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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amani Toomer

Toomer Toe Alert

Amani Toomer's role in the offense dropped. The team lost 4 of its last 5 games. He is an unrestricted free agent without any interest from the Giants. He is a 13 year veteran with many of the Giants' (wide) receiving records. Add all of this up and the frustration comes out. He tried to retract a few remarks on his website, but his thoughts after 2 1/2 weeks of silence are the true thoughts and true emotions of a veteran tossed aside.

When you read in between the lines, clearly SOME of this is the playcalling. Where was the SLANT to Hixon, Smith AND Toomer in those waning weeks? They were singling those WRs because of the manpower directed inside that was (a) trying to stop the run and (b) disrupt Manning. Jimmy Johnson was upfront in W14 AND the playoff game that they were going to make Eli beat them. So what do you do with your WR? Arizona answered this with SHORT patterns. Why? Because the Eagles did NOT give Warner OR Manning a lot of time to sit back in the pocket. Get rid of the ball. When there is wind preventing you from throwing the ball way out into the flat, you have to go with the slant. Given that the WRs were singled, the pass to Toomer on the slant was there. If Toomer was not able to get separation, then that is another matter, but this is a very short route where timing is more important than accuracy because by the time the WR blinks it is in his breadbasket. A half a step is all you need to make this route work (think Tyree SB touchdown catch) because the corner is always trailing. Gilbride seemed to be playcalling for as many throws vertical as short... the vertical ones were a liability for Toomer's decreasing speed. Toomer did not help his own cause because he dropped his fair share of balls this season. While this is no way for a 13 year veteran to go out, it means the Giants want more speed and need to move on.

Burress is in jail/out. Toomer is gone. It is time for the rest of them to step up. And if Reese is not comfortable with being aggressive in free agency, then one of these guys is going to have to fill the vertical void. If not, then Boss is going to have be Bavaro '86 and lead the team in receptions, which TE-challenged Gilbrown is not excited about doing. Can Moss/Smith/Hixon/Manningham step it up? On sheer body count ALONE, Reese is going to have to make some moves. If you want a 'Boldin' then it is going to take Reese doing something he has never done before... opening the wallet for an outsider.

31 comments:

Motown Blue said...

From here on we discuss the draft and what they need, who can contribute immediately, who can be an impact player etc. We also look at the Qs (Boldin) of the free agent market and everyone's attention to upgrade the WR unit.

But isn't it all for naught if we have an offensive staff that is inflexible, out of touch and possible isolating some of the leaders of their units?? An interesting article from CBS Sportsline Spin regarding the coach carousel and the rash decisions by franchises. I agree with some but not all, especially his example of Mangini. But the gist of it is: "The value of a head coach lies in consistency with player management, instincts in managing his staff and ability to maintain respect from his players". He uses Pittsburgh as a model of success in the NFL.

http://www.cbssports.com/spin/story/11285899

Will TC look beyond his stubborn loyalty trait and realize that changes are required if his team will get back to the promise land? Why would getting another stud receiver help this team if they cannot manage a game and utilize their players effectively? I have seen enough of Gilbrown to make me extremely skeptical of their odds to win again.....and we certainly have heard our share of criticism from Simms, Banks too now Toomer.

Currently, the only way they get back is to bolster their defense with an impact player at almost any position but they must improve the LB unit.

Nature said...

Motown i agree, i dont trust GILBRIDE would know how to use Boldin,Or Housh, Ocho, or anyone else who would be available. but i know you we have to get a #1 receiver...if we go into nex t season with the WR's we have right now we prob wont make the damn PLAY-offs....we needs a weapon on the outside, as much as i hate what we have at LB i think we could of made it to the SB with the same LB's but WR we are going to be lacking going into next year.....and as much as o lve WELL DRESSED Amani Toomer losing him at age 100 is not that big of a deal

Brian said...

Boldin is no FA, he's signed 2 more years I think, but not happy. I think it may be a Shockey type situation for Arizona, but there's no way we'd get him for less than a 2nd and a 4th/5th. Do we really want to pay that, plus a contract extension for a 6'1 possession reciever? He's a solid 2, but he's not a 1.

