1) Eric Mangini worked for Bill Belichick in Cleveland.. get it?!!
2) I shut off the tv when the Giants took over on downs at the Skins 22 with less than 2 mins remaining. This from Harold: After getting a first down at the Skins 5 with ~1:40 remaining, they actually RAN A PISARCIK! The snap to Jacobs was not fumbled, and the team took a knee on the next 2 snaps to close the game, but wtf was that on first down????!!!!
3) Coughlin's players in Jacksonville said the same things about him before he left there as they do now (see box on right side of blog).
4) Cincy of the AFC will not make the playoffs. They could beat any NFC team.
5) The 55 yd TD run in Q2 was guaranteed by Tiki Barber. ("If they blitz it will be a TD.")
6) I thought that Tim Carter's best play of his career was the 15 yd personal foul call on the Chiefs when they hit him out of bounds last season. That was topped last night when Carter did a Hollywood-esque dive on alleged contact and got the pass interference call. At least when he gets cut next season he'll have opportunities in the future as an actor.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
1) Eric Mangini worked for Bill Belichick in Cleveland.. get it?!!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Another microcosm of the season. Giants get great Tiki; soft defense unable to hold it down if not for a rookie QB making enuf mistakes to let the Giants off the hook. And how about our hero Coughlin not going for the 2 with 6 minutes left AGAIN! Deja vu! Where have we seen this nimrod before? Atlanta?!
This game illustrates a few points:
1) Hufnagel's playcalling was in need of overhaul.
2) It always helps to break tendency in your playcalling, and you automatically got that from ANY new playcaller.
3) The Giants lack confidence in Manning.
4) Manning still has the same mechanical issues with his game. His sidearm pass into the endzone that was almost picked off is the classic Aikman critique. He is trying to avoid taking the hit after throwing the pass... tough sh*t. Make the proper throw even if that means taking the hit, or else don't play in the NFL.
5) We will most likely lose in the first round of the playoffs, because beating a 5-11 garbage team w/ a rookie QB is the same NON-uptick as beating the decimated Panthers w/o Delhomme.
6) Tiki Barber for 234 yards?!!! Put the guy in Canton and stop with the talk about his career not being long enough.
I remember my first year as a Giants fan, we were 9-4 and needed to win but we lost to the LA Rams and finished 9-5, out of the playoffs. I was miserable. Contrast that with now, when we are likely going to be in at 8-8. WE ARE GOING NOWHERE. This playoff spot may appear to be an oasis but Coughlin is the desert. Chris Snee mockingly greets the Press Corp after the win with a blast of righteous indignation: "We're awful...Get out." Yep, the Giants SHOWED US! They showed us they could (a) beat an opponent who gave up 100 yards in penalties and was more shoddy than they were (b) almost blow a 20 point lead, AGAIN (c) win in a game they were favored to win, something they have been UNABLE to do in 5 games down this stretch (d) use a little attitude adjustment of a new coach.
The Giants need to move on (and lose to Washington to get that process moving along). A new GM and a new head coach are needed at the very least to give Manning a new set of coaches to put him (at the very least) on track to help this franchise win games.
Shockey is said to be OUT tonight. His hobbled ankle was (re?)injured against New Orleans this past week. If the Giants have only Barber and Burress left as strong threats, you have to imagine that Williams of Wash will key on taking these guys out. Add that the Gmen have to move the guard Diehl to LT. So why are the Giants favored? Hey, I did not understand why they were -5.5 to the Eagles and -3 over the Saints. Even though I quietly want the Skins to win and seal Coughlin's fate, you have to think that.. you can only lose the game once and why not attack with Jacobs and Moss, given they will have to be playing larger roles next season.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Gary Myers of the Daily News writes a great piece today. He saves the best for last: "Coughlin made one desperate attempt to save the Giants' season and save his job. Just like his offense, the timing is off."
I sometimes wonder why it took the Saints game to realize what we have been talking about for months. We have pointed out how predictable the playcalling would get in the redzone (first down pass, second down a lock to handoff to Barber), how maniacal it would be to not throw to your Pro Bowl TE in the first half. We have talked about the underachievement on offense, the poor coaching of their QB. It took capitulation vs the Saints for Coughlin to all of a sudden get desperate? The selfish players have been venting their childish ways for weeks, but against the Saints when they openly mutinied it woke up Coughlin?
A day late and a dollar short.
