COACH TOM COUGHLIN
POST PRACTICE - December 4, 2008
Q: What did Plaxico say to you personally? Did he apologize to you personally?
A: That is between he and I.
Q: When did you find out about the whole incident?
A: Saturday morning about 6:15- 6:20.
Q: Who told you?
A: I had some voice messages that I really hadn’t listened to. But I got a call from Charles Way.
Q: What about Mr. Barnes, are you comfortable with how he handled the situation?
A: Listen, the state of the union was stated yesterday. I don’t have anything new to tell you about that stuff.
Q: Derrick Ward?
A: I think so. He had it retaped. I think he was fine. He ran around fine.
Q: Burress’ attorney has basically said….
A: I said that I am done talking about that.
Q: Any indication from practice that this team has lost any focus or are they still right where you want them to be?
A: Our energy level is high. Work was good today. It was fast. Guys are certainly not always perfect, but it was fast and the guys were into it.
Q: RE: Corey Webster
A: He didn’t practice again today but I think he is coming along. I think he is coming along. We will see about tomorrow.
Q: Come game day when the whistle blows, kickoff, these guys are professional athletes and have been playing this game for a long time since they were kids. Is their focus just on football at this point and nothing else?
A: I think that is pretty much the case. That is certainly what happened the other day.
Q: Fred Robbins?
A: Fred practiced. We probably listed him as limited again but he is practicing, doing whatever he needs to do.
Q: The challenge of Philadelphia, obviously, you have said it before. It always comes down it seems like to the last couple of minutes. I’m sure you don’t expect anything different this week.
A: I don’t. They are a very good football team; they are very well coached. Our games are classic games; back and forth games. We just played a few short weeks ago. We have another one of those games. So I really don’t see it being any different.
Q: You kind of kept Westbrook in check the last time.
A: Certainly he and Donovan and DeSean and all of their weapons certainly looked very good the other night against Arizona.
Q: Is there a tangible advantage to clinching the division this week?
A: To win a game. It is the next game; that is the game that we want to win. The division comes with the game; certainly that is one of our goals. We have many mountains to climb.
Q: Was Ward limited after he had his ankle retaped?
A: Not really. I can’t tell you what he is going to be like in the morning if that is what you are asking me.
Q: Because Antonio Pierce is the quarterback of the defense, do you find that you have to talk to him just to settle him down and see how mind and how is focus is?
A: Not really. We have had little conversations pretty much every day; but not today.
Q: How is he doing?
A: I think he is doing well.
Q: Is there a little extra incentive to get that first round bye to get the extra rest for the guys?
A: You know what, those type of things we are not going to discuss. We are talking about winning the division. That is right where it stays right now. There is a lot of football to play. Most years December is the start of the National Football League season. I see it no different. I see it no different. We have lots of big games coming up.
Q: Do you personally have any reason to believe that Pierce or Bradshaw will not be on the field on Sunday?
A: I don’t believe so.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I would like to open this conference up obviously by stating that I am not speaking about any events that happened Friday or Saturday morning. If there are any questions about the New York Giants as a team and going forward and about the Philadelphia Eagles I will answer, but again I will repeat myself, I am not answering any questions or tell you anything that happened on Saturday.
How do you personally stay focused on the practice field with everything else that is going on?
I go about my business as normal. When I am at work from 7:30 to 4:00 when I am here I go about my business of getting the strategies that Coach Spags gives to me, going out on the practice field and executing the defense, and the challenges that we have ahead. We are facing a very tough Philadelphia Eagles team that played very well last week.
Do you have anything to say about the events at the hospital that night?
I spoke earlier in my opening statement.
I don’t cover you all the time, I noticed your jersey was rolled up underneath your pads; do you do that all the time?
Yeah. I think anybody here would tell you that is how I practice every week.
Are you concerned at all about your future with the team?
I am a New York Giant and I don’t think that.
Do you think you will be on the roster on Sunday?
The Philadelphia Eagles are a good team and come Sunday Antonio, number 58, should be on the field and will be on the field.
Is it good to be on the football field and away from everything else that is going on?
It is good. It is good when you are in the locker room with the boys and enjoying football and just focusing on football. That is who I am, a professional football player, father, husband, that is what I am. When I am at work I work and you guys can find me anytime during the week at my workplace, the New York Giants.
Have you had any feedback from your colleagues as to whether you are going to be focused on the game? Are they worried about that?
