NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
Offensive guard Geoff Schwartz fractured his lower leg in the loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon. “He has a fracture above the plate on his leg,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin on Monday. “So I’m sure that he’ll have to be put in (Injured Reserve).”
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie injured his ankle in the game but returned. “Hopefully he’s going to be able to go (on Sunday against the New York Jets),” said Coughlin.
Both center Weston Richburg (high ankle sprain) and left guard Justin Pugh (concussion) missed the game against the Redskins. Coughlin was asked if either would return against the Jets. “I’m hoping that’s going to be the case, at least with one of them, but I don’t have any evidence of that just yet,” responded Coughlin. “And I’m going to have to wait, obviously, for the protocol to be completed and for some successful rendering of the various examinations. With Richburg, it’s going to be, how much improvement is there? He tried it once, it wasn’t very good and so we did the best we could to keep him off his feet and continue to treat etc. etc. etc. So I’m hoping there’s an advantage to that and I really won’t know anything until I hear probably tomorrow to what extent he’s able to do anything. So we’ll see.”
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:
Okay, we’ll just start out by saying again how disappointed we were, and really in not playing better than we did down in Washington. And I’ll go a little further with that…I thought, for example, we started the game off with the two interceptions and they got no points out of it. I really did believe that we were going to take off right then. I think if DRC catches that interception on the sideline and goes down there and scores, it’s 7-0 in our favor and maybe some of that momentum shifts to our way of doing business. But that being said, they had quite a nice lead going into halftime. We had not responded with anything really offensively. And then we start the third quarter and we take the ball on a nice drive down the field, and, quite frankly, I think we should have scored right there…we didn’t. The ball was a little bit behind, route could have been run a little bit cleaner, but nevertheless, the ball was behind and not only do we take down a touchdown, we take down the potential for the field goal as well, so that hurt us.
We continued to battle back and forth, our defense only gave up three points in the second half. They had the big plays which we talked about last night and I’ll talk about again. The big pass to Jackson in the middle of the field, which we knew was coming; at what time it was coming, we didn’t know, but we knew it was coming because that’s what you do with DeSean. They make the great play-action fake and let him get started and get down the field, regardless of the coverage. We were in single-high, we had a safety back there, but he cleanly took care of that, right past the corner as well. We had that work against us etc. etc. Big screen pass…in my opinion, the controversial fourth down quarterback sneak, which I understand you can’t overrule it without irrefutable evidence, and there evidently wasn’t any but that was really close.
And then in the fourth quarter, we do a couple of things offensively. They’re looking for an onside kick with 10 minutes to go, we kick it deep, they have to retreat to catch it, we pin them back on the eight-yard line. We score again and then there is still plenty of time. We kickoff and with the third and five with 3:55 to go and we still have two timeouts, they convert at that point in time, then we don’t ever get the ball back. Or we do, but it’s (19) seconds and the length of the field to go, which the ball should have been allowed to go in the end zone on that play as well. As I said, in the division, playing for, again, something that would have been extremely beneficial, the two-game lead at that point in time. We weren’t able to do that. I’ll take your questions if you have them.
Q: Obviously you didn’t get the production that you would have liked from the running game, but did you feel—at some point, obviously, they jumped out on you—you were forced to kind of abandon the running game or was that kind of dictated by the first half?
A: No, we had a little bit of success early on and despite the fact that there were runs following that that weren’t very successful, you always look back at that and say, “Yeah, we should have run. We should have kept running. We should have done something to, if nothing else, affect the ability to set up play action pass.” In the game, in the process, in the game the way it was going, we were down quite significantly, not having a lot of success, and that always leads you the other way. But when you look at the end result and you look at the statistics from the game, you certainly would have liked to have rushed the ball a considerable amount of times more than we did.
Q: How did Bobby Hart do yesterday?
A: He did okay. He had his moments, he had a couple of things that weren’t done the way we wanted to. But he brought energy and he kept his poise and he battled, and those were plusses.
Q: Just a couple health questions, if you don’t mind. Geoff Schwartz, any further word on him?
A: No, but it’s not good. He has a fracture above the plate on his leg. So I’m sure that he’ll have to be put in I.R.
Q: Rodgers-Cromartie…I know he came back in the game but he kept going out, right?
A: Yeah, but it was an ankle. I didn’t see anything yet from downstairs but hopefully he’s going to be able to go.
Q: Where do you go from here with the offensive line?
A: You keep working, that’s what you do. You keep working, you keep fighting, you keep scrambling, you keep battling. Maybe you get a couple of guys back, or at least one back. The other guys are going to have to keep playing and do a good job for us, that’s all there is to it. This is our team, these are our guys. We had, unfortunately, at a key time of the year, some of these people were not able to play up front and I’m sure they felt very badly about that, but we have to go on. We did go on and the result wasn’t very good, but nevertheless you have to keep fighting.
