[sny-accordion title="Head Coach Tom Coughlin"]
We won, so smile. It wasn’t easy. Nobody said it was going to be. They’re a good football team; they had all the numbers coming in here, as you well know. I haven’t seen any of our numbers. Looked like we did a pretty good job against the run, which we’ve been doing. Obvious down the stretch there that they just opened up and threw every down. We weren’t able to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We did on occasion, but it seemed like every time we were going to get ‘em out of there, we either had a penalty or some kind of a gain which gave them a first down. But I am disappointed in the kickoff coverage at the end of the game when there’s absolutely no relaxing at this level in any capacity and I thought we did on that play. But I was pleased that we had a lot of opportunities, again it wasn’t great in the green zone. We ended up kicking field goals and that would have been fine if that was the margin for winning, but touchdowns in a couple of occasions there would have made it a little bit of a different game. But listen, I’m happy to win and that’s the bottom line.
Q: Do you have that pressure Tom, considering your defense was without [Robert] Ayers [Jr.] and [D.Rogers] Cromartie and obviously JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul]? Did you get a pretty good performance from them…?
A: Yeah, I think we did. And I think on the other side of the ball, I have to give all kinds of credit to [Marshall] Newhouse, to [Justin] Pugh, and the offensive line for doing an outstanding job as well—keeping the outside backers off the quarterback. I mean they are outstanding players now.
Q: Talk about what you saw from Rueben Randle today.
A: Reuben, I felt like, you know, for a couple weeks he’s been coming on and appearing more and more like himself and I told him I thought he’d have a big game tonight and obviously he did, so I am happy for Reuben. Let’s hope he comes out of this thing and can give us more of the same.
Q: What is it that made you think he was getting better?
A: I think he was running very, very well. His patterns in practice seem to be good. I liked the way he was in pregame so I felt he was going to have a nice night.
Q: Was there something you saw that you put [Rashad] Jennings on that punt block team?
A: He’s been on it for a while. Yeah, he’s probably got ten blocks. Where’s your stats? He’s told everybody else. He probably hasn’t told you. He has about ten blocks in this league.
Q: You have a lot of starters you’ve been kind of using in that role. We’ve seen D.R.C. [D. Rodgers-Cromartie] out there at times, I believe, Prince [Amukamara] on the punt team. What’s the thinking behind that?
A: Everybody has to contribute. Everybody has to help. Everybody is normally, you know, starters can be on one, maybe two special teams, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Rashad has a unique talent with regard to blocking punts and so he’s anxious to be on that team.
Q: Tom, did you say anything—you had a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter. Did you verbalize anything for the guys on the sideline given the way the first two games went?
A: We did last night, you know, and we tried to relate that to them that our whole deal was it’s the fourth quarter. We’re going to take it up another notch, take it to another level, and spend all the gas in the tank in the fourth quarter trying to get a win.
Q: Your thoughts on Eli [Manning]’s performance overall?
A: Very, very steady—did an outstanding job with the post call down the middle obviously to [Odell] Beckham [Jr.] when we needed a big play there between the two of them was outstanding; the play on third and long for the touchdown to Rueben [Randle] where he stayed with the ball. But I thought Eli was very much in control of the entire game tonight and did a nice job getting us in and out of runs, checking some of the protections, checking even some of the route combinations. So, he was very, very much under control tonight and did an outstanding job.
Q: Tom, some of the mistakes, uncharacteristic mistakes that Eli [Manning] had made the first two weeks, does it kind of speak to his mental toughness that stuff just doesn’t bother him?
A: Well, it does bother him. It bothers him deep down inside, but he doesn’t show it much, but it’s a testimony to him, his pride, how hard he works at the game and also his confidence in himself.
Q: Tom, when you look at the lack of stability and some injuries at that position around the league, in the division. Just the fact that Eli is there every week for however many years, how important is that characteristic?
A: Oh, it’s critical to us and our preparation and obviously over all these years that even when he’s been injured, he’s lined up and played. Even when the knee, you called him out, he lined up and played, so the stability of that and the ability to game plan knowing that he’s in that position, that’s a huge plus for our team and always has been.
Q: Your defense had another turnover that sets up another touchdown early on in the game. You’ve been very opportunistic so far this season. Is that just from playing hard, playing aggressive?
A: I think that’s the point. I do think that Prince [Amukamara], on his behalf, I think he studied well, I think he knew he had some kind of tip. He knew that was coming. He really drove hard on the ball as good as I’ve seen him this fall and he really made a nice play and, as you say, gave us outstanding field position. We did score on the drive.
