The Washington Redskins (4-6) on Sunday play the New York Giants (5-5) in 2015 Week 12 action at FedExField.*
On Wednesday, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. spoke to the Washington, D.C., media about their upcoming matchup against the Redskins.
New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin
On the state of the NFC East:
"Well, regardless of what people think of the division, it's always been a strong point in my mind and very difficult. I can remember when [former Head Coach] Joe Gibbs was there in
Washington, he used to say, 'I hope we have somebody left to play the week after we play each other.' It's very competitive, it's very physical. Teams certainly take these games extremely seriously. The fact that we're where we are, it's a tribute to the fact that we're scrambling. We're fighting our tails off to try to be the team that wins this division and it's very, very competitive. I look to the positives. I don't look to anything else, and it's not the only division in football where teams with similar records are in first place or playing for first place."
On QB Kirk Cousins' development since Week 3:"Obviously it looks to me that he's more comfortable in the system. He's more confident. He's extremely effective, as you know, with play-action pass with all the nakeds and the nudes and things of that nature that they run, the bootlegs. I mean, he's just playing at a very high level. His last two home games he was almost – what was it, 80 percent completions? He's doing a fine job."
On the difference in the Redskins at home and on the road:"They've played some very difficult opponents on the road. So I don't attribute it to anything other than that. There has definitely been outstanding progress made since the 2-4 start. They battle and battle and battle. Even the other day against Carolina it was 14-all, then 21-14 and then the fumble. Then, boom, it's a 28-14 game. So it was closely competitive certainly up until that point."
On the key to overcoming slow starts:"Well, you've got to keep grinding. You have to be persistent. You have to know exactly what you're trying to accomplish. The players have to get on the same page with you and you want everyone thinking in the same direction. You've just got to work at it. Every team in the league has injuries. Everybody has to overcome them. You just have to continue to fight for the things you believe in and work hard and hope that it improves. Sometimes it does to a certain degree and sometimes it doesn't, you know. It's always not completely reflected in your record."
On the Redskins' secondary:"Well, they're 12th in the league against the pass so I do certainly give them credit for that. They've overcome some things. There's a lot of different people playing different spots. The two corners have remained. [Chris] Culliver has remained on the one side – the right side – and [Bashaud] Breeland on the other side. Obviously the safety position with [Dashon] Goldson has remained the same and then the rest of it has all had its changes. They've had different people playing different spots, so you give credit where credit is due. They've overcome a lot of things."
A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants.
On how long the leash is for a young player who experiences fumbling issues:**
"Well, you know, to be honest, it's not a comfortable thing to be able to put the ball carrier in a position where the ball is secure and he's got it up under his chin and wants to take the ball away from that spot and run with it on the side. All those things are vulnerabilities, so the technique that's involved, even though we preach it, we don't always get it to be honest with you, it's not easy. Sometimes, instinctively, the player will let the ball down to his side where people can punch it out. Let's face it, you have a league today that's very, very conscientious of that. The Redskins are good at going for the ball many times rather than the tackle. All teams in the league seemed to be clued into that. You have to just continue to work it. Sometimes, it's very frustrating, but there is a way to do it and it is a huge fundamental, and at this time of year, fundamentals are critical."
On if there is a specific way he coaches younger players with fumbling issues:
"Well, there certainly is, and you have to drill it and continue to drill it."
On if there is any difference in QB Eli Manning this season:
"I don't think there is. We had a significant change in the offense a couple years ago. He's worked hard to master it. He's more comfortable in it. He is in command of basically what's happening once we're out over the ball and as he's always done, he's done a very, very good job of that. Working with the receivers the way he has, even though we've had guys in and out, but to be able to do that and to know exactly what he's looking for… His preparation has never changed. He's been consistent in that. He's done a terrific job of that ever since he's been in the league. Players have a great deal of respect for him and he has the ability to throw the ball in all different spots, all different positions. Whether it's a deep ball or a shorter ball, he has had outstanding accuracy this year even to the extent that we've had way too many drops than we should have had. That percentage — his completion percentage — would even be higher."
On S Brandon Meriweather:
"Very early on, he was important to be able to settle down a secondary that was relatively new, and a young safety playing next to him. He brought great experience and composure and poise to that spot and he's been able to continue to do that."
On the decision to bring back WR Hakeem Nicks:
"Well, you know, Hakeem, we worked him out a couple weeks ago. We were very impressed with his conditioning. You know, we looked for the right spot at the right time. Unfortunately with Victor Cruz having to go on IR, we were in need of a quality receiver. Hakeem was the best we saw out there, and we know the young man, we know his ability, range. We know what he can do. It really was not a difficult choice for us given our circumstance."
New York Giants Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
On the perception of the NFC East with the teams in the division holding similar overall records:
"It's a tough division to win. You know… these teams all have the rivalry… I guess, so to say. They've been going at it for a long time, so, I can only imagine every time any of these teams meet up in the division it's going to be a great game."
On if his rise in popularity makes him a target for defenses:**
"For sure. Anytime, you know, you step on the field you know what you're going to be facing. You know that, you're going to be a target. Defenses are looking for you. It's just kind of… it is what it is. You can't really change that; you can't really do anything about it. We just have to be strong in our game plan and execute to the best of our ability. "
On how he balances fame and football:
"You kind of not worry about one and worry about the other. Whichever one is more important to you and I think the rest will work its self out, as long as you prioritize that."
On what he can recall from the Week 3 game and the matchup with CB Bashaud Breeland:
"I've known; watched him since college and he's a very good player. Just being able to go against somebody who's good... you know you want to compete. That's what you really look forward to, to play against good players. Not any of the extra stuff that goes on that just happens to be part of the game. So, I love going against the guy. He makes me work and hopefully the same results… I'll make him work."
On if he has seen Breeland's improvement following Week 3 and what he has recently seen watching film on him:"He just wants to make plays. I don't know if he did anything different for you to say he 'quote-unquote' improved. I thought he was always pretty good. He may have got beat here and there, but, I feel like that's the same with any corner. You can get beat… same with any receiver. You can get locked up on a play. So, like I say, you know, I think he's do a great job at being physical and making plays on the ball."
Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 12 match up against the New York Giants Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
On what he thinks when players say that they need to be physical with him at the line of scrimmage:**
"I feel it's a very fair assessment. I think that would be the best thing for someone to do at the line is just to be as physical as you can. I just feel very comfortable. You know, once you get past that part of it, even if you get a good release, I feel very comfortable doing the rest. So, making it difficult at the line is definitely a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if it's not done right."
On improving his release:
"You work on it. You work on it, you work on it. Any time you find yourself not just as a receiver but as a competitor and you find yourself getting stuck in moving forward and improving, you find out what it is that you're getting stuck on and you improve on that, also, just the regular basic stuff. It's something that I definitely work on and like I said, it's not the easiest thing in the world to do."
On being recognized as an all-around wide receiver not just a guy that makes insane catches: "I don't really know. I look at myself as a complete receiver and I feel as if I can do a lot of things. At the end of the day it's not that I want to make ridiculous catches, I just want to make all the catches that I can. I don't want another ball to touch the ground. I feel like it's too late in the season to be having balls on the ground and thing like that, so, I do take a lot of pride in catching the ball. I don't really know what other people's opinions on me are as a receiver."