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“Their biggest opponent right now is themselves”

The original #58 discussed twas the night(mare) before Christmas on WFAN with Evan and Roberts:

In his own words and “from the perspective of a former player I am so glad this was not the last game of the year because it would be the toughest offseason you could ever imagine.”  Immediately after the game Papa and Banks “looked at each other and shook (their) heads in disbelief.”  Bottom line, “there were so many opportunities for this to neverrrr happen!” Banks boils it down to a “component of mental toughness” which he calls “mental endurance and that comes into play when the game is on the line.”  He alludes to the fact that “you’ve got to do all the little things right” at critical junctures of the game.  

Banks targeted Dodge as a specific example who failed to “follow instructions” and his “mental endurance” was lacking when he “couldn’t function under mental duress.”  A player’s spot on the roster boils down to the fact that “you make your money when they need you.”  Banks “had no problem with Coughlin screaming at Dodge on the field because they coddled this young man all season.  It’s the end of the season he’s got to get everything right and they have you on the roster for moments like this.”  Banks reflects back to a guy he “played with who had a very high standard for performance and that was Dave Jennings.”  Jennings “made sure every detail was covered.”  A guy who fumbled away the ball carelessly was cited as “another example of how a team lacks mental endurance, Mario Manningham.”  Banks summed it up on that fumble: “you just can’t.”

Banks moves on to the defense where “everyone knows that when the Eagles need a big play it comes on the left side of the field.”  We witnessed for 52 minutes how “they blitzed from the left side.”  But the momentum changer for Vick was on that 3rd and 10 deep in the Giants territory.  On Vicks scramble for 30 yards “this time this guy (Aaron Ross) goes underneath…which allows Vick to scramble to his left.”  You would think that Jackson or Maclin had the most yards receiving but it was “Celek who had the most yards receiving.”  There were many comments on Monday about  “that play with Justin Tuck running down field like a linebacker” covering Celek.  Banks puts the blame “on the coaches.”  However Banks “thinks Fewell has been an excellent DC” but he “thinks they got too cute.”  Again, “when it’s money time you want your money players doing what they do best” and Tuck has to be rushing the quarterback.   That play got “worse when your safety, who has been making great tackles all game, comes up and just missed the tackle.”  But besides the collapse of the defense you have to “give Andy Reid some credit as his timing is impeccable with his play calling.”

Banks reflects back on how he played 11 of his 12 years on Special Teams.  When he was playing “whether they have the hands team on the field or not every player is instructed to not leave until that ball is on the kickers foot, period.”  In a timid defense of Coughlin he adds that “If a coach says to the players be prepared for an onside kick he’s not saying it just to say it.”

An interesting take from Banks on what he saw from the Offense as “the Philadelphia Eagles were literally discouraged from blitzing.”  He praises  Ahmad Bradshaw as he has “never seen a back stone so many linebackers to the point when they call a blitz the linebacker would get there and stop.”  During the course of the game there was a time when they got the running game going reeling off “5, 6, 8, 10 yard runs but they had some other match-ups they wanted to exploit other areas.”  One of those match-ups was “underneath on the linebackers versus the TE but then you get TEs open they drop a ball.” In the end Banks “guarantees you that the Eagles will have more ice packs as physically the Giants were putting it to them.”

How do the Giants recover from this?  Banks feels “there was more good in this game than there was bad but the bad was horrendous.”  The bad things are “all correctable but if they get these things corrected will something else manifest itself if this team doesn’t get mentally focused.”  On “Perry Fewell when closing out a game will he put Justin Tuck in coverage?” Banks, doubts it.  He feels they will win out “because if these guys don’t make mistakes a lot of these (teams) are not in the game with them.”  Their “biggest opponent right now is themselves.”

To summarize, Banks goes on to state that we have “seen pieces of this all along…now it’s in one big stew.”   You can point to “Special Teams’ errors all year, missed tackles all year, missed assignments all year, dropped balls all year, fumbles etc.  These are the things that have come back to manifest themselves in the worst way.”  He adds that the Giants  “run well from the front but then they feel a little heat and breakdown.”  Is this a reflection of the coach?  Banks feels that “Coughlin is an excellent football coach who subscribes to all the principles that lead to successful teams.”  In the end he hopes the end result of this last Chernobyl meltdown is that the “players will say we kind of screwed this up ourselves.”  Even though he added that “when players become undisciplined it a reflection on everyone.”  In the end, Banks lays it on the players who  “have to take responsible for executing the plays.”

Editorial Note:

There have been many articles, posts and comments addressing the future of Tom Coughlin as the Head Coach of the New York Football Giants.  But we need to focus on the present.  This team has an opportunity for additional games in January with a win this coming Sunday; although more than a few feel their chances are very slim.  Eli Manning addressed the team the other day.    Wouldn’t it be motivation enough to get a chance to revenge this past nightmare versus the Eagles in their own backyard?  Do you think the Eagles would like to face them again given 52 minutes of a beat down and “ice packs” after that game?  The hope stems from what Perry Fewell learned from this past game.   Would you be inspiring your players by reverting to back to your marshmallow cover 2?  Tuck was sending a message to Fewell when he said the Giants were playing “prevent defenses” in the fourth quarter. This team has the talent and has demonstrated physical domination on the defensive side of the ball.  They need to lean on this for 60 minutes.