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Linval Joseph can't wait to shed the "soft" label

Isaac Redman of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to

Isaac Redman of the Pittsburgh Steelers tries to break away from Stevie Brown of the Giants during a game at MetLife Stadium. (Nov. 4, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Asked about the middle of the Giants’ run defense against the Steelers, Tom Coughlin used a four-letter word as far as football players are concerned.

“It was soft, it was soft, no question,” Coughlin said. “It was soft early … We got mushed a little bit up front. Their big bodies knocked us back.”

Asked about being called soft, some defensive tackles took a bit of umbrage.

“That’s not a word you want to hear, but I guess you call it as you see it,” starting defensive tackle Linval Joseph said. “We didn’t have our best game and we’re going to make up for it this week.”

Rocky Bernard was not amused by being called soft either.

“That’s funny, real funny,” he said. “That wouldn’t be the word I would use to describe it.”

But it’s the word Coughlin used. He noted today that he was talking primarily about the early stages of the game, but still, soft is soft.

“They got rolling and we couldn’t stop it,” Joseph said. “And when we did stop it, it was too late. That’s how I call it. I feel like this game coming up is going to be just like last game. They’re very similar teams. So now we have another opportunity.”

That can be good or bad. It’s good because of the familiarity. It’s bad because the Giants clearly struggled against that kind of physical AFC North play.

“Well, we’ll see,” Joseph said. “This week is going to show if we fixed our mistakes or we didn’t fix our mistakes. I can’t wait for this game to come on Sunday.”

New York Sports