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The Coughlin Corner

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ

Q: After last week's loss to Dallas and many games, you talk about how you bring the team in and review the game tape. How, exactly, is that done?
Coughlin: "We come in and we have a special teams meeting, which is full team because I want everybody, all the players, to be very aware of the guys that are making a great contribution on teams. Then I have my meeting, and I have certain things that I always speak to." 

Q: Based on what you've seen on the tape?
Coughlin: "Based on the game. Talk about the game, and then - my meeting doesn't take any more than 15 minutes - then we direct them to offense-defense and then they do their own quality control, talk about the game and then they watch the game. They may watch together 15-20 plays and then break up into their individual groups for the rest. It just depends on how you want to do it." 

Q: So you never watch it all together?
Coughlin: "No. That would be a waste of time." 

Q: You said in your news conference that you watched the first half of the Monday night game. Do you normally do that or did you do it because the Eagles were playing?
Coughlin: "I did it because it's the upcoming opponent." 

Q: You spend hours studying tape of of your next opponent. Did you learn anything by watching the game live?
Coughlin: "Yes, a lot. I certainly have a feel for it. I literally write it down by series. I'm watching every series. I write down every down and distance. I come out of there with a pretty strong feeling about not only what's happened but what they're trying to do and how they're trying to do it." 

Q: The players don't get to watch the next opponent on Monday night every week or watch them live, and they certainly don't normally get to see an opponent play as well as the Eagles did. Because of that, did you change your introduction to the team that you always make on Wednesday, because everyone saw Philadelphia play so well?
Coughlin: "Sure, everybody watched. But what I tried to do is to remind our guys that, hey, this league - this year in particular - has been a league where one week one team is favored and talked about, and the next week another team is favored and talked about. It's kind of been like that, and I think when you look at our two teams side by side, you get a strong feel for how they match up. I mean, take a category. The only category that just jumps off the wall is they're plus-12 and we're minus-five (in turnover differential). And we don't have much in the way of punt returns. But other than that, the stats are - for whatever stats are worth - pretty reasonably close." 

Q: I was going to ask you about the week to week change this season. I know this is ancient history in the NFL, but three years ago, Philadelphia scored 56 points against Detroit, came up here the following Sunday night and scored three points. That's another example of a pronounced change from one week to the next. Is the league as unpredictable as you've seen it?
Coughlin: "I don't know if 'unpredictable' is the word, but it's not surprising because of the way the year has gone and the way things have gone in this league. It's not surprising. You have the kind of game that you have, for whatever reason. Things just happen to go - when I saw (Philadelphia's Jeremy) Maclin make the catch and fall over the pylon, that's their night. They were playing extremely well and a lot of good things were happening. And that game earlier in the year between those two teams was really a typical NFC East game. I mean, a low-scoring game, and so on. So I was surprised by the score because I didn't expect that, but that seems to be kind of the way things are going this year. I mean, Green Bay scored 45 points on Dallas the week before we played the Cowboys." 

Q: You have talked about keeping Michael Vick in the pocket because he does so much damage on the move. Is that very different from what you try to do every week, or have you faced so many mobile quarterbacks at this point that you're used to trying to keep guys inside?
Coughlin: "No, you don't face this kind of mobility. You can't do that all the time. You've got to change up now, but every time you do something from outside in, you better be aware of where he's going. There are only so many lanes you can fill, and you take in coverage risk involved when you do that or however you choose to play." 

Q: I know you talk constantly about turnovers, but with the difference this week – they lead the league with the plus-12, as you mentioned, and your team is minus-five - how vital is it to take care of the ball when they've been so good at taking it away?
Coughlin: "To me, it's always the most critical factor other than 'score against' and 'score for.' We're minus-five in the last four games against them (which were all Eagles victories). Last year, we fumbled the ball and they ran it in the end zone. They ran a punt back for a touchdown. You can't help a team that's as talented and as versatile as this team. You can't help them. Hidden in all of your defensive numbers is the number of times they got the ball when they shouldn't have gotten the ball. And where they got the ball."

Q: Before the year there was so much talk about Jonathan Goff and whether he could play the middle and whether he was vocal enough to be the leader. There have been few questions lately. Is that an indication that he's playing pretty solidly in there?
Coughlin: "He is playing solid."

Q: Was too much made of the fact that he's a quiet kid who's asked to play middle linebacker, which is normally a vocal leadership position?
Coughlin: "You're not going to gauge it on how loud his voice is. It's gauged on how well they play. I mean, if you follow him and if you listen to him and if you stay plugged into him, when he calls the signals it's a deep, loud voice. And that's all he's got to do. He's worked at that, he's gotten better at that." 

Q: The Giants did not sack the opposing quarterback in either of the last two games. Is that because both Seattle and Dallas really made an effort to keep your pass rush at bay by using short drops and max protection?
Coughlin: "Yes, they've done what you'd have to do. You've got to assign extra people into protection, and we all have to do that to a certain extent. But, yes, they certainly have done that. And it's not a surprise. It's anticipated." 

Q: This is the first time in history that the Giants have had at least 480 yards in three consecutive games. Do you feel like you're moving the ball, but you're not getting the points out of it?
Coughlin: "Well, we didn't get them Sunday. We got them the week before (in a 41-7 victory in Seattle).  We got them two weeks before. But Sunday, we did not. It's very difficult to overcome a 101-yard interception return, and penalties on the goal line that make you end up kicking field goals and a non-existent holding call, which took away a six-point game with seven minutes to go, which is in my opinion what this league is supposed to be all about. It's about the players, making plays."

Q: So much attention has been placed on Vick, but are their receivers as fast a group as you've played this year?
Coughlin: "Oh yes. They are very fast - obviously (DeSean) Jackson but (Jeremy) Maclin is very fast. (Jason) Avant has become a very good player in this league, too. That kid from Florida, Riley (Cooper), he's a big strong kid that they use for special teams and for many reasons. And (Brent) Celek, the year before proved that he can run with speed down the field, too. (LeSean) McCoy looks faster than he was, a better football player." 

Q: And defensively, Trent Cole is leading a front seven that is playing very well.
Coughlin: "They always do. (Asante) Samuel's got five interceptions. Looks to me like (Quintin) Mikkell is playing really well. (Mike) Patterson, the young kid on the other side, is playing great, too. And they've got the rookie, (Nate) Allen, who's got three interceptions. They're playing good football."


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