Oh, by the way, one last tidbit: Schwartz of the NY Post reports that Giant management asked Coughlin to let go of Hufnagel at the end of LAST SEASON. Coughlin refused. Knowing this, what do you think Tom's chances are now for being the head coach in 2007? With Petitgout and Strahan put on season-ending IR, with the team officially imploded, let's hope we get skinned on Saturday and end this Coughlin era and move on.
Monday, December 25, 2006
WTF is Bashir Levingston? Jim Fassel knows. In November of 2000, the 7-2 Giants lost two games in a row and Fassel was doing his typical underachievement, unable to handle prosperity. His contract was coming due, and he knew his days were numbered if this team with a softer schedule in a soft conference failed to meet expectations. So with the team now 7-4, Fassel made his legendary push 'all-in.' He guaranteed the team was going to the playoffs. BFD. He knew he was gone if they did not get in anyway, so by itself, he really had nothing to lose by doing that. The players allegedly responded by saying that Fassel took all the pressure off of them, en route to a 5 game sweep of the remaining games. Nice fairy tale ending, right?
But a lesser known move by Fassel was what MORE LIKELY put him over the top. (1) ON THE SAME DAY as the "guarantee," he cut his kick returner, Bashir Levingston. As the kick returner, everyone assumed this alpha male of the special teams was untouchable. But word had it (I cannot confirm this) that Levingston was a troublemaker, a disrupter in team meetings etc..., and HE WAS SHOWN THE DOOR. He never played in the NFL again. (2) He simultaneously shook up special teams and placed many prominent starters in the jobs that are generally relegated to 1st and 2nd year players. Veterans don't take kindly to being put in harm's way by kamikaze gunners etc...so these team leaders took charge and overnight there was a complete change in attention and discipline as the veterans went after the younger players and played better themselves when they too realized their jobs were not safe either.
The inmates have been running the Coughlin asylum for a while now.
From the Daily news LAST WEDNESDAY:
"You definitely, definitely - and I told our team this - you need to put together an outstanding performance for our fans here at home," Coughlin said.
And to be fair, this hasn't been 2003 when the end of the Jim Fassel era played out in front of half-empty stadiums, prompting Wellington Mara to call the fans' abandonment "a message that comes loud and clear."
If Wellington Mara were alive it is quite possible than this meltdown would not have happened. But if he were alive yesterday, with the fans leaving near the beginning of the 4th quarter, with the fans twice chanting to Fire Coughlin, with the team completely giving up on the game... it is quite obvious that this would have sent him into the locker room to rip these players to shreds. Just like in 2003, when Fassel was the lame duck and Mara came in to a hushed locker room, to let them know that many of them would not be around next year... he would have done the same thing to a lame duck Coughlin.
The Giants have one more game remaining, but that is a mirage. You have a decent argument that Mara would not visit the locker room until the end of the season, but when the players give up on the coach, the owners and the fans, Mara's words come out.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Coughlin was said to be keeping his job unless the Giants imploded. The Giants imploded. The only game we have won in this entire stretch was to the Carolina Panthers, who were decimated by injuries. And we knew back then that that win was not to be trusted as any kind of meaningful uptick. We are going to hear once again how the Giants somehow have a shot at the playoffs, but they are not worthy of that talk. I certainly hope the team lets go of Coughlin regardless of what happens next week.
Did you hear the stadium chanting: "Fire-Cough-lin" ..? That was Andy L and Andy F doing our best to contribute to that effort. After all, Coughlin tells us (the fans) that he needs us to be loud. We obliged.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET THE GUYS WHO COMMIT PERSONAL FOULS AND OTHER INSANITIES REMAIN ON THE TEAM>
So instead we get more headbutts and absurdities. Coughlin has lost the team. These guys do not get shown the door, so the door must be shown to Mr. Coughlin so that the rest of them can be shown the door by the new coach.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Did you notice that the only two Giants who were voted to the Pro Bowl were also the (only) two Giants who have said previously that their team was outcoached? Barber and Shockey are outspoken on the quietest of days, so one can quickly dismiss it as coincidence. But they are outspoken because of their Pro Bowls, because of their skill and somewhat invulnerable status. They say things that others on the team would like to say but won't. Is it the tip of the iceberg? I do not think it is a coincidence- where there is smoke there is fire.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
So we have 2 Pro Bowlers, Barber and Shockey. Kind of frightening how Shockey makes it when they do not even throw to the guy in the first half of every game. And yet he still has the most receptions of any TE in the NFC. Add that Manning does not help Shockey help the team. Shockey's (9.8 yds) avg/reception is the lowest in the top 10, clearly a result of Manning's inaccuracy.
