Coughlin: "Cardinals are an outstanding team"

The reigning Super Bowl Champions are fielding questions about the Arizona Cardinals left and right. The same Cardinals who could never get it together are getting more attention than the team who dethroned the New England Patriots after Tom Brady & Co. went 16-0 in the regular season. This year, it's a whole new ball game. Here is Giants' Coach Tom Coughlin's scouting report on Arizona.

Tom Coughlin on the Arizona Cardinals:

The Arizona Cardinals are an outstanding team that is playing very, very well. Their 7-3 record reflects on that, but also the fact that in the last two years they are 10-2 at home, they are 4-0 at home at this point in time. They are playing extremely well. Their offensive team, as you all know, second in the league in total offense, almost 29 points a game. Kurt Warner is playing extremely well, 70 percent completions, 20 touchdowns, seven interceptions, outstanding year for Kurt and his receivers, obviously (Larry) Fitzgerald and (Anquan) Boldin way up there in the league in receptions and (Steve) Breaston as well.

Defensively, they are 11th in the league and seventh against the run, so they are a stout, aggressive defensive team as well as an outstanding offensive team that has a good special teams outfit. You saw (Sean) Morey block the punt in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys and that is a reflection of their aggressiveness on special teams as well. A conference game this week, a very difficult game, a team that you have to do a superb job preparing for.

In terms of his play, is Kurt Warner much different than when he was here?


Kurt Warner, Jesse Palmer, Eli Manning
(Getty)

I see all the great things that Kurt does and I saw them when he came here and when he was here and I certainly see them now as he is having an outstanding year. The ball comes out very quick, he is on the same page with his receivers, and he just has a number of weapons that he can utilize. The offensive line is giving him time to get the ball off, he is very quick with his release, he is taking good care of the ball, and as I said guys are making plays for him as well.

What do the Cardinals' wide receivers do so well?

They are very good football players, powerful, big, and strong. They have the ability to get open, the ball is there in a timely fashion, and they utilize a lot of people as well. They play a lot of four-receiver sets, the runners coming out of the backfield have done a good job for them, the rookie (Tim) Hightower is the starter now, so they just have a good, talented array of people. The scheme is very good and as I said, the protection has allowed the ball to come out.

What do you need your corners and your safeties to do against their pass game?

We always start with pressure the quarterback first and you have to try to do a good job of disrupting whatever the timing is, whatever the route, whatever the individual receiver, those things all have to be done and done at a high level, but you can't let the quarterback stand back there and have time to do the things that he wants to do.

Do you think your two corners will be particularly "up" to go against their wide receivers?


WR Anquan Boldin
(Getty)

I think every week we try to look at what the strengths of the opponent are and what has to be done in terms of giving ourselves a chance to win and certainly that will be a great challenge for our defensive team, the quality and the production of the Cardinals' offense.

Even Moreso for the corners?

I think everybody. A lot of things happen on the underneath coverage too, whether it is short pass, long run, you have some powerful guys that run through some arms after they catch the ball too so I think everybody is in position to be challenged.

Do you have to change things to simulate their offensive weapons' size in practice this week?

Well it is very difficult obviously to do that. You have your scout squad and your scout squad will do exactly what their offense does, but you are not going to take Plaxico (Burress) and play him on the scout team.

Do you pay attention to what the Jets did to the Cardinals when they played them?

Obviously we study every game as best we can. The amazing thing about that was the ball going back and forth the way it did and the scores, but yeah there were turnovers in that game on both sides.


WR Steve Breaston
(Getty)

Was that simply a matter of pressure in that game?

No, it was good coverage and a lot of things, pressure being a big part of it.

You guys had a bye that week; did you happen to watch that game?

Saw some of it.

Does that help at all?

Sure, you have every game on tape. You can watch it any way you want. You can take every pass play out, you can take every pressure. Every game that you look at, however you decide the meaning of that game, has significance no doubt. You definitely are aware of the losses and why did the losses occur.

They have only given up a few sacks in the past six games, they gave up many more in the first few, did they change something schematically?

I wouldn't say that. I would say that their efficiency continues to improve and as I said the ball is coming out.

Is it a challenge as a coach to constantly prepare for teams that are gunning for the defending champions?

You go one week at a time. Every game has its challenges. Every game is of great significance. We are excited about every opportunity, the coaches are excited about studying the next opponent and trying to figure out what it is we have to do to put our players in the best position to win, so I will give you the standard answer on that one.


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