Tom Coughlin - 11/23 Press Conference

The Giants' head coach talks about injuries, game plans and his team's upcoming contest against the Seahawks.

Coach Tom Coughlin - 11/23/05

Q: Did you get the MRIs back on Strahan, O’Hara and Petitgout?

A: The MRI on O’Hara is that it is an ankle sprain; it is not a high ankle sprain. He is doing better this morning than he was yesterday. So we would call that day-to-day. He won’t work today. Strahan is sore, which he would be. But I think he is going to be fine. He will work today. Petitgout is a compilation of blows from falling down, etc. So we are going to try to reduce swelling, pad the area. He will do some things today, not a lot. We expect he will practice tomorrow.

Q: So none of them were more serious than what you expected?

A: Correct.

Q: Will anyone else besides Williams, Joseph and Peterson miss practice?

A: Curtis DeLoatch will not practice today. He came in yesterday and he had a turf burn infection. So they took him immediately and put him in the hospital and started the IV. If not late this afternoon, hopefully tomorrow morning, they will allow him to come home. I just talked to him a minute ago. He feels good; he feels better today. He feels stronger. He is eating well. Hopefully, as I said, he will be able to come out of the hospital tomorrow morning and come to the Stadium and get to work.

Q: Where is the turf burn?

A: Leg.

Q: What will you find out about this team in the next two weeks?

A: This game, obviously, is against a very good football team, the number one offense in the National Football League, very productive, very high scoring. But this team plays well. All three phases play well together. Their defensive team has 34 sacks. They have a team defensively that is very fast, much structured in the way of an aggressive front-seven; two rookies playing in there, but playing well. Their kicking game is very good. They have designated special teamers that do an outstanding job. So in all three phases they are a good football team. On the road, against Seattle, obviously a great test for us. We look forward to that opportunity. But what we will learn is: how good are we. This particular game against a team in the NFC that has the most wins will be a great challenge and our players are excited about the challenge and hopefully we will have a good week of practice and see where we are.

Q: It is a big game, but do you have to worry about the players making the game too big?

A: I don’t think so. The sense that I got this morning from our players was very factual. I present the opponent to them as I do every Wednesday morning. They were very, very studious. They were very interested. They grasped the information. They looked at the statistical data in the tape that we had compiled for them to give them an idea of the players. And I think they are fully aware of how good this team is. But I think they are also aware that we have played 10 games in this league, we have an excellent opportunity here. We play against an outstanding football team. We keep our eye on the division but certainly are aware of the fact that this is a conference game, too.

Q: When you look at Shaun Alexander, what has he done to put up the kind of numbers he has this year?

A: Well, their offensive line is performing very well. He is a hard runner, difficult to tackle, hips and legs are very strong. He has broken a lot of runs of and made long runs. He is just kind of a north-south runner, a slasher. He can take the ball outside, and does. They use a lot of formations to try and create the right ratio for the run and he takes full advantage of it. He runs through some arms, he gets himself in position where the corners have to make the play, if you will, on occasion. He has been extremely productive. You are looking at 19 touchdowns in just 10 games. He is certainly playing extremely well.

Q: With Walter Jones and Hutchison, is the left side of their line as good as it gets?

A: It is a very good blocking left side and the right side is playing well, also.

Q: Yours is one of the teams that uses short yardage and designated guys. Could you explain why you do that and how you do that?

A: We do it by formation. We don’t do it necessarily by, “Okay, it is third-and-one, this is the only formation.” We do it by formation. We put a certain formation on the field and then there is a different running back. If we use more of the formations that have been carried into the game, then Tiki stays in.

Q: Does it have something to do with his size?

A: Well, no, it is just the idea that if it is third-and-one and we can take a little pressure off him by going to the bigger back, Brandon, then we….. We have been doing that since training camp. So we will continue to do that.

Q: The goal line stand the Eagles had, did you lose any confidence in Brandon or that formation?

A: No, not really. There are some things I wish happened that didn’t happen. But losing confidence – we knew full well what we were in for when we got there. But still we should get the ball in every time in that situation, being that close to the goal line. And it shouldn’t have taken four snaps.

Q: Is he running any differently? More straight up? More tentatively?

A: I don’t think so.

Q: How much is it a comfort or positive when you know that Ernie Accorsi coming back through 1006?

A: It is very, very good news. It is good news for all of us Giants. Ernie’s experience, his wisdom, the fact that he has seen pretty much everything in this league and has solid opinions on things. He is a guy that I can go to and cut through a lot of questions to get right to the point. I have been very fortunate to be able to work with Ernie and we are glad to have him.

Q: Have you lost any confidence in Willie Ponder?

A: No, I haven’t lost any confidence in Willie Ponder.

Q: Do you expect him back in the lineup this week?

A: We will see.

Q: You mentioned that this game should show you how good you are. Do you have a sense?

A: Well, that choice of words, maybe that wasn’t the greatest. You are playing against a team that has the most wins in this conference; they are a good football team; they are undefeated at home. We go in there, it is a great opportunity for us. We have a lot at stake; they have a lot at stake. It is another big game for us to perform in. And we look forward to that challenge.

Q: If Deloatch can’t go Sunday, will that put Corey Webster into a bigger role? Other than that long pass on Sunday, it doesn’t seem like teams have thrown at him much this year.

A: Well, he has played in the nickel and the dime all year long so he has been on the field and certainly he has the outstanding coverage skills. Why the ball hasn’t gone there, that is not for me to judge. But he is a young guy that learns every time he takes the field and I think the more he plays the better he will be.

Q: If Deloatch is healthy, will you stick with him?

A: Yes.

Re: Replacing Deloatch?

A: Have you played corner in this league? You are going to have games where you have to line up the next snap because somehow, someway everyone gets beat at least some of the time. It is a resiliency, it is toughness, it is a learning curve. And I think what he did can be corrected. And I think part of it is, is just another experience for a young corner learning, during the course of the game, some of the savvy things that go along with playing that position in our league.


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