SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Tom Coughlin said to Bay Area reporters about the New York Giants Wednesday morning on a conference call.
Q: How much of the success of your defense is related to your abilities to get pressure on the quarterback with just four guys?
COUGHLIN: That’s always been our strong point. We haven’t gotten much pressure this year comparatively. Obviously it’s something we’re trying to regenerate. Hopefully that’s going to occur soon.
Q: How resilient is Eli Manning?
COUGHLIN: I think that’s one of his strong points. It may come with maybe something adverse happening early in a game, it may come from different types of things that occur but he stays so mentally tough and focused on the job at hand. He’s had a unique ability to overcome whatever obstacles are in his way. When he was in the zone at the end of last year, it was a heck of a thing to see.
Q: How have you compensated for the loss of Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs?
COUGHLIN: We’ve had some people step up in the receiver role. They’ve done an outstanding job and really contributed to our season. Ramses Barden has done an outstanding job. He’s back healthy again and can practice. We look forward to him. And we’ve had other young guys along the way who have had to make (plays). Domenik Hixon has made plays for us. Rueben Randle stepped up and made some plays the other day. We’ve had some guys who have had an opportunity and they’ve tried to take advantage of it.
We drafted a running back here, David Wilson – not the physical presence that Brandon was, so that part of our game has not been satisfied to the extent that we don’t have a “big back.” In Andre Brown we had a young man who was being very well developed. Unfortunately he got dinged the other day. Da’Rel Scott has done OK when he’s had his chances.
Q: Has Victor Cruz gotten better this season?
COUGHLIN: Yes, oh yeah. You get better or you get worse; you don’t stay the same. He works at it, he loves it, he loves to play and I think he’s really studied and worked hard on some of the finer parts of the game.