Tom Coughlin was asked Monday if he worried about the way players would take the biting post-game remarks he made Sunday night.
"I don't worry about it if it's what I think is truthful," Coughlin said. " I don't really think there's anyone that would take real issue with what I say. As a matter of fact, there are probably many, many more in agreement. I wish I wasn't right."
Apparently, at least one player did take exception. Linebacker Michael Boley said Coughlin's remarks "mean nothing to me."
"That’s his assessment. I always say coaches coach, players play," he said Monday. "We’re the ones in the trenches. We really know what goes on down there.
"For someone to say this is what happened doesn’t mean nothing to me."
There are a few points I need to make about Boley's comment. First, it is disheartening to hear any player say comments by his coach "mean nothing to me." Second, you wonder if it is instructive that a comment like that comes from a player who has never reached the playoffs with Coughlin as coach. Boley has played in one losing playoff game in seven years in the league. Also, Boley did not play Sunday, so can he really speak to what went on in the trenches?
Finally, it makes me wonder again if there are players -- especially guys who were not part of the Super Bowl-winning team -- who have tuned out the coach. Obviously I am not in the locker room or around the players regularly so I can't speak to that with any authority. The comment, though, makes me wonder.
Coughlin was also questioned Monday about the play-calling on both sides of the ball.
Let's look at what he said about the offense first.
"Yesterday there were no first downs. I have said this before, it is like throwing mud at the wall and trying to see what sticks if you are not making first downs," Coughlin said. "You can second-guess anybody at any time in this business about a call or a series of calls. We have had outstanding playcalling. We didn't get anything done yesterday and we are all taking blame and you can start with me."
Coughlin seemed to echo a theme that I tried to make on several occasions Monday. The lack of blocking was a bigger issue than plays that were -- or were not -- called.
"We didn't block them and you have to block them. You block them and a lot of things go," Coughlin said.
The primary defensive issue Sunday night was the lack of pressure the Giants put on Eagles quarterback Vince Young.
Here are some remarks by defensive tackle Chris Canty regarding the lack of pressure. Read them and see if you interpret them the same way I do -- as a very well-couched suggestion that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell did not adjust to the max protection schemes being used by Philadelphia.
"People recognize what we're capable of doing as a defensive front and getting after the passer and I think they're doing some things that are giving us some challenges," Canty said. "We have to be able to match up and adjust to that and that falls on both players and coaches. We have to understand that going in. We have to understand what teams are trying to us scheme-wise, to neutralize us and adjust to that so we can be effective and get that job done."
Canty was asked point-blank if the defense had not given Young enough different looks.
"I'm not going to speak to that, but I will say this, it's one of those situations where if a grenade goes off it doesn't matter whose fault it is, we're all dead," Canty said. "It's something that we all have to take a look at and we all have to figure out how we're best going to be effective. Quite frankly, we win as a team, we lose as a team. And the team is not just players. It's coaches included."
Coughlin, for his part, said only "there's a time and a place for everything" and "we have to make the adjustment to that type of [max protection] scheme."
Let me leave you with this thought from ESPN NFC East blogger Dan Graziano, which -- in my mind -- summarizes the situation pretty well.
"The Giants need to stop getting physically beaten up on the lines. Their offensive line can't open a hole for any of their running backs and, Sunday night, couldn't keep the Eagles' fearsome pass rush off Manning. Their defensive line did a nice job bottling up the Eagles' LeSean McCoy (until his final run of the night, during which he went 60 yards to ice the game), but at the expense of the pass rush with which they generally thrive. No team can get beaten up in the trenches the way the Giants have this year and keep winning games. No team can give up as many points as it scores -- as the Giants have this year -- and expect to run away with its division."