Press Confernece: Tom Coughlin

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

Q:  What would you say about the mindset of your team right now?

A:  I think that we are starting a week with a Monday night game that is of great importance to both teams.  I think we are very focused in our study trying to understand more about this team – the Jacksonville Jaguar team.  We had a very thorough introduction this morning; we are conducting our jog-thru right now.  And I think as the players get more and more involved in the research of this team they will recognize, as we do as coaches, the quality of the team, the balance of the team – defense, offense and special teams.  And of course, due to the fact that it is the next game on our schedule, which is the most important game on our schedule, I think that we will hopefully utilize our frustrations with our loss last week to apply that to our energy as we prepare for this game.

Q:  Did you did you mention anything to the team about going back to Jacksonville?

A:  No, I didn't talk about that at all.

Q:  Have you done anything roster wise?

A:  Justin Tuck will be placed on IR.  Lance Legree is now on the 53.  And he will work today.

Q:  Where was he before?

A:  He was out at the present time.  He was in San Francisco in preseason. 

Q:  Will it be emotional for you to go back to Jacksonville?

A:  I have had plenty of time to talk about this and to think about it.  And I had a press conference yesterday with the media there.  I'm certain that at each stage walking on to the field and that type of thing, memories will come back into my mind.  But I'm going to do the best that I can to contain those types of things.  I do not want to be a distraction to our team.  I don't want anything that occurs there to be that way.  I have some wonderful memories of good times and of bad times in my experience in Jacksonville.  I have many, many friends there.  I have the Jay Fund Foundation that is located there.  And I am extremely thankful for the support that we receive from the community of Jacksonville – Ponte Vedra - northern Florida for the great work that we do there with the Wolfson Children's Hospital – which has been extended, as you know here to the greater New York/New Jersey area.  So I'm sure that those things will enter my mind.  But this is a very, very important game for both teams.  It is a business trip.  It is about the New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguar teams.  And that is what it should be and that is where our focus will be.

Q:  Do you recall at any stage of your career where you have had the injury bug bite as hard as it has?

A:  I don't know that I have ever sat down and thought of it that way.  I've been through some seasons that have had injuries and been through some seasons that have had none.  So as I say, each time I am asked a question of this nature, what we focus on are the players that are going to be playing and the idea that, to a great extent, the players that are out will at some point be back.  And what we have to do is obviously maintain and continue to play well and win while some of these players are gone and then get them back.

Q:  How did Corey Webster play last week in general?

A:  I don't think he played…it is no revelation for me to say that it wasn't his best game, and he does have to play better.

Q:  He has talked a lot, as I know the coaches have, about him about being more aggressive, not settling.  Now in his second year, is that still part of the emphasis for him to just trust himself?

A:  I think so.  I think certainly (he hast to) cover better, cover tighter, have a little more confidence in himself when he breaks on the ball.  There is nothing wrong with when you are off, with having a designated cushion, but when the ball is released you need to be in better, closer position. 

Q:  Is that part of the down and distance scenario?

A:  Somewhat.  Somewhat it is just an instinctive feel for what you are seeing and what is happening to you, what they are trying to do to you.  What is the down and distance?  I think you are referring to the third-and-thirteen, which is again, I had hoped we would have moved on from there, but yes, certainly in that situation, make the tackle, get off the field.

Q:  Are you working on ways to try to get Jeremy Shockey more involve?

A:  We are always working on it.  We always have many, many ways.  The unfortunate thing is that we did not throw the ball very well the other night.  Our passing game wasn't very good.  And we weren't able to do the things that we wanted to do.  We will continue to prepare the same way we always do in terms of trying to involve our entire team and certainly get the ball to the playmakers.

Q:  Was the Bears' approach that novel?

A:  No, no it wasn't.

Q:  Jamming Shockey with the linebackers?

A:  Coming in they had played a lot of funnel coverage, but actually in the game they didn't play as much of that as they did zone.  They had good pressure; there wasn't any doubt about that.  And pressure, from our standpoint, at the wrong time. 

Q:  The other day you were undecided about what you were going to do with the O line.  Does Bob Whitfield hold down that left tackle?

A:  Whitfield will be the left tackle.

Q:  Is Sinorice Moss almost ready?

A:  He is going to have more extensive work this week.  He will have more reps and more opportunities – building his confidence as well as the ability to evaluate him the next day to see that he is coming along.  So that will be extended.

