Tsk, tsk, Tom Coughlin

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Tsk, tsk, Tom Coughlin

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

"Outrageous!" they cry.

"There's some things you just don't do," they lecture.

"I expected him to behave with more class than that," they gossip from the confines of their knitting circles sports talk radio studios.

And they're right.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin pulled a big no-no by publicly outing his punter as below-average at following directions. Matt Dodge, the punter, told logic to stick it Sunday, punting the ball to Eagles att-lete DeSean Jackson with the game tied and 15 second remaining in regulation. Jackson returned that very bravely punted football for a touchdown.

The Eagles won. The Giants lost. New York now trails Philly by one game in the NFC East standings.

Yeah, not punting it out of bounds was a big "oops." But that's no reason for Coughlin to undress him on the field -- figuratively. And it's certainly not an excuse for bringing it up again in his postgame press conference. What's one game in the standings when a player's feelings are on the line?

And don't make excuses for the coach.

"My high school baseball coach undressed me worse than that for failing to lay down a two-strike bunt. We were up by ten runs."

Why is everyone getting undressed?

Anyway, it won't work here, buddy. This is professional sports, where the athletes have been coddled from an early age, and no Super Bowl-winning coach can change that now. Why? Sports Talk personalities have picked up where the athletes' parents left off. Even if the coach tries, it's likely too late to get a positive reaction:

"Nope. Sorry, Coach. They tell me my feelings are too hurt to punt the ball out of bounds for you."

You reap what you sow, Mr. Coughlin. Maybe next time you should sow candy bars and hugs. And higher ratings. That way the need to manufacture controversies won't exist.

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

Rex Ryan’s erratic act is his lone consistency

With the Bills 0-2 and sinking slowly in a morass of dysfunction last week, Rex Ryan was anything but his corny, wise-cracking, false-bravado-bringing self. He was subdued before the Bills took on the Cardinals.

Now, with the Bills having spanked Arizona and the Patriots up next, Rex is back at it with the erratic, putting forth an eyebrow-raisingly bad Bill Belichick impersonation to start the week then parachuting into a conference call with Julian Edelman posing as a Buffalo News reporter.

He’s the guy at the house party knocking over the chips and drinks at 9 p.m. and wondering where the motherscratching karaoke machine is because he wants to SING!!

Asked to account for the behavior change from last week to this, Rex’ verbatim response was a look into his addled mind.

“I was still myself, I think just part of it. This week, look guys, we know who we’re playing. When you look at the ESPN deal, I think they’re ranked number one---I don’t know. Like I said, they’re number two, but I don’t think we’re ranked number one so---look, we know the task is going to be a big one. The quarterback thing, yeah you got to be prepared and you actually have to be prepared for three different guys. They’re no dummies, they’re leaving it out there, they can know who it is, I get it. They’re certainly not going to do us any favors.”

Give that a quick re-read.

My verbal syntax and wandering trains of thought aren’t evidence of an ordered mind either, so I do empathize with Rex. But neither am I the head coach of one of 32 entries in the NFL, a pretty high-profile league in which an ordered presentation from the guy in charge is usually a positive.

I spoke at length with Tim Graham – who really does work for the Buffalo News – during our Quick Slants Podcast this week.

Rex’ constant insistence on his own authenticity feels to me like a misdirection. He chooses who he’s going to be and how he’s going to be each week. That’s the only consistent thing about him, other than the fact that he is an eminently likable guy specifically because he is so vulnerable.

 For a guy that wants to projecting an image of a guy who just doesn’t give a s***, he spends a lot of time thinking about this stuff.  

“I learned a long time ago, you got to be yourself in this league and that [acting like Bill Belichick] wouldn’t have worked,” Ryan explained. “If I tried to be like Bill Belichick that would never work for me, just like, not that he ever would, but if he’s going to try to be like somebody else, that ain’t going to work for him. And so, at least one thing we have in common is the fact that we know you better be yourself in this league and look, I think it’s hilarious when he’s on there because that’s who he is but it’s great and he does it better than anybody else. Some guys that try to copy that style, they’re phonies. Belichick does it, that’s who he is. [Gregg] Popovich is probably the closest thing in the NBA. Like those guys are classics but that’s who they are and they’re fantastic and I think the record speaks for itself but you talk about a consistent guy, Bill Belichick is the most consistent guy there is and I try to be consistent, albeit in a much different way.”

Consistent in his inconsistency. Great fun at parties. No way to go through life as an NFL head coach.

 

Patriots have perfect attendance at Thursday walkthrough

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Patriots have perfect attendance at Thursday walkthrough

FOXBORO -- The Patriots opted to have a walkthrough on Thursday, an in-season rarity for Bill Belichick's club. 

The low-key session makes sense, though. Because the team practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, it will still have two practices under its belt, as it usually does every week. Now, instead of having just one walkthrough on a Friday, as the Patriots do typically, they'll have had two. 

All players were present for the on-the-field work, including quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. Members of the media were only able to watch the team walk onto the field, and they were treated to a fashion show of sorts. Bill Belichick stood out with his hooded sweatshirt, as did Jamie Collins, who for some reason wore plastic bags around his gloves. Practice squad defensive lineman Geneo Grissom brought a bit of a business casual look to the field, sporting a collared shirt under his sweatshirt.