LB Carter Coughlin
November 5, 2020
Q: Back in the summer and you start thinking about when you’re going to get your first career sack, I don’t know if Tom Brady would have been at the top of the list. What are the emotions Monday night? Obviously, you guys would have loved to come out on top, but regarding that play and getting a chance to get on the board, so to speak, with a future Hall of Famer?
A: Yeah, absolutely. Since day one, my goal has really just been to make the most out of whatever opportunities I’m given. That started out with special teams. I’ve been able to work my way into a little third down action and some defensive packages, and I’m going to continue to make the most of my opportunities. But when it came to it on Monday night, it was one of those things where I had been working it all week and executed it. But the cool thing about a sack is it’s really an entire defensive unit getting that sack when you think about it, especially the one that I got. If Cam (Brown) and (Kyler) Fack(rell) didn’t do their jobs, then I wouldn’t have gotten the sack. That’s what’s cool about it. After it happens, celebrate with the team. Obviously, it felt really cool. But it was one of those things I couldn’t think about it too much during the game. I got to celebrate a little bit afterwards, I talked to my parents and stuff like that. But that was coupled with a really disappointing loss. I would have traded anything to get that team win. Coming back today, coming back yesterday, we’ve been working really, really hard to bounce back after that and continue to improve week in and week out.
Q: One of the things I’ve noticed of late is if you look at the number of young guys who are making contributions, it seems like everybody is doing it. What does it feel like as a young guy and seeing everybody chipping in?
A: It’s really cool to see the way that our team has really brought along the rookies. I know that’s not the place everywhere, but I know at least in the outside/inside linebacker room, all of the veteran guys have been incredibly helpful for me, for Cam, for the rest of the linebackers, and I know that’s throughout the team. We have a really special culture here in that way that the older guys look out for the younger guys. As I’ve kind of gone back and forth between the inside and outside room, I’ve needed some extra help from guys like Kyler Fackrell and Blake Martinez and all those kinds of guys. They’ve really been there for me. They’ve been helping me out day by day. That’s what you see when the young guys get on the field. We’re ready, we’re confident, we’re prepared, and it’s continuing to increase, which has been really, really cool. It’s a fun energy when I’m out there and I’m looking across the line and I have my rookie brother Cam Brown across from me. It’s really cool. Then seeing the way that guys on offense have been stepping up. It’s a special team dynamic, I think.
Q: Have you had a chance to go against Andrew Thomas at all?
A: I have, he’s a stud. He’s unreal, yeah. Matt Peart, too. Really, really good.
Q: And Shane (Lemieux) added to the mix now, too.
A: Oh yeah. Shane’s a beast inside. You go against Shane Lemieux and you know he’s going to thump you.
Q: You kind of touched on inside, outside. You’ve gone this year I think you’ve gone from outside linebacker to inside, now back to outside. Has that made the transition, your rookie year, more complicated, more difficult for you?
A: I’d say maybe on the forefront of having to transition from outside to inside and back, and kind of going back and forth. Maybe in the beginning it did. But the way I look at it is it’s a pretty unbelievable opportunity for me to really hone in on what is the entire defense doing. It’s a totally different feel playing outside linebacker compared to inside linebacker. But me being able to do both, I’m really understanding our defense and understanding where the inside linebackers are fitting because I know where I am as an outside linebacker, and things like that. I’d say yeah, at the beginning it was more difficult. But I’m really thankful that I’ve gotten to do that.
Q: Just to build on that point you made about the rookies working into the lineup. Did you know that was the plan? Did they tell you, ‘we’re going to get you on the field’? I know there have been injuries. Mentally, did you prepare for this or is it just kind of take it as it comes?
A: It’s take it as it comes. It starts off with you getting an opportunity and you need to make the most of it. For all of us, it started on special teams. We take pride in that, especially as a New York Giant, the way we execute on special teams, the way we work as a special teams unit. You make the most there, then the coaches trust you and kind of sugar you into a little defense and see how you do there and make the most of that. Then it continues to increase. That’s kind of been all of our journey. Each of us has done it in different ways and had different opportunities where we’ve made the most of it, and that just builds trust. When you have young guys on the field, the biggest thing is do you trust them to do the right thing, to do their job? It’s been cool to build trust with the coaching staff for me and the rest of the young guys.
Q: Did you say anything to Tom Brady during the sack or after the game or anything?
A: No, I didn’t say anything to him after the sack. The moment it happened, I was like ‘wow, I can’t believe that just happened.’ It was kind of like a little blackout moment. I only got to think like that for three seconds and then it was back to ‘we need to go win this game’ and stuff like that. But I didn’t say anything to him.
Q: When an offensive player gets a first touchdown or a first catch, they keep the ball. What does a defender do for his first sack?
A: Keep my jersey and sign it. It’s definitely a cool memory. Definitely something I’ll remember forever.