EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. -- Use any words available to describe the play of the New York Giants in their 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers Sunday are apt -- as long as those words are negative.
Former Giants linebacker Carl Banks, the team's analyst on radio broadcasts, had his own word -- "Scary."
And he didn't mean it in the manner the Giants were scary when he was a part of the team. Banks spent nine of his 12 NFL seasons playing for the Giants (1984-92) and was part of the tough defenses that helped win two Super Bowls.
"I don't think I've ever seen a team just not show emotion, as they were just getting pummeled," Banks said Monday during an interview on WFAN radio in New York. "I don't advocate fighting, but show some emotion. Show that you care that your quarterback was sacked six times in the first quarter.
"Show me. Push a guy. Tackle a guy. Do something other than just take it. That's not Giants football under any administration, not to mention a (coach) Tom Coughlin team."
Banks says that according to their actions, the players apparently don't even like each other.
"They don't like themselves," he said. "That's what it really comes down to. They don't like each other. They're not willing to fight for each other. When you have a premier quarterback in this league, and you don't have enough self-respect -- not for him, but for yourself -- to protect him to do your job, I think it speaks volumes. I think these guys really do need to all stand in (front of) the mirror, and it's gut-check time."
And it gets worse. Banks contends the Giants seem masochistic.
"The disturbing part is I don't think I've ever seen a team just take a butt-whipping and say 'Give me more,' " he added.
If Banks' opinions are indeed fact, then Coughlin is determined to figure out who is willing to fight and who isn't.
"I expect everybody in that room to fight with the same passion that (the coaches) have, that I have," Coughlin said after the game. "And I'll be looking hard for those who are not."
At the heart of this apparently heartless team's problems is an offensive line that has allowed quarterback Eli Manning to be sacked 11 times, tied for second most in the NFL. He was hit another 22 times.
The breakdowns up front don't seem to have a pattern. For instance, this week left tackle Will Beatty struggling in pass protection and was beaten for a couple of sacks despite holding his man out of desperation, which eventually resulted in one penalty that wiped out a 17-yard David Wilson touchdown run.
Health is part of the problem. Right guard Chris Snee and center David Baas, both of whom had offseason surgeries and were limited in preseason, are not performing close to their potential.
"I think (Snee) has some issues," Coughlin said. "We're trying to figure out where that is right now. And David Baas also has some issues. There are things that have to be looked at."
Whatever the tests might show, the unfortunate reality for Coughlin is that he is not going to get new players anytime soon, given the Giants' current cap situation in which they currently have less than a million dollars of space.
"We are what we are," he said. "We have people who have made this team and they've had an opportunity, except for the young guy at right tackle (Justin Pugh) to play in that position for quite some time and we expect more."
Coughlin was asked if he might shake up the lineup, especially if Snee and Baas are unable to perform as expected.
One potential lineup would be to have left guard Kevin Boothe move back to center and David Diehl, who has been recovering from thumb surgery, move to left guard if he is able to practice this week.
"We'll see," Coughlin said. "Your team is your team. If there is something we think can do can help, then I would consider it."