New York Giants’ safety Landon Collins should keep team issues in-house. At least, that’s what some fans, or members of the media, think. It came up last year when Collins called cornerback Eli Apple “a cancer.” We all moved on from it relatively quickly, though, because it was a tough season and it was reasonable for players to be frustrated as the team’s downward spiral seemed to continue every week.
Apple also entered the league with some attitude problems according to NFL scouts, so he was an acceptable target for criticism. But last year isn’t the only time that Collins has spoken about locker room problems publicly.
He recently told WFAN that offensive tackle Ereck Flowers is unhappy about the Giants’ addition of Nate Solder, who is meant to replace him at the left tackle position. According to Collins, it’s the reason why Flowers skipped voluntary training in the offseason.
Obviously, most Giants fans don’t agree with Flowers’ feelings on the matter. Solder should be a huge upgrade at left tackle, and most of the fanbase thinks that Flowers should either keep his head down and work to start at right tackle, or leave the team entirely rather than complaining. Still, it’s a little controversial that Collins revealed this fact publicly in the first place, instead of keeping the matter in-house.
Collins later clarified his comments to explain that he wasn’t calling his teammate a bust. But should he speak on matters like this at all? Or should locker room affairs be left with the coaches to handle?
First of all, he’s not [a bust]. He’s working hard. He’s trying his best to do whatever he needs to be the best left tackle, right tackle or wherever they’re going to put him on the offensive line.
On one hand, the New York press has a national reputation for being brutal, and the Giants have already been the subject of speculative but false news stories during this offseason. Just look at all the articles and reports about an Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the Rams, which turned out to be false.
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Revealing the unhappiness of certain teammates to the press will only lead to more speculation, much of it negative. Even if it doesn’t result in speculation, talking publicly about team matters can add more distractions in general, and it runs the risk of splitting the locker room further.
However, issues like this being revealed to the media hold players accountable. The fanbase will likely have less patience for Ereck Flowers after hearing his reason for skipping certain activities in the offseason, and that can be a good thing if it causes Flowers to play better because of the increased pressure.[sc name=”StubHub”]
Some players perform better with their backs against the wall and with the fans calling for their head, and this added pressure also adds motivation to improve, even if only out of self preservation.
This is why I disagree with the idea that team problems should stay with the team. Yes, there’s some times when a head coach has something handled privately and doesn’t want it to reach the media, but there’s also times when putting problems in the public light pushes players to correct them. The Ereck Flowers situation specifically looks like it’s in the second category, rather than the first.