Head Coach Tom Coughlin
December 31, 2015
Q: Jason Pierre-Paul and J.T. Thomas going today?
A: No. Jason Pierre-Paul? Weíre going to try. Heís going to go. J.T. is not going to make it.
Q: Is there any chance you get one of those safeties back?
A: Weíve been hoping. At this point in time, it doesnít look good, but thereís still hope.
Q: G.J. Kinne is your other option there at this point?
A: He would be, yeah.
Q: How would you assess Landon Collins? I know you guys put a lot on his plate this year, but in terms of what he was able to show you?
A: Heís definitely improved over the course of the season, without a doubt. Heís become more aggressive. Heís done a nice job down in the box. Heís learned to time up his pressures better. Heís gotten himself in position in the secondary better. So heís learning as he goes. I think heís going to be an outstanding player going forward.
Q: Was that one of those things you knew going in, even before he took the field, that there were going to be those growing pains?
A: No question. No question. For any young player all of a sudden put in that position. He was very good in college, very good down in the box. Good tackler, did all those kinds of things. The other responsibilities here at this level, the coverage ideas, he had to learn all of that stuff. Heís going to be a real good player.
Q: Did you maybe have to ask him to do more than you would have liked?
A: If youíre going to start and play, youíre going to have to do a lot of things. I donít think we did more.
Q: Would he ideally be a strong safety, though?
A: Today, call them what you want. People hardly even identify anymore because however youíre going to play it, theyíve got to be down, theyíve got to be back.
Q: Weíve asked you a lot of questions about how you feel heading into this weekend. One thing I donít think weíve asked you is do you want to come back?
A: Do I want to come back? I donít know if thatís a great question right now. What I want to do is win a game on Sunday, thatís the bottom line for this group right now. I always have the competitive spirit. Sometimes it takes me a day or two to figure it all out when itís over. Right now, letís stick with the game and letís go win a football game.
Q: What did this year teach you from a coaching standpoint? Youíre always learning and evolving as a coach, what did you learn most of all from this season?
A: Win the close games. Find a way to win the close ones.
Q: I know you want to stick to the gameÖhas it been a distraction for you at all? People have been bringing it up to you. Is it something youíre able to avoid?
A: Just you. Just you. Just you and all my other friends right here.
Q: Iím sure it wasnít our badgering that led to the decision, but youíve gone with kind a primary running back now with Rashad Jennings and sort of complementary players.
A: And what has he done? Heís exerted himself and thatís what we were looking for and thatís what heís done.
Q: What led to that initial decision?
A: Heís been successful. Heís gained yardage consistently and heís been the kind of guy that we felt like if we gave him more opportunities, he would continue to do that and he has.
Q: On the flip side, Andre Williams looks like heís struggled a little bit. Has he taken a step back or whatís going on with him?
A: I donít know if heís taken a step back, but he obviously hasnít had as many opportunities.
Q: This is philosophical and Iíll confess itís partly because of what just happened in PhiladelphiaÖIím curious, over your career and perhaps especially now, how important do you think relationships with players are? Do you feel like you have an open-door policy, they can talk to you about something if they want to and theyíll be heard, that kind of thing?
A: I think itís very important. I think the way in which that weíve operated here, probably since the í08 season, has been a good example of that. And we do have it, they can come and talk to me anytime, anybody. They donít like to come upstairs, you know that. They donít like it when you go looking for them. I sometimes have to go look for them.
Q: How do you see the players doing so far this week? Just in general with their mindset, you want them to stay focused on the game.
A: Thatís the whole key.
Q: But how do you think theyíre doing with that?
A: I thought that yesterday they did a pretty good job of that. Iím not sure how it all went with you guys. They did a good job in here practicing yesterday. Hopefully theyíll be able to maintain.
Q: You had mentioned yesterday that you were going to talk to Odell.
A: I did.
Q: What was that like?
A: Thatís between he and I, but you can imagine what it is. Youíve read all his material and you heard him and spoke to him yesterday and you know exactly how he feels, and the fact that heís taken full responsibility. I think thatís what he expressed to me, even to the extent that we began to talk a little bit more about the future.
Q: What have you seen from Prince Amukamara since he got back from his injury?
A: A little bit up and down. To be honest, last week I thought there was more on the up side.
Q: Heís very honest and forthcoming when he talks to us. Itís clear that he thinks about free agency and his contract. Do you, in general, have advice for players to deal with those kinds of situations?
A: Play as hard as you can. Do as well as you can. Thatís your resume. I donít normally get into those kinds of discussions with them, unless I feel itís something that would help the player to beómaybe the player is missing the point about some of that stuff and not doing the things he should do, remembering that everything that he can do is going to take place out on the field. Normally, a free agent, my discussions with everybody is normally about team. I donít like to go that way.
Q: Prince doesnít want to use it as an excuse, but you talk about his ups and downs. Does the pec injury contribute to that?
A: Sure, it does. Yeah, sure it does. But I mean, when you come back, youíve got to deal with it yourself, too. Youíve got to make a decision about it. If youíre ready to go, youíre ready to go.
Q: But you can see times when heís sort of limited with that arm? Is that fair?
A: I think before coming up, Iíve seen it much better, yeah.
Q: Did you make a decision with Owa Odighizuwa?
A: No. Not yet, no.
Q: When you process this season, how do you look at the injury situation? Victor Cruz was expected back a couple times, you get JPP back, you lose Johnathan Hankins within a game or so of his return.
A: You lose (Markus) Kuhn, you lose those guys up front.
Q: Is it all bad luck?
A: I refuse to go that way, to be honest with you. Weíve done, and you guys can verify everything, weíve changed pretty much everything in the whole program designed to become more scientific and to have more information and more knowledge and to do a better job of adjusting our practices, if thatís the way we need to do it. I think at the end of the year when this is all evaluated, we probably have as many injuries as weíve ever had. It is football and thatís where it goes. Do you sometimes need to have that issue (luck) that you just talked about going for you? Sure you do. But I understand New Englandís had a ton of injuries this year. Teams have to deal with this. It is no excuse, but it happens.
Q: I know youíre focused on the game now, but when you walk off the field on Sunday, do you have any idea what emotions youíll be feeling or thoughts?
A: Iím focused on the game, I donít go that way. Iím not thinking about any of that stuff.
Q: The fans are probably going to recognize you in some capacity on Sunday. What would your message to them be?
A: Thereís a guy that sits about right here that lets me know every time I come off the field, and I canít use the language because there are ladies around right now. Yeah, he hasnít got my name yet. Heís got a lot of those nicknames he calls me.