Head Coach Tom Coughlin
September 22, 2015
Good morning. We look forward to playing in the division Thursday night against the Washington Redskins, a team that’s 1-1 and has played two outstanding football games. Kirk Cousins, their quarterback, his percentage of completions is at 75 percent. They’re the number one rush team in the league, they’re the number two time of possession team in the league—almost 38 minutes a game. The opponent just doesn’t have the ball. Defensively, they’re number one in the league, fourth against the rush, second against the pass. They’ve done an outstanding job. Their special teams is basically young at the return spot, but they are fast. So they’re a good football team. Their offensive line is blocking very, very well. They have two runners who are doing an outstanding job. They’ve come up with this young guy, Matt Jones, to back up (Alfred) Morris. Those two have done an outstanding job. They have pounded away with the ball. If you saw last week’s game, they loaded up with their tight ends, something a little bit different, and they caused some issues for a very good St. Louis Ram team that had defeated Seattle at home the week before. So the Redskins are playing good defense, they’re rushing the football, they’re taking good care of their quarterback, and as a result, his accomplishments in the pass game at 75.9 percent completions is pretty good.
Q: Sounds like old school football a little bit. Is that what you see from them?
A: Well, I think that they have gone ahead and decided to do exactly what they like to do there—run the football. And they’re also a great defense, they’re playing outstanding defense as well. Second in pass defense, as well as fourth against the run.
Q: Tom, you had eight guys listed on your injury report yesterday who did not practice. Are any of them returning today or do you want me to go through?
A: As you know, there’s a few speed drills today, but not many. So the guys that can go will go, and the guys that we hope are going to continue to improve will not. (Jon) Beason will practice, that I can tell you.
Q: How about Robert Ayers?
A: Ayers is feeling better, but won’t do the running portion of the practice.
Q: Ereck Flowers?
A: No, won’t practice.
Q: Victor Cruz?
Q: Cullen Jenkins?
A: Cullen will practice, yes.
Q: Any progress with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or--?
A: No. He’s in the protocol, which as you know, has been really set up to do a very thorough job of evaluating the player. And quite frankly, it’s a difficult thing for them to get back on track with a Thursday night game.
Q: What was the diagnosis on Flowers?
Q: Is there a timeline? Sprain?
Q: If he’s okay Thursday, would you be comfortable putting the rookie right back in there?
A: Depends. Depends what ‘okay’ means. Is he going to be able to function properly? Does he know exactly what he’s doing? This is a week in which you could say that anybody who can go through a jog-through can be prepared. And I think he’ll mentally be ready. I think he could do some of the jog-through stuff, but they’re going to be very conservative and make sure that he has a good grasp of the healing process.
Q: What went into the decision to release Preston Preston?
A: Well, we thought we needed another defensive lineman, to be honest with you. So that was the decision.
Q: Where do you go in the slot now without him?
A: They all can play the slot, they can all go in there.
Q: You put Geremy Davis in there?
Q: Has he done that at all in game situations?
A: Rueben (Randle) has. Geremy Davis knows all the spots.
Q: Do you have any theory as to why Rueben has gotten off to such a slow start? He seemed very frustrated after the game.
A: I don’t have a theory. I can tell you that there was basically a two-week stint during training camp when he couldn’t work, that doesn’t help.
Q: Does he seem like he’s running the way he’s supposed to?
A: I think he’s running okay now, yes.
Q: Did he get any separation in the game? Did you see that the ball could have gone--?
A: He had a couple of shots where he could have. Of course, being anxious, had the drop.
Q: If you’ve been asked this yesterday, I apologize, but as you lay out for the team where they are, especially in a division where others have challenges, how do you think your players reacted?
A: Well, I think they reacted well. But remember, that took place yesterday, a few hours after a game—very disappointing loss. I didn’t expect any handstands. Today should be better.
A: Maybe. You see me doing one, then you can figure they’ll follow.
Q: You started off 0-2 in 2007. That was obviously a lot different defense then. Do you look back at that and try to draw comparisons on what to tell your team what’s possible still?
A: I do. I do, to be honest with you. If it’s positive, then I’m willing to go there. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but it is something that we’re calculating, let’s put it that way.
