Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Conference Call, August 17, 2014
I was very pleased with the competitiveness of our late surge in the bottom of the third and then in the fourth quarter. I was pleased in the way in which we competed at that point in time. I thought that starting with Curtis Painter, we had an excellent drive and a score. The defensive play that got us the second score, of course, with them kicking the ball out, having a penalty, backing it up and getting the big hit out of [Justin] Anderson, ball flies up in the air, and we get the ball recovered down underneath the pile for a touchdown by [Spencer] Adkins. That was a real plus because of what it meant to our sideline in terms of continuing the belief that we could get it back. Then Ryan Nassib took over and we had big plays out of Adrien Robinson and we had big plays up and down the field. Kellen Davis jumping in there with Curtis [Painter]. We had a big play from Corey Washington, so we did have some really nice plays down the stretch. The clock was used well. We were able to have a four minuteÖ. Defensively we held them in a four minute surge, and we held them in a two minute right at the end of the game.
It was really interesting. You donít often see someone line up to kick a 64-yard field goal and have it long enough. It was, if not exciting earlier, it certainly was exciting at the end and I was pleased with that. Reflecting back on what I said about our starters, no I wasnít pleased with that. Offensively and defensively, I think when you play against a team as quality as the Colts, who are a proven playoff team and have outstanding team speed, good special teams speed, it gives you a chance to see an awful lot and there was some good and some bad with our special teams play.
With our defense, the opponent was aided by a lot of penalties, which allowed their drives to continue, which is not an excuse, it is just the reality. I thought that the Colts played pretty much like you would play a second preseason game. Their starters stayed in while our starters were in the game defensively. We werenít able to stop them in any consistent fashion at all. We had a play here and a play there, but by in large it wasnít what we expected out of this particular game for our team.
Offensively it was the same way. Very very few productive yards, whether it be run or pass. There was not much to show for the first two to three possessions. We did get a big play up the sideline, which of course was turned over right away with a fumble and ensuing penalty, which erased that, but it would have been something to have the ball down in that territory at that point in time after a big play. We were denied that. We had the fumble on the kick-off return. We had [the Cruz] fumble. We continue to not really have very many big plays. We had some at the end of the game. There are not enough plays being made by our starters on the offensive or defensivee side of the ball. We didnít get a whole lot done. We didnít get any turnovers with our ones or our twos. That is something that you always count on.
All of the sudden the preseason is flying by here, and we do have an awful lot still to accomplish. There is a degree of acknowledgement for the success that was, mentally more than anything else, was the determining factor last night because of the challenge that was posed to our team and the players that would compete in the second half and the way they responded.
Q: What specifically do you have to work on with the starters [offensively] in the time you have left?
A: It is obvious. I think we have to work on a lot of things. Basically we have to work on everything. Last night we didnít run it, we certainly didnít throw the ball with any consistency. We donít have people who are definitely running open. Our protection does break down from time to time and we donít react well under pressure when we do realize that there has to be a hot or sight adjustment involved in getting the ball out of the quarterbackís hand and trying to accomplish a positive play in the face of pressure, I think there are a lot of things that still have to be done and the issue there is that it is a three day practice week. It is almost very similar to an in-season week of preparation for a game. You really donít have the time to just stop and work on one or two things. You have to continue to enter in to all the different situations that we are in and try to improve in all of those areas, but we will have specific objectives and goals that will be a direct result of this past weekendís game.
Q: Is there any concern that the offense may go into the regular season as a work in progress and even throughout September?
A: Well, I donít know if there is any way to put it but that. We have had in the last few years unproductive preseasons or unproductive games in the preseason, and we still have been able to come out and play well early on even offensively. Now in the regular season is that the case here? I donít know that. We are going to see how that goes, but is there a concern? Sure it is a concern.
Q: What about your injured guys? It looks like Cooper Taylor was pretty significant?
A: Yeah he is. Cooper is significant and he has an injury that will require quite a bit of time. That is most unfortunate for the young man.