Speaking of Manning, no he did not get to the Pro Bowl. But THREE of the people that San Diego got in that trade did... Rivers, Merriman and Kaeding.
Monday, December 18, 2006
The NFL should make a rule that you need to have a 9-7 record to qualify for the playoffs. Why reward mediocrity? Money? Yep, I'll admit I'd be one of those suckers either watching or paying to see my 8-8 team in the playoffs, because I am just too damn loyal. (Loyal sounds a lot better than addicted, right?) But to see the Giants getting into the playoffs after losing 5 of the last 6 is quite ludicrous. Absurd. I'll switch to some nouns now. Vomit. Garbage. I think you get the idea.
I really wanted to leave the game after Shiancoe fumbled. This was not the kind of moment where you leave and find yourself kicking yourself if your team comes back to win. It is the kind of moment of disgust where, WIN OR LOSE, your team is underachieving... playing with its food, SCHTICK DRECK. Watching them became ... unwatchable. Who cared if they won? Who cared if they lost? They ALREADY HAD LOST with 10 mins left. They beat themselves YET AGAIN. Philly did not play a bad game, but they are not going to win that game if this team is well coached and if the players are well disciplined. Leaving with 10 mins left was a statement that you had not given up on the team, that the team had given up on you.
This team has no business being in the playoffs. And it pains me to see these players and coaches possibly get rewarded for such sloppiness this year.
While I am in rant mode, ever hear Coughlin with his "Green Zone?" 31 teams call it the Red Zone, he calls it the Green Zone. Kind of reminds me of Bush pronouncing nuke-you-ler. Like, if Coughlin says it enough times it will be right. Coach- a piece of advice: get some better playcalling and score TDs instead of FGs and you can call it any f'g color you want!
Maybe by some miracle the Panthers will do something stupid and fire Fox. And we could do something smart and hire him like we were supposed to in 2001 and 2002. It is not happening. But allow me to fantasize.
Accorsi the poet talked about the metaphor of the St. Louis Cardinals World Series win this year for the hope of us somehow getting into the playoffs and being as potent as any other team. That was easier to buy after a win over the pathetically decimated Panthers last week (did you notice how they got annihilated by the Steelers this week.. what did THAT say about our victory?.. on the margin, very little!). But how about this Phil game as a metaphor for our season? The defensive line still not the same w/o Strahan. Not throwing the ball to Shockey in the first half. The myriad mistakes/turnovers. The penalties. The turnovers. The meek play of Manning. Getting FGs instead of TDs in the RED zone. Underachievement. We are 7-7 and that is what we are.. mediocrity. Mediocrity as a metaphor for Coughlin.
This loss was similar to the one vs the Jags. We have a very ordinary and unspectacular defense that will give up points. But we have an offense that can and needs to carry the team through it but does not get it done. Manning is apparently not that guy who sees that need. There is never any urgency from him until the 2 min warning, and by then it is too late. He has 7 turnovers in Q4 this year.. I believe that leads the league.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
What do Garcia and Romo have in common? I'll give you a hint- how did we lose to the Cowboys in the final drive? From espn last night: "It's clear now that Romo struggles when forced to sit in the pocket and deliver. That was the strategy of the Saints last week and it was a blueprint Atlanta followed for much of the first two quarters. Romo had three passes deflected at the line of scrimmage in the first half, and the carom off of Coleman got the Falcons back into the game when strongside linebacker Michael Boley intercepted."
So let's see if the Giants are smart enough to keep Garcia in that pocket today. And let's also see if the bloom can come off the Romo-se when the rest of the NFL keeps the Cowboys QB in the pocket as well. That Witten 40 yarder to seal the game vs the NYG 2 weeks ago was off of a 3 man rush... Umenyiora pinches inside and that allows Romo to run free OUT OF THE POCKET and make a great pass. Garcia 6'1", Romo 6'2"... do you see the pattern? That extra 2 inches means less sight lines, more deflections, less accuracy if you keep them in the pocket. Yet another way of saying what we all know: The game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
"Sources close to two Giants players told Pro Football Weekly that the players don’t necessarily hate their coach, but they have grown tired of his rah-rah style in the locker room and feel he has been outcoached more often than not lately. Has he lost the players? The consensus is probably not, but another poor season — if he’s retained — would certainly mean the end."