Q: Up until that last play, you held them to 62 yards rushing. How important was it to get Jon [Beason] back in there at middle linebacker?
A: Well, Jon, being in the middle backer position really gave us outstanding leadership on the field. We still used [Unai] ‘Unga in a lot of situations and he’s played well. He’s a good, good young player and he’s going to do nothing but get better. But the team voted Jon the defensive captain and for good reason, so when he was out there, he provides the leadership.
Q: And [Nikita] Whitlock at defensive tackle a little bit?
A: Yeah, and he got some rushes too. He’s a multi-task, multi-talented guy who can rush the passer, plays fullback as you all know, is on all of the special teams. He’s got great energy, this kid.
Q: Tom, for your team to get the win tonight and not let this losing streak continue—you actually smiled, by the way, after the Odell [Beckham Jr.] touchdown…
A: I did?
Q: I believe so.
A: Oh boy, I better watch out.
Q: What do you think this means for the locker room?
A: Well, you know, I feel so badly for the players that they don’t have the reinforcement that they need. In other words, even when they, I’m not saying our games were anything to write home about, but, in truth, we could have won two games coming into this one tonight and players need the reinforcement, the confidence that comes from pushing a thing through to a win. I’m hoping that helps in the locker room.
Q: The red flag at the end…
A: I couldn’t believe it. Was the knee down or was it not down? What’s the big deal? They picked up three flags on us, three in a row they picked up and they didn’t give us that one.[/sny-accordion]
[sny-accordion title="QB Eli Manning"]
Q: Overall assessment of the team and for you?
A: Yeah, I thought we had a good day. I thought we moved the ball real well all day, converted on third downs. Still need to get a little bit better in the red zone, too many field goals. We’re getting there a lot, which is good, we’re just all of a sudden down there and we have a missed play, we have a drop, we have a missed throw, something that gets us off and we get into third-and-longs and it’s tough. It’s tough to convert third-and-8s and 9s down there in the 15-, 10-yard line. There’s just not a whole lot of room. But I thought we hung in there and Coach challenged us to win the fourth quarter, to elevate our play in the fourth quarter and I thought we did that tonight. Basic plays there in that last quarter to win the game.
Q: What did you think about Rueben Randle’s performance tonight?
A: Rueben played well, played outstanding from the get-go. Had some nice catches, hit him down the right sideline on a little double move. Honestly, the touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter, the one-on-one, and he concentrated on that and making that play, big play for us. We need him to play well and I felt bad the first games hadn’t gotten him as involved as we should’ve and he’s a big part of the offense. It’s good to get him back going and getting him catches and making sure people know you have a lot more than just one receiver
Q: Tom was saying you don’t show it but what’s happened the last two weeks bothers you a lot inside. What was your level of frustration coming into this game?
A: I felt bad. I felt bad for the first two games, we were right there. Games we could’ve easily won. Had leads in the fourth quarter and did not hold on to those and were not at our best in the final minutes of the game. It’s frustrating. We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of it. So you never know. So I think just keep working and I think I want our teammates to know we can win this game. We can win this fourth quarter, be excited about these opportunities, we can’t dredge on it. We have some downs, we have some bad plays, we have some bad games, we don’t have success in those situations. If you start dredging them, it’s going to get worst. You’ve just got to get back in that moment, get back in that situation, have some success and feel good about yourself.
Q: Was anything said on the field or in the huddle as the fourth quarter started, knowing you’re in your third straight game with a significant lead?
A: Just to keep going. Coach kind of said, ‘hey, we’re going to elevate our play.’ Everybody kind of put a finger up and said let’s talk about elevating our play, raising the intensity and to go in the fourth quarter. That was the mental approach and we challenged that and I thought the guys accepted the challenge.
Q: Eli, talk about the tight end Larry Donnell, who dropped a pass in the red zone but you came back to him. How important is he to your offense?
A: Larry in the first quarter had a third down conversion and ran a great route, got open, got the drop and had to settle for a field goal right there. In the fourth quarter we had a pretty good drive going, we had second-and-17 and actually hit him down the seam for a great catch and the first down. Come up for the next play there for a touchdown. So huge play by Larry, great call by Coach McAdoo setting that up and got the perfect coverage and it worked out just how we hoped it would. I thought the tight ends, I thought Fells, Daniel Fells made some nice plays for us, Larry played tough, I thought all the guys did a good job.
Q: About Coach, how important is it to you, to the team, that he doesn’t go up and down, he’s always pretty steady?
