Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 18, 2017
Opening Statement: The only new injury was DT came in a little sore. Darian Thompson. His knee was a little bit sore. Theyíll send him over for an MRI. Hopefully, thatís just a precautionary thing. Both Landon (Collins) and B.J. (Goodson) kind of tweaked those ankles so thatís why you didnít see them play at a certain point and TK (Tavarres King) you know is in the concussion protocol, so weíll see where he ends up. Most of the other guys are just bumps and bruises, you know, normal 14th, 15th week of the season. So, hopefully weíll get all those guys back. If anybody specifically you can ask me about.
After watching the tape, it just looked like we missed a bunch of opportunities certainly on defense. We had the lead. We always talk about get the lead and extend the lead. We did that a little bit, but then we kind of gave it back to them and then we were in a battle. I thought the offense did a nice job. One thing that stuck out to me was the end of the half and end of the game, those two drives were really good. We ended the half with a field goal to get back ahead by two points. It didnít feel like we were ahead by two points at half time. So, I talked to them about it in the locker room. But, weíre ahead by two. We werenít losing the game. It just felt that way because of the way it went and at the end of the game certainly that was a heck of a drive. So, I give Eli (Manning) a lot of credit and the offense a lot of credit for that.
Obviously, special teams protection has got to be firmed up. Really when you look back at really technique things. They have a really good rusher, 96 (Derek Barnett), that had a little technique that he used. We worked against it or worked on it all week long. Tom (Quinn) did and we didnít really get it executed.
And then defensively, we have to win what I call the four-point plays. Third downs in the red zone. You got to win those, hold them to field goals and we got a really good chance of winning the game. We got to be better on third down and some of the tackling has to be better. Somebody said this to me this morning. I think they were just trying to make me feel good. But, against Philadelphia in the two games, it certainly doesnít feel like this, but in the two games against Philadelphia we only gave up one explosive pass play. Thatís one pass play over 20. And again, it doesnít feel like that, but that is a goal of ours every week. It usually helps out in the course of winning the game is certainly playing good defense. So, Iíll answer any questions. I just want you to keep in mind that if something comes up question-wise that I think my answer would be advantageous for Arizona, I might dodge it. But, I do always have that in mind because now the focus is on beating Arizona.
Q: What did you think of the last play with Evan Engram?
A: You could make an argument, (I know) where youíre going. I wonít make the argument, but Iím just saying that you could make the argument.
Q: Did you see the arm getting held?
A: It looked like it. On the coachís tape it kind of looks like that. But, he couldnít get it up there. But, Iím not sure where the positioning of the officials were that they could see it or not. Theyíd have to answer the rest of that.
Q: Is it a matchup thing with the Eagles or is this team just able to play a lot better than some people are giving you credit for?
A: Talking about our team?
A: Probably a little bit of both. Although, I think theyíre a tough matchup for us Ė Philadelphia. So, maybe itís a little bit more our guys playing. I mean, these NFC East games are typically like that and you should play that way within your division. So, Iím proud of the guys in that regard. I did say this, I think I might have mentioned it yesterday in the press conference, but thereís a good chance that Philadelphia is the best team in the NFC. If we can play like that against the best team, then thereís no reason why we canít go out and win a football game even with all the injuries and everything thatís going on. You find a way to win. Thatís what weíre trying to do.
Q: How much do you think yesterdayís game did for the confidence of Eli Manning?
A: I think itíll help all of the guys. Anytime your offense is clicking and certainly it begins with the quarterback. He gets the ball in his hands every snap. I think itís going to help us going forward. I think Mike Sullivan and the offensive coaches have done a really good job of deciding what we needed to do to attack a particular team and what was going to help our offense and in turn help the team. We didnít get quite as many points two weeks ago, but I thought what they did this week was pretty good against a really good defense.
Q: Was Mike Sullivan able to make broader changes to the offense in the second week after Ben McAdoo left?
A: The week was a little bit different. Thatís probably a true statement. We knew what we were facing. It was a full week. Kind of got into a flow of being that same kind of flow here this week. So, thereís probably some truth to that.
Q: Do you know why the offense didnít operate at the level we saw yesterday at other points this season? They were dictating rather than being dictated to.
A: Thatís a really good point. I hope that continues. I donít know that I have an answer as to why it hasnít been like that. Again, I go back to last week when I jumped into this thing, I wasnít Ė prior to that I didnít have my eyes on the offense and I probably have to go back prior to the game against Dallas to answer that question. I just know in these past two games, thereís been some things that Mike (Sullivan) has implemented. I think has helped us, and I think everybody has kind of stepped it up and played better. Certainly, Eli (Manning) getting us in and out of plays helps. Now, he didnít make every decision right. Heíll probably tell you that, but hopefully itís a combination of seeing the team weíre going to play and knowing how to attack it and going out there and doing it.
