Coughlin: I think Kiwi will be OK

A victorious Tom Coughlin met with the New York media at Giants Stadium on Friday before the Giants enjoyed a very rare weekend off. Here are the highlights of what Coach had to say:

Q: Mathias Kiwanuka is alright?

A: I think he will be. The X-rays were okay and he is sore and has a little swelling, but we will see. Hopefully he will be okay.

Q: What did you think of the play where he got hurt?

A: He obviously beat the tackle and the tackle turned around to save a hit on his quarterback and ended up on the back of the legs of the rusher.

Q: Kiwanuka said he thought it was a dirty play?

A: (Chris) Samuels, I spoke to him right after and he said it wasn't intentional and I will just leave that at that.

Q: After evaluating the tape was there anything that stood out or bothered you about the game?

A: Well there are a lot of things. You are talking about the first game of the year. There are a lot of things that have to be improved upon and I told the team that going in. I said it is not going to be perfect, the next play is the most important play, especially to the young guys that they remember that it is not about them, it is about our team and about not letting the other guys down.

Now kickoff coverage obviously has to improve. I am sure there are many teams in the league with the same kind of issues that we have, particularly when you start the season out against a very good return team and a very good returner. You make a couple of errors, you get a couple of people blocked, and the ball comes out to midfield. I told the team at the half, I said, ‘you can't trade three for seven now, that is not going to work.' So I was disappointed in that.

We did have seven penalties, I wasn't pleased with that. We have done a good job of minimizing our penalties. We did have two that were coachable, let's put it that way, in terms of roughing the punter and the personal foul for the late hit. We just have to do a better job of understanding. I think if we had more time to work with Jerome (McDougle) on how to position himself properly when he does come free like that, we may have had a great chance to block a punt. We have to improve along those lines and we have to be smarter and we have to understand some of the professional rules and keep them in mind at all times. I was a little bit mildly upset with that as well.

The green zone wasn't good, we understand that, and we are working hard, we will work hard, to try to be better in that particular area. The defense gave up seven points and that is a huge plus. We didn't get any turnovers. We are constantly striving for turnovers. We didn't get any turnovers and we had one turnover which I am sure Eli would be the first one to say he would rather have the ball back and just throw the ball away.

You expect it, but the great thing is we won at home, we won in the division, and we can teach from the errors that were made here. Sometimes you get frustrated on some things, the communication isn't as good as it should be, it will definitely improve, and so I am very, very excited, positive, and optimistic about it because it was a very physical game and we did very well in that regard. We have a lot of things to build on.

We got a lot of young guys in the game, (Kenny) Phillips was in the game and played well, he is improving. He did a nice job on special teams on a couple of occasions so we did have a lot of contributions.

Q: How did Bryan Kehl do in his first regular season game?

A: He did okay. He made some plays and he is going to improve once he sees a couple of plays as well.

Q: How about Ahmad Bradshaw not getting any carries?

A: That was my fault. I didn't get that rotation worked out the way I really would want to. One of the things was I thought that the runs that we were making… let's face it, you are talking about a really very, very physical defense now, a defense that was eighth in the league last year. You are lining up against a very physical, stout defense, an outstanding front, (Jason) Taylor played pretty much the whole game so they were intact with the exception of Springs, who I know they missed having on the field. When we were making yards they were tough yards and I was pleased with some of the things that were happening with Jacobs and then with Derrick Ward. Not that I am not pleased with Bradshaw. No, that is not the case, but I just didn't get the right rotation.

Q: Is that a tough thing for you? Dividing up 30 or so carries between three running backs?

A: It is not easy, but the roles will develop. The roles will get better. Fortunately for us, what we have are guys that can do all three, to be honest with you. They can pass protect, they know the pass protection rules, they have done a good job with that in the past, and so we don't particularly spot them in and out on any one down. It normally plays itself out because all those guys you know you have to be involved in special teams as well. Bradshaw has his multiple special teams assignments, Derrick Ward has special teams assignments.

Q: When you are in a national spotlight game is it important to go out and make a statement?

A: I think the statement that you want to make is about the number one thing about our game is the physical aspect of the game and I think that is where it starts. Being a smart team, as I mentioned I have already talked about penalties, wanting to eliminate them, to play good, smart football, to not turn it over, but the effort is the key. The effort and the physical play and I always tell our team that if they make a great effort we will support them, we can live with whatever, and we definitely can coach off that kind of effort. That is the number one thing for me, the kind of purpose that you play with, demonstrated purpose for all to see.

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