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Coughlin wants to see NY Giants play with pride

Coughlin wants to see NY Giants play with pride

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) In some ways Tom Coughlin has come full circle with the New York Giants.

Coughlin spoke of restoring Giants pride when he took over an underachieving team in 2004. His message Wednesday heading into what might be the final week of a very disappointing season is again about restoring pride.

It's not what he or anyone expected after the defending champions started the season 6-2. But this team bears no semblance of being either a champion or a contender, especially after losing the past two games to Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 67-14.

``Whatever it is, the football has not been what we expected it to be,'' Coughlin said. ``I'm calling it execution; perhaps I had a bad choice of words. That's what I talked to our team about this morning, was pride, honor, dignity. Play the game the way we're capable of playing the game. Finish this season with a game we can all be proud of.''

The Giants (8-7) seemingly can't play any worse than they have in the past two weeks.

The offense has produced little and the defense has stopped no one as New York has lost control of its playoff destiny. The finale against Philadelphia (4-11) on Sunday might be Andy Reid's final game as Eagles coach.

The Giants need to win, have Minnesota and Chicago lose, and have Robert Griffin III and Washington either beat or tie the Dallas Cowboys.

Defensive captain Justin Tuck, who sat out the Ravens game with a shoulder injury, plans on returning this weekend. He said it was hard watching the team play like garbage, which is a kind way of characterizing his description of the team's performance.

However, he insisted the team didn't quit.

``Watching the film, you see guys hustling, but something is off,'' he said. ``We got to try our best to find what it is and it starts with everybody worrying about their individual techniques.

``... Out of the 53 guys on this football team, if all of us can go to sleep at night knowing that we put forth the greatest effort to prepare and on the football field, we will be fine,'' Tuck added. ``That's is all we ask of our guys, make sure you do your job, and in turn if you got 11 guys doing their jobs on the football field, that is when we play well as a football team.''

Offensive tackle Will Beatty said the mistakes can be corrected with just a little more effort.

``Coach is emphasizing that this is the last game, if this is your last game, go out with a bang,'' Beatty said. ``Don't hold your head down. Make sure you're doing everything you can and build on this game. If we have the opportunity, things fall in place, make it to the playoffs, you had a good game so you're ready for the playoffs. It's not feel sorry for yourself, take it easy, it's the last game, let's get out of here. It's work hard, prepare.''

The problem for the Giants is they have prepared well the past two weeks and it has not carried over to Sunday. The result: five losses in their last seven games. The 2 1/2-game lead they had in the NFC East disappeared and the division will be won by either Washington (9-6) or Dallas (8-7). The best the Giants can do is get a wild card.

``Every Wednesday you come in and put the last game behind you and it can't be any different,'' guard Chris Snee said. ``As frustrating as this has been, beating the teams that we did and then losing to the teams that we have, it's been frustrating. We haven't played well. It's hard to explain, it's hard to understand, but that's what's happened.''

The Giants can't afford not to show up. The Eagles probably are going to be trying a little harder to win one for their coach, whose job clearly is in jeopardy after winning only four games.

A third straight loss would leave the Giants out of the playoffs for the third time in four years.

``The last two weeks have been pretty embarrassing,'' placekicker Lawrence Tynes said. ``There is no other word to say when you go out and play like we have the last two weeks. It's not a reflection of our head coach or this organization and what they have done in the past. It puts a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths, so we have to play better. We have to dig down deep and figure something out between now and Sunday to at least go out, if we are not in the playoffs, thinking, `OK, I played well the last game of the year.'''

NOTES: The Giants placed TE Travis Beckum on injured reserve with a left knee problem. He was hurt in practice Friday. He played only four games this season while recovering from an ACL injury in the Super Bowl. ... Beckum's spot was filled by DB Terrence Frederick, signed off the practice squad. Cornerback Brandon Bing, was signed to the practice squad. ... CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), C David Baas (hip/shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee/foot), DT Chris Canty (knee), WR Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Snee (hip) did not practice Wednesday. Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tuck (shoulder) were limited. Safety Tyler Sash (hamstring) practiced fully.

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‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

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Capital City Go-Go

‘Grateful for the opportunity’ A tale of the second Capital City Go-Go open tryouts

The Washington Wizards G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, held their second open local player tryouts at the Entertainment and Sports Arena Saturday morning in Southeast D.C.

Over 100 hopefuls filed into the arena with plans to impress Go-Go General Manager, Pop Mensah-Bonsu, head coach Ryan Richman, and his staff. 

Although each player in attendance has a unique path that’s led them here, they all shared one simple, yet intricate goal:

One shot in the G League. 

Adam Stanford, a prospect from California, traveled on a red eye to make the tryout on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep.

