New York Giants' defensive coordinator Perry Fewell believes his group is much better now, entering a Week 8 match-up with the Dallas Cowboys, than it was when the Giants lost to the Cowboys in the season opener by a 24-17 score.
"In the season opener, we went in and had some guys who had missed a lot of camp. When we looked at the game, and after the game, when we looked at the game this week, there were guys that played and didn't execute their techniques properly," Fewell said on Thursday. "You could see some rust on the guys that didn't play because a lack of time at camp or missing time in practice, etc. We just did not play good football in that first game."
Cornerback Prince Amukamara missed that game with a high ankle sprain. Defensive tackle Chris Canty spent the first six week of the season on the PUP list as he recuperated from off-season knee surgery. Linebackers Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams played against Dallas although each had limited preseason practice time due to injuries. Michael Coe and Justin Tryon played significant snaps at cornerback, which Coe leaving the game due to injury. Rookies Jayron Hosley and Markus Kuhn were making their NFL debuts.
"I think we are more in-sync," Fewell said. "We still have a couple of guys on the sideline that we'll get back in the next one or two weeks. We are getting healthier. I expect us to play better as the time goes on."
Fewell said that he particularly thinks the Giants are in better shape in the secondary than they were in Week 1.
"I think we're much more settled," Fewell said. "We labored a little bit in that first ball game in terms of healthy bodies."
Canty's presence on the defensive line also makes a difference.
"I am just happy to have him back. He's a big man there in the middle for us. It just looks different when the offensive linemen have to block him because it doesn't move as fast," Fewell said. "Chris only played 20-25 plays last week and he was a little rusty. There was one play that he could've made and he would've made a tackle for a loss, but the guy gained three or four yards on it because he didn't wrap it up. You could tell he was a little rusty on some of the plays and some of the blocks he was getting. I think you'll see him get much better quicker because he's a veteran and he knows how to play."