Giants, Vs. Packers, Tom Coughlin Press Conference, 01.09.12

Opening Remarks:
Just thinking about yesterday, I think the two fourth and one, the third and one and the fourth and long sack were really indicative of the kind of day we had defensively. I think the 29 percent on third down for them and the 53 for us, 172 rushing to their 64, their outstanding runner came in here 15 for 41 with an average of 2.7. Our quarterback with three touchdowns and no interceptions, 129 quarterback rating but it took us a while to get going with the run. Eventually we rushed for 172 to their 64 and because of the way the defense was playing, we were able to stay with it. The good thing was the 32 passes and the 31 runs so the balance was outstanding.

I thought the punter had a great day. He punted the ball four times and there was no return yardage by Weems, who is an outstanding returner. We were able to deal with a guy who is a game changer without having any yardage from him in terms of our own punt coverage team. It turned out to be good balance although it didn't start out that way. We were slow offensively right off the bat probably for a quarter or into the second quarter and then we started to roll a little bit with that. I thought our interior linemen played well.

Our three tackles played really well in there and they were solid. They were major contributors on the fourth and one but I thought they did an outstanding job in there and Chris Canty had an outstanding game. Rocky had a solid game when he was in there and Linval had an outstanding game and that really helps set the tone. If you look offensively, everyone wants to talk about Hakeem catching the ball and the burst for the touchdown but he also blocked very, very, well. He did a nice job blocking outside as a receiver and coming down on the safety. He did a good job of that and Brandon Jacobs ran real physical. I mentioned Eli and we had major contributors from all three. Tyler Sash on special teams with three tackles. We had good balance, we started with very good defense, good special teams and not so good offense and eventually we were able to balance it out. We have two players that I would report. Ross and Danny Ware are going through the process in regards to concussions. They actually felt pretty good at the conclusion of the game when we did see them in the locker room and I hope that pans out going throughout the protocol for clearance to practice this week.

Q: Do you know if Ross did suffer a concussion?
A: We are conducting the medical treatment as if it was a concussion.

Q: If Ross can't play, do you think Prince is ready?
A: He has gotten better each week and he did a nice job on special teams when he went out to defend the gunners. Atlanta had two outstanding gunners and those guys were good. He did a good job out there so he has improved in that regard and of course and he got a lot of playing time after Aaron was hurt. He is gaining each week and that is exactly what he needs. I think he did a good job with open field transition yesterday turning his hips and getting himself in position. He is physical, he will hit you so he is coming.

Q: How important is the running game going up against Green Bay?
A: It is very important because balance is important. For us to be able to have that balance, anytime we play, to be able to have a good mix there and keep people from totally disregarding one phase or the other.

Q: Early this season when the players were getting hurt, how much did you talk about the Packers from last year?
A: We were aware of it and we mentioned it in August. Not since then

Q: Is this the best defensive line you have had?
A: I don't know that for a fact. We are very fortunate to have the guys together that we have now, having had some injuries and not having the whole group together. So let's let them play.

Q: Do you have confidence because of the way you played the Packers in December?
A: It certainly gives us confidence in the fact that we went back and forth with them. It wasn't by any means a perfect game. They had the ball at the end of the game for example and it was a high scoring affair. From the standpoint of having played against the world champions at home and done such a reasonable job but we all know what the challenges are going forward as well.

Q: Do you feel that the Packers game was a turning point?
A: We had started the week off by saying that we had great respect for Green Bay and we talked about what their season was and how good they were but we felt we had a good football team and we could compete and play against them. If things went our way, we would win the game and I think based on that, the players played the game out. Green Bay did come back and beat us but certainly it was a highly, highly competitive game.

Q: Can you tell a difference in the confidence of the players by the way they walked around the building after yesterday's game?
A: I can't say that, no.

Q: In some ways, is it an advantage to be an underdog compared to the other four teams left in the NFC?
A: I think from a motivational standpoint in all athletics, whatever the sport is, it will be, to a certain extent, but when all the talking is done, you have to go play. That is what you have to be able to establish, I haven't thought about that, to be honest with you, but we are the team that is ranked lower than the other teams.

Q: Is there an advantage playing in the first week rather than having a bye?
A: When you win, certainly you want to build on that and we have had three of those in a row. We are certainly going to continue to challenge our team to improve in the areas that we need to improve but it is always much better to do that in the scenario of winning. We do have a lot of work to do and there is no doubt about it but we are looking forward to the challenge. That is the best thing I can say about this group right now, they are looking forward to the challenge.