Russ Wellen said...

Will miss Toomer, the first great Giant wide receiver since Del Shofner and Homer Jones (until Burress came along, of course).

As for obtaining Boldin (unlikely if Fitzgerald re-works his contact to help Cards pay Boldin) or Houshmandzadeh (means son of wisdom in Iran's language, Farsi), bear in mind, they won't necessarily put up the numbers they have in the past.

Especially the Housh Man. . . imagine Eli throwing to him again and again like Palmer? Never happen. That's one of the strenths of Eli's game. Like Stephen Colbert doesn't see color, Eli doesn't see a name. He just looks for the open man.

Finally, ever since the 49ers had their great run, I always wondered why the Giants didn't use more short passes, especially slants, with their wide receivers. Sure, you've got to throw the long pass, but the dink and dunk (however much hated by the sainted Dr. Z) allows quarterbacks to get into a rhythm of completed passes and moving the chains. What could be more important?

Congratulations, Andy, on 100K hits. Also, this blog has unusually knowledgeable and savvy commenters -- just like the posts!

xtian said...

not resigning toomer for 2009 is one thing, but phasing toomer out in dec 2008 is stupid. i wouldn't have done that at the end of the season after losing burress; that is something more for the beginning or mid-season. we lost all stability at wr--both #1 and #2. just plain dumb to do that in december with a 1st seed team--a non-playoff team is completely different. no wonder the offense didn't click regardless of play calling.

seems the inflexible tc took over. we want the commander-in-chief and make decisions, but a good one is open to listen to all his coaches--and they get ideas from the players because they are on the field and notice things no coach can. if tc does not listen to his team, they will not play for him, and they won't win.

hopefully, tc will open his ears again.

gmen08 said...

I like Toomer as much as the next guy, but for the past two seasons his age has shown. He still makes remarkable and timely catches, but he is also unable to get any separation from his defender. Eli has had to throw an absolute perfect pass to have a completion with Toomer. And as we all know, Eli doesn't consistently throw perfect passes. I think Hixon will fill Toomer's shoes just fine next season. The big concern, as everyone knows, is to find a number 1 WR to compliment Smith in the slot and Hixon on the outside.

Pastime Princess said...

The offence is just fine the way presently constructed. It would be nice to get Plax back or another true #1 T.O. type receiver but you don't need them to win. This year’s team was one of the best all around O's that has come along in years. We where better than the 07 Pats because we could run and pass the ball at will. Look what we did to the Steelers and ravens this year. Except for some bad red zone play calling neither game was or should have been close. Without Plax we can still be very very good but you need to do it with creative play calling. Gilbrown is the sole reason why we are not playing this Sunday. You can’t blame Eli because everyone saw in the first eagles game that he couldn’t pass in the wind so why didn’t we try something else.

The defense needs work. We need better push up the middle and speed at LB.

bruno said...

I hope Mr Reese forgets Boldin. We don't need a WR that thinks hes smarter than the coaches.

Pastime Princess said...

From what it looks like to me, we need someone who is smarter than the coaches cause the coaches ain't lookin' to smart

Andrew Nisinson said...

I had a weird but interesting idea... Tomlinson will probably get a very small offer from san diego, who will now look to sproles as the RB of their future. If we lose derrick ward, I believe the price may be right for LT. He may be injury prone as a primary back... but think about putting him in the Ward role. We definitely need a WR and Boldin seems like a great idea... however... that might be hard to pull off... especially if they win a championship this year... and for a player that injury-prone... breaking the bank for him seems like a poor idea. I say we do this through the draft and free agency. I still believe that Hixon can be a marquis WR. He was outstanding until he knew that he was actually the starter and not just a place holder. He will come back next year with determination and play great. Also, as I suggested during the year in this blog... Steve Smith MUST BE A STARTER! This guy is going to be enormous for us. He's like TJ Housh. He can move those chains. Gillbride made a lot of mistakes but I believe that they will take the right lessons away from our late season collapse. Also... no need to panic everyone... we're getting Osi back! THAT IS SO HUGE! Osi was our mvp of the season last year. By the way, remember Osi against the Eagles last year? Osi made McNabb look like a rag doll. This team is actually going to be better next year.

