Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Postgame vs. 49ers, October 11, 2015
We dedicated the game to Daniel Fells and his family, and thank God we were able to give him the game ball. That was some football game tonight and to have a guy from his (position) room go up there and make that catch at the end of the game was just incredible. But, you know, we had a little trouble stopping them tonight, no doubt. We played hard. We didn’t get a whole lot done at times. Obviously the play before the half didn’t help any—we drove the length of the field and then didn’t come away with any points. But I would do that again—11 seconds on the clock—I would do it again. You know, you throw it in the end zone; you throw it away. But I’m happy for our guys. You know, we finish a game the way that we had to finish it in order to win and we spread the ball around. Obviously Shane [Vereen] had the big play down the middle of the field towards the end of the game there. We fought our way back from some penalties which could have been devastating, but it was a hard fought battle. We have to give credit to San Francisco for coming in here off of three losses and playing like this. We knew it would a dangerous, dangerous team with nothing to lose and everything to gain and they played like it. Their quarterback [Colin] Kaepernick did an outstanding job, I thought, tonight as well. Their running game hurt us—we had a lot of difficulty stopping the run. But in the long run, we amassed a lot of yards and put some points on the board, got a little better than what we’re shooting for from a role standpoint. But to win, and to comeback and win like that, that’s very exciting.
Q: Tom, what happened with Odell [Beckham Jr.]? He was out and then he was back in.
A: Yeah, he got a little, felt a little tug in the hamstring, so they held him out and then I guess they decided he could go at the end of the game.
Q: Did he or was he trying to lobby to get back on the field?
A: Oh, yeah.
Q: When you’re kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns, do you think it is going to come back to haunt you?
A: No. Well, you do. But you know what, you gotta take the points. What are you gonna do? You’re not going to come away empty-handed. I thought that was the one play that I did go by the book, it’s fourth and two. Didn’t expect them to run down the field and score a touchdown. But that was the play and I’d do that again, too. You come away with no points at all, what’s to say they won’t do the exact same thing. Now the point distribution is against you. So there isn’t any question, you’re always thinking ‘why isn’t this a touchdown’ ‘why didn’t we score a touchdown’? We took the points when we did. Thank God we did it.
Q: Did you feel like you kept them in the game in the first half?
A: I don’t know if I felt that way. They did a quite of bit of work on the road. They kicked a couple field goals. They had driven the ball down the field, too. I anticipated a hard fought game. Everyone wanted to talk about the three losses in a row. I wanted to talk about Green Bay. They held Green Bay to 17 points and they had the ball inside the 10 twice and they didn’t score at all.
Q: Were you reluctant at all to put Odell [Beckham] back in?
A: Sure, I was. We were trying to win a game. He wanted to go. The medical people said let him go. I let him go. We’ll see what he is like tomorrow.
Q: Did he injure that during his touchdown celebration?
A: No, I don’t think so.
Q: You were moving the ball without him but did him going back in the game have an effect that you could tell?
A: Well, I think they would’ve played it the way they played it. They got it back with two deep and weren’t going to give us anything down the field, anything quick. When Shane caught that ball, the Red Sea parted.
Q: What does this win say to the resilience of your team?
A: We’re tough-minded. They define themselves as a scrappy bunch, and they are that.
Q: When Eli got down the field in scoring range, your top two receivers weren’t on the field.
A: The other guys made plays and I’m happy about that. I was glad to see that. I told them in the locker room that it took every guy in order to secure the win. People were playing and getting pushed into roles that they hadn’t been in before. I think that’s a real sign of a team.
Q: Did Eli signal for a timeout at the end there?
A: Yes he did. I wouldn’t have called it there, but that having been said it all worked out.
Q: Eli had career highs in attempts and completions. What does that say to his game? Where do you rank this performance by him?
A: Comebacks are high, no doubt. About as high as you can rank it. To be down and be able to do that in a matter of time, as you said, a lot of guys on the field hadn’t been there before. But it says a lot. It says a lot about a bunch of guys on the team hanging in there. Their rush at the end of the game was ferocious up the field. They didn’t worry about anything else. That put a lot of strain on us with the play to Myles [White] down the field. We thought we got a catch right away, but who knows.
Q: Did the discussion about putting Odell in happen as the interception was being reviewed or before the drive?
A: No…people started to and I grabbed him to make sure. He wanted to go in and win. That’s when they said he could go.
Q: You obviously needed a lot from Eli from this game, how much did you sort of need him to carry you because of the situation being down receivers and everything?
A: He is our guy. He is our guy. He understands that completely. His focus and his work ethic is second to none.
Q: Do you have to say anything to him or does he know it?
A: He knows it.
Q: How valuable is Shane Vereen?
A: He is amazing. In the short time he has been here, he has made a huge difference. He is a scrappy guy, too. I like him.
Q: What is the latest on Daniel Fells?
A: Fells has had two very good days in a row. We walked into his hospital room Saturday morning at about 7:30, Ed Triggs and I. He was sitting up, his wife was sitting up and they both had a smile on their face. He had really had his first night of sleep for the whole week that night. Then he put two together and his MRI came back without any issues. Thank God and hopefully he will just continue in that direction and have this cleared up so he can go home and see his kids.