Transcript of Tom Coughlin’s Friday media session:
General (Raymond) Odierno (Chief of Staff, United States Army) was here today?
The General is here, yeah, it was great to have him. Always look forward to seeing him. He’s in town for all the festivities (surrounding the NFL’s Salute to Service). He’s actually working now; he’s got 10,000 soldiers in New York City. He was over there, he was up at West Point and he’ll be at our game on Sunday.
Do you think you will have a problem getting the guys to focus on Sunday?
No, I don’t think so. I think they’ll come back and be focused and I think that not only will they be focused, I think the mission will be quite clear. Trying to provide a few hours of enjoyment for so many that have been devastated. I think they’ll do a good job of that.
Q: Have you addressed that with the team?
A: It’s been addressed and the General, actually, without even asking me about it, addressed it from his experience over in the city this morning.
Q: He shared some of his experiences of what’s going on?
Q: How did Kenny Phillips come through this week?
A: He did okay. He did okay. We’ve got a few hours to go. We’re very optimistic.
Q: Pascoe is questionable, did he practice today?
A: He’s a tough guy. He moved around pretty well. Yesterday I wouldn’t have said he could’ve done as well today, but he did.
Q: He’s a hard guy to replace with just one player though?
A: He is.
Q: How would you replace him?
A: We’d find a way. At least attempt to.
Q: Dallas did a great job of taking the pass away:
Q: Now the Steelers pass-defense:
A: Good, very good.
Q: Is it studying?
A: No question about studying, but it’s also the realization of who you are playing against, how they’re going to play and how important it is for you to get off the ball.
Q: What’s your philosophy on a player getting injured and losing their starting role and has it changed?
A: What we want to do is have as many players play and help us win as we possibly can. Sometimes when a player comes back from injury it takes a little time for them to get the position they’re in to where we think they can, again, be as effective as they were in the beginning. I think it goes case-to-case. I understand what’s best for our team, and sometimes it’s to bring someone along in a limited role while they strengthen and gain confidence. That’s basically where we are right now.
Q: How did Herzlich do in practice this week?
A: He did fine, he did fine.
Q: Do Cruz and Nicks complement each other better than other receivers?
A: They complement each other very well.
Q: Can you elaborate?
A: Look at the tape. They’re very, very difficult to defend. They cause you to have to be in position all over the field. Go ahead and try to double somebody, try to take somebody away from them. They have answers for that. They complement.they’re team-designated like that.
Q: What was the message that the General passed along to the team?
A: I think they will take forward the toughness, the resiliency of the people in this Greater New York-New Jersey-Connecticut, the entire Eastern Seaboard, that’s been affected in such a way by this huge storm; I think that the message is the toughness here, the resiliency. We will not be stopped by the storm. We will come back. We will fight our way through this. We will get things right again. Just the pride that has been demonstrated to the General this morning, I think he verbalized very well for us out here.
Q: Did you have any problems with the storm?
A: Not really. The same that everyone else seemed to have, lots of maintenance. We had power.
Q: Did any part of you think about not playing this game?
A: No, I never went that way.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Steelers electing to come up on the day of the game to leave rooms open for New York-area people?
A: The word that comes to mind is ‘noble.’ They were very noble about that. They wanted to do their part to help the folks, the people in our area.
Q: Have you guys made a lineup change at right tackle?
A: We’re going to start David Diehl.
Q: Update on Beckum?
A: Not really. He did everything all week.
Q: Was it anything that Locklear did?
A: No, Sean has done a great job, a great service to our team. He came to be the third tackle, if you will. He was elevated to the role that he has played in and played so well, be it left or right. He helped us win, and will continue to do that. We’re going to need all of these guys as we go forward. We brought David along trying to make sure that he was okay, and that his strength was there, his confidence was there. He started out in the same role that Sean will be in this weekend. That’s where we are on that.