Why the once disciplined Tom Coughlin coaching perception, is proving otherwise in recent years.
By Vincent Rapisardi
Sports fans love to categorize. Whether it’s the “dome team,” the “ground and pound offense,” or the “game manager” at quarterback. That’s just what fans do.
It has a lot to do with identity, something every team wants.
The New York Giants identity centers around being a first-class organization, known for its defense, and good run game historically.
Tom Coughlin’s identity as a head coach has been one of discipline and no nonsense. But is that identity just a false perception at this point?
The Giants fell to the New York Jets in a meaningless preseason game by a final of 28-18 on Saturday night, but the same confusion and lackluster play on the field is making a consistent appearance on game-day.
First, they’re an extremely slow starting football team. Reminiscent of last season, when they were shutout in the first quarter six times, and scored ten points or less in the first half seven times. An early hole that warrants a comeback on a consistent basis.
In the past we’ve seen them overcome those obstacles, most recent in their 2011 championship season, when Eli Manning threw an NFL record 15 fourth-quarter touchdowns. But consistently relying on coming back in a game, is not the way for consistent success.
Another alarming number, is the turnover differential for Coughlin coached teams of late. In four of the last six seasons, the Giants have finished with a negative number in the turnover margin. Not to a mention a 2013 season, where they were second worst in the league.
An affective run game is also a sign of a more disciplined football team, considering to have a good run game you must have a good offensive line. Being good in the trenches whether on the offensive or defensive side of the football, is always an easy recipe for success.
Well, the Giants have ranked 28th or worse in yards per carry three of the last four seasons. That perception and identity of the team historically having a great run game, is beginning to dwindle.
Putting numbers aside for now, you’ve watched this team. Put down your hat and jersey for a moment and step away. Evaluate them for a second, before you go fanboy on me.
They look confused. The offensive line is penetrated by the opposing defensive line on routine run plays. Without Jon Beason, the defense is lacking leadership, and any sense of defensive concept.
We saw multiple times in saturday’s game, where cornerbacks didn’t set the edge, and allowed Jets running backs to run right around them – cough, cough, Jayron Hosley. We saw the same happen on a Zac Stacy screen play, that resulted in a 24-yard touchdown. Nobody stayed home on that side of the field, and it resulted in a big play.
I understand the youth and new personal being injected into this roster, but they look out-coached, and have looked that way for years now.
The ticked off Coughlin on the sideline raising his arms after every penalty, drop pass, breakdown in coverage, and turnover, is getting old. The so-called “disciplined” Coughlin coached teams, are looking like a thing of the past at this moment. From what we’ve seen so far this preseason, I don’t see the recent trend of poor play ending anytime soon.
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