The Outsider’s Report: Special First Coughlin Era Victory Edition

By Contributor Daniel in MI

Well, the Giants improved to 1-1 with a win over the Redskins. This is good because the TOSR (The Outsider’s Report) staff much prefers celebratory drinking binges to the drowning our sorrows type (more chances of a round on the house). In any case, we sobered up just in time to make up more news this week – just like the rest of the media. As always, although TOSR lacks staff, inside contacts, friends, access, and personal hygiene, we do score over the more pedestrian media outlets in two important ways: (1) we’re free; and (2) we aren’t afraid to ask the tough rhetorical question. But enough about us, how’re you?

This week the Giants earned their first win of the Coughlin era by outlasting the Washington Redskins 20-14. Although the offense sputtered at times, the defense nabbed 7 turnovers to bail them out. We caught up with QB Kurt Warner to ask him if he’s starting to get more comfortable in the offense. “Oh, yeah, I was watching film and I just kept thinking, ‘Gosh, there is so much more I can do. Jeepers, I can feel that I’m improving each week. Golly, we can maybe get two touchdowns a game and not go 1-13 on 3rd down. Gee, I think I’ve really shown that I still have what it takes to win in this league. So, Jesus, someone trade to get me off this team before I get killed.'”

The defense was understandably proud of it’s turnaround after last week. A big story was how DC Tim Lewis told the players not to worry so much about the ‘Skins tendencies are, but to focus on what the Giants defense wanted to do. We asked Tim Lewis if this was a way to keep the players loose and aggressive. “Uh, well sure, I’ll go with that. To be honest, I was going against Joe freakin’ Gibbs! The guy’s a legend. I had no idea what the ‘Skins were going to do. So, I just trying to play it off like it was all about us.”

The players responded, and CB Will Peterson thinks this style will be a trend, “I think after seeing how well it worked, he’ll give us more and more leeway. And, from now on, all the game plans will include having the opposing QBs throw the ball to our safeties 5 to 7 times a game because if we don’t have that happen, we’re screwed.”

Recently, the media sommeliers gave us the weekly whine specials from the players, which featured a nice pairing: something dry from RB Ron Dayne and something zesty from TE Jeremy Shockey.

Although Dayne was giddy in the pre-season about getting a second shot at a first impression, he has apparently soured on the new regime’s use of him for something other than sideline decoration. We caught up with Ron studying films of Tyrone Wheatley’s NY press conferences and asked him about the kind of plays he wanted. “Well, I wish they’d give me more plays like I got in the pre-season. You know, successful ones. I want to play against scrubs and defenses that don’t game plan. But, the coaches have gone a different way.”

We asked him about how he’s being used. “Man, if you watch the game, you don’t even have to ask that question. You see how they’re using me: they’re asking me to carry the ball, forward, to attempt to advance the team’s field position and get a first down. I don’t think they spent a first round pick on me if all they were going to ask me to do was run the football and occasionally catch a pass or block. They could have gotten a back in later rounds for that. And he might even have been good.” When we asked why he thought they spent a first round pick on him, he said, “I have no idea.” Funny, that’s what Coughlin must be thinking, too.

For his part, Shockey’s issue is comfort with his role in the new offense. “I just feel like with everything I do, all the moving and stuff, when I watch it on film I’m not the same player I was a year ago – the player that scored two whole touchdowns each of the last 2 years. I just hope I can get comfortable soon so I can get both of my touchdowns this year.” The big man is clearly frustrated as things are not coming as naturally to him. “I’m not having as much fun as I had in the past. I mean, winning games is fun, and so we’ve only had one fun that way this year, but for me personally, I’m having less fun than before, which was a lot of fun. So, on a fun scale of 1 to 10, I’d say I’m about a 6.2, which puts me somewhere between slinging slurs at coaching legends and throwing ice into the stands.”

Finally, turning to the next opponent, the Giants will face a depleted Cleveland Browns team, which will be a reunion of sorts for OG Barry Stokes and OC Shaun O’Hara who came to the Giants from the Browns in the off-season. We caught up with Cleveland Head Coach Butch Davis trying to design a logo for the Browns’ helmet, and he commented on his former linemen, “We hold both of those guys in extremely high regard. They were awesome people…but get to a certain point with guys when you have an undisputed center that is, you know, ‘good,’ so it made it very difficult to keep players that aren’t good…I think everybody in this organization felt that they were a starters in this league, but we just thank goodness it’s not on our team.”

So, here you have it Giants fans. A win is said to cure a lot of ills on a football team, and if that’s the case imagine how many ills there must be on this team. Clearly, some more of the treatment is called for. Hopefully the Giants will make the Browns feel blue. If not, we can look forward to hearing about how newly signed practice squad CB Art Thomas doesn’t like how he’s being used on the practice squad, “I should be used to emulate the top shut down corners in practice like Sanders or Bailey; they wouldn’t have used a practice squad spot on me if just showing the opponent’s defensive alignment is all they wanted.”