Q: Can the offensive tempo challenge a defense?
A: Yeah. Iím glad you brought that up. I think weíve executed that pretty well. Now, you go into the next game and decide whether thatís the right way to do it or not. Thereís pros and cons to it, right? Sometimes it speeds the game up. By that, I mean you get a lot more plays in the game, which means our defense could be on the field a little bit more. Sometimes you go into games and say letís shorten the game. But, I do think it is challenging for being on the defensive side of the ball because no matter what you canít simulate it in practice. You can yell and scream at the guys all you want, be ready for the next play, itís going fast, but you even saw Philadelphia was struggling a little bit to get lined up. So, anytime you can run a play and the other 11 guys on defense are not all lined up Ė that should be an advantage.
Q: You said you want to get some of the other defensive ends to take off some of the workload.
A: It gets hard during the course of a game saying, ĎOK, 90 (Jason Pierre-Paul) and 54 (Olivier Vernon) you come out.í Weíll keep trying to do it. Avery (Moss) got in there. I thought he had a really good rush on one play that helped the ball come out a little bit quicker. Weíll keep trying to do that.
Q: It seems like Jason Pierre-Paul isnít producing the way he was expected to and maybe the injuries are wearing him down along with the workload.
A: Iím sure thereís some truth to that. I mean, I just think itís hard to play with a club on your hand. Itís tough. Only he knows whether he can be as effective or not with it. We kind of moved him around a little bit to get him on certain sides. Put him on the guard yesterday to work on where we thought we could get an advantage. Heís fighting through some things. Iím sure he would like to have some more production. We all would in a lot of different spots.
Q: Do you anticipate the quarterback depth chart being the same this week?
A: Weíll talk about it. As we stand here right now, yes. But, everything Ė I havenít had a chance to talk with Mike (Sullivan) about going forward for Arizona. Kind of really been today more on yesterdayís game. I exhausted everybody.
Q: Is it hard to answer questions about next year because youíre so focused on week-to-week?
A: Right now, I put myself in that box because I just think thatís how we have to function right now. We ask the players to function that way Ė week-to-week. Letís only focus on the game coming up. So, we have to do the same thing as a coaching staff. I get the angst of it Ė Iíve talked about it. Thereís families involved and what not, but I wonít let myself go past the Arizona Cardinals right now. When I say that, I mean that. I know Iíve said it before, so Iíll say it again because I believe it Ė the good Lord has whatever in store after this and Iím going to put it all in his hands.
Q: Youíre obviously a part of Giantsí history.
A: I donít know all the history, but I believe in it.
Q: How much does it mean to you to avoid becoming the team that loses the most games in franchise history?
A: I wasnít even aware of it. Iím not going to focus on that. Iím going to focus on beating Arizona. Iíll let everybody else figure that out.
Q: On the extra point, it looked like Ereck Flowers didnít get out of his stance. Did you see that?
A: No because look at it, when youíre talking about protection on those kicks Ė thereís a gap. So, itís always more than one person. But, when I watched Tom (Quinn) go through it with the special teams unit this morning, it was more of a head down or not a punch here or not a punch there. So, it was a combination of a couple different things.
Q: Youíre returning to the site of Super Bowl XLII in Arizona this week 10 years later.
A: I havenít thought about that, but thatís a good one.
Q: Is there any sense of nostalgia to you at this point?
A: I want to say Ė you can all help me out here Ė so, í07 we win it. Didnít we go back and play Arizona in í08 for a regular season game? I remember walking in there then and thinking like (what) youíre talking about. I donít know if Iíll have the same feeling or not. Maybe. I donít know which locker room weíll be in. I donít know if weíll end up in the one, well I donít know. Weíll see. Weíll see. If I end up at the same locker or close then Iíll probably have some memories. Iíll let you know on that.
Q: When you watched the tape, what did you see from Eli Apple?
A: Eli played well. He tackled really well. One I think he could have been a little bit better on. I want to say they flagged him for a holding or something one time on a completion, but now what I saw was he played solid. I thought he played solid football.
Q: What was Ereck Flowersí injury because he came out for a couple plays?
A: I donít know that. Heís not on the injury list.
Q: He went back in after three plays or something.
A: Yeah. I donít have an answer for that. I donít know.
Q: Will you approach it the same way as you did last week with Landon Collins or is there more of a sense that you actually have to sit him now?
A: Right now, Iíd say weíd approach it the same. But, with tweaking it again, I think we better be careful. Weíll see.