Coughlin not playing the blame game - Metro US

Coughlin not playing the blame game

Somewhere DeSean Jackson just scored again on the Giants.

That’s what the Giants’ faithful must still feel like after that dizzying performance by their defense in Sunday’s wild 45-38 shootout loss to the Eagles.

The diminutive Jackson ran roughshod en route to 261 total yards, including 178 receiving, and two touchdowns.

“I thought we had a winning performance on offense,” coach Tom Coughlin said yesterday, “but not a winning performance on defense [or] special teams.”

When you allow 384 yards of offense, 30 first-half points and a back-breaking 60-yard touchdown just two plays after your offense gave you the lead, someone needs to be at fault. Fingers outside the locker room point at first-year defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan.

The defense ranks 28th in the NFL in scoring, including three 40-point games. Still, it’s not enough to get Sheridan canned with three games left.

“I let him know my support for him and I also let him know that it has to be better,” Coughlin said. “The inconsistency part of it is disturbing, let’s face it. Six big play passes and three big play runs, you are not going to beat anybody like that.”

Sheridan’s defensive players also have his back and basically said the players play, coaches coach.

“We have all the confidence in Coach Sheridan,” cornerback Terrell Thomas said. “He is a great coach. Obviously, it’s his first year and everybody is tough on him. But at the same time we are professionals and we have to execute our jobs and do it. It’s not always on him. He can call the right plays, but if we don’t execute it, there is nothing he can do.”

Despite the troubling stats, they insist the gaudy stats aren’t indicative of their performance. They have
these last three weeks to dispel the notion that they are the weak unit.

“I haven’t been able to put my finger on (the defensive problems) all year, to be honest with you,” said defensive end Osi Umenyiora. “It’s always something. It seems like (Sunday night) it was big plays. I don’t know man, it’s ridiculous, but we have to find a way to fix it.”

Umenyiora certainly wasn’t alone in being disappointed in their play but defensive lineman Mathias Kiwanuka said he feels the Giants actually have time left to work through their defensive malaise.

“It’s definitely a cause for concern and it’s disappointing,” Kiwanuka said. “But at this point in the season there is still a lot left, we are still in it, so we are going to make the corrections and move on.”

The notion Sheridan should be fired is beyond the realm of possibility in the Giants locker room.

“We have 100 percent faith in him,” Kiwanuka said. “He knows Xs and Os better than a lot of people in this league and has given us an opportunity to play and put us in position to win games and we haven’t done it.”

– Right tackle Kareem McKenzie suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee. “They are saying (he will be sidelined) a couple weeks,” Coughlin said. “We will have to wait and see. He has been a characteristically fast healer, but I don’t know how that will be. I am hoping that he comes back faster.”

– Cornerback Corey Webster has a less severe knee injury and Coughlin said Webster would be “day to day.”

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