New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke to the media Thursday afternoon about the upcoming battle of Manning brothers.
Good morning. Now we prepare today to play a very, very good Denver Broncos team. Not just an offensive team, but a complete team, to be honest with you. All you have to do is start with their return man (Trindon) Holliday and you know that someone that has that kind of scoring potential is indeed very unique with four touchdowns. As a matter of fact, two touchdowns in the playoff game against the Ravens last year accounting for 14 of their 35 points that put the game into overtime. So Holliday is an outstanding player, but defensively they were fourth in scoring defense last year, first on third downs. They had the most sacks in the league. They play a multiple form of (defense), lots of substitutions, lots of situational defenses. The offense gave up the fewest sacks in the league with 21 last year. I believe we had 22. They scored 30 points a game. They led the league in second-half scoring. They scored 35 the other night against Baltimore in the second half. They’re a very good, well-balanced football team and so we’re deep into our preparations this morning and the players have been very good, very attentive. I’m looking for a very good practice today.
Q: Your thoughts on bringing back Brandon Jacobs?
A: Brandon comes in at a time when the veteran running back with size is someone that can help us. He has been out of football for a while and is very anxious to have another opportunity and is willing to do whatever we ask him to do in order to help our team. I’m happy for Brandon and his family, and let’s get to work.
Q: What can you expect from him since he’s been away from football for a while?
A: I think he’s in pretty good shape. We worked him out and he’s looked forward to the opportunity that would come, whether it be here or someplace else, and I think he’s going to go practice and we’re going to try to deal with him just like we would any player right now because quite frankly we need him to get ready to play. He wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case.
Q: Do you think he adds physicality to your team?
A: I certainly hope so.
Q: Is mentoring David Wilson a part of why he is here?
A: He’s here to contribute to our team. What David Wilson can learn from Brandon, fine. Brandon will do a good job in that regard, but that’s not the primary reason he’s here.
Q: You’ve had to manage Brandon in the past. We would ask you about things he had said publicly. Do you sense any difference in his attitude this time around?
A: I think, of necessity, he certainly is more humble. Manage is what we do with everybody. There’s nothing unusual about that.
Q: Is there anything David is doing to secure the ball differently or better?
A: He’s following the technique that he’s been taught, and we’ll see under pressure if he can continue to do that. The problems occur when you try to make a move and the ball leaves your side or the pocket that you’ve established for it. You have trouble and when there’s no place to go and other people are surrounding you, you have no choice but to cover it up with both hands and get in position where you’re taking care of the football and that’s not that a difficult a thing for David Wilson because of his body style and because of the height of his running position. He can do a good job of covering the ball up, and he was careless and it cost us dearly, but I’m confident he’s going to learn from it.
Q: Is he going to start?
A: We’ll see. As I’ve said many times, we need him. He’s necessary. He’s going to have to overcome this issue. He’s a marked man. So he’s really going to have to overcome it.
Q: Typically there is a good deal of improvement from week one to week two. Are you looking to see improvement from the first game?
A: That goes without saying for our team. When I talk about being concerned about our team, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s the improvement that has to take place in a circumstance like this, especially in the position we find ourselves in that I’m most interested in with our team and I think that’s why it was so important that we look at, study and go over the tape in great detail on Monday afternoon because this experience at this time of the year and you said it. You had a defense that played almost 80 snaps. You had an offense that really didn’t have many snaps, but they had almost 500 yards. There’s an awful lot to see and improve upon and consistency is one thing that has to take place for us in all phases.
Q: Are you surprised you haven’t been asked yet about Peyton and Eli?
A: Not really.
Q: Does that show you have a lot of other issues with your team right now?
A: Because we didn’t win a game, we have a lot of issues. We have a lot of things to straighten out and correct. I don’t know if it has anything to do with that question, but my standard answer for that question is there are two great quarterbacks that are going to be on the field this weekend.
Q: What’s the level of concern at linebacker with Dan Connor’s injury?
A: It is a concern because of the numbers. We’ve added a young man (Emmanuel Acho) to our practice squad and we’ll see how that goes, but there’s concern. If we have four people ready to play under the circumstances and the personnel that we’re going to face in all likelihood, I think we’ll have a chance to be in decent shape.