1) Do the Giants play their best football each week? Do they beat themselves more often than they should during a 16 game schedule?
2) Does Coughlin make game decisions/ manage the clock effectively?
3) Do the Giants repeat mistakes?
4) Does the coaching staff maximize the talents of players like Shockey, Jacobs and Manning, to name just three?
5) What is our record with Shanahan, Parcells or Cowher?
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Exhibit A on Manning's inaccuracy:
Giants YAC Leaders
Barber 427, Shockey 177, Jacobs 158, Burress 152, Toomer 55
Barber and Jacobs should not even be on the list, because RBs are ALL yards after catch on dump offs. To see our two WRs and TE with ~380 yards is pathetic. Rice and Taylor could rack up more YAC inside of a few games than we have here after almost an entire season.
For those of you who missed it this past weekend, Feagles put on a clinic in how to send a punt out of bounds on the sideline, and also how to get balls downed inside the 20. I remember being overjoyed how the Giants lured him out of retirement for one more year. Pro Bowler Steve Smith: "I can't remember a time - in high school, college or the pros - when a punter controlled me the way Feagles did."
And then there is the bullsh*t I had to read for Feagles taking responsibility for the ugly loss to the Eagles in 2003. In today's papers he recounts how he was told to punt it out of bounds and instead accidentally hit it right at Westbrook. Westbrook breaks it and the Giants lose. So on the surface, it does appear to be true, that Feagles let us down. But that would be INCORRECT! Feagles is taking the high road, taking blame when it fell squarely on the ass*el for going into the tank and protecting a measly 10-7 lead instead of playing 60 minutes. To quote one NYG after that game: "You might call it bad luck, but we just aren't finishing football games." Read between the lines and learn, just as when the Gmen lost to the Titans this year, that IT IS NOT BAD LUCK WHEN YOU BLOW LATE GAME LEADS- IT IS BAD COACHES WHO TELL THEIR PLAYERS TO PLAY 60 MINUTES WHILE THEY ONLY COACH FOR 50.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Well, the past 3 days have seen the media ease off of the Giants. Considerably. Now everyone is figuring out what Phil Simms said here on 12/3 and what I said on 12/10... that if the Giants play their cards right they are in the playoffs. But what no one is saying this week is that (a) Coughlin is still mediocre and deserves the door and (b) Manning was not good on Sunday and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Coughlin coached against an ill-equiped team and Manning played against one. If this game was against the Saints and we had (likely) lost, you would still be hearing about the inadequacies of these two. But the sycophants (aka beat writers) have to mix it up a little and make the fans feel good about their team after a win. Back on the bandwagon. Make no mistake, I think the Giants should win on Sunday vs the Eagles, because the Eagles are not a very good football team right now. They cannot stop the run, and you can bet your sweet a** that the Giants will run it often. With any success at all, they should win. And the drumbeat for playoffs etc... will grow louder. I said it here a few days ago that you should not get too comfortable with the 'feel good' that will pervade until Strahan and Petitgout can come back.
Let's go over a few items. 1-Why does Coughlin continue to shuttle out that moose Jacobs exclusively on short yardage, then predictably run him into the line every time? Desperate teams in December are selling out on the run and stopping this play. The Cowboys made the huge stop on 4th down. (I contend Jacobs went out wide because there was nothing inside, as Pettigout's replacement could not do anything on the left side.) 2- The Giants were 4-18 on 3rd down.... 3- This, against a team that was missing 2 LBers and 3 cornerbacks. DREADFUL! The Giants did not get a first down after midway in the 3rd quarter. 4- Eli Manning's stats looked rosy after this outing, but boy were they misleading. His completion percentage was brought up by a bunch of short passes. A Panther dropped a sure INT. Burress pushed off on his TD reception. On the Burress bomb in Q1, Manning made a good step up into the pocket, but he underthrew the pass and Burress had to slow down and wait...while the defender caught up to it, making Burress fight for what could have been an easy TD if thrown with more accuracy.
I saw Fox in his postgame press conference (available at http://www.nfl.com). What a class act. He stayed away from criticizing his team despite the fact that they are a lot more banged up than we are. He deftly handled the questions despite the obvious implications for his season. What a contrast between this guy and the Giants.