Q:  Will you get anyone back that was out on Sunday?

A:  Emmons will be back.  Emmons is going to practice.  That is basically it.

Q: Brandon Short?

A:  No, not today.

Q:  Are you going to have some guys, like David Diehl, taking snaps at left tackle behind Whitfield?

A:  We will certainly have people there in position to back each other up.  But obviously the majority of the reps have to go to Whitfield. 

Q:  Why Lance Legree – will he be at tackle and end?

A:  We would like to focus right now at end, but he can play inside and he can play outside. And he has played both.

Q:  Why did you decide to bring him back?

A:  There are a series of evaluations and there is a ranking and there is a list of players available to you.  Lance was in a position where he was the highest rated player that we could bring in and so we did.

Q:  You said yesterday that you planned to retire in Jacksonville.  What is it that you like about Jacksonville?

A:  I hope that is a long way off.  I'm not too interested in talking about retirement right now, if you will excuse me.  I don't know why a 45-year old should be talking about retirement.

Q:  Aside from what Tiki may wear around his thumb or may not wear, do you have plans to protect him in other ways, perhaps using him less?

A:  To be honest, we are going to see how this week in practice goes, how he plays the position in all phases and then we will make some decisions.  Last week during that game there really wasn't any need to do anything.  He caught the ball, he blocked, he protected, he ran the ball, he took care of the ball.  His ball security was good.  So we are going to see how that goes this particular week.  And then we will make whatever decisions have to be made later in the week.

Q:  Did the game dictate that Brandon Jacobs only got two carries?

A:  I think so. Fifty-six plays are not very many plays.  The thing that I think everyone has to understand is offense is rhythmical.  When you are 17% on third-downs, you are not very rhythmical. You are not going to get a chance to expound on all of these nice thoughts that you have going in – how to get the ball to different people.  What do you do when you have 13- and 14-play drives, and how nice those things are.  When you are 17% on third-down you are spending most of your time going in and out.

Q:  The challenge will get no easier with Jacksonville; your thoughts on this team.

A:  It is a very good football team.  It is a team that won 12 games a year ago, that has lost one game at home.  It is a team that we have some common knowledge in opponent about.  It is a team that, for example, beat Dallas in the opener.  It is a team that lost by a 21-14 score to the Colts that we opened with.  So we have some knowledge.  They went into Philadelphia and held them to six points, and beat Philadelphia in Philadelphia.  So we know a lot about the common opponents, and because of that we know a lot about the scheme and the players, etc.  They are a very good football team.  As I said before, they are well-balanced.  They do a good job in all phases.  Their special teams are good. 

Q:  Are you preparing for both quarterbacks?

A:  I would like to think that somehow, someway, we might know who we are going to play against.  But you do have to. 

Q:  This is another team that is known for good pass defense, they take the ball away pretty well.  What do they do specifically?

A:  They have good cover guys.  The two corners are outstanding cover people. Grant is good in the middle of the field.  Donovin Darius has always been a physical and asserting guy in the run.  So their secondary is good.  Their pressure is good.  They have people that can rush the passer. 

Q:  What aspect of Kiwanuka's game has surprised you? 

A:  There have been no surprises.  I haven't been surprised by anything that I have seen.  He prepared well. He practiced well.  There are some days he practiced the best of any of the defensive ends.  His pressure was consistent, he has endurance.  He has perseverance.  He seems to have that quality where he continues to come and come and come, which is a very huge positive.  He has played the run well. 

Q:  How much has Fred Taylor changed since you were there?

A:   I don't know that he has changed at all, to be honest with you.  He is having a very good year.  Their rotation between he and Jones-Drew seems to have benefited him.  He has always been an extremely effective ball carrier with vision and quickness.  If there is any kind of daylight, he has the ability to go through it as fast as anyone you play.  He has caught the ball coming out of the backfield.  He has always been a very, very good football player.  He has had some injuries in his career which kind of kept him from being a household word, if you will, in this League.  But believe me, I'm very knowledgeable of his ability.

Q:  Donovin Darius looks like he is coming back strong.  You drafted him.  He has a lot of durability.  He has been around a long time. 

A:  He is a physical player.  He is tough, he is a worker.  He has always been a guy where injury was not going to be a factor for him.  So you talk about him recovering, that is no surprise.


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