Mar 042016
 
Share Button
Will Tye, New York Giants (January 3, 2016)

Will Tye – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS TENDER SEVEN EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS…
The New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have tendered seven of the eight players on their roster who were eligible to be tendered as exclusive rights free agents. The players tendered cannot sign with any team other than the Giants, thus guaranteeing their return unless the tender is revoked. The seven players are:

  • RB Orleans Darkwa
  • WR Myles White
  • TE Will Tye
  • TE Jerome Cunningham
  • OG Adam Gettis
  • S Bennett Jackson
  • P Brad Wing

The player not tendered was wide receiver Marcus Harris. Scouting reports on these players are available in the Scouting Reports section of the website.

VICTOR CRUZ STARTS RUNNING…
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz revealed on Thursday that he has begun running as part of his rehab process recovering from calf surgery. Cruz did not play in any preseason or regular-season games in 2015. Cruz was placed on Injured Reserve in November 2015 due to a left calf injury suffered in August that never healed and required surgery. It is the third leg injury that Cruz has suffered since signing his big 6-year contract in July 2013, including arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2013 and career-threatening patellar tendon surgery on his right knee in 2014.

“I’ve been making a lot of progress,” Cruz said in a BleacherReport.com video. “The calf is feeling really, really good. I’m excited about the progress, I’m excited for what’s to come… I have a long journey ahead of me. I’m pretty much starting from scratch, building my legs up from scratch, which is what I want to do. Making sure they’re stronger than they were and they stay that way. No more setbacks.”

Cruz is currently set to count $9.9 million against the team’s 2016 NFL cap, the second most by a player after quarterback Eli Manning. It has been speculated that if Cruz does not accept a pay cut, he may be released from the Giants. Cruz recently said that he believed there was an “80 percent” chance he would return to Giants.

“I really feel like it’s paying dividends. The strength in my calf is starting to come back,” said Cruz. “Everything’s starting to come around. I’m excited to go out there with my teammates again. I’m excited to see Odell and those guys, I’m excited to play again. But I know I have a long journey ahead of me. I have some significant gains to make in terms of where I’m at with my calf, and things like that. I’m excited.”

ARTICLES…

Jan 222016
 
Share Button
Mike Solari, San Fransisco 49ers (August 24, 2014)

Mike Solari – © USA TODAY Sports Images

REPORT – MIKE SOLARI NEW OFFENSIVE LINE COACH…
Though not officially announced, according to multiple media reports, the New York Giants have hired Mike Solari as the team’s new offensive line coach. As we reported previously, Solari interviewed with the Giants on Wednesday. He replaces Pat Flaherty, who had been with the team since 2004.

The 61-year old Solari was the assistant offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers in 2015. Considered by some as one of the best offensive line coaches in football, Solari has also served with distinction as the offensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2005), Seattle Seahawks (2008-2009), and San Francisco 49ers (2010-2014). Solari was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs in 2006-2007. Solari’s full bio is available in the Coaching Staff section of the website.

NJ.com is reporting that Lunda Wells, who has served the team as offensive quality control coach (2012) and assistant offensive line coach (2013-present), will remain with the team.

Unofficially, the New York Giants offensive staff is currently as follows:

  • Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan (with team 2004-11, 2015)
  • Quarterbacks Coach: Frank Cignetti, Jr. (new)
  • Running Backs Coach: Craig Johnson (with team since 2014)
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Adam Henry (new)
  • Tight Ends Coach: Kevin M. Gilbride (with team since 2010)
  • Offensive Line Coach: Mike Solari (new)
  • Assistant Offensive Line Coach: Lunda Wells (with team since 2012)
  • Offensive Assistant: Ryan Roeder (with team since 2013)

GEOFF SCHWARTZ ON ESPN RADIO
The audio of Thursday’s ESPN Radio interview with offensive guard Geoff Schwartz is available at ESPN.com.

