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Steve Tisch, 01.03.11

My thoughts on this season were that I was rooting for two teams yesterday. The team that I wanted to win the most won, and the team that I was hoping to win did not win. We came out of this season 10-6, a good team, in many ways a better team than we've been the last few seasons. I'm proud of the players, proud of the job that Tom Coughlin and his coaches have done. I don't want to be watching the playoffs at home but that's the way it's gone down this year. We're a great organization, and I think we're really a team that embraces the word ‘team' and the experience of team. I think Coach Coughlin has put a very diverse group of young, very talented athletes together. We're 10-6 and there are teams in the playoffs with losing records. I can't keep reading the newspapers and watching sports analysis on television. I hate using this expression, but ‘it is what it is.' Personally, I'm very, very proud of the New York Giants: the players, the coaches, the staff. I'm looking forward to 2011. We're going to have some players that couldn't play this year because of injuries. Very important players who are going to be coming back, hopefully, for the 2011 season. It's been a very great season. I want to thank you guys, you're always there, good or bad news. You report it, I think, fairly. You report it with the passion that you bring to your business, and that to me is very important and I really do feel that it's the Big Apple and you guys appreciate what we do and I'm speaking personally, I really appreciate the job you have and what you do.

Q: Did you ever consider making a coaching change?
A: Never. I'm a big supporter of Tom. I don't want to speak for John Mara, but I think John has spoken for himself, and I think he's indicated to you guys that he's a supporter of Coach Coughlin. I believe Jerry (Reese) has indicated that to you also. A number of players have made their supportive opinions very public, to you specifically. I never felt during this season that changes had to be contemplated and after last night's win in Washington, I still don't think any change needs to be contemplated, discussed, or brought up in the next few weeks or months.

Q: What about his contract situation?
A: I'm very aware of the timing on Tom's contract, as is John and Jerry. I'm not sure 12 hours after coming back from Washington with the sort of mixed feelings we have that it is going to be an issue discussed today. I don't think John, Jerry, and I have ever let any of these issues linger on, and in fairness to Tom and the team, this is an issue that will be addressed very, very soon.

Q: Does the uncertainty of next season with the collective bargaining agreement play a factor also?
A: I wouldn't say it was an issue for discussion week after week. There is obviously a tremendous amount of uncertainty going forward in the league. As we get into the playoffs and on Super Bowl Sunday, it's going to be an issue that's going to be heavily discussed. It was really not a factor. We really focused on our schedule, our games, our wins, our losses, how to improve. I think we genuinely did improve as the season moved on. I'd have to say it really wasn't any real issue, real factor.

Q: Do you think the regular season starts on time next year?
A: My gut feeling is that I don't have enough information, and it would be misleading and somewhat pure speculation to answer that specific a question. And again, I don't want to get fined.

Q: How concerned are you about the prospect of a lockout?
A: I think I share my concerns with 31 other owners, hundreds of players, millions of fans. Meetings are taking place, discussions and conversations are being had with some frequency. I spent too much money on my kids' Christmas presents, so I can't risk any fines because I'd have to get another job to pay the fine. Look, it's on everybody's minds and I do think there will be a deal. I can't stand here and tell you when that deal is going to be closed and signed, but I think a lot of people are working very hard and taking the issue very, very seriously. Nobody wants to see a locked out season, especially the fans, ownership and the players.

Q: How do you feel about going home with 10 wins and watching the playoffs?
A: You know, I'd like to be going somewhere next weekend, but it didn't turn out that way. We did what we had to do yesterday. There were some disappointing games during the season, but you can't look back on those and blame any one situation, any one play. You can't look back and say that this game should have gone that way because it didn't. I'm really proud of the season we did have. 10-6 is a damn good record in the NFL, and if you look at some of the other teams' records that are in the playoffs or at least the first week of the playoffs, we did better than them. I can stand here and sort of intellectually and even emotionally try to explain and answer a question like that. I'm addressing all of you by saying that this is a football team and a football organization that on January 3rd I'm very proud of.

Q: Do you want to have Tom Coughlin for more than just one more year, maybe for the foreseeable future or for however long he wants to coach?
A: Again, these are conversations that John Mara and I are going to have soon. We're going to start these conversations soon. I think Tom's - we relieved a lot of Tom's anxiety the other day. I think Tom is an A-rated NFL football coach. He's coached many great seasons and got us to the Super Bowl. I'd like to feel that we can be back in Indianapolis next February. It's business, and John, I, and Jerry are going to have those conversations. I think the three of us going into those meetings have no set agenda. On matters like this, we usually really see things the same way, which is great and kind of unique about a two-team ownership relationship. I'm not stressed about the conversations regarding Tom. He is a great, great guy and a tremendous leader. The players play for him and respect him. You can't let a guy like that get too far away.

Q: What about changes elsewhere on the staff?
A: There may be other changes made. Jerry, John and I haven't discussed the changes, and Jerry, Tom, John, and I haven't discussed any changes. This is really in a way day one of the 2011 season, and we're in the process of getting over the 2010 season, and you can see our guys getting packed up and ready to take some time off. This is a great team that wants to play football, and hopefully we'll be playing football in 2011.