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Tom Coughlin to Victor Cruz: Do you want to fight?

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants reacts to a call in the second half against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 7, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tom Coughlin had his own way of dealing with Victor Cruz's second-guessing of his decision to punt the ball on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Chiefs.

"I asked him if he wanted to fight," Coughlin said.

Coughlin wouldn't say what Cruz' response was. "That's between he and I," he said. But sufficed to say punches were not thrown between the Giants' head coach and the only offensive player who is producing so far this season.

"It was in good humor," Coughlin said.

Cruz wasn't seeing the funny side of the decision on Sunday. After the 31-7 loss to the Chiefs he said he would have gone for it on fourth-and-1 -- actually about a half a yard, to be exact -- and tried to make something positive happen. "We gotta take a risk at some point and make something happen," Cruz said on Sunday.

But it was far from insubordination as Cruz also said that Coughlin is "the head honcho" and added that Cruz's job is to "go out there and abide by [Coughlin's] rules."

As for the actual decision, Coughlin was steadfast he made the right call.

"The ball is at the minus-30, it's the third quarter, it's 10-7 and we had little or no success with our short yardage, we're 0-for-2 for the year," he said. "I'm not going to get into that."

He said he attributed Cruz's remarks to his competitive nature.

"I didn't ask him what his thinking was," Coughlin said.

As for the attention Cruz's remarks received, Coughlin was as surprised as Cruz must have been when he was called out by his head coach.

"I don't understand why you guys would make so much out of something like that," Coughlin said to the media. "It's kind of comical...That circumstance, that quote, you should have just realized it was frustration."

New York Sports