Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Conference Call, November 4, 2014
Maybe about an hour ago I finished looking at the tape and I looked at all three phases. Obviously, I am going to stick to basically what I said last night. I think as we prepared to play this team, we knew exactly the style of game that they had played. They were the number one offense in the league, and before last weekend, the number three defense in the league. They had three of their four teams, primary teams, in the top ten. Good football team, there is no doubt, ability to gain a quick lead, and also the ability to come from behind. What we really stressed was that our guys play as hard as they could to fight one snap after another. Don’t pay attention to the scoreboard, but keep on playing. I thought that we played hard and we were physical in the first half. Had we put some points on the board in the first half, I think it would have made for us coming out after the break and feeling very strongly about our position. Being down 16-3, I still didn’t think it was a….number because of what I just described the way in which people took…..For example, the Houston Texans came roaring back after being down 24-0 in the first quarter.
We believed we could do that; it would have been nice to have the ball right away in the start of the second half. Do nothing more than just perhaps shut them down, keep it away from them. The two drives that they did score and we added along with a fumble, where we gave them the ball inside of the five yard line, that certainly did not help our position, but we did keep on playing. We finally made some things happen, more towards the fourth quarter than any other time, but we did. I thought there were some positives; I think we had every chance and every right to get that onside kick. There it was. Go up and get it, it was very well executed, and that would have not only given us more time, but given us the ball in really good field position. We drove it down, we got a couple of scores, we got denied. There was the one turnover in the game and then again defensively, we did not get what looked to be some turnovers. We had some chances for some interceptions; we had some chances for the ball on the ground. Even right before the half, I thought that would have given us a huge boost, had we got that fumble right before the half and been able to line up and kick a field goal at that point in time.
We had some opportunities; they are a good football team, no doubt. We expected to play better than we did. The unfortunate thing that occurred last night was a young man that was playing very good football, Prince Amukamara, was injured and we won’t have him going forward. I feel very badly for Prince Amukamara, particularly the quality of the year he was having, then to have this happen. He will recover, do well, and come back, and we move on. We obviously have Seattle staring us right in the face and a very short week to get ready. We have got to get going.
Q: There is a lot of talk about the dropped passes last night. Is that something that can kind of be contagious? What do you think is the explanation for that?
A: I am sure there is a lot of talk about it, but when you lose, you are putting everything under the microscope, as it should be. The ones that, really to be honest with you, driving it down there in the first half and having a chance to go get a touchdown, rather than a field goal, we had a drop. We had some that were, the ball over the middle, another opportunity there, with Preston Parker, the ball was thrown over his head. You can’t say all of these things are attributed to it, we did throw the ball a lot last night and we had to. For the most part, we responded well with it, we did not throw an interception. We did have some balls that should have been caught and weren’t caught. You don’t want that, it shouldn’t happen. Some of the other things that happened in the game, quite frankly, were bizarre in nature and shouldn’t have happened, either. We strive not to drop a ball, not to fumble a ball, not to do any of those things, and yet in this case, they occur.
Q: When you went back and looked at the play where you were trying to throw the flag. What happened on the defensive side? Why weren’t your guys set up on defense, why would guys not be set up because you are trying to throw a flag?
A: Did you hear the explanation last night?
RE: I did.
A: Wasn’t that good enough for you? You know exactly what happened. The man caught the ball, he actually took four steps. From where I was standing on the field, he actually took four steps. There was obvious distraction there because some of the players thought the ball wasn’t caught. That should not have stopped them from getting in position for the next play because the sideline would have to control that by virtue of the challenge or whatever. What happened was in the distraction of whether it was a catch or a non-catch, some of the players did not react to the practiced call, which was…there was a verbal signal. The signal meant that after a big play, they certainly almost went for a hurry-up type of play. They rushed up over the ball; there was some distraction with the previous play. People didn’t get lined up the way they were supposed to and they ended up with a very easy touchdown. I am down by the other end, but I see it clearly, come running down and all of a sudden as I recognize that we are not lined up the way we should be or what have you, I tried to challenge. The official came over and said that it was a catch, it wouldn’t be a challenge there. Regardless of whether or not it happened or occurred, we should’ve gotten ourselves lined up and we should have been able to play the next play better, we didn’t. Put it on me, we didn’t get lined up. We should’ve got lined up, we practiced it all week, we knew about how they reacted after the big play. We coached it, we had gone over it as late as the morning of the game, but in the moment of truth when believing the ball was not caught, a couple of our players did not react properly, didn’t get lined up and we got caught with it. They were probably saying, “Where is the challenge, where is the challenge?” I don’t know what they were saying, I was down the road. That wouldn’t have stopped anything and the players have to line up and play. If there is going to be a challenge, it comes from the sideline, same thing as any other occurrence. It is not an excuse, it should not have happened, it did happen, blame it on me.
