Coach Tom Coughlin speaks with the media a day after the Giants' win over the Jets
Head Coach Tom Coughlin
I think that what we discussed briefly last night is what I would stick with today. The fact that the first half, the way it was conducted, all the questions last night were about the offense. I thought that the Jets did a nice job offensively in the first half. I thought that we, as I mentioned, had some very good runs early on and I thought if it were not for a couple protection breakdowns, we might have had at least one big play in the first half with the underthrown ball to Rueben Randle. I think there was a chance that had [Eli Manning] been able to set his feet and throw it out there that Rueben would have been in pretty good shape on that particular route. To have the two-minute drive starting way back deep in our own territory and utilizing the time the way we were able to and having the very good route adjustment by Rueben. Actually the ball being thrown by Eli before the final break in the route. I thought that was very well done. That gave us a little spark, no doubt, going in at the half.
In the second half we came out and made the adjustments in terms of our personnel changes the way we were going to conduct them and as the third quarter moved along, you could see that we were starting to gather some momentum and Ryan Nassib made some very nice plays. We didn’t run the ball for a while, and then we had the one drive where Andre Williams had some very, very nice runs and got us down in position. We had nice touchdown passes to [Preston] Parker and [Corey] Washington and a nice run to Andre concluding a drive. Some real nice plays in between. We were able to defensively stop them from making first downs or coming back even after it was just a one score differential or a few points, four point differential. Then we added the other score that gave us a chance to build the margin and put us eventually into the victory situation.
The only negatives coming away from the game from my standpoint were the injuries. It is interesting because Rex [Ryan] and I talked about it before the game. When you do greet one another, normally what is said between the two coaches is, ‘Let’s have a heck of a game, let’s compete, let’s be able to recognize the talent on our team and then let’s keep everybody healthy.' When it doesn’t happen that way it is a real disappointment. The [Geoff] Schwartz injury, the [Marcus] Harris injury, those are injuries that are going to be a long while, probably. Then we got Markus Kuhn with a little bit of an ankle sprain that may hobble him this week, which I am disappointed if that is the case. Quite frankly, I wanted to have the chance for Markus to be able to finish strong here in the preseason based on not being able to go last year. Those are the things that occurred in the game that...the Bowman injury, I hope is not much, but the disappointment of losing the two players for some length of time is not what preseason is about.
Q: What is the latest on Geoff Schwartz?
A: From what I understand from [SVP Medical Services] Ronnie [Barnes], and I haven’t spent any time with him today, but that’s the case, is Geoff will go be evaluated. Until that happens, there is really nothing I can say.
Q: How do you move forward with the possibility that it could be a long term [injury for Schwartz]? What do you do at that position and what do you do to alter the plan?
A: Actually we continue. We have done various experiments with people at different spots and [Weston] Richburg has been in there. John Jerry has been in there now and played substantially last night. So we have had the chance to maneuver people around. Dallas Reynolds has played guard as well, so we will just continue to operate in that fashion and hopefully there will be no setback and we can hopefully continue.
Q: How much are the [defensive penalties] a concern to you as you move forward?
A: That is the charge that the officials have been given. We talked about this before. I think what our job is we have to clean up the hands to the face. The hands in the face is a foul. I don’t care what else is said, that is not up to some official to decide whether or not it happened or it didn’t happen. Once the official sees that, it is just a penalty. There is no sense in complaining about that one. The one that is difficult right now is the illegal contact when in fact there isn’t any disruption in the receiver’s route or whatever after five yards. It is just the casual contact that occurs when the athletes turn to run or turn to run in one direction or one breaks in a direction and the other is a little bit behind and there is a little bit of contact when they maneuver through that space or area. And we have to get a handle on that as well.
Pass interference when the defender is not aware of where the ball is has been called that way forever. We struggle, both teams had 10 penalties last night, both teams had 13 penalties the week before. We are still trying to understand and clean this all up and quite frankly it does get frustrating because you know that these penalties, that if they continue into the regular season, will cost you drastically. If you study the drives, the offensive drives, that are sustained by penalties and the scoring percentage that goes with that, it is very high. You must do something about this to give yourself a chance. It is just like turning the ball over. We had the ball fumbled twice last night, threw a ball to the sideline that could have been an interception. Those were eliminated by the good fortune of Geoff Schwartz, who got one fumble back, another one went out of bounds, and the guy who caught the [would be interception] was out of bounds, came back in [bounds] and didn’t re-establish himself. That is the only reason that wasn’t an interception, so if you are going to win at this level, you cannot turn the ball over and have to do a great job of reducing your penalties.
