Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 9-28-05

Q: After the defensive performance in San Diego and with another good offense coming in, do you look at last week as an aberration?

A: Well, we have to believe that. We have to move forward. We did all of the correcting. Players were very good about understanding the problems that we had in the game, and we made the corrections. We move forward. Each week you are going to play an explosive team in the National Football League, one way or the other. The Rams are certainly an explosive football team. We are a better defensive team than we played the other night, and we demonstrated the other night, and we have to go prove it. So we have to practice better. We have to prepare better. We have to be in position to tackle better; all of the above.

Q: You said the players understand the problems and corrections. What are some of the problems?

A: Well, first of all, you saw the game. We got out-flanked a number of times. We missed some tackles. We were on the edge of the blocks a lot of times instead of covering the people up. We do have to tackle better. We have to have better gap responsibilities. We have to run to the ball better. When at first a team moves the ball on you, what we have demonstrated all year really is an ability to come right back and show some mental toughness, to not let one series bother you, and come back the next series. And the other night we didn't play that way. So we have to go back to that kind of mentality and overcome the problems that we had. As one-sided as those statistics were and as the third quarter unfolded, you are sitting there with about four minutes to go in the third quarter - it is 28-20. It is a long game. There are lots of opportunities to rectify circumstances and situations. And you have to keep playing hard. And you always have to be a more physical team and tackle better. We weren't.

Q: Are you making any lineup changes this week?

A: I am not going to announce anything at this point.

Q: You got away from the run game last week. How important is it to establish the running game...?

A: Well, 21-3. It will be important; it will be very important. We are a team that believes in balance. We need to have a more effective running game in order to be a better balanced football team. You are playing against another team that is very good against the run; very good against the run. Their statistics show it.

Q: Do you expect Corey Webster and Barrett Green to be back this week?

A: We are going to have both practicing today on what is called a 'limited basis.' And we will see from there. This will be a very good opportunity for Corey to demonstrate whether or not he is healthy to go or still has some limitations. Today will be a good day.

Q: Given what Barrett Green is coming back from, is the temptation to give him another week so that he has the bye to heal up even more?

A: I base it all on the amount of endurance, the practice time that Barrett has, his recovery time, how he is the next day, that type of thing. That is what basically we have based this on. He has had a long period here, basically from Friday to now, where he has had exercise time, rehab time, but nothing on the field. So I would expect that he would feel good about today and perhaps to be able to go a little bit further with more snaps and then we will evaluate him again tomorrow. As far as the temptation, this has basically been in the back of my mind since we came out of camp and found out that he was not able to do a lot of the things that we had hoped he would do right from the training camp on. And so this period of four weeks, I have had that in the back of my mind - thinking that if we can build him up and get him to a certain point where he can help us on special teams, where he can play x amount of snaps each game, then it would be good to be able to count of that coming out of the break that is coming up.

Q: When the staff looked at film, did you say, "Tomlinson is such a great back..."?

A: You give credit where credit is due, but on the other hand there is no denying the problems that we had, whether they be physical by nature, giving up technique alignments, missed tackles. We all saw him come in and out of three or four holes at different times, which is again giving credit to an outstanding runner, but that does not provide us with any solace in terms of how we played. But our thing right now -- to be honest with you, to still be talking about this -- we have to go on fellows. We have to move on. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to burn the film, to be honest with you.

Q: As far as defending a guy like Torry Holt, what are the biggest challenges you face?

A: Exceptional football player. When the quarterback stands there and tells the world, "This is the go-to guy," that is pretty impressive. And that is what Bulger said the other day about Torry Holt. So, you have to understand the impact that he makes on a game and this is an explosive offensive team; they have been that way for a number of years. Their running game is better than it has been. They have Jackson and they have Faulk; they have outstanding ball carriers there as well. They have had a good mix; they didn't overthrow the ball against Tennessee in their win there. But they have very timely execution; they set you up very well. They mix in their gadgets very well. Holt's touchdown on the slant-and-go the other day was an outstanding timing play call. They had run a number of slants during the game. So they have a number of dangerous weapons and he is outstanding.

Q: Back to your previous statement, I know of coaches who have gone through a game like this and see no value in going over the film and say, "Let's go on." Have you ever done that? Were you tempted to do that this week?

