Well, it's Friday and that means time for a Christmas Eve Edition of Friday Five with Inside Football's Pat Traina. Read on to find out what sort of wisdom Pat will be dropping on us this week. And, check out 'Train-A-Thought' for my answers to her questions.Ed: After Sunday's disaster, can you assess the mood of the team? We know they are saying the right things, but what sense of their mood do you get from being around the team?
Pat: There's no doubt that they're still smarting from Sunday, despite the fact many of them are saying they've moved on. But the way I see it, they can do one of two things with that anger. They can let it consume them to the point where they lose focus, or they can channel it properly and beat the snot out of the Packers with the hope that somehow, someway, they see the Eagles again this year. A lot of guys won't admit it, but I think they really do want to see the Eagles again this year because twice, they've come close to beating them, so I think they know that they're more than worthy to stand on the same field with the Eagles.
Ed: My stance on all of the inevitable talk about Tom Coughlin's job status has been that it really isn't fair until we have all the evidence, meaning until the season is over. In reality, unless the Giants lose the last two weeks and look horrible doing it I don't see how anyone could really argue that he does not deserve to be back next season. Agree or disagree?
Pat: I agree. As I've tried to explain to one of my readers who is obsessed with the injury situation, you have to look at who was hurt, when they were hurt, and was the team able to replace the guy? This year I don't think the Giant can use injuries as an excuse, despite having 12 guys on IR (one shy of what they had in 2007, if I remember correctly). I think you have to look at the competitiveness of this team - really, the only game they were truly out of in my opinion was the one against Indy. Also, you have to remember that last year is TC's final of his contract. I don't think he's given an extension unless he wins another Super Bowl. I also think that given the uncertainty what with the labor situation, a lot of teams are going to be reluctant to make head coaching changes unless you have a situation say like in Carolina where one is definitely warranted.
Ed: As our player to focus on this week, let's talk about Shaun O'Hara. What did you think of the way he played, Sunday? Should he have played? Should we expect improvement from him this week?
Pat: I didn't think O'Hara had one of his better games, and quite honestly I was surprised that following his being limited all week in practice, he got the start. I think he was the first such Giant this year to practice on a limited basis all week and not be inactive on game day. I would like to think that his ineffectiveness was rust, but I don't see how his foot isn't still an issue.
Ed: You have been to Lambeau Field, one of the most historic stadiums anywhere, before. Most fans never have and never will. Can you tell us a little something about the place that might not be obvious just watching games on television?
Pat: Well for starters, it's probably the only stadium I can think of where the press has to walk outside to get to the locker rooms, which is not a good thing when it's freezing outside. Seriously, Lambeau Field is a beautiful, historic stadium that almost has a college-like feel to it, especially in the visiting locker room area. The very first time I was there, I have to confess that I was in awe of the building when I thought about its history. I absolutely love the locals' passion for football and I remember my cab driver a few years ago telling me that for the locals, Lambeau Field was like their second church in the fall (he even had a "Hail Favre" prayer card posted on his dashboard, which I found amusing). Lambeau Field, to me, is a very warm and inviting building, whether you're the home team or the road.
Ed: What are your expectations for Sunday? Do you expect to see a lethargic, 'hung over' Giants team? Or, are we more likely to see one that is serious about taking care of business?
Pat: I'd like to think it would be the latter. Right now, everyone is saying the right things, but you know what? Last week, they all said the right things too and we know what happened. I do think that the Giants owe it to themselves, their coaches, the organization and most of all the fans who stuck with them and who still love them despite last week's heartache to come out and top the passion and intensity that they had for the first 52 minutes of the game against the Eagles.