Good Evening
Good Evening

Tom Coughlin on penalties

A penalty flag is seen after being thrown

A penalty flag is seen after being thrown by an NFL referee during the second quarter of a game between the St. Louis Rams and the Washington Redskins. (Sept. 16, 2012) Credit: AP

Here is the complete, almost four-minute-long answer that Tom Coughlin gave today regarding the number of penalties being called in the secondary not only against the Giants but around the league. Luckily the Giants transcribed it because I wasn't going to. Anyway, the answer:

"That is the charge that the officials have been given. We talked about this before. I think what our job is we have to clean up the hands to the face. The hands in the face is a foul. I don’t care what else is said, that is not up to some official to decide whether or not it happened or it didn’t happen. Once the official sees that, it is just a penalty. There is no sense in complaining about that one. The one that is difficult right now is the illegal contact when in fact there isn’t any disruption in the receiver’s route or whatever after five yards. It is just the casual contact that occurs when the athletes turn to run or turn to run in one direction or one breaks in a direction and the other is a little bit behind and there is a little bit of contact when they maneuver through that space or area. And we have to get a handle on that as well.

"Pass interference when the defender is not aware of where the ball is has been called that way forever. We struggle, both teams had 10 penalties last night, both teams had 13 penalties the week before. We are still trying to understand and clean this all up and quite frankly it does get frustrating because you know that these penalties, that if they continue into the regular season, will cost you drastically. If you study the drives, the offensive drives, that are sustained by penalties and the scoring percentage that goes with that, it is very high. You must do something about this to give yourself a chance. It is just like turning the ball over. We had the ball fumbled twice last night, threw a ball to the sideline that could have been an interception. Those were eliminated by the good fortune of Geoff Schwartz, who got one fumble back, another one went out of bounds, and the guy who caught the [would be interception] was out of bounds, came back in [bounds] and didn’t re-establish himself. That is the only reason that wasn’t an interception, so if you are going to win at this level, you cannot turn the ball over and have to do a great job of reducing your penalties.

"The numbers that people use for goals are far, far less than what you are seeing called. It is a true concern. It is something that it’s down to one preseason game. The way it has been explained to us by the interested parties throughout the league coming down from the officiating department and on is that we all, the officials, the coaches, the players and the people in the review boxes have all got to see things the same way. We are still trying to analyze and figure that out. Some of these fouls when you look at it from the standpoint of your team, you don’t think are anything but incidental contact type things. You could say that is because you are talking about your team, well okay, I accept that and am making no excuses for it. I want that area to be cleaned up and I want it to be cleaned up now. I am disappointed with our guys regarding the hands to the face. It is crazy. You know it is going to be called. You cannot afford. Do not put yourself in that position. We will keep working at it."

Coughlin was also asked a follow-up on whther he thinks the pace of the flags will continue into the regular season.

"Unless we hear something different," he said, "it’s going to be called like this."

New York Sports