EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — In some ways, Tom Coughlin has come full circle with the New York Giants.
Coughlin spoke of restoring the Giants’ pride when he took over an underachieving team in 2004. And his message heading into what might be the final week of a suddenly very disappointing season is again about restoring that pride.
“That is what I talked to our team (about) this morning — pride, honor, dignity,” Coughlin said. “Play the game that we are capable of playing, finish the season with a game we can all be proud of.”
With a playoff berth on the line, the Giants (8-7) haven’t shown an ounce of pride the past two weeks, losing to Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined margin of 67-14. The offense produced little and the defense stopped no one.
Coughlin, who has won two Super Bowls as a head coach and one as an assistant, wasn’t shy about voicing his frustrations. And he’s struggling to get the last two demoralizing losses out of his mind.
“Will I be proud of the season?” Coughlin asked. “Right now I have a short memory, and I’ve got these two games (on my mind). I am proud of the individuals. I am not proud of what’s been accomplished.”
The season has been reduced to a finale against Philadelphia (4-11) on Sunday in what might be Andy Reid’s final game as the Eagles’ coach.
But the way the Giants have been playing as of late, they will need to improve immensely this week if they plan to finish the season above .500.
“It’s all three phases playing well together, (and) you have a couple of phases that are not doing their jobs right now,” Coughlin said. “And they have to if we are going to resurrect a little bit of pride here in the last game.”
The Giants need to win and get plenty of help to make the playoffs. But the veteran head coach is well aware that that can only focus on what he can control, and that’s getting the Giants to play their hearts out in Week 17.
“They are a group of outstanding character people that listen to what is said, and I think it does strike them,” Coughlin said. “No one wants to finish the season like we have the last couple of games. I am sure that will resonate a little interest on their part.”
How much blame — if any — does Coughlin deserve for the Giants’ late-season meltdown? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…
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