- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Giants did some self-evaluating last week during the bye week.
The coaching staff not only took a long hard look at themselves and their players, but they also studied what other teams are doing around the league to see if they can incorporate anything or alter anything schematically.
"What the bye week does is it gives us as players and coaches a chance to do some self-evaluation of players and put players in the best position as possible," Antrel Rolle said in his weekly spot on WFAN radio. "That is what our coaches have done during the bye week. What they will do from this point is put the players in the best position possible."
"I expect there to be some changes throughout this week," Rolle added. "And let’s see where it goes from there."
Whatever changes the Giants make, they shouldn't be anything drastic. Many Giants say they only need to clean up some small things and start focusing even more on the little things. But let's take a stab at some things they can do that could help in the final six games of the season:
The O-line can make Eli's life easier: The Giants can help Eli Manning in many ways. The offensive line needs to give him more time. Judging by all the comments in blogs and on Twitter, fans want to see Sean Locklear replace David Diehl at right tackle. The Giants coaches have defended Diehl and said that the problem is bigger than just one person. We'll see what they do this week with the line.
The offensive line also needs to make life easier for Manning by opening up holes in the running game and making play-action a potent weapon again for the Giants quarterback.
Find a third threat: Hakeem Nicks says he feels as healthy as he has all season. This is a major plus, because the Giants need his playmaking ability to open things up for Victor Cruz. But the Giants also need a third option to emerge on a consistent basis, to go with Nicks and Cruz.
That third threat could be tight end Martellus Bennett. The Giants need to find ways to incorporate Bennett into the offense more if the Black Unicorn is healthy. He scored a touchdown in each of the first three games of the season, but hasn't found the end zone since. Oftentimes, when Manning throws to Bennett, the two don't appear to be on the same page.
Whether it is Bennett, Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden or Rueben Randle, the Giants need a third receiver to win his one-on-one matchups. This should help with third-down efficiency, in the red zone, and potentially help create big passing plays again.
Eliminate defensive breakdowns: There have been too many big plays against the Giants' defense, whether because of shoddy tackling or coverage breakdowns like the one that happened on A.J. Green's 56-yard touchdown in Cincinnati.
Kenny Phillips' impending return should help, but the Giants need to be more disciplined, communicate better, and trust one another on defense. Similar issues happened last year until the Giants cleaned their act up just in time to win six straight games. They need to do this again, before it is too late.
The pass rush also has to be more consistent. And if using Mathias Kiwanuka more up front, or using reserves like Adrian Tracy more will help, then the Giants should do that, as they did in San Francisco.
Use Wilson: While running backs coach Jerald Ingram and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride spelled out all the reasons why rookie David Wilson hasn't been used much thus far, Tom Coughlin says the Giants will find a way to increase the first-round pick's workload.
"We need to get him more involved and we will get him more involved," Coughlin said on WFAN Tuesday.
Wilson may still need to earn the coaches' trust when it comes to protecting Manning, but they have to find a way to get his speed and playmaking ability on the field. Wilson says let's see if he can pick up the blitz by giving him a shot.
Coughlin also wants to revive the kick return game. Earlier this season, Wilson was on the verge of breaking several kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Tell us what you want to see the Giants do differently or better coming out of the bye week below.
2dBy Dan Graziano