Coughlin clears the air on 4th-and-1 decision

The Giants head coach cleared the air on Monday regarding Victor Cruz's criticism of his decision to punt on 4th-and-inches.

To say that the 2013 NFL season has been frustrating for the New York Giants would be the understatement of the year. The team entered the season with its usual Super Bowl aspirations, but an 0-4 start, including three consecutive blowout losses, has the Giants looking like one of the worst teams in the league.

On Sunday against the Chiefs, New York trailed just 10-7 in the third quarter, but a series of unfortunate events quickly put the team into a deeper hole. Wide receiver Victor Cruz appeared to have a first down reception on a 3rd-and-17 play at the Giants' 31-yard line, but a replay review marked the ball back at the 30 for 4th-and-inches.

With the ball set in Giants territory, head coach Tom Coughlin opted to punt it away. That decision led directly to an 89-yard punt return for Kansas City's Dexter McCluster that blew the game open.

"Well, it traveled a long way and, to be honest with you, there wasn't much coverage," said Coughlin about the punt on Monday. "It was on the numbers, not outside the numbers. I like them outside the numbers, pinning it to the sideline."

There were some who thought that Coughlin never should have ordered for the punt at all. Apparently, one of those critics was New York's own Cruz.

"I gave [Cruz] a chance to say something today and I won't tell you what we said," remarked Coughlin. "I asked him if he wanted to fight."

That sounds a little extreme, but Coughlin insists that the offer was made in jest.

"That's between he and I, but it was in good humor," said the coach about the argument with Cruz. "I didn't ask him what his thinking was. I don't understand why [the media is] making so much out of something like that. It's kind of comical."

With the way things have gone this season for the Giants, it's nice to see that there is still a little fun to be had. That might not be the case if the team falls to 0-5 this week in a game against Philadelphia.

"There were things there that were good and bad and you have to learn from it," said Coughlin about New York's loss in Kansas City."I am a firm believer and I can't go backward. I don't have the power to go backwards and change anything. What we stress is the only thing you can control is right now, so how about taking care of right now?"

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