• Fortunately, some of the Giants came to Colonel Tom’s defense. This is a good: you’d be worried if the G-Men pulled a Yankees-with-A-Rod and were like, “That’s between Jeremy and Tom.” But it looks like they jumped to defend him, showing that they realize the importance of staying unified behind the coach. Tiki, the guy who brought “outcoached” into the lexicon, said that the team’s morale is “solid. It is very decent. Mainly because we have a good leader in Coach Coughlin.”
  • Mike Garafolo on the Tim Lewis press conference. It remains pretty confounding that the defense has been so bad. According to Secondary Coach Peter Giunta, when it comes to the D-backs, “It’s more mental than physical.” I guess that’s better than if our guys just weren’t very good. It somewhat explainable, too, if not acceptable: three out of the four starters in the secondary are new to the starting Giant defensive backfield.
  • Another article about communication problems in the secondary. After last Sunday’s embarrassing performance, during which the Seahawks receivers found themselves wide open on at least four touchdowns, it certainly seems like something that needs to be addressed. Strangely, the Giants are citing the off-season loss of… Brent Alexander(!) as a big factor in their defensive confusion. Apparently, Alexander, despite his declining physical skills, was very knowledgeable about Tim Lewis’ defense and would direct his secondary-mates before the snap. Will Demps, who stepped into Alexander’s role this year, is new to the system, and admitted that he hasn’t done the best job of quarterbacking the secondary. It’s been a bad start, but look at it this way: there are a lot of things about this team that you can reasonably expect will substantially improve as the year goes on.
  • Carlos Emmons is out 3-4 weeks with a partially torn pec. This guy hasn’t been able to stay on the field, and at this point, I’d rather just see what Gerris Wilkinson can do. If not Wilkinson, Brandon Short is a solid option. I have to say, I’d be somewhat disappointed if Emmons regains his starting job when he comes back – he’s a fine player, but there’s no reason not to think that he won’t just get injured again.
  • If you want to look through it, here’s the complete transcript of the interviews with the positional coaches. If you don’t want to look through it, Ralph Vacchiano pulls out some excerpts. Bill Sheridan, the linebackers coach, spends every single question on LaVar. Let me ask you this, though: If Antonio Pierce had been the marquee free agent this year and LaVar was the guy that had the good year last year, wouldn’t people be all over Pierce like they are LaVar? I mean, it’s not as if LaVar’s the only guy on the defense who’s not setting the world on fire.
  • Scrolling down a bit, one of the reporters asked a good question about Corey Webster’s difficulties playing the ball, as evidenced by the touchdown surrendered to Brown in the Eagle game, and against Jackson in the Seattle game. Good question: I thought Will Allen and his horrific ball-skills went to Miami? Besides, I thought Webster, a former wide receiver, was supposed to be really good at playing the ball.
  • And finally, the interview with the special teams coach reminded me of something I’ve been thinking: Have you noticed that our wedge on kickoff returns doesn’t get out in front of the returner sufficiently? It seems like Morton has to run laterally for far too long in order to get into the wedge before he heads up-field. Our poor return game is hard to fathom since we were so good in this area last year. According to FootballOutsiders, our kick return game is the 6th worst in the league with a -1.7 DVOA. Our punt return game is below average too, with a DVOA of -0.6. Overall, our special teams ranks 18th in the NFL with a -0.9%. It hasn’t been disastrous, but it certainly hasn’t been a strength like it was last year, when we posted a 4.4% DVOA, 2nd in the league.
  • If you haven’t seen this on Deadspin yet, Bob Whitfield is a Suzy Kolber fan.
  • Strahan’s not worried about the lack of sacks; he even contends that the front four “played very well” against Seattle. This doesn’t really seem accurate: Hasselbeck had all sorts of time in the pocket. It also flies in the face of Tim Lewis himself saying, “We’re not getting nearly as much pressure on the quarterback as we need to.” Of course, it’s hard to get a clear take on the pass-rush because the secondary has been so terrible. On the other hand, that goes both ways.
  • Michael David Smith says that Tim Lewis needs to get creative in finding ways to get to the quarterback. He puts the Giants pass-rushing difficulties into stark clarity with the following statistic: “Big Blue’s ratio of one sack for every 59.5 pass attempts is by far the worst in the NFL, and it is light years behind the team’s performance last year, when they had 41 sacks in 580 attempts, or one for every 14 passes.”
  • Ernie Palladino says the Giants have just concluded a week of practice “that included two ‘unity’ speeches by Coughlin, a load of introspection, and two hard practices stressing fundamentals with a hopeful feeling.” Later in the article, he says the Giants worked a lot on red-zone situations. The Giants red-zone defense has been bad, 8th worst in the league, with opponents scoring eight touchdowns in twelve trips (66.7%). Offensively, they’re 4 for 5 (80%).
  • Thanks to the bye-week, Plax’s back has had time to heal. His back had anything to do with the three horrendous mistakes in last Sunday’s game (the push-off, the fumble, and the dropped pass that became an interception), but it’s good that the injury won’t be an issue like it could have been had he continued to push it.
  • The Giants coaching staff continues to resist the no-huddle, giving the rationale that being in the shotgun limits what they want to do in the running game with Tiki. The way I see it, however, is that Tiki is really good at running traps and draw plays out of the shotgun. When he is in space, with a moment to read the field, he is awesome. I really think we should give more serious consideration to the no-huddle as a viable option, especially because Eli is such a rhythm passer.
  • There are rumblings that R.W. will replace Madison as the starting corner (look at the end of the article). Madison is really struggling, that’s for sure.