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Giants news, 11/10: Richie James, Xavier McKinney, more headlines

New York Giants headlines for Thursday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

The sleeves did it

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said Wednesday part of the reason Richie James fumbled two punts against the Seattle Seahawks was because of what he was wearing.

“Probably the first thing he did wrong was wear sleeves, cotton sleeves. It was kind of cool out, probably wasn’t the best decision and that’s probably on me more than anything else to tell him to take them off,” McGaughey said. “The ball will slip. Anytime you have a regular leather ball up against a smooth surface and it’s not skin, that’s something that you don’t want. You don’t ever want that.”

Martindale on losing Xavier McKinney

Here is how defensive coordinator Wink Martindale reacted to the loss of safety Xavier McKinney, the team’s defensive signal caller:

“I think there will be an effect. It could be a good effect or a bad effect. We’re going to find that out. I always talk to the defensive guys about [how] we control the narrative of every situation ... It’s just another injury that we’re going to have to deal with and get ready to go play the Texans.”

More from Big Blue View

Other Giant observations

The Giants aren’t underdogs anymore — what it means

The weight of expectations is a much heavier burden than living life as an unencumbered underdog. The Giants are no longer the delightful upstart sneaking up on opponents. The MetLife Stadium crowd on Sunday will arrive in good spirits, with their team in contention, and likely be filled with angst and anxiety if the game is tight and the Giants are not able to impose their will on the team with the worst record in the league. For years, fans filed into the building hoping the Giants would simply be competitive and usually left with the dull ache that accompanies bad football and another loss.

Former Giants coach Jim Fassel used to say, “It only gets bigger’’ as the season moves forward with your team playing for something. True, that. It is going to get bigger and bigger for Daboll and the Giants, who have created something that might be built to last or might be unsustainable. This rebuilding job is in its infancy, and anyone trying to figure out where it leads might be best advised to consider any Giants “shoulds’’ at their own risk.

Giants can prove Joe Schoen wrong after his quit trade deadline

Every team that won at least 10 games last year qualified for the expanded tournament, which also found room for two nine-win teams. Daboll said Tuesday that he hasn’t talked to his players about playoff possibilities because, “If you get too far ahead of yourself, it brings you back to reality real quick.”

The truth is, Schoen was the one who brought everyone back to reality by not making a trade at the deadline. When he had the chance to reward the Giants for their charmed start, Schoen took a pass. He looked at his roster, looked at how his team was winning games, looked at the price of acquiring a difference-maker at receiver or elsewhere, and then shook his head, “No.”

Schoen decided his players weren’t good enough to make a most improbable run at the Super Bowl, or to command a meaningful small-picture reinforcement at a big-picture expense. Maybe it was the right thing to do, and maybe it wasn’t.

Either way, as much as Schoen praised his team’s toughness and professionalism, his inaction spoke louder than his words.

Now the players have to prove him wrong. When underdog athletes reach the playoffs or win a championship against the odds, they love to cite the media when shouting, “Nobody believed in us.” In this case, if the Giants make a spirited playoff run, that “nobody” will include their employers.

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