Q: How reasonable is it that you could have Richburg or Pugh, or both, back on Sunday?
A: You know what, I’m hoping that’s going to be the case, at least with one of them, but I don’t have any evidence of that just yet. And I’m going to have to wait, obviously, for the protocol to be completed and for some successful rendering of the various examinations. With Richburg, it’s going to be, how much improvement is there? He tried it once, it wasn’t very good and so we did the best we could to keep him off his feet and continue to treat etc. etc. etc. So I’m hoping there’s an advantage to that and I really won’t know anything until I hear probably tomorrow to what extent he’s able to do anything. So we’ll see.
Q: This idea of not taking advantage of the opportunity that you had to take a two-game lead, it’s not that new a concept, it’s happened several times before in previous years where you had a good opportunity to get somewhere then you end up with your backs to the wall—sometimes you get out of it and you get to the playoffs and sometimes not. Is there anything that kind of links these things together?
A: No. I don’t have them sitting in front of me in a box and go and look at them. I would say each situation is different. I don’t really have a great answer for that other than the fact I don’t think they’re related.
Q: Even though you’ve been around him for two years now, with regard to Odell Beckham, are there things you continue to learn about him?
A: I don’t know about keep learning about. We certainly have a very, very high ceiling and a high ceiling as far as what the talent level is and the things that he can do and that you would ask him to do. There is probably nothing that you wouldn’t ask him to do, he seems to be able to handle all those things. No, I would say that because of the broad spectrum of ways that we’ve seen him in practice and in games as an athlete, I think the expectation of what he can do is the sky’s the limit.
Q: I think Eli threw to him on something like 35 percent of his passes yesterday. There have been high percentages in the past. Is that a product of how good he is or a product of the fact that there aren’t other guys getting open to help Eli out?
A: I think it’s you want the ball in the hands of the guys who can be the most productive. And it doesn’t really say a whole lot about—we’ve had other people that are open, you saw it in the last few minutes of the game with the two touchdown drives that people are open or able to get open—sometimes not in the timeliest fashion as you’d like. But there’s plenty of opportunities for people to get open. I mean, I would think yesterday, the ball to Vereen, he was open, and he tips it up in the air and it becomes an interception. The Harris ball, I don’t think so, you throw that one away. And then we talked about the goal line—the green zone interception. I would say there’s guys contributing and getting open, but you certainly do want the ball in the hands of the guy that can be the most productive.
Q: Is it surprising to you that with Beckham being so dynamic and demanding so much attention that it doesn’t seem like Randle or Harris obviously didn’t have their best games? Is that something the Redskins were taking away and just winning the matchups because it didn’t seem like aside from Beckham that any of the receivers were getting much production?
A: Well, production is one word. The other word would be the direction of the ball being sent their way. Let’s face it, Rueben could have had two scores. I think that if the ball was placed properly in the end zone on the end zone throw that he would have caught that ball. Dwayne has been used in a lot of capacities and certainly he’s come through for us—made the one outstanding catch yesterday of a low ball, a very low ball. The tight end contributed a couple of plays yesterday. We had Hakeem for the first time, he got one ball, had another one thrown his way. I’m sure that will increase as well.
Q: Eli won’t go down this road or use it as any excuse, but what do you see from him when he’s dealing with change to this extent on the offensive line?
A: What do I see from him? I see the same player.
Q: Do you see a difference?
A: Do I see a difference in his play? No. I think sometimes it’s perhaps speeded up like it was yesterday on a couple of occasions. I’m not sure that sometimes the play is allowed to develop to the full extent that it does, or a quick decision is made on where the ball is going to go, or we go back to featuring the balls that are coming out of his hand quicker. He was, I think, going into the game last week, he was fifth in the league in the time of release and he’s done very well with that. You’d like your quarterback to have outstanding protection and not be hit—he got hit sometimes yesterday, there’s no doubt about it. But the way he came roaring back in the fourth quarter was a very good indication of Eli hanging in there, even stepping up into the pocket on numerous occasions and delivering the ball. Everybody is aware of who’s on the field, but has it affected his play? Maybe to speed up and not have an opportunity to go ahead and see the entire pattern the way that you would normally do it. But I did like the way he came back battling in the fourth quarter.
Q: What are you initial impressions of the Jets?
A: I haven’t even looked at them yet. I’ll start that this afternoon as soon as I hang up this phone.
Q: How much extra meaning does this Jets game have for you guys or does it have any extra meaning at all because of the locality of it?
A: I’ve not even begun to prepare for the Jets. They won yesterday, they’re a good football team. We did play them in the preseason, which is a long time ago. We’ll start our study here shortly.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players:
The Giants lost this season in Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington. This is the first season since 1996 in which they lost all of their NFC East road games.
The Giants fell to 10-17 (.370) in games following a regular-season bye. They have lost their last two post-bye games after winning six in a row.
The Giants are 2-22 in regular season games in which they attempt at least 50 passes.
WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.