The Giants enter their bye week on a high after fending off the hard-charging Bills Sunday.
But what really had head coach Tom Coughlin’s spirits up is that the Giants may actually have the services of a full roster for the first time all season when they square off against the Dolphins in two weeks.
“We’re very optimistic that we can get some players back. It’ll be a nice boost in the arm,” said the usually-guarded Coughlin, who then quickly shifted back into safe mode. “But I don’t know exactly when we’ll have each individual cleared, but hopefully we’ll be in a position to be where they’ll be able to go.”
Since training camp commenced following the lockout, the Giants have been behind the eight ball due to injuries
Coughlin said while he’s happy the Giants weathered the storm, it was difficult juggling lineups daily while trying to patch together all three units. Because of the mish-mashed roster, it was difficult to really find an identity — particularly on a defense that lost nine regulars.
“Each category — offense, defense and special teams — will have to be able to evaluate and enhance ourselves as we go forward,” Coughlin said. “This week is all about improvement and taking a big hard look at ourselves, not only as players but as coaches.”
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Coughlin said that during his 16 years as head coach the bye week is a good way to tweak things, not do wholesale changes.
“There are a number of things we need to do to keep ourselves in [the same] position of where we are now,” he said, particularly mentioning third-down conversions. “We need to have the ability to recognize that we have a lot more work to do, like stopping the run and stopping the big play. And also do a better job of [pass] protection.”
Feeling good off win
The Giants ended their first half with literally their cleanest performance of their season. Quarterback Eli Manning wasn’t sacked and barely even touched. The offensive line has been inconsistent, but their performance against Buffalo anchored the win.
They were also responsible for opening up a massive hole for running back Ahmad Bradshaw on the game-winning drive, when the then-struggling back scampered 30 yards to put Big Blue in position to take the lead late.
Coughlin said he hopes it was a building block to something bigger and is confident there will be carry-over for the duration.
“The idea of preparation and hunger will continue and it’ll be contagious as we go forward,” Coughlin said. “Everyone was so crisp. I was pleased in how we finished the game. When they watch the tape they’ll obviously see there’s work to do, room to improve, but overall I am pleased.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.