Eli Manning of the New York Giants throws an interception in the en zone -- left-handed -- Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
[Note: I usually do not run these transcripts on the front page, but there are a lot of very candid comments in here from New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin about today's horrid 29-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. There will be several more interview on the 'Transcripts' page. ]
Very disappointed today because I felt there wasn't any question that our guys practiced hard this week. Everybody wanted to win. Everybody was very sharp. The way in which we approached the game is exactly the way I would want it approached and then we beat ourselves so the oldest axiom in football is the first thing you have to do is keep from beating yourself before you can beat the opponent and we didn't do that. Now, we had the ball in the first quarter down in for two scores, came away with two interceptions. Our defense played well the whole game until the game - I don't say got out of hand, but, when we didn't score when we had the chance with a little under eight minutes to score twice, we drove it all the way down there again, we got in a position where it seemed to be that we didn't get the ball snapped on time, the communication between the holder and the line of scrimmage, the clock ran down, we missed the long field goal. We had made long field goals, but we did miss that one and that hurt. There's no question that that one hurt. I think when we got the ball off the goal line and had the unfortunate penalty with the high-low block, it gave them two points, that gave us the chance to get the ball at midfield but it was almost as if it just wasn't going to happen. I thought that there were a lot of parts of our game that were well played. I think that the part of the game that is so frustrating to me is the turnovers and the penalties and that's my responsibility. The way in which we play in between the lines is my responsibility and I'm taking full responsibility for that. This is a game that we should have won, we didn't win. A week ago we got our butts handed to us, this week we came out, played hard, played well at home, should have had the home crowd advantage, should have had all of those things going for us and yet we were not able to put the ball in the endzone with the continuation of the turnovers and I thought that we were resilient - we used that word many times this week - we did come back and come back and come back but each time we seemed to do that we didn't have a whole lot at the other end of that to finish. So, it was a very disappointing loss, the players are very disappointed, we all understand that we beat ourselves today, but we have 13 games to go and obviously we've got to improve.
Q: How is it your fault when you have all those interceptions and penalties? Shouldn't the players be held accountable?
A: They are held accountable. They've been told that they do not have the freedom to hurt our football team, to take actions which hurt our team. Penalties lose games - they know that, they've been told that, they all know it - what the repercussions are of losing the turnover battle - they all understand that...against a team that had seven turnovers a week ago and had none today. It is frustrating, but it's my fault, it's my responsibility, put it on me. Let's see if we can get a team to come out of that locker room as one and understand what we've done. We called for better execution this week, we got it. There's no question we got it. I think there was one long run by the runner, that's an exceptional runner, everyone knows that. We did execute. We didn't get the run going right away, but after we threw it a little bit, we were able to run it a little bit, so that's kind of the way that sometimes it goes. We did play better football. We gave a game away that we should have won and I'll take the responsibility for that.
Q: Special teams has been horrible.
A: They've been horrible and they continued that way today. You know where the double team is coming - and this is a thing that really bothers me - is everybody knows where the double team is coming from, anywhere 90 is gets the double, so realize that. Here the guy comes out right down the sideline and gives them excellent field position. They got field position off of that and they got field position off of penalties. They had the ball at midfield at least two times in the second half having done nothing.
Q: Was it winnable until the two McKenzie penalties?
A: I think so. I mean, we were there. Well, let's put it this way, it was very winnable when we missed the field goal, but you take a delay of game there - I mean, that's another one that's...the young holder needs to get us going.
Q: Where do you start to turn it around?
A: I think you start to turn it around by not turning the ball over.
Q: Have you ever had a team called for five personal fouls?
Q: Why did that happen?
A: I can attribute it to the retaliation. It's another one of those deals where macho...you know, he's doing this...but they all have heard it a million times and yet it happened.
Q: Are you disappointed that those came from veteran players?
A: I'm disappointed that it comes at all, that it comes from our team because, as I said, it'll be very, very difficult to win football games under those circumstances.
Q: Could any of those be a result of frustration?
A: I don't think so. I think it came from something that took place on the field.
Q: You took two guys out of the game after personal fouls - Rolle and McKenzie - did you speak to either of them about those fouls?
A: I spoke to Kareem after the first one and I spoke to the team right in here, collectively, just now.
Q: What did Eli have to say about that left-handed interception?
A: I have not asked. I didn't get a chance to talk to him.
Q: What did you see on that play?
A: I can tell you this - I know he thinks he's trying to make a play. We would have come away with at least three.
Q: What about Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble?
A: As I said, you talk about trying to figure out how to beat yourself...we just...over and over and over. I mean, there was a touchdown with momentum. There was a score coming with momentum. There's the ball on the ground.
Q: What can you do to get this message through?
A: Well, obviously we can focus on it, but we played lousy football a week ago and had three penalties. This week we had 11 - five personal fouls. We should have won the football game. This team out here (Tennessee) coming into our game had eight one week and 11 another. We'll get it under control, but you're going to get it under control as soon as the player realizes that when he retaliates, there's only one flag. They never see the first one. It's the retaliation that gets it every time.
Q: You lead the league in turnovers. Do you need to do anything differently?
A: Well, we can't stop trying to move the ball. We start every week out with a gauntlet drill that is designed to implement in their minds about ball security, but you're right, someone asked it earlier, I've never seen so many tipped balls. It seemed like any ball that's up above our eyes, our hands are very late to go up for the ball. It happened again late in the game. It didn't turn out a turnover, but there it was.
-- Eli Manning