COACH TOM COUGHLIN
TC: It’s far and away the guys that came out in the second half and battled and found a way to win a football game. I was disappointed in the way we started the game off. I thought even when our second offense came in the game, we didn’t get our feet on the ground probably till after the half. Once we started to have a pretty good mix of run and pass, it was a little bit better; but we hung in there and the defensive kids created a turnover. Did a very nice job there. Gave us an opportunity to get that other field goal… I thought both defenses on both sides of the ball played very, very well. Field position was a problem for us all night long, as you saw. The punter kept us backed up pretty good. We played a lot of people. We had a chance to evaluate a lot of people. Ojomo continues to do some very nice things out there. I thought the interception at the end of the game was an outstanding play by
Q: It was brief but how did
TC: We got him on the field and that was the objective. I have to look at the tape, but there was obviously nothing… Hopefully he got a chance to get knocked around. He did on the one catch. He got knocked around pretty good and that was good.
Q: Is there a concern at all with the replacement officials?
TC: I don’t have any control over any of that, so for me to say there is or there isn’t, you just have to do the very best you can with it. That’s not my decision. We just hope that these officials know the rules, know how to enforce them and can keep the game under control and keep order and hopefully they’ll be able to do that.
Q: What did you think about Jernigan’s and Randle’s punt return and where are you with that decision?
TC: Well, we’ll see on that. I’m going to look at the tape.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about Broha and Ojomo?
TC: Those two kids have really done a nice job the entire preseason. They play hard. They get after the quarterback pretty good. They've done a nice job in practice every day. They don’t miss a thing. They’ve been a very pleasant surprise.
Q: Are you concerned about the cohesion of the offense?
TC: Well yeah. The continuity factor was quite obvious tonight. You take some people out of there and there are some people who have not been in there since day one and then for whatever reason, there were some mental errors tonight and some guys that we’re really counting on, it seems as if we had some mental errors. I’m going to have to look at the tape to verify all of that, but certainly there is concern. You expect that in the fourth preseason game, you’re going to run the ball and you’ll have a little bit of rhythm and tempo and there was none. If that’s what you mean by, ‘Am I concerned?’ Yeah. I would’ve liked to see them take the ball, drive the ball, score and I would’ve been able to take them out of the game knowing that a lot of times that’s what happens the last preseason game that we play. So yeah. That was a little bit of a disappointment to me that they weren’t able to do that.
Q: Did you keep those guys on the field an extra series or two to get some rhythm?
TC: No, actually the play count was about where we were supposed to be. I do it one way or the other. At the quarter, somebody was not going to be where they would be, so they would have to come back and I wish they would’ve obviously done some… turned it around and played a little bit better. The second group did turn around the second half and did some things better and I thought they ran it better. Didn’t handle the pressures very well. A simple run through the linebackers seemed to cause real problems in the run. It shouldn’t have, but we’ll have to look at the tape to decipher that.
Q: Are you a coach that seems to never think you have enough time in the preseason or do you think your team is ready right now.
TC: Well, no. You never have enough. I don’t care if you had the same old… In the old days, we used to have 35, 34 practices and the preseason. You never feel like you’ve had enough. And one of the things, quite frankly, that I will tell you that happens in the preseason that’s been of late is the schedule. It seems to be an issue, it’s very difficult to get your required number of practices in from week to week because you’re going to end up playing at different times and it causes the week to change. You’d like to play basically, so that you would have a week in between. I understand that’s a nice thing to say, but it doesn’t work out. But if you did have those kinds of practice days in between games, I think you at least would have a little bit more of an opportunity. For example, New England played three games in ten days? That’s harder to do. Last year we played two games in four games. It’s very difficult because you don’t practice. You don’t practice between games, you just have enough people to go ahead and play the next preseason game. But no. I would say that from the standpoint of being a coach that… I would never be satisfied with enough.
QB ELI MANNING
Q: What did you think of Hakeem Nicks tonight?
EM: That was kind of one of my goals, just to get Hakeem a catch. We accomplished that. Get him back on the field for some game action, game speed, getting tackled. We got him the catch so we’ll be good going into that first game now that he has that under his belt.
Q: Have you seen enough from him to believe he’s going to be 100%?
EM: Yeah, he’s going to be fine. He’s going to be ready to go, we’ll be on the same page, we’ll be able to execute as well as we need to.
