Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 9-12-05
Re: Did they have MRI's today?
They had everything. Everything was negative.
Re: Do you admire the way that Jim Haslett has kept his team together?
Well, I really haven't started to study their team yet. But, just watching yesterday's scores. knowing the Carolina team and how good they are, knowing what New Orleans has been through, knowing the anguish that has accompanied all of them ' coaches, players, the organization, their families being uprooted what have you. Knowing, having a sense about that not knowing about it, but having a sense about that I would say that the whole National Football League takes its hat off to the job they did yesterday.
Re: On Friday, you were pretty confident that William Peterson would play. In your mind, how did that situation change?
Well, we kept him questionable. He was questionable going in. We worked him out before the game. He didn't feel like he could go. He didn't think he could help our team, didn't feel like he could make the plays that he might be asked to make and thought he might hurt our team. So, that being the case, him not feeling comfortable, him not feeling like he could go, we made him inactive.
Re: That's the player's call in a situation like that?
Well, in this case, yeah. The medical part of it can only go so far. I mean he is coming back from a MCL. Everyone wanted to be as optimistic as we possibly could about it, wanted to think that he could do some things in a limited role when in fact the limited role might have put him in a position where he had more maneuvering, more pivoting, more things he had to do. It was disappointing, I'm not going to tell you it wasn't, but nevertheless it ended up to be the right decision. Curtis Deloatch, for example, had to step up with multiple responsibilities and accepted that responsibility and went full speed ahead.
Re: Were you surprised that Will couldn't play?
It didn't catch me so much by surprise that I didn't put questionable on there and I never changed it. I never changed his status.
Re: The sideline reporter on the game broadcast made it sound like you were upset, angry that he (William Peterson) couldn't go?
I want everybody ' I want all of our players -- to play. I want to be as optimistic as I can about that. I want to be, I want that energy level to be as high as it can. I want the thrill of participation to be so exciting for everybody that we're all on the same page. It didn't happen. That's it, it's over, it's done with. We made him inactive, we played other people. We were fortunate to win.
Re: If you had activated him (William Peterson), would you have deactivated Frank Walker?
Re: So it was a case of having four corners?
It was a case of doing the best job we could to make sure we were in position defensively that whatever was necessary to do to win, we had the people available.
Re: Did you feel that guys were ready to pick it up a notch coming out of the locker room for the start of the second half?
Well, we felt that way in the locker room. We felt the play defensively, the sack by William Joseph, the sack by (Michael) Strahan not only took them out of the fringe of the red area, but out of field goal range. We felt a little bit of a surge there in terms of being able to accomplish something to build on at half time. So, we did, we talked about that. We also talked about the fact that going on the field in the first quarter and doing exactly what we wanted to do offensively then we got off track, then had penalties, then had break downs in protection, then had very poorly thrown balls, and we felt that quarter was a bad football quarter for us. And that really wasn't the kind of football that we wanted to play. We called upon all those things at halftime. We visited the idea of this game yesterday being on 9/11, being at home where our hearts were, we visited that aspect of it as well. We came back out knowing that we were going to get the kickoff, felt very comfortable and very confident about what we could do in terms of field position following the kickoff return. And we talked about that special teams would have to make an impact here in the second half, how we needed to get back to running the football, having a little more balance and continuing to put pressure on stopping the run and putting pressure on them with our defense. So, I did feel ' I knew we would come out and play. What you don't know is how effective you are going to be in having just left that second quarter. Offensively we had created some doubt, obviously. But, I was pleased with the resiliency, with some of the mental toughness displayed, and the way that we immediately got back in the game was a boost to everybody. If you turn around and have ' you drive the ball, you make the long throw, you run the ball in the endzone, you kick it off, they throw an interception, you score on the first play. It is pretty exciting and that was basically how the sideline went.
Re: Other than the sack, did William Joseph grade out pretty well?
He did. He played well.
Re: What did he do well?
He had a sack. He had two hits on the quarterback. He had a couple of tackles. He had an assist. He had a couple of batted balls. He had a good, solid football game. He had good energy.
Re: Did your assessment of Eli (Manning) and the offense change at all from yesterday?
