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Coughlin Hopes Teams Stack The Box:

From the New York Post:

If Tom Coughlin ever engaged in trash talk, it no doubt would involve explaining the need to double-bag his garbage.

Still, considering the source, this qualifies as a small verbal salvo. Asked yesterday about the likelihood opposing defenses — in a show of disrespect for the Giants’ young receivers — will stack the box with an extra player and load up to stop the running game, Coughlin (for him) fired the first shot.

“It probably would be a good thing if they did that,” he said.

A good thing? As in, Eli Manning and Co. will make them pay for that tactic?

“I think we had some experience [throwing the ball] down the field this preseason,” Coughlin said. “Certainly that would be one thing you can do to answer that.”

No doubt it’s a strategy the Redskins will use Sunday in the season opener, especially after Brandon Jacobs in last season’s opening game ran for 116 yards as the Giants laid the groundwork for a two-game series sweep of their NFC East rivals.

“That’s what we expect and that’s what we would do to other teams if we were in the reverse situation,” said center Shaun O’Hara, who has the undesirable task of dealing with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

Coughlin clearly is showing great confidence in targets Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham and rookie Hakeem Nicks. Even more so, the coach is showing the regard he has for Manning as he enters his sixth season.

“I think we have receivers who can make plays,” Manning said. “Guys can get down the field, guys who can break tackles. We’re going to see what the defense is doing and make our adjustments. I think we have the guys out wide who can be explosive and get down the field and do some great things.”

Manning recalled last season the Redskins played the Nov. 30 game at FedEx Field worried mainly about containing the Giants on the ground. They did, limiting Jacobs to 71 yards. It was the first game played after Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself and the ‘Skins clearly believed Manning didn’t have enough targets to beat them.

“Last time we played ’em, they were a lot of single-high team and brought some pressure,” said Manning, describing how the Redskins brought a safety up near the line of scrimmage and played the Giants’ receivers in one-on-one coverage. “The first series we hit Amani down the field, threw the ball pretty well — it was one of our best passing games of the year the second time we played ’em.”

Indeed, Manning hit Amani Toomer for a 40-yard touchdown pass on the first offensive series, paving the way for Manning’s only 300-yard passing game of the season.

Of course, like Burress, Toomer is gone and the replacements must prove they should be respected.

“I think Plaxico was a real force, so obviously someone is going to have to pick up a lot of slack,” Redskins coach Jim Zorn said. “But usually, I know the Giants are like this, they have good athletes all over. It is hard to replace a special guy like that. I think what there are going to do is spread the ball around a little bit more.”

Manning sees one element that is improved from a year ago.

“I think we probably have a little bit better run-after-catch ability this year with some guys,” Manning said, no doubt referring to Manningham and Nicks. “It’s my job to get the ball in their hands and let them make some plays running with the ball.”

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