Giants fading and close to feuding in bad season

The New York Giants are not only fading in this dismal season,

tempers are getting short.

For the first time – at least publically – a rift could be

developing between the struggling, mistake-prone offense and a

defense that has been asked time and time again to keep the team in

games.

The frustration boiled over Sunday after a 23-0 loss to the

Seattle Seahawks. Safety Antrel Rolle said some teammates lacked

passion, heart and even a pulse, comments clearly directed toward

the offense.

Tight end Brandon Myers later tweeted he was ”cussed out” for

telling people they played well and denied not being

passionate.

”Am I surprised by it? No!” coach Tom Coughlin said of the

rift Monday, a day after the Giants (5-9) were guaranteed their

first losing season since 2004. ”I was surprised by some of what

was made of it. But we have an outstanding group of guys and they

are competitive and it was a difficult loss in a frustrating year,

to be honest with you, and so some of that came out.

”But today is a day of, as I put it, healing again, recognizing

who we are.”

For the record, the Giants are a team that has missed the

playoffs four of the past five seasons. The offense that was

supposed to carry the team has been pathetic. It gained 181 yards

against the league’s top-ranked defense. Two-time Super Bowl MVP

Eli Manning is having one of his worst seasons. He threw a

career-high five interceptions Sunday, pushing his total to 25,

tying his single-season high.

Rolle defended his comments Monday. All the defense wants is to

see the offense as a whole show more fight and passion. He insisted

that he was encouraging them to be better, not seeking to divide

the team.

”I didn’t say anything out of anger,” said Rolle, who has been

the Giants’ best player with a career-high six interceptions and a

team-best 84 tackles. ”I said what I felt needed to be said.”

Myers seemingly took it personally.

”If ppl on this team wanna take shots at me an say I have no

passion they are mistaken,” he tweeted after the game. ”I give

everything I have each an every week.”

Myers was apologetic Monday, noting that he overreacted, got

emotional and hit the button on the tweet before thinking about

what he was saying. He said none of his teammates confronted him

after the game, and called his actions showed poor judgment.

”It was an emotional game and the way we were playing was

frustrating,” Myers said. ”There are better ways to go about it.

Talk about it and be men. Everybody has each other’s backs. We have

to move on. It’s not an issue.”

Being out of the playoffs, the Giants placed a lot of emphasis

on the game, believing it was a way to gain some respect in a bad

season. Instead, they were embarrassed.

Defensive end Justin Tuck, a co-captain along with Rolle,

insisted there wasn’t a divide growing in the locker room.

”We’re all professionals, we understand what our duties are and

what we’re called to do, and when we’re not getting that job done

it needs to be somebody that will light a fire,” he said. ”I

think that’s all that was yesterday.”

The Giants have games at Detroit on Sunday and then home on Dec.

29 against Washington.

Manning hopes the offense can find some answers in the final two

games. The chatter after Sunday’s game didn’t bother him, including

Coughlin calling the offense’s performance `pathetic.’

”There wasn’t anything said that I don’t think that was totally

undeserved,” he said. ”Offensively, I don’t know whatever word

you want to use to describe it is probably pretty accurate. It

wasn’t good. It wasn’t a good outing by us and that’s disappointing

and upsetting.”

NOTES: Coughlin did not have a medical update on receiver Victor

Cruz, who was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion and a

sprained knee. He is 2 yards shy of his third straight 1,000-yard

receiving season. …RB Peyton Hillis also had a concussion.

AP NFL website: -www.pro32.ap.org