Miami Dolphins vs New York Giants
Football Diner at the Giants/Dolphins post-game press conferences
Just this morning your intrepid Diner hacks once again found themselves in the conference rooms of Park Lane’s swankiest hotels (Garcon! Where is my egg white omelette?) for the express purpose of witnessing the Giants victorious postgame press conference, and of catching the tail end of the Dolphins’ too.
Soundbites, sidebars, pictures etc:
First up, we’d like to note that there were no streakers in either press conference, although we were worried when on the way in we passed the Giants’ team priest. Thankfully, he was legit, or, at worst, stripping at a different function.
Giants DE Justin Tuck represented the players, and noted the whole trip had been a great experience and that the UK people had been incredible.
Let’s do it again, he said, I’m all for it, though noted all the sight seeing he’d had time for had been walking past Big Ben and Buckingham Palace yesterday evening after the game. Was he impressed? Kind of. They looked like they do on TV.
Asked if he faced anything he didn’t expect in the game, he answered the streaker. He also noted the hospitality, the warmth of the people. And that the UK fans had such a sound understanding of the game, that gave it an amazing atmosphere.
Dolphins LB Joey Porter had called it a playoff atmosphere, Sunday evening.
Asked by the Diner if had actually felt like an away game, with Miami playing host, Tuck told us it didn’t, I didn’t feel like the Dolphins had a homefield advantage at all.
And with the Giants 6-2 going into the by, Tuck also had some thoughts for us on the remainder of the schedule, particularly after the 2006 Giants were also 6-2 before folding like a napkin down the stretch:
It’s a different mindset. But more than that, we’re healthy right now, that’s the biggest difference. This team has a lot of leadership, and it’s the closest team I’ve ever been on.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin, meanwhile, had been laughing and telling jokes with the guys after the game, according to Tuck. Something must’ve been very wrong.
Coughlin, though, was up next, and was in no doubt about what caused the game to be such a low scoring and sloppy affair.
Having looked at the tape, our footing was not good on either side. That contributed to an inability to make plays otherwise, it could well have been a very nice performance, he said, meaning the Giants could have scored handsomely.
It rained a lot, he pointed out. That’s why he’s the coach. It’s too bad the weather was an issue because it’s a fast track. But I’ve played in a lot of quagmire games and that’s what happens.
It was noted the grass had been cut shorter than a usual NFL playing surface for soccer purposes.
His credo before the game was never in doubt. To win is the key. We came to win. We did win, he said, Caesar-style.
While generally relaxed, Coughlin did snap at one beat reporter who suggested Brandon Jacobs had confounded national critics who felt he couldn’t carry the load without injury:
I never heard that. Why wouldn’t he be able to? he said bluntly. As it happens, he had plenty of good things to say about Jacobs: his size/speed is rare, and I’m impressed with his ability to catch, and to pass block.
Coughlin was very praiseworthy of the UK fans and population in general:
I can’t say enough about the way we’ve been treated. I spoke to many of the players Brandon was one and they all said that so many British people had been helpful and gracious in giving directions, that everyone treated them really well.
Next time Tom and Brandon are here, they should try using the tube in rush hour.
But asked if he was in favour of an international game of this kind again, Coughlin was evasive, saying I’m not going to comment on that, I’ll have the chance to sit down and talk to the Commissioner about it when I get back.
There was praise for the losers: Give Cam credit, they played hard, he said, also noting that Cleo Lemon, in particular his running, scared me going in, with some of the things he can do against our coverages.
But there was also a weak vote of confidence for K Lawrence Tynes. We’re always aware of players who aren’t on other teams who are available at positions of need, but we’re sticking with him. I’d open that savings account now Lawrence.
With the lightning foot speed of a Barry Sanders, the Diner also made the final stanza of the ‘Phins press conference down the road.
Running back Jesse Chatman had some thoughts on Lemon too. Asked if his quarterback had been given ‘his fair shake’ as Miami’s starter, he said:
Cleo has had his fair shake, it’s his first time leading a team, he’s a good quarterback.
Perhaps he didn’t see him play today through all the rain.
He just had a bad day, he noted.
Ever the team player, Chatman was keen not to point the finger, and showed that Cam Cameron still seems to have control of the locker room depsite an 0-8 record:
I’m not pinning the loss on him, we play together as a team, and we lose together as a team, the loss is not on any one player.
Heading into week 9 without a win on the books, the Dolphins are flirting with a perfect season of another kind. Only 8 losses to go.