Tom Coughlin feels ‘badly' for Eli

Tom Coughlin | New York Giants

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is looking to deflect negative attention away from struggling quarterback Eli Manning as he prepares his team to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

It's hasn't turned out to be the kind of the season the New York Giants envisioned when they opened training camp in July and now Tom Coughlin is commiserating with quarterback Eli Manning.

"I feel badly for Eli that he has to stand up and answer things of this nature, but it's understandable where it comes from, the quarterback and the head coach," noted Coughlin of the media firestorm his signal-caller has endured. "Is it all his fault? No, of course not."

While Big Blue's issues range far deeper than subpar quarterback play, Manning's turnovers have continued to pile up behind a porous offensive line. Opposing a fierce Detroit Lions' pass-rush on Sunday, New York will have its hands full trying to keeping defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley out of its offensive backfield.

"We've got to regroup and compete like heck and play much better and do a better job in protecting the quarterback," said Coughlin of his front-five. "We can't have anything like the first three snaps of the game the other day."

In Week 15 the Giants were shutout at home by the Seattle Seahawks; suffering their ninth loss of the season in embarrassing fashion. As Coughlin and company look to wrap up a miserable 2013 on a high note, the head coach is willing to take the brunt of the criticism from fans and the media.

"No one person loses football games," admitted Coughlin. "It takes a team to win and a team to lose and so the issues that we have are the issues that we have. First, it's the head coach, blame me, that's my job."

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