As much as the New York Giants claim they don’t want to be dragged into the news they are somehow in the center of it all this week. Whether it was the comments made by Jerry Jones or the New York Jets having ESPN camped out at their training camp the Giants are mentioned in the conversation. Phil Simms threw his hat in the ring this week telling USA Today that Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin are Hall Of Fame worthy. Coughlin has his team focused on one goal and that’s winning another Super Bowl title. The Giants head coach appreciates all the praise, but is working towards getting his team together and ready for Week One against Dallas. Tom Coughlin joined 98.7 ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the New York Giants mindset going into training camp, his response to Jerry Jones’s comments about the Giants, Phil Simms saying in USA Today that Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin are Hall Of Fame worthy, Brandon Jacobs calling him an old goat and Eli Manning not wanting ESPN camped out at Giants training camp.
This is the second time you go into training camp as the defending Super Bowl Champion. What are the differences? Similarities?
“Here’s the thing. We don’t talk about defending. We don’t talk about those types of things. What we talk about is our goal: to win the world championship. That’s it. What we would really like to do as I mentioned is we would like to carry over from the six games at the end of the season into this season. We liked to play the kind of football we played there and mainly what I am talking about is giving up 14 points a game vs. 25 points per game. We gave up 25 points a game in the regular season. We gave up 400 points. What we would like to do is to carry over. We rushed the ball in the playoffs a little bit better. We only turned it over one time, which is classic for the team that is going to win this thing. Our special teams contributed with our game out in San Francisco with our Super Bowl game where we pinned New England down inside the 10 three times. Those were the things and that’s the challenge for this team. This team to come back and play the kind of football with consistency to start fast, to start and then sustain.
We came out 6-2 last year and then we ran into that 4-game buzzsaw, which everyone condemned the Giants. Of course when you lose you do get condemned, but we played against some pretty good opponents and the one game, the New Orleans game, which we were all disappointed in, but there was highly competitive games and we just didn’t win. The Green Bay game we lost that game on the final drive cause we left too much time on the scoreboard and it was 39-35 game and the San Francisco game we have a 4th down and we are certainly in position to win that game and we don’t. There were those kinds of things and when we gathered in the locker room after the San Francisco game the thing that was remarkable to me was our players were kind of upbeat. We’ll fight. They kept looking at each other saying, ‘We’ll fight. We’ll fight.’ I said perhaps we’ll have a chance to play this team again and of course it did work out that way.”
What was your response to Jerry Jones saying that the Cowboys are going to kick the Giants butt?
“Did that happen? I heard about that. I don’t know. We are focusing on our team right here for now. We are worried about our team and getting a first down and stopping people and that type of thing. We’ll worry about that game in a couple of weeks.”
Phil Simms said in USA Today that Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin are Hall Of Fame worthy. Does that matter to you?
“Well I am very, very grateful for Phil’s thoughts. That is something we can cherish. First the fact that he thought enough to speak that. I have tremendous respect for Phil. I was on the staff with Phil and really enjoyed working for him. Again we will think about that down the road. That’s kind of far out there for me right now.”
Did you see the quote by Brandon Jacobs? He said he really misses that old goat?
“He did. He referred to me as a goat? A couple of weeks ago I thought I was higher up the pole. [Laughs]“
Eli Manning said he didn’t want ESPN here camped out every day and worrying about stuff. Do you agree with that sentiment?
“Well the part I do agree with us what people are alluding to throughout the offseason and the start of camp. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to focus. We’re here to prepare ourselves for the season. We have gone away from our…we have worked hard to build the team and that is what we come up here for to kind of get together all in one circumstance and build our team. Our team chemistry and our bonding, etc. That’s what we are here for and if people let us do that then all the better.”