It’s amazing how much Newsday’s Jon Heyman dislikes Tom Coughlin. Maybe Jon is upset that Coughlin is getting paid. Maybe Coughlin accidentally slept with Jon’s ex-girlfriend. Or perhaps the Giants coach is routinely full of shit and Heyman is just doing his job by calling him on it.
It wasn’t Eli Manning’s day, and it won’t be his week to come. For some reason he kept confusing Vikings defensive back Darren Sharper for someone on his own team, and he really shouldn’t be doing that, because there’s an obvious difference, even beyond uniform color. Unlike several Giants receivers, Sharper sure can catch.
And then, when Manning finally got to leave his field of horrors after one of the longest days of his young career, he had to go eye-to-eye with Giants coach/headmaster Tom Coughlin (above), who somehow lives the weeks of the football season convinced that all his team’s mistakes are on the players, and that none of them are on him. And by that scoring system, boy, did Manning make some doozies.
Coughlin marched into the interview room, barking out insults regarding his team’s play, as if he were just an innocent bystander. “A very poor performance by our team to be in the situation that we are in … ” Coughlin barked.
Coughlin later said “they” made a lot of mistakes, confusing his pronouns, as is his habit. Then for good measure, he added, “You’ll have to ask them why. I have no idea.”
The way Coughlin sounded, he’d already gotten a divorce from the players who committed five turnovers, made many costly penalties and blew a home game to a team that’s dealing in disgrace. Later, after much more ranting, he was asked by someone (OK, it was me) whether coaches are responsible for mistakes and penalties. And as if suddenly struck by a bolt of responsibility, he conceded, “Yeah, sure they are. Sure they are.”
He didn’t elaborate, but we hope he understood I certainly was talking about him, not special-teams coach Mike Sweatman, offensive coordinator John Hufnagel and quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride. Those, incidentally, are the very three people I’d least like to be this week. After Manning, that is.