Bottomline- Manning is not an accurate QB and Coughlin is still a meathead mediocre coach. Only having Strahan and Petitgout back can give us enough talent to overcome those deficiencies, if your desire is like mine- to see the Giants win a championship this season. There was a short time ago, back in Dallas TX, when we had that kind of team. So it is possible, but not likely.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
From Serby--Manning gathered his offense together and words the Giants have been longing to hear from their quarterback pierced one corner of the visiting locker room.
"Eli was pretty vocal before the game," Jay Feely was saying after Giants 27, Panthers 13, "more so than any other time I've ever heard him. The offense always comes up and usually Tiki talks. And Eli had brought 'em up, and he got after it, in a way that he's never done before. And it was a visible acknowledgment of joy and happiness that he did that. I watched coaches come up to him and say, 'Hey good job, way to go.' I saw players come up to him and say, 'Thataway!' For him to yell and get boisterous, and cuss a little bit ... "
It is exactly what a quarterback is supposed to do, exactly what Manning did not do at that players-only team meeting two Mondays ago.
"We need to make plays and the only thing that matters is winning this game," Manning said.
"The fact that he took it upon himself to really try and assert himself," Feely said, "I think guys have been waiting for him to do that. And coaches have been waiting for him to do that. You need that position to lead."
"Eli always kinda gives us a little pep talk before we go out there, but he had a little more urgency in his voice today, and a little more excitement, a little more energy; I think everybody enjoyed it, everybody liked it," Shaun O'Hara said. "It kinda brought a little spunk to the group."
Accorsi uses the 2006 Cardinals' (83 win regular season) World Series as a metaphor for the Giants in simply emphasizing getting to the playoffs for keeping championship dreams alive. Until you tell me we are getting back both Petitgout and Strahan I will hear none of that fantasizing. Problem is that baseball is not football. There is no bye, with the rested and emotionally sky-high 1 or 2 seed waiting for you. And in all my years as a football fan, I can only recall two teams that won the Super Bowl that were not the best team that year. Dream all you want- I'll take a healthy Strahan and Petitgout before I start projecting.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
The Panthers were injury-riddled. We were bad, and the Panthers were worse. Was some of it no Delhomme? Yes. A good QB and a set of receivers who can hold onto the ball for them and we get roasted. The funny thing is that the Giants picked up the win, they can win against the Eagles if they don't beat themselves, and the next thing you know, they own the tiebreakers against all 3... so they are pretty much in the playoffs. We still need Strahan back. More doubt was cast on that today by Joe Buck. (Note that it always seems to take week+1 before a returning player can have his presence felt. It took Wilson a few weeks.. it took 2 weeks by Umneyiora before the 'cat'-like pass rusher we know and love was back. So we need Strahan back so that he can get the rust out and contribute by the playoffs.)
Time for some Manning-bashing. He still su**s. List of errors in general play:
1) Does not look off one side of the field.
2) Underthrows or throws too high on crossing routes.
3) Does not lead receivers properly.
4) Mechanics bad on setting his feet- pussy factor.
Did he play better than the Chi-Jax-Tenn set? Yes. But he did not play as well as the Dallas game, and continues to show zero lack of progress in so many areas. His poor pass in the left flat to Barber in the redzone killed that drive. His inability to look off one side of the field allows multiple defenders to cheat on their assignments and allow for quicker/gang tackling. YAC was low today because his (lack of) accuracy does not enable catches in stride. He made some VERY NICE passes, one of which was stepping into the pocket for the 45 yarder to Burress early. The Tyree TD pass was nice. And his connection to Tyree on a 4th and 10 was done with tremendous poise. But he leaves so much more on the field. Against a weak opponent these issues get glossed over, but when we play the better teams/playoffs every pass is going to matter.
We were 4-18 on third down.
The Panthers sold out on the Jacobs short yardage running plays, and it showed in our diminished ability to move the chains/TD in those setups. You must not be so predictable.
Dr. Rob points out that rookie Dockery had a very good game. Keyshawn ("Star") Johnson is no longer the premier receiver he once was, so I will want to see more in coming weeks, but it was nonetheless very encouraging.
Did you notice something today that was missing? PENALTIES! Only 2 for 10 yards, and NO personal fouls! Yahhooo! Funny how winning becomes a little easier when you are not burning 94 yards for the other team.
