Tom Coughlin Press Conference: 11-2-05

Q: Let's get Carlos Emmons and the other injuries out of the way first? Well, it's a continuation of treatment for Carlos and it ends up being a day-to-day decision about whether he's ready to practice or not. At this point in time, he would not be ready to practice today if we had to go today.

Q: What about Shaun (Williams) and Justin Tuck?

Tuck had the ankle and we're going to go through all the tests today and try to discover if there's any issue there. Shaun has a hamstring that hopefully is going to be manageable.

Q: Were there any other injuries from the game?

No, not to speak of. No.

Q: Is Will Peterson any closer to getting back on the practice field?

I don't ' it's a week to week thing again. All I get is updates and at this point, he's not ready to go back on the field.

Q: What about Tyree?

Tyree was improved today. It's a question of, to be honest with you, whether the elbow allows him to tackle and we hope by the end of this week that will have a better feeling for that.

Q: In the days leading up to Sunday's game, you talked about being concerned about trying to divide the emotional aspect of last week with the task at hand. You didn't try to blend the two or try to say, 'Let's win one for Mr. Mara' or anything like that. Why was it important to separate those two?

Because I think you had to to be able to go forward and perform the way you have to be prepared to perform in the National Football League. It would have been impossible to talk about not grieving, but by the same token we all know what Mr. Mara stood for and that was carry(ing) on. So, we had the responsibility of preparing for a very good football team in the Redskins and yet we were surrounded and deeply affected by the loss of Mr. Mara. Don't forget it's on an ongoing thing with Mr. (Bob) Tisch's health too and that's on our mind.

Q: Is there any updates from the team about Mr. Tisch's health?

No, I spoke briefly with some of the family afterwards and I really don't have any strong sense of where that is other than the fact that I do know Mr. Tisch is very sick.

Q: I think it was last week you mentioned about your defensive backs getting a little more aggressive playing within the system. Is yesterday an example of what you wanted?

Very much closer, but I think it was a result of the pressure that we were able to exert up front many times with four. We did get a good, solid rush out of our front four despite the fact that in most occasions, there were two people in front of Strahan. He still was able to ' because of effort and continuous movement ' generate pressure and of course got the one sack. Osi (Umenyiora) played very well, probably his best day of the year with the two sacks and with pressures. We had throughout the course of the game, we had four hits on the quarterback, five sacks, and 10 hurries. So, I think that had a direct effect, but I do think we recognized patterns better. I think we were in better position with the exception of one or two plays. Curtis (Deloatch) made a very nice play on the ball. Will Allen was in position to make a play on the ball down the seam or down the middle and just again was not able to make the play. But, he was in great position. He was definitely covering the receiver. It wasn't a matter of that. I think we ' and of course Corey Webster had the real nice play on the outside avoiding the block and then the tackle and the strip of the ball, which was recovered by (Kendrick) Clancy. I liked that very much. So, we did have that kind of ' I think we played better in the secondary; we played better as a defensive team. That's an understatement in terms of giving up the 125 yards of total offense and finishing a day if I grade each play by plus or minus, our pluses were way up there this time.

Q: How much did the defense as a whole need that for a confidence boost?

Well, the question always seems to be from the media after a successful venture 'how much did you need''' I think definitely for us to have a game in which we got the other guy off the field was very critical. I think that hopefully ' here's a team (the Redskins) that is 46 percent on third down coming here and we are able to hold them to 17 percent. Now I challenged our defense to hold them under 30 percent to make sure we got them off the field and they responded in a very strong fashion. So, I thought that was a very important thing. Our ability to keep the run in check was very important. Statistically we followed that very closely. Being able to accomplish the things that we set out for in a very resounding fashion with ' and enthusiasm and physical play, I think that's very important.

Re: How do you keep your team emotionally in check in looking ahead to next week?

You have to keep your eye on the prize. You have to know exactly what your getting into. You have to know that in San Francisco you've seen a Tampa team at 5-1 go out there playing very, very well and get beat. So, I think that's the message we begin on Wednesday with our team. We are in a position now, whereas I said, you win some games now each game becomes that much more critical, much more important. For us to maintain the position we're in, we've got to win and we've got to be able to play under all circumstances. And in the little bit that I've been able to study this San Francisco team, I know they play extremely hard and I know they have great energy and they play very well at home.

