Justin Tuck wants team to focus

Updated: November 21, 2012, 10:11 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

The New York Giants haven't lost any confidence despite not having played their best football for over a month.

In fact, if anything, Justin Tuck thinks the defending champs might have been too confident and "borderline cocky," even amid a two-game slide.

When asked whether the Giants have lost any confidence in recent weeks, Tuck said the team needs to focus more.

"Not confidence, just maybe a little focus," Tuck said. "We lost a little focus, and I think everybody on this team feels that we can be the best team in the league when we're playing our style of football."

"We have to find a way to get back to playing [better] because it's going to be needed leading up to these next weeks," Tuck added. "But confidence, naw, I think we've always been very confident. Sometimes maybe too confident -- borderline cocky a little bit. But our confidence will never be ... I don't think it will ever waver on this team."

As the Giants (6-4) returned from their bye-week break on Monday, players and coaches huddled together and went over ways to spark a struggling offense and strengthen a defense that has had several breakdowns.

But perhaps more than anything, the Giants say they need to slightly alter their mental approach.

"I think at times we got a little complacent," wide receiver Victor Cruz said in his weekly interview on WFAN radio on Tuesday. "At times, we felt that no matter what happens, no matter where we get the football and catch the football, as a receiver no matter where we cut our route or no matter what depth, we are going to catch the ball and everything will be good. That wasn't the case, and we learned that the hard way."

"We have to just keep getting better," Cruz added. "I don't think we got cocky."

Tom Coughlin said his players went through a "debriefing process" on Monday to brainstorm and air out any issues they believe are holding the Giants back as they enter a difficult six-game stretch.

"We spent a lot of time on the mental part right now," Coughlin said in an interview on WFAN radio on Tuesday. "We have had some debriefing process and they had a chance to clear the air of anything that was on their mind. We are calling it a six-game season."

In order to defend their Super Bowl and NFC East titles, the Giants will have to survive a post-bye schedule that includes the Packers, at Redskins, Saints, at Falcons, at Ravens and Eagles.

The Giants say they need to start focusing on little things to avoid breakdowns on defense and stalling out in the red zone.

"We spoke about it yesterday," safety Antrel Rolle said in his weekly spot on WFAN radio on Tuesday. "I think it is better when we pay attention to the minor details in each and every phase of practice and the game. Just the little things will be the things that carry us over."

The Giants haven't played their best football since a 26-3 win in San Francisco on Oct. 14. After that, they needed a late 77-yard bomb to escape with a win over Washington, and Dez Bryant's fingertips to land out of bounds on a potential game-winning touchdown to outlast Dallas.

"We have been down this road before," Tuck said of the Giants winning six straight games last year to win the Super Bowl. "I know the leadership, and the veteran guys know what we are up against. We have come out of these situations on top more than not.

"But every year is different," he added. "We can't rely on the fact that we have the experience of being in these situations. We have to go out and play the game and play it at a high level to be successful."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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