The numbers that people use for goals are far, far less than what you are seeing called. It is a true concern. It is something that it’s down to one preseason game. The way it has been explained to us by the interested parties throughout the league coming down from the officiating department and on is that we all, the officials, the coaches, the players and the people in the review boxes have all got to see things the same way. We are still trying to analyze and figure that out. Some of these fouls when you look at it from the standpoint of your team, you don’t think are anything but incidental contact type things. You could say that is because you are talking about your team, well okay, I accept that and am making no excuses for it. I want that area to be cleaned up and I want it to be cleaned up now. I am disappointed with our guys regarding the hands to the face. It is crazy. You know it is going to be called. You cannot afford. Do not put yourself in that position. We will keep working at it.
Q: Do you feel a little more prepared to deal with these injuries on the offensive line this year as opposed to last year? Maybe a little more prepared to deal with these injuries, maybe have a little more roster flexibility this year.
A: I hope so. That’s why these guys are here and we will soon be able to evaluate that as well. I hope that is the case.
Q: How big of a loss is Geoff Schwartz? He was obviously a guy you put a lot of stock into.
A: Well anybody would be a loss. We don’t want to lose anybody and losing Geoff is, as I said, a major disappointment. Let’s not jump to conclusions, let’s see what happens when the evaluation is completed as to what the length of time is involved.
Q: How do you go about handling Marcus Harris with the fact of weighing what he can bring to the team and the fact that you say he is going to be out for a while? You can use a roster spot on him with Odell Beckham also being injured. How do you weigh those factors into the equation when you are talking about how many receivers to keep and which ones you keep on roster?
A: It’s a matter of the injury, the severity of the injury, how much time is going to be involved and where you stand in terms of how strong you think you will be at that position. So it’s lots of things that have to go into that with one more preseason game to play.
Q: We have talked a lot on the struggles in the passing game on offense and how it hasn’t quite clicked yet. Are you generally pleased with the way your rushing attack has performed throughout the season?
A: With the exception of a couple games, in one game we had the long run that was basically what we’re hanging our hat on. But the more you play against a very good defensive team and you do have some opportunities to run the ball, not as consistent as you like but nevertheless you do have that opportunity and of course that gives you a feeling that with a little tweaking here and there and some more work that you can be able to perhaps count on that. Let’s hope that is the case.
Q: How did [Weston Richburg] look last night?
A: Well that is the whole point. He is taking a lot of snaps and he did get a lot of snaps last night. He did alright last night. He plays a number of positions, whether it be both guards and center on any one given night, so he has had to adjust to both sides of the center and the center position as well. He did okay last night and he is a talented young man that is in a position where he is going to have to help us.
Q: Do you think that the penalties are going to continue throughout the regular season. You think they are just trying to set the message out in the preseason that they are going to be looking for it more and more?
A: Well, unless we hear something different, it’s going to be called like this.
Q: Does that change the way defensive guys have been playing for their entire lives. Do they have to learn how to play it differently now?
A: Well you certainly have to make adjustments to the fact that you don’t want to be penalized. You’re going to have to adjust your game.
Q: Any update on the previously injured guys? Prince Amukamara, Odell Beckham Jr. , and Jon Beason maybe?
A: I don’t think there is any update.
Q: Are they going to be able to practice this week?
A: Prince Amukamara is going to run, he ran last night, and he ran today. He is going to work with the trainers and maybe we will get him. I haven’t heard whether Odell Beckham Jr. will get any type of work. They say that progress is being made but I haven’t heard whether or not he will work with us this week.
Q: What about Peyton Hillis and Jon Beason? Are they closer to getting back on the field?
A: I think they are going to try to do something with Peyton Hillis this week and Jon Beason continues to make progress.
Q: Corey Washington had another touchdown last night. That is four [touchdowns] in four games. What does that mean when you are going to evaluate a guy and how much does him doing that factor into the equation when you are making a judgment on him over there?
A: Anytime anybody plays in a superb fashion, it gets your attention. He has certainly been a big part of any type of fourth quarter success that we have had. You acknowledge the fact that the young man has made progress and of course he has one are area that he has done very well and this is he will go up and get the ball. That is very noticeable.
Q: We didn’t see him until the second half. Is there a specific reason for that? Or is that the way the rotation played out?
A: That is the way the rotation was played out.