From the Charlotte Observer:
"In yet another sign that quarterback Jake Delhomme will miss Sunday’s name with the N.Y. Giants due to a right thumb injury, the Panthers activated rookie Brett Basanez from the practice squad Saturday afternoon.
"Chris Weinke is expected to start in Delhomme’s place. It will be Weinke’s first start since 2002. Basanez likely will be the No. 2 quarterback, but the Panthers could also keep Delhomme active and as the backup."
Saturday, December 9, 2006
"They tried to bring more men in the box than the Giants could block and tried not to let Plaxico or [Jeremy] Shockey beat them deep," said Brandon Short of last year's playoff game vs the Panthers.
This should not be a surprise to anyone. The game plan was on the cover of the Friday NY Post two days before the playoff game. Remember, this was the game that Tiki said the Giants were outcoached. Translation: we knew they were going make Eli beat us and did not make the offensive adjustments. Adjustments? Like throwing to Barber instead of handing off to Barber, to name just one. Screen passes. Anything that takes advantage of over-agressive linebackers and safeties. All of this from the former defensive coordinator of the Giants who had a talent for hiding defensive weaknesses and leveraging strengths.
Let's see what unfolds in today's chess game. I would have to think that Fox, not having been born yesterday, will disguise some of his coverages and mix it up enough to keep the Giants offensive playcalling off-balance. Ultimately, Manning is going to have make plays whether the Panthers sell out to stop the run or not. If Manning plays as well as played last week, it will be enough this week to win, because w/o Delhomme the Giants will win with the kind of effort they gave last week (minus the 9 penalties of course).
Last thought- 9 out of 10 NY Post Giant nose-pickers have chosen the Gmen this weekend. UGH! With friends like these, who needs enemies? Naturally (maverick and free-thinking) Blezow is with the majority. Our hero last week went 0-3 on his best bets, with the classic middle on the Giants, where he had taken the Boys -3.5. So what happened? He doesn't cover and the Giants lose too. It is not healthy to be on the same side of Blezow.
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
1) Takes a 1-15 team and goes to 8-8 in his first season
2) Gets them to the playoffs in his second season
3) Duplicates the Parcells stunner by getting his team to the Conference Championship in Year 2 also
4) Passes Parcells by going to the 'show'
Impressive. I know the NFC is garbage, but he deserves some credit for doing it with a wild card team that had to go on the road twice. I think he will lose badly vs the pats, because the Pats are a real team, as opposed to anything he faced in the NFC. Marvelous accurately notes that Bruschi will be important; if he plays, imho the Panthers have zero chance.
But that misses the point of the article... that Accorsi and the cluelessly LOYAL to a HUGE FAULT Giants front office made a huge boner when they let Fox go. AND THIS WAS NOT 20-20 HINDSIGHT. How many of you were relieved when Fox was not snapped away after the Super Bowl in 2000? I know that at least half of this group was, and the other half I never spoke to about the topic. We KNEW Fox was good, a lot better than the ass-el. After Fassel once again cannot do anything with higher expectations in 2001, Fox is STILL AVAILABLE. To the Panthers.
In fact, Fox would not have had to go to the Super Bowl to prove he was our next coach. To be fair, Fox choked the end of regulation in St Louis last week and could have easily snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in full Fassel splendor. Only Sehorn's rapidly waning skills sent him to Philly. But Fox does get it, certainly about defense. He has more mojo on a bad day than Fassel ever had on a good one.
and this from a separate email 1/31/04: "Jim Fassel went to the Super Bowl and then he was 7-9," Accorsi said. "What were we supposed to do, fire Fassel?" You can't do that."
We here on this blog are ILL. HL, Marvelous, Dr. Rob, RG.. we ALL wanted Fox. Read this from Paul Schwartz and weep...
NY Post: JOHN Fox never knew how close he was to becoming the Giants' head coach. In early 2001, after the Giants shocked the football world by surging all the way to Super Bowl XXXV, where they were thrashed by the Ravens, Jim Fassel was in line for a hefty raise and the Giants were willing to comply, to a point. Negotiations got hot and heavy and it soon was evident Fassel wanted more than the Giants were willing to give.
