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Coughlin: "It's the ball at the end of the play that makes the difference"

It isn’t often that the Giants are rooting for the Cowboys, but it happened on Thursday. Big Blue could have benefited from a Dallas win over New Orleans, clearing a little room at the top of the conference for wild card teams to get into the playoffs.

Instead, Roy Williams fumbled that away for both the Cowboys and the Giants.

Tom Coughlin still managed to use it as a positive for his own fumble-prone team.

“That was the first play we showed them this morning,” Coughlin said of the Williams fumble. “On the tape I also showed them a play from the Cleveland-Jacksonville game in which a Jacksonville receiver stripped the ball from a defensive back who had just intercepted the ball. This is a league-wide concept right now. What does it take to get to that? It takes nothing more than the big screen. Everybody sees every play. Defensive players are not even going for the tackle. They're going for the ball, and they are reinforced because they are getting the ball.

“You have to have a sense,” Coughlin said. “It's a sixth sense, if you will. Anyone, it could be a defensive back with an interception, could be a kickoff returner or a punt returner, could be a wide receiver, could be a running back, anybody who has the responsibility. And it is a big responsibility. It's winning and losing as exemplified by last night. You have to have a sense about where the defenders are, and when you have that sense, nothing else matters except the security of the ball. Whether your stride becomes a half stride rather than a full stride, it doesn't matter. What matters is when the whistle blows and the play is over that you have the ball. And you probably will find out that when you shorten your stride a little bit and you secure the ball with two hands, you're widening your base, you have people trying to rip the ball out rather than tackle you, you're going to continue to go. You're going to continue to move forward. And it's even to the point where - and this is not an easy thing because it's not instinctive to do it this way - but when you fall, you can't take away from both hands. They’ve got to stay there. So you're going to take some awkward looking spills, but you know what, it's the ball at the end of the play that makes the difference. The ball.”
 

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