Q: When you walk into Lambeau Field do you have a sense of the history and what is that feeling like?
A: Personally, I am really well aware of it because I had an opportunity to coach there for a couple of years and I like to understand more about the history of the game. The Lombardi's, the Landry's and the connection to the Giants, the Giants and the Packers and how far they go, but as far as the players understanding the total history of Lambeau Field, we may mention something to them about that. I think it is more that they are so much more aware of the players and what the other team has accomplished, what the challenges will be going in there, there will be some reference to ‘07 and going through there, but to be honest with you, I want them to understand that this is the 2011-12 New York Giants. This team is trying to carve out their own identity and maybe do something historically for this team. That is where we will go historically.

Q: Are there any similarities to 2007?
A: I am enjoying this group and I am enjoying those similarities. There are some and if we can get on a roll and play our best football right now, then yes. We have demonstrated that to a certain extent but I will say this, we are playing a little more like Giant football right now. That is not to take away from anything else that has been done. To play pretty good defense, not turn the ball over, rush the ball and have some patience about it and that is the direction we are in right now.

Q: Is the Packers home field advantage really as good of an advantage after losing some playoff games within recent years?
A: You have to ask them, I don't know.

Q: Did that kick that put you in the Super Bowl buy Lawrence Tynes a certain grace period?
A: I think it gave him great recognition and great confidence.

Q: Did that guarantee that he would be around?
A: He has been around for some extra years, but he has earned it.

Q: What do you remember from that moment?
A: I remember trying to have a sense for where he was and then the indication was that he thought he could make it by throwing his jacket down and going towards the field. ‘Field goal!'

Q: Do you have a comment on JPP's prediction?
A: I am not commenting on that. It is just like right now, let us study them and then we will talk about them on Wednesday. I realize everybody is anxious and I am, too. I told the players that and let's cover the game and learn from the game we just played, let's keep things in perspective, let's get started looking at some tape but let's not get too carried away just yet. Wednesday will be a nice time for that.

Q: Have you noticed that you have had more outspoken players this season compared to the past?
A: No, I have not noticed that. I would like to think that in the excitement of the postgame, I would have said we will talk about that after we have a chance to understand this game. That obviously didn't take place.

Q: Was it a good sign to see that you didn't need a big game from Victor Cruz to win the game?
A: The balance has been there when you talk about two guys over 1,000 yards in the regular season anyway, but the fact that Hakeem made plays and I mentioned yesterday, the fact that Mario made plays was big. That was big for us, that was something that we needed to have happen and I am certainly glad it did. When you look at tape of some of these games and you look at previous games of the teams that we are playing you see 82 making catches and running behind people and that is a good thing.

Q: Were you aware of the weather back in 07?
A: Pregame, I didn't know if I was going to get back into the locker room. I didn't have a stocking cap on and I was dressed rather lightly but once you get into the game, you have no idea. I thought the second half was fine.

Q: Are you going to do anything to protect your face?
A: I don't know what else to do. I am not wearing a mask. I scare people enough with this mask.

Q: What are your thoughts about Chase Blackburn?
A: He played yesterday. We are giving everybody a game ball because of the historic significance of the game but I did recognize certain players for their play and the contributions they made and he was one of them.

Q: How about his lack of training camp?
A: There wasn't one, there wasn't any offseason. He stayed in great shape and we worked him out. He was in outstanding shape and was anxious. It is good to have him back.

Q: Do you talk to the young players about this experience?
A: We have enough veterans. The coaches and I are ready to get started on the study of the Packers.

Q: Is the improved secondary play because you simplified things?
A: No, that wasn't it. I think we are playing better, we are playing tighter coverage, I think the guys are much more mindful and prideful, and they are playing more physically if you noticed how the corners played yesterday. Rolle was all over the place, that was two games in a row and he has had a bunch of tackles and been around. I thought he may be involved in the opportunities to intercept the ball but that didn't happen. Grant has made a strong contribution and Kenny Phillips has got them all lined up. I just think that we also have done a better job underneath and that was an issue for us in terms of pattern reads, identification, recognition of who is where and doing a better job with a lot of the check downs. There were a couple yesterday that were open, but by in large, we have done a better job of that. We are just playing better coverage and we are playing the rush better, let's put it that way.

Q: Do you have any other injuries?
A: Not that I would talk about today. You have a couple guys that are banged up but we will see how they are Wednesday.

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