No. We didn't play as well as were capable of playing. Our pass offense needs to step way up and by that I mean protections and the ability to get the ball ' I think we are going to the proper receiver in all cases except maybe one. We missed Jeremy (Shockey) on a flag route late in the game where he was all by himself. But, just the delivery of the ball, the timing, getting back in rhythm, getting Eli in game rhythm -- which is different than practice rhythm ' you know those types of things we have to be able to get back in sync with regard to that and do it better than we have done it since I have been here. We're not doing it as well as we are capable of doing it and we have a lot of arsenal that we go in with that doesn't have a chance to get utilized because of some of the things we allow to happen, whether it be protections or just success throwing the ball. So, we're always going to want that balance without a doubt and that balance is what allows us to do some of the things we really have stressed. We were two for two in the red zone if you take out ' the green zone, excuse me, offensively ' if you take out the victory deal at the end of the game. So, I was pleased with that. We had a couple of real sharply thrown balls there that were right on the money, well executed plays. Jeremy (Shockey) actually fought his way through a couple of linebackers who were trying to bang him around when he got his. And Plaxico made the outstanding move coming out of the endzone and the feet were in bounds. So, I was pleased with that. I liked the three running backs and how they ran the ball and the way that ' you know our production with regard to that. I thought that was a nice indication of perhaps some things that we can do down the road. I thought we played hard. I thought we gave outstanding effort. I thought ' I didn't have any question about that at all. That's probably what you build on more than anything else. Your special teams, not only did they play well, they were very physical. We played very physically on special teams. We had a number of knockdowns in the game by a lot of different people. And of course when you get the excitement of having a punt return or a kickoff return, it just builds that kind of fervor and players wanting to their job better knowing full well that if they do, the ball has a good chance to get in the endzone and that what was exciting about that. Even the vices on the outside on their gunners as the game wore on, we got more effective with that. Just little things, but things that give you a chance to make a play and in the long run be a better physical special teams outfit. I was pleased with that type of thing.
Re: Did you know that at the end of the game that Amani's streak was in jeopardy?
I had no idea about the streak. I was consumed with trying to win the game. It's unfortunate, but you have to remember' If that's the case, it's unfortunate. But, our passing game wasn't very good. We've got to improve that area of our game.
Re: The record aside, it seemed like he (Amani Toomer) was not as involved in the passing game. Was he not open or not part of the game plan?
Well, he was open on the last third down and five for a first down. We just didn't get the ball to him. We tried. We went in that direction. He had a real nice go route on the ball that was kind of batted down ' the long, deep ball that was over on the left side, he was on the right side and did a nice job with that. He had a chance for a nice deep in-cut in the first half. We had it exactly the way we wanted it, but pressure got in the face of the quarterback. He released the ball high. It was an overthrown ball because of that. There were ' we had multiple situations in there where the ball was headed in Amani's direction or he was the priority and it just didn't get done. And it just leads me back to the statement ' this will be the third time -- that we have to have a better passing attack.
Re: How much of that do you attribute to Eli?
There's no question that it has something to do with it. But I'm not going to hide behind that. We did feel like we had a good week of practice. Practice is not a game, I will grant you that.
Re: How much do you second guess, if at all, having Shockey in with about five minutes to go and having him sprain his ankle?
We are trying to be in our four-minute mode with the tight ends being directly involved in running the ball and trying to run the clock out if you will. And Jeremy (Shockey) is a good blocker, as I have said many times. I hope it's nothing more than a low ankle sprain, which it appears to be right now, which he was ' we went up and we had our corrections and he was hobbling around a little bit, but it was better than it was yesterday afternoon so. I wouldn't go ahead and second guess any of that. Unfortunately, it's part of the game.
Re: What do you point to as far as how good the special teams played in the preseason and how well they played yesterday?
Well, I think we are starting to get an attitude about it. And it's positive. It's real positive. And I think we have more and more guys that want to be a participant in that phase of it. And we've had some results, which guys want to get involved with something obviously like that. We started last year and we started to build a nice core last year and we've got ' again we've added some pieces to that puzzle and we're headed in the right direction.
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