New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Sunday that "the offense wasn't very good" during Saturday's 20-10 preseason-opening loss to Carolina. Coughlin, though, did find some positives in the loss.
"I thought our defense played well for the entire evening," Coughlin said. "We did not turn the ball over and that has been a major, major theme of ours."
Coughlin praised the play of several individuals. Let's look at some of them.
"The return of Domenik Hixon was a very positive thing for our team," Coughlin said. "I thought Dom had a very nice night catching the ball and taking a pounding and reassuring for himself that he is healthy and will be ready to go."
Victor Cruz "made the really big play down on special teams where he made a really nice tackle."
Coughlin said Linval Joseph "needs to play and he needs to spend more time on the field but he looks to be the kind of guy that can be stout in the middle for us. He can hold at the point and can be a powerful guy inside."
Asked about the play of Mark Herzlich, the undrafted free agent linebacker, Coughlin said:
"He did well. He was physical. You can obviously see his size as he was covering punts and kickoffs and that type of thing. He's very smart, plays mobile from the linebacker spot for us. Competitive. Outstanding in that respect all the way around. It was a good first game for him."
Several other young players drew unsolicited mention from the coach.
"I thought Greg Jones did a good job and showed signs of things going forward. I thought Ayanga OK did a nice job when he got into the game. Paysinger did alright and Witherspoon had some nice pass breakups. Tyler Sash did a pretty good job," Coughlin said.
Coughlin also praised the play of Jason Pierre-Paul and Chris Canty.Lawrence Tynes Update
Coughlin was not sure how much time Lawrence Tynes will miss due to the thigh bruise he suffered when rookie offensive lineman James Brewer missed an assignment, resulting in a blocked field goal and in Tynes getting smashed into by the helmet of a Carolina player. Coughlin, however, disagreed with Tynes' assertion that a penalty should have been called.
Not according to anything that I've read. Unless they've added a new category. I would certainly like it to be, but that's a technique mistake by a young player. That's what that is. We're all responsible for that," Coughlin said. "It just ticks me off that something like that happens. I would certainly hope it doesn't ever happen again, but that's a technical error by a young player."
Special teams assessment
The Giants have, of course, placed a great deal of emphasis on improving their special teams play this season. The results were decidely mixed Saturday.
"There were chances. We had a chance on the first kick-off for a big play. We missed a trap block. I wouldn't say that during punt returns, I wouldn't put it in the same category although there was one chance for a pretty good return that ended in plus 11 yards that could have been more," Coughlin said. "The coverage stuff was missed tackles and not being in position of containment. Guy brings the ball all of the way across the field and is able to outrun your defense, then you have an issue. Your coverage team, you got an issue. The missed tackles, the being out of position and the inability to contain was the issue there."