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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wednesday's Tom Coughlin transcript

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Coughlin: We are in the division. We are excited about that. We are in the division. The Washington Redskins are a very good football team, 7-4, coming off a tough road win in Seattle. We had the opportunity to watch Arizona and Seattle and then the Redskins and Seattle. And of course the Redskins have a great running game. They are 14th in the league on offense but third in the league with the running game.

Portis is having an exceptional year. There are talented, big play people everywhere with Moss and Randle El. Cooley is an outstanding tight end. A lot of tight end screens, a lot of nakeds. Campbell is doing an efficient job. He has only thrown three interceptions, which is a tremendous improvement for that young guy. Defensively they are outstanding, third in the League, seventh against the run, fifth against the pass; very stubborn defensively -- showed some new looks up in Seattle. They did some different things with Jason Taylor, moving him around; he and [Andre] Carter working together, if you will. Fletcher is, of course, the quarterback of that defensive team and had an outstanding game against us here in Game 1. Their secondary is really loaded with very good cover people. [DeAngelo] Hall was at it. You know about Rogers, Springs and Smoot. They are outstanding. Landry, the outstanding safety, plays very deep, comes down from deep center field to get involved with both run and pass. [Shaun] Suisham, the kicker, has a very strong leg. They have outstanding return men in Randle El and [Rock] Cartwright plus Santana Moss, the big play player, has an 80-yard return which he was able to negotiate versus Detroit. So they are a good football team. We will be playing in Washington, so we look forward again to being in the division.

How do you compare the way they are playing lately to how they were in Week 1?

Coughlin: Obviously they have made great strides and done different things against different people in order to win. So they are a good football team. They were a good team when we played them here, a very stingy team if you will in that first game. And they continue to do that. They are not giving up any points. I know their scoring average is only in the eighteens offensively, but they are also not giving up many points. So they play very well together.

Do they look more comfortable in their schemes on both sides of the ball?

Coughlin: They, defensively, never missed a beat. There was no change there at all. And I think when you understand it, they tried to utilize the Redskin -- Jim Zorn had utilized the Redskins running game and then brought in his own pass attack. And to me it was never any real difficult thing for those guys. They are a veteran group and they adjust very well.

What did Plaxico Burress' MRI show?

Coughlin: He has a hamstring injury. He will not practice today. He will end up being day to day. Jacobs will not practice today. I expect him to work tomorrow. But today he will not work.

Did you send Jacobs for tests?

Coughlin: No, I don't think so.

Was Burress' hamstring basically torn?

Coughlin: He has a strained hamstring.

Anything you can do to help that along other than rest?

Coughlin: Well they will do everything they can medically to help him. He is very resilient, a very tough guy. He works his way through those kinds of things. So we are just going to have to wait and see. He will rehab as he has all along. He is constantly working on that. So hopefully that can be something that is overcome in a short amount of time. But let's face it, it is a hamstring.

Fred Robbins?

Coughlin: He won't work today.

In Week 1, it looked like this offense might not be the right fit for Campbell. But he turned it around and is his play a big reason for their success?

Coughlin: That would be for you to say [about the start of the season]. I have seen the tremendous care that he has taken with the ball. And that, as you know, with a young quarterback -- that is a heck of an advantage and great growth just in itself. They are doing more with him. He does scramble but he also keeps the ball and runs the ball. And he is a big strong young man. As I said, they are utilizing everything they have. They are trying to get their two young receivers involved. They did the other day in Seattle. They had [Malcolm] Kelly involved and they have had [Devin] Thomas involved.

Clinton Portis?

Coughlin: He has had a lot of big games. He has had an outstanding year. He is a tremendous slash runner, very powerful. He hits the crease as well as anybody. He is having that kind of year. He rushed for 65 yards in the fourth quarter the other day, which literally they tried very much to end the game with the ball in their hands. On the one drive they did have a fumble, but then they got it right back with [Shawn] Springs making a great play.

How much does it help your coordinators and yourself that your team can win in a variety of ways?

Coughlin: Well the one thing is that [we're] just trying to find a way to win -- in this league -- we are going into the last week in November. Teams are all trying to overcome some type of injury somewhere; just the nature of our business, our game. So we all try to just analyze exactly what it is that will put us in a position to win the game. We have had a lot of different kinds of games, no doubt. And last week was a different kind of game that we were able to find a way to win. So those are all good experiences.

Is Landry still playing very deep at safety for them?

Coughlin: Yes.

That has always been a part of their scheme?

Coughlin: No, they have extended him back more this year, I think. You see that in the league now. It is happening in a lot of places. The safeties are deep, they don't back up to start out with. They are ready if you get the high pad look; they stay back or back up. And if they get the low pad look they come from there. Which is -- as fast as some of these people are -- Landry is and he gets to the line of scrimmage fast. And there is a lot of impact when he arrives.

Do you ever look back at the last trip to Washington? You were 0-2, people were unhappy. Since that time you have won a Super Bowl.

Coughlin: Not really, no. No, we are trying to look ahead. Obviously we know the history of the rivalry. We know what has occurred. They came right back up here and beat us at the end of the season. So we are aware of all of those situations. And just trying to keep current and look ahead.

After his touchdown last week, Madison Hedgecock said he was rowing to Hawaii. Does Madison deserve to be in the Pro Bowl?

Coughlin: He has done an outstanding job. You are talking about a guy in his role, and the job that he has done, he has done an outstanding job. The one play ther
e, the catch was really a good catch for him because he really zoomed in on the ball. He made sure that he caught the ball first and then scored.

Do you find it odd that any one person on O-line could be singled out for Pro Bowl consideration?

Coughlin: It has been a very good unit and we have had outstanding play out of a lot of people throughout the course of the year. The key thing is for us to continue to play well. I'm starting to get -- I don't know where these questions are coming from -- let's talk about the Redskins.

Based on what the Cardinals did to you in the air last week, can the Redskins pick up anything from that on how to attack your defense?

Coughlin: Sure, you can always find something from studying. Well, those are two outstanding players, but that is the Cardinals offense. And we knew full well -- to come out of that game with only two big plays against that is quite an accomplishment. Although it is interesting the different style of plays -- the similarity and time of possession is an interesting thing. But you can pick up something up from every tape that you study. So I'm sure that there will be something that the Redskins can learn from that game without a doubt.

Was your intent defensively to keep the Arizona receivers in front of you?

Coughlin: That was the intent, sure.