Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Conference Call with Philadelphia Media, October 14, 2015
Q: The big question everyone really has right now is Odell Beckham. Is he going to practice today? What are you plans with him going forward?
A: Well, it’s day to day. The trainers seem to think he’s making good progress. He wouldn’t practice today, no, but hopefully we’ll get some work in before the end of the week.
Q: How does not having Beckham essentially change your offense? What do you do without him in the lineup possibly?
A: Well, we have wide receivers that have been playing and rotating in and out. You saw them at the end of the game the other night and we have to go in that direction. We’d prefer not to do that, obviously, when in the game he draws a lot of attention and so on and so forth. All we can do is hold on to the fact that he is a very, very competitive young man and if it’s at all possible, he’ll be ready to play.
Q: The NFC East, obviously, you guys are in first place. What’s going on in the division this year? It just seems like there’s more parity or like the teams are closer together than ever. I know it’s early but is there any type of explanation for that?
A: You just said it. There’s great parity, there’s great competitiveness, teams are barreling each other every time we play each other, I don’t care who it is. They’re very physical, very tough games. It’s just the way it is, and I’m sure everyone likes it and appreciates it that way. We’ve had some injuries in the division, without a doubt. Every team has had them, setbacks and what have you, and are dealing with that. The competitive aspect of the game, the physical aspect of the game is—there certainly is a lot of parity and there are a lot of people playing, certainly, as hard as they can play.
Q: As far as Eli Manning, what’s different with him now compared to the past?
A: I don’t know what’s different. I don’t know what you’re talking about. For years and years and years he’s been literally the best-prepared guy that I’ve ever been around. He works very, very hard, he’s very serious about his game, he’s an outstanding leader, the players like him, the players listen to him. We’ve had some opportunities, we’ve had some very, very close games. He was able to make some plays down the stretch the other day to win it, which was very exciting, obviously playing at home, for our fans. In my opinion, he just keeps getting better.
Q: What are some of the differences you see in the Eagles’ offense this year with a different quarterback, new running back as opposed to previously with Chip Kelly?
A: What is the point of difference? I didn’t see much the other day in the—had over 500 yards against New Orleans. That looked like they certainly made outstanding progress. That’d be my only comment on that.
Q: What do you see out of the Eagles defensive line? Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan in particular.
A: I think they’re playing well. I think they’re physical, I think there’s improvement all over on the line. Each guy is very difficult to deal with on an individual basis. They have good size at the outside backer positions, which also solidifies up front as you end up with your sub-rushers. They’re playing very well.
Q: You moved Justin Pugh from tackle to guard. How has that impacted his game and the game of the entire offensive line?
A: He’s handled both well. He’s been able to slide out and play left tackle when we need him to, he’s played left guard. His game has definitely improved, he’s made great progress over the course of the off-season and he’s been able to adjust very well to this change and when asked to do the other roles, he’s done it.
Q: How specifically would you say his game has changed? What are some specifics?
A: Well, he’s smarter, he’s more physical, he has more confidence. You see him playing at a consistent level. All of the above.
Q: Last year, Walter Thurman got hurt in the season early on. How tough was that for you guys and what have you seen from his play and what did you see when he was with you for that brief time?
A: Well, we were excited about him while he was with us here, and as you said, he was injured and out. I think that was the second year in a row that that took place. We’ve missed and lost a very good football player that would’ve been beneficial for us to have in our secondary. What I see this year, the conversion to safety, he’s all over the place. He’s down low, he’s up high, he’s making interceptions in games. He’s playing real well.
Q: Years ago, you tried to hire Chip Kelly as an assistant. What did you offer him and what did you see in him?
A: I know he’s an outstanding young coach who had—one of my assistant coaches was a good friend and worked with Chip and we discussed this many times before, but I thought he was an outstanding young coach that would be an excellent addition to our staff and it just didn’t work out that way. Chip had an idea of what he wanted to do, I didn’t have that particular job to offer and I certainly understood.
Q: In the past decade in the Eagles-Giants games, you’ve seen a lot of Eagles quarterbacks and you’ve had the same quarterback. What’s the value of stability at that position?
A: It’s helped us immensely to be able to have that position solidified and have an outstanding player, great leader at that spot over the years to be able to count on that knowing full well that that was going to be done as well as we could do it. Then we would have to deal with all the changes that have happened over the course of time around that position, but because Eli has been there as an anchor and a guy who we can always turn to, it’s been a spot that many times we’ve had to build a football team around. So thank goodness for that.
Q: I apologize if you’ve been asked this, but is Beckham practicing today?
Q: As a follow up to an earlier question about Eli, the interception numbers are down this year. What’s he doing well in that area?
A: That’s a point of emphasis for Eli and for our team. He’s done a really good job at that. We’ve had a couple. They’ve been things that we probably could’ve avoided, but in this game, throwing the ball as many times as we’ve thrown it, he’s done an excellent job at taking care of the ball.
Q: Where does Victor Cruz stand at this point?
A: He’s rehabbing, working indoors primarily, working with the trainers, he’s in every meeting. However, he has not been cleared to be on the field.