Q: When we look back at 2007, we always look at that goal line stand in Week 3 at Washington as the turning point. How much can one play or one moment really change around a season?
A: You saw it. It was actually a spike and three plays, but it was 6-2. We were 6-2 after the 0-2.
Q: That just kind of changed the confidence level?
A: I think it just raised everybody up to what we can do, what we’re capable of.
Q: I assume that’s what you’re looking for here, these guys to play to their abilities?
A: That would be nice. I think reinforcement is a great thing.
Q: You have somebody here who could be a guest speaker.
A: Do we have someone?
Q: Your defensive coordinator could probably speak about that.
A: There’s a couple of us around that were here. You could speak to us. Probably couldn’t pay the per diem.
Q: From the outside, whether you read it or not, you’re probably aware the perception of your team is there’s just not enough here. There’s not the premier pass rusher for obvious reasons, there’s not enough play makers, besides Odell. Do you have to convince this group it’s good enough? Do you believe this group is good enough?
A: Yes, I do. I don’t read any of that stuff, to be honest with you. I’m concerned with our team, with the people that are sitting in these seats that have to go out and play every Sunday to the best of their ability. And we’re trying to find a way to help them do that.
Q: But you think they’re good enough?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: To win Thursday night?
Q: And probably be better than 0-2 right now?
A: I really do think we should be better than 0-2, and I told them that right away on Monday afternoon. I told them I wasn’t very pleased with the play as such, but I thought we could certainly be, even under these circumstances, be 2-0.
Q: What do you need to see for your group to be consistent and a better running team offensively?
A: Our runs are not one right after the other. Our runs are more that take advantage of balance, whether people are defending, what have you. That’s what it appears to me. There are some of our runs that are power runs that have been very successful, which leads me to believe that hopefully if we can keep going and get better each week, we can rely more on that. Our runs as such, the breakout run by (Andre) Williams the other day was very, very well blocked. But consistency is an issue in all phases, not just in the run game. For us in all phases, including defense etc.…
Q: One of the focuses of the offseason was run defense. What have you seen from them so far? The numbers are good.
A: The numbers are okay. I’m certainly not going to find fault with that part of it.
Q: Are you willing to concede those passes, a lot of running back passes underneath. Do you consider that part—?
A: Well sure, you’ve got to stop them all.
Q: Is Dwayne Harris okay with the toe?
A: Yes. To be honest with you, he never paid any attention to it. He hasn’t even been treated, to be honest with you. He says he’s okay.
Q: How’s Marcus Kuhn? You’re adding a defensive lineman. Is Kuhn getting better?
A: He’s getting better, yeah. He’s getting better.
Q: Is he going to practice?
Q: The release of Parker, is that any indication on Victor Cruz’s availability?
Q: So there’s no statement in releasing Preston Parker? A guy who has just not gotten it done.
A: I’ll leave that up to you.
Q: How are Alfred Morris and Matt Jones different in your eyes? What different aspects do they bring to the table?
A: They’re both powerful, north-south runners, downhill guys. The young kid is a bigger kid.
Q: With respect to the opponent, does it start more Thursday with you not beating yourselves?
A: You know, the traditional ways to beat ourselves. You can go to 3rd and 2 at the eight-yard line, sure. But on the other hand, the execution of the opportunity when it’s there to go ahead and win the game, that’s what has got to happen. Whether it’s defense or offense or whatever it is. Seventy-five percent of the games in the National Football League, 24 out of 32, are seven points or less in the fourth quarter. The game is a fourth quarter game in the National Football League. We’ve got to be able to be productive when the game is on the line and the pressure is there to perform. That’s exactly what it is.
Q: There have been instances in the NFL where a coach will just give up on a player earlier than you would have expected. Jimmy Johnson did it with Curvin Richards one year, they won a Super Bowl that year. Have you seen that kind of thing before? It’s happened where players are released early after just not performing, and the statement is made to the team that, “Hey, we’ve got to move on if you’re not getting it done. We’re going another direction.”
A: Preston Parker, for the majority of time he was here, was a very tough, physical football player who made plays when called upon. That hasn’t been the case necessarily this year. We thank him for his service.
Q: Is Geoff Schwartz going to practice?
A: Yes, just don’t get near him.