*The Giants meet the media following Sunday's matchup with the Cardinals: *
New York Giants Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
Opening remarks and injury update:
"I apologize for being a little late. There were some things, talking to guys and what not, so apologize for that. One thing I do want to do right here, this is me, I want to thank God for this opportunity for me to be standing here. That may sound a little strange. I'm still grateful for that. He's blessed me with the opportunity. Having said that, let me hit you injury-wise first, I know you're going to ask about S Landon (Collins). He does have a fracture in his forearm, so that we know. Evan has a rib injury, don't really know exactly what it is and WR Sterling Shepard, you saw go out there with a neck, don't really know about it, but it was a neck injury. Don't really have anymore information on that. As far as the game goes, it was a simple message to the team afterwards and in this league, you can't win games if you beat yourself and that's what I thought happened today. The penalties certainly killed us in all three phases. All three phases had penalties that resulted in bad situations for us, the field position, etc. It begins and ends there to be quite honest with you. I did see some positive things and some guys read plays really well. I just don't get my eye on every offensive play. I thought RB (Wayne) Gallman (Jr.) ran real hard and it was good to see WR Hunter Sharp get in there and play. I thought he did some good things for us. I thought the defense played solid for the most part. No. 11 is probably my fault, we should have doubled him more. There was a couple situations I would like to have back. Call-wise, we had doubles in there and they changed some formations so it doesn't end up being a double. Maybe we have to change that going forward. That certainly was something that stuck out for me. And really with that, I'll just open it up."
On the team straying from the up-tempo, pass heavy offense from last week:
"The plan was not to go away from it. Again, I hope you can appreciate the two roles that I have right now, so I probably missed some of what you're talking about and again I'll probably have to say once I get my eyes on it and talk with Sully (Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan), maybe I'll have a better answer for you. But I know going in, that that was still part of it. Now we did have some injuries there that might have changed some calls and when they happen in the course of a the series... I do remember one time we couldn't go to it because of losing a guy. Sometimes that happens."
On why he decided to punt at the end of the first quarter:
"We were going to try and get the first down trying to draw them offsides. If they didn't, we wanted to back up five. It's an easier punt if you backed up, we were at the 42 or whatever. For P Brad (Wing) it's easier to go back and punt it. If we didn't get it with what we call a no-brainer, that was the plan."
On why he decided against going for it on the fourth and two play at the end of the first quarter:
"I just decided, at that point, it was a field position game. It was 3-0 or 0-0 at that particular point, but it wasn't we were going to go for it every fourth down. Early in the game, let's see how the game unwinds, just made that decision."
On what into his use of CB Eli Apple on special teams:
"We left that to the defensive coaches because I'm not in tune. He was going to get in there on some dime situations. The guys that have been in there have been playing together for a little bit, the continuity has been good, so we just kind of left it at that. Probably need to try to get him in there. We'll see how this week goes, make that decision this week."
On if he contemplated replacing CB Brandon Dixon with Apple at some point today:
"I don't know that we had that conversation. It probably would have been a good one to have. We may talk about that going forward, but I don't remember us talking about that. It's a good thought. And I would say this, maybe there was something that I'm not aware of right now, so I don't really, but it's a good thought."
On DE Romeo Okwara and DE Avery Moss being inactive:
"It was the secondary situation. So S Nat (Berhe) and S Landon (Collins) were both, you know, and we didn't want to get caught shorthanded at defensive back or special teams. We had a lot of conversations about that, so we went with the three ends, but it was strictly because of injuries in another position."
On Okwara and Moss being players who could have benefited from playing time:
"I know, unfortunately, it was just to win the football game. Had everybody been healthy, one of those guys definitely would have been up. But because of the secondary situation, we couldn't afford to do it."
On whether QB Eli Manning will start next week:
"Eli will start and then we'll probably take it bit-by-bit, we'll just take it and see how it goes. Eli is the starter."
On being down late in the game and hypothetically bringing in QB Davis Webb if he had been active:
"We decided to try and keep winning the football game. You've got to help me when it went to 23 and became a three possession game. To me, when it's a two possession game you try to win the game. And three possessions, with time, if Davis was up there he probably would have been handing the ball off. I don't know if we would have put him in the situation. I think we've got to be smart. I get the question, I get it. Trying to be smart about a lot of things but first and foremost is going to be try and win the football game."
On if T Ereck Flowers had words with an official:
"Yeah he did, so (referee) John (Parry) was good about that and then Ereck was good about it too. He let his emotions get to him, but it worked out."
On how much momentum is lost due to a missed field goal:
"Well you don't want to let it affect you certainly right? Because it's early enough in the game, but it would have been nice to be 3-3. I don't know exactly, but he didn't miss by much. It was a miss. We need to make that."
On if he contemplated taking Manning out when it became a three possession game:
"No, I really didn't. When would it have happened? Six minutes? And at that point, I just want to let him roll. I'm trying to remember when the sack fumble was. Somewhere right around there? (14:50, 4th quarter) And that got it to 23 right? That would have been the only spot you would have thought about it, but I want Eli to go back out and get some confidence back. You know what I mean? That's a tough one when that happens, so I didn't think that was the right time to do that."
Giants QB Eli Manning
On the offense and how nothing could get started:
"Yeah. We just didn't make many plays. They made some, they made some big time plays. Third down, we were bad again and a lot of them were third-and-threes and fours and even shorter than that sometimes. We just weren't able to get that first down or get things going. It was one of those games where we moved the ball OK, but just didn't convert on third downs and we started having some penalties that hurt us as well."
