- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- The New York Giants have been called for a lot of penalties during the preseason: 39 to be exact, for a total of 343 yards.
That’s not good.
More specifically, it’s all his team’s illegal hands to the face penalties that really have coach Tom Coughlin peeved.
“We have to clean up the hands to the face,” Coughlin said during his Saturday conference call. “The hands in the face is a foul. I don’t care what else is said -- that is not up to some official to decide whether or not it happened or it didn’t happen. Once the official sees that, it is just a penalty. There is no sense in complaining about that one.”
Coughlin, though, has taken issue with some of the illegal contact calls, which are a point of emphasis for officiating crews this season.
“The one that is difficult right now is the illegal contact when in fact there isn’t any disruption in the receiver’s route or whatever after five yards. It is just the casual contact that occurs when the athletes turn to run or turn to run in one direction or one breaks in a direction and the other is a little bit behind and there is a little bit of contact when they maneuver through that space or area. And we have to get a handle on that as well.”
The Giants have totaled 23 penalties in their past two games -- the same number as their opponents.
“The numbers that people use for goals are far, far less than what you are seeing called,” Coughlin said. “It is a true concern. It is something that it’s down to one preseason game. The way it has been explained to us by the interested parties throughout the league coming down from the officiating department and on is that we all -- the officials, the coaches, the players and the people in the review boxes -- have all got to see things the same way. We are still trying to analyze and figure that out.
"Some of these fouls when you look at it from the standpoint of your team, you don’t think are anything but incidental-contact-type things. You could say that is because you are talking about your team. Well, OK, I accept that and am making no excuses for it. I want that area to be cleaned up and I want it to be cleaned up now. I am disappointed with our guys regarding the hands to the face. It is crazy. You know it is going to be called. You cannot afford [it]. Do not put yourself in that position. We will keep working at it.”
More from Coughlin:
Coughlin has liked what he has seen from wide receiver Corey Washington, who has amassed four touchdown catches during the preseason. Washington, who is trying to make the team, has certainly excelled. “Any time anybody plays in a superb fashion, it gets your attention,” Coughlin said. “He has certainly been a big part of any type of fourth-quarter success that we have had. You acknowledge the fact that the young man has made progress and, of course, he has one area that he has done very well and this is he will go up and get the ball. That is very noticeable.”