New York Giants players have heard all the talk about head coach Tom Coughlin's job being on the line. When asked about it Wednesday players all did a marvelous job of defending the coach. Before I give you some of what players said about Coughlin let me say this -- had they done a better job this season of doing the things Coughlin has been asking them to do they would not be getting questions now about the man's job security.
If Coughlin does get fired it will not be because he is a bad coach. It will be because somewhere along the way players who know better -- and have done a lot of winning over the years -- have too often failed to pay attention to the little things that make the difference between winning and losing in the NFL.
Anyway, off my soap box and on to some of the comments Wednesday by Giants players.
Talking to Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News, Chris Snee termed talk of the Giants needing to win to save TC's job "absurd."
"I’m not quite sure why we would be,” Snee said. “I mean, playing for his job? Two weeks ago no one was saying that. Now two weeks later everyone changes their viewpoint of the guy? It’s absurd.
“We win this, it’s our 10th win. He wasn’t the reason that we collapsed in the fourth quarter in Philadelphia. He wasn’t the reason we played like we did in Green Bay. But somebody has to take the blame, I guess.”
Linebacker Keith Bulluck also talked to Vacchiano about Coughlin's job security.
“I think they’ve been talking about that since Week 3,” said linebacker Keith Bulluck. “That stuff is always unfortunate especially when you’re a player here. You know how much coach emphasizes specific things and as a team you don’t go out and get it done, then it falls back on him. I don’t think Coach Coughlin tackled any one, caught any passes or threw any passes this year.
“If you play this game long enough you come to find every one is expendable. But I think Coach Coughlin has been great in the time I’ve been here. I’ve enjoyed playing for him. So we’re going to go out and get this win and hopefully Green Bay will lose and we don’t have to talk about that no more.”
Here is Barry Cofield's take on the talk about Coughlin.
"I don't think anyone is thinking about that. We're just playing to win and whatever the ramifications of this week's game are, that is completely out of our hands. We just need to go out there and play to win, play to get our tenth win, win a game in the division and just go on to whether it be a playoff run or the offseason, either way you want a good taste in your mouth and the only way you can do that is by winning this last game."
Here is one from Lawrence Tynes, ignoring the unwritten rule that placekickers should be seen and not heard.
“It’s just New York,” Tynes said. “Tom is a winner and has been a winner his whole career. After we get 10 wins we’ll see what happens, but it’s just ridiculous. We’re the ones on the field. He’s a proven winner, won a world championship. All his teams have done is won and we’re going to have his back this week if that’s the case.”
And here is one from Antrel Rolle because, well, because Rolle seems to have something to say about everything.
"That's not something I think that I really respond to. The outsiders don't matter at this point. They can say whatever they want to say. It's all about this organization and what happens here. If we go out and perform on the field, none of those questions will be brought up and that's the way I look at it. We have to do a better job of going down on the field and performing."
Scouts.Inc. has a very good perspective on Eli Manning and his interception issue this season.
Veteran Giants beat writer Vinny DiTrani, a guy I don't cite often enough here, has a great take on why the Giants are in danger of missing the playoffs when they have a team that should be so much better. He says, basically, that the Giants talk too much.
There seems to be this feeling among the Giants, particularly some of those who were around for the 2007 playoff run, that this team automatically will bounce back from a big loss, and always will give its best when backs are to the wall. The platitudes come fast and furious, but there is little backing.
Like safety Antrel Rolle saying last week he knew the Giants would win in Green Bay. Why? He just knew that’s how it was going to play out.
There appears to be little adherence to the message the players wore on their T-shirts in the off-season as they prepared for the 2007 season: “Talk is cheap, play the game!” ...
There is a serious flaw in the makeup of this team, whether it is provided by the coaching staff (unlikely) or the players listening to people tell them how good they are (more likely). But it appears the Giants are headed for yet another disastrous ending, this one more swift and decisive than the one that set Mara off after last season.
When the 'Friday Five' comes around we will discuss this notion even more. It's one I think has some credence, and one that I asked Inside Football's Pat Traina to comment on. We will see what she has to say.
[NOTE: I am off to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium today to watch Syracuse take on Kansas State. If anything happens our man Mike will bring it to you. You know, I'm still wondering if this whole collapse by the Giants is a Farley Jinx. Not much has gone right for the Giants since Mike has been here.]