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Tom Coughlin talks Aldon Smith, Chris Borland, Colin Kaepernick

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin spoke with Bay Area media on a conference call. We've got a transcript that includes discussion of Colin Kaepernick, Chris Borland, the 49ers run game, and Colin Kaepernick.

Otto Greule Jr

On off-field issues and deflecting negativity:

Well, the thing about it is, you have to, acting as one, and staying totally unified, that's the whole concept. But that's what the team sport is all about. And the other thing is, you have to recognize the importance of not only sticking together, but the idea that we have control of who we are. No one put us in this predicament except ourselves, and we're the only one who can get out of this. So, to be effected by negativity, etc, really is a foolish thing. So I try to make the players aware of that. Many times they're young, maybe haven't experienced something like this, particularly in New York City. You do have to stand tall, and you do have to hold your ground and you do have to realize that it is the sport of football. You're a professional athlete, to play at the best of your ability is what this thing is all about. And quite frankly, at the end of three quarters the other day, it's 17-all. We turn the ball over, and they tried to give it back to us, we didn't take it. We ended up with some really poor plays giving up chunks of yardage, etc. The score, I don't believe was indicative of the game, but nevertheless that's what it was.

On Harbaugh job questions, and how Coughlin handles it:

I'm not sure I'm in a position that I would want to speak to that. There are plenty other topics. Jim Harbaugh is a heck of a football coach. Quite frankly, I don't know what the Bay Area news has been. I know that he's coaching his team as hard as he can, and his team got a heck of an overtime win the other day. I'm sure his focus is only on one game at a time.

On defensive performance with absent players:

I think those two inside linebackers have done a very, very good job. I think they've continued to be able to put pressure on people because of the likes of Justin Smith, and Ray McDonald. Ahmad Brooks has put outstanding pressure, the drafted kid Aaron Lynch has contributed. I'm not trying to lead anybody on, they've played solid, solid defensive football. They're well-coached. You're talking about the second defense in the league, the No. 2 defense in the league despite things that happen in our league. Unfortunately, you like to think that your team is going to stay completely together, but many, many times it doesn't.

On Giants run defense:

We're addressing everything we possibly can, and we're working very hard to make the corrections that are necessary, and put the players in the best possible position that they can be in to be successful. We're addressing every bit of that.

On Rashad Jennings:

We hope so. He practiced today, and hopefully he'll practice tomorrow and feel good about it, and we can plan on it. It would be foolish of me to say anything until we see the week of practice.

On Chris Borland and how he can do what he's been doing:

He's a good football player. I don't know why would you think he can't. He's almost 250 pounds, he's very smart, he seems to be in the right place at the right time. He's physical, he can go very low on players, he has good leverage. He's a good football player. When the draft came about, we thought he was a good player.

On 49ers offense trying to find balance:

Well, I see a team that starts out and declares that they're going to run it. They've done an outstanding job doing that. They're 10th in the league in run. They do have all the play-action passes, they throw the ball out of the empty set. You can't be lured to sleep, because they've got speed on the outside, they can go up and get the ball. They play various combinations of athletes for specific purposes. They have a good solid tough two-prong running attack. Frank Gore is an outstanding player and has been for many years. And Hyde comes in and and contributes, and certainly gives them a another change of pace.

On what to expect from Aldon Smith:

We know that he has been in the building and worked in the conditioning area, so I would expect he's a player that's been in on all the meetings and conditioned himself very well. I'm sure that they're just not going to throw him out there in his first game back, but I would imagine he'd have an ‘X' amount of plays and may very well be in there as part of their third-down package.

On Colin Kaepernick:

What you see is a young man who has a very strong arm, certainly has the ability to run the football. But the play he made the other day to get them into overtime with the transcontential throw and the scramble, etc., I mean he certainly has the ability to do that. He can stand in the pocket. He's big, he's tall. He has a real strong arm. He throws the out cuts probably as good as any ball he throws. He can also run the football.

On Odell Beckham's development:

He's done well. He's a talented young man. Even all the time he was out, he was studying, he was in all the meetings. I think he did a nice job visualizing himself in different spots. He's certainly played well. He's made young mistakes that are certainly correctable, but he certainly is talented, and he gives us a big lift.

On Borland compared to other great small linebackers:

I don't think I've made that comparison, but I do believe that the people have to play, have to have an extended period of time before you can make those kind of comparisons. What I do think is he's talented, he's smart, he puts himself in the right spot. He is physical, and he's a good young linebacker.