The general consensus has been that too many are tired of hearing the New York Giants talk about “next man up.” Unfortunately, what else is an injury-plagued team going to say?
Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride addressed the decimation (again) of the run game and the week 6 approach.
“No different than the whole season. We’ve been playing it out that way. We’ve had a lot of changing parts, a new tackle, new guard, new center, new tight end, new back in three times over the last three weeks. It’s just part of what we’ve had to deal with,” he told Giants.com. “The good thing is there’s been no discouragement. There’s been disappointment and guys are hanging in there, working hard. I haven’t been disappointed at all with their effort. The problem is it manifests itself on Sundays, you make too many mistakes.
You have to somehow reduce that. You play well, you’re doing some good things, you take the opening drive, come right down and score. You take the next drive, you’re coming down to the 26, you look like you’re going to put it in. All of a sudden a slip, an intentional ground, somebody jumping offsides, and then that set the tempo until the third quarter. Yeah, you’re still in it and then all of a sudden you make a couple of turnovers and the game gets out of reach. That’s really been the story of our season so far. We just have to stop those things, which is difficult, but when you have as many new parts as we have, it’s particularly so.”
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell had a bit of a different answer when asked about the ongoing injuries.
“Sometimes it’s not by choice. We’ve had some injuries, but we would like to have more consistency there. That would be ideal, but football is not ideal," he said.
Now sitting at 0-6 on the season with 11 days to pass before hitting the gridiron again, there will be more changes to come, for sure. One will not be “benching” the signal-caller. Head coach Tom Coughlin continually lets the Eli critics know that he still has faith in his quarterback. Can we squash that “argument”?
“You continue to support him, to point out the issues, to try to understand how it happened, so it doesn’t happen again. You coach him, just like you coach anybody who’s had some issues”, Coughlin said post-game Thursday. “He’s trying as hard as he can to stay away from interceptions as well, but you’re not going to go back to not throwing the football. That’s not something that’s going to happen. He’s been too successful for so many years throwing the ball. Not that we want to throw it for a receding number, of course not. That’s the one thing we tried to do tonight was have some balance and some run game, thinking we probably could get some play action and offer that. We had some runs, but we still had some issues. We have to continue to work with the receivers, the quarterbacks, the protection and all those things to try to eliminate that.”
The Giants have six players on IR (injured reserve) with running back Andre Brown as another that’s another designated to possibly return, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn still on PUP (physically unable to perform), and have dropped/waived/signed even more since August and safety Stevie Brown’s first went down with his ACL injury. Two more running backs have question marks in their health column: David Wilson and Da’Rel Scott. So at what point is it examined that this “next man up” theory isn’t working this year? Is that part of the mental/physical problem?
Change can be a good thing, but not when it’s so constant that Giants’ equipment director, Joe Skiba has to constantly update team jerseys.
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