Good morning, New York Giants' fans! Here are some of the stories making headlines around the winless Giants this morning.
Victor Cruz: Eli questions no surprise
Wide receiver Victor Cruz said Thursday that the questions about quarterback Eli Manning -- benching him or drafting a new quarterback -- are no surprise being that the Giants play in the media capital of the world.
"No. This city doesn’t surprise me at all. The media doesn’t surprise me. People outside of this locker room don’t surprise me anymore," Cruz said. "People say a lot of things and we believe in our quarterback. We believe in Eli Manning. He’s our guy and we’re behind him 110 percent and we don’t think anything otherwise."
Eli Manning 'not listening' to all the chatter
Whatever is being said in the media, on the radio, or by frustrated fans on Twitter the Giants' quarterback is not paying attention to it.
"I’m not listening to what’s being said. I know in the NFL or in anything you’re doing, it’s always a case of what have you done for me lately and each year you have to go out there and prove that you deserve to be at the position that you are and earn your (support) and earn your role, so you know, obviously I have to play better at a higher level but I know I can do that," Manning said.
Justin Tuck talks about missing pass rush
Head coach Tom Coughlin has been saying that the best fix for the Giants' anemic pass rush -- a league-worst five sacks -- is for players to win more one-on-one battles. Defensive end Justin Tuck agrees, to an extent.
"We’re not winning enough," Tuck said. "Regardless of if that’s the quarterback getting the ball out of his hand in less than 2.5 seconds, which normally happens, or we just didn’t have a good rush or that call doesn’t bode well for us being in a passing situation. It’s a combination of all of that.
"I’ll be the first one to tell you that it starts with me, it starts with what I do individually, and I think every player on the D-line feels the same way."
Peyton Hillis impressed by Giants' attitude
New running back Peyton Hillis said Thursday that his new team doesn't act like one that is 0-6.
"I’ve been on a lot of teams and this team really holds itself together well," Hillis said. "I don’t know if it’s been years in the same system, same people banding together, but it’s really good. Nobody is down or feeling sorry for themselves."
Around The Inter-Google
Fascinating work from Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger regarding the Giants' pass rush:
According to a Giants team study relayed to The Star-Ledger by players, 78 percent of the passes faced by the Giants this season are released in 2.8 seconds or less. Coupled with the fact that the average time to sack per quarterback this year is between 3.33 and 4.64 seconds, it’s no mystery why the scheme is not working as presently constructed. On an average play, there is no time to sack the quarterback.
When trying to compensate by rushing an extra man, it only gets worse. Stats by the analytical site Pro Football Focus show the Giants pass blitzing opposing quarterbacks a total of 91 times this year, with only two of them yielding sacks.
Great stuff. Personally, I'm fascinated both by the numbers -- and we will explore them further -- but also by the fact that players would release the numbers to the media.
In a note that also has much to do with the pass rush, Tuck believes the struggles of Jason Pierre-Paul have become more mental than physical.
LensCrafters figures maybe the winless Giants just can't see very well, and has offered the team free eye exams.