A: Sometimes he can be a little animated, he can get fired up. It’s good. He challenges the team and I think that’s what great coaches do. They’ve got to push your buttons to get the best out of you and there’s always times when things don’t go as well as you want it and you’ve got to find a way to push the guys without bringing them down. I thought he did a good job on a short week getting us ready to play this game, making sure the spirits are up and the guys are ready. I thought we came out fired from the get-go and had a great game offense, defense, special teams and obviously Rashad getting it started with the block punt to start it.
Q: The touchdown to Odell, was that pre-planned coming out of the huddle or was it something you saw based on coverage?
A: That was the call, the play that was called by Coach McAdoo. We’ve been running a lot out of that personnel and safeties got a little low, I don’t know if they were in corners or they were in single-high and the safeties got antsy and got low. When you’ve got Odell at post and there’s a safety not real deep, that’s a big alert and he did a really good job making the catch.
Q: Eli, given that you won a championship starting a season 0-2 and you won your second when you were 7-7, do you feel like you can get confidence in that context with this this 0-2 start?
A: Yeah. I think it gives us confidence. Hey, it’s a long season, there’s a lot of football to play. Our division, it’s too early to know and we can’t run away with right now. But hey, you’ve got to get one win and just keep going. Let’s try to get another, put some things together because I feel like we’ve been playing pretty good football. It’s not like we’re just getting blown out. It’s not like last year the first two games we didn’t play real well and we got pretty beat. I thought we’re not turning the ball over, we’re converting on third downs, we’re moving the ball, we’ve got to score a little better in the red zone, made some mistakes and hadn’t been our best in the last few minutes of the game but those are things you can correct and fix. For the most part, the running game’s in the fourth quarter and doing a lot of good things. We’ve got to keep doing that.[/sny-accordion]
[sny-accordion title="WR Odell Beckham Jr."]
Q: Can you talk about what it’s like to get that first win after the first two weeks?
A: It’s just great to be able to finally put a win underneath our belt. This team fought hard for the past three games and we’ve came up short in two of them. It’s just great to finally be able to come out on top.
Q: How about Rueben [Randle]? He really stepped up today, too.
A: I wouldn’t really call it stepping up, so to say. He’s capable of doing that every single time. We’ve all got to pitch in to be able to do that. It was great to be able to see him get in the end zone tonight and be able to see him out there. We’re all having fun. It’s definitely a way better feeling, winning than losing, I’ll tell you that.
Q: You have 19 catches for 222 yards and four touchdowns in two games against the Redskins. You like seeing this team?
A: I don’t know what it is, it’s just something about it. It’s a division rivalry and at the end of the day, we’re all going to put our best foot forward every game. It just happens sometimes against Washington, I guess. I don’t know. They did a great job tonight limiting some of the things that we were trying to do and we just kept clawing and scratching and found a way to win.
Q: Do you feel relief in this room?
A: I never really felt any other way than how I felt now. It was just two tough losses. At the end of the day we wanted to win them, but like I said, there’s 16 games in the season. 1-2 right now and you’ve just got to keep pushing forward.
Q: How much does that big play by the special teams and then by the defense help propel your offense when you get onto the field?
A: I mean it’s everything. Being able to go down there on special teams and make a play and come back on defense. You have the defense flying around, hitting people and picking the ball off and just out there lights out and playing fast. It makes all the difference in the world. It’s extra motivation as an offensive player and I’m sure it’s the same as when the offense is out there clicking and we’re making plays. It gets your team fired up. I think tonight was a way of putting all the pieces together, even the pieces that we left out in the first and second game…limiting the mistakes the best that we can and controlling what we can control.[/sny-accordion]
[sny-accordion title="WR Rueben Randle"]
Q: Coach said that he knew this was going to be a good week for you, the way that you were running. Did you feel as though this was going to be a break out week, were you feeling better coming into the game?
A: I’ve been feeling pretty good throughout the total season. Today I was just able to make some plays for my team and came out with a victory.
Q: Are you talking about that touchdown catch out there in terms of tracking the ball all the way?
A: Yeah, lucky we had the crowd that helped me out a bit. It’s kind of hard to see the ball, kind of lost it in the light, but I was able to stick with it and make a play.
Q: The onside kicks out there, what was that?
A: The first one came in a little hot, I was going to let it go by and it kind of got under my foot a little bit. The second took a hot hop on me and led me a little out of bounds.
Q: Do you think the plan was to get you involved tonight?
A: Yeah, luckily I came through for the team, made a few plays and got a team win.
Q: Was it difficult for you to keep your spirits up?
