Head Coach Tom Coughlin
December 24, 2015
Q: You obviously now know that you have to play without Odell Beckham. I assume with Dwayne Harris also hurt, does that complicate your problem?
A: Well, Harris is supposed to work somewhat today in a limited capacity. And we’re trying to work some other guys in there, too.
Q: Who’s the one guy you’d count on for those big plays?
A: Rueben (Randle) comes to mind, but Harris has made plays for us in the past. Hakeem has made great catches for us in the past. Obviously, the opportunity is going to be there for everybody to contribute. Will Tye has made some nice plays for us. Coming out of the backfield, Shane (Vereen) has done a nice job.
Q: Does Myles White slide into that spot to start?
A: Myles is going to work in there again today, and we’ll see as we go along.
Q: I don’t even know if you’re allowed to, have you spoken to Odell since the decision yesterday?
A: Not allowed to.
Q: What did you make of his statement?
A: I liked his statement. I thought it was contrite, apologetic. I thought it set the record straight from where he was coming from. So the issue, the due process, has taken place. The issue is at rest. The suspension is there and we accept it.
Q: It sounded almost as if he had a chance to reflect on it.
A: That’s what I thought, too. Again, it sounded like him making that statement.
Q: We talk about him needing to learn from this and sort of grow from it. Have you had to learn how to handle him? He’s sort of a special case.
A: I think we know how to communicate with him. I don’t think that’s an issue. Obviously with that situation, to be honest with you, there wasn’t any indication that was coming. I think at this point in time, he certainly will have learned. He loves to play and he does not want the sacrifice of a game. It’s going to be extremely meaningful to him.
Q: In a way, sitting at home for a game—obviously you don’t want that. But the fact he’s going to have to sit there and watch his teammates play, do you think that could serve as a benefit to him in any way?
A: I think the whole experience is going to have an incredible impression on him. He’s going to learn that there’s no place for that kind of activity on the field, as I’ve said many times before. It’s a tough lesson, but he’ll learn it.
Q: There has been a sense this year, maybe outside the building, and a little bit inside the building that when this offense got in trouble, it was find 13 and let him make a play. Do you have a sense that with your offense this weekend, it almost may be a rallying situation?
A: Well, I think it is for our team. Our team has got to step up. I think it’s about our team to be able to now come together and play, hopefully, our best game. Certainly many, many people are going to have to be called upon.
Q: A job of a quarterback obviously is supposed to be to elevate players around him, even if they’re not stars like that. How, in your estimation, has Eli done at that not only throughout his career, but this season as well?
A: I think he’s done well with that. I think you can see by the young tight ends, for example, the way that they’ve been able to make plays. Certainly Eli has taken the lead in helping that as well. I think he’s done a really good job of that.
Q: Given his demeanor, do you think it fazes Eli much if Odell’s not there? Do you think he has the confidence that he can still get things done?
A: I think his confidence is certainly there. I think you’re less than completely honest if you say you didn’t wish he was there.
Q: Last time you faced Adrian Peterson, I think you held him to 28 yards. That was obviously a different system, different personnel. Is there anything you can take from that game moving forward into this one?
A: We know the quality of the runner and we have this entire season on tape. There were some things that helped us with regard to that. But as you said, it’s a different offense, different style.
Q: Will you encourage your guys to watch Saturday night’s game when you get to the hotel or will you not want them to see that?
A: No, I haven’t thought about that. I don’t know that ‘encourage’ would be the word. I probably wouldn’t mention much about it, I don’t expect to. I know that they will watch it. To be honest with you, we’ve got to go play a football game and play well. And do it for our own personal pride and the pride of the New York Giants. We’re going to try to do our part.
Q: What was your message to the team today when you addressed them about how to move forward without Odell?
A: The bond that occurs between teammates when they’re challenged, and this certainly is a challenge. We’ve got to pull together and get contributions from everyone. It was a few weeks ago, we were getting takeaways and those takeaways helped us a lot. That hasn’t happened of late. So to have a defensive score, or a number of takeaways, have a continuous contribution from special teams. All those things are going to help.
Q: So you’re hoping that this can galvanize your team? They could rally around this in a way?
A: I hope to be able to make a statement about our football team going forward. Facing a challenge, facing adversity, many, many guys have got to step up.
Q: You’ll have, I’m sure, hundreds of things on your mind Saturday night. Are you going to watch the game?
A: If I don’t, people will be right in my ear with what’s going on.
Q: Anybody that didn’t practice other than Dwayne Harris yesterday that’s going to come back?
A: Morris had an injury right at the start of practice and he’s not going to work today. From what I understand, (Ereck) Flowers—we’ve got some kids that are sick and he’s sick. Whether he struggles through it or not, I don’t know what they’re going to do inside.
Q: But Devon Kennard is out?
A: He’s out.
Q: He’s still in a boot. Is he done for the regular season at least?
A: There’s always hope, that’s why we’re keeping him on the roster.
Q: Is there a roster move with the suspension?
A: No, there doesn’t have to be. Well, there will be because we get the extra spot, yeah. Sure, there will be.
Q: Is that dependent of how Dwayne comes along here or you’re pretty confident he’s going to be able to go no matter what?
A: I think we’re going to allow that we see how Dwayne is going. We’ve got some thoughts, obviously. You’ll know soon enough.