Giants fans in Tampa on Sunday – Photo courtesy of Tim Nargi
JOHNATHAN HANKINS DONE FOR THE SEASON…
The New York Giants have confirmed that Johnathan Hankins, the team’s best defensive tackle, did tear his pectoral muscle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Hankins will have surgery and be placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. It is a big loss for a defense that is already dead last in the NFL.
“Johnathan, unfortunately, did tear his pec and he will have to have surgery,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He’ll be placed on IR and hopefully he will rehab as fast as possible. I don’t have a calendar date in terms of how long it will take him to get back, but he does have time.
“John has been a guy that’s anchored in the middle of that defensive line for a few years. We’ll definitely miss his presence. He knocked the ball out yesterday, he’s the one that forced the first fumble recovered by Brinkley. He’ll be missed, there’s no doubt. He’s a strong, strong player inside and he can be a factor against the pass as well as the run. We will definitely miss him.”
HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:
Coughlin: We were obviously very pleased with the game, it was a tough football game. You’re talking about a game in the fourth quarter with a very, very tight points differential. Plays had to be made at the right time and I thought a lot of the critical plays were made at that time with the stop, the forced punt, the driving of the ball, the big third down conversion between Eli and Odell, the running of the ball late in the game. I would have liked to have gotten the first down there at the end and put it under two minutes and they had no timeouts and we could have knelt, but it didn’t work that way. We got the field goal and there was a minimal amount of time for Tampa Bay to maneuver the ball down the field at the end of the game. And so in effect, we accomplished what we had set out to do.
I thought our defense bounced back and you cannot ignore the 59-yard run or the 68-yard pass. Had we been able to defend those things better, and there were at least two missed tackles on the 59-yard run, those statistics would certainly have been different. I think against an outstanding running back, (Doug) Martin, gained 31 yards, I thought that was a huge plus for our team. Our ability to hold up after sudden change for defense to go out and force field goals and not touchdowns and to have done that on a couple different occasions throughout the game, that was a huge plus for us.
I think from a special teams standpoint, the 53-yard field goal by Josh Brown was outstanding—an excellent hold by Brad Wing on that particular play. The one punt, we punted once in the game, and he hit a bomb, it was a 64-yard punt, which forced a very, very good returner to go back and have to regroup, muffed a little bit and it became a net of 63, which is outstanding as well. The types of things that don’t go in the statistics—the punt that Dwayne Harris was able to finesse over to one side as if the ball was coming that way and the ball hit and rolled into the endzone, allowing us to start at the 20 instead of inside the 10. A very good job by the young defender that we had just brought up, (Tramain) Jacobs, who was able to work against a very, very fast gunner and still distracted enough along with Dwayne that the ball was allowed to go into the endzone. There were plays of that nature throughout the game.
The offense took advantage of turnovers when they were there, they put, I think 17 points on the board off of turnovers. We ran the ball well, we had some powerful runs. We had 35 minutes time of possession which was a huge plus. We did turn the ball over twice and that allowed them to have the ball, plus the fourth and two that we didn’t make, I would call that a turnover as well, in terms of just momentum shifting there. But we were able to overcome those things and to come away with a win.
Q: From a pass rushing standpoint, you did get a couple hits on Winston but nothing in the sack department. What did you make of the defensive line and particularly Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: Obviously the guy hadn’t played, so he was rusty in terms of that. But I thought he got some great jumps off the snap and I thought his inside move was an outstanding move. Late in the game when we needed to be able to rush the passer, he forced the passer to pull it down and run outside to the right on a couple of occasions, which made him a little bit more uncomfortable when he was not standing in the pocket releasing the ball in that way. He was having to throw the ball on the move. I thought that for the first time out of the box, obviously our players were happy that he was out there with us. And he’s going to do nothing but get better.
Q: Based on what you saw, are you comfortable with him having an expanded role once he gets back into football shape?
A: He’s in football shape and he’s in outstanding condition. Football role? He will assume whatever roles we need to design in order for us to be able to maximize his ability.
Q: What went into your thinking to use him pretty much exclusively on the right side?
A: That’s where he plays, he plays on the right side. That’s where he is.
Q: I know it’s a different year, different seasons and I know you’ll talk about the Patriots more on Wednesday. Is there a common denominator to why you guys have had success against them before? You’ve always faced them when they’ve been flying high.
