TOM COUGHLIN: I don't know what kind of preparation you would have for Buffalo or for some of those weather games that we have had. We just have to focus on the game, on the plan, on the execution of our plan, and if we have to do some things if we catch a day where we can be outside when it is chilly with snow around then that would be fine, and if we can't, we have to just mentally prepare ourselves for it and go play in it.
Q: Any update on CB Aaron Ross or any other injuries from the game?
TC: You ask about Ross, he is sore, but we will see day-to-day what is going to happen with that.
Q: Did you come out OK otherwise?
TC: Other than the nicks, the slight little nicks. I think Kareem (McKenzie) may have tweaked the ankle again one more time but was able to continue to go and so on and so forth.
Q: Can you talk about your memory of the coldest conditions that one of your teams has ever played in?
TC: I think Buffalo has to rank right up there with any of them. I think before that one time we were in Cincinnati in a very cold, snowy, windy day. Those would have been the coldest.
Q: What about the time that you spent in Green Bay?
TC: I don't remember really. Of course, it was cold, but I don't remember anything that was more cold than others. Certainly from Thanksgiving on in Green Bay or Buffalo or wherever that might be you can expect any kind of weather at that point in time. I can't remember anything more than others. I remember a day in Chicago one time that was really cold.
Q: If the weather is strictly just cold and not windy or snowy does that change things?
TC: Well, it depends on how effective you feel you are under that condition, but you would like to think going in that the cold is not going to change your plan.
Q: Do you look at is an advantage that you are going up against a running back in Ryan Grant that you had with you for a couple years?
TC: I think any time that you have spent time with an athlete you know him better than you would otherwise. Ryan has had an outstanding year and played extremely well with all kinds of big plays in a really outstanding second half of the season and certainly had a big game the other day. Other than that we are going to have to contend with the whole package. I thought their offensive line blocked very well and Ryan certainly gave them a lot of plays.
Q: When you look back at that game against the Packers earlier this year what went wrong, in your mind, the most?
TC: I don't know that there is any one thing. Obviously we did not have a lot of success in terms of offensively putting points on the board, but it was a good game for quite some time. Turnovers hurt and then Green Bay was able to take advantage of that.
Q: As banged-up as your secondary is, how important do you think their confidence has been?
TC: Well, it is important because it obviously increased our depth and guys feel very good about contributing. I think as the week goes on hopefully we are going to improve a little bit with some of the guys that are nicked and we will see.
Q: Eli has never worn gloves. Is that something you would want to work on this week?
TC: I don't know. I was asked that once before about the cold weather in Buffalo and it is up to the individual. I prefer the contact to your hands, to your skin, to your feel, and to your touch, but certainly a lot of that is up to the quarterback and how he feels about it. Eli has used the hand warmer and is able to come to the sideline between series and get more relief than just from the pouch, but that is the way he has gone and quite frankly I don't ever remember him even complaining about it.
Q: Is there any part of you at all that is a little bit surprised that after your 0-2 start you are where you are today?
TC: I am not going in that direction. We try, as I say, to take them one at a time. Of course the momentum factor here down the stretch has been good and I am not surprised. I am excited.
Q: Do you think the turnaround that you guys have had is attributed more to talent or character or both?
TC: Well, it always has to do with both and it also has to do, I think, with this group of men who have come together as a team and fought their way through pretty much anything that has been thrown their way. It is a combination of things, without a doubt. The talent, the ability, the opportunities, the number of people who have contributed, the special teams part of it, the defensive part of it, the offense, all three contributing in unison, which we strive for always, as evidenced by yesterday.
Q: Are there any points in this season where you view them as turning points?
TC: Well, the Washington game obviously. Winning that game, coming from behind like we did and playing as well as we did in the fourth quarter, that was huge. Finishing the first half of the year the way we did, knowing full well the difficulty that would be encountered in the second half of the year. Bouncing back from the Minnesota game, playing the way we did, going over to Philadelphia and getting a win when we had to get a win. I just don't know that there is any one thing; I just think there is any number of things that you could point to as continuing to build this team. The opportunity to get a lot of these young players, these rookie players, who have moved full circle into responsible jobs, if you will, with the loss of some players and the opportunities that they have been given to play. I think all those things are contributors.
Q: Steve Smith had a big game yesterday. Was that more of him being patient or them giving him a little bit more?
TC: No, I think it is more that we have seen these different flashes and then really very much looking forward to Steve having an opportunity. He has had a couple of times where he has been very, very close and then had something, some misfortune, come his way from an injury standpoint and then have to regroup after an amount of time that he wasn't practicing and playing and then get himself back on track under game conditions as he moved into the healthy status. I think yesterday he did, in the one drive he had two outstanding plays, and he had another play that could have been where the ball was batted-down. He did have an opportunity and of course we were really glad to see the way in which he performed.
Q: People think of Lambeau Field as a very special place to play football. Is that a feeling that you share?
TC: No question if you are a historian you have to kind of feel that way about Lambeau Field or Green Bay or whatever, but we try to keep everything in perspective in terms of next game, next opponent. I don't know that I will spend a lot of time thinking about the historical significance right now rather than just trying to come to grips with looking at a Green Bay team at one point in the season that we played against and lost to and then over the course of the season where are they? Where are we? How do we match up? We will spend all our time trying to figure out how we can play a team that had a very, very successful playoff game last weekend.
Q: Can you comment on what the last three weeks have really meant for Eli Manning and your team's growth?
TC: The way that he has played, the way that he has led, the way that he has performed, the poise, the taking care of the football, the critical ways in which he has led his team to points when we had to have points, the times when the game was literally on the line and he has had to make plays and he has. How he has focused and how his teammates have responded to that focus, these are all very, very good things. As I have said before now, very timely.
Q: Can you talk about the difference between having success in Jacksonville and having success with a team from New York?
TC: Other than more people in the room? I try to keep all that stuff, as I said, in perspective and I try to make sure that I am educating our team as best I can with the information that Pat Hanlon can provide me with and the things that need to be responded to, etc. etc. We try to do all those things and still keep in mind that it is about the game and the performance on the field. That is what we are trying to keep our arms around here. Being as excited, getting home as late as we did last night, as you all are experiencing, and jumping up the next morning and taking a quick look at the tape and getting into Green Bay. Let's keep playing has been a big theme for us and when we got in the locker room after the game we talked about that very thing. That we had the opportunity to keep playing and we were excited about that moving forward so we need to jump right back into the task.
Q: Can you talk about the status of Sam Madison, Kevin Dockery, and Aaron Ross for this week?
TC: In terms of Madison and Dockery, progress is being made, but it is something that is going to be evaluated every day and really I don't have any comment on it right now. I would like to see where we are on Wednesday before we comment on anything. I know that Aaron is sore but that kind of an injury has been controlled and is being controlled by a young man on our team right now in terms of Mike Matthews. Hopefully we can get the strength back where it belongs and we can do some things here to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Aaron, who wants to play and has talked about it, we can get him right back on the practice field. We are looking to be able to do that first.
Q: Is it more of a temptation for players to look ahead when they are in the championship game and one win away from the Super Bowl?
TC: I don't think so. I think there is no question about that opponent that sits right in front of you and I think that we will do enough to make sure, as coaches always do, to try to bring the focus right where it should be. I really don't think that any competitor would, other than a brief, maybe a moment of daydreaming, would come right back to the reality of the strength of the opponent that you are going to play. As I said, if your foundation is the one game at a time thing and realize that of course in this tournament it is single elimination, you know exactly where you stand.
Q: Did you get a chance to watch Brett Favre on Saturday?
TC: No, I didn't.