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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Gift to the New York Giants: Kevin Boss

In Sunday night's recap, we highlighted the significance of Kevin Boss in this offense.

Wonder highlighted the need to get an offensive "rhythm" after Burress was lost for the season.

At this juncture of the season, three players who will have the opportunity to make an impact on the MARGIN are:

1) Fred Robbins, if he can get healthy.
2) Ahmad Bradshaw, if he can get touches as a 3rd down scatback.
3) Kevin Boss, if he can get touches.

Any of these three things will have a big impact on this team. But the low hanging fruit here is clearly Kevin Boss. Kevin Gilbride has to be wondering how he is going to make up for the loss of his best Wide Receiver. Give those touches to Boss. BOSS IS NOW THE GIANTS' MOST DOMINATING RECEIVING OPTION. Look at the difference he makes in a game.

In games where he has had 3 or more receptions, he has had a TD in those games 6 of 7 times. In games where he has had 1-2 receptions, he has zero TDs. The clear message is that this player turns 3's into 7's in the red zone.

In games where he has 3 or more receptions, the Giants are 7-0. In games where he has 2 or less receptions, the Giants are 5-3.

Now contrast those 33 receptions with the numbers from another second year TE, Mark Bavaro in 1986. This is a perfect example of coaching. Ron Erhardt looked at his personnel and said Joe Morris and Mark Bavaro. Boss is still under the radar, he gets singled. Keep using him, and use him MUCH more until defenses realize what we know. If he gets doubled, then you have even more reason to use him, draw a crowd on this guy and run the ball with only 7 in the box. Boss gets 2 receptions per game, Bavaro had 4 per game.

With Burress gone, this offensive personnel looks almost exactly like 1986:
1) a set of WRs without gamebreaking ability ("possesion receivers")
2) a second year TE with great hands
3) a running game that is near/tops in the league. (#6 in 1986, #1 in 2008)
4) a smart QB who can make plays (#13 in 1986, #14 in 2008)
5) a cohesive OL

The difference is that you have to recognize right now how things have changed, how Boss IS THE MAN FOR LEADING THE TEAM IN RECEPTIONS FROM HERE ON OUT. The running game needs Boss to keep the sticks moving so that the running game can keep pounding the ball. Gilbride has been deficient with the use of his TE, but with Burress gone he has NO CHOICE. If he does not use Boss more, it is a cardinal sin and a complete admission of failure to adjust. He got the ball to Boss 5 times and the result was a win. That is all he needs, 5 passes per game and the Giants will have another trophy.

Btw, Boss sat out practice, ankle. Rest him Sunday if he is not 100%... he'll definitely be healed in 3 weeks, and you can always play Johnson and Matthews in his place to keep the rhythm going.

8 comments:

Mitch said...

Andy, You are on point regarding Kevin Boss. His size and soft hands can be a big factor in the playoffs. Let's hope Gilbride's light bulb goes off...

I'm glad you mentioned Ron Erhardt because I believe he is one of the most underrated OC's ever. In fact, if you check around the league his Offense is still used by many teams according to Phil Simms. (Giants, Steelers, Patriots)

OK, since you brought up the 1986 team I started thinking about how it compares to the 2008 team. I'm sure some of you will disagree, but here is my opinion:

1986 vs. 2008

Quarterback
Phil Simms was spectacular (22-of-25 and nearly 25-of-25) in the Super Bowl, but had more picks than TDs in '86. Eli Manning led the greatest last-minute game-winning drive in Super Bowl history. Manning's success came much earlier in his career and he's on the way to being the best QB in Giants history.
Edge: 2008 Giants

Running Backs
Earth (Brandon Jacobs) beats up defenses; Wind (Derrick Ward) can run over and around them; and Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw when he plays) can just outrun them. Joe Morris ran solo and averaged just under 100 yards per game and ran for 14 TDs in 1986.
Edge: 2008 Giants

Wide Receivers
While they had Plaxico Burress he was light years better than any receiver on the '86 team. Amani Toomer, the Giants all-time leading receiver, is also better than anybody in '86. Bobby Johnson led the '86 WRs with just 31 catches.
Edge: 2008 Giants

