Press Confernece: Tom Coughlin

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

Q: When you looked at the film this morning, were there any more encouraging signs than the performance you saw, or was it as bad as you thought it was last night?
A: Well, it was pretty bad.  To be honest with you, there were times that I thought the pass protection was pretty good.  The last couple of kickoff returns, two or three kickoff returns, I thought were encouraging.  We drove the ball down a couple of times only to have the inability to get it in the end zone.  As poorly as we played, if we were able to connect on the long post ball --which was challenged and overruled – had we had that ball, possibly in stride and then been able to do something with the two other times we were down late in the game, we may have been able to make a run right at the end of the game.  But other than that, there wasn't a lot to be encouraged about.
 
Q: At this point in dealing with Eli Manning's slump, do you think it's more technical in terms of him and what he's doing throwing the ball, or is it just mental decisions and he's just not making very good ones?
A: There obviously were poor decisions made last night.  I think the first interception, if the ball was thrown a little further, you may get a classic scramble drill reception for a relatively big play, a 40-yard play.  But it's just slightly underthrown, and those are the consequences.  The second interception, I don't know that there's any real way that you can excuse that.  The defender is clearly planted in front of the receiver.  The ball goes there and it's an interception.  It's a bothersome thing.  I think that there's certainly some fundamental work to be done, but I think what really – and I have to spend some time thinking about this, because early in the year when the offense was playing well and the defense wasn't playing well, it was an idea – The thought was to help the defense, to help them help themselves by returning to the kind of football we wanted to play.  And we were able to do that.  We ran the ball better, we held the ball longer, the defense did a better job of getting on and off the field, and also giving us the ball, and special teams contributed as well.  Now you're looking at the opposite, in my opinion.  You're out of sync, you're out of whack.  There's not momentum.  There isn't any flow to your game because the offense is not playing well.  While the defense did not play well last night, the defense had been playing well and had improved over the course of weeks to show that.  So now we're in a situation where I have to spend some time thinking about how we might be able to get back in sync and playing together again – offense, defense and special teams.  It would be easy for me just to sit here and say if we get our running game going, we're going to be able to do that a little bit better, take a little bit of pressure off the defense.  But I'll spend some time thinking about how we'd go about that. 
 
Q: Is any of that play calling?  You said last night you didn't think you ran as much as you should have.
A: That's an easy thing to say after a game when you've only run the ball 14 times.  I would like…And that's not the play caller.  It's the same sense that you had when you were watching the game, that we weren't making any yardage with the run.  We were not in sync offensively.  Our passing game had no rhythm and we needed to do something, which we've done in the past effectively, to help our tempo and to allow for Eli (Manning) to get into some type of a rhythm.  With regard to that, when we go to the no-huddle, we do run the ball out of the no-huddle, but we obviously throw a lot more than we run it.  Now, I think the real issue again is the fact that there are no first downs – there are 13 first downs, and the fact that there's 31 percent on third down and there's only 56 plays again.  Now, there were only 56 plays a week ago, as you know.  These are the areas – I don't – It'd be nice to be able to say, yeah, we needed to run the ball more, which we do.  But that wasn't the sense that you had or I had in watching the game as the game unfolded.  It was more of a need to do something about our tempo and not necessarily the play-calling or the ratio of run-to-pass as much as to get the quarterback and the offense in some kind of rhythm – to hold the ball longer, to do something with the ball.  Our defense, to be honest with you, had done -- to prevent touchdowns and force them to kick field goals – had done a decent job of that.  But we didn't stop the run.  We didn't stop the play-action pass.  We didn't run the ball.  We turned the ball over.  We didn't keep the ball and we did not have a lot of rhythm offensively.  The first thought on my behalf was to try to create some way in which we got into a little bit more sync offensively, increased our tempo, and perhaps got some points out of that type of play.
 
Q: That's the second week in a row you've mentioned the tempo issue.  What can you do, besides the drastic measure of going to a no-huddle?
A: I think if we go…If you rush the ball, or if you try to rush the ball and you do a good job of at least threatening that, you do have the play-action pass option.  You stay away – We didn't have many penalties last night, but you stay away from those difficult first-and-20-type situations and perhaps you use some of your check down approach, if you will, a run.  Our screens were pretty effective last night and they were in conjunction with the way in which the game was going.  We came out from behind a really big down-and-distance deficit to make a first down in the second half.  But I think you have to be able to go ahead and rush the ball with some consistency to give yourself some opportunities and play-action pass to create a little bit of a sense of consistency in terms of your execution, which is where we are not.  I mentioned to the players last night, as probably I mentioned to you, I think we're somewhere…We're definitely leaving a number of plays on the field compared to the number of plays that we make.  Now whether it be last night's epidemic of dropped balls or whatever, we're not making plays in the ratio where seven, eight, nine to one, in terms of making plays rather than not making plays.  Certainly execution, at this time in the year – There's nothing like it.  I didn't…I thought that the opponent last night executed well enough offensively to keep us somewhat off-balance, to keep a number of players down in the box, to throw the individual play-action passes when they needed to.  So it's an execution thing, I think, at this time in the year.  I went back earlier last week because I wanted to see how in the world the Chargers came back from behind 28-7 to Cincinnati to win, and I thought I was going to find something magical.  There's nothing magical.  It's just execution – throwing a check down, running the power-play, throwing some semis, getting some speed-out cuts.  Just methodically doing a good job into the blitz.  It's execution right now.  Although I say we pass-protected fairly well, we certainly have the yardage when we did run the ball that gave us the advantage down and distance.  More often than not in that number, the small number of snaps that we had last night with the run, it was second-and-8.
 
