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Postgame Quotes (12/22): Coughlin, Manning

Posted Dec 23, 2013

Quotes from Giants players and coaches after the 23-20 win over Detroit


GIANTS HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN

Opening Statement:
“Nice to win. That was a very, very nice ending for a bunch of guys that worked their butts off this week, despite all that was being said about us. We had an offensive line that certainly very little tribute was paid to the week before. I thought they came up and played with great heart. Dallas Reynolds, who was one of our two backup guys, ended up playing about three quarters of the game as (Brandon) Mosley broke his hand. He had to go in there and battle against (Ndamukong) Suh and did a nice job of that. And then back and forth, Will Hill scored, our defense played an outstanding ball game. The turnovers, unfortunately we had a couple of them. Gosh, that one with Andre Brown, that hurt, but we were able to bounce back from that. We certainly demonstrated resiliency. We demonstrated mental toughness. We had a nice lead at halftime, came out in the second half in the third quarter, didn’t look very good offensively. Three-and-outs, three-and-outs. They came up with a big punt return on us, which hurt. But then the fourth quarter, we battled back. We did have a very nice kickoff return, which we worked very hard to accomplish and hadn’t had a lot of success, but certainly a ball that was returned probably five deep in the end zone, gave us the ball at midfield. Lots of outstanding plays in the game, lots of physical football. A lot of big plays. Jerrel Jernigan made plays, the fourth-down call there, the sliding catch that put us in position to kick the field goal. That was a huge play. That’s not easy, you’re talking about another….first time I punted was 4th-and-10 and this looked like another fourth and, what was it seven or eight? We decided to go for it. We were into overtime, guys had played a lot of plays. Let’s see if we can make a play to put ourselves into position to end the game and we did.”

On what it says about the team to come through in this victory:
“Good character, tough kids. Took a lot of shots this year, quite frankly have earned the criticism. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We’ve been able to stay focused and we’ve been able to touch on some real deep values that get overlooked when people are telling you (that) you have nothing to play for. You’ve got everything in the world to play for. I think the way they played tonight was a good demonstration of that.”

On if QB Eli Manning was lobbying to go for it on fourth down in overtime:
“I think he was. I picked him up right after we made the decision and he was standing there. (He) didn’t want to come off the field. I’d say that’s about as close as lobbying as he gets.”  

On the offensive game plan changing:
“You’d be surprised how much of that we have available on a weekly basis. Sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to make some of those calls. But there were a lot of them that came in handy tonight. We were disappointed in our ghost-screen production. We threw a lot of those, but the throwback screen was a big, big play. That last drive, Rueben (Randle) with the big third-down conversion there and then the fourth-down conversion by JJ (Jerrel Jernigan). The almost, the series before the ball off of Hakeem’s (Nicks) fingertips there. We have quite a bit on a weekly basis, just to answer that again, but sometimes you don’t have the spot to call.”

On WR Jerrel Jernigan stepping up the last few weeks:
“He did. This is two games in a row he’s played really well, and to be honest with you, this week, he was injured and he was sick last night, so he keeps you right on the edge of your seat, whether or not he’s going to be able to go. He bounced back and he’s a tough guy.               

On FS Will Hill:
“We support him in every way we can. If there was something, he’s trying like heck to meet all of his responsibilities. I don’t know any more than that and you probably know more than I do. It is a private matter and it’s something he has taken care of. We, again, support him as best as we can. He tries like heck to meet all of his obligations.”

On the tipped balls:
“It was nice to get a couple.”

On the game plan to limit Lions WR Calvin Johnson:
“You have to have some ideas about what you’re going to do against him. He hurt us with one big play earlier on that we saw coming and we just couldn’t stop it. We did some good things in the red zone with our defensive structure to try to force the quarterback to not even think about going over there. Then in the field we had some circumstances where we able to have at least a guy or a guy-and-a-half or someone to cover over the top of him.”

On if he thought about going for a 62-yard field goal:
“No. Not at that point, no. I think, to be honest with you, the one that Josh (Brown) hit during the game, I thought he could have kicked a 60-yader with that kick, but I didn’t consider any more than that. I didn’t want to get in to those numbers either. I was thinking that we would probably have to kick a 56-yarder or something like that.”


GIANTS QB ELI MANNING

On what was being said on the sideline during the last fourth-down play: “Yeah, either let’s go for it or kick it or go for the win. I know I didn’t want to punt it there and I wanted to try to win this thing or go for it and be aggressive. He said, ‘We’re going for it.’ Had a good play call versus the coverage we were looking for. (Jerrel) Jernigan getting his type. Jernigan went down and made a great catch for I think, I don’t know, I guess he made a catch. They called it a catch. We had to line up and run the ball very fast on the next play and had to make a few adjustments there, but we got it worked out.”

