Coach's Corner
AP Photo-Amy Sancetta
AP Photo-Amy Sancetta
Giants Insider
Posted Oct 14, 2008


It was hardly surprising that Tom Coughlin was pretty upset last night after Big Blue's first loss of the season in Cleveland. Here's what Coughlin had to say after getting a chance to review the game tapes.

Was Eli Manning okay? He looked like he was banged-up?
He got hit and then he was driven into the ground. His chest was bothering him after the game, so he was in some pain there, but I don’t have any information other than that today. He was in the training room and we will see.

Is it something that could keep him out of practice or do you not know?
I don’t know that. I don’t know anything yet. They are going to do all the tests and that type of thing.

What part of the game was that?
I want to say that was probably the third quarter.

Was that noticeably affecting him in the game?
I don’t know that it was, but I can’t tell you it wasn’t. He certainly is very good at masking all of that.

How about the other injuries? Gerris Wilkinson, Antonio Pierce, and James Butler?
Butler has the continuing strain with the bicep. Wilkinson, it seemed to be a MCL, a mild MCL, and I don’t know where his status will be. Pierce just has a reoccurrence of the strain that he had last week.

When you looked at the film today was it as bad as you thought or were there some positives signs?
I thought that anytime you have a game in which you don’t stop the run and then you turn the ball over on the other side of the ball, you are not going to have much of a chance to win and that is exactly how the game played out. We play a game that calls for us to run the ball, stop the run, win the battle of turnovers, win the physical battle, and we didn’t do any of those. On top of that, the technical part of our game was not very good. We were many times negligent of using proper technique. We had some mental errors, we were not physical, we got on the edge a bunch of times without finishing what we started, and it was a disappointing game, disappointing loss, and the film certainly does not change your opinion from last night.

What do you think contributed to the lack of technique?
I don’t know. That is a good question. The other team had 10 penalties, we had five, so I can’t attribute it to any kind of focus or anything of that nature. I just think we played sloppy.

Do you think your team performs better when they are looked at in the underdog role rather than having praise heaped on them, as it was last week?
I think that human nature has it that way. I would hope that is not the case. The thing that we strive for is to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be and not really worry about the opponent, but worry about challenging ourselves to play our best and obviously we didn’t do that. We fell into some type of mental lapse and it is something that we are going to have to get straightened around. The thing that is really disappointing is that despite all the bad thoughts that we had, here we sat down on the opponent’s nine… literally his goal line… with a chance to score to get within six points late in the game and give ourselves another opportunity to win and we weren’t able to come away with any satisfaction there. That was very disappointing. As I said last night, I thought that at the half, at 17-14, we had done something good to put ourselves in position to play better in the second half and we just never got it done.

A couple of your players said after the game that maybe something like this was something they needed. Do you believe that this is something that they needed or do you think that is just to make themselves feel better?
That wouldn’t be my choice of words and you would have to ask…whoever said that, you would have to ask them for whatever they mean by that. Certainly, as I said, and I told them, I said there are no excuses here. You can come up with anything you want, the fact of the matter is that whatever went on we didn’t play as well as we can play.

What is your level of concern about Eli?
I am not going to know until I hear some things. From time to time obviously throughout anybody’s career that plays that position, you are going to have some things that don’t allow you to perform at your best. Injuries do occur, I don’t know whether this is or not, I know Eli has played very well with… if it is soreness or that type of thing I am sure that will be something that he will be able to go ahead and practice and play with, but we will see. As I said, I don’t have a lot of information right now.

Are you concerned that it was just a bad night or is it something deeper with how the team played?
Each one of these games is a great challenge in this league and if you don’t play to the best of your ability, you are obviously giving yourself not much of a chance to win and that is my concern. This team will bounce back. I believe that. I think it will be a good week of focus and a good week of practice. It is disappointing to fall into whatever lapse we fell into in not playing as well as we have been playing. Our expectation was to go there, we knew it was going to be a tough game, we knew that they were a physical football team, we knew that their backs were against the wall playing at their place, they had made a big deal about Monday Night Football and that type of thing, and yet the message really obviously never really got across the way we had hoped. I rely so much on leadership to help us in that regard, so I think leadership is going to help us solve this issue as well.

What do you think were the contributing factors to not getting much of a pass rush last night?
Well, you are right, and I really don’t think for the last two weeks we have had much pressure on the quarterback. I think there has to be a lot of self-analysis there in terms of not only how we are going=2 0about our business but exactly who is doing what. I think we need to look hard at that and we are talking about that.

Is there something to be said for teams having a chance to really study you guys as the Browns had their bye week to use to plan for your defense?
I think there isn’t any question about that. The bye came at a time where they had won a game, so they were relieved to win, if you will, and they had two weeks to prepare and it was going to be a big game for them at home. I don’t know what they did with their two weeks, but I am sure that at least a portion of it -- even in the first week -- was probably designated for us, but that is fine. That is just the way the schedule falls. We came off a game in which we played lights-out. We played an outstanding game and there wasn’t a whole lot to take from the game, other than a few of the comments that I made, that wasn’t good and yet we didn’t ride that momentum. There is no question people in this league study and work hard at it and design what they must to solve whatever issues the other team brings and that is what we all do.

Will David Tyree practice tomorrow?
Tyree has been cleared to be able to practice, yes. That three-week period starts.

Is there anything going on with the trade deadline?
We haven’t talked about anything of that nature, no.

Aside from Eli’s injury, how do you assess his entire game last night?
Well obviously Eli would be the first one to tell you he played so well for so long without interceptions that they really did come as a shock and we never overcame them and, as a matter of fact, we added to them. When you study it and you look at it were they preventable? Sure they were. They always are the next day when you second-guess and you look at it a second and a third time, but the last one, the long one, there was a timing issue and pressure forced Eli out of the pocket and he tried to make a play there and it just wasn’t to be. There were some opportunities with the other two, we just didn’t get it done, and you have to give credit to their players for making plays on the ball in the air.


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