<span style=""> <span style="">Q: Can you give us your impression of what you've seen of the Saints on tape so far?</span>
<span style="">Coughlin</span>: "They're a good football team. Anybody that's doing the things that they're doing and has a 4-0 record with the third offense, the seventh defense, outstanding returners, outstanding kickers, physical, aggressive defensive team, an offensive team that's averaged 166 yards a game rushing. They were leading the league in point production at 36 points a game. Anytime you have a team producing at that level, it's an impressive team to watch."
Q: Can you talk about how Eli Manning has grown since your team's Super Bowl victory?
Coughlin: "I think he continues to grow and he always has. He applies himself. He works diligently at his craft. He loves the game. He loves the opportunity to play and be involved with his teammates. He's constantly from the day he's been here a guy who studies on the day off. He's in here on Tuesday in the film room. He spends it in the weight room. He takes tape home with him. In every area, he's grown and of course his grasp of what's happening on the other side of the ball, the fact that he's really done an outstanding job along with the coaches of preparing him to understand defensive football and what he can and cannot do, according to what he sees. He handles the clock well. He's done a nice job with our two minute offense and so there is not in one any area he has improved in over the others. He's done it all at the same time."
Q: Is there a perception that he grew into his own when team leaders such as (Michael) Strahan, Tiki (Barber) and Jeremy Shockey left? Is there any truth to that that he became more of a leader?
Coughlin: "The young players as they develop and grow when they become in a position of leadership, they naturally if they're so inclined, take that spot and I think that for sure has taken place with a lot of our younger players, who some of them came in with Eli. Eli's always been a leader. He's always been strong in his own convictions. We've had some outstanding personalities here, some outstanding leaders. You mentioned Strahan was an exceptional leader, did a very good job with our team, of course our defensive side of the ball. The offensive side of the ball has grown. Eli has been an elected captain here for three straight years. That tells you a little bit about what the players think of him."
Q: Does he deserve some of the credit for the development of your young receivers?
Coughlin: "Yes he does, for taking the time, spending a lot of time with them both on the practice field and off in terms of their development, what he sees, what they should do, what he expects from them in terms of their adjustments. He's done a really good job with that."
Q: What was the thought process of trading Jeremy Shockey?
Coughlin: "You'd have to go somewhere else with that one. Jeremy was an outstanding football player. What I expressed what that I was impressed with his blocking ability. People always wanted to talk about him as a receiver. I thought he was an all around player and a very good one. I think it was a matter that the decision was made on the value for value opportunity that was there."
Q: Is it weird to see him on the other sideline?
Coughlin: "Weird's the right word. Jeremy's an exceptional football player and his career is ongoing. We wish him luck."
Q: In the case of Jeremy is it good sometimes for a change of scenery?
Coughlin: "Does anybody have anything else they'd like to talk about?"
Q: What's important for you guys to learn in this game? Obviously you guys have played in a lot of big games.
Coughlin: "It's a very, very important game. It's an NFC game. It's a game where you have two teams, one is 4-0, the other is 5-0 and it's a very talented New Orleans team. It's a game where the challenge is obvious, a team that has put the numbers up in so many different ways. It's an outstanding opportunity for us as well. We're playing against a very good opponent."
Q: Are there things you have to learn about your team in terms of how they react in certain circumstances?
Coughlin: "I think we've played in noise before. We've expected it to be noisy and communication is so important. Poise is so important. We did a good job in Dallas. It's probably as loud as it's going to be with over 100,000 people there that night. I would expect that hopefully we can to continue in that vein."
Q: What have you seen that has made this defense improve on the Saints side?
Coughlin: "Gregg's (Williams) a good football coach. He's always done an outstanding job no matter where he's been. His defenses are very aggressive. They are an attack style defense. He usually has something special planned for each opponent he plays. In the NFC East we saw him twice a year and those were classic battles, tough, hard nosed football games and that's the style he's brought to the table and he's done a really good job."
Q: Can you talk about John Carney and the job he did last year?
Coughlin: "John's a great guy. He's a great pro. He brings an awful lot to the program. He's very serious about his work. He's a guy who studies the game very well who's a good teammate. He knows his responsibilities and is very reliable. More than that he can be relied upon as a solid teammate and of everyone that is on the team. John when he was here was very well thought of and very, very well respected by his teammates."
Q: Did a numbers game preclude you from bringing him back?
Coughlin: "I think that's exactly what it was. We tried to be very honest and open about our situation when John was here. Of course, John performed at a Pro Bowl level as did Jeff Feagles. As we move forward, Lawrence (Tynes) was our kicker in 2007 and that's the direction we chose to stay with."
Q: Are you not surprised that he's still kicking in the NFL?
Coughlin: "No, not at all."
Q: What stands out with the Saints linebackers when you're watching film of their defense?
Coughlin: "Speed, cover ability, pressure when called upon. I think it's a good, solid corps.
Q: Does a lot of that have to do with Jonathan Vilma and getting people in the right position?
Coughlin: "An awful lot of responsibility goes to the mike backer for that and Jonathan's done a good job."
Q: With all due respect why are you so apt to talk about John Carney but not about Jeremy Shockey?
Coughlin: "I'm more than willing to talk about Jeremy, but I thought for sure there was something else you had in mind. I told you that Jeremy is an outstanding football player who played extremely well for us, did a great job as a blocker, an all around vertical receiver, was obviously a Pro Bowl player before I even got here. I'm more than willing to talk about that. I thought there may be something else."
Q: How's the tight end position in Jeremy's absence?
Coughlin: "We have Kevin Boss who's done a good job and progressed and gotten better each year. Darcy Johnson's done the same thing. We have a young guy in the name of Travis Beckum who we think is going to be a good player going forward."