A: I don’t know whether this is an attempt to get out in front of it…I really haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about the Patriots yet. As soon as we finish this (call) and I have one more meeting with the players, I will then switch gears and start to prepare myself for the Patriot game. But at this point in time, let me stick with this game, please.
Q: Anything on Johnathan Hankins?
A: Yes, Johnathan, unfortunately, did tear his pec and he will have to have surgery.
Q: So that’s a six-month thing sort of like Will Beatty at this point?
A: Well, he’ll be placed on IR and hopefully he will rehab as fast as possible. I don’t have a calendar date in terms of how long it will take him to get back, but he does have time.
Q: With Will Beatty, where do you stand with your offensive line and how do you plan to proceed with him? I believe the date is coming up the middle of the week.
A: Yeah, the date is later in the week and we’ll make a decision at that point in time.
Q: Is the decision whether he’s going to be placed on the roster or not or just what to do with him when he gets on the roster?
A: No, it doesn’t have anything to do with what to do with him, we know what to do with him. It’ll be whether or not he moves onto the roster.
Q: What, at this point, would prevent him from doing that?
A: Will didn’t play yesterday. Is there anything you want to ask me about the game? Will is going to practice this week and the decision will be made. That’s all you’re going to get, I’m sorry, but that’s it. Do you have any questions about the game?
Q: What did you think of your offensive line and how they played in that game?
A: The quarterback, I think, was hit twice and I believe we rushed the ball for 114 yards. They were very quick, they did penetrate with the linebackers, they came off of the edge with their pressure, but by in large, I think our guys did well.
Q: How big of a loss is Hankins? He’s been an anchor for you for a year and a half and where do you go next to fill that void, especially the run stopper?
A: Well, that’s the thing, John has been a guy that’s anchored in the middle of that defensive line for a few years. We’ll definitely miss his presence. He knocked the ball out yesterday, he’s the one that forced the first fumble recovered by Brinkley. He’ll be missed, there’s no doubt. He’s a strong, strong player inside and he can be a factor against the pass as well as the run. We will definitely miss him.
Q: Speaking of Jasper Brinkley, how did you think he did in the middle?
A: I thought he played well, I thought he did. I thought he benefited from having play time extended a week ago and he is a force in the middle. He’s a guy that has size and he is able to recognize things and he is physical.
Q: Was it just a matter of him having to catch up with the playbook? I know he got to the team late.
A: The idea of being ready to go when you’re needed is an essential part of this game and it just worked its way out that way.
Q: Do you see him taking that position on now going forward as the starter?
A: Well, we’ll see, we’ll see how that goes. He did play well.
Q: And we never got to ask you either, Jon Beason’s injuries…what was the extent of them? What led to the decision to IR him?
A: The decision was—Jon has been an outstanding leader here. He is a man of principle. He is a guy who loves to play, loves to compete. But the inability to really put the injuries to rest and be able to have some kind of an idea when, in fact, he could play and could be able to stay out there, there just wasn’t any answers to those kinds of things. So unfortunately the roster starts to churn and you need to be able to get some people in a position to help you play and win and so that decision was made.
Q: With seven games to go, how much different is the feeling for you knowing you’re in first place and you’ve got a shot?
A: Obviously, it’s a great thing. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to be in the hunt, to be relevant. And each week is extremely meaningful and the players are well aware of that. Like I spoke to them on Saturday night, we talked about the fact that, “Hey, you work a whole winter, you work all summer, you spend all your time preparing and if I was to tell you at the midpoint of the season that you were in first place in the division, had a very meaningful circumstance within the division, would it make a difference? You bet it would, you bet it would.” So obviously we have many, many important and big games to go, but it’s good to have that factor involved.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players:
The New York Giants did not allow a sack against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the third time this season QB Eli Manning was not sacked (also in home victories over Washington and San Francisco). It was also the third time this season, and second week in a row, the Giants defense did not register a sack.
The Giants’ defense has scored four times this season.
Eli Manning set a franchise record with his 96th regular-season victory as the Giants’ starting quarterback. He had shared the mark with Phil Simms, who won 95 games in 15 seasons from 1979-93.
WR Odell Beckham has 150 catches in 21 games, setting a new NFL record for fewest games needed to reach 150. WR Anquan Boldin previously held the mark with 25 games. Beckham also tied the NFL record for fewest games to reach 2,000 yards receiving with WR Bill Groman.
PK Josh Brown extended his team record to 23 consecutive field goal attempts, including all 19 this season.
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 England Patriots.