A: I have done it, but I don't make a practice of it. The thing that you have to understand is that because of the week that we had, we weren't able to watch the New Orleans tape. So we can't go - you are in the early part of the season - you are teaching football right now. You have to look at the tape. It is not like you are after Week 8. You are in a part of the season when you are doing instructing. And based on coming off a Monday night game, not being able to look at the New Orleans tape, having to move forward, right into the San Diego game, there is no way we could go without watching the tape two weeks in a row, just from the standpoint of learning and instruction. RE: Playing a 'regular' 1 o'clock Sunday game with no themes attached after the the first three games. Is this week finally just all about football?

A: I think it is all about football. But it's really all about football, no matter what. You just have to make the adjustment. No one can predict what is coming - the schedule is the schedule. Sometimes things happen in terms of the adjustments that had to be made, unfortunately, over the situation in New Orleans. But this is the first 1 o'clock game, if you will, back to a normal preparation in terms of a Wednesday is a Wednesday, a Thursday is a Thursday and that type of thing. So hopefully we get ourselves focused in on this particular week. The preparation is the key to success. That is what this is all about, anyway, is doing whatever we can to focus in on exactly what has to be done with the football - the New York Giants have played them. We didn't play them a year ago. We have a lot of information to share with players. We need a lot of time to spend with our players.

RE: Plaxico

A: He is focused and ready to go.

Q: Are you disappointed in anything that Jeremy Shockey said in light of the Burress situation?

A: If I have to sit there and put the dots together between preparation and production, I'll do it. That is my only comment.

Q: What does it do for the team when Eli performs like he did last week?

A: I think it gives the team a great feeling of confidence in terms of - when you are down 21-3 and you come back like we did; now I am disappointed we didn't have point production in the second half. That is disappointing to me because at one point we could have made it within 12, which would have made an interesting conclusion to the game, I feel. But I think it gives our team the idea and the confidence, knowing full well that here is a guy that missed all of this time in preseason. There is definite improvement week-in and week-out, but this last game was outstanding.

Q: Did you have to connect the dots for Jeremy?

A: I'm answering a question - I didn't connect. I'm telling you if I had to, I would. That's all. This is over, fellas; that was last week. Can we go forward now to this week?

Five questions with Coach Coughlin

Q: You said the players understand the problems and corrections in San Diego. What are some of the problems?

A: Well, first of all, you saw the game. We got out-flanked a number of times. We missed some tackles. We were on the edge of the blocks a lot of times instead of covering the people up. We do have to tackle better. We have to have better gap responsibilities. We have to run to the ball better. When at first a team moves the ball on you, what we have demonstrated all year really is an ability to come right back and show some mental toughness, to not let one series bother you, and come back the next series. And the other night we didn't play that way. So we have to go back to that kind of mentality and overcome the problems that we had. As one-sided as those statistics were and as the third quarter unfolded, you are sitting there with about four minutes to go in the third quarter – it is 28-20. It is a long game. There are lots of opportunities to rectify circumstances and situations. And you have to keep playing hard. And you always have to be a more physical team and tackle better. We weren't.

Q: When the staff looked at film, did you say, "Tomlinson is such a great back….."?

A: You give credit where credit is due, but on the other hand there is no denying the problems that we had, whether they be physical by nature, giving up technique alignments, missed tackles. We all saw him come in and out of three or four holes at different times, which is again giving credit to an outstanding runner, but that does not provide us with any solace in terms of how we played. But our thing right now -- to be honest with you, to still be talking about this -- we have to go on fellows. We have to move on. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to burn the film, to be honest with you.

Q: Back to your previous statement, I know of coaches who have gone through a game like this and see no value in going over the film and say, "Let's go on." Have you ever done that? Were you tempted to do that this week?

A: I have done it, but I don't make a practice of it. The thing that you have to understand is that because of the week that we had, we weren't able to watch the New Orleans tape. So we can't go – you are in the early part of the season – you are teaching football right now. You have to look at the tape. It is not like you are after Week 8. You are in a part of the season when you are doing instructing. And based on coming off a Monday night game, not being able to look at the New Orleans tape, having to move forward, right into the San Diego game, there is no way we could go without watching the tape two weeks in a row, just from the standpoint of learning and instruction. Q: Are you disappointed in anything that Jeremy Shockey said in light of the Burress situation?

A: If I have to sit there and put the dots together between preparation and production, I'll do it. That is my only comment.

Q: Did you have to connect the dots for Jeremy?

A: I'm answering a question – I didn't connect. I'm telling you if I had to, I would. That's all. This is over, fellas; that was last week. Can we go forward now to this week?


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