Giants respond to A.J. Green criticism
The Giants are one of the most storied franchises in the league, so excuse them if they refuse to indulge in trash talk after Bengals’ wideout A.J. Green declared New York’s secondary has “big holes.”
Safety Antrel Rolle, never one to back down from a confrontation, verbal or otherwise, actually wanted no part of the banter. Rolle even agreed with Green’s assertion — to a point.
“I think every defense has holes in it. If our defense has holes in it, then he shouldn’t have a problem exploiting it,” said Rolle. “I’ll let my pads do the talking on Sunday. That’s how I approach the game. That’s how we approach the game, and if he sees me he better duck.”
Green, a second-year wideout, has been making opposing defenses duck for cover during his brief career. The first-round pick leads the team with 51 receptions, 735 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012.
“He’s a very good player, capable of big plays, [who] seems to be on the other end of a lot of [deep passing plays],” Coughlin said, noting he wasn’t in agreement with Green about the holes in his secondary.
“You can’t make a generalization. You have to look at the individual play and then you can comment on it,” Coughlin said. “The one the other day [against the Steelers], we actually had four guys that should’ve had [wideout Mike Wallace] in a circle, but he came roaring out of there, and nobody seemed to move fast enough to be in position to cut him off. … There is a different reason for everything.”
Whatever the reason for the Giants’ breakdowns, expect the Bengals (3-5) to continue their aggressive passing ways, especially against a Giants’ secondary that currently ranks 26th in the league, allowing 264.4 yards per game. Dalton has attempted 285 passes, which doubles the 142 rushing attempts by running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
Dalton has surpassed the 300-yard plateau three times this season, including the league’s 11th-best performance this season when he passed for 381 yards a month ago against the Browns.
While Dalton-to-Green is the offense’s linchpin combination, Rolle said there are actually more weapons to deal with, so they can’t totally focus on corralling the wideout.
“Yeah, [Green] has most of their touches, but at the same time I think they have a lot of weapons offensively,” said Rolle. “Their slot receiver [Rutgers’ rookie standout Mohamed Sanu] is awesome. I think [Jermaine] Gresham at tight end, and you have Green-Ellis running the ball, so they definitely have a lot of weapons. … Limiting A.J. Green would definitely help, but they definitely have a lot of weapons.”
As for limiting Green’s mouth, Rolle said hopefully that comes in due time.
“He’s a great receiver, [and] you can’t take anything from A.J. Green. I think he’s definitely the best player on the offensive side of the ball. He makes a number of plays for them and I think his relationship with Dalton is something special, [but] at the same time I don’t really worry too much about what he says. … I’m going to play my responsibility and if I get a chance, I’m coming across. The game has to be played on Sunday, and we’ll play it, and we’ll see come Sunday.”
Big Blue notes
» The Giants’ secondary might be undermanned heading into Cincinnati, as cornerback Michael Coe is dealing with a hamstring issue. He didn’t practice on Thursday and Coughlin said he’s not sure about Coe’s availability for Friday’s session either.
» Three other players didn’t practice on Thursday, including right guard Chris Snee (ankle), safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee).
Middle linebacker Chase Blackburn (hamstring) participated in practice and may make his return, Sunday.
Snee has missed just one game in the last eight seasons, so if he can’t go, tackle David Diehl may move inside and start in his place. Sean Locklear, whom Diehl replaced at right tackle, would resume his old spot.
Besides Blackburn, five others were limited in practice, including running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), defensive tackle Chris Canty (groin), wideout Hakeem Nicks (knee), center David Baas (ankle/elbow) and tight end Bear Pascoe (ankle).
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.