Press Conference: Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin addressed the media yesterday to discuss a variety of topics.

Q: Have you addressed the Jeremy Shockey issue?

A: Shockey and I talked. Jeremy and I talked and what we did discuss and what we decided will remain private.

Q: Is it resolved to your satisfaction?

A: That will remain private.

Q: Can you say if he apologized?

A: No, I'm not going to say anything. That's between the player and me.

Q: Are you concerned when a player chooses to voice his frustrations with the media?

A: Naturally I'm concerned. I'm concerned because there's nothing to be gained by pointing the finger. If you're truly a team and you're in it together, we win or lose together. We don't make a point of pointing the finger at anyone. When we lose, I lose. I take the responsibility for the loss. That's my job. Everything else should be, if there is something that needs to be said, my door is always open. Come on in, sit down and talk to me. I'd be glad to talk to you about it.

Q: Do you see any validity at all in what he said?

A: I'm done talking about that issue. I had my conversation with him, and that's it.

Q: After your team meeting this morning – and we are aware that you addressed this in some capacity -- how unified do you think your players are?

A: I think the players are very much unified in the fact that we're disappointed in this loss. We did not play as well as we planned on playing, hoped to play, and we'd certainly like to have an opportunity to do something about it.

Q: Did they do anything defensively that you were not ready for?

A: No. Their style of attack is basically the same aggressive style that they had played probably since we left there a year ago. They are a good defensive team. I think their safeties played well yesterday, obviously. Their front is a good, aggressive front. Their middle backer is a good player. Did they scheme to do anything other than something we (had) seen on film? No.

Q: The defense said they didn't do anything unexpected, but Matt Hasselbeck said they went with four wides, which was nothing the Giants could have expected. Is there a discrepancy there?

A: Only the fact that we, because of the tight end situation going in, we had planned to see what we call queens, which is three wides and two backs, and flush, which is four wides. It's probably the extent to which the four wides was used, which you did not have an idea how much they would use it, but the fact that they used it was not a surprise because of the tight end situation. Whether they stayed with it because they had some success, or whether they stayed with it because it was their plan to play it a certain amount of snaps, I wouldn't know the answer to that. But they have used four wides before. Not this year, but they have used it before.

Q: When you look at the tape, do you still consider the offensive scheme that you had to be the right one, and it was just a matter of execution?

A: I do. I think without a doubt. To start the game with the interceptions the way we did, that has nothing to do with the way that we play. Had we been able to, even if we don't make those, punt the ball away. Give yourself a chance. Don't give them the ball at the 41 yard-line, like they did all day long. They got it at the 41 and we got it at the 29. When you look at the number of plays that were the interception plays, the dropped balls, the fumbles, you see that there was a chance to be successful in the normal offense using multiple personnel, being in position to use the play-action pass, running the ball, if you will, from the two-back scheme. There were opportunities there. We didn't take very good advantage of them. Our execution was spotty, as you know, until we lined up in the no-huddle there at the end of the game.

Q: How much of Plaxico Burress being on the bench at the end of the game was health-related?

A: Plaxico, as I mentioned yesterday, injured his back against Philadelphia, injured his back in practice on Wednesday, spent Thursday and Friday trying to recover, went into the game and because of the injury – it's all related – was ineffective in his play and that's why he came out.

Q: Do you think the fumbles two weeks in a row were because of his back? There seems to be a carelessness there.

A: I think there is the ball coming out from the side, which, we don't teach that. We teach high and tight. Whether he ever got it put away or not, I don't know, because Trufant came right over the top as the ball was being caught. But a turnover is a turnover. There is no excuse for it, so however you want to describe that, Plaxico is well aware of that. The ball has to get up there high and tight, no doubt. I think some of his movement was affected by the fact that his back was bothering him.

Q: How difficult of a decision was the two-point conversion, because even if you got it, it would still be a two-possession game?

A: Yes, but what we were playing for there was to put ourselves in a position where if we had to kick a field goal, we could kick the field goal and still be in striking distance with the touchdown. We thought that time was of the essence the entire second half, especially following their long drive in the third quarter. We were able to score twice quickly with coming back on the strike after the interception and then intercepting and scoring. We were able to strike fast, but the clock was definitely our enemy. At that point in time, we had moved the ball down, we had driven it the length of the field, we had been in position where we scored. I thought our momentum was good. That chart said go for two. I didn't think time was in our favor. We went for two there, rather than hold off, which I normally do – wait until one more. But the fact that we could put it to a ten-point game was what our thinking was at that point in time. And I didn't even really consider anything other than making a two-point play. Just as, I will tell you right now, when I accepted the penalty for the delay of game and we put the punt block on, I expected to block the punt and have a chance to be in position closer to the opponent's goal line. It didn't work, obviously. We never got a chance to really close the gap a whole lot more.

Q: I know your defense was in bad position a lot of the game, but for the second week in a row the receivers were running around with no one on them. Is that a schematic thing or a coverage thing?

A: It's got to be both. You're talking about four of five touchdowns in the redzone, which basically aren't contested. And that, there's no excuse for that. No matter what scheme you're playing, to have people running free is just not what we're trying to accomplish there. We have a lot more work to do with regard to that. Again, if you want to point the blame, point it right at me, but that certainly isn't what we're all about.

Q: Are they finding open spots there, or are guys just blowing coverages?

A: Well, there's obviously some blown coverages there, but there are people who are almost in position and can't quite get there. Holding something off underneath and then trying to be responsible behind there, we were late getting there a couple of times. But those obvious, wide-open seam balls, there's no excuse for that. There's people out of position there.