Tight Ends
Kevin Boss looks like he's going to be a good player, but let's face it, when he was healthy, and he was in 1986 when he had 66 catches, few tight ends in NFL history were as good as Mark Bavaro. Dragging the entire Niners defense on his back in '86 regular season game against the 49ers on Monday night is among greatest plays in team history.
Edge: 1986 Giants

Offensive Line
The '86 O-line was a bunch of blue-collar lunch-pail guys nicknamed The Suburbanites who opened holes for Morris and kept Simms healthy all season. The '08 line is a bunch of 300-pounders who overpower defenses.
Edge: 2008 Giants

Defensive Line
Justin Tuck is the new Michael Strahan who was the new George Martin, who made so many big plays in ‘86 without the big sack numbers. Leonard Marshall, playing in front of LT, had 12 sacks in '86. He had a lot more experience than Mathias Kiwanuka. Jim Burt was an overachieving NT in '86. Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins clog up the middle of this year's defense.
Edge: 2008 Giants

Linebackers
It just doesn't get any better than LT, Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Gary Reasons. This year's group is Antonio Pierce and a varying supporting cast. Imagine Pierce playing next to Carson in the '86 3-4 defense.
Edge: 1986 Giants

Secondary
Not the strength of either team. Corey Webster has developed into a playmaker. Perry Williams and Terry Kinard (he missed the Super Bowl) each had four INTs in '86. The DBs' deficiences were covered up by LT and Marshall tormenting QBs.
Edge: 1986 Giants

Special Teams
Sean Landeta and Jeff Feagles are two of the best punters in history. Raul Allegre had a bigger leg than John Carney. Reyna Thompson was the David Tyree of his day.
Edge: 1986 Giants

Coaches
Bill Parcells is the best coach in Giants history. Tom Coughlin, a Parcells protégé, will close the gap if he wins two in a row. Parcells was the master motivator. Coughlin has reinvented himself from his dictator days.
Edge: 1986 Giants

Overall Edge: EVEN

I guess I'm being politically correct here....lol.....

Mitch said...

You could also flip flop the DL & DB's...I should have labeled them both pushes.

Andy F. said...

Reyna Thompson was on the '90 squad.

The simple msg is that w Plax gone the '08 offense has much closer similarity to '86 offense (comparing defensive units is unfair, the '86 defense was one of the top 10 defenses of all time).. and that means the Erhardt endpoint of leveraging your TE is the endpoint conclusion for this '08 squad. History does not repeat, it rhymes, and Boss rhymes with Bavaro.

Brian said...

Merry Christmas!

Lets not canonize Ron Erhardt, he ran the most predictable, easy to defend offense in the league, RRPK was his staple. Predictability and lack of imagination or ability to adjust is something we always get on Gilbride about. The difference is that the 86 D had LT the most dominant game changing player in the League. This team is much better on Offense, and not quite as good on Defense.

Motown Blue said...

Brian is on the mark with Erhardt and the 86' D. No comparison, as the 86' team revolved around the D and the O was a ball control and conservative system. That is a major reason for the predictability and lack of imagination....let the D win and O don't brown it up. I do recall my frustration as I used to call him Ron Airhead because of the predictability but I do like to think that I am wiser now.

Boss' average per catch is 11.6 yards and that is with just 9 less catches than Toomer who has 12 yards per catch and 6 less catches than Hixon who has 13.7 yards per catch. Of the 33 completions to Boss 21 were for 1st downs which is a 63% average. That is 63% of his completions are for first downs which is tied with Toomer and better than Smith at 61%. Guess what he is also better than our former headache Shockey who has 50 receptions for 9.7 yds/catch, 0 tds, and 60% of completions for 1st down...another reason why we don't miss him.

Bob said...

You're absolutely right about Boss.
Tall, soft hands, tough, great receiver.

Seems obvious....except to inflexible Killdrive.

Brian said...

Ron Airhead! My dad used to call him the same thing!

Oxbay said...

Boss I like. Shockey I didn't.

Shockey liked being on the Miami Hurricanes. He likes bonding with former Miami Hurricanes.

I'm glad he hit the road.

Boss likes being on the Giants. He likes bonding with his Giants teammates.

Hey Boss, Merry Christmas to you and all your teammates, coaches, and the behind the scenes guys who contribute to the Giants playing and winning.

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