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Moral victories

Last week,  Rex Ryan called out his Jet team for their off the field transgressions. And  he’s tired of the “embarrassment”to the organization.   Well maybe this week Tom Coughlin will call out his team after their “embarrassment” on the field to the Giants organization this past Sunday.


In his regular spot on Monday’s with Evan and Roberts on WFAN ,Carl Banks answered many pressing issues from Sunday’s debacle  including the demise of Coughlin.

It’s remarkable “that a lot players came out of the locker room were feeling good about a defeat” bur per Banks “that’s conversation you keep in the locker room.”  On the other hand,  Mark Mosley , ESPN’s NFC East blogger, declared “the Giants were outsmarted and beaten by a primordial Tennessee offense still unfamiliar with the forward pass.” Yet, statistically they were superior to the Titans in racking up 471 yards versus 271 yards so “if you’re looking for moral victories..then every guy should feel great coming out of the locker room.”  Carl Banks disagrees with Mosley’s assessment.  “If you are looking for real victories and the reason that teams become very good teams and very bad teams are the little things” (i.e. penalties, “taking care of the football” and receivers catching).  Poor “individual preparation” by the players add up to failing miserably on the little things.”  Bottom line, Banks  believes Coughlin will “start demanding more” from his players and Coughlin got away from being “too hard”.  The “leadership council” made a “kinder and gentler” Tom Coughlin but he needs to “go back to (being) a butthole” as the “players got their way to much.”

On the Giants’ receivers, Banks makes a very astute observation on how teams have and will be preparing for them given the “trend of tipped balls” and inability to “catch a ball that hits you square in the hands.” Teams will practice hustling to the receiver’s area in anticipation of tipped balls.  Again, their lack of focus is a “lack of individual preparation.”

Banks lambasted the play of the special teams.   Banks said, “They were atrocious.”  Moreover, Banks wonders how you have a “group of good athletes who cannot stop anyone.”  He singled out Sintim, Wilkinson and Beckum but he admitted that “he is calling Sintim out” who is a “contributing factor” to the “atrocious” Special Teams play.  The whole unit “needs to take more pride in what they do” but right now “they make no contributions whatsoever.”   The bottom line is “the reason your jersey is hung in your locker is for you to go out and make plays on special teams.”  Field position dictates your offenses approach as well as dictating advantages for your defense which Glenn pointed out statistically earlier in the year.  How as a special teams player do you feel you are contributing to your defense when you allow the opponent to get to midfield twice in the second half and have your offense start on the 1 yard line and 11 yard line in the second half?

The undisciplined nature of this team was more evident in the selfish behavior of Rolle and McKenzie with their unnecessary roughing penalties.  Per Freeman of CBS Sports their shouldn’t have been a surprise about the Titans goading players into unnecessary roughing penalties:

“Through the magic of film, players and coaches had noticed how the Titans liked to play through the whistle. They shouldn’t have been surprised that cornerback Cortland Finnegan, one of the most underrated players in the league, likes to add an extra shove or a few choice words following plays. Yet the Giants retaliated time after time, leading to six personal fouls, two of which were called on veteran right tackle Kareem McKenzie.”

Yet Peter King believes “What peeved Coughlin is that he told his players during the week that Jeff Fisher teams were famous for provoking and needling the opposition, and you can’t take the bait; you’ve got to just walk away.”  In the end Banks states the “players got to figure out (how to retaliate) while the play is still going on” and not after the whistle blows.

In response to whether Coughlin has lost this team Banks definitively states no even though the “drums have started to beat.”  Until “this team starts to not play hard for him” and they’ve “lost the effort” then he will feel otherwise.   Didn’t we hear that they lost effort and desire last season?

Just curious but why hasn’t there been much discussion and heat drawn on the special teams coordinator for the last 4 years, Tom Quinn?  His resume is less than spectacular with his only NFL stint being with the Giants since 2005 and only 1 year   under former special team coordinator Mike Sweatman.  Outside of a few big games by Domenik Hixon,  has the coverage unit ever been exceptionally good since 2006?

Where are the coaches in ensuring “individual preparation” and ensuring they are taking care of the “little things”? Who drives the practices?

  Outside of the mental lapses we can look at positives in their ability offensively to “move the ball up and down the field” and the defenses ability to defend the run significantly better than they performed against Indy, even against the best running back in the league.  But it appears every week we have yet another challenge that has to be addressed. Mosley already thinks:

 “This season is already on the brink, and you could say the same thing about Coughlin’s future as head coach. He talks about always putting the team first, but several individuals made a joke of that concept in Sunday’s loss. The fact that most of those players are veterans has to be the most galling part for Coughlin.”

Although things look very bleak, Banks does see a silver lining. Banks said, “Leaders are starting to emerge.”  Yet, Coughlin has seen this before.  During the Super Bowl run the infighting and finger pointing became vicious. Then team leaders like Mike Strahan eventually calmed the locker room and the team rallied. The question for the Giants becomes: Who can rally the players now?”  Or more important who are these leaders who will “emerge”?