Coughlin: No Solace in Playing Well & Losing.

Tom Coughlin met the media Sunday afternoon as the Giants were awaiting word on exactly when they would play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here are the highlights of what Coughlin had to say.

Q: How is Shaun O'Hara looking?

A: The MRIs are today, so we will see.

Q: MRIs for all three guys or just O'Hara?

A: All three. They are going to do (take an MRI) any time (in cases like this).

Q: Do you have any sense on any of those guys before the tests are in?

A: (Craig) Dahl, he is down, that is an ACL. The other two guys (Kawika Mitchell and O'Hara) are just sprained MCLs and both actually feel better today. We need to check the MRIs to see how aggressive we can be.

Q: How about Sam Madison?

A: He was sore but was talking pretty positive so we will see.

Q: When you saw the tape of O'Hara's injury do you feel like you may have dodged a bullet if it is a MCL and something he might be able to manage?

A: Like I say, sometimes you can see them and they are what you thought they were and other times… To be honest with you, during the course of the game, I just looked up and saw Shaun down and then when I looked at it on tape, as I said, they both feel a little bit better today but we will see.

Q: Grey Ruegamer played well in his place?

A: Grey played pretty good, yeah.

Q: Did the gains you made outweigh the risk of possibly losing a couple of starters?

A: I would again challenge you on who you are going to pick out as starters who aren't going to play. How are you going to do that? I think that, as I said last night, I thought that we gained momentum from the quality of our play. We are obviously very disappointed we didn't win and I think that goes without saying. We did gain some momentum I thought coming out of Buffalo, coming out of last night, and I don't know that you can move toward the playoffs in a better way than to play against the number one team in the league, a team that is 16-0, and hold your own at least for the majority of the evening. I think those were all positives and it is unfortunate that we have been quite some time without any season-ending type injury and I was disappointed and I feel bad for young Craig Dahl, who was injured in the special teams area. I am just being very hopeful on the other two, but as far as whether we play any differently? No.

Q: A lot of the players afterward did not take any solace in playing close; they were pretty upset that they lost?

A: Well, I don't know what you are accusing me of. I don't think there is any solace in playing well and losing, I have always said that. There were some positives and you are misconstruing what I call a positive. I told the team that this would be a positive experience for us and we would gain momentum from the game and we did. We didn't win, we all know that, and as soon as you guys can finish asking questions about that game, we will start to go forward here.

Q: How much did Eli really need a game like this moving forward into the playoffs?

A: He really did some outstanding things and obviously he had a good night in terms of the four touchdowns. We are disappointed in the interception, and naturally when you break the game down you have a couple of situations. We had a penalty early that was a third-and-14 with a sack and that ended up turning into a touchdown drive and then the interception ended up being a touchdown drive as well. I thought Eli played very well, he threw the ball very well, he distributed the ball around very well to multiple receivers, he moved in the pocket. Coming out of the Buffalo game I think the one thing that you do have to realize is that with as much running yardage as we had, he is a central figure in that as well for the job that he does in directing the run and etcetera. I think that you have had obviously a strong team win in Buffalo and then last night it was very good for us to have Eli play well.

Q: Did his performance last night and at the beginning of the year in Dallas make you wonder where performances like that were during the rest of the season?

A: No, I just take them one at a time and obviously each game is different, there is a different set of circumstances for each game, and you just have to go with it from that standpoint. In terms of the quality of the game that he played, it couldn't have come at a better time.

Q: What jumps out at you about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

A: I have looked at all their special teams and they are very, very quick and fast and a very good special teams outfit. We know the same of their defense and how the quality in which they are playing and the fact that they are leading the league in the fewest points given up and then offensively Garcia has had a strong year, he is playing very well, and the players that you recognize, the Galloways, Grahams, those guys, are all having good years and we just have to dig away at this. We are just getting started on that. I am, anyway, and we have had our briefings with the pro scouting people so we are just starting to dig in here.

Q: If Ahmad Bradshaw is back next week, how much did Domenik Hixon's performance cause you to consider using him next week?

A: We are going to utilize all the talent we can and I thought that Domenik's play was outstanding. As a matter of fact a couple of those runs where he bounced the ball outside were an awful lot of his ability. I think the return for a touchdown was a clinic. You put that on and see the way it was blocked and see the way in which he came through the hole and then broke to the outside. I thought it was an outstanding ‘all 11,' if you will, participating in something that was very nice to see. There were a couple of other ones that were his ability and so we are going to utilize the talent of everybody we can.

Q: Do you think Ahmad Bradshaw will be available next week?

A: I do.

Q: Same with Kevin Dockery?

A: I hope so. I don't know a whole lot more about that. In passing quickly through downstairs and visiting with Ronnie (Barnes) for a minute, he thought that Ahmad was getting stronger, feeling better, and he had the same comment about Dockery. We will just have to see.

Q: Would you use Ruegamer at center this week if O'Hara can't go?

A: We have a couple of days to see where we are headed in that direction. Ruegamer finished the other night and played well.

Q: Was it a bit tempting to try to look at the Tampa tape last week to get ahead on it?

A: I did some work myself. I did some work on Friday and Saturday utilizing some of the hours that were there. I started that and I am sure some of the other coaches did although many times the coordinators do not want to have anything else interfering with their thought process.

Q: Is there any update on Sinorice Moss?

A: No, just that progress is being made and we will see.

Q: What is unique about Jeff Garcia?

A: We have played against him before. He is very comfortable in the offense that he is currently running. He has done a good job of directing the ball around. They are a team that controls the ball in a lot of different ways with a lot of different formations, a lot of shifting and a lot of moving, and he is playing and performing well. I don't know what you would call different, it is West coast, Jon Gruden-style, and he is playing it very well. I think that he has been in systems that are similar in Philadelphia, in San Francisco, and now in Tampa and it is something that he is very familiar with.

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