EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Last Sunday night, Tom Coughlin challenged his players moments after an uninspiring 20-12 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts: "What we really need to do now is to come back in - stop reading the clippings - come on back in here and go to work and get better over the course of the week."
Asked the next day about his comments, Coughlin said, "I'm about 'Don't tell me, show me.' Talk is cheap, play of the game. I like to see us play. I like to see us go forth and be productive and do some outstanding things and then let people talk about it. That's what I meant."
Preseason or not, Coughlin is clearly dissatisfied with the Giants' performance in their first two games (including a victory over Pittsburgh in the opener). Yes, key players have been injured and substitutes, many of whom won't be here next month, have accounted for many of the shortcomings. But the numbers don't lie. The Giants have scored one touchdown (none on six trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line), they're averaging 3.1 yards a carry, completing 49.2 percent of their passes and their four quarterbacks have absorbed 10 sacks.
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Coughlin clearly wants to see improvement tomorrow night, when the Giants host the Jets in the third annual MetLife Bowl.
"It will be a very good test for us and we need to look at this with the idea of improvement and the continual analysis of personnel and trying to attack some of the areas that we haven't been good," Coughlin said. "We haven't scored any points, we haven't scored touchdowns. We're still lacking in the turnover area (the Giants have forced two and committed three). There are some things that we are definitely trying to accomplish: putting pressure on the opponent's quarterback, continuing to stop the run, having a good mix between the run and the pass, and having consistency. We've got a lot of things to improve on."
The players are certainly well aware of that. But the veteran leaders know there's plenty of time to make corrections and improvements before the regular-season opener in Dallas on Sept. 8.
"You get four of these (preseason) games to get everything ironed out," 10-year guard Chris Snee said. "You learn from every one, you learn from the good performances, the bad and, like I said, that's why we have these. You can't just expect to come out and click on all cylinders. We'll fix it. It's not panic time."
"You get concerned if it's an ongoing problem," said defensive end Justin Tuck, now in his ninth season. "In the first game we didn't have penalties (only three of them). Last week, we did have penalties (10). If we come out (tomorrow) and have a lot of penalties, then it becomes a worry. Week by week, you know new things are going to be thrown at you and new things are going to arise heading into the regular season. That's what the preseason is for, to work out all the kinks. You want to see improvement from week to week. Last week, we didn't play the way we wanted to play. We did some good things but we didn't do enough good things. We did some things that this football team should know better than to do. Hopefully, we'll have a better showing this week."
The third preseason game is traditionally the one that most approximates a regular-season game.
Coughlin said the starters will play about a half and their stint could extend into the third quarter, depending on how many snaps they've had.
"The starters are going to play a bunch," quarterback Eli Manning said. "It's an important game for us to go out there and try to play well and we'll try to do that against a good team."
If they do, it will certainly raise Coughlin's spirits.
- Tune to the game broadcast on 4NY at halftime for a special tribute to former Giants/Jets Punter Dave Jennings who passed away this year
- The Giants and Jets are meeting for the 45th consecutive preseason. The Giants trail in the series, 23-20-1. Last year, the Giants won, 26-3, to take home the Snoopy Trophy. Snoopy is the brand icon for MetLife.
- Giants definitely out or not expected to play include cornerback Corey Webster (knee/groin); wide receivers Victor Cruz (heel), Ramses Barden (knee) and Louis Murphy (leg); offensive linemen David Baas (knee) and David Diehl (thumb surgery); fullback Henry Hynoski (knee, just activated off PUP); and defensive linemen Damontre Moore (shoulder), Jason Pierre-Paul (back, PUP) and Markus Kuhn (knee, PUP).
- The annual Champions for Children Gala to benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund will be held on Friday, Oct. 25 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in Manhattan. Giants fans are invited to help the Jay Fund help kids with cancer and their families. For more information, call 212-627-1000 or go to tcjayfund.org.
- The Giants' annual blood drive will be held Sunday, Aug. 25 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lexus Club at MetLife Stadium. All presenting donors will receive a limited edition Giants T-shirt, a collectable photo opportunity and the chance interact with a Giants legend. Those scheduled to appear throughout the day include George Martin, Jessie Armstead, Kareem McKenzie and Jim Burt. Bob's Discount Furniture is generously donating 20 recliners to be raffled off during the event. Fans will also be able to tour the Legacy Club presented by New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a Giants' interactive team museum, which includes artefacts from throughout the team's history, including the team's Super Bowl and NFC Championship trophies.
- While walk-ins are welcome, blood donors are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance. Please visit redcrossblood.org/NYG13 or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and schedule your appointment now.
- HBO will premiere "Glickman," the documentary of longtime Giants announcer, Olympian and broadcast pioneer Marty Glickman this Monday, Aug. 26 at 9 p.m. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and written, produced and directed by his longtime radio producer James L. Freedman, "Glickman" will take fans through the Brooklyn native's amazing life, from his time at James Madison High School through his experience being denied a chance because of his Jewish roots to participate in the Berlin Olympics to his work creating and implementing many of the techniques used in broadcasting today. The longtime voice of the Knicks as well as the Giants, Glickman also served as mentor to some of sports broadcasting's biggest names, from Marv Albert and Bob Costas to current Giants voice Bob Papa and many others. With stories by Jerry Stiller, Larry King, Frank Gifford and many others, it is a unique look back into the life of a sports pioneer and a New York legend. For more information, visit Facebook: facebook.com/hbodocs; and Twitter: @HBODocs and @GlickmanTheFilm.