Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Postgame vs. Carolina, December 20, 2015
Loved the way that our team came back. I really did think that before the half was where the damage was most inflicted because of the fumble and then the failure to convert on a third and one, which they scored in that particular drive as well.
You had a game that was very, very tight, it ended up being 21-7 at the half and we resolved to come back out and do better. We didnít do better right away, but after we had scored the second touchdown, I thought the whole team kind of caught fire and a momentum cam e back and we created some opportunities for ourselves, we got some turnovers and got the ball in the end zone. To tie it up that way being down 35-7 and come back to tie it up, thatís an outstanding tribute to our team, to our players, to our coaches. Unfortunately it wasnít enough and that is what we have to deal with is again not finishing the way we want to finish and the other guy took the ball down and scored.
So we find ourselves in this position, but I did tell them I am proud the way they battled.
Q: Odell dropped a touchdown in the first quarter that couldíve set the stage out there. Did it appear to you that he was playing probably more emotional than focused in the first half?
A: I think thatís probably what he will tell you. We had discussed prior to the game going in what the expectation would be and he thought that that was all behind him, but he did lose his composure. Thought throughout the course of the game, he regained it, but I wouldnít speak for him and I wouldnít make an excuse for him. I donít knowópeople do from time to time drop a ball, even people who have his ability. He was on his way to the end zone on that first play, as well. Iíll talk to him about it and Iím not going to discuss it anymore. Whatever we have to discuss, we will discuss in private.
Q: At any point, did you consider sitting him down to let him cool off a little bit?
A: You want me to take him out of the game?
Q: Rather than getting personal fouls?
A: How many did he get?
A: Well, that just goes to show you again he lost his composure.
Q: Did you say anything to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie? He had a chance for a pick-six and he didnít start the second half but he ended up coming back and blocking the field goal.
A: Came back and made an excellent block. He dropped probably sure-fire score with an interception and he started to alternate there in the third quarter, too. Some technique work thatís got to be done there.
Q: Do you feel like your team lost its composure there in the third quarter when it all seemed to fall apart?
A: If we did, we gained it back.
Q: What changed for you in your mind?
A: What changed? I just said that. We scored the second touchdown and then from there we gained some momentum.
Q: Your defense in the fourth quarter had gotten stops but then they needed the last oneÖ What was your sense? Cam seemed to make it look easy down there on that big play.
A: His pulling the ball down and running for him was, that was the blow, I thought, was his running the ball. We had had some trouble with that earlier on, too, but we were playing coverage and he pulled the ball down and ran and once he got started, it was hard to stop. But youíre asking me if that was a big play. Yeah, that was a big play.
Q: This is the third or fourth time you have lost on the last play of the game. Are these stomach punches? Are they difficult?
A: Sometimes lower.
Q: First quarter, itís seven up, itís fourth and one. You were in Carolina territory. Did you debate whether or not to go for it?
A: No, not at that point. I thought we could pin them down in deep and I expected us to stop them. We didnít get the ball punted down as far as youíd like it, but they were at the 11-yard line, and Iíd probably do that again. At that early stage of the game, if we didnít make it, I didnít want to leave our defense in that field position.
Q: Over the last two games, youíve had a lot of success running the ball.
A: I thought we did that better than anything for quite some time today. That proved out that we are getting better at that. Rashad (Jennings) had some nice runs. Shane (Vereen) had some nice runs. Andre (Williams) had a couple runs. I thought that was a real plus even when things werenít going very well for us. But then at the end, when we were able to maneuver back and forth and Rashad breaks out of there for a big play, I thought that was a good sign for us.
Q: They had a lot of success in the passing game. What made it so difficult for you guys?
A: I thought they executed well. I thought they got the ball in the hands of real speed and caused us some issues that way. They also had the threat of the quarterback draw and the run. So I thought they executed really well.
Q: Do you have any concerns that the emotional part of his (Beckham Jr.) game could or can derail you guys?
A: Sure, they certainly could. As I said, we have made great progress along those lines. Today was a step backwards. But Iíve got to believe we will regain that once he settles down, weíll be able to talk about it.
Q: Did you have time to talk to him on the sidelines during the game?
A: I walked with him. But I didnít. At that point in time, my mind was involved in something else.
Q: Was there any consideration or any reason, including his own safety, to take him out?
A: It was a consideration. In fact, it was a strong consideration. But it didnít happen.
Q: Why not?
A: Because I didnít take him out.
Q: What was your reasoning for it?
A: Because I wanted him to play the game. He had to learn. Heís got to learn at some point how to deal with some things on the field.
Q: Youíre willing to deal with the penalties?
A: No, Iím not willing to deal with the penalties. Iím not willing to deal with anything. I want him out there to win the football game. Again, heís a player on our team and he made some mistakes today, but Iím hoping he will recognize that and get over it.
Q: This late in the season with the playoffs on the line, how crushing is it to lose?
A: Itís always a crush to lose. Itís difficult to lose in those circumstances right there. But weíll find a way to keep fighting, thatís what weíll do.