Q: How conscious were you to try and get him the ball at least once?
EM: Yeah, we wanted to get him the ball on something, get him a catch. I was conscious of it, if there were certain plays that I could go his way, I was going to try and do that, but he only got a number of pass plays in there, but we got him one catch, which was good.
DE ADEWALE OJOMO
Q: Do you think a forced fumble, a sack, and a tackle for a loss will help you in roster decisions?
AO: Yeah, I think it’ll work in my favor, but like I say, there’s a lot of different factors that play into this. You have special teams, defense; there are a lot of different phases of the game. I just need to fit into what they do, and I hope I do.
Q: Do you feel like you’ve been a surprise to the coaches?
AO: No, I don’t consider myself a surprise, maybe to the coaches, but not to myself. I believe in God, first and foremost, and I believe in myself. If you believe in those two things, it’ll all work out for you, that’s my motto.
Q: If you don’t make the Giants roster, do you think you earned a spot elsewhere?
AO: Well I can’t answer that question. The other 31 teams in the NFL have to evaluate the film and make that decision themselves.
Q: The NFL is usually too fast for rookies. What have you done to slow everything down and play so well?
AO: Like I said earlier, I just put my faith in God and He gives me the courage and the strength to go out there and do what I need to do. Another thing I do is I calm myself down. I don’t get too “rah-rah” before the game, I get really relaxed, and that actually slows the game down for me.
Q: What have the veteran guys been saying to you?
AO: Those guys,
Q: You said this week that you would get sacks, and you did:
AO: Most definitely. I’m confident in myself and I’m confident in my abilities. I don’t think I’m a fluke, I think I can go out there each and every week, every Sunday, and do what I need to do.
Q: Thoughts on your ability to make things happen on defense:
AO: Coach Robert Nunn. My game has evolved since college. Watching
Q: Did you expect to start today?
AO: No, not at all. I play my role, I’m a role player, whatever the coaches need me to do, I’m going to do.
QUOTES FROM OTHER PLAYERS
I felt pretty good. I felt that I laid it all out there, special teams, running back; I felt I put my best effort in tonight. I put the ball on the ground but I felt like I responded and came back. I kept fighting and running hard. I still want to grow in this offense. And I feel like I belong here. I was pretty pleased with the determination in the second half. The second-half guys came in and played pretty determined. We put a couple of good drives together. I wish we could have just finished off a couple of drives.
Obviously they didn’t play most of the starters. And we didn’t play all of ours either. But we had a great effort. We got after the quarterback a bit. I don’t know how many yards they gained, but they walked away with only three points and we have to be pretty proud of that. I think we are pretty comfortable with where we are right now, but obviously we need more work. We just have to get better each week. If you are not getting better, you are getting worse. When the two’s and three’s are out there, you try to coach them up on the sideline. It really helps me stay in the game; just trying to see what they are in and what they are calling.
I have been away for a while – about three or four weeks – but it just felt great being out there. Yeah, I was a little rusty and I have a lot of work to be done. Any time we step on the field we still have a lot to prove, even if it is still preseason. It is still early and we have a huge game coming up on Wednesday. But everybody is going to be studying, working hard and getting ready.
There were a lot of young guys out there and a lot of different things. But I know our confidence is high. And we are real excited about a week from today to be playing at home against the Cowboys. We have a great week of work ahead of us. I like the intensity and energy of our guys. And I know we are moving forward and we will be prepared for this game.
(On watching the two’s and three’s out there)
Standing on the sidelines you are helping coach up the young guys. As a veteran you are standing there watching the game – you can’t help but notice things and try to help the young guys out. You tell them, ‘Hey, this guy is doing this’ or ‘I see this.’ You try to help them on their technique because when I was a rookie all of the guys were doing the same for me.
I felt like they cracked down and tried to run the ball a lot against us. We played base things out there tonight. Our run defense looked pretty good. I feel like everybody knows what they are doing. And that is what is important – that everybody is on the same page. If everyone is not on the same page, we have problems. Of course, we have to go back and look at film. I felt that in the run game everybody was fitting up well. When we are out there the guys are on the sideline critiquing us. And it is great to have a second pair of eyes on you. And we do the same visa versa. We try to help each other out.