In his weekly press conference today Perry Fewell seemed to bring more heat than his defense has in the past few weeks. When asked what he had told his troops this week Fewell didn’t hold back:
“Obviously we need to play with more energy. We have to play with more passion. That was a game against a playoff football team, we have aspirations of being a playoff team. Sometimes it’s just the will. It’s the will to get it done. We didn’t will ourselves to get it done. ”
When asked how he felt about the teams play last Monday in New Orleans where they surrendered 49 points:
“I was pissed, okay. I was getting them going Monday night and we’re getting going this week. Player friendly or not, it’s all about winning. It’s all about being successful on the football field. I think that they got the message and we all understand what’s on the line for us.”
Both Fewell and Head Coach Tom Coughlin praised the play and hustle of Jason Pierre-Paul. They explained that that is how the entire team needs to play to be successful, not just one player. He stated that he thought his players did not go all out on every play. When asked if he saw his players stop short on a few plays:
“No doubt. Monday, no doubt. And that was disheartening. As me being the coach and the leader of the defense, that was disheartening. When I say it was disheartening, it was disappointing more so than it was disheartening because we don’t coach that.”
So it seems the player friendly coach has reached a breaking point. Obviously the number of injuries his side of the ball has suffered precludes him from benching too many guys to make a point, but I do think the team will get the message and play with more fire, more focus, and more fortitude. As fans and coaches all you really want to see is the effort, and that definitely has been lacking the past few weeks. Look for some changes in scheme also. Teams have been employing six offensive linemen and fullbacks in pass protection recently. I would expect to see pressure brought from different areas of the field. The front four is still a great unit, but when it’s 4 on 7 or 8, it takes more than desire and will to get the job done consistently. So with the season winding down to a few precious weeks, and the Giants playoff chances dwindling, Perry Fewell has decided it’s time to turn up the heat and challenge his players. Let’s see how they react at home on Sunday against the undefeated Packers.