Notebook: Defense, rallying and Eli

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
7:14
PM ET
It all comes back to the injuries for the Giants defense.

Only this time, it's the in-season injuries that are affecting the team.

On his weekly radio spot on WFAN, Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said that he thinks the inability for the team to consistently field the same starting 11 players has been a key reason why the team's defense has struggled so mightily. The defensive end also acknowledged the players the team lost before the season.

"I think a lot of it has a lot to do with being in a rhythm. Understanding how certain people play. Corey (Webster) plays cover 2 differently than Prince (Amukamara) might play it. Antrel (Rolle) wants to come down in the box and fill differently than Deon (Grant). I play (a play) different than Dave Tollefson," Tuck said on Monday. "Having that opportunity to play with these guys week in and week out and getting that continuity back would be a plus and I think that has definitely hurt."

The Giants defense is one of the worst units in the league, ranked 28th in yards allowed per game while giving up the fifth-most points in the league. While the team has been dealt injuries, it returned a majority of starters from last year and the same defensive coordinator that had the team as a top-10 defense last season. Tuck said he thinks the Giants have been schemed against well this year.

"The calls (defensive coordinator Perry Fewell) is making are similar to everything he did last year," Tuck said on WFAN. "Just it's not clicking as well, maybe offenses are doing a better job of knowing what we would like to do and taking precautions to make sure we can't get in those situations."

RALLYING AROUND PEER PRESSURE? Peer pressure usually gets a negative connotation. For Giants coach Tom Coughlin, he wishes there was more of it when it comes to passing down and understand the importance of playing great football down the stretch. And he hopes that it rubs off on his team and can galvanize them.

"I think you have strengths in people to be looked at in terms of how to prepare and how they play the game. And hopefully there’s enough of that that everyone rallies around it right now," Coughlin said. "And I think we will. I think there will be a unified commitment to playing well together. There’s no finger pointing. There’s none of that. There’s plenty of blame to go around."

ELI'S GOT THEIR BACK: Say this about Eli Manning: he's never going to throw his teammates under the bus. While there's question about whether Rolle took a dig at Amukamara following Sunday's game, Manning compliment his receivers that struggled against Washington.

"I appreciate the way they are competing when they are out there and they want to do the right things. They are playing great football and sometimes you don’t catch many breaks and you have some weird plays that get intercepted," Manning said on Monday. "It is unfortunate but I think guys will have the mindset to come back. They have that out of their system and they will continue to improve and play at a high level."

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