The Giants, believing Fassel was a good coach but not a great one, were prepared to walk down the hall, into the office of their defensive coordinator and hand the head-coaching job to Fox. Sure, it would have been a strange scenario and a public-relations mess - jettison a coach who just took you to the Super Bowl? - but that's how strongly the Giants felt about Fox's potential. Fassel and the Giants eventually agreed to terms, and Fox nearly left for Buffalo but returned for one more season before he was hired by the Panthers in 2002.
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
I just got word this evening that the NFL has moved the Eagles-Giants game to a 415PM start. That makes this the THIRD game moved out of an eight game schedule. RIDICULOUS. The NFL needs to put in a rule that only one of the 8 games can be moved around. The fans are being pushed around like pawns for more ad revenue just like in baseball. ENOUGH already.
Monday, December 4, 2006
The more I think about yesterday's loss to the Boys, the more I see how evident it is that Coughlin's players do not fear him. I am a huge Shockey fan. But he went on my sh*t list when he openly complained about the benching of Burress last season for missing/lateness to a meeting/s. Shockey argued that when Burress did not start the game, it harmed the team because they did not have their best players on the field.
Too freakin' bad.
Who runs the show? Well, now we have personal fouls galore, and the inmates are running the asylum. We are losing games with the inmates, so why not lose with ones who can respect the coaches and their fellow players by not costing them 15 yards every time they need to act out. Coughlin has lost the respect of the players. Many of these guys, along with Coughlin, have to go. Whitfield headbutt? Gone. Walker sideline shot on Young? Gone. Burress cheapshot 38 seconds after the play was dead? Gone. Ship them off to the Raiders and let them make penalties there. NEXT.
As I wrote before, I still fear the NYG will middle us with something like 8-8. Kiss your sister. This porridge is not too hot for kickin' some butt in the playoffs, this porridge is not too cold to ax the coach. This porridge is just warm enough to keep the loser another year or two so that we can watch 94 yards of penalties per game. I have seen the enemy and he is us.
Giants ownership likes that reputation of being the strong flagship franchise, the one that acts with calculated and deliberate forethought. TRANSLATED, they do not make changes easily. And that means that when I read Vaccaro in the Post calling for Coughlin's head, I laughed. It is not coming that easily.
Back in Jan 2003, Wellington Mara compared the 49er loss to the Chicago '85 playoff loss, implying we were building a champion and that great things awaited all of us next season. I do not know what planet he was on, but back here on planet Earth that light at the end of the tunnel was the Mack truck delivering us the Dallas Mon Night implosion and the Westbrook punt return. So I soberly caution all of you who want a new coach to not hold your breath. They will not fire Coughlin, because they respect him enough to give him another season or two. You better root for hot or cold porridge because warm porridge means more of the retread.
Sunday, December 3, 2006
I saw that we changed our uniform colors, but instead of going to red, they might as well have made it the silver and black. 9 penalties for 94 yards? 4 personal fouls? In one game? C'mon. Ludicrous.
So now this is the 4th straight loss. The Bears, Jaguars, Titans and Cowboys did not outplay us in any of those games. We beat ourselves. Sure, if we played the Chargers right now they would outplay us and beat us. The Giants are not playing to the level at Week 5-6. But Manning certainly bounced back and played well enough for us to win. Mistakes at critical times killed us. And it all has to eventually fall on Coughlin.
Ernie Accorsi (correctly) states that you can never have enough good pass rushers when he drafts Kiwanuka after already having two pro bowl ends. He implies that pressuring the QB is one of the most critical elements in today's game, and I concur. So why is that when we tie the score with ~ 1 minute left, we rush 3 men at Romo on the FIRST play from scrimmage? It becomes a 2-for-1 bake sale as Romo now gets two cracks at us on the same play... the first on his receiver's regular routes, and then the bonus when Romo easily evades a double-teamed Umenyiora and has enough time back there to organize his fan club while he awaits the second wave of ad-libbed routes. A killer.
Dr. Rob and Marvelous chime in with some of the predictable red zone playcalling. After a first down pass, don't we all know that a handoff to Barber on second down is coming? I knew. Rob and Marvelous knew. It seemed the Cowboys knew too.
Blezow is wrong again, 0-2 on his best bets. He tried in vain to help the Giants cause by laying the -3.5 with the Boys but it was not enough to make us outright winners.
