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Tom Coughlin, 09.30.09

Back to work.  That is it.  Back to work.  Kansas City Chiefs – a football team we have a lot of respect for; a talented team, a team with a new head coach.  We know Todd’s philosophy very well.  We have a team here that – it is 24-24 in the fourth quarter with five minutes to go against Baltimore.  They have a tremendous amount of offense and the lead against Oakland.  Oakland comes back and scores in the two-minute drill.  They take the ball and come back and have a chance to be in position to tie or win it, and don’t quite get that done.  And Philadelphia is a very, very good football team.  So we study, we look at, we know very much about Cassel and Larry Johnson and the quality of their receiving corps, their defensive team with a talented, talented front.  So again, back to the drawing board; back to work and another opportunity for us to play on the road.

Q:  Ahmad Bradshaw?

A:  Bradshaw – you will see him in a boot.  He is not going to practice.  We expect that he will improve during the course of the week.  We will take it day by day and see where he is at the end of the week.  We fully expect that he will be able to go – to play in the game.  But right now they are treating it with a boot and lots of extra time in the training room. 

Q:  What is the injury?

A:  He has an ankle.  He has an old ankle that causes problems.  He came out of the game and was re-taped, as you saw.  He has a foot that is bothering him.  So he has a couple of things going on.

Q:  Sprains?

A:  Yeah, sprains.  As I said, he has a unique style.  I think it puts a lot of pressure on – and has in the past – on that one ankle.  So I think he has got some issues there. 

Q:  Given the fact that he looked so good and ran so well - are you optimistic that he can still be effective on Sunday?

A:  Oh, I think so.  He has dealt with this before, so I think he can.

Q:  You mentioned it is another chance to play on the road - third straight road game - does a coach worry about a let-down game?

A:  No, I think that the challenge is very much there.  I think that you are going into a stadium with a fan base that is obviously known throughout the league as being tremendously supportive.  You have a young football team with a new head coach.  Constantly – just borrowing words from what Todd has said -- trying to find the right combinations of people, a talented group of athletes.  They went out and got the quarterback they wanted.  We know full well what history has shown us.  We talked about that – last year’s trip over to Cleveland.  We know full well about that.  So I think our leadership is strong.  Our leadership is good.  We are trying to improve our football team.  That is what we are most worried about is our team, improving the areas that we need to, developing consistency, having a very good, quality preparation week.  And that is where it all starts for us.  And I think we have done that.  We are just going to continue to emphasize it. 

Q: With both the Jets and Giants at 3-0, there is already talk of Super Bowl. Can you inject a note of sanity here?

A:  All I know – as I said when I was asked a similar question the other day…all we know about is this next game and all we are worried about is the development of our team and who we are playing.  Everything else takes care of itself.  We have them one at a time – every game in this league is a tough game.  Every team in this league is capable of beating the other team.  So we know full well about that.  We are trying to do the best we can with preparing on a weekly basis for the next opponent - what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, what our issues are, what we feel like it takes in order to win, what we have to do with our strategy, how we need to employ our personnel; all of those kinds of things are more than enough to prepare and think about rather than all of those other issues, which as I said, we are talking about three games in a 16-game schedule.

Q:  You mentioned to the team about the Cleveland game last year.  What's the warning there?

A:  Just to make sure that our preparation and our focus stays -- making sure that we are thorough, every position, every player is completely thorough in his preparation and not to have any type of letdown of any type.  Not to underestimate. Make sure that we do the job in the classroom and on the practice field in terms of preparation so that no one is disappointed in their performance or in our preparation.

Q:  Do you think that happened last year?

A:  I think we got beat.  We are trying not to get beat.

Q:  What's the approach this week with Justin Tuck?

A:  Well, we’ll see.  I think he will go more and more as we go along.  He is getting strong, feels better every day.  So we are just trying to make sure that that continues. 

Q:  Aaron Ross and Kevin Dockery?

A:  They are going to do what they can.  They are going to start out with individual and we are going to see exactly where they are.

Q:  Richie Seubert and Chase Blackburn were not on the injury report.  Does that mean …

A:  Well, they are practicing, yeah.  They are practicing.  And they both are going to do – we are in shells today, which I think is a good way for all of these guys to start and they will practice, yeah.

