Head Coach Tom Coughlin
November 11, 2015
We want to acknowledge Veteran’s Day and thank our veterans for their diligent service to our country. Also recognizing our military throughout the world and thank them for their vigilance and all that they provide, the safety that they provide for us.
We prepare ourselves now to play a very, very good New England Patriot team. They’re plus-seven in turnover ratio. They only have five giveaways, they’ve only thrown two interceptions. They’re third in the NFL on offense. They’re averaging 34.5 points per game, which is the most in the NFL. They’re first in third down percentage conversions, they’re third in touchdowns in the green zone. They have an outstanding cast of players, as you know.
Defensively, they’re eighth in the league—third versus the run, 17th versus the pass. They’re second in sacks as a team with 27. Chandler Jones has 9.5, their team has 27 of them, as I mentioned. (Jamie) Collins, the linebacker, the outstanding linebacker, has 4.5 as well. On third down, they’re 24th in the league at 41 percent and they are 22nd in the league in the green zone giving up touchdowns against. Special teams is outstanding. They have an outstanding coverage unit, they’re energetic. They are third in the league in covering punts, they’re 10th in the league in covering kickoffs. They have an outstanding punter in (Ryan) Allen and they have an outstanding kicker in (Stephen) Gostkowski. I’m sure you have absolutely no questions.
Q: When you face a team this explosive, is it more about your defense or your offense?
A: More about all three teams, thank you. Field position and trying to keep the ball away, trying to do things with your offense, and it’s trying to find a way to control a team that’s a high-flying team that has scored an awful lot of points. They have been in some tight balls games. The Jets gave them a good game, Indianapolis, a good game. So there have been some games that have been relatively close, at least for a while. But they’re a good football team and you’ve got to play your best, there’s no other way around it, in all phases because of their ability to score, their ability on defense to rush the passer. They do mix pressures in, but primarily they get after it with their rush group. That’s a good football team.
Q: You mentioned keeping the ball away…it’s obviously a little harder to do running the no-huddle in a fast-paced offense. Do you change anything with that strategy or do you just do what you do?
A: No, we will do what we do. That’s always a consideration but the thing you have to realize, again, is that although we do have a relatively fast pace as the league goes percentage-wise, we are out over the ball quite extensively. And the reason for that is obvious, the quarterback has an opportunity to evaluate what the defense is doing and that’s important to us.
Q: Are there any players around the league that you can look to as a parallel for Rob Gronkowski and how you might go about covering him?
A: He’s a rare athlete, let’s face it. And they use him a lot of different ways and they try to get the isolation look and they try to use him among others, the running back, to determine whether it’s man or zone. And you’ve seen them over the years, whenever the circumstance allows, whether it’s a linebacker or safety or whoever it is, goes out on the big, tall tight end, the ball goes up in the air. He’s also kind of an effortless back-shoulder receiver, which is really interesting for a big man, and the ball is thrown in that capacity
Q: How do you determine how you treat him, as a receiver with a cornerback or linebacker, safety? You’ll mix it up, I’m sure.
A: You have to mix. You’ve got to mix because you have to have your entire defensive package available. If you start cutting down on that part of it, then it’s pretty obvious what you’re doing for the majority of the day.
Q: You’ve had success against them in the past, does that figure here at all?
A: No, it’s a new year, new scheme, it’s a new team, all of those things. We have some ideas that carry over, but by in large, as you said, that’s in the past.
Q: You and Eli have enjoyed success against them. Do you show them, this young team, some of the success to say, “Look, they’re perfect, but we have beaten them.”
A: Well you might mention it, but as I said, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Q: Every week brings its own challenges but when you face a team with a coach as accomplished as Bill Belichick, does that stir your own competitive juices a little bit more than usual?
A: I think for our team playing against their team, a very, very good team, it’s exciting. Let’s face it, accomplished is the right word, but also remember, they are undefeated. In this day and age, being undefeated at this point of the season is quite an accomplishment in itself. We know the quality of the team. Excitement is a good word for us, energy in the room kind of thing, is a very positive thing for us. We simply have to take care of our process, our production, better than we’ve ever done it before. That’s really what the challenge is for our players, both in the classroom and on the field.
Q: How about you personally, though, as a coach facing somebody like Bill? Does that do something for you?
A: Certainly I have great, great respect for Bill. But their team, and they are very-well coached, and as I study the tape and I see the various aspects of the way in which they play, it does get your motor running, no question about it.
Q: You’ve been honoring around here the Super Bowl team that both of you were a part of. Bill has gotten a lot of credit over the years for being the defensive mastermind of that team, especially in the Super Bowl. Looking back, is all that well-deserved? Is he as good of a defensive coordinator?
A: No question. No question. He’s obviously much more than a defensive coordinator now and has been for a long, long time.
Q: What made him so special as a defensive coordinator?
A: He’s smart, he’s good. He’s thorough, he’s detailed, he’s disciplined.
Q: Did you know back then when you were on the field with him that he was doing something special with that defense and those schemes?
A: You’re talking about back in the 80’s?
A: Sure. I also looked around and saw the players, they weren’t bad either.
Q: What is it about Tom Brady, how’s he progressed? You haven’t faced him in a few years. What’s the difference in him maybe as a player, if there is?
A: Nothing. He gets better.
Q: You don’t pick the schedule obviously, but you’ve got the bye coming up next week, you’re coming off a win. Is this a good time for this kind of a test for your team?
A: You’re right, I don’t pick the schedule. I very rarely think about things of that nature once the schedule comes out. I shut the door, blow a little steam off, open the door, this is what it is. We’re going into our 10th game. It’s against a very, very good football team. That’s where all our energy goes, as it does every week for the next opponent.
Q: You got JPP on the field back last week. How much more do you expect to get from him this week?
A: He was on the field for some 46 snaps and proved that he’s a highly-conditioned athlete and was at his best probably when his best was needed at the end of the game. So I expect that he’ll rev it up and be ready to go for even more.
Q: What did you like about Devon Kennard calling the plays? I guess he had the radio on.
A: I thought the communication was good. And I thought they worked together to get that done.
Q: Is that something you stick with moving forward here because he plays the most snaps of the linebackers?
A: We’ll see. A lot depends on the plan.
Q: In terms of pressure, it’s almost like the ingredient that can get to Brady if you can do it. Is that something you kind of game plan for here or is it difficult to get this guy?
A: Oh, it’s difficult. He’s the quickest in the league getting rid of the ball, that’s a fact. But you have to try. Whether you try with four, five, six, whatever…at certain points of the game you got to try.