The Giants are cramming for their latest test, a game against the very physical Washington Redskins (1-1) on Thursday night. The Giants are 0-2 and probably should be at least 1-1, perhaps even 2-0, after squandering fourth-quarter leads in both game in historic fashion.
Head coach Tom Coughlin believes so, too, and he let reporters and his team know as much.
"I really do think we should be better than 0-2, and I told them that right away on Monday afternoon," he said. "I told them I wasn’t very pleased with the play as such, but I thought we could certainly be, even under these circumstances, be 2-0."
Coughlin is well aware that his team's worst enemy is itself and elaborated on what has been happening and what needs to happen:
"You know, the traditional ways to beat ourselves. You can go to third-and-2 at the 8-yard line, sure. But on the other hand, the execution of the opportunity when it’s there to go ahead and win the game, that’s what has got to happen. Whether it’s defense or offense or whatever it is. Seventy-five percent of the games in the National Football League, 24 out of 32, are seven points or less in the fourth quarter. The game is a fourth quarter game in the National Football League. We’ve got to be able to be productive when the game is on the line and the pressure is there to perform. That’s exactly what it is."
The Redskins are coming to town sporting a powerful 1-2 punch out of their backfield in Alfred Morris and rookie basher Matt Jones. Morris has 180 rushing yards in the first two games, while Jones has 151 and is averaging six yards per carry.
"They have two runners who are doing an outstanding job," Coughlin said. "They’ve come up with this young guy, Matt Jones, to back up Morris. ...They’re both powerful, north-south runners, downhill guys. The young kid is a bigger kid."
To prepare for the run-first Skins, the Giants signed Kenrick Ellis, who was on their final cuts out of camp, back to the roster. A sensible move with both Jay Bromley and Markus Kuhn nursing sore knees.
Ellis' arrival was met with the departure of Preston Parker, the beleaguered third wide receiver that has had difficulty hanging onto the football this season.
When asked why there was no official statement regarding Parker's release, Coughlin just simply said, "I'll leave that up to you."
Giants who did not practice on Tuesday: WR Victor Cruz (calf), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (concussion), OT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DT Markus Kuhn (knee), TE Jerome Cunningham (knee) and defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (foot).
DE Robert Ayers (hamstring) and DT Jay Bromley (knee) were limited.
MLB Jon Beason, DT Cullen Jenkins (hamstring), OL Geoff Schwartz (illness) and TE Daniel Fells (foot) practiced in full.
Will Beason play on Thursday?
"I’m just looking for the nod, just looking for the nod, that’s it," he said. "Going into the season, it was still sore and years past I would risk it all for one play, you play in one game and you end of missing a lot more, so it was probably the smartest thing to do, maybe give something back early to gain a lot in the end."
The Giants will wear their white pants with their blue jerseys for the first time this season on Thursday night. They will also wear their white pants when they host New England on Nov. 15.
The Giants are 3-2 under Tom Coughlin in Thursday games.