Jon Gruden after the win over the Giants

What Willie did was one of the most inspiring, emotional things that I've seen as a coach. I've been fortunate enough to be with him on two different teams and I'll always consider him a friend...

We didn't have any injuries today to report, yet, but we'll see what happens tomorrow morning. I was very pleased with the demeanor of our football team, coming across time zones and defeating a very talented defending NFC championship team that needed a win very desperately and our guys met the challenge and played one of their better games today.

Now I'll answer any questions that I can.

On todays field Conditions.

Yeah, that was rough. The first half, we felt very fortunate coming from the west coast and playing in New York City or New Jersey, or wherever we are now that it was sixty degrees and the weather really was tremendous to play in and in the second half, we paid for our good fortune in the first half.

We emphasized ball security and at the same time the Giants found a way to get back in the football game so we had to make some timely plays. Fortunately Tim Brown and Gannon hooked up for a couple big ones to really seal that game today.

Are you surprised that Tim was so open on those two long passes?

Pleasantly so, yes. We caught them in a three-deep zone and Rich pumped it and consequently the free safety took that fake and when you have somebody controlling the far third corner, sometimes there is a vacant seam. That's been a big play for us on other occasions this season; we were just fortunate to catch them at the right time today.

They were some of your longest passing plays of the season.

That's the Raider vertical game that people talk about. We had a couple of real vertical pass plays.

On Rich Gannon's Performance...

I thought he had an excellent game today, he does a lot of hidden things that don't show up on the stat sheet, he made some real good changes today in terms of audibles in the running game and the passing game, to come here and play a very good defense like the New York Giants and not turn the ball over, and really distribute the ball accurately and effectively throughout the ball game under very difficult circumstances, he was super again today.

On Willie Thomas playing today...

What Willie did was one of the most inspiring, emotional things that I've seen as a coach. I've been fortunate enough to be with him on two different teams and I'll always consider him a friend, but as we boarded the plane Friday, his brother tragically died, so he flew back to Texas yesterday to be with his family, but he wanted to play in this game.

The Oakland Raiders found a way to get him back here at ten thirty this morning for the team meal and started the game and really played an outstanding game for our team. He really inspired a lot of other players, me included, and hopefully a lot of other people. He showed a lot of great character today.

On Lincoln Kennedy handling Strahan.

That was a key match-up that was well documented and he played like a Pro Bowler should play. Strahan is as good as anybody we've seen. We you need to step up and play, he did. That was a blue chip match up that I'll be excited to look at tomorrow on film.

On Charlie Garner

He is a very significant player here, he can run, catch it, he made some big pickups for us against the blitz, he's just a great football player for what we want to do here. He can hurt you from every different angle.

On Tiki Barber

He's a huge concern. He's like Garner in that he does it all, but people underestimate the fact that he's a physical back as well. People don't realize how tough of a runner he really is. He's a hard guy to tackle; he's a power guy.

Do people overestimate the Giants defense?

I have no idea, I mean anybody can beat anybody in football; anybody can pick up the sports section and read stats. We've got a long way to go but we are very pleased to win this game.

On Fassel's guarantee.

I made my team aware of it subtly but we don't really hang stuff on bulletin boards like that in our locker room, but the only guarantee we want to be known for in Oakland is playing hard for sixty minutes every time out.


SB Report Top Stories