Giants need passion and wins in second half
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Heading into the second half of what has been a disappointing season, the New York Giants need a lot more than consistency on offense and fewer big plays allowed on defense.
Defensive captain Antrel Rolle wants more fight and more passion.
Quarterback Eli Manning would like to see the plays that the Giants run so easily in practice, run the same way in games.
Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. would settle for everyone simply making plays.
Whatever the Giants (3-5) are missing, they have to find it, and soon. They have been blown out in three straight games and the time to make a playoff push is running out as they prepare for Sunday’s game in noisy Seattle against the Super Bowl champion Seahawks (5-3).
A day after the Giants dropped a 40-24 decision to the Indianapolis Colts, Rolle complained about the Giants’ lack of passion in the Monday night game.
”… I just think that’s something we’re missing a lot,” Rolle said in the interview of WFAN. ”On our sideline it’s very dead. Throughout the course of a game it’s dead. We need a pulse.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn’t have an issue with Rolle’s comments.
”What is Antrel’s interpretation of that, I am not sure,” Coughlin said Wednesday. ”I know he is an emotional guy and he does wear his emotions on his sleeve. He is a passionate young man. Not all people are the same. I think our preparation last week was certainly good.
”I thought that the idea of playing hard, not looking at the scoreboard, staying with it and working as hard as we could, I think, for the most part, we did that. It wasn’t a `rah-rah’ situation most of the time on the sideline, but people were into the game and they were playing hard.”
Middle linebacker Jameel McClain wasn’t going to disagree with Rolle.
”Whatever Antrel Rolle sees, I take it as a challenge, for us to step it up, for me to give more,” McClain said.
The defense certainly has to pick it up. It allowed Andrew Luck and Colts to post eight plays of 20 yards or more on Monday night, and it has allowed more than 400 yards five times this season.
Defensive end Robert Ayers believes Rolle is right about the lack of passion.
”It is easy to be intense when things are good, but when things are bad, we still have to keep it going,” Ayers said. ”It starts with the players, it starts with the coaches and we just have to keep fighting and keep wanting it, it will come. When you lose, it is tough, but we have to keep working at it, and it will all come.”
Manning insisted the Giants are hurting themselves with their lack of execution and mistakes.
”We’ve got to keep working,” Manning said. ”We have some different guys in there than we did at the start of the season. We’ve got some new receivers playing and we can do some good things. I think we can make some plays. We are not executing every play like we need to. Sometimes the defense has a great call, sometimes they win, but we are letting them win too many times.”
Manning said the only thing he is focused on now is winning and ending the Giants’ slide.
The one positive that has come out of the slide has been the play of Beckham. The Giants’ first-round draft choice had a career night catching eight passes for 156 yards, including a 59-yard catch and run that set up New York’s first touchdown.
Beckham said he is taking his lead from Manning. The two-time Super Bowl MVP isn’t giving up and neither is Beckham.
”It is just one of those things where other guys, myself included, we all need to step up and come together as a team and decide – at the end of the day, you determine your own destiny,” Beckham said.
”We need to decide how we want to finish these last couple games and I think there is no other reason but to finish them all with wins.”
NOTES: Coughlin said LG Weston Richburg is making progress after spraining his ankle on Monday night. … Starting RB Rashad Jennings (knee) did not practice, so it seems iffy that he will play Sunday. … DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) is starting to work out lightly. He was inactive on Monday. … The Giants plan to practice on Thursday and Friday with noise in an effort to simulate the Seattle crowd.
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