EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn all met with the media Thursday. Here’s some of the highlights of what they had to say as the Giants prepare to face the Bengals on Sunday.
• The Giants offense has struggled in recent weeks, putting up back-to-back underwhelming efforts against the Cowboys and Steelers. The offensive coordinator acknowledged that not having wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw healthy has affected the offense.
“You have, these are the plays you like, and you like them because your players perform them, and defensively, this is what they’re vulnerable at,” Gilbride said. “The problem is now, certain guys can’t do those things, even though you intellectually say, that’s the way the scheme (works) and they’re vulnerable. It’s good, but guess what, he can’t do it. Whether it’s through injury or a guy that does different things well, there’s no question that it impacts, no question about it.”
• Eli Manning has come under fire recently for his play, as he has thrown just one touchdown in the past 14 quarters and has struggled in the past three games. Gilbride wanted to take some of the heat off his quarterback for the team’s stagnant offensive play.
“He gets way too much credit when things go well; he gets way too much blame when things don’t go well because that position only performs as well as the guys around them. It’s not just him, it’s all of us, trust me,” Gilbride said. “We all have to do a better job. Of course, it falls on my shoulders. We need to make sure we get those guys in position, that we’re asking them to do things where they can be successful.”
• Tom Coughlin ripped the Giants' rush defense in Sunday’s loss, saying the defense looked soft. The defensive coordinator pointed to lapses in fundamentals
“I thought that we didn’t shed well and we didn’t tackle well. That was my impression of how we played,” Fewell said. “We could’ve tackled a hell of a lot better. We could’ve shed a hell of a lot better in that football game to make some football plays."
• The current Giants defense might not be a throwback to the Giants defense of the 1980s, but Fewell believes this group embodies what a Giants defense has historically represented.
“Eleven to the ball, hard-hitting defense. Never say die,” Fewell said. “Obviously, we want to take the football away, turn the football over. We want to be relentless in our pursuit and swarm to the football.”
• After getting gashed by the Steelers in the return game last Sunday, the Giants special teams unit was not too pleased with its effort.
“We’re (ticked) about that. The defense bailed us out, take our hats off to them, but we have to do our job,” Quinn said. “We didn’t do our job, we weren’t physical enough, weren’t fast enough down the field and we didn’t get off any blocks.”
• Quinn is pleased with the job Rueben Randle has done as the team’s punt returner, but would also like to see some more aggressiveness. Randle has just 10 returns on the season for 69 yards, compared to 12 fair catches. The team averages 6.7 yards per punt return.