The Giants have lost a lot of things already this young season, including Brandon Jacobs’ helmet. The locker room, though, is not one of them.
Coach Tom Coughlin sat down with Antrel Rolle after the free safety lashed out at the coaching staff on Monday. Coughlin said Rolle now “fully understands better the circumstances” of what it takes to be a leader for Big Blue.
“There is strength and leadership in all three of our captains and I count on those guys to be the communicators with our team,” Coughlin said of Eli Manning, Justin Tuck and Chase Blackburn. “And I’m sure as the relationships get stronger between the new guys and the guys that have been here, then I think some of those things can be worked out.”
The Giants had a leadership council in the past but eliminated it this season.
“At this point in time, I feel good about that,” he said. “I did not feel that the leadership council a year ago was as effective as it’s been in the past.”
Coughlin was more perplexed at the sudden discontent from his players – something that hasn’t reared its head since winning the Super Bowl three seasons ago.
“I’m not sure,” he said when asked why the sudden chirping. “I think once the conversations have been accomplished between me and the players, it is well understood by everyone that whatever those issues are, they should be discussed internally.”
He later added there’s a certain process in becoming a valid voice in the locker room.
“We are always looking for guys who are strong and who will lend to the leadership process,” said Coughlin. “You cannot do it just as a captain. You have to have an outstanding group around you. Before you can be a great leader, though, you’ve got to be a great follower.”
Manning said he’s also confident the Giants are once again on the same page and have the proper leadership to get them out its current rut.
“I think we have good leadership on this team. Guys like myself, Justin Tuck, Chase Blackburn, the offensive line or anyone who has been here — or even Antrel himself,” said Manning. “Sometimes you’re going to have a loss and you can’t start blaming things and making excuses. We have a long season and we have to get back to just playing football.”
Manning agreed with Coughlin that the leadership council was kind of overrated and he’s just anxious to be done with the topic of discontent and re-focus on the upcoming opponent.
“I don’t think the leadership council had a whole lot of responsibility in the past anyway,” he said. “I don’t think it made a big difference in the past. I think we have great leaders on this team and you don’t have to be voted on a council to be a leader. We just need everyone to step up … it’s how you get back up and respond the next week and how you go back out there on Sunday and play.”