On if he had any reservations giving it to TE Bear Pascoe:
“I think you have to. Fourth down, you can’t risk it. You kind of get a play run quickly and the fastest thing is to get a right call and it was something that we practiced. Obviously, we don’t practice with that personnel since the fact that Bear into the passing game is because of Andre’s (Brown) injury, but we just told him what to do and Bear has been here long enough. He knows everything that is going on. He’s out there holding on to the football and getting a few yards as well.”

On if he was concerned that there would be no overtime:
“I think in the third and fourth quarter we could not get really anything going. We had a lot of three-and-outs. They were stopping the run. They were giving pressure and they are a good defense and a good team. We did some good things in the first half, but they caught on and played well. Obviously, defense got a big interception for the touchdown. We got a few good drives there in the fourth quarter and also in overtime to put us in position to win the game.”

On the substitutes on offense:
“Well, I thought they did a great job. They competed and we knew that was going to be the case. They were competing hard and they were up to the challenge. Obviously, going against a good defensive front we knew they were going to win some defensive battles and they were going to get a sack or make some plays and that’s fine. We just had to keep competing. When we needed some protection we got it. In overtime we had a third-and-long and got the best protection on the day. Hit Rueben Randle for a first down and for a big play. Then on fourth down had good protection and had enough time to hit to (Jerrel) Jernigan. When we needed them to play at their best, they did.

On head coach Tom Coughlin’s decision to go for it on fourth down:
“I think he has confidence in us. In these situations you are playing to win the game and try to leave it all out there. He put us in position to do that.”

On his interception:
“It was a bad throw. I thought they just kind of jumped the count a little bit on that right side with that right d-tackle. I just didn’t get to step in to the throw and we were kind of in a bind there and we had no timeouts and you just ran the ball. You’re running out of time and you have to get a chunk of yardage to try to get in field-goal range with 20-something seconds left. You probably force that. That part, if I had probably made a better throw, I would have had a chance to get a guy open. It was a poor throw on my part there.”


GIANTS WR JERREL JERNIGAN

On if he ever thought the game was going to turn out badly:
“Oh, no. We never have panic because we know we have a dynamic offense with number 10 (QB Eli Manning) back there. He has a lot of confidence in his receivers, so we just try to stay tuned out there and keep playing.”

On his catch on fourth down to set up the game-winning field goal:
“I had a little in route, pretty much read the coverage and when I came out I saw the linebacker, so I stopped and Eli saw me in that little hole. He threw a great ball to me. Either I was getting it or nobody else.”

On what it meant to him to have a big role today:
“It meant a lot. I was at practice every day watching (Victor) Cruz and taking tips from him and learning from him. That’s the best thing you can do and people are always saying that my time is now or I haven’t got my time, but I just take it as I’m out there practicing and learning from the best slot receiver in the game right now.”


GIANTS WR HAKEEM NICKS

On what lessons they learned during the week:
“Coach (Tom) Coughlin always gives us lessons each week. People were talking about what we have to play for and all that, but the guys in this locker room, we are true fighters. We will fight to the end and we believe in one another. We won’t punch out until it is time to punch out. We just have to take things for what it is and finish this last game strong.”

On if anything was different this week compared to the last two weeks:
“Actually, I have thought we have been practicing well after the bye week. We have been having exceptional practices, but the situations in games, sometimes things don’t go our way. But today things rolled our way.”


GIANTS DE JUSTIN TUCK

On getting back in the win column:
“It’s huge, that’s why we play the game, whether we are playing to get into the playoffs or no. Every time you go on the football field you to go out there and play your best and have a good feeling coming back into this locker room and celebrating with your teammates.”

On Giants FS Will Hill’s interception for a touchdown:
“Huge. I mean Will is one of those guys who is always around the ball, always in the right places and that play is an example of that. It got us right back in the game. It was the biggest play of the game for us. He has been that way all year. Just in the right places at the right times. He always does his job and has really matured this year opposite of Terrell (Thomas) and has been a big factor of what we do on defense.”

On keeping the Lions offense in check in overtime:
“We just didn’t make any mistakes. All 11 guys did their job, it wasn’t anything spectacular. Everyone was on the same page and we made them earn everything they got. They have an explosive offense and a lot of weapons. We took away some of the things they wanted to do and limited them into some plays.”


GIANTS FS WILL HILL

On his pick-six:
“I just saw the ball take off in the air and just took advantage of the situation in cover-four. I was overseeing three players and once I saw the ball tip off his hands I just saw daylight.”

On picking up the offense’s struggles:
“There is always a feeling, even when the offense is doing good, as a defense we always say we have to get two turnovers. We are always out there saying we have to get a turnover, we have to get a turnover. It just happened to be me today.”