Super Bowl XLVI: Giants head coach Tom Coughlin transcript (February 1)

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke to the media Wednesday morning at the team hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

The transcript of Coughlin’s press conference was provided by NFL Communications.

(opening remarks) “Good morning. We’re really looking forward to getting back to a routine here which incorporates our very serious meeting time and our first practice since we’ve been out in Indianapolis. It looks today as if (RB) Ahmad Bradshaw will be the only player who will not practice. We do have some guys who will be somewhat limited. We should have (LB) Jacquian Williams, we’ll test him over at the practice facility today to see just how much he can do but he’s made very good progress since we’ve been here. We’re excited about getting back to work, applying ourselves to the very difficult task at hand, bringing forward the work we put in last week back in New Jersey, and continuing to build and refine the preparation that we had there.”

(on media day yesterday) “I don’t know how any of you could have a question after yesterday, unbelievable. I was OK until that guy came over in the Adventureman suit and the other guy who had the number and leather helmet. Actually, that guy looked pretty good in that helmet. That was a little shaky.”

(on whether Bradshaw is still following his weekly schedule of not practicing Wednesdays) “Normal routine, yeah.”

(on whether he has enough time to do what he wants to do this week having already installed the game plan last week) “We’re grinding. The coaches have been grinding since we got here. There’s lots more to do and you have to do what you have to do and that’s take the whole 16 (games) and the playoff games and take everything into consideration. We came knowing full well, and I told the coaches, that will continue to research and refine. If we like something, we’ll keep it, and if we don’t like it, we’ll change it as we go forward since I’m sure the Patriots are doing the same thing. You can sense it and you know the game is right there. It doesn’t really matter what you did last week. It’s almost as if you’re doing everything pretty much all over again. It’s just the way it is, and it’s the nature of the beast. It’s that time, yesterday morning, evening, and again this morning, grinding away and realizing that you only have so many snaps in your jog-throughs and your practices to accomplish what you want to accomplish. If you look at it like most people do with first and second-down today and third-down tomorrow and you’re red and green and all that stuff with short-yardage on Friday. You have a lot of information you’re trying to pump into the players and the players are very, very excited about getting started themselves. They can sense it and they had a day of meeting and greeting, and now they’re ready to go to work.”

(on linebacker Chase Blackburn’s journey from substitute teaching earlier this season and to being on the Giants 53-man roster) “That’s question number 972 about Chase. Chase was prepared to come back prior to when we brought him back. He had worked out for his and he was anxious about it. From the moment he arrived, it was like he never left. He absorbed where we were really fast, jumped right back into special teams, jumped into the linebacker role and progressed into the linebacker role. He’s playing a lot now on defense as well as special teams. He’s probably one of three of our players who has the positive supportive role on the sidelines for offense and special teams. He’s really jumped right in and done more than you can ask of anybody to help in as many ways as he can. He’ll volunteer to do anything, he’s just that kind of guy.”

(on the similarities between the 2007 team and the run up to this point) “I look just as you do, and I see the things that have occurred and have taken place in terms of the way we played at the end of the year, the way we’ve played on the road, the field goal, and overtime in the championship game. Other than that, I really do believe that this is the 2011-12 New York Giants. This group of young men is trying to create history for themselves. We’re very proud of what was accomplished a few years ago, but some of the phrases that are being used to identify this game and that game and the connections, I don’t necessarily agree with all of those.”

(on why WR Victor Cruz was not used in the first few weeks of the season) “In Philadelphia, he was certainly used well. That was pretty early in the season. I just think that what Victor’s season has become…when the opportunity was presented, he was at a point in time where he actually understood how important and serious it was. The fact that these opportunities don’t come along every day and he seized it. He took full advantage of it. Once he was able to accomplish what he did, the result was kind of eye-popping. Of course once that happened, the ball was going to go that way.”

(on whether the recent success against the Patriots has been because of the Giants pass rush abilities) “I think it’s a combination of things but certainly it doesn’t just apply to our approach in the Patriot game, it applies to our approach over the course of the season. We feel that we certainly have a very strong group of men in the front, not only with the ends but with the tackles as well. We’ve had an opportunity to collect all of the people we had injured, and all the people who came back from being injured have played well. It’s just the way we play and prefer to play. It’s a pressure group, and we have played better in the back end as well, probably as a result of the ball having to come out faster than it has at certain times during the year.”

(on the Giants stability at quarterback) “Continuity, the ability to…we always say that everything in the National Football League is accumulative. So when you start to develop a quarterback, you take him through all the things that he will see at that time as people throw the kitchen sink at that young guy. He absorbs that and learns from it. Then, he goes to the next step and so on and so forth. By the course of time, being the eighth year and the end of the eighth year, for a quarterback with Eli’s ability, he’s seen an awful lot and has prepared against the very, very best and that’s one of the very good things about our schedule this year. I think is that we played a lot of very, very good football teams right on through. So, to have him in that spot as all other things around him change, you know and the team knows that they can always go back to that one spot and know that there is great stability, poise, leadership and ability coming out of that spot.”

(on his working relationship with right guard and son-in-law Chris Snee) “He comes from great stock. Toughness. He’s a guy that I remember, to be honest with you, going to Boston College and looking at a running back one time. This was way back and I think Chris was a redshirt freshman at the time. This runner had a front in front of him, and by the time that we finished watching this runner, the director of college personnel and I looked at each other and say, ‘Who’s (no.)76? Who’s this guy right here?’ The knowledge of Chris as a football player started at a very young age for him and just grew and grew. When we had the opportunity to draft him, a story that’s been told many times, there wasn’t any question that we felt like we were getting another first rounder, so let’s go. That’s proven true all the way through. The way that works for me, it’s been very easy because he’s a tough, hard-nosed guy. He’s an offensive lineman. He grabs his lunch bucket every day and goes to work, and he doesn’t say a whole lot. Again, he’s another one of those guys that we rely heavily on for the stability factor that he brings and the type of player that he is.”

(on how TE Rob Gronkowski’s status changes the defensive game plan) “Not to belittle the question, I really do think he’ll play. It sounds like he’s making great progress. You could have somewhat of a difference in percentages, if you will, for the style of the type of personnel used. I don’t see a lot of change in how they approach it. They always run the ball and they will always do that in whatever fashion they choose, whether it be by series or whether all of the sudden at the end, you realize that they’ve run the ball x-amount of times for x-amount of yards. I just think that we’ll prepare as if he’ll play and we’ll do our due diligence with any of these other personnel combinations that come up. They’ve been very successful in that personnel set you’re referring to. Whether it’s two receivers, a runner, and two tight ends, or two tight ends and three receivers. They’ve been extremely successful with that and it’s been tied into their no-huddle offense and the way in which we can do things. We are preparing naturally for different personnel sets, also including the fact that we think he’ll play.”

(on the luxury of having so many defensive ends who rush the passer well) “It’s not a luxury. It’s a style and a way in which we prefer to play. It’s a position that we place a whole lot of stock in…one of the questions that had been asked this morning was to get pressure, how do you get by doing that. If you can do it with four rather than the rest, then you can cover. You have more people involved in coverage, obviously. The great skilled defensive lineman that come along, rare or not rare, if they have the other attributes that you’re looking for, they’re going to give you a number of weapons. Mentioning athleticism, speed, and that type of thing, they provide versatility for you as well.”

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