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SportsFootballGiants

Tom Coughlin: Offense has a confidence issue

Eli Manning looks on during the first quarter

Eli Manning looks on during the first quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 15, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

There's been a lot of talk about 2007 lately, particularly how the defense under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo stumbled early but managed to gather itself for a Super Bowl run. In fact it was the strength of the defense that actually won the Super Bowl. So with the offense now looking disjointed under new coordinator Ben McAdoo, the theory is that things can click and there will be another parade in lower Manhattan this February.

Of course, Spagnuolo's defense wasn't bad for just two games. They were bad for almost three. It wasn't until the goal line stand against the Redskins in Week 3 that they got the confidence to believe in the system and each other. There were a few air horns along the way, but it was generally that series of downs late in the game at FedEx Field from which the championship unit was born.

Can one series like that -- one drive, one identity-securing scoring push -- do the same for the offense?

Tom Coughlin's answer: Yes.

"It can, because you have a confidence issue and the only way to gain confidence is to prepare well and go on the field and perform," he told Giants.com. "That's where the disconnect is. I didn't think practice was that bad last week, but there was obviously a disconnect between that and the game. So you keep pushing and at some point in time, there will be a breakthrough."

The players have been talking with plenty of confidence, but Coughlin said words and thoughts don't matter.

"You've got to do it out here, you've got to do it," he said. "That's where (confidence) comes from. I've made this statement over and over again. It's not a week to talk, it's a week to prepare and perform, and play. Talk is cheap, play the game. Stop talking about it and do it. No one is going to buy into the verbalization until it's followed by action."

A few other Coughlin observations from his interview on the team's website:

-- On Victor Cruz saying he and Rueben Randle need to be a bigger part of the offense: "It depends on the context in which it's presented. From my understanding, the context was...'I think I can help.' We're well aware of that. Obviously, we're disappointed in the drops. But no question, that would be something that would be very important and that could naturally be looked at as an improvement. Most patterns have a triangle progression or some type of a priority followed by a progression. Many times those things prevail as to where the ball goes."

-- On rookie center Weston Richburg's first NFL start: "Some good, some bad, like everything else. He competed, he battled. I think he learned about the speed of the game. I think he learned about how decisive your actions have to be when the guy is a foot from your nose. Because of the nature of the player that he is, I would look for improvement this week."

-- On the "scramble" (his word from earlier this week) to prepare for the Cardinals not only in a short week but in a week in which the opponent also played on a Monday night so there was no game film to study until Tuesday morning: "Doesn't matter," he said. "You do X amount of your work under those circumstances. You know it's coming. You do it in the Spring, but this was a different deal for both. In Detroit, obviously, but we could do some work, advance as we always do for the second opponent. We worked in Detroit on the Monday morning of the game. We worked in the latter part of the week whenever we could, so we had some opportunity there to move ahead and prepare a lot of the written material."

New York Sports