It may have been hyperbole, but defensive lineman Justin Tuck warned, “If anyone turns on our coach, I would be the first one to punch him in the mouth.”
By now, most Giants fans have heard and processed the pragmatic response of Tom Coughlin, the team’s suddenly embattled head coach.
Coughlin combatively addressed a reporter’s query as to how the Giants would confront the seemingly doomsday scenario facing them after sinking to 0-4 following a 31-7 loss to the Kansas Chiefs this past Sunday.
“What do you mean, ‘Where do we go from here?’” he said quizzically. “We go back, take a look at the tape and at the next opponent.We come together, we try to plan again. We go back to work. What else is there for us to do?”
In fact, there is indeed little else Coughlin and the Giants can do to reverse their rapid demise other than diligently prepare to host the 1-3 Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. As he has in previous seasons when the Giants have experienced adversity, Coughlin finds himself having to traverse criticism from his players and avert a potentially polarized locker room.
The man who has led the franchise to two Super Bowl titles must trust in his ample leadership skills and loyalty from prominent veterans to prevent his charges from suffering an irreversible collective decompensation.
“We’re not going to be separated,” said Tuck, one of the Giants’ most influential voices.“It’s not about offense against defense. We’re a team. We win as a team, we tie as a team and we lose as a team.”
The Giants have not performed consistently well on offense, defense nor special teams. They have been unable to string together more than two consecutive quarters of mistake-free football. The issues have not been the absence of solid game plans, but the unfathomably poor execution of them.
While injuries, particularly to key starters on the offensive line, is a plausible reason for much of the Giants’ hardships, they have shown little cohesion or fortitude having already played one-fourth of their schedule.
“We’ve got to get back to having that good feeling again,” said safety Antrel Rolle on Monday. “We will, we definitely will.”