Tom Coughlin let it be known Wednesday that there's no new sheriff in Giants town.
The coach told the media that he met with both Brandon Jacobs and Antrel Rolle in the past couple of days after each of them expressed some dissatisfaction with the way things are working inside the Giants organization. Coughlin said that he had a good conversation with the players, which anyone familiar with Coughlin-speak will know means that he reiterated to them that he's the boss and that the first rule of the Giants is that you don't talk to anyone about the Giants.
"I think once the conversations have been accomplished between me and the players, it is well understood by everyone that those issues, whatever those issues are, they should be discussed internally."
In an interesting sideline, Coughlin confirmed that the team no longer has a leadership council of players who regularly meet with the head coach to discuss pressing matters. Coughlin instituted the group in 2007 after heavy criticism of the way he treated his players and the next two years were the best of Coughlin's tenure including, of course, a Super Bowl victory. Coughlin said he felt the council didn't do its job last season, which is a massive understatement, and that he'd simply meet with captains Eli Manning, Justin Tuck and Chase Blackburn this year.
Taking Rolle's comments on Tuesday at face value, that would appear to be doubling down on a problematic situation but Coughlin has never been much for running his team based on public opinion. He wants to hear from those three guys and so he'll only hear from those three guys. Should the Giants beat the Titans on Sunday, Coughlin will get showered with praise for steadying the ship after a terrible performance and a week when it felt like everything was coming apart at the seams.
If they lose, though, Coughlin's going to find himself in trouble. His comments today absolve the players of any issues with leadership because Coughlin has smacked down that argument and made it clear that the buck stops with him. So if the Giants come out with the same lack of effort, poor execution and apathetic attitude as they did against the Colts, there's no one to blame but Coughlin for the state of affairs. That's going to mean a lot of people opining that the coach's message isn't getting through to the players and a sharp spike in those who believe that discontent in the locker room is going to ruin the season.
You've got to admire Coughlin for putting himself front and center like this because he's essentially told the world that he deserves to get fired if the Giants don't improve on last season.