Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
ST coordinator Tom Quinn's units have not played up to par.
We've heard Giants fans call for the head of just about everyone from the top down. General manager Jerry Reese, head coach Tom Coughlin, quarterback Eli Manning and pretty much anyone else imaginable has each shouldered his fair share of criticism for New York's abysmal start to the season.
One man, however, has inexplicably escaped the attention of pitchfork-wielding fans: special teams coordinator Tom Quinn.
The fact that few have targeted Quinn is surprising, especially since his counterparts, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, are two of the most heavily criticized members of the organization. While the offensive and defensive units feature most of the team's stars, it's impossible to sustain any sort of success without solid and consistent play in all three phases of the game.
New York's special teams has been slacking. Quinn's punt coverage unit allowed its third return touchdown of the season when Minnesota's Marcus Sherels brought back a Steve Weatherford kick 86 yards to the house. Kansas City's Dexter McCluster scored on an 89-yarder in Week 4, and Denver's Trindon Holliday returned an 81-yarder in Week 2.
Weatherford hasn't been as sharp with less than 20 percent of his boots downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line, but he's not the only one struggling. Rueben Randle, who fumbled on a punt return versus the Vikings, has averaged less than six yards per return, while New York's opponents have averaged upward of 18. Kick returns have lacked explosion, too. They are down an average of three yards per return compared to last year.
Now, the special teams wasn't all bad versus Minnesota. The Vikings fumbled a punt return and a kick return, both of which the Giants were able to smother and convert into points. That doesn't change, however, the subpar level of play we're seeing from these units on a regular basis.
Quinn, by the way, is the same coordinator who somehow kept his job through the 2010 debacle, which featured the Matt Dodge project at punter.