Carter, a former NFL receiver, said Tuesday on ESPN that it comes down to Giants coach Tom Coughlin running "a very tough program" that's "taxing, both mentally and physically." Carter argued the Giants fall into a lull because of the nature of Coughlin's regime but bounce back by season's end because they're "such a good football team."
"I think Cris Carter doesn't know what he's talking about," Umenyiora told ESPN Radio, via the New York Post. "He hasn't been in our locker room, he doesn't know anything about our culture or the way Coach Coughlin coaches now. I mean, he's probably going off the reputation that was probably 15 years ago.
"There's nothing tough about what it is that we do. We practice in shells most of the time, practices aren't hard, theyâre not even long, so physically, I think we're ready. I think mentally is where we're getting beat, we're not getting beat physically."
The Giants are struggling, and so is quarterback Eli Manning, but we've learned not to fret too heavily over New York's midseason slumps. The Giants remain the class of the NFC East, and no team in the division has proven as battle-tested. A year ago at this time, there were cries for Coughlin to be fired. The old coach doesn't get it anymore, they said.
Excuse us if we're not ready to dump this team into an abyss just months after it turned 9-7 into a date with the Lombardi Trophy. Let's give it a minute.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.