The best part about a new season is the opportunity for a fresh start. Even teams like the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers head into week 1 filled with confidence and optimism. Mistakes from previous years are forgotten. Fans forgive players who cost them the season before — except in New York.
As you may remember, Giants punter Matt Dodge became infamous last season when he punted to the dangerous DeSean Jackson at the end of regulation. Jackson took the kick to the house and sent the game to overtime, where the Eagles put the finishing touches on a miraculous comeback.
Dodge is still hearing it from Giants fans eight months later. Tom Coughlin, who reportedly shunned Dodge from the locker room after the disastrous loss, came to the defense of his punter on Wednesday.
“First of all, he’s got to prove it, I understand all of that,” Coughlin told the Star-Ledger. “(But) it’d be good to think a guy playing in that uniform, at home, would be well received by his fans.”
Did Dodge make a mistake punting to Jackson? I don’t think there’s any debating that. However, the coverage team still failed to make a play but fans don’t boo any of the other special teamers. Letting Dodge hear about it last year is reasonable and any fan base probably would have done it, but it’s time to let it go.