Tom Coughlin didn't have any real answers the day after the New York Giants' second straight debacle, a 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens that has all but totally imploded their hopes of reaching the playoffs and defending their Super Bowl title.
Ordinarily I would write a post here giving some of my own spin, but in this case I think the questions and Coughlin's answers tell you pretty much everything you need to know. Here are a few snippets, and I will follow that by giving you the major questions and answers from Coughlin's Monday press briefing.
[Read the full transcript on our 'Transcripts' page]
Coughlin called what has been happening "perplexing, it's disappointing, it's frustrating," and said that "we just aren't making any plays."
Coughlin also said "there was effort, there was no quit" and admitted that "This certainly is a difficult time for us."
Here are some of the most pertinent questions and answers from today's media session.
Q: When you heard the playoff scenario, the multiple things that would have to fall into place, what was your reaction to that?
A: My reaction is really nothing other than I was focused on our game and I still am. Whatever the scenarios represent, that's fine. That should give us continued motivation, in terms of what can happen, and stranger things have happened, obviously. I would like to be playing better football than we're playing right now and it's going to take that in order to win our last game of the year and even give ourselves that opportunity.
RE: On if there is still a sense of hope to make the playoffs in the Giants locker room:
A: We spent an entire week with hope. We spent an entire two weeks with hope. We didn't play well, but it doesn't mean that we weren't aware of the circumstance, that we didn't realize the situation and the hope. Why we're playing the way we're playing is something that I'm sure will be my responsibility when the season is over. I'm telling you that your perception of us not playing with hope and mine are not the same. Our weeks have been solid weeks in which people have been positive. Everything that we've done has been positive, but when we take the field, it's been a different story.
Q: Henry Hynoski spoke about the effort on the practice field not translating to games. Have you ever coached a team where there's been that much disconnect?
A: Not in my most recent memory. I'm not quite sure of the answer to that question, but not in recent memory.
Q: When you look at your personnel, many of them are the same, whether it's the downfield plays offensively or the clutch plays, like strip sacks. Have you wondered why all of those have gone at once?
A: Well, I do know for a fact that we just aren't making any plays. I haven't put it in those types of words or whatever, but we went from a team that under normal circumstances were six for eight or even more big plays per game to a team that has maybe one or two. Last night, we didn't turn the ball over, but we didn't get any takeaways either. The plays which we try to identify the night before the game, as the plays which spark or ignite, we just haven't had any. The opponents had them.
Q: Is it more baffling or disappointing that some of these past Super Bowl champions and veterans for your team have not been stepping up at all?
A: It's perplexing, it's disappointing, it's frustrating and understand that it is to the players as well. It's not just the coaches looking at it. It is to the players as well. We'd all like to have multiple answers for these things or singular, something that would turn it in the other direction. Let's face it, we're holding out that you can turn this thing right back again. We're hoping that a game at home is going to allow us to do that. It is disappointing.
Q: It seemed like the passing offense kind of slowed down after that mid-season hump:
A: It wasn't bad two weeks ago, now. You don't get 52 points by not being oiled up in the passing game. The situation last night was: I think we missed some protections. We got the quarterback hit. We certainly did that at an untimely circumstance there, creating what, second and 25, whatever that was, early on. We did make a couple recovery plays, but we couldn't make enough from that hole. We had some protection issues; we had some coverage, people getting open-issues. We had some issues with the ball not quite exactly where it needed to be. We had penalties downfield after a big play. There's a lot of reasons why we're certainly not as good as we should be.