Let me start with the question from last night. I did not have the answer at that time. It was about pressures on the last drive. There were four of nine. There were nine snaps, and four of those snaps were pressure.
Q. Was that enough in your mind?
A. Oh yeah. You’re going to play coverage, you’re going to pressure, you are going to mix it. You are trying not to have a pattern. I think that certainly is... if you had success, and you got to the quarterback or something along those lines, that might be another thought. But that wasn’t the case at that time.
Q: After a night’s sleep over it and looking at the film, any further observations on the game from you?
A: Again, it is a game that is very – I think we did a lot of good things. We certainly did have some errors. Our kicking game …..our ability to move the ball around and particularly with our kickoffs and not allow Sproles to have the set up in terms of his return, I thought that was a very big plus for us in the game. He hurts us late in the game on a pass play, but he did not hurt us on punt or kickoff return. As you know, he has done that his whole career, and has done that this year to some teams. So we felt good about that.
Our last punt was a very good punt and allowed them to start at the -21 as well, so that being said. Defensively, we did a very good job all night long. We just – we came up short on the drive at the end of the game, which of course, the game was on the line and as I told the players today I’m not exonerating anyone of anything, including me. I’m saying that I’m at fault and I should have been able to find a way for us to win. And that is just the way I feel about it. And no one is going to feel any worse than I do. And as I go through it, I’m not looking to blame anyone. I’m trying to make corrections so that we don’t have to see that again. I thought our energy was good. Our hitting was good. They had no rushing yards. They ended up rushing the ball 15 times. They didn’t have that many snaps, and prior to the last drive, they probably didn’t have 200 yards. So I thought that all of those things --- but then again, there you go. They did methodically bring the ball down the field and we could not do anything much about it. We didn’t get much pressure on them. The last two plays were just plays that you don’t want to remember. I don’t want to see those in my mind going forward.
Offensively, we picked up momentum, I thought, in the second half. It was a very close game. Again, our running game was there. Not necessarily just consistently but we did do – Eli did an outstanding job with the controlled passing game. Our percentage game was very good. We had two touchdown passes. We mixed in the run well. They have a very good secondary – two outstanding corners. So we did, I thought, a good job of controlling the ball. We had the one very long drive. We had 37+ minutes time of possession which was something that we wanted to do at the outset of the game. So we did some good things.
We all know the circumstances. We did have an opportunity to put the game away and we didn’t get that done. And that will certainly be something which is difficult to deal with today and going forward. What I’m telling our team is that I did like the way in which we played. I think the energy was back. The enthusiasm was back. The physical play was back. We have a seven-game schedule in front of us and have an opportunity to do something about that.
Q: Is it possible that Jonathan Goff will get some snaps on the regular defense given the impact he is making on special teams?
A: Well, he has done an outstanding job on special teams and he really has become a core player and a very physical player there. He is a young guy and we look forward to continuing that development.
Q: You talked about the pressures on that last drive and one thing we asked you also about and I know you wanted to see the tape first, what did you think of the coverage call and the coverage on the last play?
A: Well, it was a man-under two-deep call and they ran a – they had done the same thing earlier in the game and we just didn’t do a good job of covering them. They ran the number two receiver straight up the field, which kind of held the safety in check over the top of two defenders, and they broke the angle off pretty sharply where the safety probably couldn’t have been a big factor anyway. It was a very good play on their part.
Q: You talked about how on the drive before San Diego had kind of defended the goal line there and forced you to take the running plays underneath and you couldn’t do anything up top there?
A: There is no doubt. You have a sense that at that point in time if the game is there to be won and a touchdown would have done that. I wouldn’t argue with you on that at all. I just think that when you talk about the ball going into the end zone --- I don’t know that a ball would go in there, but if it was to be a throw, it would probably be underneath. And then the run after the catch part of it. The first play was a go-screen, which had been a momentum changing play for us earlier, if you remember, to Hakeem, where he gained 28 yards. And so the first play was that play. It wasn’t a pressure defense or anything of that nature. They did get a couple of guys up – it was little or no gain. But there isn’t any question that scoring a touchdown there would have made a huge difference.
