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Tom Coughlin Press Conference, 11.29.11

Opening Remarks:
The only thing that I would say a little different from what I said last night is that if you're going to go into the home stadium of the number one offense in the league after eleven weeks of regular season play, a team that's undefeated at home, you're not going to win the game, you're not going to pull off what you go in there for without stopping them. Quite frankly, we didn't do that. As was mentioned last night on a couple of occasions - it's 14-3, there's not a lot of time left in the half. You think maybe, maybe you might stop them, get the ball back, score a touchdown, kick a field goal, something of that nature. Instead it's 21-3 and we come out after the half, have a nice drive and score. It's 21-10. And then what happens is it ends up being a back and forth type of thing. They score, we scramble along and score. The point I'm making is that we had some offense last night. We've kind of gone back and forth here, which is quite bothersome in that a couple of weeks ago we had pretty good defense and no points. Last night we didn't have very many points, but we did have a lot of offense and we didn't have any defense. There's a couple of things that occurred along the way. We're one block away from scoring on the kickoff return against a guy that had over 80 percent touchbacks playing at home. We did get a return ball and we brought it out. Had we secured one more block or half a block even, we would have had a chance to come screaming out of there on that one. We had the debacle on the fake punt which we were able to, they threw the ball three times in a row there and we were able to escape without giving up any points there, but we had two turnovers and they had none. We didn't effectively get the quarterback out of his comfort zone. He kept his tempo most of the night. He spread the ball around, as they usually do. And we didn't create any turnovers. For the number of times they threw we didn't create any turnovers. We did have the one fumble which is very unfortunate because the young runner has done that a couple of times, quite frankly, when he's been upended. And that's bothersome to me. They didn't put it on the ground. They didn't throw an interception. Our first drive, which we felt strongly about coming away with points, I'm sure Eli would like to have that ball to throw over again. If not for anything else, just to overthrow it or keep it away from them because it was only first down and we would have had an opportunity to respond even if it were second down. I just look at it as an opportunity that we weren't able to accomplish. We didn't cover very well, which I mentioned last night. I thought we prepared well, but we didn't execute. If you don't execute, the best laid plans are not going to be there to be accomplished.

Q: Do you think this team is as good as the team that won in New England?
A: Yes, I do. We are struggling to answer all the questions in our own minds. We had two outstanding road wins as you know and we felt good about our team at that point. We have had three setbacks here which are very disturbing because the first two were only a touchdown difference and then last night. We feel like we have to find a way to help our players be the best that they can be. We understand the quality of the competition and everybody does but we are a better football team than the way we played last night.

Q: Do you have to address the second half collapses of years past to make sure that it is not in the players' heads?
A: As I have tried to explain to you before, I think every team is different, every circumstance is different and you are the ones that continually bring this up. You are certainly able to do that and welcome to do that, you can do what you want to do. I am not as stuck on that as you are. I am very interested in finding out how you lose a game by a touchdown when you do so many good things or last night. How is it that we are unable to defend or cover things that we have practiced all week and seem to do a pretty good job of. Yes, I understand what you are saying and I am certainly aware of that our team is well aware of this and we have talked about staying focused. We know what the schedule is and each week, we diminish by one and the opportunities diminish as well so we have to take advantage of them as best we can. I don't see any connection between teams, I just see the reasons why you don't win and why you do win. We are trying as hard as we can to help our players so that we are in a better position to win.

Q: What chances do you have to beat the undefeated Green Bay Packers?
A: That is why you play the game. We are just as interested in taking our best shot as anybody that gets the chance to play against a very good football team that was the world champion a year ago. We are going to prepare as hard as we can. We are going to work as hard as we can. We realize that the margin is thin and we are going to have to play very well in order to accomplish this but we think we can. As I said, we are going to do everything in our power in this short week to turn around the negatives from last night and get it going in the right way again.

Q: After looking at the film, do you still think the effort and body language of the team was there?
A: I just look at the game and the effort was good. I think there were some like JPP who was outstanding. How many times do you see a defensive lineman lined up in the middle of the formation make the play on a pass on the attempted fake field goal to stop them from getting the first down. That was just one play but he made some outstanding plays late in the game to reject some runs and rush the passer and that type of thing. I thought that was outstanding. We couldn't get a lot of things done and we didn't get to the quarterback as much as we want but it wasn't for a lack of effort.

Q: How is Osi's ankle?
A: They are all over at HSS right now and I really don't have any information for you. The training room was late today for all the right reasons at 2pm.

Q: How about Mark Herzlich?
A: He is over there as well.