Q:  Eli and his big contract -- did you expect him to handle it this well?

A:  That was never in doubt.  There never even was any indication that anything was going on (by him with regards to a new contract). 

Q:  Are you concerned about the depth of your kickoffs?

A:  I don’t think so.  We have had – I think there has been a miss kick that I am concerned about.  Some of the kicks that are not --  ……more slap-shot in nature or strategy.  But the depth of the kickoffs – we had the one ball in the end zone, we had a ball to the goal line.  That is not the concern.  The coverage was well done.  It is all a part of the coverage package.  And I am concerned about our coverage.  I think we have to improve in that area, for sure.  But consistency and execution are what we are after there.

Q: In Tynes’ case, what has gone wrong on the misses?

A:  I think just the fundamentals of his approach have been a little bit --- what he practices is what needs to be employed in the game.  Some of the fundamentals and the mechanics of his procedure weren’t as true as they were in practice. So we are just trying to stress that he trusts his preparation and the way that he approaches the ball, for example, throughout the week is the way he does it on the weekend.

Q:  Philly's offense exploited the Chiefs pass defense. Do you go into a game thinking you can do the same or do you have to come up with your own game plan?

A: Obviously you study for a reason. You are looking at tape in order to come up with ideas about a plan.  So you naturally gravitate towards some of those things. But I think that by the same token we have a style, the way in which we play, and we are not going to leave that style.

Q:  Are you surprised that Kevin Boss hasn't been more involved in the pass game so far?

A:  I don’t know if surprised is the word. We are trying to be balanced, trying to distribute the ball around. If you really have studied and noticed, we have been doing a nice job of protecting and the tight ends are a part of that.

Q:  He seems to catch longer passes than short dump offs. Why is that?

A:  That is a good thing. That is a good thing. Well, some of it is design. And he is a big target and once he gets rolling he is able to cover some ground. 

Q:  How are the Chiefs using Larry Johnson?  Is he still the guy who can pound it out?

A:  Yes, he can. He is every bit as dangerous, I think, as he has ever been. He is powerful, he is fast.  He is decisive, he is patient. He uses his blockers well. He is a very difficult guy to tackle. One guy has a tough time. You had better not go high.  I do think that the number one thing that you always have to start out with is stopping the run. And of course, you put a little asterisk there when you have somebody of his nature. Any time you have a back – in what, two years he is over 1700 yards rushing. That is quite an accomplishment. 

Q:  Have you noticed anything different in Jacobs this year, why he hasn’t been able to get going the way he would like to be going right now?

A:  Not that I would talk about in here, no.

Q:  But it is not related to some of the commentary, tip-toeing to the line of scrimmage…….

A:  I don’t think tip toeing is the right description, no. 

Q:  Is this the first time you've seen Eli demonstrate that he is the complete package?

A:  No, I’ve seen it before. Obviously I have seen it before. Progress is consistent. There is no doubt about it. He continues to get better on a yearly basis. But I have seen this over a number of years – the improvement. 

Q:  What have you seen Eli do for these young receivers progress?

A:  He played an outstanding role. He has been a guy that has always communicated with them; worked with them.  Back is the spring as soon as they got here, the young guys – he is constantly talking to them about what he sees, what they see. And he has done a really job with that. And they go to him. If you watch Mario, he goes to Eli with a lot of questions and a lot of things about how the two of them expect things to happen. Steve Smith has always done that. The young kids, the young rookie players, have all been involved in that type of communication as well. So he has taken a very active part in it.

Q:  How would you describe Eli as a leader?

A:  Solid, solid, consistent, always in a mentoring role, if you will; very reliable and dependable. You always know the position from which he is going to come. He is always going to disperse any kind of praise and he is always going to be the first one to say it was his issue, his problem.

Q:  Canty? Hixon? Nicks? Will they practice?

A:  Canty will not, no. But we are going to start with Hixon and Nicks and just see where we are. They are going to be out there and we will see where they are.

Q:  Is Ware still out?

A:  Ware is still out, yeah.

Q:  You always talk about sacks coming in bunches.  Do you feel those are around the corner?

A:  Getting closer, yeah, we are getting closer.  I do feel that.  That is a legitimate question.