Andrew Nisinson said...

Rules for next season:

1. Our offense needs to reform the theory behind the passing game from making teams defend the long pass to making teams stop us from moving the chains (w/ Smith and Boss).

2. Hixon must go back to returning kickoffs.

3. We still need a running back in the Ward role... be it Ward himself or an acquisition.

4. We need an outside linebacker in the draft.

5. Bradshaw must get more carries.

6. Bradshaw must learn how to keep the ball safe, he has a fumbling problem and that, I believe, is behind Gillbride's underuse of him.

7. We should not move Kiwi back to fulltime LBer. We should use him and Tuck at multiple positions to keep teams on their heels.

8. More Sinorice Moss. This guy is talented. When he saw the field this year, he was effective.

9. Our defensive playcalling must not be too effected by this coordinator change.

10. Eli has to start stepping into his passes. Everytime Eli throws a pick, he compensates for it by throwing without his weight and thus loses tons of accuracy.

11. We need to draft an O-Liner to be a strong backup for Kareem MacKenzie. The guy is the weak link on the O-line and he is obviously very injury-prone.

12. Draft order in first two rounds must be some combination of LB, OT, WR (preferably in that order). Honestly though, whichever player from those three positions who is still available at the time of our 1st round pick, should be who we take.

Russ Wellen said...

In both his comments, Andrew N. makes a ton of sense. The LT idea is indeed intriguing. (If only we could keep Ward, though, my favorite Giant.)

gmen08 said...

Are you guys serious? You want to trade for LT? He turns 30 before next season starts (30 begins the downhill trek for running backs), he's been injury riddled the past two seasons to the point where he has been useless come playoff time, AND its not a position of need for the Giants! We have two very capable running backs in Jacobs (we will resign him) and Bradshaw. You want to add a delining, injury prone tailback to the Giants so that we can sit talent like Bradshaw? It makes no sense. Almost everyone I've talked to complains that Bradshaw doesn't get enough carries.

And to top it all off it would have to be a TRADE! He's not a free agent. You want to give up draft picks on a guy that doesn't fill a need. We need fast, aggressive linebackers. We need depth on the offensive line. We need size on the outside at WR that will require safeties to respect our vertical passing game. We need depth a DT.

LT had a great career, but the there is absolutely no way that the Giants even think about trading for him.

Andrew Nisinson said...

We should definitely not trade for him... but if you've been following the banter, there is a good chance they will release him. If they do, we could give him a one year deal or something, cuz nobody is gonna want him by that same thinking. I'm only saying this because... we probably won't be able to get boldin and other than him, there are no good big targets out there in the free agent and possible trade markets. In the draft there is only one big wide receiver with real guaranteed value in the draft, michael crabtree. Bradshaw does need more carries, but he has a serious fumbling problem. This year Tomlinson had 1110 rushing yards, 11 rushing td's, 426 receiving yards and 1 receiving TD. Those are good stats. He was also their primary back for most of the season. If we had him and balanced out the carries more between him, jacobs and bradshaw, it'd be pretty unstoppable (similar to the way USC ran their running corps in NCAAF this year with Johson, Gable and McKnight). I am always a fan of chasing after value. Yes he is 30, but boldin is just as risky to injury... and with reduced carries, I think Tomlinson could have a very good couple seasons left.

gmen08 said...

Released or not, I still don't want him. He averaged 3.8 ypc this year. 1100 yards over the course of a season is nothing nowadays. Jacobs has done it the past 2 seasons while splitting carries and missing games because of injury. Don't get caught up in the big name like a Daniel Snyder or a Jerry Jones and actually look at production on the field.

