Tom Coughlin in unusually chipper mood following time off

Tom Coughlin was not happy with his team's turnover issues Sunday night. Credit: Getty Images
Tom Coughlin has never been known as a coach to make jokes about his team.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants got some much needed days off following their Thursday night game, and judging by head coach Tom Coughlin’s mood, the time away from football did everyone some good.

Monday’s practice session was as lively and competitive as it’s been all season, according to the coach. But more promising than the good workout was everyone’s disposition, as Coughlin noted that enthusiasm rang throughout the locker room.

Coughlin, who can be as surly and guarded as any coach in the league, began his media session with some lighthearted preordained answers like, “Yes,” “No,” “I don’t know any more than you do” and “We’ll see,” before he could be asked about the team’s mindset, injuries or 0-6 record.

The usually staid coach even had one-liners about the way he spent his weekend, saying he “went for a long walk on Saturday and thought the leaves were nice. … Someone told me they change this time of year.”

The change in foliage might’ve been nice, but for Coughlin, the fact there wasn’t any change in his players’ attitudes was even more impressive.

“They came back and they jumped right into the meeting room. They jumped into the weight room,” Coughlin said. “This has been a pretty good practice today, so I think it was a nice break for them, which is the advantage of a Thursday night game.”

The result of Thursday’s loss to the Bears not only pinned the Giants deeper into the dregs of the league standings, but it also shortened their running back rotation. Brandon Jacobs, who was already starting in place of the injured David Wilson (neck), sat out Monday’s practice with a bum hamstring. Coughlin acknowledged that Jacobs, who was wearing a large leg wrap, sat out merely for “cautionary” reasons and is “hopeful” to get his veteran running back for Thursday’s session. The Giants will be off both Tuesday and Wednesday, so the extra rest should benefit Jacobs.

While sitting at his locker fielding questions, because he was too banged up to stand, Jacobs shared Coughlin’s optimistic approach, noting no one on the team has given up hope.

“There’s nobody in this locker room that wants to be anywhere else but here,” Jacobs said when asked if he thought the swirling trade rumors had any merit.

Wideout Hakeem Nicks, who may be the biggest name on the roster whose name has been included in such rumors, said he’s onboard with this team until told otherwise.

“There are no quitters in here,” Nicks said. “To get a chance to renew your mind a little bit, and I think that’s what everybody tried to do. It’s good for everybody to get away for a little bit and come back with a mindset ready to work. … We know the situation that’s at hand. We’ve got to change the situation. The future lies in our hands. We got a 10-game stretch. We can make [do with it]. We’ve just got to focus on what we need to focus on, don’t listen to the outside talk and no offense to anyone, just focus on what we need to do.”

“Are we still playoff-bound, who knows? But that’s not the most important thing,” said safety Antrel Rolle. “The most important thing is that we stick together … and find a way out of this.”

Big Blue notes …

» Nicks said he’s living and playing for the moment right now and can’t be worried about the swirling trade rumors. The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29, and with roughly two more weeks of such watercooler talk, Nicks said he’s only focused on being a Giant and helping them end their losing streak. He acknowledged he hasn’t “gotten a whiff” of trade talks from other teams, and added that if there were talks, he thinks the Giants organization would “respect” him enough to come to him if there was anything brewing.

“Business is business [but] I’m a Giant right now,” said Nicks. “I’m going to enjoy it. … I love playing for the Giants. I’m a Giant right now. I’m gonna stand strong with that. That’s the only thing I can focus on right now. I can’t really control no rumors.”

» Tight end Adrien Robinson (foot) practiced for the first time all season.

» Safety Cooper Taylor (shoulder) and cornerbacks Jayron Hosley (hamstring) and Corey Webster (groin) did not practice on Monday.

» Center David Baas (neck) did some stretching with the team, as well as individual work on the side.

» The Giants have five running backs on the roster, but all with varying degrees of availability. Wilson is currently in California getting a second opinion on his injured neck. Andre Brown is still at least two weeks away from returning. And both Da’Rel Scott (knee) and Jacobs are banged-up and did not practice. Meanwhile, rookie tailback Michael Cox and fullback John Connor were the only available healthy backs for practice today.

Coughlin said as well as Cox has performed in practices at times, he still may not be ready for prime time just yet.

“He obviously has a lot going, but there are some things that I think right now we feel good about,” said Coughlin. “There are other things not so [good], and we’re working on the not-so. … He’s young. It [the playbook] is sophisticated and complex the things that are thrown at him, particularly in the protection area, so you’ve got to be careful [in playing him in actual games].”

Cox’s thoughts about any availability for Monday night’s game against the Vikings was slightly contrary to Coughlin’s message.

“Yes, I’ve been told that [to be ready to play],” said Cox, who added he thinks he did a lot of good in today’s practice to help his cause. “It was a little bit strange being the only back out there. But I feel I put in some good work today.”

» Big Blue is struggling in many statistical categories. The Giants are ranked 30th or worse in 10 different categories, including last in interceptions per pass attempt, sacks per pass play and points allowed. Their highest league rankings are sixth in gross punting average, tied for seventh in fourth-down efficiency and eighth in passing yards per game.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

National Guard to withdraw from riot-torn Ferguson, Missouri

By Carey Gillam and Scott MaloneFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The governor of Missouri ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of National Guard troops from riot-torn Ferguson,…

National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…