Is Prince Amukamara going to practice today?
A: Not today. He does feel pretty good, but he’s got to follow the protocol.
Q: Given the way David Wilson started last season and the responsibility he has with this team now, the fact that you would describe him as ‘careless,’ is there a larger issue here for you to address at all?
A: I don’t know where you’re going with that. He fumbles the football, he fumbled the ball twice. He’s got to straighten that out. We’re not going to have a guy on the field who’s fumbling the ball. He wants to play, he wants to do it, he wants to improve, he wants to be a part of this team, and he wants to help this team win. That is something that he must overcome. And the interesting thing is we didn’t see it in training camp, we didn’t see it in any of the preseason games, but it showed up then.
Q: Do you have a little more insight on Peyton because you’ve coached Eli for so long and know how smart he is and how quickly he picks things up. Obviously Peyton has the same type of awareness out there.
A: I don’t know if it’s an advantage. We certainly do, and have, watched, over the years, Peyton play his position and play it extremely well. I don’t know if that’s an advantage.
Q: Is there any way for you to find out on Wilson whether he is…
A: I can’t say any more about David Wilson, except I’ll watch him in practice and if his technique doesn’t improve, I’ll let you know. OK. I’ll let you know.
Q: You say ‘under pressure,’ you mean practice…
A: Yeah, in practice he’s going to have to have the ball in that position all the time, not just when he thinks he’s running free and there’s nobody around him. I want to see the ball in the right spot all the time. And, quite frankly, there’s nowhere else to go with this. I don’t know what else to say to you. I realize it’s a major issue for everybody, but there’s a way to carry the ball and there’s a way to protect the ball and there’s a way to protect the ball and there’s a way, that ball security is number one, and that’s what he’s going to have to demonstrate.
Q: Do you think Da’Rel Scott is a viable option. Did what he show you, up until that last play and including that last play…
A: Well yeah, I think he played pretty well the other night. Obviously it wasn’t perfect but he did play pretty well the other night and he did do some of the things that he needed to do under those circumstances that helped us at least get in the position where we take the ball down, drive it and score, maybe we’re talking about this stuff from a little different point of view than where we are right now.
Q: Clearly, when your starting quarterback is trying to focus and come back and win that game, do you find that there’s more pressure on him because obviously he is playing his brother.
A: Eli is very interested in playing his position to the best of his ability with our team and making the improvements that are necessary there. That’s what I think.
Q: When you watch the two of them play, are there commonalities between them? Do they do the same things or are they totally different?
A: There are a lot of commonalities. They’re two different individuals, no question about that, both extremely admirable but there’s a common ground and there are differences as well.
Q: What about your defense as far as how many plays they played?
A: It’s good, that’s a good thing. Conditioning – it helps.
Q: What I meant was just the way they responded in tough situations.
A: I was very pleased with that and I told them so. That first series when they went into the game … I don’t know why we’re talking backwards; I understand but I hate talking about this; we’re supposed to go forward, we were doing this on Monday … but they did come in the game when the ball was at the 15 and held them to a field goal. That should have been enough right there. That should have been enough. That should have been the thing that got us all back on the same page. The resiliency, the fight back, the whole team, the defense certainly but the whole team, getting the ball back for us at the end of the game when we had to have it back, that was very much positive as well.
Q: In your discussions with Eli this week, has Peyton come up at all?
A: I talked to him, it wasn’t this week but we sat last Saturday morning, we talked about Peyton’s game Thursday night. We just talked about the way in which it was conducted and how well he played, that type of thing.
Q: You’re at a point with Eli where maybe you don’t have to address any emotional component.
A: It may enter in. I haven’t done that at this point in time. I introduced the opponent exactly as I always do, without regard to…
Q: I’m not sure how much, if any, you observed Peyton last year, his first year there…
A: I didn’t. So I didn’t see him.
Q: So getting back to Thursday night’s game, what did you see out of that?
A: I saw what you saw. A very patient young man playing the quarterback position, whose team was very much in the game, never played outside of himself, and then came back in the second half and took advantage of opportunities that he was given and really kept the pressure on the opponent’s defense consistently throughout the entire four quarters and, as I mentioned, scored 35 points in the second half.
Source: New York Giants Media