GIANTS.COM Q&A WITH DWAYNE HARRIS…
Behind the Returns: Q&A with Dwayne Harris by Michael Eisen of Giants.com

“GIANTS INSIDER” Q&As…
Video clips of Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • RB Rashad Jennings (Video)
  • RB Orleans Darkwa (Video)
  • PK Josh Brown (Video)

ARTICLES…

Dec 102015
 
Share Button
Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (June 8, 2015)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LT Ereck Flowers (ankle) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot) did not practice on Thursday. Kennard was spotted in the locker room wearing a boot on his right foot. It is unlikely that he will be able to play on Monday against the Miami Dolphins. Flowers appears to be no longer using crutches but may be a longshot to play as well.

RT Marshall Newhouse (back) and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) were limited in practice.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Thursday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Friday and hold physical recovery cycles on Saturday in advance of Monday’s away game against the Miami Dolphins.

Nov 252015
 
Share Button
Larry Donnell, New York Giants (October 11, 2015)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

QUINCY MONK PASSES AWAY…
Former New York Giants linebacker Quincy Monk (2002-03), who was drafted by the team in the 7th round of the 2002 NFL Draft, has passed away at the age of 36 due to cancer (adenocarcinoma). He leaves behind a wife and two children.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
TE Larry Donnell (neck), LG Justin Pugh (concussion), and LB Mark Herzlich (quad) did not practice on Wednesday.

Pugh is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms 17 days after he was injured against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 8th. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said that Pugh has improved “very little.”

The situation with Donnell is also sounding more serious. Donnell said on Monday that he was cleared to return to practice. “(Donnell) continues to have the issues,” said Coughlin.

“It’s not looking good,” said Donnell. “Monday, I was fine. I was out there running, jumping around. I felt good, but I had more tests to get cleared yesterday and they found something else. So I’ve got to go talk to them about it and see what’s going on…I feel fine now, but I mean obviously something is wrong, so we’ve just got to figure it out and see what the process is…We’ve got to make sure everything’s OK in there. That’s more than football you’re talking about, when it’s your neck.”

OC Weston Richburg (ankle) and LB J.T. Thomas (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

“(Richburg) going to be limited and we’ll see,” said Coughlin before practice. “We expect to hope to have him take a limited number of snaps but take some snaps, and we’ll see.”

OG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), DE Damontre Moore (hamstring), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck),  CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), and CB Leon McFadden (groin) fully practiced.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Wednesday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday and hold physical recovery cycles on Friday in advance of Sunday’s away game against the Washington Redskins.

Nov 232015
 
Share Button


NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
OC Weston Richburg (high ankle sprain), LG Justin Pugh (concussion protocol), and DE Damontre Moore (hamstring) did not practice on Monday.

“I’m trying to get back as soon as I can,” said Richburg. “It all depends on how the ankle takes the rehab. I just have to stay after it this week, and try and be back as soon as I can. I’d like to be back as soon as possible. The sooner I get this thing moving, the better.”

“(Pugh) won’t be able to do anything until he meets all the conditions (of the concussion protocol),” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

TE Larry Donnell (neck), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), LB Uani ‘Unga (neck), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) returned to practice.

“I feel like I’m ready to play four quarters of a football game,” said Amukamara. “I feel 100 percent. I feel ready to go.”

TRAMAIN JACOBS SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have re-signed cornerback Tramain Jacobs to the Practice Squad. The Giants signed Jacobs to the Practice Squad in September, promoted him to the 53-man roster on November 7, and waived him on November 16. He played against the Buccaneers and Patriots. Jacobs was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2014 NFL Draft. The Ravens waived Jacobs in August 2015.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
The transcript of Tom Coughlin’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
The following transcripts and video of player media sessions on Monday are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players are off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s away game against the Washington Redskins.

Nov 032015
 
Share Button
Prince Amukamara, New York Giants (October 4, 2015)

Prince Amukamara – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
ESPN.com is reporting that Monday MRI results on cornerback Prince Amukamara’s pectoral muscle were encouraging. There is a possibility that he could play on Sunday depending on how well he practices this week. Amukamara has missed three games since suffering the injury against the San Francisco 49ers on October 11.

The New York Daily News is reporting that running back Orleans Darkwa suffered a badly bruised tailbone in Sunday’s loss against the New Orleans Saints. He may not be able to practice on Wednesday but he is hopeful that he can play on Sunday.

