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New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Praises Linebackers; Says They Showed “Flashes” Against Steelers

August 12th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

Immediately following a 18-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, many — including us here at Giants 101 — were quick to jump all over the New York Giants linebackers for what appeared to be a very poor performance. However, when asked about their play on Sunday, head coach Tom Coughlin took an entirely different tone and actually praised the unit for a "pretty good" game.

"I think there were flashes. I really do," Coughlin said. "I think there was flashes and I don’t know if it’s any one particular individual that made enough plays or a whole lot of plays for me to say that, but we were steady. We didn’t give up a touchdown, so somebody was doing a good job in there."

Although it appeared they were the primary reason for the Steelers' success on the ground in the first quarter, Coughlin apparently saw something different when he watched the tape. But, at the same time, will not lock into three starters and says the evaluation process will continue throughout training camp and the preseason so that Big Blue can figure out who are the right men for the job.

"We’re analyzing the linebacker play the entire preseason so that we can get the right people on the field in the right spots," he said. "So it’s ongoing."

The coach was also asked about the play of linebacker Mark Herzlich, who appears poised to take over in the middle. The noncommittal Coughlin stayed with the company line, praising the player without locking him into a job.

"In that position, the mike backer position gets the signals and calls the game as it comes off the sideline. So Mark had that opportunity. He does an outstanding job with that," he said. "Mark, I’m sure, will be a guy that will tell you that we played pretty good [Saturday] night, but we can all play better."

If the Giants are going to have any success in 2013, the linebackers will absolutely have to play better.

Photo credit: BigBlueCowboy / Photobucket / CC BY-NC-SA


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Tags: Football, Mark Herzlich, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tom Coughlin

26 Responses to “New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin Praises Linebackers; Says They Showed “Flashes” Against Steelers”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, obviously Tom Coughlin is wrong, or lying. After all, the denizens of Giants 101 and fans across the land have declared our linebackers a disaster after one preseason game. They cannot ALL be wrong, can they?

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    Over the next few days I expect the coaches to upset the fans further by stating that they saw some good things from Mosley, Jenkins and Austin, and that they are relatively pleased with the tape they saw from the Steelers game.

    There’s no way of “knowing” much about the team yet, but a lot of good things happened on Saturday night. Some of the “concerns” about the team (especially the offensive line, where Mosley’s progress is a very good thing, and the defensive secondary, which looked VERY promising) seemed to be in the first stages of some positive answers.

    •  demo3356 says:

      Like I said yesterday, the line will look a LOT better with Pugh, Snee and Brewer in the mix
      The DT (and DE for that matter) competition is going to be fierce. There is a TO of talent there and like the guys on the broadcast said several times, we are 4 deep across the entire line in NFL quality DL. We will likely only keep 9 or ten at the most, so even with Kuhn on the PUP, we are going to cut loose 4-5 quality guys. Austin better show a lot in the next 3 games to avoid being one of them

    •  Jason McEwan says:

      Mosley was serviceable in my book; PFF agrees.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    Interesting stat — % of plays played by each player:


    Jim Cordle, C, 50 (74%)
    Stephen Goodin, G, 44 (65%)
    Selvish Capers, G, 37 (54%)
    Brandon Mosley, T, 35 (51%)
    Chris DeGeare, G/T, 30 (44%)
    Bryant Browning, G, 29 (43%)
    Kevin Hardy, WR, 29 (43%)
    Louis Murphy, WR, 27 (40%)
    Ramses Barden, WR, 27 (40%)
    Larry Donnell, TE, 25 (37%)
    Adrien Robinson, TE, 25 (37%)
    Matt McCants, T/C, 24 (35%)
    Da’Rel Scott, RB, 22 (32%)
    Curtis Painter, QB, 22 (32%)
    Jerrel Jernigan, WR, 21 (31%)
    Michael Cox, RB, 19 (28%)
    Will Beatty, T, 19 (28%)
    David Carr, QB, 19 (28%)
    Michael Jasper, G, 18 (26%)
    Ryan Nassib, QB, 18 (26%)
    Julian Talley, WR, 17 (25%)
    Kris Adams, WR, 17 (25%)
    Jamie Childers, TE, 16 (24%)
    Eric Herman, G, 15 (22%)
    David Wilson, RB, 15 (22%)
    Brandon Myers, TE, 13 (19%)
    David Diehl, T, 13 (19%)
    Kevin Boothe, G/C, 13 (19%)
    David Baas, C, 13 (19%)
    Rueben Randle, 13, (19%)
    Andre Brown, RB, 12 (18%)
    Ryan D’Imperio, FB, 11 (16%)
    Chase Clement, TE, 10 (15%)
    Victor Cruz, WR, 9 (13%)
    Bear Pascoe, TE, 9 (13%)
    Eli Manning, QB, 9 (13%)
    Keith Carlos, WR, 3 (4%)


