Tom Coughlin and Jeff Fisher have a lot in common. They've been coaching against each other for a long time -- Sunday will be their 19th head-to-head meeting -- and are ranked 13th and 14th, respectively, on the all-time list of regular-season wins by a coach. One win separates them.
But the real number that shows the vast difference between the two is 28. That's how many times Fisher has called a fake punt in his career, including three this season. Coughlin? He's never called one. Ever.
Giants punter Steve Weatherford said the Giants do have fake punts "oiled up" and they practice an assortment of them.
"It's always in your pocket," he said, "but it's deep, deep down in your pocket."
Weatherford noted that Fisher came up under Buddy Ryan so extracted some of that swashbuckling and risk-taking attitude. Coughlin is much more conservative.
"When properly utilized, obviously it can be very, very, good," Coughlin said of trick plays on special teams. "It can create another possession for you literally."
Coughlin pointed out that the Rams' punter, Johnny Hekker, was a scout team quarterback at Oregon State, which affords Fisher more opportunities to use him as a passer. Of course, Fisher hasn't always had Hekker throughout his career. The Giants have Weatherford, who was an accomplished heptathlete in high school.
"Maybe if they need me to pole vault on fourth down," Weatherford said of his skill set for fakes. "You're kind of better off keeping a quarterback that's making $20 million a year out there going for it on fourth down than you are having your punter run or something like that . . . If it's fourth-and-6, you let Eli do his thing."
Room for improvement
Rueben Randle has been disciplined twice in the last three games and has caught just nine passes in the last four games, but Coughlin did not seem too upset with the third-year receiver. When asked about Randle's approach, Coughlin said he was generally happy.
"Except for the issues," he said. "There's always things that I would want for each individual to improve upon that is on our team, different things in our lives, different parts of our game, to be honest with you. I'm always after Rueben for that because he's a talented young man."
The Giants had only two players on their injury report: RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) and LB Jameel McClain (knee), neither of whom practiced Wednesday . . . Eli Manning, who was limited with a back injury last week, is not on the injury report. "Am I not on it? That's good," Manning said. "I'm glad I'm healthy."The Giants signed TE Jerome Cunningham to their active roster.