Q: Some coaches for a change of pace or to try to kick-start things, have taken over play-calling.  Have you thought about that at all?
A:  I don't think that's the issue.
 
Q: One of the things Eli's teammates and coaches have said is that he doesn't get rattled and he doesn't get frustrated, but the last couple of weeks – especially last night --  he looked rattled and frustrated.  Is that the case?  Is he?
A: I don't think…I'm certainly…I know that he's concerned.  I do not think that he gets rattled.  I know that he was frustrated a couple a couple of times at some of the opportunities that he had that didn't prevail, both on his – with regard to his situation, and then with the dropped balls.  I think there probably is frustration.  I think any normal human being would be frustrated when things consistently don't go your way, and that was the case last night.  I think everybody's frustrated.  He does not have the (market cornered) on frustration.  He doesn't…I wouldn't say that I would look hard for that, but I don't think that ‘rattled' was necessarily the case.  I think he's anxious about making a play.
 
Q: Do you see that anxiousness translating into he's losing his mechanics a bit and the fundamentals that he was talking about?
A: I don't know that you…Those kinds of things are just speculation.  You can see sometimes when he's moved out of the pocket he's either thrown the ball high or he's underthrown a deeper ball, if you will.  It may be…He may be just a little bit off on where exactly in a perfect world you'd like the ball to be.  Still, I think it has to be categorized as catchable.  Nevertheless, (it's) not always the simplest of catches.  Certainly I think a week ago when we did have a couple of high throws, those were mechanics.  He's very much aware of that.  So we continue to work on that.  You're looking for – And I understand it.  I understand that you're concerned and that you want to have something concise to write with regard to this, but I don't think it's that simple.  I don't think I can just sit here and give you two lines that tell you exactly what's going to be corrected and how it's going to be corrected.  We're going to have to fight our way out of this just like we fought our way earlier in the year out of the predicament we put ourselves in then.  It's not necessarily simple.  Maybe it's not that complex, but to explain it verbally is not necessarily going to give you the kind of answer you want.
 
Q: Knowing all of that, do you remain committed to letting Eli work this out, or is a change something you'd consider at all?
A: No, I think what we have to do is get the improvement, get Eli back on track.
 
Q: Were there any injuries to come out of the game last night?
A: The only injury that I think was discussed with you was (Barry) Cofield, and it really…It's not as much a knee as it is a groin.  I think you guys had it as a knee.  He did get a bump on the knee, but that didn't turn out to be much. – But he does have a groin.
 
Q: Were Chris Snee and Gibril Wilson OK? They were limping and being worked on a little after the game.
A: I think they are.  They both are going to be on the report, but they're not going to miss anything.
 
Q: On the injury report with what injury?
A: They got bumped, that's all.  And they're not going to miss a thing.
 
Q: Do you expect Barry Cofield to practice tomorrow?
A: I don't know that he will.  We'll see.  It depends on how much he improves.  He's limited.  He will be limited and if he can go it will be probably limited, but nevertheless, we'll see.
 
Q: Are you expecting any of the guys that didn't make the trip to come back this week?
A: On paper, no.  I have not been given the green light on any of them.  I know they're going to continue to work with Brandon Short and he may make some progress here that I'm not aware of, but we'll have to see.
 
Q: Sinorice Moss did make the trip and he was inactive, nevertheless.  Was that basically a game-time decision?  You didn't see enough of him doing what you want to see in warm-ups, or…?
A: No, no.  As you know, you're not supposed to warm anybody up that's on that list.  That's not always followed, but we follow it.  No, it was…He has made some progress and he's getting more confident.  We have to see him more.  I thought he practiced every day last week, he earned the right to be on the trip and that I would make a decision based on our status and if we were healthy and if the receivers that had been working were going to get up game day morning and feel good and there would be no illness or anything like that, then I would stay with Sinorice being inactive.
 
Q: Knowing how you feel about the traditions of football, how did you feel about  Jack Del Rio and Mike Nolan wearing the suits on the sideline?
A:  I read about that earlier in the week and from my understanding it was a tribute to the coaches who had in other days, had worn coats and ties, and that was – I think Mike Nolan was the first to mention it and he wanted to do it out of respect for his dad.  That being the case, I think it's a wonderful way to pay tribute.
 
Q: How did Bob Whitfield do in place of Luke Petitgout this week?
A: He did all right.  There's always some things you'd like to have back.  He had the one holding penalty and he did have a false start, but I thought he did a pretty good job and obviously we all need to do better.
 
Q: He didn't do anything there that would entice you to go to Plan B?
A: Not at this moment, no.  You know, you're asking me a question like that and at this point in time, no.  It is a short week, but at this point in time, no.
 
Q: When offenses struggle, coaches tend say let's find five or six things we do well and let's do that.  Can you do that?
A: Well, that certainly is one thought-process and hopefully we'll…We may be able to do something along those lines.  I'd like to discover something…I'd like to do something well, offensively do something well to encourage everyone, including our defense. 
 
Q: We all know what a high work ethic Eli Manning has.  As he tries to work himself out of this slump, how much harder can he work, or what things can he work on knowing that he already pushes himself to the max?
A: Well, we like to put him in those situations in practice where he sees exactly what he's going to see in the game, and then to have him carry over with those things in reality at game time.  I think we can continue to work along those lines.  I just think it's a matter of he has to work his way out of it.  He has to play his way out of it.

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