We heard from Banks last week about “hatching that egg of an ugly duckling.” Well the Eagles waited for the Gmen to lay that egg and the Gmen delivered.
On WFAN yesterday Banks stated that “if we weren’t here in New York and we were talking about this Giant football team we would say that they are a bad football team with very good talent.” He further adds that the Giants reminds him of "the Dallas Cowboys the last couple of years.” The Giants do “show up and play hard” but “when you continue to turnover the ball 3 times per game while committing penalties in critical moments of the game, then that’s a bad football team.” In addition, Banks felt they had a “very good strategy” in place for the Eagles but “poor execution” did them in. He lays it all on the players. The players “have their thought process in reverse” in that “talent is a premium in the league and execution is a luxury.” If you look around the league, there are plenty of teams with talent that possess poor records. Banks specifically pointed to the Vikings and the Bengals “as teams with talent but poor execution.” The Giants “have overcome mistakes against average teams” but “you cannot afford” to make them “against a team like the Eagles.”
What can they do to overcome this problem? Banks stresses that the Giants “have to strive for perfection each game.” Another area of concern is “focus (which) is part of execution.” They must “maintain it throughout a sustainable period” of time. All of these issues “aren’t necessarily a coaching thing.” It is on the players “to look at yourself and look at your teammates and say 'look here’s our goal, no balls on the ground in practice and no balls on the ground in the game. Anyone who drops a ball, $10,000. Any player that jumps offsides, $5,000.' This will increase the focus.” By the way “their schedule is getting tougher and you should have gotten these things out your system by now” or they will be in the conversation locally with the likes of the Brett Favre’s Vikings and the Wade Phillips’ Cowboys.
Banks feels they played the “Eagles strategically as well as you can play against the Eagles.” Banks echoed Pete in stating that “they didn’t send linebackers off the edges but up the middle with safeties while also rushing Vick from his right where he couldn’t throw the ball.”
Many have commented on this blog (as well as the local media) about the injury effect. Banks isn’t buying that as “this is where coaches make their money. They don’t just sit back and say well we can’t win because we don’t have the personnel. Every team has injuries somewhere” and it’s a matter “of how they adjust to it.” Look at Peyton Manning. This past game the Giants put “themselves in position” to win “without a Steve Smith, a Shaun O’Hara and a David Diehl.” The bottom line they didn’t execute the “little things.”
Editorial note and rebuttal:
This is a distinctive pattern of what Coughlin calls “the careless disregard for the ball.” Coughlin adds that this “has been going on for probably a year-and-a-half here” and “no one seems to be able to do anything about it." An exasperated Coughlin states yet “again, [it] cost us a football game." You would hope the head coach of the team would rectify this but his response is "I am not sure what the answer to that is." Furthermore Coughlin added "It's up to the individual.” Well one “individual,” Osi Umenyiora, responded with "I don't know what we are going to do.” In addition Osi stated "we have been talking about the same things for a while." Ughhhhhhhhh!
Let’s look back at 2007 as a measurement for this current Giant team. We currently have 2 very young wide receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham and a 3rd year all pro in Steve Smith. A new starter at running back in Ahmad Bradshaw. But we still have a quarterback who has never been known as a leader. We still have a group of banged up veteran offensive linemen but a bit less powerful and athletic than 2007. Where is the leadership on offense going to come from if our coach cannot find an answer? Missing from this picture from 2007 is Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress. Guys who did not posses a penchant for “putting the ball on the ground” nor committing mistakes in “key moments of a game.” All his flaws aside personally, Burress was often cited in the locker room as a great teammate who constantly broke down film with his teammates; especially the younger players. Toomer was always cited as a consummate professional. Being a member of the media fraternity, we understand Banks has boundaries and lines that he will not cross. He will not call out coaches because he will lose his access in addition to facing consequences from his boss, the NY Giant organization. As a head coach and leader of your team, it is imperative to instill a culture of leadership. Coughlin inherited Strahan, Pierce and Toomer. Who is filling the void now? Who will put into place the accountability on offense that Banks clearly sees that is lacking?