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The Coughlin Corner: Preparations for Seattle

Q: You have a short week after a Monday night game and a long trip to Seattle. What are the challenges of getting in all the mental preparation without overtaxing the players physically?


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Coughlin: "We have a good system and we're well-prepared for it. It's all laid out, planned out and it's been done in the past. The big problem, as you well know, is to come off a game like Monday night and try to work it out of the system moving forward. There are a lot of games to play. There are eight games to play, so really, the emotional… I don't know if anyone understands truly at this level the emotional drain that goes with playing a game and losing a game. Not to talk about the other extreme, because there are people that remain too far up in the air after a win. It's that part of it, and then it's, regardless of how much work you do before, you still have a lot of work to do in preparation for your initial meetings, and you have to take into consideration the (Seahawks') most recent game, as well. For us, it was a game played last year as well, which could help lots of areas, special teams, all kinds of things. There is a lot of work to be done, a lot of mental work and the players have to quickly be put in a position where what's behind them is behind them. The only thing that they can control is the 'now' and that's kind of the frame of mind we try to be in."

Q: Was your first practice of the week basically a jog-through?

Coughlin: "We had our full meetings like a Wednesday. We had basically an hour and 15-minute jog-through, some of which does, without a doubt, end up being more than a jog-through, but it's a jog-through. It's mental, it's purely mental."

Q: Antrel Rolle said after the game Monday night that sometimes the Giants play as well as any team in the NFL and sometimes they play as poorly as any team in the league. How difficult is that inconsistency for a coach?

Coughlin: "Well, I thought we really were well-prepared and we really were looking forward to playing a game against the Indianapolis Colts. Really, we thought that at halftime it probably should have been 17-16. We had a couple opportunities that, just as we've done throughout the course of the year… I think sometimes people don't understand, the players don't understand that missed opportunities will definitely come back to haunt you and they do. They have done that. You can take any number you want, I can give you 21 points that were gifts to them last weekend. Gifts, flat out gifts. Again, you go back to maybe the first lecture in training camp about not beating yourself. Well, we're still doing it and until that's corrected…

"I think everyone agrees that there's a lot of football left to be played. And I'm constantly dealing with a group of young men that have, from all different walks, that have been together for long enough to be a team and they've got to come together as a team and they've got to pay the price and sacrifice with each other. They've got to make sure of the mental part of the preparation, that we know exactly what we're doing and expecting and then we've got to have the self-control to manage a game while the game's being played. That's where I see some of our flaws."

Q: The obvious ones include dropped passes and missed interceptions. Do you see that there are plays out there that should be made?





Coughlin: "No question. Six plays on defense that should have been made, six plays. And then with the dropped passes, the ones that jump out, we drop a ball on the five-yard line for a first down. It's very difficult to win under those circumstances, very difficult. And yet you see plays that are spectacular plays. Josh Brown's onside kick, it was in the air for 10 minutes. It's the best-placed ball and we didn't get it. We had it, but again, opportunity lost. Make the plays when the plays are there to be made. Who in the world are you going to blame it on? We played hard enough, we had a little lull, but we came right back from it and responded. At the break between the third and fourth quarters, I thought the players responded well. We called the whole defense over and they responded. That part of it, I don't have a problem with. It's the execution and the timeliness of the execution that causes problems."

Q: Eli Manning has a career-long streak (of 145 passes) without an interception. He seems to be doing what you have asked him to do for so long, yet you're not scoring the points. Is that a source of frustration to him?

Coughlin: "He's very good about how he controls himself. I'm sure he is (frustrated). I am, certainly, because I see things and I've got the benefit of the next morning when I look at the tape. There were some high balls in the game the other day. When you know you have the speed, the speed gets in position, you have to throw it out in front of him. That's something we continuously struggle with."

Q: In terms of taking care of the ball and his completion percentage (62.5), he seems to be doing what you've been preaching for a long time.

Coughlin: "Yes he is, he is. We need some point production, but yes, he is. Because of the nature of the game, we had to throw it more last week. I don't want to throw the ball 52 times. I don't want to do it. It's a combination. You've got to run the ball, too. You've got to make yardage. Second and nine is no good."

Q: Since he entered the lineup, where has Odell Beckham Jr. made his biggest strides?

Coughlin: "Without a lot of preparatory work, he's been able to come in and grasp the nature of the offense. His alignment and his positions vary, so he's had to learn all those things. I think mentally he's made a good adjustment, and I think that competitively he enjoys playing against these outstanding cornerbacks. We saw three outstanding corners last weekend. I think he understands more about the nature of professional football. The biggest things that I see are that he's a quality student, as well as player. He can go line up in a bunch of different spots and conduct himself with a lot of different things. Now, it's not perfect, but he's shown the ability to do that."

Q: Is that unusual at all for a rookie?

Coughlin: "No. He's talented, he's a talented young man. Let's not anoint him quite yet. Let's let him get in the end zone a couple times."

Q: You didn't play well against the Seahawks last year. Is that something you can use as motivation or do you look back at the game for more strategic purposes?

Coughlin: "You always look for the matchups; who was there playing for them at that time and who was playing for us and just get a feel for the style which they play, which is really no different. We have an entire season, and looking at it, they've done some things to account for personnel, but they've played basically the same."

Q: The way they play is a little different than a lot of teams because their emphasis is on running the ball. They lead the league in yards per carry (5.1). Is this one of the few really run-first teams that you play against?

Coughlin: "They definitely build themselves on that aspect of it. Now, they do it from open formations, too. It's not just regular personnel. They want to run the ball first, and off of that comes all of their play-actions, which are outstanding, and then the quarterback (Russell Wilson) and his ability to keep the ball on the bootleg - scramble, get on the perimeter, make plays outside the pocket, that's his game. He has a strong arm and he's smart."

Q: So many quarterbacks you want to flush out of the pocket, is he…?

Coughlin: "Keep him in there. Keep him in there. He's their second-leading rusher and he runs up and down the field if you're not careful."

Q: They've lost some defensive players from last year's team. Do they look the same?

Coughlin: "They've still got the big people inside. They can crank it up. They lost some players, like everybody does, but they still rotate eight defensive linemen, they play hard. It doesn't matter who's in the game, they play hard."

Get to know the Giants' opponent for their Week 10 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks

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