New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin had a piece of advice for Matt Dodge, his rookie punter, as the Giants prepare to face returner Devin Hester and the Chicago Bears this weekend.
“Kick it out of bounds. Don’t let him have the ball,” Coughlin said on Wednesday.
Dodge has shanked a few punts this season, causing Giants fans at the Meadowlands to chant “We Want Feagles.” Coughlin still has high expectations for Dodge, saying “Well, you’ve got to believe that he’s going to be able to recognize the level of competition and rise to the occasion. That’s what we…we’re working with him every day. All day long people are in his ear and hopefully it’ll sink in.”
Coughlin talked about more than punting the football on Wednesday. He also spoke about defensive end Julius Peppers and the Chicago pass rush. “Well, obviously your schemes have to reflect that,” Coughlin explained. “You have to recognize where he is – he’s going to line up on the right side, on the left side, he’s going to line up to the open side, he’s going to line up to the tight end side – and you’ve got to make some adjustments with your schemes. He’s obviously doing that for a reason. You have to basically adjust right along with him.”
A lot has been said by New York players, journalists and NFL broadcasters regarding the team’s chemistry and lack of leadership. Coughlin said the mood have been positive thus far. “I think that there was a good feeling in the room this morning and I think that come Monday morning it was pretty strong as well,” Coughlin stated.
Just being prepared mentally and psychologically won’t be enough for the Giants this Sunday night. Despite what some fans think, the Bears are 3-0 for a reason. New York cannot afford to make silly mistakes against Chicago, or it will be the third straight loss for Big Blue.
All quotes via New York Giants Communications Office
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