Maybe the Giants should consider opening some in-season practices to fans, like in training camp.
Maybe film sessions and weight lifts, too.
Coach Pat Shurmur’s description of the Giants’ progress happening “behind the scenes” during a seven-game losing streak went over poorly with frustrated fans and was amplified when WFAN’s Mike Francesa opened his Tuesday show by mocking the excuse that the public can’t see the improvements.
Shurmur didn’t budge after Friday’s practice.
“At one point I used to feel that saying your team was young was an excuse,” Shurmur said. “It’s a descriptive term for this team. It’s important that they figure it out quickly.
“The good news is that even though it hasn’t been quantified with wins — and I get that it’s the reality of this business, it changes the opinion of everybody when you win — I’ve seen the improvements behind the scenes that are necessary as we reset this thing and move it forward.”
The Giants are replacing injured starters at tight end (Evan Engram), safety (Jabrill Peppers) and punt returner (Golden Tate) with rookies Kaden Smith, Julian Love and Da’Mari Scott, respectively, Sunday against the Packers. At least 10 first- or second-year players will be among the 22 offensive and defensive starters.
Four of the seven consecutive losses are by six points or less, but the Giants went four straight games without a lead at one point in that stretch. It’s difficult to buy the team is close to a breakthrough.
“We have things happen — big plays, turnovers — that have affected us in the latter part of the game,” Shurmur said. “The games have been close. We just have to find a way to get over the top. That will change the way we feel about ourselves. It will change the way the fans feel. It will change the way everything feels when you finally get over the top.”
Shurmur is on the hot seat in the absence of public support from ownership or general manager Dave Gettleman. He is 7-20 with the Giants and 17-43 in his career, including two years with the Browns.
“The good news is when we start winning and start winning consistently then people can change their opinions of what’s going on,” Shurmur said. “And that’s that.”
For more on the Giants, listen to the latest episode of the “Blue Rush” podcast:
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