Coughlin ‘proud' of Turnover Record

Tom Coughlin met with the New York media on Monday afternoon, a day after his club set an NFL record that was tied later in the day by Miami. All season long, the Giants only lost 13 turnovers. Needless to say, that made the head man happy. Here's the best of the rest of what he had to say about the upcoming two weeks leading up to New York's first playoff game.

Q: Is there any hope that Sam Madison (broken ankle) could not go on IR, or is that inevitable at this point?

A: I don't think so. I think you are talking about a too-short term here for recovery and come back. And although that hasn't been discussed today, last night after the game it was felt that he would unfortunately have to be finished; his season would come to an end. 

Q: The way he kind of helps coach up the young defensive backs you will probably still want him around, I would imagine?

A: Oh yeah, any time you have a guy that has been a factor like he has in terms of his attitude, which has been great, and his ability to offer advice to a bunch of young guys who are all ears, I just think that is a great thing. 

Q: Do you have a reaction to Eric Mangini being let go?

A: I'm very saddened …. And I feel very badly for Eric and his family. And that will be the extent of it. 

Q: Is there any potential downside to a bye, just in terms of not having that game speed?

A: There can be, I think. It depends on your approach to it. But I certainly think that we can take advantage of it.   

Q: Is it difficult knowing that you have a game in two weeks but not knowing who you are going to play?

A: Well, it gives you a chance, I think, to take things one step at a time. As I said, there are things – being concerned about our team and our improvement and yes, our health – those things all seem to work hand in hand. And I think being concerned about our team this week is a natural stepping stone into discovering who it is we will play and then progressing on towards zooming in on an opponent.    

Q: You are beginning to scout and look ahead to the three possible opponents. Do you just naturally have to focus more on, I guess, the Falcons because they are the only one of the three teams you haven't seen yet?

A: We have seen the Falcons a couple of times of late here in preparation. And that has been good. So we will do a little extra study as coaches in that particular area this week and then try to be up to speed on all three teams. All of the information that we will need will be in the computer and ready to go by the end of this week. 

Q: Does it matter at all to you who you play?

A: I don't think – you are more or less sitting there saying, ‘Well, who is it going to be?' It isn't a matter of trying to say who you would rather play, I think it is just – you are playing the waiting game and there is no sense in doing anything other than that. Speculation is exactly what it is – speculation. So as I say, we will work on ourselves and we will try to be as patient as we can as we wait and see through the weekend who it is we will play. 

Q: Were there any other injuries that came out of yesterday that concern you? Or is it just natural nicks and bumps, other than Madison?

A: You saw Michael Johnson come out with his quad contusion. He seems to be doing better today, Mike Matthews with the sprained ankle that we will wait and see on that. I know they are going to do an MRI on Mike and try and get the swelling down and that type of thing. But otherwise I think it was the normal bumps and bruises that come out of a ball game. 

Q: What were your thoughts on the turnover record that you guys now share with the Dolphins?

A: I think that any time you realize how important something is to a team and how it is drilled over and over and how it is such a huge key to success for us, and we talk about it, it is always one of two or three things that are foremost on our minds in terms of keys to victory. And to have our team exemplify that I think it is a very positive thing when you look at the record and what has been accomplished, certainly to large extent by being able to handle the ball and control the ball and not turn the ball over and not put your defense in bad situations, not deny yourselves opportunities to score; not take drives off the table. So I just feel it is a heck of a tribute to our team and the aspects of special teams, and certainly our offensive team, and even our defense when they have their hands on the ball, they all participate in the formulation of what is essential to us – the principals by which we play. And certainly that is one of them. So to our team – and the credit goes to the coaches and the players who have been able to go out and really set this NFL record. We are proud of that. 

Q: Within that record, is that pretty amazing – you had just one fumble lost by your running backs all of the times you ran the ball?

A: That is a very good stat for us. I wish it were zero, but that is a heck of a stat. And we preach that over and over. We did have the one ball game down in Philly where we put the ball on the ground too many times. And since that point on I think the tremendous emphasis that has gone into that and the players have responded well. 

Q: How about the fact that you became the first team since 1985 to have two running backs go over 1,000 yards. Is that a credit, not only to the two running backs, but to your offensive line?

A: It is credit to everyone; it really is. It is an emphasis. It is a credit to the coaching staff. It is a credit to the offensive line; certainly the tight ends, the receivers, the fullback who does an outstanding job as a lead blocker in front of our ball carrier on so many different occasions, and then also to our ball carriers. And I think that it is a great thing. The little that I have been able to pick up on – how the two running backs – Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward have extended, kind of deflected, if you will, away from themselves this particular record and spread it to their offensive line and their tight end and their fullback. And I think that is a heck of a tribute to the team and the concept of team in which these players operate.

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