Head Coach Tom Coughlin
October 28, 2015
Good morning. Now we prepare for the New Orleans Saints, who lost their first three games this season and won three of their last four. Beat Dallas at home, lost to Philadelphia—they were sacked a number of times in that game. But of late, they beat Atlanta, a very good Atlanta team. They beat Indianapolis, they were plus-five in those two games, only having one turnover themselves, that being against Indianapolis. They’re (even) for turnover ratio on the season. Their offense is ranked sixth overall in the National Football League—22 in yards rushing, although they rushed for 183 last week against Indianapolis. Third in passing, fourth in the NFL at 45.9 percent on third down. Drew Brees is completing passes at 67.6 percent. Mark Ingram had 143 yards rushing in Indianapolis. Brandin Cooks—35 receptions and six plays over 20 yards. Ben Watson, their outstanding tight end, with 29 receptions, 10 of them against Atlanta. And up front, Evans, Unger, and Armstead anchor an outstanding offensive line.
Defensively, although overall 30th, they have eight takeaways in the last three games and they are on third down, allowing the opponent to progress at a percentage of 33.7, which is fourth in the NFL. They’re led by Cameron Jordan, an outstanding defensive end. Young linebackers, first and second round picks. Delvin Breaux as a defensive corner is having an outstanding year. When they do match, they match him on the opponent’s best. Kenny Vaccaro, the outstanding physical safety who plays down in the box, second leading tackler on their team.
Special teams features Morstead, their outstanding punter. Forbath, their kicker. And punt/kick returner Marcus Murphy, who had a 74-yard punt return against Carolina. Fifty-six, linebacker Michael Mauti, had a blocked punt for a touchdown against Atlanta. So we prepare ourselves to go to New Orleans to play in the dome. We will utilize all of the facility that we can to prepare with the noise and all that business starting right today. I know you don’t have any questions.
Q: They give up a lot of rushing yards. Do you challenge your guys this week to be more efficient in that area?
A: We challenge them in every way we possibly can. Give up a lot of rushing yards, I think a lot of their numbers, to be honest with you, come from earlier in the season. Whatever we think we can accomplish, we’ll present as a challenge.
Q: Your thoughts on JPP coming back and do you have a general time frame of when he might be back?
A: No, I’m being brought along just like everybody else. He will start with the medical team. He can do all the jog-through’s, he can be out there for whatever we’re doing pre-practice, then he’s going to slide off to the side with the medical people, be under their supervision. How long that lasts is really according to how well they feel he’s able to proceed. He’s told me that he’s worked against bags, he’s delivered blows on a board and done all of those things. When he came in, he looked good. I asked him what he weighed, he said 268, and he was right on the money. So he’s worked, he’s been working. We’ll just see how fast this comes along.
Q: What was the mood of the team this morning when he was among them for the first time?
A: I think it was very good. They looked forward to seeing Jason. He’s excited about being here and he’s anxious to get started. I think that’s a good thing and the rest of the guys picked up on that right away.
Q: Even though he can’t help you on the field yet, because of his popularity in the room and him being back here after all this ordeal…Is there any element of him just kind of boosting these guys a little bit?
A: We’re all rooting for him, to be honest with you. He had a very traumatic experience and he’s done really what appears to be an outstanding job of preparing himself. He is mentally very upbeat, his attitude is outstanding. He’s anxious to go and play right now, to be honest with you. But they’re going to go relatively slow on that. Yeah, it will be a wonderful thing to have him come back, get ready to play, and play and contribute, which is his plan. I kidded him about that when he first came back the other night. We kind of laughed with one another and talked about, “Let’s get started on that job.”
Q: Based on what your medical people have told you, what kind of player can you expect him to be versus the player he used to be?
A: I’m hoping he’s as good as. If you’ve studied him and you watched how he maneuvers when he does rush the passer, then he’ll use that hand basically as he always has, not necessarily as a grabber, but as a club.
