As controversy continues to swirl over the alleged bullying involving Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, the Giants are redoubling their efforts to make certain that nothing like this ever happens inside their own locker room.
Coach Tom Coughlin spoke to his captains on Wednesday and will address the rest of the team on Thursday to discuss the situation and reinforce the need for players to respect one another.
"Vigilance is a key issue there," Coughlin said at his news conference Wednesday.
One of the reasons the coach is addressing the team is because of comments Antrel Rolle made Tuesday in a radio interview, saying that Martin was just as much to blame for the situation as Incognito. Rolle later backed away from that equal division of blame, but still insisted Martin's inability to stand up for himself played a part in the incident.
"The teamwork concept is the first thing in the door for us," Coughlin said. "We need everybody. We want everybody to be the very, very best football player that they can possibly be. When you say things like that, you need to back it up with the fact that the player has to be comfortable in his environment. He's not going to grow and develop if he isn't."
Eli Manning, one of the Giants' captains, expressed great concern about the Dolphins' situation, but said he has never seen anything like this with his own team. "If you have conflicts among teammates and personal problems, it can definitely cause concerns," Manning said. "It's gotten so bad in Miami it's taking it to a whole new level. Guy leaves the team and another guy has been relieved from the team. Obviously that's the extreme. I don't know all the facts of what happened down there, but I haven't seen anything like that here."
Said defensive end Justin Tuck: "There's no place for bullying. We've all been around and we all have our rituals of getting the rookies [to get us] doughnuts and chicken for the plane, that's just part of the passing down. But there's no place for hatred. There has to be a line somewhere that can't be crossed, and if it is crossed it needs to be dealt with."With Tom Rock