On shutting down WR Calvin Johnson for the last game of the season: "We'll see where he gets to this week. We'll make a decision when we get to Sunday, but I think every one of our players, and it goes for all 53 guys on the team, they're competitive and want to go out and play. You only get 16 games a year. He's no different and I think that the injuries that he's working with aren't things that, they can be made worse I'd guess you'd say by going out in a game. His mobility and his speed were limited in this game, made it very difficult for him to get away from coverage and things like that. We'll see where he gets to this week, if he's available. He's a competitor. I'm sure he'll want to be out there and if there's no medical reason to keep him out, we'll have him out there."
On CB Chris Greenwood's play: "Those guys really got pressed into service. It was a difficult situation. (Darius) Slay was an emergency active. We had Darius active, but the plan was, he was only going to play if we had three injuries or two injures there. We came close. I told him after Bentley got hurt to make sure he was warm and ready to go. He had been cleared for the game. He didn't practice for two weeks, so it wasn't an ideal situation for him, but with Rashean (Mathis) dropping with the flu last week and (Chris) Houston battling his toe, those guys got pressed into service. We had some trouble getting them stopped early in the game. They converted a lot of third-downs. We were good on first and second down, but they were making plays on third down. We were able to get that stopped and started playing some good football in the second half, getting drives stopped, having three-and-outs, doing those kind of things. You can't do that without corners that are doing a good job covering and I think that Jonte (Green) and Chris (Greenwood) did a pretty good job in that game. I don't think there were any negatives. There are some things that they can do a little bit better. Jonte missed a tackle on one, but a guy had him pinned inside and he was able to return back out. But they tried him, they were throwing deep balls on him. Those guys competed and they gave us a chance through that whole second half and even in the overtime. Same thing with Don Carey. After that first series, we changed our coverage scheme because of some of the matchups and after Bill Bentley got hurt, we changed some of our scheme also, and those guys did a good job. Eventually they found a couple holes and they made a couple plays late."
On if he thought about calling a timeout after the Giants had converted a fourth-down in overtime to get a review on the play: "Yeah, but the NFL, the officials have to get that one. And from our guys upstairs and everything else they said, it looked like a clean catch to them. And at that point to take a time out, we might need those timeouts at some other time. Usually what happens is, when you get inside of two minutes and you get into overtime, we haven't had very many overtimes, the officials upstairs have a pretty quick trigger finger if they see anything that's going to be in there. And looking at it on film, it looked like a catch. So I don't know if it would have made any difference right there, but it was a consideration. I did ask the guys upstairs, ‘Hey, what's it look like?' And they said they saw it and they thought it was good. Did you see something different? "
On the Giants hurrying to get the next play off after their fourth-down conversion in overtime: "They wanted to make sure. The officials have gotten really good at that. Those guys buzz down and that's such an instantaneous thing that that hasn't happened very much in the NFL. The officials have that operation down pretty good, that if they see something, they'll get that thing buzzed pretty quickly."
On how he would characterize the team's season after failing to reach the playoffs: "We didn't make the playoffs, and I think that's obviously anybody's goal when they go in. We didn't achieve that goal, but I don't know if I'd be as strong to call it a failure. That was the word you used. I don't know if I'd be as strong to call it that. I think I said, maybe at the halfway point, maybe it was even after four games I think, I can't remember, I said that the tale of this team will be in the second half of the season and we haven't done a good enough job. I mean, it's been the quintessential close but no cigar. We've battled every single game, but we've come up a play short consistently, from a lot of different things, whether it was a special teams play or an offensive play or a defensive play. We haven't been able to hit on (all cylinders). Well, we did, we had a couple games where we hit on all our cylinders, but the other games we've come up short and as a result, we're not a playoff team."
On the increased turnovers in the second half of the season: "I do agree, because we were saying that early in the season. We were talking and we had made a big point defensively about just being good with turnovers. And again, I don't think you can create them, but if you play physical, if you're in the right spots, you stick to the scheme, I think that turnovers come and I think that we saw that early in the year, particularly this last game. Reggie (Bush) wasn't loose with the ball. He has the ball high and tight going through there and the ball gets punched out. We knocked three passes down, including Devin Taylor knocked one up. They knock one down and their guy's able to come down with it. I don't think that was a bad decision by Matt (Stafford). The one to (Joseph) Fauria, that pass is actually designed to go somewhere else, but they took that guy away, so the read... and Matt stayed with his progression. He went there, that was taken, and he went to the tight end matchup vs. a linebacker and threw the ball sort of high and outside, away from the defender. It wasn't a careless play is what I'm trying to say. And those are things we want to reiterate and emphasize as a coaching staff. We've had some, particularly going for Calvin (Johnson), and it's a tough situation. Matt's had some interceptions going deep down the field to Calvin. I think about Pittsburgh, I think about Tampa. Some of those where we're aggressively trying to make a play down the field to a great wide receiver and there's a lot of rewards, even the second one against Tampa at the end. Particularly recently, this last game I don't think they were bad decisions, I don't think we were careless with the ball, but they are the No. 1 determiner of wins and losses historically in the NFL. That's one of the reasons that we weren't able to make the playoffs this year."