    Marvin Austin, DT, 33 (50%)
    Damontre Moore, DE, 29 (44%)
    Matt Broha, DE, 28 (42%)
    Ryan Mundy, S, 28 (42%)
    Adrian Tracy, DE, 28 (42%)
    Jacquian Williams, LB, 28 (42%)
    Johnathan Hankins, DT, 27 (41%)
    Mike Patterson, DT, 27 (41%)
    Tyler Sash, S, 26 (39%)
    Trumaine McBride, DB, 25 (38%)
    Jake Muasau, LB, 21 (32%)
    Dan Connor, LB, 21 (32%)
    David Caldwell, S, 21 (32%)
    Aaron Ross, DB, 21 (32%)
    Will Hill, S, 19 (29%)
    Prince Amukamara, DB, 19 (29%)
    Laron Scott, DB, 19 (29%)
    Spencer Paysinger, LB, 19 (29%)
    Antrel Rolle, S, 19 (29%)
    Corey Webster, DB, 19 (29%)
    Stevie Brown, S, 19 (29%)
    Kyle Bosworth, LB, 18 (27%)
    Mark Herzlich, LB, 17 (26%)
    Adewale Ojomo, DE, 16 (24%)
    Charles James, DB, 16 (24%)
    Justin Trattou, DE, 16 (24%)
    Keith Rivers, LB, 16 (24%)
    Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, 15 (23%)
    Terrence Frederick, DB, 14 (21%)
    Junior Mertile, DB, 14 (21%)
    Linval Joseph, DT, 13 (20%)
    Aaron Curry, LB, 12 (18%)
    Frank Okam, DT, 12 (18%)
    Etienne Sabino, LB, 10 (15%)
    Cullen Jenkins, DT, 10 (15%)
    Shaun Rogers, DT, 9 (14

    •  demo3356 says:

      Interesting.. When is the first round of cut downs? I want to clean out the 10-15 stiffs that have zero chance of making roster and see extended play by the 20-25 guys battling out for the final ten spots or so.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think it’s still another 2 weeks until the cut to 75.

      •  JimStoll says:

        August 27

        Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players

        August 31

        Prior to 6:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.

        August 31

        Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

        September 1

        Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00

  4.  JimStoll says:

    … and as for Tom Coughlin’s politically correct assessment of the Giants LBs, I say: balderdash.
    Unlike Parcells, and despite his stern, military-esque demeanor, Tom’s approach is to never air the team’s dirty laundry or disappointment.
    There is nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn’t put much stock in it.
    The only good play I remember an LB making Saturday night was the pass deflection by Williams.
    Tom can say what he will, but it didn’t look good to either the naked eye or the stat sheet.
    Obviously only week 1 of preseason, and even after week 4 we still won’t really know what we have.
    But let’s not allow TC’s political correctness blind us to what we otherwise see.

    •  demo3356 says:

      He’s right in the aspect of not allowing a single TD. While they didnt look particularly good to us on TV, they obviously did something right

      •  JimStoll says:

        it is weird how the defense looked so bad most of the time and yet the points were low
        of course, the first defense was one step away from giving up a TD and the balance of the Pittsburgh offense ran through Gradkowski

  5.  JBeast2 says:

    I don’t know if TC is telling the truth or just saying the PR line but i thought the LB weren’t that bad ( they weren’t good). I thought Herz played an ok game Paysinger had a good game Williams looked ok then not so ok and Curry even though he didn’t play much i thought he looked aggressive and was around the ball a few times. I thought Curry blew up the lead blocker on at least 2 plays that i noticed.

    I thought Carr had a decent game also save for a few bad decisions. Nassib had a bad game but i think it was due to the bad OL he had. He did show some things, he seemed to have good pocket awareness and showed that he has a good arm and he always has his eyes down field.

    The TEs looked good, they all seem huge and agile enough to get open. I think it was Robinson that had a couple of nice blocks. Donell should have brought in that pass that was on his finger tips

    I think DD is done, i want him on the roster just not starting, if Pugh can’t beat DD for the RT spot and Snee doesn’t come back to his normal self we might have a problem on OL. Eli looked like he was pressured on every drop back from the right side, even that TD pass to Cruz, if Eli wasn’t Eli that could have ended badly instead of a TD.

    I honestly didn’t pay much attention to the WRs other than RR and Cruz, RR looks good that dropped pass from Eli i thought was on RR I’m not sure what happened there it seemed like he either was tangled up a bit with the CB or just didn’t bust it after the ball. But the kid will be good very elusive for such a big guy and has good speed. I will tell you this though he will not/can’t replace Nicks. Nicks changes the dynamic of this offense, when he is on the field Cruz becomes a dangerous man. Every team knows that you can’t single cover Nicks thats just asking for trouble. I love Cruz but Nicks makes this offense hums!

  6.  Krow says:

    Earlier posters are right … TC isn’t going to slag anyone after the first pre-season game. There’s a lot of work to do … everyone is rusty … it’s a shakedown cruise. This is also why the point production is low. Plain vanilla game plan … lots of different people running in and out. It’s not a reflection of good defense.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Jim, you can say what you like, but Coughlin’s “political correctness” does not usually extend further than saying “he did okay”, or “he’s working hard”. He is generally very direct about failures on the part of a group even if he rarely hangs an individual out to dry. He obviously DI see some good things, as should have all of us.

