Giants believe they can fix woes quickly
Jason Pierre-Paul didn't care what the question was. He just knew the answer.
Disappointed in not getting a sack in the opener against the Cowboys?
"We ain't worried about that," he said. "We're just trying to win the game."
Any advantage in facing a familiar offense that the Bucs run?
"We're just trying to win the game when it comes down to it," he said.
You could have asked him about anything -- politics, music, the new iPhone -- and his response likely would have been the same.
"I'm worried about winning the game," he said. "That's it. That's all I'm worried about. I don't care how we do it, just do it."
It's been 224 days since the Giants have felt the thrill of a victory, 10 days since they felt the sting of defeat. In some ways, the latter stretch feels longer than the former.
The Giants host the Buccaneers on Sundayin a game that is way too early to call a must-win in terms of their fate for the rest of the season -- they were 0-2 in 2007 and won a Super Bowl, they'll be quick to remind us if they do falter -- but significant nonetheless.
That's why Tom Coughlin was using words such as "urgency," "renewed vigor" and "vigilance" to rouse his team as it prepared for its Week 2 opponent.
"The most important game we've ever played is this week," Coughlin said about focusing only on the Bucs and not paying attention to the Panthers game that looms on Thursday after a short week. "The next-most-important game we've ever played will be the week after."
While many of the issues that plagued the Giants for much of 2011 resurfaced in the opening loss to the Cowboys, the Giants are confident they can be fixed. And fixed faster.
Just as the act of changing a flat tire for the first time often is slowed by hesitation and uncertainty -- trying to remember the process and keep track of all the components -- the Giants muddled through the previous regular season and tightened the final lug nut just in time to make a six-game Super Bowl run.
This year they're changing tires like a pit crew.
"Right now we know where we messed up and where we need to improve," Justin Tuck said. "Last year it took us a couple of weeks to stop pointing fingers. So we've addressed those problems.
"Will they come up again? The other team gets paid too; they're going to make plays. But I think we're in a better position to play this game this week than we were last week."
"We're professionals," safety Antrel Rolle added. "We know how to fix each and every problem. Whether we go out there and do it or not, that's pretty much on us. But all things can be fixed."
The list for the Giants was familiar, but also long. It included dropped passes by usually reliable Victor Cruz, broken coverages in the secondary by usually reliable Corey Webster and a fumble by rookie David Wilson, who, perhaps one day, will be usually reliable. They couldn't run the ball well and gave up a big running play on defense.
"Everything that occurred is very correctable and it's just going to come down to fixing it, making better plays, better decisions during the game," Eli Manning said. "Guys said, 'We can fix this.' "
All of which is just a long, complicated way of saying what Pierre-Paul expressed with his simple, repetitive answers.
"Just win the game," Pierre-Paul said. "Just win the game. I don't care how you do it, just win the game."