On what wasn't working for the offense:
"Obviously, they had some good calls defensively. They did some good things, but we also, for whatever reason, just didn't connect on some things. You've got to go back and look and see the exact reason why, but they're a good defense. They had some good schemes that gave us some troubles and then, they did a good job getting a pass rush and we just didn't make some of the tough catches that we needed to."
On if there was ever a discussion of him not finishing the game:
"No, not that I know of."
On the team's 13 losses and if that doesn't sit well with him or his teammates:
"No. No one wants to lose and lose as much as we have. It's, obviously, been tough all year. Nothing has come easy. We've lost heartbreakers and we've lost some like this as well, where we just never could get much going."
On whether it baffles him that the team hasn't had much improvement over the course of the season:
"Well, we lost some of our playmakers. We lost some of our linemen. It's been tough. We've had to change some things around and we've not been able to do everything we could do and just not play as well as we need to."
On his performance today and how he would critique it:
"Hey, we didn't score any points, so I didn't play well enough. Obviously had the interception early, trying to hit (TE) Evan (Engram). We've got to look at it. I don't know if I overthrew it or left it inside. The guy made a good play. I think he had hurt his ribs on the play before and then I had the one before the half. I was just trying to make a play and I got some pressure. But, we didn't convert on third downs. We didn't score, so obviously I didn't play well enough."
On if he'll put this game away and try to celebrate the holiday with his family:
"Yeah. Yeah. My kids, obviously, we've got an off day so I'm going to try and enjoy it with them."
On whether he's thinking about his future as a member of the Giants:
"Hey, I'll figure out next week and go from there."
On if the end of this season will be a relief for him given how competitive he is:
"It's been tough, obviously. I think for probably older players, it's tougher to go through a season where you've been out of the playoffs for awhile and the team is struggling. You know you only have so many more opportunities left and so it's been tough. But yeah, I think after next week, just try to look forward to moving on."
On the play of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald:
"Larry played outstanding. Been a good buddy of mine for a long time. I've known him since college and he was doing it all today: catching, throwing, and scoring touchdowns. A tremendous player and tremendous person."
Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul
On if this is the most disappointing point in the season for the team:
"The whole season has been disappointing. At the end of the day, we have to be pros, come out here and play football."
On what he would say if someone told him in the beginning of the year they would be 2-13:
"I'm not worried about that. I'm worrying about next game. Next question please."
On if he thinks it will be hard to get guys pumped up for next game:
"No, I don't think it will be hard. We come in expecting to win, and when you expect to win and when it doesn't turn out how we think it's going to turn out, we just have to reinforce it next game. I am pretty sure the guys will be pumped to play a division game. I will be trying my best to win that game. We need at least one win in the division. There is no need to say anything, the guys will be pumped to play regardless."
On if he thinks they have enough firepower to win the game considering the injuries:
"What do you mean firepower, man? You have guys that are playing football out here. This is an NFL team. The next guy has to step up. Key players go down, and the next step up, that's the way it is."
On if there is a feeling of uncertainty of what is going to happen with the team:
"We are not worried about that right now. I am pretty sure things are going to get taken care of. Right now we are just focused on one game and one game only. I am excited to play this game. I'm excited to play every game in the NFL, every snap I take. This next game that's coming, I'm going to get excited, I'm going to get my teammates going and that's how it's going to be. One more game and it's in the division. Everyone knows we hate Washington."
On what kind of reaction he thinks they will get from the fans on being a 13-loss team:
"Our fans are going to be our fans. I feel like our true fans that are really true to the New York Giants and the organization and to the players, whoever they follow, the true fans are going to be there. You don't know how the season is going to go when you start. Injuries occur, and at the end of the day, our true fans will be there supporting. In the cold, it's going to be freezing, we already know that. I know one thing for sure, my son is going to be there supporting me. The real fans will be there, and I have one fan supporting me so that's all that matters."
Giants WR Sterling Shepard
On if the trainers were worried about a head injury:
"I don't know. I don't have a head injury; my neck is just sore. It's all good though."
On how frustrating it is as an offensive player to get shut out:
"Pretty frustrating. We go from a week of putting up the highest amount of points you've put up to putting up a goose egg. It's pretty frustrating."
On what the Cardinals did to make the game difficult:
"They didn't do anything. I feel like it was us. We shot ourselves in the foot. We weren't very good on third down, weren't taking care of the ball. It's a recipe for disaster."
On not being able to convert the third-and-short plays:
"We couldn't get a couple extra yards. Like I said, we shot ourselves in the foot, it wasn't anything special they were doing. They showed some different looks than what we saw on film, but it was all on us."
On if the end of the season will be almost a relief:
"No. I feel like everybody loves football. Everybody loves doing this every week. I don't think guys are just giving up and waiting for the season to end. We love doing this. This is what we grew up doing, so I wouldn't say that."
On what he would've said if someone told him they would be 2-13:
"I would've looked at them like they were crazy. Going into the season, I thought we had the perfect squad to make a run in this thing. It's just frustrating."
On if he thinks about the team uncertainty moving forward:
"I don't really think about it too much. Whatever happens, happens, and we will have to take it for what it is and keep going."
Giants S Landon Collins
On how the injury happened:
"The shovel pass. I'll have to go back and look because I don't know if my arm got caught in a different way. I didn't use my arm to hit him. I used my shoulder pad, so I have to see how it actually happened. I remember my arm got caught on a lineman as I was going through."
On if it's frustrating for him not finishing what he started:
"Of course. I want to finish what I started, but God had some other plans for me."
On if it is hard to believe that this team has 13 losses:
"It's definitely difficult. We can't do anything about those losses. At the end of the day, you have to move on to the next one and try to correct what we can do better each and every week and try to get a W. The biggest thing is that we have to stay together as a team. These guys are playing hard, and it's just not turning around for us."