Bradshaw does hold the ball loose, and I'm sure that contributes to his lack of playing time. But this is something that can easily be fixed with coaching. Look at Tiki Barber as an example. We just need to coach Bradshaw to keep his elbow against his body and we will be fine with Jacobs and Bradshaw.

Mitch said...
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Andrew Nisinson said...

Honestly, I think that the most important things to address are LB and OT. We need to pick up a receiver but our existing WR's are better than most give them credit for. Steve Smith is a great possession receiver, hixon is a big play guy, he just slowed down when he knew he was the actual starter, kevin boss is a great possession, end zone and big play tight end, and sinorice moss shows a lot of promise finally and he'll be working twice as hard to see more the field with toomer and plax gone. Also Mario Manningham is a damn good athlete, he's a lot like desean jackson at philly. Our WR's need more depth now... but our first pick should be a Linebacker if we can get someone good like a Cushing, other than that, we should look for a backup for kareem in the first round. We should take a WR with our second 2nd round pick.

Mitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch said...

We have a #1 and two #2's in the draft. I know that this will be debated back and forth as we lead up to the draft, but after we find out Plax's fate on March 31st. ( Remember, the Mayor wants his pound of flesh ) If Plax does not return then we must either move up the board to get a stud like Crabtree ( maybe our #1 and one of our #2 picks this year and maybe one pick next year )....or we make a move for Boldin ( I do think he's worth it )

As far as LB is concerned...they may only need to draft one in the second round because a young one might already be on the roster. Remember the Giants have been developing their picks and Bryan Kehl was just getting on the field late in the season when he got hurt. Gerris Wilkinson also shows tremendous speed & promise. I know he's been hurt but sometimes it takes a couple of seasons before we know a positions players real worth. We do not know how the coaches have them rated.

For me, I think our greatest need is a STUD WIDEOUT !!

Jerry Reese has to obtain one...If he can pull this off ( Crabtree or Boldin ) we will be better for it...with or without Gilbrown!

Andrew Nisinson said...

Wow, you need to calm down, first of all. Second of all, you can't just think that Hixon suddenly just sucks now. How awesome was he before plax shot himself. The two games he started in before that? Look at the games he had! Also, Sinorice Moss saw very little of the field but he's very athletic and when he did get out there, he made plays... I'm sorry but it's true. The guy has talent. Also, I didn't say Manningham was just like Desean Jackson... I said he is that TYPE of player. He doesn't have the pure vertical speed of Jackson, but he is speedy and made a lot of huge plays at UMich. Also, we need something more than just a backup on the line... we need a guy who can help provide depth through the year, and can start when Kareem goes down. Our line is aging, and they word down at the end of the year... we need someone else good, O-line is a NUMBER ONE PRIORITY for any successful team. As for LB, if we can get someone really good in the first round and a top recruit like Cushing falls to us, we should jump on that, but if not... I think we should look at the OT position and see if there is any value before jumping into an LB.
If you really think that we have no receivers other than Smith, then you sir... haven't been following the new york giants very closely. To dismiss Hixon is simply retarded. One of my rules of the season posted earlier was that he should definitely be returning kickoffs again. But I do think he will be a good starting WR too. He's shown us what he can do... then when I really don't like how you refuse to see the talent that already sits in our locker room. I really feel that the breakdown this year was not only because of not having burress, that was one of many things that went very wrong, very fast with our offense. The O-line was breaking down, and not just on the running game... Eli was getting ZERO protection. Mostly because kareem was either playing too hurt, or not out there. I want this team to maintain it's basic identity and to be a running team that shuts you down on D. It would be nice to get Boldin, that would be great for us... but do you really think that's gonna happen? At this moment, I am very doubtful. Do you think we're gonna trade up and get michael crabtree? No... we don't have the chips to trade with all our other needs. Therefore... what should we do? Value in the first round (LB, OT, or WR) and then we address the others in the second round.

Andrew Nisinson said...

