In Washington, the Redskins have implemented a shotgun offense.
In Baltimore, the Ravens are using the no-huddle with some success.
In New York? Well, the Giants are just trying to line up and run any play without a mistake.
"We've just had breakdowns on every single play," said Giants quarterback Dave Brown. "It has been an unacceptable perform- Brown ance. We're so hungry for a win, I wouldn't care if we went out and beat a college team, but we have to go against a good Washington team this week."
The Giants (0-2) have performed so poorly at times in four preseason and two regular-season games that some people around the NFL have said the players are playing like they're trying to get coach Dan Reeves fired.
That makes Brown bristle.
"We don't have that much control over it," Brown said of Reeves' future as coach.
Brown said the New York media has been living up to their reputations the past couple of weeks.
"They smell blood and are going after [Reeves] and after me," said Brown, who is 4-0 against Washington the past two seasons but is off to a poor start this year. "I try not to read it, but I see a headline like 'Dan Must Go' and I can't ignore it. When you win in this city, it's a break-even situation, and when you lose you go back down to the next low."
Reeves has hit rock bottom as a coach in his fourth year with the Giants, after going to three Super Bowls in 12 years as boss of the Denver Broncos.
Reeves has been so humbled by his treatment in the New York newspapers that he said this week, "Coaching in the NFL is only tolerable when you're winning and miserable when you lose. You can bank on it, I won't be coaching when I'm 70."
Reeves is 52 now after being the youngest head coach in the league in 1981 when he took over the Broncos at the age of 37.
"I used to laugh at people who said a loss is like dying," said Reeves. "But it does take a lot out of you."
The coach said things were so bad last Sunday in a 27-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that different players on the offensive line missed a blocking assignment four straight times on the most simple play in the Giants' offense.
"If you can count up to two, you shouldn't have a problem with that assignment," said Reeves.
Reeves is in the fourth year of a five-year contract that probably won't make it to a fifth year because he blamed the front office and Giants general manger George Young last year for not giving him the players he wants. He hit on that same theme last week.
In spite of all the furor surrounding Reeves and Brown, Washington (1-1) is prepared for the usual tough battle against New York today at 4 p.m. at Giants Stadium.
"It's a pride check," said Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte. "No matter what the records are, this is a big game. It's like playing the Cowboys."
Pub Date: 9/15/96