We have found something the Giants do exceedingly well.
They take the blame.
It starts with Joe Judge. The members of Judge’s coaching staff fall in line, insisting they need to do a better job of conveying to the players what they want. The players take ownership of their performance.
There is plenty to go around. The Giants are 0-3 as they face the Rams Sunday at spectacular and brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. It is quite likely after the Giants tangle with the potent Rams offense and the Aaron Donald-led Rams defense, pack up and leave the West Coast, there will be another loss and more blame to sort through.
“I think as coaches, we have to be very self-critical,’’ Judge said. “When I watch the tape, there are things that players have to correct. But I always look at myself in the mirror first. As coaches, I think that’s how you have to be. Am I doing everything possible to teach these guys the best way? Am I doing everything possible to paint that mental image that they can go out there and execute on the grass? Am I putting them in the ideal situations to play to their strengths?
“As a coaching staff, we have to ask ourselves that on a daily basis through practice, on a weekly basis through the games. If you’re not self-critical as a coach, I don’t think you’re a very good coach. If you’re someone who wants to simply look at players and say, ‘Well, he has to play better. He has to do this,’ what did you do to put him in that position? To me, for our staff, we have to be a group of guys that watch the tape and we see ourselves in the performance of the players, and we have to make sure we’re doing everything possible to help elevate their level of play.’’
This approach is prevalent whenever defensive coordinator Patrick Graham offers analysis of his unit, sometimes starkly so. The Giants are last in the league in third-down defense, and they allowed the depleted 49ers, led by Nick Mullens, to stay on the field for nearly 40 minutes last week in a 27-point loss.
“The number one culprit, I’ll put it on me,’’ Graham said. “Put it right on me, that’s how I see it. I have to be better, have to be better. Week 4 of the season, I have to be better.’’
Jason Garrett, at the helm of an offense producing fewer points (12.7 per game) than any team in the league, takes an approach more “we’’ than “me.’’ He is quick to point out the quality of the defenses (Steelers, Bears and 49ers) the Giants have faced and that all aspects of the offensive machinery need an upgrade.
“We just need to play better across the board offensively,’’ Garrett said. “We haven’t done anything well enough up to this point. It starts with controlling the line of scrimmage and running the football. We haven’t done that on a consistent basis. You have to be efficient both running it and throwing it. You have to be able to make explosive plays both in the run game and in the pass game. We haven’t been able to do that.’’
Second-year defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence says Graham putting it on himself “shows the kind of person he is, taking it for the team,’’ but is not buying the sentiment.
“I believe it’s on all of us,’’ Lawrence said. “We’re all in it together.’’
At some point, the Giants hope they are able to share the credit for winning games. They are not there yet, as Parse the Blame continues to be their area of expertise.
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