Jameel McClain, starting middle linebacker of the New York Giants, was unequivocal in accepting blame for the team’s latest loss, its fourth in a row, saying “We just didn’t play sound football. People weren’t where they were supposed to be, myself included. I always look at myself first. There was a time or two where I wasn’t in the position that I was supposed to be in to help the defense. We really didn’t play solid football. That is it in a nutshell.”
According to McClain, preparation wasn’t the issue, execution was. “We were definitely prepared. Coach had a great game plan… All in all, it is just a player thing. It is not about being surprised. It is not about the game plan. It is not about being bad. It is not about anything. It is about coaches coach and players play. Us players, myself as a player, we need to play better.”
With the losses mounting and injuries piling, the G-Men are “disappointed” but hopeful with McClain claiming “Everybody believes in the destination. We know that we still have games to fight and go out there and play. That is what I get from the team. Right now people are disappointed with the performance that we put out there, and we should be.”
When discussing Big Blue’s deficiencies, McClain said “I just wish it was one simple obstacle that I could point at. We need to just play football. Play assignments. When you have to do something, do that. Sometime when you have to do your assignment, go a little bit above that. Make the play. We were in a position where we got [Seattle] to put the ball on the ground a bunch of times, and I think about three of those times we didn’t even get the ball back. We get that back and it changes momentum. We make the tackle. This person is in that gap and that person is in that gap. We do that and we play a solid game and we leave the game victorious. Not doing those things, we end up in that situation. More importantly now, we didn’t finish. I think the third quarter with, I think, 39 seconds the score was even. We have to finish the fourth quarter. This game is all about finishing and we did not do that.”
Having just allowed Seattle to set their franchise record with 350 total rushing yards, the Giants’ defensive stalwart was, understandably, in no mood to talk to media which he addressed with “I actually was in rush to get out. I apologize. I apologize to all of you. I shouldn’t handle myself that way, regardless if I have to go somewhere or not. I know this is my responsibility and I should own up to that every time. I was 100 percent disappointed. I was kind of raised in a household where if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. In this profession, that really doesn’t work.” As for the record itself, he said “As a starting linebacker or as any linebacker, it is anybody on this defense, even someone who was watching the game, no one likes that feeling. No one wants records to be set on them, no one.”
This week’s threat for the Giants is Colin Kaepernick and the always-dangerous San Francisco 49ers. Someone and something McClain is welcoming, saying “Everything can be fixed. We are blessed. We are in the NFL. Each week we get another opportunity to prove ourselves all over again. In these past weeks, we haven’t done well, so this is the time the iron strikes and it is hot.”
Getting hot now would be a good idea given the NFC East’s standing and because, you know...winter is coming!