The Giants got back to work yesterday, with the Cowboys loss officially in the rearview mirror.
As they now prepare for the upstart Buccaneers, Big Blue is looking to rectify the holes that the Cowboys exploited — starting at the quarterback position.
Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman is every bit as mobile as Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo, who dissected the Giants for over 300 yards.
“It’s very important to not allow the quarterback have access to an escape,” said Coughlin. “We provided Dallas with that opportunity to extend plays, not by design. … Sometimes it’s just the ability of the player [to escape].”
While Freeman isn’t as fast as either Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick or the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Freeman is just as evasive as Romo, only bigger.
“You always want to go against those quarterbacks who are Statues of Liberty in the pocket. That makes things easier,” Justin Tuck said. “But that’s not today’s quarterbacks. Most guys now are mobile — the Romos, Vicks, Cam Newtons and, considering last night’s game, RGIII [Griffin III]. … It’s the way of the world today and us D-linemen have to adjust.”
The Giants seemed well-adjusted following Monday’s session, making Coughlin take note of the team’s focus this early in the week. Immediately following the loss to the Cowboys, the coach lamented how flat his team came out. Tuck even alluded to the fact that maybe the team was wound too tight in trying to play the perfect game under the bright lights of a primetime slot in front of the home crowd, as defending champs.
But after Monday’s practice, Coughlin thinks Big Blue is back on track.
“They came with good energy, looked focused, and practiced faster today,” Coughlin said when asked about Monday’s preparation. “Now we have to maintain it. We need to practice fast and hard all week. … [But] it’s a good start.”
Big Blue notes
»Cornerback Prince Amukamara practiced with the team on a limited basis Monday, just one day after he started to run. Amukamara suffered a high-ankle sprain in the loss to the Cowboys but said he’s “optimistic” he’ll play in the Buccaneers game. The second-year corner has been beset with injuries for most of career, but Coughlin said he’s hoping to see Amukamara improve throughout the week.
»Coughlin didn’t sound worried about safety Kenny Philips, whose back tightened up on him after the Cowboys game. Philips didn’t workout on Monday but Coughlin said he’ll practice on Wednesday.
»Tuck joked that Osi Umenyiora “allowed” him to call Griffin III “RG3” following the rookie’s impressive debut against the Saints: “Or maybe I’ll call him Robert. I hear that’s what he’d rather be called anyway. … Gotta be nice to him. Wouldn’t want to make him mad.”
»Since the Giants had the day off on Sunday, it gave them time to tune into games like the rest of the masses. But for Coughlin, he said he wasn’t watching as a fan, but rather taking notes on his NFC East brethren: “I wasn’t watching for that,” Coughlin said when asked his thoughts on Griffin’s stellar performance. “I only watched a little bit of all the games of teams within our division.”
»Coughlin was also seemingly short on patience when asked his thoughts about the current standings, as every NFC East team but the Giants won their opener: “You can’t lose a game,” Coughlin said. “Everybody is 1-0 and we’re 0-1. But we have another big game this weekend. That’s the great thing about our profession is that we get to suit up and play again.”
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.