Giants players lead film review following fourth straight loss

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tuesday wasn't just another day at work for the New York Giants defense.

When they went to review the film of their 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Steve Spagnuolo took a back seat. Rather than the defensive coordinator or the position coaches breaking down what went right or wrong, middle linebacker B.J. Goodson had the clicker.

When they went over the disappointing performance play by play, Spagnuolo remained silent. He listened and absorbed what went right/wrong from the players' perspective as the Bucs piled up 434 total yards and marched rather easily down the field for the game-winning field goal in the final seconds.

"Coach Spags wanted to see how the defense felt about what we were doing and how the players felt about how we were going about handling the play-calling and understanding the situation at hand and how we were playing as a defense as a whole," safety Landon Collins said. "Not just him saying how he felt we were playing."

The way it worked was that Goodson rolled the tape. Players would speak up at their own volition about what they were seeing on the particular play that was being reviewed. They were free to say whatever they wanted -- good or bad, positive or negative.

It was a film review strictly from a players' perspective.

"People were speaking up for themselves, saying I need to do this better. I think it went over really well," safety Darian Thompson said. "To me accountability to your teammates is one of the biggest things. I felt like it gave us a chance to do that and to watch it together instead of being broken up with our position coaches."

Thompson used Jacquizz Rodgers' 36-yard run in the first quarter as an example. He missed an open-field tackle on the play.

It was Thompson's choice to speak up when that play came up on the screen, knowing that he didn't do well in that situation.

"I didn't have to but I said, 'I'm there I'm supposed to make that tackle. I'll make that tackle.' In front of everybody. It's an accountability thing," he said. "I think it went over well."

This went on for hours. Play by play. Mistake by mistake.

"If you made a mistake on the film you had to speak up and say what you could've done better on the play," said cornerback Eli Apple, who didn't turn his head and had Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans jump over him for a touchdown the play after Thompson missed his tackle.

There weren't many -- if any -- players that remained quiet throughout the exercise. There seemed to be accountability.

It was viewed as an opportunity for everyone to get on the same page. The Giants (0-4) desperately need a win Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium.

"It was a good opportunity for guys to kind of look in the mirror and kind of self-reflect on their actions as far as the game. And just own up to what happened," Goodson said. "I thought it was a great opportunity, a unique thing for the coach to do."

The Giants did something similar last year. But that was Damon Harrison standing in front of the whole team critiquing his personal performance after they were dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game late last year.

Several of the players thought the purpose of this week's altered film review was to get everyone on the same page, to prevent any finger-pointing from occurring. The Giants still haven't won a game and it hasn't been all the offense's fault.

The defense is in the bottom half of the league in rushing defense and points allowed. They've also failed to hold late fourth-quarter leads each of the past two weeks.

The group that met on Tuesday and had the players run the film review wasn't in good spirits. They seem to know they haven't played up to expectations.

"Everybody has something to prove. All of us have a chip on our shoulder," Goodson said. "We want to show the world how good we are. We just have to things a day at a time, a play at a time, a quarter at a time and win each down.

"We obviously know what we're capable of. I've said this before: Next week is an opportunity. With opportunities given, go out there and put our best foot forward."

The Giants hope it all pays dividends Sunday against the Chargers.

"It was very productive. Open and honest," Apple said.

But will what they did in the classroom ultimately make a difference in the game?

"We'll see," Apple said. "Gotta put it out on the field."