All offseason we heard about how much the Giants defensive players loved playing for new coordinator Perry Fewell. He was aggressive, brash and a million other positive adjectives that you'd never use to describe the gone and unlamented Bill Sheridan. Then came Monday night's preseason opener and we got a reminder that talk is cheap.
The Giants defense, with one notable exception, looked pretty much like the one that we saw on the field last season. The pass rush didn't disrupt Mark Sanchez, the corners didn't suffocate Jets receivers and the linebackers couldn't make plays to help get the unit off the field. The exception was the play of the safeties, including Antrel Rolle's interception of Sanchez's first pass. Yes, it was a tipped ball, but Rolle, unlike C.C. Brown or anyone else that the Giants trusted with a roster spot last season, made a play and set up the Giants for what should have been an easy touchdown.
Now, anyone who follows football knows that the first week of preseason isn't a particularly fair judge of a defensive scheme. Things are kept blander than a meal of vanilla ice cream and mayonaise sandwiches on white bread because teams don't want to give away anything other than their base packages.
That said, it was still a disappointing performance. The Giants love to talk about how much talent they have on the defensive side of the ball, but great talent will dominate in the least inventive defensive scheme under the sun. They talk about how deep they are along the defensive line, but that same depth didn't do a damn thing for them last season. No matter what the Giants say, that wasn't all because of injuries and it wasn't all because of Sheridan.
Perhaps Tom Coughlin needs to bring in a fiction writing teacher to speak to his defense. They love to remind their students that it is more important to show your readers what is happening than to simply tell them about it. The Giants need to start showing what they've got against the Steelers on Saturday or the story is going to stop being believable.
Show us how you are going to force opposing offenses to play your game this season and show us that you deserve the right to keep making references to the Super Bowl team three years later. Otherwise, it's time to shut up until you've corrected the problems.