John Mara, 01.03.11

Q: How will your off-season be affected by the impending lockout?
A: Until we know what the rules are going to be and until we know what the salary cap is, if in fact there is a salary cap, it's pretty difficult to make decisions on free agents.

Q: Do you finish this season with frustration and disappointment?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Whenever you don't make the playoffs, you finish that way. The only time you're not frustrated and disappointed is when you're standing on the platform at midfield after the Super Bowl. Yeah, we're disappointed.

Q: Steve Tisch talked about pride, do you feel those emotions also?
A: Well, I mean obviously I have a lot of pride with this franchise and I think our players played hard this year. I'm certainly disappointed about the results in some of the games, in the Philadelphia game in particular. They played hard, like we expect them to play. Whenever you don't achieve your ultimate goal, there is going to be disappointment.

Q: Ever a doubt that you wouldn't bring Tom Coughlin back?
A: There wasn't a doubt in my mind, and there wasn't a doubt in Steve's mind or in Jerry Reese's mind, no.

Q: Do you look at this season like it was ruined in the last eight minutes of the Philadelphia game?
A: You could look at it that way, but there were other opportunities. We could have come back the next week and beaten Green Bay. We had a chance to beat Philadelphia in Philadelphia, and we should have beat Dallas here at home. There were other opportunities as well, but certainly that's the most glaring.

Q: Is it more disappointing to have 10 wins and be out, and then watch someone with seven wins host a playoff game?
A: That's the way it is. Four years ago we made the playoffs at 8-8, so I don't know what the other records were but probably somebody else deserved to go more than we did. Those things tend to even out over the years. We had plenty of opportunities to get into the playoffs this year, so I can't begrudge Seattle.

Q: Can you sign guys between now and the 2011 league year?
A: I believe you can, but again, until you know what the rules are and what the cap is going to be, it's pretty difficult to do that.

Q: Do you blow things up or do you need to just tweak?
A: I think you just tweak. I don't think we're in a situation where you need to blow anything up. Obviously there are improvements that need to be made. Somebody once said you are what your record says you are, and we're 10-6. We want to be better than that.

Q: Is it constructive to try and find out why a collapse happens in a particular game?
A: I think that's certainly always something you have to look at. I don't know if I'd use the term collapse this year. We were 4-4 in the second half, and it's obviously not where we want to be. I don't know that I'd use the term collapse. If you want to say we collapsed in the fourth quarter against the Eagles, yeah I'd have to agree with that. It's a long season and you have games like that sometimes.

Q: Do you ask yourself why? How many times have you asked that?
A: Quite a few, quite a few. If we make one play on either side of the ball or on special teams or anywhere, make one first down, the result is different. Yeah, you ask yourself that quite a bit.

Q: Do you anticipate any changes to the staff?
A: I think that's something that has to be talked about. I have no idea what Tom's feeling is about that. Until Tom, Jerry, Steve, and myself and other people sit down, I really don't know.

Q: What's your message to Giants fans?
A: Nobody is more disappointed about the way this season ended than we are. We will do what we have to do to make the team better. We want to get back in the Super Bowl. That's what this franchise is about and that's what our goal is every year.

Q: Do you feel better standing here today than you did a year ago?
A: I was asked that before. I would say the answer to that is yes. When I stood here a year ago, I was angry and extremely disappointed about the way we finished the season. I felt like we weren't competing. There is no worse feeling in sports than when you feel like your team is not competing. I can't say that's the case this year. I thought we competed really hard. Obviously, we're disappointed with the results but we won 10 games which is not an easy thing to do in the National Football League. Yeah, there is no comparison between this year and last year.

Q: Is it unsettling to you with the potential lockout that this team might not come together as one could hope?
A: I have a little more optimism than that. I still hope that we'd be able to reach an agreement and that would not be a case.

Q: Will you have a shot at it before March 4?
A: There is always a shot.

Q: You have a gut feeling about that month anyway?
A: It's hard to say. It really is. It's hard to say. You can't - I have a history of losing negotiations in my previous life, and you just never know. Sometimes it happens all of the sudden and sometimes it drags on for months. I don't have an accurate position at this point.

Q: There are a lot of high profile guys on this team without contracts. Is that difficult?
A: It is. I mean you'd like to have more of them signed up but it is what it is. We're going to do what we can to try to keep the team intact, but some of that is going to depend on what the rules are and what the cap is.

Q: Are you doing anything with those guys, maybe as soon as you know the rules?
A: You can expect we are, yeah. It's hard to make intelligent decisions right now until you know what system we're going to be operating under and what cap room is going to be available.

Q: How does this handcuff you as far as advertising, sponsors, etc?
A: It definitely has an effect on that. Fans are concerned about it. Most of our sponsorship deals are long term deals, but you do get asked questions about it. As this thing intensifies and the longer we go without an agreement, yeah I think it will become more of a concern. I think everybody realizes at some point it's going to get worked out and we'll be back to playing football again.

Q: Does it actually affect ticket sales? People with PSLs will likely buy their tickets:
A: I don't really think it's going to impact ticket sales. We still have some inventory to sell, but I don't really anticipate it having a major effect on that.

Q: May there be another uncapped season?
A: I have no idea at this point. No idea.

Q: Is your hope to lock Tom Coughlin up for longer rather than just the short term?
A: I haven't really given that a lot of thought yet, and I don't even know what his feeling is on it yet. Certainly I will talk with Steve about it, and with Jerry. So I'm not sure where we're going on that.

Q: It seems a little different than 2006 where there was a little more uncertainty. Do you have a better feeling about this?
A: No, I mean it's all just speculation at this point. I'm just not sure where we're going to come out on that. I just know he's going to be back next year.

Q: Do you see him as a 64 year old who might or might not have a lot left in tank from a coaching perspective?
A: He is, but he has the energy level of somebody much younger than that. I'm not worried about that.

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