Tom Coughlin gave a candid radio interview yesterday, a day he thought should have been spent preparing for the playoffs.
"I can't even describe how it hurts," Coughlin said of the disappointment of not making the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons on WFAN. "I don't know what to do. I'm walking around here like a crazy man. I am. I don't know what to do with myself. We shouldn't be doing this [interview] right now. The pain of it is almost indescribable. Because your expectations are so high . . . The thing that's most difficult to deal with is losing, and then being out of it. It's difficult to describe."
The Giants finished with a 9-7 record, the same mark they posted last year when they won the division and, eventually, the Super Bowl. It was the team's inconsistency that cost them this season, and Coughlin said the team even had him fooled more often than not when solid weeks of practice and preparation did not translate into strong efforts in games. The losses to the Falcons and Ravens in Weeks 15 and 16 of the season were particularly perplexing.
"I'm glad I'm not a betting man, because I would've lost everything," Coughlin said. "Games in which I felt like we were right there and then all of a sudden, it just, for whatever reason . . . we didn't get off to a good start, we didn't rally back, we didn't stop the other guy at the right time, whatever it might be. I'm sure I'll be hashing these things over all winter."
He'll have a long one. The Giants don't reassemble until April 15 to begin offseason workouts. By then some of the immediate pain and dazed confusion from the way the 2012 season ended will have worn off. But not entirely.
"To be the Super Bowl champion and not be in the playoffs," Coughlin said. "If that doesn't bring you down to Earth and create the kind of humility that goes along with getting your nose back to the grindstone, I don't know what does."
Notes & quotes: General manager Jerry Reese, also on WFAN, said he would enlist Michael Strahan to speak with Jason Pierre-Paul about dealing with double-teams. "After Michael became a superstar defensive end, he was getting double-teamed, he was getting chipped, but he was still getting sacks," Reese said. "The great ones still get through there and make plays. He's got to do that." Pierre-Paul finished with 6.5 sacks, 10 fewer than last year, and didn't have one in the final seven games of the season . . . Reese also addressed a contract extension for Victor Cruz, for which negotiations took place during the season. "Nothing materialized," Reese said. "We'll revisit that as we move forward with our evaluations and see where that goes." Cruz will be a restricted free agent this offseason.