|Bengals WR A.J. Green says the Giants have one of the best front fours in football, and Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who intercepted this pass against the Cowboys two weeks ago, doesn't disagree. (AP)|
After three weeks of being outgained, out-possessed and outscored on offense, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride may have hinted at a potential solution by saying that he would “absolutely” consider reviving the no-huddle offense.
“You don't want me to tip my hand, now do you?” Gilbride continued. “It's something you always talk about because it has been something good.”
Gilbride did caution that simply turning up the tempo won't necessarily change everything for the better. The Giants attempted to pick up the pace when they got the ball with four minutes to go in Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Steelers, but they failed to get a single first down and handed the ball right back to the Steelers.
“We didn't do anything,” Gilbride said. “We were in that two-minute mode. It doesn't always work, but it has been something that we have been very good at and hopefully we're going to recover and get back to that.”
Gilbride agreed that the Giants' recent offensive struggles have been “jarring,” adding that his players are “very proud” and are “used to being successful.”
About those “holes”: DE Jason Pierre-Paul didn't hear Bengals WR A.J. Green on WFAN Thursday morning, but the local media was there to give him the highlights.
Specifically, Green said he saw some “holes” in the Giants' defense, which presumably exist beyond the defensive line, because he described that unit as “one of the best front fours in the game."
As you can imagine, Pierre-Paul only agreed with part of Green's assessment.
“I feel like our back end is great,” Pierre-Paul said, referring to the Giants' secondary. “[S Antrel Rolle], you've got Prince [Amukamara]. You've got [CB Corey Webster]. Those are great guys, and they can cover.
"If I was going to play with any guys, I'll play with those guys," he continued. "Those are the guys we won the Super Bowl with last year, so they're doing something right.”
As for Green's opinion that the Giants have the best defensive front in the game?
“We feel like we're the best pass-rushers in the league,” he said, referring to himself, DE Justin Tuck and DE Osi Umenyiora. “There are some out there that do the same that we do, but when you put three of us together, we're unstoppable.”
Who is Andrew Hawkins? Not many people know Andrew Hawkins, but the Giants' defense has been studying the 5-7 slot receiver closely this week.
“Hawkins is just a very, very speedy guy,” CB Jayron Hosley said. “Definitely great moves after the catch. If you can get your hands on him at the line, that's great.”
Hawkins has 31 catches for 378 yards this season and excels at turning short passes into big gains.
What to do without Snee: The Giants might be without RG Chris Snee (ankle) this week for just the second time since the start of the 2005 season.
“He's such an integral part of what we do,” Gilbride said. “Obviously, if you lose him, you lose a good football player, but you also lose a very intelligent football player; a guy who's been an anchor for the group. His strength, mentally and emotionally; he's one of those guys you depend on when things aren't going well. He's just so stable and determined and mentally tough that everybody kind of looks to him as an example. That's a big loss when you lose a guy of that quality.”
The Giants have several options if he can't play. They could move RT David Diehl to right guard (Diehl can play any position except center) and bring OT Sean Locklear back into the starting lineup at right tackle. They could also use backup lineman James Brewer or Jim Cordle at right guard.
Blackburn expects to play: After sitting out last week, MLB Chase Blackburn (hamstring) practiced on Thursday and thinks he's a good bet to go against the Bengals on Sunday.
“I'm planning on playing unless they tell me no,” he said.
Blackburn, an Ohio native, said he'll have family at the game, which is a good sign that he'll be active.
Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn doesn't hold back: When it came to the Bengals' kick coverage unit giving up a touchdown last week, Quinn didn't seem to be affected too much.
“It's a really good kickoff coverage team,” he said. "It's just not representative of what they are.”
As for his own unit allowing a punt return of 53 yards and a 68-yard kick return in Sunday's loss to the Steelers, Quinn felt differently.
“Oh yeah, we're pissed about that,” Quinn said. “The defense bailed us out. Take our hats off to them, but we have to do our job. We didn't do our job, we weren't physical enough, weren't fast enough down the field and we didn't get off any blocks.”
Blackburn, RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), DT Chris Canty (groin), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), C David Baas (ankle/elbow), TE Bear Pascoe (ankle) and LB Keith Rivers (calf) were limited while RB Andre Brown (shoulder) went full.