The Daily News is also reporting that the neck injury suffered by tight end Larry Donnell in the game against the New Orleans Saints is not considered serious. He also underwent an MRI on Monday. Donnell still has some soreness in the neck however.

GIANTS SIGN MATT LaCOSSE TO PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed tight end Matt LaCosse to the Practice Squad. LaCosse was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. The Giants waived/injured him on August 1st with a hamstring injury. He then spent some time with the Jets before being waived before the season started. Because he was waived/injured, the Giants had to wait until after Week 8 to re-sign him.

LaCosse is a versatile player who has played tight end, H-Back, and fullback. LaCosse has a good frame, but needs to add bulk and get stronger. He does not get much movement as a blocker, but he works at it. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

The Giants had a Practice Squad vacancy due to the promotion of linebacker James Morris to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad late last week.

NFL TRADE DEADLINE PASSES…
The NFL trade deadline passed at 4:00PM EST with no moves being made by the New York Giants and most of the rest of the NFL.

TRYOUT TUESDAY…
As is usually the case, the Giants worked out a number of street free agents on Tuesday. Those reportedly working out for the team included tight ends James Casey, Adrien Robinson, and Matt LaCosse. The team signed LaCosse.

ELI MANNING ON WFAN
The audio of Monday’s WFAN Radio interview with quarterback Eli Manning is available on CBS New York’s website.

RASHAD JENNINGS ON WFAN AND ESPN RADIO
The audio of Tuesday’s WFAN Radio interview with running back Rashad Jenning’s is available on CBS New York’s website. In addition, the audio of Tuesday’s ESPN Radio interview with Jennings is available on ESPN.com.

GIANTS-SAINTS: SIGHTS AND SOUNDS…
A sights and sounds video from the Giants’ 52-49 loss to the New Orleans Saints is now available at Giants.com.

NOTES…
The Giants and Saints combined for 1,024 yards (608 by the Saints and 416 by Giants), the second-most ever in a Giants game. The record of 1,042 yards was set on November 28, 2011, in the previous game the Giants played in the Superdome. The 834 combined passing yards were the highest total ever in a Giants game.

The Giants and Saints combined for 63 first downs, which is the second-highest total in NFL history. Seattle and Kansas City set the mark with 64 first downs in 2002.

The winning team in the last four Giants-Saints games scored 48, 49, 52, and 52 points. It is the first time in NFL history two teams played four consecutive games in which the winner scored at least 48 points in each of them.

In the Giants last four visits to the Superdome, the Giants have allowed 45, 48, 49, and 52 points to become the first team ever to give up at least 45 points in the same stadium in four consecutive visits.

In Tom Coughlin’s 12 seasons and 195 games (including playoffs) as head coach, the Giants have allowed 48 or more points three times – each time in New Orleans.

The Saints scored 10 points in the game’s final 36 seconds. It is the first time since the 1970 merger the Giants allowed 10 points in the final 36 seconds of a game.

QB Drew Brees completed 18 consecutive passes on Sunday, which ties the longest single-game streak against the Giants. Jim Everett of the Los Angeles Rams had a streak of 18 in a row on November 12, 1989.

The Giants lead the NFL with a plus-11 turnover differential, their highest differential since they finished the 2012 season at plus-14.

The Giants have scored 215 points this season – 108 in the first half, and 107 in the second half.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The players return to practice on Wednesday to start preparing for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Nov 012015
 
Share Button
Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 1, 2015)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 52 – NEW YORK GIANTS 49…
The New York Giants lost a heart-breaker at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, falling 52-49. With the loss, the Giants fell to 4-4 overall.

In a game that featured 13 touchdown passes and over 1,000 yards of offense, the game-winning, 50-yard field goal was kicked as time expired. The field goal came on the very next snap after the Giants punted the ball away from their own 25-yard line with 20 seconds left to play. The Saints’ returned the punt 24 yards, fumbled and recovered the fumble, and punter Brad Wing was flagged with a 15-yard facemask penalty to set the ball up at the New York 32-yard line with five seconds left in regulation.

