Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here is your Giants Morning Report for this Saturday.
Steve Brown's Rollercoaster Season
The 2014 season has been a wild ride for Stevie Brown. Returning after missing 2013 with a torn ACL, Brown took over as a starting safety when the Giants released Will Hill. He played poorly and got himself benched midway through Week 3. He played just four snaps over the next weeks, not playing at all in two of those three games. He began to see limited playing time after that. The last two weeks he has re-emerged as a key player, on the field for every snap against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.
"He fought back," Coughlin said. "He had a serious injury. He spent the whole offseason working on it. He really didn't get started very well. Pondered once he was replaced for a while. I told him that our team needed him to play the way he is capable of playing. He got back on the field and he has made a nice contribution. I am hoping he can do more. He does have outstanding hands and he does have the ability to maneuver in center field. You would like to think he can maybe get in position to have an interception."
Brown admitted he wasn't happy when he was replaced in the lineup.
"It felt like a step backwards," Brown said. "The lifespan of a football player isn't that long, so a step backwards is never good. You always want to keep moving forward. So that's pretty much what I've been trying to do. But being asked to take a step back definitely wasn't something I wanted to do.
"It's one of those things where you have to sit back and re-evaluate yourself on film and just kind of start all over again. What really helped me was talking to (special teams coordinator Tom) Quinn. Coach Quinn was telling me to keep my head down, keep playing as hard as I can on special teams and show that I'm still a quality player and my role will increase. And, sure enough, it did."
Brown went to the bench after being responsible for giving up several big plays in the first three weeks, most notably long touchdown passes Week 1 against the Detroit Lions and Week 3 against the Houston Texans.
"I think he has made a conscious effort to be more assignment-oriented and play the techniques that we are asking him to play," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "We have tried to do more with him than just standing in the middle of the field, and be a post player. We have asked him to get down in the box a little bit, we asked him to have various roles. I think he has accepted that instead of just being a middle of the field player. We think he is a very good middle of the field player, don't get me wrong there, but we asked him to contribute and do more."
The question going forward is whether the 27-year-old Brown shows the Giants enough to be part of their future plans. He, along with Antrel Rolle, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Giants have young safeties in rookie Nat Berhe and second-year man Cooper Taylor (IR).
Will the organization look at Brown as part of the solution as they try to rebuild a struggling defense, or will they move on from him?
The only Giants who have been ruled out on Sunday are linebacker Jacquian Williams (concussion/shoulder) and offensive lineman James Brewer (concussion).
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What does Coughlin want to see from the Giants the rest of the season?
"Ascend, ascend, ascend. Play better," he told Michael Eisen of Giants com. "We try to solve the problems. We try to incorporate everyone to understand, again, that the idea is improvement. The idea is to do the very, very best we can. All we strive for is great effort and that's what we really preach, great effort. Knowledge, preparation is the key to success, we've always believed that. As frustrating as losses have been for us, I think that the guys have been able to, again, understand that everyone has responsibilities and we win and lose as a team."
Defensive end Damontre Moore has been fined $10K for his hit on Tennessee quarterback Zach Mettenberger last week.
The question of who will quarterback the Washington Redskins on Sunday has apparently been cleared up. Colt McCoy (neck) is listed as questionable, but has been cleared to play and is expected to start.