    Let’s be clear about a few things to start. Stopping the run is all about a combination of the defensive front, the linebackers and the safeties (with modest contributions from the corners). And the Steelers have one of the best offensive lines around and have been running the ball well for years. And linebacker play is judged against the run and the pass. Do a lot of us remember a lot of those easy completions over the linebackers and in front of the corners that were made regularly against us last season being completed on Saturday? Might it just be possible that Herzlich was doing a great job of deciphering the Steelers’ intentions? Might the linebackers’ drops have been far quicker than was the case last year? Might that have value? And might the coaches have been trying linebacker combinations that are far from certain to be the same against Dallas? Might they have been trying to see how their ideal guy at SAM (Rivers) would stand up against the run, or their ideal guy at WILL (Williams) doing so? Might they have seen that having both of them on the field on running plays isn’t a great idea? That they need to play with other configurations? That they might be learning from the tape what we’d hope they do?

    The first preseason game is played without ANY scheming. It is played straight up as an “live, pads-on, full-hitting, evaluation scrimmage” that is intended, especially under the new CBA rules, to give coaches the chance to really evaluate the tape later and start to sort through the tough decisions about who should make the team and who should start in what combination. They would have been way further down this road at this point a few years ago when two-a-days and full-hit scrimmages were run in camp. Now, those evaluations have to happen in preseason, and the shape of the team doesn’t really start appearing until well into the first month of the season.

    Frankly, the one thing I took out of Saturday in regard to the linebackers is that Aaron Curry’s chances of making the roster and becoming a first- and second-down player at SAM for us went up, because he is physical enough to handle what Rivers may not be able to handle. That is such a preliminary feeling based upon the very little we saw that I wouldn’t make any predictions other than that his chances went up a bit. Beyond that I think we need to wait until we’ve seen more to really have any sense of what the linebackers can do.

    The only certainties I came away with were, as I’ve said, Moore is a player, Webster looks much healthier, and we’ll have a wonderful QB and receiving corps this season. I guess I could add that Prince and Rolle look terrific but we all should have known that to be the case already.

    •  JimStoll says:

      I’m not drawing any definite conclusions from one preseason game for all the reasons you stated, but as I recall it was just yesterday that you and every other poster, including me, who said the LBs looked pretty darn weak.
      Now TC says he saw some flashes and suddenly we are all pumped for the LBs?
      I know we won’t know what we have until the regular season starts and we see how all the pieces work together.
      All I’m saying is that if there were flashes, they were precious few.

  8.  F0XLIN says:

    I personally loved what I saw from Mike Patterson vs the run, while the Steeelers continued to run the ball occasionally with the combination of Hankins and Patterson in. They were only cut back runs open, the constantly pushed the pocket and held up very nicely vs the run (and that was still vs the Steelers 1st team O line)

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Mike Patterson is the best player on the team whom fans hardly mention. Before his health crisis this guy was headed toward being one of the best defensive tackles in the league. I’ve been saying for quite awhile that he may be a keeper and that the competition at defensive tackle is going to be ferocious.

      I love Patterson, Jenkins, and Rogers. Joseph isn’t going anywhere (even if his play has been pretty mediocre in my opinion….I wasn’t impressed Saturday and was really unimpressed last season). Hankins is obviously on the roster. Been saying despite many insisting otherwise that Austin will have to really “show” or he’s in trouble. But I thought he did some good things on Saturday. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of showing that the draft room didn’t make a mistake.

  9.  GOAT56 says:

    After watching Moore in his first game I think can’t get on Pugh for having trouble with him. Moore is the real deal and all tackles will have trouble with him. I’m excited to see Pugh in a real game. Going against Moore in practice should make the games easier.

  10.  Krow says:

    I’m starting to worry a bit about our Syracuse investment. Nassib looked like he was thrown to the lions. Yes … it was garbage time … but he didn’t flash. And Pugh is on the sidelines after complaining of a headache. Now I’m not saying it’s right, but can you picture David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Sean O’Hara etc etc in a similar situation … knowing you’ll end up in the ‘concussion protocol’ going to the coaches with a headache?

    So the question I’m putting out there … does Syracuse play a high enough level of football ??? Are these two guys finding out that what they did for the Orange doesn’t translate to the NFL ??? Just musing … not accusing.

    •  JimStoll says:

      I’m surprised so many posters are so down on Nassib after his performance
      On his first play, a pass attempt, the RT got whipped and the LDE was on him before you could say jackrabbit. Still, with the DE in the process of sacking him he was stepping up into the pocket with his eyes downfield seemingly looking to make a play
      on his one pass completion, it was the same scenario only this time he got the ball off before the sack
      the safety wasn’t his fault
      the delay of game had pure Gilbride written all over it
      and he handed the ball off to Wilson nicely

      What more do you want from a guy playing with the 4th team o-line on a team where the first team o-line leaves plenty to be desired?

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