We can't speculate about things like that... they probably are interested in Boldin... but so will a lot of other people. In addition to that, he's 28 years old and he's already very injury prone... he's also only six foot one! Unless the price is right, we're gonna pass on him. I'd much rather get Crabtree, but that seems even less likely. He will go very early in the draft... for us to trade up and get him... think about the things we'd have to give away. To be honest, one of my first priorities for us next year, is to stop fast running backs from burning us to the house! The other main priority is to keep the protection the way it was at the peak of this season. We do need to add a couple WR's, especially 2nd-4th round hidden jems... and Reese is very good at finding these... and they are definitely out there... like Patrick Turner from USC.

Andrew Nisinson said...

Gillbrown is still a concern for me. It's not that I don't always agree with his playcalling, and I don't... it's that it takes too long for him to make adjustments and learn from his mistakes. That, in a coach, is tantamount to failure.

Mitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Nisinson said...

First of all man, you're the one that started the insulting tone. Of course I can tell you follow the team closely, we all do. Our only actual disagreement here is that I think if there is no real value left at LB, we should evaluate the O-liners left at the time of our first round pick. I also did say several times that we need receivers... I'm not saying I don't want boldin or crabtree, I'm simply saying what I think the best thing is to do under the circumstances. But if something happens to make it clear that we have a realistic shot of getting them, that is obviously what I'd support. I believe that Reese has done a good job of assessing value in the drafts, and this time will be no different. Players like kenny britt and Hakeem Nicks could fall to us... and they should definitely be considered. But I really felt like our O-line was the key to our success during the good times this year. Anyway, no hard feelings, sorry for the comments. We're all Giants fans here.

Mitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Nisinson said...

@Mitch... Blog drama is kinda funny though right? You really start to care and then you realize, this is silly, I'm at work, I should probably get back to it.
;)

Andy F. said...

You guys probably have more common ground than you think. Most of us who think Moss/Mnghm/Hixon/Smith are not the 'answer' simply think that in the current state they cannot help the offense. And the people who believe in MMHS see the individual talents and think more is possible. The common denominator is Gilbrown wasting whatever talents he HAS. If Bill Walsh came back from the dead as the Giants' offensive coordinator, we wouldn't have to draft ANY Wide Receiver.

Nature said...

Anqaun Boldin is not injury prone dudes, stop saying that...And he is a #1 receiver, you guys forgot he was there before #11? and he had the rare 1,000 yard rookie season. BOLDIN is as good as any receiver and tougher than them all (S. Smith from Carolina in his class) he drops a pass every now and then but who doesnt beside Fitzgerald. cut all the crap out about hime being a DIVA, besides the argument on the sideline name the "ME" moment. He is upset about the contract he didnt get, not what Fitz got. If Boldin was to put on a GIANTS jersey he become the MOST "talented" RECEIVER to ever do so. We do need a REVEIVER i dont care if I was calling the plays

Mitch said...

Nature...you are 1000% correct!

Boldin suffered a concussion. Two facial fractures. One surgery to install eight plates to fix the fractures and to insert wires to realign his bite. He suffered the vicious hit Sept. 28 against the Jets. He reminds me of Mark Bavaro. His cheeks were still swollen and with wires wrapped around the inside of his mouth, he played 2 weeks later.

That is one tough dude. He is not a Diva...it was in the heat of combat...BROWN! Even Kurt Warner was seen arguing with the OC earlier in the game.

Anquan Boldin can play for my team anytime...

Andrew Nisinson said...

Yes, Boldin is one of the top receivers in the game. He is fast, has good hands and can make people miss. The guy is a definite big play threat. He would help our offense tremendously. Getting him is going to be very tough though. Larry Fitzgerald even said he would take a pay cut to keep boldin in arizona. http://www.topix.net/content/ap/2009/01/fitzgerald-says-hed-pitch-in-to-keep-boldin
Between that, and the usual difficulty of getting a star player for big bucks... I simply don't think that these boldin dreams are that realistic. I'd be very surprised if we got him... happily surprised... overjoyed surprised... but surprised nonetheless.

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