Q: Is there anybody else who was hurt coming out of the game?
A: From an injury standpoint, we've got guys that are banged up with bruises obviously but hopefully nothing will come of that.

Q: How did David Diehl and Kevin Boothe play on the left side of the line?
A: We battled and I think that one of the things that comes out of the game, I mentioned late in the week how critical our communication would have to be and we would have to do some things despite the noise that would relocate our protection and make the necessary alerts and all be on the same page, I think that Eli did an outstanding job of recognition. I thought that we played into the blitz very well up until the last drive. When we had the fourth and five, that was probably the drive at the end of the game where we didn't handle the blitz or the pressure of the blitz as well as we had the rest of the day. That part of it and our ability to handle that and the physicality of which we protected upfront, the hustle and the effort of the guys upfront trying to get that job done and blocking upfront and picking up the pressures, going up and beyond to make sure that got done, I thought we did a very good job of that.

Q: Do you need to convince this team that it's good or do you just need a win to get it going again?
A: We've done that. We've taken a look at the plays from our six wins to remind our players of the quality of their play and what we're capable of doing. We've reminded them that from '07 to '11 we are the, maybe it's tied now, but we were the team that has won more games on the road than anybody else in the NFL. Those things have all taken place. I think the answer to the question you're posing is yeah, we have to put all three phases together and win a game. We can't have the continuous one group plays pretty well, the other group doesn't and is spotty in the third. We can't have that and we shouldn't be having that at this time of year. We should be playing much better, much more consistently. We should know who we are and we should be performing much better. That's the answer that I would give. Yeah, a win would help a lot. No question. The confidence, the questions would certainly go away, but nevertheless, we have to play better. We have to earn that right.

Q: Last week the players were angry and emotional after losing to Philadelphia. How would you categorize the sentiment today looking back on last night?
A: Disappointed. There's a lot of disappointment. Some people, quite frankly, there was some outstanding play and some outstanding performances. They won't be recognized because of the outcome. When I mentioned to you that I'm taking responsibility for two of those scores, I meant what I said. I also think we should have scored one more time. So you do the math and I'm not going to tell you that that would have made us feel any better or the game would have appeared any closer, but I am going to tell you that that is the way I feel. This is a short week and we really don't have time, quite frankly, to even get stuck on lamenting over this game. We've got to move forward. You know the schedule and we've got to flip the page and jump right into our preparation against an obviously very, very good Green Bay team. You talk about a group that's confident and flying high, well certainly they are.

Q: What's it going to take to get your front four going? Why haven't they been as dominant in the last three or four games as they have been all season?
A: We haven't had the consistent pressure. We've played against some teams that have done a good of protection. Last night they did a nice job with their chip game. Even when it looked as if they were lining up in an empty formation, they were really chipping on the outside. They've done a good job of that and if you don't have enough people to eliminate the fact that they can double or that they can chip, you get some extra bodies being involved in pass protection. We need to look at that and perhaps up the percentage somewhat in terms of our pressures. But it would be great to get our guys going again and win those one-on-one matchups when they do occur.

Q: Can you tell me what you saw out of the Kenny Phillips hit on Jimmy Graham? It didn't look like it was helmet to helmet. Is that the way you coach it? Did you think it should have been a penalty?
A: I looked at it and I looked at it and I thought it was relatively close, but I didn't offer any real judgment. It looked shoulder, shoulderish, shoulder to shoulder. I know that they've mentioned that when they err, they are going to err on the part of the defenseless player and that's the way they're called and so that's the way they will be. Whatever my opinion is, it's not going to matter. They are going to call those plays in the favor of the defenseless player. They are difficult plays to see everything, especially when it is the full speed shot with no chance to replay. I just say it's the way, the direction, the officials and the league are going. We all have to try to accept that and we do try to coach that there is no contact with the head whatsoever on the part of a defenseless player. That's the only way this can be played and we try like heck to stay away from that. Sometimes it's very, very close obviously. You saw one called on New Orleans last night, too, on Hakeem.

Q: In the last five years, your second half schedule has either been the most difficult, second most difficult or third most difficult in the entire league. Do you have any idea why that might be?
A: Well first of all, you're telling me something that I was not aware of and it wouldn't have made any difference anyway. But I understand what your question is. I think it's the way it is because that's the nature of what our commissioner and our league has decided to do, to move the divisional games late in the season and in the case of what you see in this schedule, some of the most outstanding teams in the league. As I said before, to get to where we want to go you have to play the best teams anyway. So that's the position that we take.