Press Conference: Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin answered questions for the media today. Here are some of the questions:

Q: Is Gibril Wilson going to practice today?

A: Gibril is not going to work.  He's going to run on the side.  We'll see how far he goes, how far we get with that.  He's feeling better, and hopefully we'll get the green light for him to go tomorrow, but we'll see.

Q: Based on the defensive effort last week against a mobile quarterback at Atlanta, what is your outlook going against a not as mobile quarterback?

A: The Dallas offense has accomplished a lot.  You're talking about a team that is third in the league in the rush and averaging 350 yards per game, averaging 29 points per game.  Drew Bledsoe has done a good job in that capacity, as the quarterback of that team.  He's not Michael Vick -- take the ball and run it to the sideline, run the option and that type of thing.  They do move him out of the pocket, and they've done a good job protecting the passer.  He presents a whole different array of problems and obviously any game at this level – the NFL, or any level – the idea is to get after the quarterback.
RE: Having to know where Terrell Owens is at all times.

A: You have to know about everybody, though.  Terry Glenn, Terrell Owens, (Jason) Witten, whoever.  They're all – (Julius) Jones, (Marion) Barber, (Patrick) Crayton -- They're all outstanding players.  Crayton led their team in receptions last weekend, while Terrell catches three touchdown passes.  They have a diversified attack and they spread the ball around very well.
Q: When you look at Barry Cofield now, is he a rookie you can put in at nose tackle-

A: First of all, he earned the right to be the nose tackle for the New York Giants.  He earned the right in training camp, and he's made constant and steady progress.  He's still a rookie and he's still learning.  I think you learn always.  I don't care how long you're in the league.  He's still learning as he goes along and seeing new things, but playing hard.  Obviously the play that he made the other day with the sack is a whole different dimension to him.
Q: Is that what he is, a nose tackle?  Because he could have played both spots.  Is he a nose tackle now?

A: He certainly is playing the nose tackle position for us to the point where we're happy with his progress and that's where he'll be for now.

Q: How, if at all, will Dallas' 3-4 defense affect your plan for Tiki Barber?

A: It's a different scheme, it's a different presentation.  They play it very well – 67 yards per game rushing is all they're giving up.  It's always an adaptation to whatever team you're going to play, and certainly we will have to make adjustments with this, but balance has been good for our team, and hopefully we will be able to maintain that level of balance.
Q: There was a lot of talk last week about the Falcons' rushing defense and how good they are.  How does this defense differ?

A: It's not a four-man line.  This is three-man line with two outstanding outside linebackers – big guys who can run, with (Greg) Ellis being at one spot (and DeMarcus) Ware at the other.  Bradie James and Akin Ayodele in the middle, running the show in the middle…So it's a three-man line, but it's very well put-together.  It's very sound.  Their two-gappers, they do a very good job of that, and of course, with Roy Williams coming down in the front, it's an extremely formidable front.
Q: Owens obviously gets a lot of attention, as have many other receivers.  Is there anything about that position that lends itself to that?

A: I think it's probably an extension of the way in which the position has been magnified at our level and seeps down into the college level.  Sometimes we make a mistake and get away from the team idea.  Everyone wants the football.  It's important to people to have an opportunity.  I think that's the only thing I can say about that.  It's a team game where we're constantly trying to have all 11 participate, whether it's run or pass.  You can't be successful without all 11 people doing their job.  That's the area that we try to emphasize.
Q: Between Glenn and Owens, Dallas really has two number one receivers.  How challenging is it to slow down an offense like that?

A: Well, you said it.  They're both outstanding players and they compliment each other well.  No matter how you look at it, they both have the ability to go deep, they both can play short, they both can cross the field and they both are threats when they catch the ball to run.  Again, whether you're talking about Crayton, whether you're talking about Witten – Whoever you're talking about, they do have a group that does an outstanding job, and they're all very good players in their own right.
Q: Will you double cover Owens?

A: That's all part of the strategic preparation.
Q: How good is DeMarcus Ware?

A: He's very good.  He's very athletic.  He's very smooth.  He can rush; he can come off and be in coverage.  He's obviously grown from his rookie year to this year.  He's a very good player.

Q: Some people think he might be the next great linebacker.  Do you see him as demanding some extra attention already?

A: I think there's no doubt that when a guy plays that position and then becomes a defensive end in the sub-package, that he has very good skill as a pass-rusher, and that requires a lot of attention.
RE: Barber considering retirement

A: I just think this: Tiki is an excellent football player, an integral part of our team.  He's a guy who is extremely well-prepared.  He's a guy who has constantly talked to me this year about winning, about winning now.  We'll deal in the present and deal with those other things when in fact it's time to.

Q: Some people say that once a guy says he's thinking about retiring, he's retired.  Do you see that in Barber?

A: I'm not seeing that.  He's the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Q: Knowing Bill Parcells as you do, do you see some things in the defense you would call signature things that he has always done?

A: Yeah.  The way they play.  It's very sound, very fundamental.  People who are absolute definitions of the positions that they play.  I think the two-gappers play very well inside.
Q: What adjustments will Barber have to make to prepare for the 3-4 defense?

A: What adjustments is Tiki going to make?  As in all preparations, he'll study the front.  He'll know exactly who he is keying, if you will, or reading, in terms of the run responsibilities that he has.  In pass protection, he'll know what his responsibilities are, and how they change and fluctuate according to the three-man line and the four-man line.  His route-adjustments will be a part of recognition of coverage as he comes out of the backfield.  Every week, every player has to start, if you will, from ground zero, from the basics, as they approach an understanding of the opponent.  How the opponent plays, what the opponent's strengths are, what his weaknesses are, what his role is with regard to attacking or defending, or playing on special teams, whatever.  Basically, this morning is his first introduction to this team.  You're talking about a divisional opponent.  You do have some knowledge about the opponent, but of course, there are changes.  There are different personnel from year to year, so there's a lot to have to understand.

Q: Are you going to introduce Carlos Emmons?

A: He's going to work.  He'll start to pick up the workload, as will (Derrick) Ward, as will (Sinorice) Moss…They're all limited.  Those three are limited, but they'll begin to practice more and take more snaps.

Q: What, if any, reaction did you have to yesterday's announcement of threats on NFL stadiums?

A: It's business as usual, with great confidence in the security that's in place by the NFL and by our country.  I just think we continue to go forward, and we work on having great trust and faith in our system.

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