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Tom Coughlin disserts on Giants' four-minute offense vs. Washington

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talks

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin talks to an official during the first half of an NFL game against the Washington Redskins on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: AP / Bill Kostroun

Here's Tom Coughlin's four-minute dissertation on the four-minute drive.

The Giants coach was asked about the play-calling late in the game when, on the first snap after the two-minute warning, the Giants threw an incomplete pass on third and 10. Washington was out of timeouts and the Giants were up by the 11-point final margin at the time.

The question: Does he believe the Giants should have run the ball, as conventional wisdom would seem to dictate?

"No," he said. "We threw a ball on third and 10 for a touchdown in the series before that (to Rueben Randle). We ran the ball twice, we milked as much of the clock as we could. I wanted a first down that we might keep the ball even longer, and I felt confident that we would be able to achieve that. We put the quarterback in as safe as possible position. We ran a very conservative route with Odell Beckham. It just didn't work out. I think the quarterback probably had to release it a little bit earlier than he wanted to. I understand the strategy you're trying to get at just as much as you do. Believe me, it went through my mind, but we've got to get this thing flipped around a little bit. We're going to have to play to keep the ball as much as we can in those situations and not just punt the ball back to the defense.

"We did have an 11-point lead, as you said," Coughlin continued, uninterrupted. "It's not as safe as earlier on when we had a 16-point lead and they couldn't touch us with two touchdowns, or at least it would have been very difficult. We're trying to win the game and keep the ball, and have the ball at the end of the game. I weighed all of those things and I felt like this is the way we should play it. As I said, we had thrown a touchdown pass -- a much-needed touchdown pass -- prior in a third-and-10 situation as well. You ask a strategic question, which certainly is something that should be considered, and I did consider it, but I did not agree that that's the way we should play. I would want this offensive team to feel more responsibility. We've been in this situation before this year. There's something about shifting gears and playing like that, it bothers me. If you can dominate the run, it's very difficult this day to do that because you're going to face eight, nine people in the box, it's going to be very hard to run. The four-minute concepts that you and I both had 10 years ago, those things have pretty much come and gone. It's most difficult to do just that.

"A few years ago, the naked bootleg was a part of the four-minute package and gave you a chance to throw the ball as safely as you possibly could. I still agree with that to a certain extent. If you make a mistake and they come off the edge on you and you're unprotected there, that can be disaster, too. But there does come a point in time, I think, today, where you change formations and you open up a little bit. As safe as you can be, don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about some foolish throw, I'm just saying you want to end the game with the ball in your hands, you don't want to keep putting your defense in a position where they have to make stop after stop when you know what's coming. People are opening up and just throwing the ball all over the place trying to get back in the game. So I mean, that's just the way I feel about it. I normally would entertain any thought you might have about that, I do understand it's a strategy call, but I don't bat an eye about what we did last night and I would defend our actions to anybody."

Any more questions?

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