Excerpt: "The disgusted members of the Giants defense didn’t need A.J. Green talking on radio yesterday about holes in its secondary to vow redemption and vengeance Sunday against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
It was what their own respected two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach said about them that pierced their hearts and challenged their manhood and awakened their pride.
It also has them champing at the bit to remind the NFL, and Giants fans who expect Carsonian toughness and Tayloresque mayhem, and coach Tom Coughlin himself, that they are nobody’s Mr. Softee.
They have televisions inside the Timex Performance Center, and there was a clip of Coughlin calling them soft against the run, soft against Steelers running back Isaac Redman.
There was, of course, a method to Coughlin’s madness. If he thought his team was fragile, he never would have used the “S” word.
“Actually I saw it on ESPN,” one Giants defensive player said, “and then some of the players got wind of it and stuff. If anybody says that about you, being a competitive person, being a man, that’s not anything positive, or in your favor, so I don’t think it was taken as a compliment.”
It was digested and talked about among the Giants defensive players. It is the ultimate insult to any testosterone-fueled football player. Especially to those who hold themselves to a higher standard and strive to uphold a proud tradition.
“When Coach says something like that, it’s going to get guys’ attention,” Chris Canty said. “What that does, what that means, we don’t know. We’ll find out I guess.”
Giants are supposed to dominate the line of scrimmage. Giants are supposed to dictate to the opposing offense. Giants aren’t supposed to let backup backs rumble over them for 147 yards.
No Mr. Softee sold on Sundays.
“That’s what the head man saw. ... That’s what we saw on film,” Antrel Rolle said. “I’m not calling our defense ‘soft,’ but we didn’t stop the run. I’m a very fair guy — if I see it that way, that’s the way I call it." Read more...