Q: How did Chris Canty and Michael Boley come out physically and what did you think of their contributions?
A: I thought they were rusty. I’m glad to get them in there. They came out of the game fine. But we do need to get those – it is a plus to have them on the field and available for game day. They are both outstanding players. They will help us going forward. We just have to get more reps for them so that they can get back in the kind of form they want to be in.
Q: When you are dealing with a team that is new to losing, they haven’t had a lot of that to deal with the last few years – what is your approach to them? It sounds like you are focusing on the positives. Is that kind of the best way to pull them out of this?
A: Well, here is the thing that I do – I am brutally honest with them in terms of telling them exactly what the facts are in the game and why the game wasn’t won and where the penalties came about. And the opportunities that were there and we did not take advantage of them. And then I tell them some of the things that I see and what the positives are and the fact that we are a team. And as I said, we are one and we have to stand by each other and unselfishly be committed to each other because we know that as a team, we will pull this thing out. So that is the direction that I have gone in.
I haven’t been restrained in letting the guys know why we have lost the game. That is not the point. And as I mentioned earlier, no one, starting with me, gets exonerated. But you do have to recognize the fact that we are in a bye week, we are going to be able to look at some self scout stuff and talk about it. We will have an opportunity to practice and we will have a chance to have, hopefully, a nice rest and then come back with some new energy.
Q: How did you evaluate the offensive and defensive line play yesterday?
A: I think our defensive line – when I talk about wanting to – both lines – if we want to talk about focusing in on running the ball and on defending the run, I think we did a good job of both side.
Q: Brandon Jacobs had a good start to the game – four carries, 31 yards. He only got seven carries the rest of the way. Was he nicked up or was that just a rotation?
A: You saw him come out once when he was limping a little bit. The rotation is going to take place. We did end up with 29 runs, which is good. And Brandon was the back in the game following the turnover. So I think the distribution was OK. We also got Danny Ware in the game and he got a couple of runs and that was good, too.
Q: When a guy averages six yards a carry, you are OK with 11 rushes for him?
A: Well, I would hope it would be 15 with six yards a carry. But we are going to continue to utilize all of the backs as best we can. Funny, you guys weren’t talking about this a couple of weeks ago when you didn’t think he was playing that well.
Q: He seems to be running more effectively the last several weeks?
A: Yes, he has.
Q: Kevin Boss is making some big plays and some gutsy plays. But do you worry that he might get himself hurt badly? And is there a way to avoid this given his role?
A: Well it is difficult when --- he was running a slant and the safety was on his way down to try to meet it. And again, Kevin was able to catch the ball and hang on to it and make a nice gain. And because he is a big target he does take some physical blows, no doubt. But he is a tough guy and he plays his way through those things and he certainly did make a strong contribution last night.
Q: You mentioned Jacobs limping off. He had referred a couple of times this season to a knee issue he had earlier in the year. Was that what happened yesterday and is that something that has limited his carries or his ability?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think what happened last night, he may have been – I’m not sure, I wouldn’t want to say something and not have it be a fact because he just came out temporarily and within a few plays he was ready to go back in.
Q: What kind of concerns do you have Red Zone wise? And will that be a focus during the bye week? The run by Jacobs late when you had gotten to the four, was that a check to a run? Was it originally a pass and a check to a run?
A: Yeah, it had the option to be a pass or a run, yes. You talked about Red Zone – was the question about the Red Zone – yes, that is going to be the number one focus for the defense. And the number one focus is the Green Zone for the offense. Matter of fact, we will have an opportunity to look at that self scout. The coaches are looking at that right now and we will be able to look with the team at that.
Q: You almost have to look at it like you haven’t had that kind of go-to guy in the green zone since Plaxico. Do you just have to almost just say – just grin and bear it and make it – kind of force it to happen with guys? I don’t want to say force it because that is a bad word, but just giving yourself some options of trying all kind of things?
