Opening Remarks:"Last week, at Seattle, we started off a little slow. I told the fellows that I was proud of the guys and I thought the players showed great poise and character. Then, we went and scored several times in a row and sort of took the game over. That I was proud of, but now we've got to start the game a little faster. (TE) Brent Celek did a nice job. He's a good tight end. (G) Todd Herremans, with a little touchdown catch, it was good to see him do that and execute that play. (QB) Donovan (McNabb) played very, very well from about mid-second quarter on; extremely well there. We'll get started just a little quicker. The New York Giants are a big challenge for us. I believe they're third on defense in the league. It shows up like that on film. Excellent front, they haven't lost anything there. (DT Fred) Robbins and (DE Justin) Tuck are excellent, excellent pass rushers. Good group of linebackers and their cover guys are very aggressive. They sort of play to their front just a little bit. We've got a great challenge on our hands."
On how a team can lose players like retired DE Michael Strahan and injured DE Osi Umenyiora and maintain a good pass rush:"Tuck was a role-player at some point there, and, right away on film, this guy was going to be an excellent player and he's turned out that way. They've had some guys on their football team that I suppose they knew were going to be pretty good. They've had some depth there for some time."
On whether there's a way to run simpler plays at the start of the game to help the offense get started:"Yeah, you could do that."
On whether he's considered doing that:"Sure. I think about a lot of things. I'm not sure it was the particular plays. It always comes back to me; it's always my responsibility if we don't execute. Whether it be that we didn't quite get what we wanted or a particular player didn't execute well, that comes back to me. I've got to teach it a little bit better. It's not quite the plays."
On why he thinks the team struggled vs. the Giants last season:"We were beat up a little bit. We don't make excuses, but the second game, I thought we did a pretty good job, but we just didn't have any explosive plays. Against this type of defense, I think you have to do that. They've done an excellent job at preventing the explosive plays. This defense is unique because of their front four. They live on that pressure and then the secondary is very aggressive. We've got to get some big plays."
On whether it makes it hard for RB Brian Westbrook to be productive when he doesn't get a lot of carries:"Every game is different. I believe he had twenty carries (at Seattle). I think I probably forced it just a little bit too much there. They were loading the box up and they were playing very aggressive. You've got to give credit to Seattle, they came out and they were playing aggressive, they were playing hard and they were flying around the field. I'd like to have our offensive football team pop a couple of those runs. Within those twenties, pop a couple of big chunks. That was the thought there on giving the ball twenty times against, basically, an eight man front—or one back and a 7-man front. They always had an extra man in there."
On what made the offense catch fire after the slow start:"There were many plays there that we wish we could have back or I should have taught it just a little bit better. There was a little breakdown, that's all. We knew that and we talked about it on the sideline and I thought the players did an excellent job and were fine. Just go out and execute and play and that's what we did. We played pretty well from then on. There were several things that we can get better at."
On whether the first couple series of a game are often meant to simply get a feel for the opposing defense:"There is some of that, but you want to score. We've been pretty good at that, up until the last couple games. There's a flow to a game. You're going to have some ups and some downs. I think we're doing several things that championship teams do and then we have to get better at some other things to become what we want to be and get to where we want to go. We scored at the end of the half a couple times in the last two games or, I should say, we scored at the end of the half both times in the last two games. We've scored coming out, so we've gotten better at that. But, there is a flow to the game. There are some ups and some downs and you've got to get through those and then do your job in the fourth quarter."
On whether the team needs more big plays from the offense:"I might have to re-check the stats. I think we're leading the league in big plays. Long gains, you need some big plays. It doesn't matter what type of play or how you get it."
On whether big plays are necessary to stifle a blitzing team like the Giants:"Yeah, and we have a certain mentality against the blitz and this type of defense; and there are certain others that we play in this league. The threat of it is important for them. Just the threat and then they're backed into a soft zone or a matchup zone. When their opponent's thinking blitz, that's big for them."
On whether it's important to have a power-running game in short-yardage situations:"I think we've gotten just a little bit better at that. We're not where we want to be yet, but we've been working on that. I would expect us to get better at that. I think we've gotten a little bit better and I think we've got to get a little bit better than that to get to where we want to be."
On whether the red zone offense is where he wants it to be:"No, we're not where we want to be. We want to get better there. We want to score touchdowns rather than field goals. It's important to get there first and we've done a good job of getting there, but we haven't finished as well as we want to finish. There's never one thing, it's a host of things, and we have to get better at those. I expect we will and I expect we will real quick. This defense is third in the league now. This is a very, very good defense. I believe we play four other in the top ten. Pittsburgh is one, I believe, so we've been through this and I think we'll do a good job down there."
On what makes the Giants' red zone defense good:"They full-blitz or play zone. There are a couple of other things in there as well, but like I said, the threat of the blitz is big for them. There's always that threat, so when an opponent calls a play for a particular blitz and it's a zone, they match up pretty well to those types of plays."
On what makes pressure coming up the middle so difficult to deal with:"Pressure up the middle, the quarterback has less air. Even when he's blocked, there's less air. The lanes are shut down just a little bit; the immediate lanes right in front of him. Many times, they make the quarterback slide or move. More than half the time, you're sliding or moving or full-scramble or up and out. You're doing that a bunch anyway, but they force you to do it just a little bit more with pressure up the middle."
On whether he ever watches another team's successful plays to figure out problem areas on offense:"Sure. We do that all the time, especially during the off-season, but we do it during the season and during the bye week as well. We go back and evaluate ourselves for many years in the past, in many cases, because we do certain things down there and we've been pretty good at it and then we haven't gotten it done at the level that we want to get it done at. We do all those things, yeah."
On how often he has to gameplan for a defense like the Giants:"Quite a few people move their rushers around. They do it different ways; every scheme is a little bit different. But, many people do that."
On whether it takes a special type of player to be able to move around the defensive line:"Yeah, normally. Tuck is excellent, inside or outside. They stand him up sometimes inside. He's just an exceptional athlete with pass-rush ability. Yeah, if you get a guy like that, normally you're going to move him around. We've seen several like that and we'll continue to see guys like that."
On whether he thinks moving defensive linemen around will become a trend:"You need to have the right type of guy to do that or your best pass rusher, you want to move him around to get matchups. Many teams simply do that, they'll move their best pass rusher around to get a matchup. If he can do it inside, they may go inside if they have a weakness there. People do that quite a bit. Some people do it more than others."
On whether it's an option to take shots at the end zone from outside of the red zone:"We do that some, so yeah. The important thing is getting down there and then we have to finish. It's pretty simple that way. There are a lot of reasons and a lot of things we can do to get better and we're right in the middle of that. Again, I expect us to get better there."