Giant Babble

The Giants organization put their spin on an underachieving season.   On Monday, the buzzword  was: Disappointment.

Courtesy of Giants.com, here are the transcripts.

No outrage.  Just disappointment.  In his opening remarks, Coughlin uttered disappointment four times.  While Reese echoed disappointment three times. 

Although the 2010 Giants had an opportunity to win the NFC East and a possible first round bye, the organization is disappointed with their ten win non playoff season.  

Depending on the way you want to look at it, here are the highlights or lowlights of this presser: 

During Coughlin’s press conference, a question was asked about the turnover problem.  The Giants led the league in giveaways with an astounding 42.  Here is Coughlin’s answer:

TC:  Well, it’s definitely a big part of the frustration. The other part of that that leads you to think further is that you’re not really complimenting your offense, defense, and special teams by turning the ball over. You’re not playing with the kind of control that is necessary and I think that is the direction that I’m going is that when you’re really in control of the game – in the Washington games this year, we were plus-eight – plus-five the first time, plus-three last night and there isn’t any question how that contributed to the wins. Just look at last night, we had forced fumbles of plus-30, plus-17, plus-20, we had an interception and gave the ball to the offense on the 27-yard line, we had a fourth-and-one stop. We turned it over one time ourselves, so there isn’t any question that you have to work in concert with each other and you have to be able to control the game at this level. There’s going to be an occasion when turnovers take place, whether it be a big time hit or just an outstanding athlete timing up the interception, it’s going to happen. It doesn’t have to happen at the numbers that it did though.

For a coach who preaches ball security, how in the world did his team get so lackadaisical with a football?  Because the Giants turned the ball over so much, according to Coughlin, this affected the offense, defense, and special teams.  Carelessness with the football cost his team games.   This is Coughlin’s spin.  However, in the Eagle collapse game, it was not turnovers which did the team in.  It was the poor coaching decisions made by Coughlin, i.e. the onside kick, the prevent offense and defense etc etc…

Even though Coughlin is 64 years old, he still wants to coach for years to come. 

Q: Do you think at all about how long you want to do this?

TC: Probably 70 or 72. One year at a time.

After watching the video of the press conference,  Coughlin was being tongue and cheek.   But what is not funny is he could have been serious too.  With Mara’s unfailing loyalty to Coughlin,  it would not be surprising if Coughlin sticks around for awhile.  Since Coughlin has been the head coach and things have not gone well, the modus operandi is to scapegoat his assistant coaches.   Thanks to Mara, Coughlin’s get-out-of-jail-free card was reloaded.  Therefore, once Coughlin meets with upper management, we can expect more assistant coaches being terminated. 

Coughlin’s flawed leadership approach should be taken to task.  Part of being an effective leader: surrounding yourself with outstanding people.  Has Coughlin done this?   NO!  From Bill Walsh’s book The Score Takes Care of Itself,  Walsh discusses creating a organizational conscience.  “Make no mistake about; my first commitment was to nurture an organizational conscience with this very high internal code of ethics, ideals, and attitudes.  Concurrently, I was committed to identifying and hiring the best people I could find and teaching them what I deemed necessary to achieve the required levels of performance.”(Walsh, Jamison, and Walsh, 2009, p. 16).

What is Coughlin’s Standard of Performance?  Blaming his subordinates for not getting the job done.  Subsequently, discarding them as a fungible commodity.   

As for Giants GM Jerry Reese,  he too downplayed this season.  I am perplexed with his answer to this question:

Q: The owners disagreed with you and said they were more disappointed last year. Why do you think this year?

JR: Well, we just put ourselves in position. If you just look at where we were with seven minutes left in the Philadelphia game, you guys would have been writing about how great we were and we let that game slip away and we were fighting for our lives and we go to Green Bay and for whatever reason – I can’t put my finger on that, why we don’t go there and play better than we did – and then scramble around yesterday and get a win, but you can’t depend on other people helping you get to the playoffs, you have to do it yourself and we were right there on the doorstep to do that and we didn’t do it, so it’s disappointing.

He cannot put his finger on why his team lost to Green Bay?   After blowing a game against Philly, your season is on the line at Green Bay.  This was your playoff game.  And as GM, you cannot put a finger on what happened?!  Incredulous.  

When I heard Reese’s response to this question, I fell out of my chair.

Q: Do you think you had the talent to be better than 10-6?

JR: I think we could have won a couple more games that we did. If you take away 10 of the turnovers right there, there’s probably two games there – the second Philadelphia game. If you stay in this business long enough you find out that some of those games happen. Every now and then you’re going to have one of those. How could we lose the game? Then on the other hand, you’re going to have a couple of those games that you won, how did we win that game? It happens. If you’re fortunate enough to stay in this business that long that kind of thing happens to you, so it is what it is.

Reese is dismissing the epic loss to the Eagles as ‘stuff happens.’  No!  Jerry Reese.  It is not what it is.  It was the worst loss in franchise history.  And it is irresponsible of you to dismiss it as something normal which “happens.”  With seven minutes left to play, your team was up by three touchdowns.  Sadly, because of poor coaching, the Giants lost. 

Last year, the Giants’ defense gave up big plays.   Even with Reese upgrading the secondary, the Giants continued to give up big plays in 2010.  Here is Reese’s response to this question:

Q: Are the explosive plays allowed on defense the coaches’ fault or the players’ fault?

JR: I’m not sure what it is. We’re trying to figure that out during the off season. I just know that there were some explosive plays that happened on the back end and we’ve got to prevent that. It’s going to happen sometimes, there’s always going to be explosive plays on the back end, but I think we gave up too many explosive plays. I’m not calling anybody out because we’re all part of it – the defense in the front, the linebackers, everybody, the calls, whatever, but I just felt that that jumps out at me that there were too many explosive plays that we gave up.

Basically, he does not have an answer.  Last year like this year, we gave up big plays.  This is nothing new.   Perhaps, in the next few weeks,  the Giants secondary coach gets fired.  

Reese’s impeccable draft class of 07 has been followed by drafts which have provided mixed results.  Here is his take on the 2010 draft class:

Q: How do you evaluate this year’s draft class?

JR : Well, JPP came on and did some nice things. I think he’s going to be a terrific player and Linval got in a little bit yesterday. We were healthy though. We usually have some injuries in the defensive front, but we were pretty healthy for the most part during the season. Really the only injuries came on the offensive line and the receiver corps. That’s where we had the injuries this past season, so Linval didn’t get a jersey a lot of the season, but we think he’s going to be a terrific player as well. Chad got hurt in the car accident, Phillip (Dillard) played some on special teams, Dodge played some – obviously he punted through the season and did a good job at times. We think he has great potential, so it’s hard to judge a draft class after one season, so a couple of years we’ll know where they are.

Not one player made significant contributions.  Dodge was mercurial.  Reese’s “did good at times” response is an indictment on Dodge’s shakiness.  His first round pick did some nice things.  Let us hope JPP  is going to be a terrific player.  For the most part,  Reese was negligent in not picking up a linebacker with his first round pick.  

With steadfast Tom Coughlin returning for an eighth season,  the Giants will continue to go down the wrong path.  It appears this organization is in complete denial.  As Andy stated, next year is going to have some tough QBs for this Tampa 2 defense.  Not only do the Giants face their divisional foes twice, they will play New Orleans, Green Bay, and the AFC East.  Most likely, the status quo will remain.  The NFC East plays the NFC West too, so there will be some easy games to pad the record and throw a little perfume on the mediocrity.  

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