Q: What is the injury?
A: Well it is a foot injury again. It is one of those sesamoid deals up under the toe. Itís excessive enough that they are saying he will be out for quite some time.
Q: Is he on injured reserved?
A: Just one question after another. I am not prepared to answer that one. That has not been discussed yet.
Q: How about Prince Amukamara? Was he sent for an MRI today on his injury?
A: I believe he will have one. It is a groin [injury] and whenever you have something like that with a position that of course Prince Amukamara plays you are concerned. We will see, I donít know that it is day to day but he is sore.
Q: What will you do in the mean time without him? Does Walter Thurmond move outside? Or do you put McBride out there?
A: Well, we have some flexibility there. I am sure we will deal with all of that and even deeper than that. There will be a bunch of guys. We will adjust that. I am not going to tell you exactly how we would play it in a game, but we will make some adjustments there.
Q: And Markus Kuhn and Charles Brown were the other two [injured] in the game?
A: Yeah, Charles Brown had a shoulder injury and Markus Kuhn hyperextended an elbow and hopefully he can deal with that. Iím not sure exactly how much time Charles Brown will miss, but there may be some time in there. I know the normal deal here is to put them in a brace or fit them for a brace as soon as he is capable with playing without the soreness so we will see.
Q: Did you expect your offense to be further along at this point than what it is right now? Is that a little frustrating in the fact that youíre not doing as well as you expected?
A: Well anytime you set up a schedule with a preseason you expect to be at certain points along the way. So it is disappointing not be at least a little more advanced than we are.
Q: What makes the gelling in an offensive line such a difficult task? I am sure that isnít what you wanted to see from your line yesterday. You have three new starters. What makes it so hard for a group to play together and for it to come together and where do you stand in that process?
A: There is a lot of communication. There is a lot of decision making that has to be made in a very short amount of time. The interior three have to make an awful a lot of calls, the tackles are involved as well. I just think it is working together, communication; itís doing so with split second timing, and then having results. The inconsistency of the results is as frustrating as anything else.
Q: Is that why you had Weston Richburg in at the end of the first? Do you consider that right guard spot especially still an open competition there?
A: Well he has played left, heís played right, heís played center. So he has played all those spots and he did it all last night.
Q: Do you want to see him with the first team?
A: Weíre going to see him with the first team. We did see him with the first team last night. There is nothing unusual about that.
Q: Do you expect any changes on the offensive line moving forward here? You kind of stuck with the same five guys or tried to?
A: We are not stuck with anything. As I said, just because five guys trot out there doesnít mean thatís the starting unit. What we are doing is we are trying to introduce, for example, Weston Richburg played guard, center, right guard, left guard and he did so last night. We are looking at all of those things. You have James Brewer who has played on both sides. We had Charles Brown playing when Will Beatty wasnít working with the first group. Now Will Beatty is back so we do have to get that communication going excessively between the left guard and the left tackle for example. Itís a work in progress and we are trying like heck to speed that up, but we do have to make sure we are looking at all of the possibilities.
Q: Have you liked what you seen from Weston Richburg lately? Is that sort of why he was the first team more yesterday than he has been in the past?
A: Well the reason he is here is because we liked him. That is why we are obviously trying to get him as involved as we can.
Q: With just one more preseason game left with the starters, traditionally how you handle it anywayÖ Do you feel the players have the same sense of urgency as you to get this offense going?
A: They better. Itís not written in stone about what you do with the last preseason game either. The idea is to come out of this with the best being in the best possible circumstance. Having your team prepared throughout the course of these games so that when you head into the regular season you are ready to go. So we still got some to work to do along those lines.
Q: Last week when you talked about Curtis Painter you said he got more second team reps because he earned it. Did Ryan Nassib do the same last night?
A: He played well. He did a good job and he competed like heck. Curtis Painter started the thing off and he jumped right on it too. We will see about how it goes.