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Tom Coughlin, Post-Game 08.29.11

Q:Opening remarks

A: We did some decent things in the first half. The two interceptions and the long kickoff return but our defense played solid football. The turnover thing hurt us and the kick returns hurt us. We mishandled some punts tonight which we really haven't been doing and that's unfortunate. We got stopped on the goal line and obviously that was very, very unfortunate. We didn't play very well with our twos at all. I didn't think they played well at all and they are getting as many reps as everybody else. There has to be some improvement there no doubt. I thought we had some real chances and didn't finish anything obviously offensively but we have some work to do no doubt. There were some positives in the first half and a lot of yards but no points.

Q: What happened on Eli Manning's two interceptions?

A: The first one was a blitz and we didn't get a sight adjustment by either the tight end or the Z. Unfortunately there was no time for him to do anything about it and he threw the ball and it was picked off. The second one, I don't think he saw the linebacker at all.

Q: What should he do next time?

A: I would prefer him throw the ball away.

Q: Should he have thrown it away the first time?

A: There is really not a lot of time. The only thing he could do is throw the ball into the ground or near somebody or just take it down. When it is a pressure situation like that, where you are being blitzed, you have an issue and it is very difficult because it's strictly a timing thing. The receiver is supposed to make a break. The quarterback is supposed to be confident in where they are going to be. They blew it, they didn't make the proper break and he threw the ball because he was about to go down. I mean, you could talk all day about that one. If you ride it down, you've created a very bad down and distance sequence. On the other hand, you'd rather have it than the turnover. It's easier said than done.

Q:...secondary coverage?

A: I was happy with the way the defense played, to be honest with you. Again, the field position was ours pretty much all of the first quarter. I'll bet we had field position far away in the first quarter; didn't have anything to show for it. We got down there, and then ran out of gas, made a play here or there, missed a throw, so that hurt. Even coming out in the third quarter we were fine. We had them backed up there after we didn't make it on the goal-line, the fourth down play. They created some field position for themselves with the very good punt in that situation. Our offense started to bring it back down--the second group--that's probably the best thing they did; but again-- no score.

Q: Are you concerned about how Eli has looked this preseason?

A: I'm not concerned. Would I have liked to have done better? Yeah. I'd like to think that we would have put some points on the board. Until tonight, he's been very good with the ball; very conservative with the ball. Our running game starts to come around, so you look at that as a positive against a very good defense. A lot of eight-man front looks that we did end up running the ball into. I think from that standpoint, we can take full advantage of--I hope--our play action game, which we did tonight. Whenever we were in a play-action we did well. The interception did not come in that situation.

Q: Are you inclined to try Domenik Hixon as your punt returner?

A: Well, we try to do the best we can during the preseason to stay away from that, because of the obvious. I don't want to jeopardize. I want his confidence to be there when he goes back. I'm sure he'd tell you he's ready to do it, but obviously we're going to have to re-think that a little bit.

Q: The little Jacobs scuffle, and then Deon Grant taking a penalty...?

A: Yeah, it's not good football. I didn't really see either one. You don't want it. One of their players is out, one of our players is out. You can't lose your cool, which is the message, really. When you do, you're going to pay the consequences. We got a penalty. We didn't have to have a penalty, and we get two players ejected from the game--one of theirs, one of ours.

Q: How are Kiwanuka and Tuck?

A: How do you know? I don't know. He's got a groin, so we'll have to see. Tuck says he's fine.

Q: How do you prepare for New England in a couple days?

A: We've got to go to work tomorrow and the next day. It won't be much more than jog -throughs, but we'll do that. We'll do what we have to do.

Q: Do you expect Eli to play Thursday?

A: We'll see about all of that stuff. That's all after I look at the tape. We'll see.

Q: Is it tough having to reduce your roster after a game like tonight, then having to make cuts?

A: It doesn't help.