The lack of pass rush pressure in the final drive Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, has been a sore subject around the New York Giants ever since the game ended. That continued Wednesday when New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin was asked about the team's struggling pass rush, and the lack of blitzing, during his Wednesday press conference to preview Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Coughlin didn't raise his voice or go into some of the histrionics you can sometimes see from him when he gets agitated, but his frustration with the lack of ability to rush the passer (just 19 sacks through 11 games) was clear."We've been challenging them for the entire year. Obviously we're not doing a very good job of that. To be honest with you when we call pressures take a look and see who's getting home. Whether it comes out of the secondary, the linebackers, whatever you want to call it. You can talk about pressure all you want, but we've gotta have people that get to the ball, get to the quarterback. That hasn't happened much.
"Quite frankly, we have called pressures, pressures have been aborted or not performed very well. How would you like to be the guy who is sitting there calling pressures and we call pressures, nothing happens, so you're vulnerable in the secondary even more when you do that. You're not getting home. How'd you like to be the guy calling those plays?
"It is something that has been missing the majority of the time this year. ... We've not been good with that, plus to be honest with you we've had some missed assignments when those are called.
"The responsibility starts with me, but we'd like to think we would be a better team with pressure ... there's a bunch of guys up front that are supposed to be known for that."
Here is a damning stat from Newsday's Tom Rock:
Giants have 1.5 sacks from players not on the defensive line this season: LB Jameel McClain has .5, CB Trumaine McBride had 1.— Tom Rock (@TomRock_Newsday) November 26, 2014
A reporter asked Coughlin specifically about veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. Coughlin responded that Kiwanuka was "just one name."
"[Robert] Ayers has had some success, didn't play very well last weekend. Young Damontre [Moore] everybody wants him in the ball game. He did have some success the other day with one sack. Should have been playing a little bit more," Coughlin said.
Coughlin's words echo the comments by Antrel Rolle on Tuesday that busted assignments on blitzes early in the game left Perry Fewell hesitant to dial up pressure at the end of the game. I don't know the reason for these busted assignments, whether they are on Fewell or on the players -- or both. They are almost certainly going to end up costing Fewell his job, though.
Coughlin's comments also made it obvious that he feels the Giants don't have enough play-makers up front, and that the ones they do have aren't playing to their reputations.
He's right. Unfortunately, it is unlikely this version of the Giants will be able to do much about it.