much love. It's going to be a good fight. It's in the division and it's always a heated battle between us.

Q: The rivalry between the Giants and Eagles transcends a lot of numbers anyway. Doesn't that kind of give you the extra boost and motivation for the game?
A: No doubt. First and foremost, throw the record book out. Regardless of the record, regardless of stats, this is a game. Neither one of us have the opportunity to continue playing after this, so whatever is left out on the field, that's what you have to taste until next year. Everybody's going to go out there and put their best foot forward, continue to fight for this organization, for the team, for the guys beside you, and go out there and find a way to get a win because that will symbolize, for the guys in this locker room, some of the ups and downs that we went through, to finish the season with a win at home.

Q: You've been around the league a while and you know that when a season ends, there are going to be X number of guys, whether it's coaches or players, who won't be back. Is that a bittersweet kind of feeling and does that kind of add to the emphasis of going out, like you say, together with a win because this may be the last time you're all together as a team?
A: Right, 100 percent. Playing in the league, you know if you play, no matter if you're with the same organization year in and year out, you play with a different team every single year. So regardless, this is the very last time this locker room will ever look like this. For all the relationships, all the hard work we put in behind the scenes when the camera is not around, when the coach is not around, we all want to go out here and give each other what we deserve. And that's to fight and get a win.

Q: You've played for several coaches. How do you grade Tom Coughlin? How do you feel about him?
A: Love him, there's no doubt. I love Coach Coughlin. The very first thing, I say this all the time, I noticed from him the very first day I got here, something he said that kind of reiterates who he is, "Faces may change but expectations never do." I've always seen him lead in that way, too. He's an awesome coach.

Q: You also have been in the NFL a long time. If a change is made, would it be understandable though?
A: That's outside of my pay grade or my ability to even dive into. The only thing I know is I'm a player, and I got to go out there and fight. Like I said before, for myself personally, I don't need to know the record, I don't need to know what the score is, I just need to know the down and distance. I'm going to go out there and fight for every yard, fight every single play I'm in. That's the attitude you've got to have.

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