Almost like clockwork, when the calender turns to November you can find the New York Giants having problems on the field. In nine seasons under Tom Coughlin, the Giants are now 13-21 in the November and things do not expect to get any easier as they take on the Green Bay Packers after their bye week.
Former All-Pro wide receiver Cris Carter appeared on ESPN radio Tuesday, and offered an explanation for the winter problems. He blames Coughlin.
“Tom Coughlin runs a very tough program,’’ Carter said. “I believe it’s very taxing, both mentally and physically. I believe they get a good start with the fundamentals because they’re well-coached, I believe that system is taxing on your body and they go through a lull in the season. I believe because it is such a good football team, collection of talent and organization they get it back together at the end of the season when it’s time to potentially make a playoff run.’’
That seems to be a solid answer, but the only problem is this doesn’t explain the Super Bowl runs. If the program is so tiring, then what happens in January? Does Coughlin have some special pill that gives everyone energy all of a sudden?
I don’t buy this. The second half issues are some mental, but mostly due to the fact that the Giants tend to have a tougher schedule after the halfway point. Also contributing to this is the amount of injuries that tend to pile up in the middle of the season for the Giants. They’ve already had several players go down this season, and guys stepping into new roles takes time to adjust.
Osi Umenyiora thinks Carter should be quiet.
“I think Cris Carter doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Umenyiora said in his response on ESPN radio. “He hasn’t been in our locker room, he doesn’t know anything about our culture or the way coach Coughlin coaches now. I mean, he’s probably going off the reputation that was probably 15 years ago.”
“There’s nothing tough about what it is that we do. We practice in shells most of the time, practices aren’t hard, they’re not even long so physically I think we’re ready. I think mentally is where we’re getting beat, we’re not getting beat physically.’’
Whatever the case may be, the Giants need to figure it out and fast. With the Packers, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons still on the schedule, plus divisional games with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants have to be at their best.