New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
What have you seen out of the Saints this year, especially in the last two games, where it seems like they've started to turn the corner on defense?
"I think looking at it's kind of similar to us. They're playing very well right now. They rushed for 183 last week and to have the ball plus five (giveaway-takeaway ratio) in their last two games, and five takeaways in the last two games and to play the way they have, I think you are right. They are getting better."
Friday night is homecoming at Newman. Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning didn't ask to come down early, did they?
"No, they haven't made that request."
Can you talk about the season that both of those guys are having?
"Eli with the exception of a couple of occasions has played really well and he's handled everything. He's got the run. He's got the pass and the protections to check etc. He's played well. Odell has played well. There has been some medical (issues), but he's played his way through that. Everytime he's on the field with the ball, he gives you a chance. Both of those young men are extremely important in our plan."
So much here is made out of the relationship between Sean Payton and Drew Brees. What's it like yourself to have a quarterback with you for a decade?
"It's been outstanding. He's dependable, the character of the man, the work ethic, the way in which he approaches his job, the way he works with other players, the way he takes instruction. He's an MVP of the Super Bowl twice and he's just as interested in learning and understanding as much as he can about the game. He's been a super representative of the New York Giants for all these years, he's an outstanding individual in the community. You couldn't ask for a better man in that role."
Going back to last year's draft, how early did you center in on Odell as a potential pick. We were talking to Sean Payton earlier, he said he loved Beckham but kind of got the sense he wouldn't be available when they picked. Did you have any worries about targeting him and if he'd still be around?
"You always have worries. Jerry Reese early on was touting Odell as the kind of player that makes a difference in a professional football organization. We had been alerted to the way that Jerry felt about Odell long before the season was over. We started to do our own evaluations and there wasn't any question about it. There's always a question about the pick."
Would you grant a request for players to come down early for homecoming?
"No. I don't think that's something guys would ask me for."
Maybe they should move it to Saturday?
"We're going to be busy on Saturday too. It's the wrong time of the year."
It seems like 1/5 of the roster has Louisiana ties through high school or college. Is that rare in your experience to have one state so represented on an active roster?
"It depends on the quality of the player. If the player is an outstanding player where ever they're from. If they're committed to their franchise and they perform both on and off the field fully in the capacity, I don't care where they're from. We do have a lot of guys from Louisiana and a lot of guys from LSU quite frankly. Corey Webster for example."
With so many guys on the roster from Louisiana, do you worry they might have extracurricular things to deal with once they get up there whether it's family, friends or ticket requests.
"I don't know what you're talking about. We play the New Orleans Saints. We're on the road. They're professionals. To keep their priorities in other and know we're on a business trip. That's the concern. There is really no other concern there. They know they just have a few minutes to visit with their families and they understand in the offseason or perhaps in the bye week."
Sean Payton made some aggressive calls this week and said that when you're digging out of a hole, you have to take some risks. Is that a coaching philosophy that you agree with or feel is pervasive in the NFL?
"I don't think you dial back anything when things aren't going well. You have to go for it. You need that lion in your locker room. You want to surround yourelve with a bunch of guys that will put it on the line for you understanding that there is risk involved. You don't want to do anything that obviously the points would make a difference. I've noticed and Sean's aggressive and has always been an aggressive play-caller. When called upon, they responded.
LSU has a running back in Leonard Fournette that many think will sue the league because he's ready for the NFL. What do you see as the pros and cons of the draft's early entry rule?
"I'm not getting into that. I just think the rule is fine the way it is."
Do you have any fond memories from your career when you decided to do something aggressive or risky and it paid off well?
You have to go for the script like Sean (Payton) does. When you go for it on fourth down, when you do those type of things or fake a punt, which are not necessarily by the book, you bleed into a team and you're fortunate enough to be able to do it in advance and if you do something on special teams, you have everybody on board. When you tell people you have fourth down when it goes appear and be prepared for it to happen. To cite something specifically we have plenty of examples of it here. The ones off the top of my head are the unexpected fourth downs you go for.
New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
What have you seen when watching the Saints defense over the past couple games? They have been able to create more of a pass rush and create more takeaways, which is something that they struggled with earlier in the season.
"They seem to be doing a good job getting turnovers on defense, and getting pressure on the quarterback. It looks like they're covering guys up and making the quarterback hold it a little bit longer. Their defensive line is getting to the quarterback and they're getting some sacks. They have done a good job. They mix up man and zone and (give you) different looks so you have to be prepared for everything."
You're 0-2 in games played in the Superdome; is there any specific reason for that? Was it a little extra pressure for yourself or were they just good days for the Saints?
"They have put up a lot of points in those games. We just got outscored a few times. They were playing good football on those days and we did mpt play as well as we needed to."
How has Odell (Beckham Jr.) handled all of the fame that has come his way? It is a lot to handle, especially in New York. How has he done that?
"I think he is doing well. It's something where he has to learn and deal with it on the run. They'll be some things that you'll experience or you'll do. You make a mistake or two and you learn from it. I think he has handled it well. It's kind of a trial and error situation. He is ready to practice every day. He is mentally prepared each week with the game plan and he is a great practice guy. He was good to have back at practice today. He had missed the last couple of weeks with injury. He wants to work, he wants to play well and he has had a good attitude with everything."
Going back to last year when he was drafted, what were your expectations for a rookie receiver and has he exceeded them in the time that he has been there?
"I did not have a whole lot of expectations just because he had missed so much time. He missed most of OTA's, training camp and the first few weeks of the season. I thought it was kind of like a redshirt year. We got him back and slowly worked him into the offense, just trying to give him a few concepts at a time and (trying to) be on the same page with him. He absorbed everything quickly and we just put more and more on his plate, and he did well with it. He is a hard worker and I think that he has a bright future. He has done everything that we have asked him to do."
What about yourself this year, are you still learning the new offense? Where would you say you are right now?
"I feel good. I feel good within the offense. I feel like we have to get going again with the passing attack. Last week, we just didn't have many plays or opportunities. We really only had two possessions in the second half where we threw the ball. I feel like we hit some big plays and did some good things. I feel good with the offense and feel that we can go out there, put some points on the board and run it efficiently."
At this stage of your career is winning a game more important to you than having the individual stats?
"No doubt, it is more about getting the win. That is all you remember afterwards is getting the win, especially in the division. (It's about) getting these wins to give us an opportunity to get in the playoffs."
Is New Orleans still home for you? Is there still a connection for you when you fly into town?
"Yes, it's still special to me. I get back there every year and do the Manning Passing Academy. We get back maybe another time or two to see my parents and my brother Cooper (Manning) and his family. There is definitely a connection there and (it is) a special place to get back to."
How much have you talked to Peyton (Manning)? His team is undefeated but he is perceived as struggling.
"I talk to Peyton a good bit. We do not talk much X's and O's and we do not talk much about football. It is more (about) family stuff or different things that are going on in our lives."
It is homecoming at (Isidore) Newman this week but Coach (Tom) Coughlin said that he wouldn't have let you come earlier if you had even asked.
"No, I'll maybe check the box scores on Saturday afternoon when I get to town and see how the Greenies did."
Do you think that the students at Newman have split loyalties with Saints and the Giants this week?
"I am sure that they're rooting for the Saints. I am sure that all of the locals are rooting for the home team and that is OK."