The New York Giants haven’t played anything close to their best football yet this season but through five games they have still shown to be one of the better teams in the NFL. The defending Super Bowl champs needed a furious rally to take down the Buccaneers, went down early this past weekend against the Browns before rallying back, their pass rush has been dormant and the injuries on offense and defense continue to pile up. Despite their issues, the G-Men are still 3-2 this season and right there in the battle for the NFC East. Big Blue will have to play a lot better than they have lately though as they are about to enter a brutal stretch of games, starting with this Sunday’s NFC Championship rematch against the San Francisco 49ers.
Tom Coughlin joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to talk about getting down 14-0 against the Browns and then responding, whether there is concern about the lack of pass rush right now by his team, how concerned he is about his secondary and all of the injuries, on the challenge this weekend against the 49ers and when he thinks Hakeem Nicks will be back from his injury.
On the team’s response after going down 14-0 against the Browns:
“The response yes, the resiliency yes, the mental toughness part yes but it wasn’t the plan obviously. We wanted to start fast and we certainly didn’t start fast. We stayed together and recognized that it’s a long game and there’s an awful lot of things that can happen. The example of which is in that second half our defense rose up and held them out of the end zone one time, forced a field goal and also got an interception when the ball was in point blank range so it’s a long game, a lot of things can happen and you have to stay with the plan, encourage your people and try to get some things worked out that happen early in the game. We were able to do that.”
Whether there is any concern about the Giants lack of a pass rush:
“We are concerned with it because it’s such a big part of our game and it’s the thing that has really been our calling card for so long. We’re looking at it very closely each week and trying to figure out how we can help our guys create some situations where they’re one-on-one and I think we’re going to get to that. We have very talented young men and we’ve got to get to a position where we can turn them loose.”
How concerned he is about the injuries to his secondary:
“When Kenny Phillips went down that put us at a disadvantage and Antrel had the unfortunate injury when the cameraman decided to stay in that one place on the sideline and he got hit just above the knee and that’s been a little bit of an issue but he’s battled back from that. We’re battling through it just like everyone else is, but we will be fine. We get ourselves going with some pressure on the quarterback and I think our secondary play will improve as well.”
On the difficulty of playing against the 49ers:
“The 49ers have added a dimension to their offensive team in terms of being able to run the option and do some things out of the pistol formation and they’re rushing the ball for 195 yards per game on average so they’re very difficult to defend, they’ve utilized some new techniques, some new ideas from an offensive standpoint and it’s very challenging. First and foremost in our game you have to stop the run and that’s where all of this is going to begin. We know how difficult this is going to be but we look forward to having an opportunity to go west and play against a very, very good 49er team.”
When he expects to have Hakeem Nicks back in the lineup:
“I don’t know the answer to that. He’s certainly a guy that wants to play and he’s very anxious to play, he’s got a very good demeanor about him, he’s anxious to get back in there and support his teammates but we just have to take thins thing week-to-week. It’s a medical issue and as soon as he can play no question he will.”