A: We do have some options and obviously we had Steve and Kevin Boss last night early. And when you talk about a bigger receiver, of course, I think Hakeem is not a real tall guy but he is a bigger receiver and he certainly is a target. And I think going forward in the future, Ramses Barden is going to end up being a guy we will call upon as he develops and goes forward. But I really don’t think we are at any lack of targets. Mario Manningham is a good target and you saw him hit a couple of strikes last night. He got banged around. He almost came out with one of them. So, that was a good thing as well.
Q: RE: The fourth down play – going for it as opposed to kicking the field goal to maybe set an immediate tone in the game.
A: No, that wasn’t ---. Coming away with points there I thought was the most important thing. The thing that we talked about with the media just last week was that in our five wins we had taken the ball on the first drive of the game and gone down and scored either a touchdown or a field goal. And I thought that was a real big part of our momentum and the style in which we were able to continue to play when we were able to do that. So we were in position for points. And I think you are going to take them. It is a lousy thing to say today, but had we – those three points – the final situation that you are talking about wouldn’t have been there.
Q: Regarding that field goal – I know obviously there was an issue with getting the ball down. In your mind in looking at it, should Tynes have actually tried to make that kick?
A: No. The way that came about – if you remember it was out a ways – it wasn’t like an extra point where you could hold and then just swing without any momentum. It wasn’t going to be one of those deals because of the distance and because you have to strike the ball properly to get it up over the rush in the first place. So that was not the case last night, no.
Q: This strikes me as the sort of game the Giants would always win the past couple of years. And I wonder how much of it comes down to confidence down at the end there? Is it just ‘x’s and o’s’ or is there something psychological that has be broken with this bad streak?
A: Well, I really did feel like we were in a position to do that. And I didn’t want to put our defense in that position because of the other night. But you know, we had been playing well and we had also turned them away. We had denied them with an interception and we had pressure and knocked them back and forced them to punt out of the end zone and run the punt back to the 39. So some good things had been happening and when we got the kickoff through the end zone and it was an 80-yard drive – I certainly didn’t like that there was two plus minutes. I would have liked to have cut that in half right there. But I still – and I think our whole sideline and our crowd – everybody was really into it and thinking that we were going to be able to be successful in that particular situation. And we just didn’t get that done.
But I really think everyone really felt like we were going to. And we were getting some pressure on the quarterback and doing a pretty good job with that. But it didn’t work the way we wanted it to. I’m sure there may be some question of confidence. But I really do think in that situation we felt like we were going to be successful.
Q: What about Justin Tuck. He mentioned a lower extremity injury and said it wasn’t serious last night. But how is he today?
A: He seemed to be fine.
Q: Your quarterback had one delay penalty but overall he seemed to have a good game. Were you happy with his tempo and his decision making before the snaps?
A: With the exception of the one you are talking about, I think that the tempo – it was good in the second half. I really did think that. And I think we got to the line of scrimmage and did the things that had to be done in a housekeeping manner and we were able to get the ball snapped and on our way.
Q: Any issues with the Snee hold, number one. And now having gone back and looked at the tape, do you think a shot at the end zone there is a better call?
A: I think there are so many plays during the course of a game that can go either way, you can call it holding, sure you can, but there are probably 15 other ones. There was a play down there when San Diego was in the Red Zone that was a running play that looked much the same to me that wasn’t called. So I just hate to see something like that – a call made like that – to determine really what amounts to the outcome of the game in the long run. But that is part of it and there is nothing that can be changed the next day. And so some calls are made; some aren’t.
Q: Two quick questions – on the first drive you got an eight-yard play and a penalty called. You had the option of a second and two or first and five. And you chose second and two. What was the reasoning behind that?
A: Because we had two yards to go to make a first down. I didn’t see any reason for us to go first and five, no.
Q: The other question I have – four weeks ago, obviously you are on top of the league and now you are kind of on the outside of a playoff position. How do you get these guys to sit there and say, ‘Hey, it is not all gloom and doom, we do have a shot left at the playoffs?’
A: Because that is what we really believe. I think you have to. Yes, we are not going to play this weekend, so the numbers don’t stay the same. But the leader in our division has six wins. Philadelphia has five. We have seven games to go when we come back. And all you need is a chance and to have an opportunity. And that is what we really believe – we will have a chance.