GIANTS' MARK HERZLICH: WE'RE STILL BITTER OVER 9 - 7 SEASON
"Once the ticker tape and confetti from the Super
Bowl XLVI parade and following stadium celebration have settled, some
feelings become real again. This reigns true for New York
Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich.
Herzlich maintains clarity on what happened to him and the team during the
2011 regular season, but says the Giants are steadfast in remembering a horrible
four-game losing streak that preempted most media outlets, other teams and even
some Giants fans to write epitaphs on Big Blue prematurely.
“I think that as amazing as last year was there is still a bitter taste in
our mouth from that four game stretch where we lost. Everyone really remembers
that feeling all too well and playing just for survival just to get into the
playoffs and just to do that type of thing, that’s not where we want to be at
half way through the season. We want to put ourselves in position earlier to get
that playoff spot and then to repeat what we did last year at the end of the
season.” Herzlich said in an interview with WEEI in Boston.
#58 is coming into 2012 training camp with more than determination. Mark
will travel up to Albany with the mindset that the starting position of Mike
linebacker is his for the taking.
“It’s mine for the taking,” Herzlich said in April. “I wish the best for
everybody else, but it’s still a competition. I want the team to do well, and if
it’s not the spot that the coaches want me in, then that’s one thing. But the
way I look at it is, there is a place that I can play and I don’t want anyone to
take that away from me.”
From the top—head coach Tom
Coughlin—the feelings trickle down unchanged: The need to improve is always
there. The Giants finished with a 9-7 record. Mark
Herzlich finished his rookie season with 12 tackles recorded in 11 games
played. Both statements clearly share similarities and parallels in the fact
that there’s definite progress to be had according the clipboard agenda for the
virulent G-Men. They’re a resilient bunch that has used the adversity mantra to
death. This time, the playbook seems to have a new play call in it that comes
from unsettled and unresolved feelings about how the players and coaches (as
well as the front office) look back on how 2011 really went down.
Don’t be surprised if the World Champions come out with massive chips on
their shoulders as if they missed the playoffs—and play harder now. They may
seem as if they’ve something to prove to themselves more than any other along