Q: It seems to me that your defensive tackle position has had a gamut of some really terrific play and also some really bad play. Specifically the two losses, the defensive tackles just didn't seem to play very well at all. Do you have any indication as to why there's been such a widespread disparity in your defensive tackle play?

Well, that's your opinion. I don't know that it's exactly true. I do know that yesterday our interior played very well. We had outstanding plays out of Kenderick Allen, Kendrick Clancy, and we got William Joseph with a sack and some big plays, some aggressive plays. So, if our front four did respond and played well yesterday and generated pressure, that's the position we have to be in as we go forward here. Our execution ' we've been talking about improving our execution in trying to get our team to the next level and that was a good performance.

Q: I know you always don't like looking back and comparing one season to the next, but I'm going to ask you about it anyway. Last year, you were 5-2 after seven games and this year you're 5-2 after seven games. Is there a different feel that you have going forward with your team?

Well, it's a different team. It's two different years, it's two different teams, and no teams are the same. I feel, after yesterday's game (divisional game), very good about where we are, but that doesn't mean that ' every week is a new week in this league and every team in this league can beat one another and that's the parity of the National Football League. Unless you, again, go back to your basics and what you really believe in and make sure you are to keep all things in perspective and stay away from the real highs and stay away from the real lows and prepare and practice very productively so that you've earned the right to win and be in a position where you can call on that preparation to help you win. If you stub your toe and you don't follow that direction, then you got problems in this league. So, it's week to week and it's managing your issues - be they injuries, be they the next opponent, be they something unique about the opponent, being able to evaluate their strengths vs. their weaknesses, and see how you match up with your strengths and weaknesses. And so it's a week to week thing.

Q: You talk about positive reinforcement and I see what you mean when the players actually go out there and they do the things that the coaches teach and then get results and they've been getting results lately. Is this kind of creating almost a culture of winning where they put these things into practice that they are getting results are getting wins. Do you feel that kind of thing happening?

Well, I definitely think you teach towards that end and I'm hoping that the players are very much aware of that fact. And I think they are and this is something that we have to continue to stress. The proof is clearly in front of us when we play well and do the things that we have practiced and prepared for and if we control ourselves in terms of the penalty situation, which we have not done on offense. But, if we would do that, we put ourselves in good position.

Q: One of the first things you said as Coach of the Giants on the day you accepted the job was you wanted to restore pride and tradition to the franchise. Winning a game decisively as you did yesterday under those circumstances. Does that indicate to you that the things you've put into place to get that done are heading in the right direction?

Well, I think that's a fair assessment, but you have to do it on a weekly basis. You have to take the things that you do well and you have got to be consistent with it and so that's always the challenge. But, the things which we talk about in terms of restoration of pride, playing with great effort, being physical, having great intensity, letting the crowd know what your purpose is by virtue of the way in which you perform ' those things I feel like we're headed in the right direction.

Q: Have you mostly in the past as the season gets going after wins given the team Monday's off?

Well, usually I'm in a position where it's the midpoint of the season before we do that, but to be honest with you, the emotions of the last two games have been such that I felt that this was in our best interest. So, normally I'm not quite as quick to do this, but I did that following the Denver game and they certainly reinforced it by an outstanding effort yesterday and I just felt like that it was in order to do that again.

Q: The way that your team has won the last two weeks has made a lot of people in the national media sort of sit up and take notice a little bit of this team and suddenly proclaim them as very serious contenders. Has your team done enough to prove to you that this is for real and they are serious contenders this season?

Well, I think to judge that without looking forward wouldn't make any sense to me and I know we have many, many big games coming up down the road. I think the way we have competed, which is probably a better word, the way we have competed of late has certainly given me great interest and great excitement and I'll continue to feel that way knowing full well that there are many, many challenges lying ahead.

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to John Mara today or after the game yesterday?

I talked to John after the game yesterday, yes.

Q: Could you characterize what the conversation was about?