“My plane left at midnight from LAX, I had a two-hour layover in Denver, made it to Reagan National at five, checked into my hotel at six, took an hour nap and then Ubered here for tryouts,”  he said. 

“If I made this team it’d be big. Not just for me but for everyone who knows what I’ve been through from college to now.” 

Stanford is a 6-foot-4 wing from Campbellsville University, where he averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, and was an academic All-American. 

Even with his positive outlook on the process, and an impressive showing Saturday morning, Stanford’s name wasn’t called for a follow-up workout later in the afternoon. 

The harsh reality that your chances are extremely slim to make a G League roster from an open tryout can be a tough pill to swallow, but as a guy who’s been on the opposite end of the chopping block, Mensah-Bonsu had an immense amount of respect for those who showed up to compete Saturday.

“Personally it’s tough because I never wanted to be that guy to read out the numbers of those who did make the team, and skip over those who didn’t,” Mensah-Bonsu said, “it’s heartbreaking. We always anticipate what the DMV has to offer in terms of the wealth of talent in this area.

"I was pleasantly surprised because we ended up selecting 15 guys to stick around for the afternoon portion, but going into this we were only planning to pick five.” 

Those who made the cut won’t be announced until a later date, which leaves the larger point of how those who were passed on respond?

The all-time leading scorer in Peach Sun Belt Conference history, Detrek Browning, was in attendance Saturday and put on a show. His combination of quickness, deep range shooting ability, and a knack for loose balls/putbacks captured the attention of every media member in attendance. 

However, his name wasn’t called for the next round of tryouts. 

Still, in a state of shock, he delivered words of encouragement not just for his self, but others to turn to after a similar letdown. 

“I for sure thought I was going to get a place here, but you just gotta focus and move on,” Browning said. “I quit my job in June to focus on basketball and it’s been paying off. I’ve seen my game increase exponentially.

“I did my best and that’s what matters,” he added. “I appreciate them not picking me up, it’s just going to make me work even harder.”

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Ravens looking to make a statement in Kansas City against the unbeaten Chiefs

Ravens looking to make a statement in Kansas City against the unbeaten Chiefs

Depending on who’s asked, Sunday’s game is either a statement waiting to be made, or just another game to play. 

In perhaps the weekend’s most anticipated game, the Ravens will head to Arrowhead Stadium to face the unbeaten Chiefs on Sunday at 1 p.m. It’s an opportunity for the Ravens to stake their claim as one of the NFL’s best, against the league’s most explosive offense.

“Every game for us is a statement game,” Ronnie Stanley said. “We’ve been downplayed since the beginning of the season. Every game (is), and this just happens to be the next one.”

But while it’s being billed as a game between two of the NFL’s hottest offenses led by two bright stars at quarterback, it’s still just the third game of the season. 

“Not really,” Marshal Yanda said on if this game is a measuring stick. “We focus on the gameplan. We focus on practice and sharpening things up, just getting better every single day. Obviously, we know that they’re a good football team, and we’re going to respect them. But we’re just more worried about what we can control in this building and just getting better every day.”

There’s two mindsets, but it’s impossible to look past what Sunday’s matchup could mean. 

Firstly, it would be at least a modicum of revenge for last year’s 27-24 overtime loss, a loss which Ravens players and coaches have said still sticks with them. 

But perhaps more importantly, it would give the Ravens a leg up early in the season on one of the favorites in the AFC. 

“We’re trying to make our way,” coach John Harbaugh said. “There will be a lot at stake at the end of the year when you count them up, but right now, both teams are trying to find who they are and are trying to win an early AFC matchup. It’s just kind of an early-season game.”

At 2-0, the opportunity is there on-paper for the Ravens to state their claim atop the conference, especially with the rest of the AFC North’s start to the season.

Cincinnati stumbled out of the gate and is 0-2, as is Pittsburgh, which just lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season to an injury. 

The Browns are 1-1 with the Rams coming to town on Sunday, meaning the opportunity is there for the Ravens to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the conference early on.

In order for the Ravens to do so, however, they’ll have to get by Patrick Mahomes and company.

“It’s a big challenge for us in the back end, a big challenge for the defense and for this ball club on the road against a playoff-caliber team,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “They have it all. We’re excited to see what we’re made of, so it’s a big challenge for us, trying to find a way to get to 3-0.”

Still, Sunday’s game is more than just a game on paper. The Ravens can firmly cement themselves as one of the NFL’s best amongst the minds of many in the league. Even if they knew that already themselves.

“My job is to control what I can control, and that’s my offense,” Lamar Jackson said. “I don’t really care about the hype. I don’t even care about the hype they’re giving us now. They were just doubting us the whole offseason. Like I said, we’re just going to go in there and perform.”

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