To the rest of the world, the New York Giants (1-6) are rebuilding on the fly, effectively admitting their chances of making the postseason are zilch.
The trades of Eli Apple and Damon Harrison in the past week signaled the change in approach from a Giants front office that spent the offseason convincing itself it was a player or two from competing for a division title.
While the outside world can say that the Giants might be cashing out on this season, that’s not how Big Blue players view the situation.
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"We’re not throwing in the towel at all, man. I honestly think that’s disrespectful to us players," cornerback B.W. Webb said, via the New York Post. "We don’t go into any game thinking we’re just gonna throw it away. We fight every week, there are people out there playing for their families, their kids, for each other. It’s disrespectful when we hear that, somebody say we’re tanking or something like that."
For players who put their bodies on the line every day that’s the mindset they must take. To play such a violent game, one cannot admit defeat at the outset. To do so would invite disaster.
"I feel like people on the outside may think that, but in the locker room, that’s not the feeling we have at all," defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson of the perception the Giants are quitting on the season. "We’re all just starving to get that win."
Fans and the front office have the luxury of looking at the long-game. Players, whose careers are already short, must live in the moment, fighting and clawing for any glimmer of hope.
"When you go through some controversy or things happen, it’s about keeping the team close and rallying around each other," Eli Manning said. "Having something that people will be saying outside, prove them wrong. Let’s go out there and win a football game."
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