Well, coming into the locker room it was about the game. We talked about the game and on a very personal level, I talked to him and his family really about the week in which they had had and the way in which all of us were profoundly affected by the funeral mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the way in which the National Football League and the nation I think has responded to Mr. Mara's death. And the respect and admiration and love really that has just come pouring out. It's difficult to put it into words, especially when you have just finished a game, etc. But, in a short amount of time and in a humble way, I tried to express that.

Q: I don't know if you answered this already, but the emotion your team had yesterday ' I would imagine that you would think it'd be hard to sustain that level on a weekly basis ' do you feel that your team has bonded together a little bit and is it a cause here that's united them?

Well, I think as being a team and constantly talking to our players about team and about the concept of team and about the concept of team above self. Then having the example of Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch and what they represent and who they are, the family aspect of this entire franchise and the way it's always been that way, that message ' you can't miss that message. It's loud and clear and I think our players are very much aware of that and we continue to talk about taking the names off the back of the shirts. No one cares who gets ' it's amazing the success that can be generated if no one cares who gets the credit. I think that aspect of team is something that is very much a cementing if you will, a bonding if you will, and giving credit to others and being aware of the great contributions being made by guys playing on special teams, for example, that do perform without a lot of recognition, I think that's a very, very important aspect of the way we feel and the way we think right now.

Q: Is there extensive closure from yesterday's game the way the game transpired and the post-game and so on that I know you'll always carry last week's with you guys. Was there a sense that was kind of the end of that period and now we move on with more business at hand starting this week, starting today?

Well, I think the Denver game was a very emotional game. And then with Mr. Mara's passing, it was a very emotional time. But, I think as we got toward the end of the week, I think that we all began to focus as best we could on the job at hand in terms of the opponent, the divisional opponent in the Washington Redskins. I think that closure is not right word certainly, but we tried to go ahead and recognize all the things that were happening. But, yet we tried to channel our feelings and we tried to channel our strengths towards the preparation at hand and I think that's hopefully the way we'll continue. I don't think there's not going to be closure. I don't think that's the case at all and that's probably not the right word. We have the ongoing strong feelings for the loss of Mr. Mara and we have the ongoing strong concerns and feelings for Mr. Tisch. So, we have got to recognize the job at hand and we've got to be able to function under these circumstances.

Q: Is there any concern over the offensive performance over the last couple of weeks? I know you've had a lot of points, but at the same time, there have been a lot of opportunities for touchdowns that have turned into field goals.

I think our passing game was not very good yesterday. I think our offensive line performed very well. I think our protection schemes were very good. I just don't think we executed with the pass. We ran the ball. We ran the ball with consistency. We played physical. We ended up attempting six field goals, which sometimes you're frustrated because you don't have touchdowns, but on the other hand the score is still mounting and you're finding yourself in position to score. That's not to say Jay Feely doesn't continue to do a superb job even into the wind with a 50-yarder into the wind. But, the other factor was the turnovers. We knew that going in that we had to control ours and I talked openly about none whatsoever and we had to get turnovers. We got a big one on special teams and we got three from our defense to go plus three for the game and I continue to feel like that's ' when you deny someone three opportunities to score by virtue of turning the ball over, you've certainly have given your offense more opportunities and you've denied the other guy. So, those are all factors. But, you're always concerned about some aspect of the way you play and we're not about to overlook anything that is not at the highest standard. And I think we have work to do back to some of the basics with regard to our pass game.

Q: The Fox telecast focused on Tim Lewis at the end ' high fiving him and hugging everybody up there in the booth. Could you characterize what Tim had to say after the game?

We all felt our defensive team, our defensive staff, our coaching staff, and our team was very, very happy about winning the game number one. Then the way in which we played defensively, in which we have been giving up lots of yards. We've been winning more than losing, but giving up lots of yards and everyone has not been shy of pointing that out. So, when you turn around and have a game like that, there is a cause to be very happy about the fact that you went ahead and designed and put forth a good, solid week of practice and the players responded and played like we did on Sunday afternoon, you're happy about it. And that's exactly what it is. Anytime, you win in this league, you're happy about it because it's very difficult to win.

Q: Back to the passing game, was Eli bothered by the winds or anything? It seemed like a lot of his passes were very high.

No. I think he was on his back foot a little bit, but I don't think it was the wind. Sometimes it was the rush.

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