My colleagues never worry about me being focused on the game.
Do you have any regrets at all about the whole Plaxico Burress situation?
I am just going to refer back to my opening statement.
What are your thoughts on Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo?
He came in last year and a lot of coaches demand respect and he earned our respect and we earned his respect and I think we work very well together. He is a great personality for our team. The defense that he runs fits our personnel very well. We have great defensive linemen that get after the quarterback, we have aggressive linebackers, and we have a young secondary that is very hungry. Coach Spags does a good job of putting a defense that fits us, and obviously by last year you can tell he was one of the hottest coaches in the league. I would be very excited for him if he does get a head coaching job one day, hopefully when I am done playing about six years from now.
What about the outside thoughts that the team could lose focus this weekend?
The 53 guys in this locker room and the 12 or so coaches all know what we need to do this weekend. This is a big weekend for us. This a weekend that we can obviously clinch the NFC East, becoming champions of something, one of our main and most focused goals is to win our division and we have that opportunity this week. The Eagles are coming in here probably prepared to keep their playoff hopes alive, but to us it is about the New York Giants and we are not worried about if somebody else thinks we are focused. We are focused and we are ready and come Sunday we will prove that at 1:00.
Any kind of letdown when you can clinch the division early?
It happened last year. Dallas clinched it very early last year, but for us the sooner the better doesn’t matter as long as you get the job done. The job for us again is to clinch the NFC East and go forth with the rest of the goals that we have that Coach Coughlin put up.
You did a good job stopping the run last week, is that something you will have to be cognizant of again this week?
Yeah he is back to Clinton Portis. You know how I said last week Portis was one, two, three and all the way down to 22. Westbrook last week four touchdowns, he is looking healthy again, obviously when we played him he might have been a little nicked-up, but Westbrook makes that team go. When he doesn’t play well or is not having a productive game they don’t play very well so for us we have to make sure we key and stop him and limit the big plays.
No Giants team has ever been to the playoffs in the year after they won the Super Bowl, are you guys concerned at all about that?
No, you know what? Honestly I never knew that. I don’t think it has ever been brought up in our meeting rooms. Everything we are focused about is what this 2008 team is capable of doing this year. We are off to a great start obviously by being 11-1, but we are not where we want to be. The playoffs are one of our goals, but we have other goals as well so if we can accomplish those goals one at a time we will be okay.
Have there been any statements made by the leadership council to the rest of the team lately?
The head coach, he speaks. Even though we have our leadership council and we have our captains the head coach Tom Coughlin, he speaks, and when he speaks we listen. He addressed the team Saturday morning, he addressed the team Sunday, and he addressed the team Wednesday so there is nothing that needs to be said from the 53 guys in this locker room. We talk on Sundays and we talk in our meeting rooms and the locker room about football and that is the only thing we will ever talk about.
How do you feel right now?
I am good. I am ready to go play football. I wish it was Sunday, but obviously I can’t speed up the days and I need a couple more days to get ready for the Philadelphia Eagles, but I am fine. I am about as focused as I could be. When distractions come up you turn a negative into a positive and that is my option.
Is there much talk about the media coverage of the Burress situation in the locker room?
All we talk about is football in this locker room and that is why we are 11-1. Whatever the outside world or whatever these people that sit here in front of my face today talk about or write about it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t concern us because when things are good things are good and when things are bad they are bad and we understand that. We focus on football.
How do you do that?
You have to. It is life, it is life. Life ain’t a straight line. It doesn’t go straight up and it doesn’t go straight down, there are bumps. It is a bump and you move on with it. For our team we have been strong enough the last year and a half or so now to get over that. Two years ago I couldn’t answer that question this way.
Do you think you could have handled this two years ago?
Me? I’m the same person I have been since I came out of my momma’s womb and came out crying. This is who I am. I am Antonio Pierce the person first and that is who I am and that is who I am going to stay.
Do you think the whole Burress situation will carry over at all the rest of the season?
This Sunday is no different from last Sunday, it is no different from Week One, it is no different from the Super Bowl game, and it is no different from the first game I ever played of football. I get on the football field and my focus is winning the game first and foremost, doing my job, and helping my team win and that is what I plan on doing on Sunday at 1:00.
# # #
Name: Avis Roper
Organization: New York Giants
Phone: +1. 201-935-8111
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