- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell speak with reporters on Thursdays.
Here are the highlights from this week's session with each:
• In the NFC Championship Game back in January, the 49ers roughed up Eli Manning, sacking him six times and hitting him on six other occasions as well.
Gilbride was asked about the 49ers' front seven, and why they're so tough to block: "Ability. That's it. They have great players. They're tremendous, they're tough. They have great speed on the outside, (Justin) Smith is a beast on the inside -- he's strong, he does as good a job (as anybody) of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place. He never gets called for it so he gets away with murder.
"That, in conjunction with the ability level they have, makes them as formidable as anybody we go against, and we go against some pretty good ones in Dallas' and Philadelphia's. They're as good as anybody up front."
The Giants have only allowed Manning to be sacked five times in five games so far this season. The 49ers have nine sacks, tied for 19th in the league.
"You certainly wish it didn't happen, but many of the things we do are predicated on what you do defensively. If you're going to sit down because, 'Hey, this is where it's supposed to go,' guess what, we're not sitting down because you're not where you’re supposed to be. Most of our big plays take advantage of situations where guys are trying to overplay or cheat on a route. That's when our big plays happen.
"It really doesn't matter what you do -- if we're doing it well enough, we're going to have a chance to get open. It still comes down to, are you good enough to beat a defender and are you good enough up front to provide sufficient time for the quarterback to make those decisions, to sit and see who's open?"
• Through five games, the Giants have just eight sacks as a team -- tied for 24th in the NFL.
When asked about the D-linemen, Fewell expressed confidence in them, despite the slow start: "They'll get sacks, they'll get hits. I have a lot of confidence in those guys. They'll play, they'll be fine."
Fewell elaborated on the topic later on: "The way the offenses are attacking us right now, sometimes that limits their opportunities. The ball does come out pretty quick on us. The way people are playing us, it doesn't matter. We give them a number of opportunities to do what they do best. Obviously yes, we have to figure out and make the game more one-dimensional. If we do a better job in the run game, we can help them by letting them do what they do best."
• The 49ers lead the NFL in rushing, averaging 196.2 yards per game on the ground.
"They present you a lot of different runs and blocking schemes, a lot of different personnel groups with the formations and adjustments," Fewell said. "They are a little bit unique in what they do."
The Giants are currently ranked 16th in the league in rushing defense, giving up an average of 111.4 yards per game.
Kuhn got 27 snaps against the Browns (47 percent), while Austin got 20 (40 percent).
"I thought Markus Kuhn performed pretty well," Fewell said. "I think Marvin is still a work in progress. He still needs a lot of work; he still needs a lot of reps. The talent is there."
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