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The Giants Defense Gets Called Out By Its Coach

With Packers on deck, Giants defensive coordinator challenges his charges

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Dec 2, 2011  |  Updated 3:38 PM EDT
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New York Giants 2011-12 Championship Season

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Finger pointing time is done, now the Giants need to actually respond.

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You have to have a long memory to remember a time when it was a coach of the Giants, not the Jets, making headlines for their performance in a press conference.

It was Jim Fassel pushing all his chips into the middle of the table back in 2000 when he bet his own job on the team making it into the playoffs.

It worked out and the Giants won the NFC, but since then it has been Herman Edwards playing to win the game and Rex Ryan being Rex Ryan while the Giants keep things a bit more buttoned up.

Perry Fewell has had enough of being buttoned up and he's had more than enough of watching his defense play like garbage, which made for a pretty memorable interview session with the media on Thursday afternoon.

Fewell, whose personality could only be described as unknown before Thursday, went off on his defense for quitting on plays against the Saints.

It's a welcome development to hear someone associated with the Giants publicly admit that they put forth one of the most pathetic efforts, from players to coaches, in recent memory Monday night.

Tom Coughlin hasn't been nearly as honest in his dealings with the press, offering mealymouthed platitudes about execution when it was clear the Giants were neither well prepared nor willing to work hard enough to win in New Orleans.

The same message was delivered directly to the defense before the media got their dose of it. They threw their public support behind their coach, something that didn't happen when Coughlin questioned their effort against the Eagles and is a good sign that there's a little bit of shame in the locker room about what went down.

Fewell, who has been criticized for his unwillingness to attack opposing defenses in recent weeks, vowed things would be different against Aaron Rodgers.

"We have to be very disciplined in our rush lanes, but more so, we just have to get after his ass. If we do that and he scrambles, then that’s the price he’s going to have to pay because we’re going to hit him. We’re going to hit him."

Bold words, but, as the saying goes, words don't hurt anybody. The big issue with this Giants defense is that they don't have the sticks and stones needed to actually break some bones.

That shouldn't stop Fewell from putting his plans into motion come Sunday. The only chance they have to beat the Packers, the only chance they have to make the playoffs really, is to play these games like there's absolutely nothing to lose because there really isn't.

If they keep doing things the same way, they will lose and the season will end. There's a good chance they lose on Sunday to a really good Packers team, but at least they'll go down fighting instead of that miserable display they put forth on Monday night.

Risk everything right now and maybe you can stop the bleeding and turn things back around. That goes for the offense as well, because the Giants can't do anything less than throw everything they have left in them at the Packers in hopes of pulling off an improbable win.

Fewell did that on Thursday. You can't put that kind of promise out there and expect that you're going to be employed too much longer if the team doesn't respond.

The Giants should have the same kind of urgency. Fewell talked the talk, now they've got to walk the walk.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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