On QB Matthew Stafford's confidence level and what needs to change in him to help him improve: "Like I said, I think there were times in this run where he was overly aggressive. I think he'd probably even tell you that. And again, that's a tough situation. You have Calvin Johnson and you put the ball up and he can come down with it. That gets your confidence up pretty good, but not all of them are going to be successful in things like that. I think this game, we were very efficient on offense, we ran the ball efficiently. The turnovers stopped drives, but it wasn't because Matt was over aggressive or it wasn't because he was making bad decisions or anything like that. We had a hard time making explosive plays. We had zero plays of 20 yards or more in the game and that's unusual for our offense. We're a team, you go back, I can't remember how many we had against Green Bay, but it was a ton. And Calvin being limited had a lot to do with that and not being able to create those explosive (plays). Joique (Bell) had one that was called back with a holding penalty that had been a plus 20, but we didn't get any plus 20's in the game and it takes an incredible amount of patience to do that and Matt I thought had that in this game. I don't think that he needs anything other than to keep playing and I think whether you have a slump in free throws or batting slump, or something else, I think you have to stick with your fundamentals. I think he's done a really good job of that. I think you have to practice well, I think he's done a good job of that. His preparation has been outstanding. I think that over the course of time his talent will show. It's been a tough situation. He was playing really well for us this year. He'll continue to play well for us."
On if he thinks the team has regressed or progressed since the 2011 season: "We've come up short the last two years. I don't think there's any question of that. Last year was a lot different situation than this year. Last year, injuries really mounted and things like that. Even though last year I say that, it was a lot different. I think if you go back and look, I'd be surprised, I don't remember, maybe even going back to my first year, I don't remember any game that we weren't within a score in the fourth quarter. I don't know, you might research, maybe Bill (Keenist) will find one that we were, but I don't remember one that was in the fourth quarter and we were more than a score down. I think that's been sort of the hallmark of our team. We've battled every single game, we haven't come up with enough of those to be wins."
On if there are any other objectives they want to accomplish other than just beating the Vikings this Sunday: "I do think there is something left to be accomplished and that's to win a game and that's something we haven't done enough of the last six weeks. To go into the offseason with a win would certainly make us feel a lot better. It wouldn't be the same as 2010 when we finished with four straight wins. That definitely propelled us into the offseason and helped us. Any win is good, you only play 16 of them so we are going to try our very best to get a win but we won't have any other agenda other than that. However we need to do it we are going to be prepared to try and do it."
On what they have to do to get over the hump: "Well I think that comes down to a lot of different things. That comes down to personnel and the execution of the personnel. It comes down to situational football, we have had some of those. It comes down to fundamentals, it comes down to protecting the football and I think in every one of those situations we haven't been totally lacking but we have been inconsistent. Every team is looking for consistency. Baltimore came in here on Monday night and beat us and they are working as hard as they can to be consistent. Chicago is working to be consistent and they weren't able to do it, Green Bay, every team in the league is striving for the same thing and we are no different there. We believe in what we do, we believe in our players and we will keep on working for it. I think that's the thing."
On how much farther this team has to go to be a consistent playoff team: "To be a consistent playoff team is a lot different. I think you saw how close everything was this year. It's not just coming down to late in the season and not being able to get that win, it's been a battle the whole season and we were right in that mix. Obviously if you look at it that way, we are not that far. I bet you could roll through all those games and say this is one little thing right here that if we had changed we would come out with a win and we're in the playoffs. To be a consistent playoff team is probably the question but everyone is trying to do that. Everyone is trying to hold onto their players, to manage the cap, to draft well, to keep continuity, to keep working, to keep the right players in place and I don't think we're different than anyone else when it comes to that."
On if he saw that the players may have got ahead of themselves and looked at the big picture too much: "I haven't seen that from players. Our enthusiasm was up when would win just like everyone would be. We came off of big wins at Chicago, at home on Thanksgiving, you want your players to feel confident and feel good. From a preparation standpoint and from a practice standpoint I think we have a very consistent team. They work very hard. I have been around a lot of teams in the NFL and I really like this teams. This team has good character and works really hard. I think some of the stuff that dogged us a couple years ago, we've worked really hard to put behind us. I think some of that has shown. I wouldn't say that has affected our preparation or even our play on the field but I think it's part of this business. We have talked about it since the very beginning, there are going to be highs and there are going to be lows but you have to manage your way through all those things and find a way to be consistent. We are still working hard to do that."