When a friend or relative has an addiction problem, they’re usually in denial and behaving irrationally — and an intervention is often in order. And although the NY Giants aren’t exactly a friend or relative, they’re most definitely addicted to losing. They’re also in denial and behaving irrationally. They need an intervention.
They seem to believe, if they just keep going through the same exact motions that earned them two Super Bowls in six years — admittedly, a tremendous accomplishment — they’ll be all right, even though the results of the last thirteen games, going back to last year, completely refute that belief. Their plan doesn’t work anymore but they won’t let go of it — and they have no plan ‘B.’
In spite of their 0-5 record — they keep rationalizing: they just have to practice harder, mustn’t point fingers, and must stay the course. Well, they’ve been doing exactly that since right before the Falcons game last year, and then, the Ravens game, and through training camp and through five brutal losses this season. Guess what, guys; you’re wrong! It isn’t working. But they’re addicted to their behavior and in total denial. That’s why an intervention is in order. Mister Mara, can you hear me?
Their refusal to make changes smacks of arrogance and complacency. A countdown clock? Good grief! They keep waiting for the old formula to kick in. But it hasn’t kicked in and it won’t kick in. It just doesn’t work anymore and it seems as if Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin haven’t gotten the memo. A new message to the team is needed — and it must be delivered in a different voice. Not by a different GM and not by a different coach. No! Just a voice with a different pitch. A different tempo. A different vocabulary. A voice of adaptation and change.
They don’t know how to adapt — or, worse, they refuse to adapt. Well, so did the dinosaurs. Two examples: Tuck is quoted as saying they practiced for Vick and when Foles came in, they weren’t prepared for him. Justin, are you kidding me? Why weren’t you prepared? Prince Amukamara echoed that same thing, saying the Eagles changed their offense after Vick went down and the Giants couldn’t adjust. Wow! What an admission! So, let me see if I’ve got this right: the Eagles did have the flexibility to adjust but the Giants couldn’t. Sad!
Look, Jerry Reese didn’t suddenly become a bad GM. His last two drafts weren’t exactly stellar — but they’ve been drafting later in the draft, which is actually a good thing. Otherwise, he’s been rock-solid. Tom Coughlin did not forget how to coach football and Eli Manning didn’t forget how to play quarterback. But this team is just too enamored with their past accomplishments and too arrogant and complacent to alter the way they do things. Hence: addicted, in denial and irrational.
Yes, there was a time when it didn’t matter if the rest of the league knew what the Giants were going to do, because the Giants did what they did so well, the other teams couldn’t stop them. But that was then and this is now. The league has moved on. They don’t have that kind of personnel anymore. But the approach of the brain trust remains exactly the same, as if things haven’t changed and they do have that personnel. In other words, they’re delusional.
How about doing things differently, once in a while? Yes, your offense worked well in the past, but guess what: the league watches film. Everyone knows you can’t run the ball, how about short passes in lieu of slamming your head against a wall? The slant was there most of the day on Sunday; then, you stopped throwing it. Did the Eagles take it away? Okay, fine. How about adjusting instead of going back to heaving the ball down field into double and triple coverage? Eli is excellent in the no-huddle, hurry-up, offense; why not employ it more — and not just when you’re behind, trying to catch up? Everyone knows your defense is predicated on rushing the passer with four guys. They know how to stop it: why not try a different approach?
One definition of insanity is doing the same self-destructive thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen — and addicts in denial are often exactly that delusional and irrational. Someone has to pull Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin aside — privately — and tell them to snap the hell out of it. The Giants need an intervention, Mr. Mara — Now! Please!