The Giants’ offense accrued 42 points, 28 first downs, and 416 total net yards (87 rushing and 329 passing). Quarterback Eli Manning was 30-of-41 for 350 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have a 6-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio and still lose a football game.

The problem for the Giants was their atrocious defense that allowed seven touchdowns, 35 first downs, and 608 yards of offense (103 rushing and 505 passing). Quarterback Drew Brees, who was not sack and rarely pressured, threw seven touchdown passes. The yardage and first down totals were the second most ever allowed in franchise history.

The Giants had the football five times in the first half and scored three offensive touchdowns on drives of 60, 79, and 80 yards. They punted on the two other drives after going three-and-out. Wide receiver Odell Beckham scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal and a 1-yard touchdown pass on 2nd-and-goal. Running back Shane Vereen caught a 2-yard touchdown pass with only two seconds on the clock before halftime.

But the Giants trailed 28-21 at the half because the New York defense allowed four consecutive touchdown drives of 80, 96, 80, and 60 yards. They only forced one punt on the initial possession.

In the second half, the Giants scored on three more offensive possessions of 65, 80, and 65 yards with Beckham catching a 50-yard touchdown and wide receiver Dwayne Harris catching 9- and 20-yard touchdown passes. The 9-yard touchdown came on 4th-and-5.

Dwayne Harris, New York Giants (November 1, 2015)

Dwayne Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The defense forced two turnovers in the second half, including scoring on a 63-yard fumble return by cornerback Trumaine McBride that cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie forced, giving the Giants a 49-42 lead with 7:11 to play. But the defense simply could not hold as Saints scored on three 80-yard drives, the last to tie the game with 36 seconds left to play. Rodgers-Cromartie was involved in the other turnover, intercepting Brees inside the New York 10-yard line after tight end Will Tye fumbled the ball away at the 36-yard line.

The leading rusher for the Giants was running back Rashad Jennings with 54 yards on 10 carries. The leading receivers were Beckham (8 catches for 130 yards, 3 touchdowns), Vereen (8 catches for 60 yards, 1 touchdown), wide receiver Rueben Randle (5 catches for 55 yards), and Harris (3 catches for 37 yards, 2 touchdowns).

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
TE Larry Donnell (neck) and RB Orleans Darkwa (back) left the game with injuries. WR Dwayne Harris (knee/ankle), RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), and CB Jayron Hosley (facial laceration) were all hurt, but returned to the game.

POST-GAME REACTIONS…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Tom Coughlin and the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • Head Coach Tom Coughlin (Video)
  • QB Eli Manning (Video)
  • WR Odell Beckham (Video)
  • LB Devon Kennard (Video)
  • CB Trumaine McBride (Video)
  • S Landon Collins (Video)

POST-GAME NOTES…
Inactive for the Giants were WR Victor Cruz (calf), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (ankle/knee), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), DT Louis Nix, and OT Bobby Hart.

Jasper Brinkley started at middle linebacker for Beason and Jonathan Casillas started at weakside linebacker for Thomas.

ARTICLES…

Oct 302015
 
Share Button


NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Victor Cruz (calf), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (hamstring), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. OT Will Beatty (pectoral – PUP) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand – roster exemption) also will not play.

LB Jon Beason (ankle/knee) is “questionable” for the game.

WR Odell Beckham (hamstring), RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle), and LB Uani ‘Unga (neck) are “probable” for the game.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with Tom Coughlin are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

JASON PIERRE-PAUL ADDRESSES PRESS…
New York Giants defensive end addressed the media for the first time on Friday since maiming himself in a July 4th fireworks accident. The transcript of his media session is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

For those with stronger stomachs who want to see what’s left of Pierre-Paul’s right hand, see JPP reveals mangled right hand as he relives fireworks mishap by Howie Kussoy of The New York Post.

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants will have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday.

Oct 292015
 
Share Button


NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Victor Cruz (calf), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (hamstring), LB Jon Beason (ankle/knee), LB J.T. Thomas (ankle), and CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral) did not practice on Thursday.

OT Will Beatty (pectoral – PUP) and DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand – roster exemption) continue to work on an undisclosed limited basis.