Q: When you looked at the tape today did it look like an incompletion? It looked like he really never had possession of it.
A: No, it didn’t (look like an incompletion). It looked like he caught the ball.
Q: So it would have been a fumble then?
A: It was a fumble as far as I was concerned, but the ball bounced right up to him. He had taken three or four steps; I can’t tell you exactly what. He had taken a bunch of steps to the sideline.
Q: Could you have just called a time out?
A: Sure, could have done a lot of things. Yeah, sure, but if I could’ve gotten an official that way, that is fine. That wasn’t the thing that popped in my head at the time. We have a play for that situation and we were supposed to line up without a timeout. By and large, I am saving timeouts for the end of the half and the game. It wouldn’t have been any different if the challenge was overruled, of course not.
Q: One of the players could’ve certainly called a timeout when they saw you weren’t lined up properly.
A: That is not the way. It comes in from the sideline. I handle the timeouts, the players were not wrong in that regard.
Q: What do you guys have to do scheme-wise to overcome the extreme injuries at cornerback?
A: We certainly have to analyze and evaluate that going forward here. We did bring a young man (Mike Harris) in thinking we needed extra reinforcements last week. We’ll probably have to do the same thing again, and we will certainly have to spend a lot of time bringing these new people to a point where they understand the basic concepts from which we coach and then the adjustments that you make going forward into a game. You will have to do a great job teaching a game plan, but as far as restrictions go, I am sure we are going to have to be very selective. Perhaps we will have to taper a little bit with the broadness of the plan. We will go ahead and work with that this afternoon and this evening and, first of all, square up with what personnel are going to be playing where and what we think they can handle.
Q: Do you feel you have enough talent-wise to go up against another top offense?
A: You keep asking that question. I responded the way I’m going to respond and am always going to respond: We have enough talent. We do have to play at the top of our game.
Q: Robert Ayers seemed to have a pretty good game last night…
A: He did. He played very well and I was very pleased with his effort.
Q: What did you see from Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: We had hoped that we would get the kind of game which would reflect more pressure on the quarterback. I thought Jason played hard. He just didn’t get a lot done.
Q: Is [Pierre-Paul] limited? He missed practice Saturday with a shoulder injury… Is that affecting him at all?
A: It did. There was one occasion when he came off the field and regrouped. He had an incident with that shoulder and he came off and regrouped and then was very anxious to get back in.
Q: Is it the same shoulder as last year?
A: I am not going to say at this point because I am not exactly sure. I have to check on last year’s. We felt that it was something that was very controllable, so quite frankly we didn’t think a whole lot about it and perhaps now there will be more emphasis along those lines. I am not going to say which shoulder it is because I would be guessing. I am not sure.
Q: Any update on [Weston] Richburg and [Preston] Parker?
A: Richburg is having all the tests today. He was the one that required much more to be evaluated. I think that process is still going on. Preston rolled his ankle over and hopefully we can get that one under control.
Q: What is the plan with Geoff Schwartz… When do you expect him to be back?
A: Try to practice him more. Try to get him on the field practicing more. Lengthen out his workload.
Q: The problems with the running game last night, was that more because of the blocking or the decision-making of the running back?
A: I think it was the overall blocking. We had a few, but not enough. We didn’t have any consistency there.