Was flicking to traffic reports on my way into the city Saturday evening, so I get Bloomberg radio... and out of nowhere is an interview with Phil Simms. Talk migrates to the Giants. Q: If the Giants lose to Dallas this weekend, is their season over? A: (Paraphrased) Most definitely NOT. As the Giants get their players back they will be very dangerous in the playoffs. They still rate to get that wild card berth if they lose. They have so many impact players on both sides of the ball that they will be tough once they are healthy again. Simms echoed our sentiments before the injuries ripped through the team... that the NYGiants were among the elite teams at that time and can get back to that level quickly.
Simms is not a bs artist. He calls it the way he sees it. He won't take shots at a player or a team, but he will be 'cooler' to the idea if that is his take. His polite and professional way of answering no would be to say "it'll be tough." Tonight he did nothing of the kind.
Separately, he ripped into the cliche about (Dallas-NY) "big" games and "pressure" moments. He reminded us that every snap is important, every game is important... that as a player on the field it was big all the time and there was not the time to think about the next play being bigger or less important than the preceding play.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
The point that struck me this week was the hypocrisy of Coughlin's order. Preparedness, discipline and rules are supposed to be his trademark. Yet when he is that emotional on the sidelines, how can that not unravel all of that work? How is he able to think clearly and rationally when he is wild? And what kind of example/message is that to the players? That you can get heated up by a call at the spur of the moment and get a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty? Well, in a word... YES! And that is exactly what the Giants do very well!
Friday, December 1, 2006
You cannot make this stuff up. Barber calls out the coaching staff before Jax. Coughlin berates Kiwanuka on the sidelines. Coughlin calls out Manning. Strahan calls out Burress. Media calls out Strahan. Strahan calls out Naqi. Naqi calls out ...Warhol for her 15 minutes.
Will the underdog Gmen prevail on Sunday? I am not optimistic. The Giants are angry at the world, and they need a win badly. Interestingly, a win and they are in first place in the division...! So everyone knows there is plenty at stake. They have been their own worst enemy the past 3 weeks, so the theory goes that if they play to their potential, why not beat Dallas at home?
I am suspect of two things that stand in the way of a Giants victory: Manning and the secondary. In the markets it is called not picking bottoms. I do not know where the bottom is for Manning and I am not about to call the turn this week when I have not seen the weakest link play 4 quarters of football ALL YEAR. And our hobbled secondary will face Romo, who is playing better than Grossman, Garrard and Young combined. The Giants may get off to a good start, but can Manning and the secondary finish? The objective answer is no. We need a big pass rush to help the secondary and I do not think Umenyiora (in his first week back) will be able to make the difference.
Giant optimists have one ray of hope.... Blezow has blessed us with a Cowboys Best Bet. Our prognostication hero is batting ~0.350.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Did you notice that when Eli Manning was scrambling on that last INT, he had poor mechanics? ..that he did not stop and plant his feet for a throw that would have likely had much more zip and not been underthrown? The person who noticed this said that he believes that the reason for this is that Manning does not want to get popped, so he throws on the run instead of setting his feet so that he can avoid taking the hit. This is a big no-no.
Taking another page out of his (Sunday Morning) QB book, Simms says that QBs get hit and it is part of the job. They are used to it. It looks bad when you watch, and he admits that it is not fun to watch his son Chris get hit (and that goes double for his wife), but getting hit is not a big deal. QBs have been getting hit all their lives and they are used to it. (Simms muscled up to take the NFL pounding too.)
Getting off the Eli Manning bullseye target practice, I agree that you get rid of Coughlin WAY BEFORE you get rid of Eli. Eli will certainly go through two head coaches with the Giants before he is let loose. It is up to the new coach to straighten him out and work to make it better.....
Who here thinks Coughlin is gone? I DO NOT. The Giants move their franchise in baby steps. They change course like an oceanliner, not like a James Bond speedboat. They are going to say... hey, he took a 4-12 team, a rookie QB, went 6-10, then won the division at 11-5 and got us to the playoffs and is 6-5. Why should we get rid of that? The only way they cut Coughlin loose is if we lose 4 or 5 of the last 5 games. That may yet happen. But we will likely get middled...we will win 2, lose 3, Coughlin stays, we s**k, we get an average draft spot, and nothing even close to Super championship thinking.
We here know and understand that that kind of (oceanliner) thinking was exactly why the Giants stuck with that 2002 loser another year and wasted another season. The best line of the day? From Marvelous: "Coughlin looks seriously ill on the sidelines !! For his own sake he should retire !!!"