“(Pierre-Paul) moved around well,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin about Pierre-Paul’s practice on Wednesday. “He moved well and I think he proved to the medical people that he’s in good shape. That’s not to include all the back and forth, sideways stuff. He’s going to have to work his way through some of that, too. But he’s in excellent condition…He’s going to get a couple of reps in scout squad today.”

“Today was really the first day he kind of did anything,” said Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after Thursday’s practice. “I know he ran around yesterday, so I haven’t really had a chance to watch the film. It’s going to take a little while, it’s really early now. We want to be optimistic, and I know he is, too, but I think we want to be smart about it. We’ll just see where it goes.”

“(Beatty has) been out here working the last couple days and doing a nice job and doing everything he can to put himself in position to come back as soon as he can,” said Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo. “We look forward to having him back when he’s ready…He’s doing a nice job out here. He’s working, getting his feet wet, getting his shoulders going. We’ll be ready for him when he’s ready to come back. Excited to get him back.”

RG Geoff Schwartz (ankle) practiced on a limited basis. WR Odell Beckham (hamstring) and LB Uani ‘Unga (neck) fully practiced.

“I’ll say this, today (Beckham) was sticking his foot in the ground, he was coming out of his breaks with some speed and energy and made some nice plays,” said McAdoo.

JASON PIERRE-PAUL CONTRACT DETAILS…
According to ESPN.com, the 1-year contract signed by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a maximum value of $8.71 million and includes:

  • $1.5 million guaranteed salary.
  • $1.5 million maximum in per game active roster bonuses (approximately $214,285 for each game he is on the 46-man roster on game day, up to seven games).
  • $3.85 million in playing-time incentives ($100,000 per week if he plays 45 percent of the snaps, $300,000 for 75 percent of the snaps, and $550,000 for 80 percent of the snaps – again up to seven games).
  • $1.864 million in sack-performance incentives (must accrue 7.5 sacks to receive full amount; if he records 10 sacks, he gets the full $3.85 million playing-time bonus regardless of playing time).

So all Pierre-Paul needs to do to receive $3 million is be active for seven games this season, regardless of how well or poorly he plays. ESPN.com reports that to get his full $8.71 million (basically the 9-game prorated amount of his original $14.813 million tender), Pierre Paul needs to be on the active roster for seven games AND either (a) play 80 percent of the defensive snaps while recording at least 7.5 sacks or (b) record 10 sacks.

As part of the deal, the Giants agreed not to put Pierre-Paul on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) List. Thus, Pierre-Paul is now eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016 unless the Giants Franchise him again or sign him to another deal after the season and before free agency begins.

TOM COUGHLIN AND THE COORDINATORS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following coaches are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Instead of practicing, the Giants will hold a “recovery day” on Friday. The players will select two of six recovery stations, based on seniority. Their choices are massage, yoga, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, air compression boots, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), and self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands.

The Giants will also have a 45-minute, up-tempo “walk-thru” practice on Saturday that is not open to the media. The Giants play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday.

Oct 262015
 
Share Button


JASON PIERRE-PAUL MEETING WITH GIANTS…
According to multiple press reports, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is meeting with the New York Giants today. Pierre-Paul will supposedly allow team doctors to examine his severely-damaged right hand for second time since his July 4th fireworks accident. The original meeting with the team was on September 7th. Pierre-Paul believes he can play now but it remains to be seen if the Giants agrees. ESPN is reporting that the Giants discussed reducing Pierre-Paul’s current Franchise tender (approximately $871,000 per week) in September, but Pierre-Paul refused.

HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN…
Tom Coughlin addressed the media by conference call on Monday:

Good afternoon. Just a couple thoughts about yesterday afternoon’s game. The significance of the plus-four turnovers and the fact that we had no turnovers on offense or special teams was obviously huge in the game. We only had three penalties in the game, all three on defense, all three on the same drive. We had a defensive touchdown, a special teams touchdown. And we had a spark, which I thought was very, very instrumental in our ability to win the game. The spark being, one, DRC and his two interceptions which we talked about, it could have been three. And he had the sideline with the first one, too, if he had been able to hang on to the ball. But his defensive touchdown there was a real spark. Dwayne Harris, his kickoff return was a real spark. He also had a nice tackle on special teams as well. He had a 38-yard pass play which put us in outstanding field position right as we got close to the end of the first half. I thought that our offensive line play and rushing for 132, which was the first time we’d been over that mark this year, but I thought we had some good, physical runs. And I thought Orleans Darkwa gave us a spark. There were a lot of things in the game, as I told the players this morning. We’re real happy today because we won the game. We knew, in the division, the kind of game it was going to be.

We had speculated 35 plus runs in the game, and actually Dallas had 41 runs and they were very good at it. They got after us pretty good in the run game. We knew the physicality of the game, the talent of the defensive team of Dallas, the talent of the kicker and the punter, in particular, and the talent of their offensive line. It had to be the best rushing game that McFadden’s had in quite some while, but you can see the acceleration and the speed—how that fits what they’re trying to do with their offensive team as they go forward. There were many things that we need to do a much better job of. Again, I thought there was a critical drive where we had the ball after coming off our minus-one yard line. We had the ball in a position where scoring a touchdown there would have been key. We were not able to do that. That little bit about the green-zone does continue to bother me. Even though we were running the ball pretty well in that sequence, we didn’t score.

We won the game, we’re excited about winning the game. There’s a lot of things we can do better. We congratulated our team and then, as we always do, we talked about the areas that must be improved, because improvement is the key. We talk about that every week as we get ready to play—we want to play better than we played the week before, each week. It kind of goes back and forth but in this game I thought the major contributions of all three phases and how they complemented each other was radically different from the experience we had down in Philadelphia. So we’re happy to win, we have a lot of work to do.

Q: The last three games or so, the run defense has given up, I think, over 100 yards to the opponents. What have you seen to be the difference these last three games versus earlier when you were holding opponents to under 100 yards?

A: We made some mistakes in terms of our responsibilities and how we play certain aspects of the run. There were some things that Dallas did coming off of a bye week, which you knew was going to happen. They introduced a couple of different thoughts in there. By in large, they blocked us and we’ve got to find a way—and they’re a good offensive team, don’t get me wrong—but we’ve got to do a better job of holding the point, of being where we’re supposed to be from a gap responsibility, of recognizing the style run that’s coming. We lost leverage on the corner consistently. One of the reasons was that as much as you want to tell somebody how fast an individual is, McFadden did just run around us a few times. When he hit a couple of plays off-tackle, we were holding our breath there to try to get him down, particularly when he got started through the line of scrimmage. It’s a number of things—they blocked very well, we were sometimes out of position, and sometimes not maintaining our leverage and our contain responsibilities. Our tackling at times was shoddy. We didn’t get away with block tackles, which you don’t like to see anyway, but some of the people in the secondary were trying to implement that and it wasn’t successful. There’s a bunch of reasons why.

Q: This wasn’t Eli’s most prolific passing game, but he avoided the costly mistake. Can you talk a little about the offensive line’s ability to protect him and keep Dallas out of the backfield?

A: We knew the type of rush we were going to get. We knew how important it was to get the ball off. You adjust your style of play when that’s the case and we did that. The offensive line did a good job of that. There were occasions where I thought that Eli really demonstrated a learning experience when he was under pressure and really had no place to go with the ball and thought more about taking care of the ball than trying to find a way to get us back to the line of scrimmage. Both times he secured the ball to his body and went down. Nobody likes to see that, but it’s much better than a turnover or a penalty. I thought that he did an outstanding job of that. He made an outstanding throw down the sideline to hit Rueben Randle. He made a couple of key throws at key times. Really I thought there was probably one opportunity in the green zone that we did not take advantage of, for whatever reason. He managed the game very well, he made a number of adjustment calls at the line of scrimmage—had a lot to do with more run game than perhaps at any other time this year. From the standpoint of the guy who was in charge of the game and directed the game etc. etc., he did an outstanding job.

Q: Do you think going forward you’ll need more production, more explosion out of that passing game to sustain success?

