Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 9-7-05

Q: How did Eli feel this morning? A: Good. Matter of fact, I told him yesterday I wasn't going to ask.

Q: Did you ask anyway?

A: No. I have other means.

Q: When you look back at Kurt Warner's one year here, did he pretty much fill the role you figured?

A: Absolutely. Yes. It was competitive all of the way, just as we said. And Kurt got us off to an outstanding start. He did a great job of mentoring and being with a young quarterback. He is the kind of guy you can't help but benefit by being around.

Q: Do you look at him now and say that he can be as successful as he was in St. Louis?

A: He is the starting quarterback in a system that he really likes. He is an eager competitor. From what I have seen in preseason, he has done well.

Q: I know you wouldn't have traded the success that Kurt would have brought if the team had an 8-1 or 9-0 season; how would it have affected Eli's second season?

A: I think it is simple to say that you have to play. You can stand on the sideline and you can have all of the film sessions and meetings you want. But at some point in time you have to experience what really happens when the ball is snapped out there on the field. The sophistication of the defenses and the way that they are trying to confuse the young and the old; they have to play the game, you have to be up to the speed of the game. You have to suffer - we called it a 'priceless' experience but not without frustration, disappointment. So you have to go through that. But that benefit, as we played it out toward the end of the season, you could definitely understand, and have it be the launching point for a new year.

RE: What you see in the Cardinals in general - offense and defense.

A: Their defense is outstanding. They run very well to the ball, they have any number of outstanding pass rushers in Okeafor and Berry. What they have accomplished in preseason. The young corner, Rolle, is playing well. So they are a fast defensive football team. They have lots of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the receiver corps being extremely strong - Arrington being added to that mix in terms of a playmaker, for sure. They are experiencing some trouble at center, obviously, which a lot of teams coming out of camp have got one position or another where you don't feel as good about it because of injury or whatever. But they are solid, a solid kicking game. The amazing thing when you study Rackers is that 52% of his kickoffs are in the end zone. He was maybe 20 out of 71 or 80 kicks that were not returned beyond the 20-yard line, which tells you something about their special teams as well. They can run, they are physical. Their punter is a solid punter. They do an outstanding job in the special teams areas. Swinton is now their return man. You watch him in preseason, he had some outstanding returns for Houston in preseason. So they have got a good football team. They have strengthened it. They feel good about their draft choices, according about what I read. They are a good football team.

Q: As you get set to go into your second season, is there more knowledge, more cohesiveness here than last year.

A: Certainly, there is. There is a better understanding. There is a better knowledge of what we want. We have gone through many things together. As is the case in all teams in the NFL, there are many changes on the roster with young people who are trying to find a way and older people who are giving direction and leadership. The people that have been in the program know what is expected of them, they know the routine. They are into the routine. Without a doubt.

Q: RE: Cardinals receivers - is the one of the best groups that you are going to see all year?

A: Well, they have outstanding numbers and they are very well balanced.

Q: What you would like to see on the field from some of the younger players that are now a year older such as Gibril Wilson and Osi Umenyiora.

A: You would like to see people that not only have the physical talent, but also have matured to the point where the game and sophistication of the game and their responsibilities and the way in which they play with regard to the other defensive players would be recognized as a definite upgrade. We have talked about team; it is all about team, team over self. And what I would like to see is all of the players demonstrate that - that the team is the most important thing. The examples are very obvious to me. It is not a difficult thing to understand, as I have said many times in there, in terms of the team that has won the Super Bowl the last three out of four years. So that is the direction that we would like to be in and the level of our players, whether they are young, whether they are old or whatever, be great examples to each other. And when you evaluate, you want to see a scheme and a group of 11 to play as one. That is what you would like to see.

Q: Do they run a lot of three wide outs?

A: Not all of the time; they mix things in and out. They are in multiple sets. Now that they have the tight end back they are prone to do more of that. They certainly are going to have their three playmakers on the field a great deal of the time, but not always. They are going to mix; they are going to cause you to have to match personnel.

Q: Does that mean that Corey Webster will get a lot of playing time?

A: It means that with their three wides that we will be in a substituted defense.

Q: Did you use a lot of nickel and dime against them last year?

A: Well we did a lot of that. And that was just to match what they were doing. It was kind of a "two-halves" game, if you remember. They ran the ball last year and that was their basic scheme.

RE: The Cardinals defense got to the quarterback a lot in last year's game. Do you use film to look back on that?

A: That is a big part. We studied, obviously, what they did and how they changed up after we had the two 80-yard drives. But we have gone back, just as they have. We have all 16 games. We have all of the information that we need in terms of studying. But even then, you have got to do some educated guessing; as they have to do with us.

RE: How does Will Peterson feel today.

A: He seemed to be fine. He will practice. He will take some more steps today.

Q: Considering what your family went through on Sept. 11, what is it going to be like playing the game on the anniversary?

A: Well, the thoughts that come to mind about that day for us are deep thoughts, very personal thoughts. They are thoughts that come to mind, quite frankly, probably each time we are able to spend with our son, Tim. But is also a time of deep reflection, what it has meant to our country. We will try to experience all of those things before Sunday.


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