Plainview's Eric Winiarz spikes the ball past Massapequa's Christopher Husmann...

Plainview's Eric Winiarz spikes the ball past Massapequa's Christopher Husmann (center) and Jesse Finkel (right) in the Nassau high school boys volleyball game. (Oct. 21, 2010) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

One other subject that seemed to irk Tom Coughlin today was the matter of tipped passes by receivers. Of course the Giants have had a number of interceptions bounce off the hands of their intended targets and into the arms of a defender. Seven of their 11 interceptions have been of that kind. But Coughlin said that as he watches tape around the league, there are a lot of similar plays.

“It’s an incredible thing,” Coughlin said. “Don’t ask me why but it’s all over the place. It’s like a damn plague.”

Despite his explicit plea not to, of course we asked Coughlin why. He said that there is a way to coach players out of it.

“Catch it. Catch the thing,” he said. “Catch it. Don’t be surprised by it. Get your eyes on the ball.”

Coughlin was a receivers coach early in his career, so that might have something to do with his level of dissatisfaction, right?

“As a former anything, that drives me crazy,” he said. “The turnovers drive me crazy.”

Coughlin said he has spent “a lot of time” talking to players about this – Hakeem Nicks in particular seems to be good for two or three a month – and noted that the offensive line allowing defenders to get in the face of Eli Manning does make him have to throw the ball a little higher than he might normally. But he was so befuddled by the pattern, he nearly ran out of words.

“I don’t know if the English language lets me go any further,” he said with near exasperation. “You’re asking about things that … we work with them every day. We’re not practicing volleyball drills, just to let you know that.”

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