A: It was frustrating at times but I don’t think it was hard for me to keep my spirits up. It’s a long season, my job is to stick with it no matter what the situation may be and make a play.
Q: Coach expressed that he felt you were going to have a good game. What did it mean to have his confidence in you?
A: Its great as a player for your coach to have confidence in you. You’ve got to step up to the plate and make the best out of opportunities when they come, and that’s what I tried to do tonight.
Q: Was it good to get this hurdle out of the way?
A: Yeah, just to get that victory. Definitely, in the division, we need it to keep ourselves in the race.
[sny-accordion title="CB Prince Amukamara"]
Q: How big is it just to get this first one under your belt?
A: I think it’s great for our team. I think it’s something that we can build off of. You definitely don’t want to be here in New York especially, and keep having that goose egg—it’s 0-1, then 0-2, then you end the only team with no wins. You just don’t want that type of energy or that atmosphere here. I’m glad we got the win out of the way and we can focus on winning more.
Q: Take me through that pick at the beginning of the game and what you saw on the play.
A: Just formation recognition. Coach Walton, my DB coach, gave me that tip earlier this week. It was one of those formations that I just memorized.
Q: Off the safety, then the pick, did you feel like those two plays got momentum going the right way after a couple of tough losses?
A: Yes, I think those two were huge. I think the safety was a big momentum changer by Rashad, he started it, and then I think my pick as well. Anytime you can turn over the ball and put the offense in a position to score, I think it’s good for the team.
Q: Easier to enjoy your weekend off with a win, right?
A: Way much easier. You definitely don’t want to spend the whole weekend just thinking about this game and thinking about being 0-3. So I’m glad guys are in great spirits. We have to be prepared for the Bills next week.
Q: The secondary in particular had a very active game, a lot of batted balls and passes broken up. You didn’t have DRC and everything, but did everybody step it up?
A: Yeah, I think Hosley did a great job. I don’t think he saw a lot of action his way, the middle of the field and my side was getting most of the action. I think he did a great job, I think he’s coming into his own. Unga, I think he’s leading our team in picks. Unga’s been just huge for us, how he controls the huddle and how he’s a leader out there. He’s been great. I think it was just an overall great win for us.
Q: Was it kind of redemptive for you after not being able to make the play on Julio Jones last week to come out and make some plays tonight?
A: I definitely thought about that when I got the pick because that was the last play that I left on the field. It’s like when you play basketball, well when I play basketball, before I leave I like to make the last shot just so I leave on a good note. If I miss the last shot, it just sticks with me and that’s how I felt with the Julio play. I missed the play and it stuck with me, but good thing we had a quick turnaround, a short week. Now I have a sweeter taste in my mouth.
Q: Did you and Landon play a little game at that spot? You were lined up in the slot and dropped back. Was that the plan?
A: Yeah. It was just our coverage, it just switched from one coverage to another. We were playing some type of coverage and then we played zero coverage, which means it’s me and that guy alone. It was just me and that guy. I don’t know if it really was a game, I think the motion took us to a different coverage.
Q: Landon came on a blitz from the slot. It almost looked like you were playing safety a little bit.
A: Right. That’s just because I was just one-on-one with that guy. They would rather me play off and not press because if I do, it’s just a quick go-route. If I’m off and we are sending pressure, I’m able to read a little bit.
Q: You guys talked all week about finishing, finishing, finishing. When that fourth quarter starts, obviously, you guys are thinking about it. How big of a statement was the Eli to Odell touchdown?
A: You mean Eli to Randle or Eli to Odell?
Q: The first one.
A: Oh, the first one. That was huge, man. I’m excited for our offense. I can’t wait for Cruz to come back. I think we’re going to be more scary. Love the way Odell played, I think that helped our team breathe a little bit more. Then when Randle scored, I think we got to exhale more because of that. I think our offense is starting to get it rolling and once we start being on rhythm there, I think we’re going to be scary.
Q: The kickoff return, is this team still learning how to finish?
A: Yeah, that touchdown it was tough. Definitely popped our balloon. I wasn’t out there, I don’t know what happened, but everyone was just shocked like, “Wow we just scored, then that just happened.” Like I said last week, we have the mindset of “So what? Now what?” So we just had to put that play behind us and get back on the field.
Q: Up until that last play you held them to 62 yards rushing. How important was it to have Jon Beason back in the lineup?
A: It was huge. Jon’s presence is great for our team. He’s just one of our strongest captains, strongest leaders. He gets the defense going, he’s like a coach out there just with tips and tendencies. He helps everyone out.