Good morning. New week, new opportunity, against a very good Green Bay team. A team that went out to New England last week and played very well without their starting quarterback. A team that's very stingy in terms of giving up points and a team that has established a run game despite some injuries earlier in the year to the contrary. They have a good return game, a solid kicking game, and so we go out to Green Bay. They're 5-1 at home and we're excited about this opportunity.
Q: After coaching this team all year, do you know what team to expect on Sunday?
A: I expect our team to be ready to go and be excited about the opportunity and realize the situation we're in and what's on the table for us.
Q: What did you sense from them as they came in this morning?
A: I think they're a little quiet but I think they'll be alright. They'll come around. They responded well in my meeting. There's a bunch of new stuff which happens on a Wednesday that they really have to focus in on the learning, so that's the stage they are in right now.
Q: How did you go about trying to snap them out of it?
A: There is no snapping out. They responded very well. I give them a "Good Morning, Men" and they (don't) give me (much), and then I give it to them again, and they jump up and down. They were fine with that.
Q: How about Rolle expressing his confidence that this team will win in Green Bay and make the playoffs?
A: I'm not sure what you're saying, but I know that's the feeling. That has to be the feeling. The feeling is that we lost the game, that's over. It's a new week, and we have to move on. That's exactly what I said we would do Monday when I met with you and that's the direction we're going in. Let's get going and let's get moving.
Q: Did a lot of players come in yesterday on the off day?
A: A lot of players were in. It was a typical Tuesday. A lot of people in, a lot of people in the weight room, a lot of people getting an early jump on the tape.
Q: Thoughts on your quarterback and him trying to get everyone focused?
A: We already talked about this (on Monday), but he came in and visited with me and asked me if it was okay if he spoke with the team, had a brief team meeting just players only. I said sure, so I set my schedule back a little bit. I was not there for the meeting but I do understand that he did an outstanding job of collecting everyone, getting them on the same page, and realizing that it's time to move on. Let's go.
Q: Is Manningham's injury different than last week?
A: He seems to be sore but I think he's listed as to try it. We'll see how far he can go.
Q: I know you're close with Dom Capers (Green Bay's defensive coordinator), what does he seem to do so well despite some injuries up there?
A: He's an outstanding defensive coach and they have some outstanding players who are still there. They just rally around those guys. He's always been a zone blitz guy and he does a really good job with the pressures, which of course has been repeated by every team in the league at this point, so this is not a new phenomena. Dom's an outstanding coach and always has been.
Q: Does it help that Rodgers is more of a traditional pocket passer?
A: He's the number two rusher on their team. Rodgers is the number two rusher on the team and averages a little more than four rushes per game. He has four touchdowns running, and he will come out of the pocket and he will run. He does make plays with legs, he is athletic.
Q: But he is also much different than Vick:
A: If that's what you're comparing him to, yeah. He does have some ability, and you do have to be concerned.
Q: Is the defensive line the only position a relative football novice like Jason Pierre-Paul could come into the NFL and play as a rookie?
A: I don't think so. I'm not going to say what other position could, but obviously the talents he displays begets anything about the amount of time he's been in the league and really is a positive for us in that he has that all in front of him.
Q: Anything about playing on the road that you can lean on this week?
A: You stress the road warrior mentality and the idea that we have been able to come together as a team and really depend and rely on each other for strength and support and confidence as we go to play on the road in a difficult place to play. All of those things will be thrown out there this week, yes.
Q: Thoughts on Strahan's comments?
A: I don't have any comments on that. Michael Strahan has always been a big supporter of this team and historically a great Giant and I realize the role that he's in right now. We didn't finish the game. That's all I can tell you.
Q: Do you take anything from the 2007 game in Green Bay?
A: We'll take the result and the way the game was played and the emotions involved - you'll take all the positives of it, but there are a lot of people sitting in the audience that were watching it at home.
Q: Do you bring up the stakes to your players this week?
A: Oh, absolutely. They're clear as a bell. Just like last week was. In this day and age everyone is aware of exactly what is at stake, so it's very honest and very straightforward to express that and to make players aware of it. They are aware of it and it'll be a playoff atmosphere. Both teams are striving to do the very best they can and put their team in position to be in the playoffs.
Q: Is O'Hara healthy enough?
A: I'm confident in that. He's a tough guy.
Q: Do you have to get Dodge's confidence up or leave him alone?
A: No, no, no. We'll talk to him - I talked to him on Monday and I'll talk to him on the practice field today, I'll encourage him, I'll point out all the positive things and we'll get him right.
Q: There are reports that you threw him out of the locker room on Sunday.
A: That's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I'm surprised you'd even bring that up with me. Just because it's out there, does that mean - it's nothing, it's ridiculous.
Q: Any extra emotions playing in Green Bay given your admiration for Lombardi?
A: No. I'll stick strictly to the emotions that go with wearing the red and the blue. I certainly have great respect for Coach Lombardi and always have. I read every piece of literature I could get my hands on about him. I didn't have the pleasure of meeting him personally, but having coached in Green Bay certainly had a great additional source of knowledge about what those accomplishments were. That will always be there. My respect for the people in Green Bay, having been there for a couple of years and coached on that team, that will never change, but this is the New York Giants and that's what we represent and it will be all Giants, believe me.
Q: Where does the NFC Championship game rank in your memories? Eli has said it's at the top of his.
A: Not quite the top. A little early.
Q: It's supposed to be 23 degrees this time.
A: Heat wave.
Q: Given the fact that Eli has proven that he can win a championship, when he does speak to the team, does it give him a certain credibility that most quarterbacks don't have?
A: There's no question that, first of all, the confidence, the credibility, the fact that he's been voted captain so many years in a row by his teammates, his peers, the respect that they have for him - he doesn't overdo the speaking thing. He speaks to the offensive team, but he doesn't overdo the speaking thing to the forum, to the team, but when he does speak, obviously they listen.
A: Dave's going to be out for a while with the MCL.
Q: Will he go on IR?
A: I don't know. We're going to try to see where we are in a few days.
Q: What kind of challenge does their defense pose?
A: Well, they play very, very well together. They do an outstanding job with their schemes, with their substituted teams. They use their athletes in a lot of similar ways to many teams, but they seem to have more success doing it, Matthews obviously being the guy with the sacks. So, yeah, they present a heck of a challenge and the way they play, there are some games where they play the nickel package the whole game. I think based on the personnel sets that we will use, we can anticipate some base defense as well.
Q: Tollefson played a lot of positions on the line. Does his injury open up a spot for Linval Joseph?
A: Well, that's one obvious consideration, yes.