Q: What changed from Labor Day to Monday? On Labor Day you said he wasn’t ready to play and then obviously now the team feels he can at least become ready to play.
A: What’s changed?
Q: Yeah, what was the difference?
A: He’s healed significantly, he passed his physical. The doctors feel that he can play and perform with his hand as it presently is. That’s what’s changed.
Q: 268, is that weight what you guys—
A: That’s good, it’s a good weight.
Q: You’re good with him playing at that weight?
A: It’s a good weight.
Q: How will he play? Have you guys worked out exactly how his hand is going—
A: We’ll see how that goes. How will he play? Hopefully, very effectively, thank you very much.
Q: Not sure of the rules on this, but was he able at all to look at the defense during his time off?
A: I did not ask that question. I think he’s watched a lot of football.
Q: How much does he have to catch up? Obviously learning the defense.
A: He’s got quite a bit to catch up on. The terminology, sure. But he’s already started on that.
Q: What was your conversation with him like? How did he seem? How did appear and seem to feel about being back?
A: Upbeat, very upbeat. Very excited, very glad to be here. Just as the first time he came until now, he’s done everything he can to get back here. And he was in a good frame of mind the first time I saw him, as well. But this time, very good because he feels it. He senses that it’s close and whatever we ask him to do, he can do it.
Q: Conceivably, how much can he help?
A: We’ll see how many times he knocks the passer down.
Q: There was talk about a glove or is a club, a full club--. Do you have a plan on anything along those lines?
A: You’ll have to wait and see on that one.
Q: Would you be inclined to have him travel to New Orleans?
A: I don’t know. I thought about that when I talked with him last night. I’ll think about that some more, depending on how this information goes in the next few days. Do I want him in an environment of competitiveness? Yes.
Q: But no playing on Sunday? Is it possible?
A: Tell me what shape he’s in. No, no. There’s no intention right now of him playing Sunday. He would like to play.
Q: As far as your pre-practice injury report, Beckham still on the same schedule?
A: No, he’s going to practice.
Q: What about Beason, Schwartz?
A: Beason, no. Schwartz, tomorrow.
A: Owa, no.
Q: Is there anything new on Victor Cruz and his rehab progress yet?
A: Not that I can mention or make any difference with you. He’s not going to practice.
Q: You wouldn’t expect him to play this week?
A: No. No.
Q: Schwartz is the same ankle he had trouble with last year?
A: Yeah, but he’s dealing with it a lot better.
Q: This team, even going back years, has not done well in New Orleans in that environment. Is there anything you can take away from previous games that might help in this one?
A: Well, the style in which they play and all that, we’re familiar with all that stuff. We’re going to preach forever on that. But they’re a good offensive team, they’re a good defensive team. They’ve improved quite a bit. Of course, they have an outstanding home situation and environment to play in.
Q: Your defense gave up at least a couple long throws to Matt Cassel. Does Drew Brees have the ability of really doing damage?
A: He has the potential, there’s no doubt. He’s an exceptional quarterback, has been for a long time. A master of that scheme, it’s a very good scheme--mobile, personnel combinations, formations, splits, you name it. And they run the ball just as well.
Q: I guess I should have asked it this way…if Prince isn’t back. Will Prince be back?
Q: So with the same personnel, I guess I should have asked it, how do you clean up that stuff?
A: They’re going to make some plays, there’s no doubt about that. They average 385 yards a game, and that’s with a 3-4 record. So they’re going to make some plays, it’s just can you take some of those plays away. And can you find ways in which to have momentum changing plays for yourself. And can we offensively step up to the task? Because it’s a big one.
Q: You’ll have some more from Beatty this week?
A: Beatty is going to get a little bit more, little bit more, little bit more, scout team work.
Q: Is this week a possibility for him?
A: No, I wouldn’t say that. He’s got to start, he hasn’t even had shoulder pads on yet.
Q: What about Unga and J.T. Thomas? Will they work today?
A: Unga will, J.T. will not.