A: Oh, I think so. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. The issue that we’re having is obvious. We’ve got some guys that are not able to practice full-time and it’s difficult when there’s not practice time to go ahead and just go out on the field Sunday afternoon and play as if you’ve had all those days and those opportunities that you normally get throughout the course of the week where you communicate well. Particularly if you’re introducing something a little bit different, you don’t have that. That’s a little bit of an issue right now and hopefully we can overcome it.

Q: Going back to the running backs for a moment. Obviously you knew what Orleans Darkwa could do, but having seen it now, you have four running backs who can really give you production in the running game. So how do you approach the responsibilities moving forward or how do you use these guys? Do you stick with that committee?

A: Well, committee is a word that—we’re fortunate to have four guys that can play. And of those four guys that can and do play, they also have special teams commitments, which is a huge plus for our team as well. We have a number of guys who have game experience, who some of which have different roles and they’ll continue in those roles, and they will continue to help us on special teams.

Q: Do you think it’s realistic though to use all four guys running the ball every week or is that something you’re going to have to pare down at some point?

A: I think right now it depends on the plan and the type of game we expect and how we strategize and plan on using. But the four healthy guys…that’s a great thing, believe me. When you look around at the different positions, four guys that continue to maintain good health, that helps an awful lot.

Q: What did you see from Darkwa during the week that gave you confidence to put him in there?

A: He had an outstanding preseason. So during the course of the week, he had some carries in first and second down. The coaches felt strongly that he should be given an opportunity. It wasn’t right away in the game, but eventually he played and he played well.

Q: What would you say to the idea that yesterday was not an impressive win or that perhaps you were lucky to win that game?

A: The luck part…there’s a lot of hard work that went into winning that game. It had nothing to do with luck, it had to do with us being in the right spot at the right time. Again, I attribute that to the turnovers and to the lack of penalties and us not turning it over—that’s not luck, there’s a lot of hard work involved in that. So we won the football game, we won it in a forthright manner. I’m not overly concerned with any of those other comments.

Q: As part of an answer yesterday, you mentioned, “Especially when no one thinks you can do it” type of attitude. Does that fuel your group?

A: Occasionally, it does. It’s a known fact that starting out 0-2 and then not playing as well as we had hoped in Philadelphia created more of that. If that is the case, then that’s a position we’ll take. You have to prove the doubters wrong.

Q: Seven games into the season, you’re almost to the midway point, what do you feel like you can hang your hat on with the team? What area of this team—

A: We play hard. We play hard. We play hard, it’s not always pretty. I think that with the kickoff return, the way in which our punt team has operated—it’s unfortunate that we had two touchbacks yesterday, we need to take just a little bit off of that. Balls hit at the one and I think around the three, you need to back that off a little bit to get that ball down inside the 10. But I think we can count on that going forward as well. But we have a bunch of guys who love the game, like what they’re doing, and play hard. That’s a  pretty good starting point. Effort is a great starting point for anything. By in large, I think we’re getting very good effort.

Q: By not listing like one of the facets of the offense or defense, are you still learning about what these units are though?

A: No, no. No.

Q: The kickoff return by Dwayne Harris obviously was a big play in that fourth quarter, a momentum changer. How good did you feel for him having such a big moment against his former team?

A: I didn’t consider that part, I considered it a good moment for our team. When he came screaming out of there, we had an entire sideline of people who were not only inspired by it, but they were extremely happy and not worried about showing our joy. We were excited about that.

Q: Tom, are you expecting to meet with Jason Pierre-Paul in the next day or so?

A: Am I?

Q: Do you or the doctors…is he due in to meet you guys?

A: Again, I told you that I would respond as soon as I knew in fact that it had taken place or that Jason was here. To my knowledge, he’s not here at this point in time. When he does, we’ll let you know. And it’s all going to start with the medical.

Q: Do you expect Damontre Moore to be back this week? And if there was any message intended on your part, do you think it was received?

A: Well, again, that stays between the player and I. Damontre Moore is a skilled athlete who we’ll again look at the plan and see exactly where we stand. If we can include him, then we will.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of Monday’s media conference calls with the following players:

ARTICLES…

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 Orleans Saints.