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New York Giants' news and notes: Kenny Phillips, Martellus Bennett, more

New York Giants news for Thursday morning.

Andy Dalton was named AFC Offense Player of the week after the Bengals beat the Giants Sunday.
Andy Dalton was named AFC Offense Player of the week after the Bengals beat the Giants Sunday.
Andy Lyons

Good morning, New York Giants' fans. Here is your Thursday morning notebook.

Coach applauds Safety Kenny Phillips
"We’ve missed Kenny tremendously, I know I have," Merritt said earlier this week. "Because Kenny has been a solid football player for us. Nothing spectacular, not off-the-charts Pro Bowl numbers, but Kenny has been very solid for us. I mean you look at the last play, dating back to last year in the Super Bowl, the guy who knocked down that pass -- although they were all up in the air -- Kenny Phillips."

Giants’ TE Bennett says he needs to do more -
Martellus Bennett is surrounded by reporters, answering question after question about the poor play of Eli Manning, with little changing but the adjectives phrased to the Giants tight end.

Giants not playing physical enough on defense, coach says |
It was the most prominent instance of poor tackling by the Giants defense in a game saturated with examples. Steelers speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace ran a route in front of cornerback Corey Webster, who was immediately left trailing. Safety Antrel Rolle had the first, and ultimately, best opportunity to take Wallace down before he turned on the afterburners. But Rolle took a poor angle, his dive at Wallace’s feet caught air and Wallace sprinted to and up the sideline untouched for a 51-yard touchdown. It was one of the Giants’ 12 missed tackles that day and the next week that inspired safeties coach David Merritt to offer Rolle and the rest of his unit some advice: Always recognize and be cognizant of where your help is, number one, he told them. Better yet, never depend on help. That leads to a passive approach and we need you to be aggressive. "I said, ’Trel, on this particular play, you need to visualize yourself being the only man getting this guy down,’ " Merritt said. " ‘If you don’t get this guy down, he’s going to score.’ "And when I said that to Antrel, he was like, ‘I got it.’"

Giants' defense must figure out how to get more consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks |
Eli Manning was under "duress" Sunday afternoon, to use coach Tom Coughlin’s word. But Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton? He stayed upright, not sacked a single time, compared to Manning’s four takedowns and eight hits in the Giants’ 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. The Giants are used to being on the other side of that ratio, the team that sets the tone for harassing the quarterback. It’s just another area the Giants, on a two-game losing streak, will evaluate during the bye week. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he’ll continue to look at combinations and tactics to help the Giants get the consistent pressure on opposing passers that makes their defense work. "I’m always looking to tinker and however we can get more pressure with the people that are talented rushers," Fewell said. "As more guys get healthier and start to come into the fold, we’ll do more things. Whatever we have to do to be successful." A few of the injured players Fewell referenced are safety Kenny Phillips and linebacker Jacquian Williams, talented cover men who can tighten up the back end to give the front more freedom. But the Giants will also examine what they’re doing up front.

Petrus 'fortunate' to go from Giants to Patriots
Former New York Giants offensive lineman Mitch Petrus is 'definitely happy' to be with another Super Bowl contender.