Q: Is the lack of execution on both sides of the ball a result of a lack of concentration?

A: No. I think you have to give some credit to the guy across the ball. Why we started the game like that – I think someone asked me last night – it might have been you, Vinny – you used the word ‘flat'. We started the game in Philly with a touchdown drive. I don't think it was flat there. We still have the same problem, and that is getting people off the field. Yesterday we held the MVP of the league to, what, a 2.6 average? And it looked like, in terms of everything that was going on, that they were being very successful with the run as well as the pass. Really, in reality, they weren't running the ball. We were doing a decent job of stopping the run, but when they went to the pass game, they were successful a high percentage of the time, when the ball wasn't being intercepted. We did get three interceptions yesterday and we did have a touchdown off of one of the interceptions. We did a good job against the run. We're not stopping the pass right now. Your next question is going to be about pressure. We did have some pressure yesterday, but an up-rhythm, up-tempo passing game, a lot of which is three steps -- if it's not three it's a quick five – sometimes is difficult to get to the quarterback. There were times we had pressure. Obviously we don't have enough.

Q: Do you think you and Tim Lewis are going to have to think about changing anything?

A: The good thing about this is we have an opportunity this week to study ourselves first, and that's where we're going to be. Whatever decisions are made after we study ourselves will be in the way of trying to correct some of these problems.

Q: Was the defense predicated on the idea that four guys could get a lot of pressure on the quarterback?

A: Our research and our study, as we looked at the opponents who have had some success against Seattle, including the playoff games, etc., led us to thoughts along those lines, yes.

Q: R.W. McQuarters hasn't been perfect, but he has made two interceptions. Is he someone you'd consider giving a starting spot?

A: The first thing is, we'll talk about personnel as we look at ourselves in our first three games and certainly all of those things will be considered, but right now I wouldn't say.

Q: It seems like the play clock gets down to one or two seconds before the ball is snapped with the set-offense, but in a no-huddle you have no problem getting it off.

A: That's because you're out over the ball the entire time. Where you saw a little bit of panic and frustration in getting the clock yesterday, that is a result of making sure everyone is in communication with one another and between the center communicating with the front, and then getting organized to make the silent count. That's where you saw some of that ‘hurry up, snap the ball'.

Q: Is the quick tempo beneficial to your offense?

A: It is, but I still am going to tell you that my feelings are that you have to be able to run it and you have to be able to stop the run. We have not really played, in the last two weeks, the way we would like to play because of the score, or whatever, being unable to stop them. The run is unbalanced. When you look at us and we're 15 runs, that's not right. That's not where we want to be, and so some of this, we're going to have to live with that. We try to get out over the ball with plenty of time to snap the ball. Sometimes it doesn't occur like that, especially when you're really trying to make sure everybody hears every exact word in the huddle, which we were doing yesterday.

Q: Do you feel this is one of the more crucial junctures of your time here, given your record and –

A: I just look at every situation as extremely important. I'm never going to downplay one for another. We did not play well yesterday. One week ago, everybody was in here and was all excited about the finish. We didn't play well yesterday – the first half was poorly played. That's where we are. We have to try to correct that and to get our team playing the way we're capable of playing.

Q: How much of the blown coverages are mental errors by specific players and how much is miscommunication?

A: There wasn't as much miscommunication yesterday. But there's plenty of room for all of the areas…Being in the right spot, playing the coverage properly, recognizing what the opponent is trying to do, trying to match-up their patterns – all of those things are part of this problem.

Q: Is there an expectation that a team with veteran players should police themselves in the locker room with the media?

A: Well, you would hope that the thinking is clear on that subject, and you would hope that they veteran guys have strong opinions about it.

Q: Why are there such inconsistencies in your game?

A: Nobody wants to see the ball drop. Nobody wants to see a blown coverage. Nobody wants to see somebody running undefended. The only thing I can tell you is, we recognize it, we look at it, we discuss it, we correct it, and we take into consideration all of those things the following week when decisions are made on how we're going to play. The ball we're talking about with Tim Carter – and you have to remember, there were guys…Tim Carter is one of those guys who didn't get a chance to practice a lot last week, came out and played, hung in there. He had the big drop, there's no doubt about that, but he hung in there. He created an opportunity for himself for a couple of balls and got us in the endzone one other time as well. Sam Madison, who had the little sprain of the ankle, played well. He did a good job, I thought, yesterday, with the exception of one or two plays. Just keep trying to correct and trying to put people in a position where they can take full advantage of their ability. That's what all the design is about. Try to evaluate what they do and what you do to put people in a position where they can succeed. We're continually trying to do that. How inconsistencies occur, that's a good question. It would be great to think that you're going to catch every ball, that you're going to be in the right place all of the time, that you're going to make all of the open-field tackles, that you're going to get to the quarterback. It didn't happen yesterday, and with any kind of consistency, so that's something that definitely has to be improved.

Q: Have you thought about making any changes to the starting offensive line?

A: I don't necessarily think that – That came up this morning. We'll consider everything in the next couple of days.

Q: How is Carlos Emmons?

A: He's going through the tests. I don't know anything right now more than you do.

Q: Are you surprised that twice in the last four games, if you count the Carolina game, a player has been bold enough to question you, on the record, unprovoked?

A: Am I surprised? I am surprised. It's extremely disappointing. Not done. What can I tell you?

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