Tom Coughlin met the media this afternoon after what just may be the Giants’ final practice of the 2012 season. There’s nothing left to do for the Blue now except win their game Sunday and then rely on the kindness of strangers.
What is the atmosphere and mentality of your team?
“I think it’s pretty good. The guys are looking forward to the game. They’re looking forward to the opportunity that’s been given to them. They practiced well. They seem to be in it. Yesterday was a good practice. Today was also pretty good. Disappointed…We’re in the season. That’s a strange word right now. That’s yesterday. We have to deal with right now in the moment and we have a great opportunity. We need to go play a very good football game. That’s the whole purpose here. It’s not about what the scenarios are or anything of that nature. It’s about us taking our football team and playing as well as we can possibly play. Then we’ll worry about everything else.”
Yesterday Perry Fewell said that the defense is in position to make plays, but just not making them…Do you agree?
“Those are his words and that’s the way he feels. I don’t think the defensive players would argue with you at all. We’re in position. We haven’t really tackled well. We haven’t made the plays. It’s not just on defense; we haven’t made any plays on offense, either. That’s one of the things that, for so many weeks, we were counting on and looking at always; big plays, and the last two weeks, they really haven’t been there. We’ve had some, but not many.”
Have you seen things this week in practice that make you feel better about Sunday?
“We’ve practiced well, but the other answer to the question…it’s not Sunday yet. How am I supposed to tell you that? How am I going to answer that? If I knew that, I’d back the truck up, but they won’t let me do that, either. Maybe we should practice lousy and then we could…”
When you came up with “Build the Bridge,” did you understand that it would be difficult for a Super Bowl team to make another tough playoff run?
“Absolutely. Absolutely, taking everything into consideration, but first of all, having great respect for our players and the way that they finished the season and wanting to take those values and move them forward, knowing full well that it’s 16 games. That’s a long season. That’s a long period of time that you’re asking for that, but nevertheless, a goal is a goal. That’s what we based it on.”
It seems that in recent times it’s been Super Bowl or no playoffs for the Giants; excluding 2008…most teams would be pretty satisfied with that:
“It’s not done yet. I’m not ready to answer that question because we still have everything going for us in our 16th game. We’re just going to play that game and then I’m sure you’ll have that question for me.”
What does it mean to you to have the Sandy Hook Elementary kids coming to the game on Sunday?
“Well, I spoke to the team this morning about that. What it really means to all of us is we were so taken aback and so shocked and felt so badly for the families…not only the families of the children, but the principal, the school psychologist and the real heroes who knew exactly what was coming and still charged and attacked and knew what the outcome would be. It’s Giant country, and we know that. To have that group from the Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Newtown community come down for this game with Philadelphia, it means a great deal to us and we would certainly like to honor them. The best we can do is take each individual and play to the best of his ability and make a statement as a team as well. We’re not alone in our passion and empathy for this school and for their lost loved ones. I’m sure an entire country feels that way, but it’s special for us to have them here this weekend.”
How did your players receive the news?
“I think a lot of them knew it, but those who didn’t were all eyes and ears.”
What do you think about your guys that are playing through injury trying to play in this game on Sunday and not wanting to take a day off?
“Nobody is. They all want to play. They all want to play and there are many guys, just like every team in the National Football League at the end of the year, who are playing with injuries, restrictions and that type of thing. It’s not new here. It’s not new this year here. We’ve had lots of guys play with lots of things and that’s the nature of our game. Unfortunately, I wish I could make them all 100% so they could go run. They have more fun when they feel really special, really good. That’s the nature of our business.”
If Jayron Hosley can’t play on Sunday, where does this leave you at cornerback?
“Well, we have the three guys and we’ll see what Prince (Amukamara) is like. We’ll go from there.”
Hosley hurt himself at practice?
How important has Justin Tuck’s leadership been this season?
“It’s important to have him on the field.”