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Friday, January 23, 2009

LB vs WR

As we head into free agency and the draft, every other word out of the mouth of everyone who comments is either LBer or Wide Receiver. Let's look at the drafting of WRs and LBers in the first two rounds from 1996 on. (Why first two rounds? Because those are the consistent producers who make the impact.)

2- Amani Toomer (1996)
1- Ike Hilliard (1997)
2- Joe Jurevicius (1998)
2- Tim Carter (2002)
2- Sinorice Moss (2006)
2- Steve Smith (2007)

none. zippo. nada. zero.

Six versus zero. Yep.

We have had discussions about the Linebacker trends in the NFL. The change in NFL rules certainly makes passing easier, making WRs more important(?) and LBers less so (as they play more nickel vs 3 receiver sets etc..), but does it mean that LBer is less important? Try telling that to LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison.

Every time we have to worry about Gilbrown, the reason why is that chickenbrown takes no responsibility for winning games. Why does Gilbrown matter in going after LBers? Because the Giants lost their identity as a strong defensive team ages ago. If your team doesn't have the offensive will to attack, it NEEDS to hold opponents TO NO SCORING AND SHUT'EM DOWN. Ya think that maybe the Giants lost their defensive identity when they stopped drafting LBers? Ya think that maybe we wouldn't be getting torched on these 3rd and 20's when we have a FAST and talented LB around who is going to have a nose for the ball and make the play? Spagnuolo outsourced LBer because he had no choice. Wilkinson+Goff+Kehl+Blackburn+Clark = schtickdreck. And Pierce's overachieving tank (31 this coming October) is running low.

Now I can hear how many of you are saying: but Andy, we had a great defense last year, and that is how we won the Super Bowl. Incorrect. We had a great defensive line that played out of their minds in the Super Bowl, Belichick was outcoached, Spagnuolo used smoke and mirrors, and Tyree caught a pass off his helmet. I still watch as Pierce is trailing Ben Watson in the end zone, gets called for the pass interference, and NE scores. Pierce. Pierce and Barrow. If not for these two free agent pickups we would truly have browned for ~8 years. (..and do not get me started with the miracle of Armstead in the 8th round or else you're talking a lot longer than that.) This Linebacker neglect is defining the team. It lacks the glue holding the promise of the secondary (Webster!, Phillips, Thomas, Ross?) together with the stars of the DL (Tuck, Umenyiora). ADD YOUNG FAST IMPACT LINEBACKER, STIR AND MIX, LEAVE IN OVEN FOR ONE SEASON, DOMINANT DEFENSE. The Giants have a #1 and two #2's. Use TWO of those three picks on LBer. And stop worrying about WR because Gilbrown browns and will waste his offense anyway. Defense wins championships. Draft with defense for the first 5 picks, no arguments here.

Kanavis McGhee 1991. Carl Banks 1984. Frightening.


gmen08 said...

I'm starting to agree with the notion that the Giants should spend their first 3 draft picks on defense. The reason I say this is because the WR position is generally regarded as the most difficult to transition to in the NFL from College. If you are a GREAT receiver (see Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson) then you will see productivity right away with year 2 being the breakout year. But there won't be anybody available for the Giants at WR that will make an immediate impact.

Daniel said...

So who are the linebackers that the Giants should be looking at in the draft? Is there really anyone who will still be available where the Giants pick? Is there any chance the Giants swing a trade to get up into the top 15 or so and pick up a real star linebacker? Someone who can learn from Pierce for a year and then captain the defense for the rest of his career?

I read somewhere that someone thinks the Giants can get USC's Cushing in the first round where they are right now. Is that true? Will he be an impact player?

gmen08 said...

Some mock drafts show Cushing being available when the Giants draft. Personally, I'd love to have Cushing on the Giants. He is great at rushing the quarterback, good in coverage, and won't be phased by big pressure moments because he has played in big games his entire career.

Clint Sintim could be available for the Giants as well. He looks like an immediate impact player just like Cushing.

Craig said...

wr is not generally regarded as the most difficult teansition, qb and dt are but wr is not easy. im not even looking at mock drafts yet because underclassmen havent even declared yet so whats the point right now.

last year's draft 5 def, 2 off
07 4 def 4 off
06 5 def 2 off
05 3 def 1 off (best giant draft ever, webster, tuck, jacobs)
04 4 def 3 off

we have been consistently drafting defense more than offense. And in the first 2 rounds since 04 6 def 4 off so even early we have been drafting def that is why we have a good young secondary.

We need a weakside lb who can cover(ahem westbrook) and a strongside for run and a few blitzes. Im not gonna write off kehl or goff yet but when your drafted that late, you usually dont end up being stars. chase blackburn is a good lb and a solid backup for pierce so im sayin draft 2 lbs early, no other position is in that much of a need OR maybe sign someone, always a possibility.

Craig said...

how much do you wanna bet that id Matt Millen was still in charge the lions would take crabtree

Nature said...

i have a problem with us not TRADING up to get a good LB (potentially great). we have two
2nd round picks use a 2 and the 1st to move up and get one of the better LB's Curry/Mualuaga

to me it makes no sense for us to draft D-line early. D line will be fine with the return of #72.

rookie receivers almost NEVER make a big impact.....i wouldnt mind us taking a RB if we keep all 3 of those picks, anyone who reads my post know im not a fan of the 3 back set and I think #27 is overrated. bradshaw and a young shifty quick back to go along with him would be great....and personally i dont want us to look at TJ Houshmazadah, if we can take a shot at BOLDIN, the CARDS will not put that much $$$ into the WR position

gmen08 said...

Craig - Underclassmen have declared. That's the main reason the mock drafts have started coming out.

I disagree that DT is a tough transition, but I'll give you that QB is tough.

Nature - I don't think we should give away 2nd round draft picks to slide up and get Mauluga over Sintim or Cushing. I'm not knocking Mauluga, but he hasn't proven anything on the NFL level yet and doesn't grade out that much better than Cushing or Sintim. The Giants have more holes than just 1 lber position. The Giants are not a Dallas or Washington that disregards draft picks.

Craig said...

ive seen a lot of the guys on nfl live talk about DT being very tough, I wouldnt want mauluga, he's a mlb we need 2 olbs. if we trade up we would need to trade into the top 5 for curry and i would have an issue trading up that far. Why do you not want Housh? Other than LB, where do the Giants NEED someone? Draft a RB, why the hell would you draft a RB when you have the best running game in the league? Bradshaw is the small shifty fast RB and Bradshaw is the perfect compliment to Jacobs.

Nature said...

Mualuga can play OLB while he learns from Pierce....SINTIM and Cushing could be gone by 29.... we already have 2 young LB's who wont be on the field next year, i havent seen anything from last years picks for me to be optimistic about. we need to draft PLAYMAKERS at LB...SINTIM "looks" like he can be that kind of guy, or the kid from Florida state

Mitch said...

I look at the Draft Boards to see what the consensus is. Do we really know what is out there that are can't misses? Of course we don't. You would have to be like Mel Kiper Jr. to do that.

What I have heard is that Brian Cushing will probably drop in the draft due to alleged steroid use. He is definitely one of those guys, It hasn't been proven but he is a suspect in this.

That is why it wouldn't be crazy to move up in the draft...but only to draft a definite impact player like Curry...but that is a longshot at best.

xtian said...

i don't watch college ftball, only pro ftball--i have too many other interests--so i cannot say which specific players the giants should look at. but this will change as i examine the scouting reports.

with our #1 and 2 #2's we should:

definite 1 lb:
pierce is getting old and we need a mlb stud more than olb. i think kiwi will be back at slb and will slip into the line to rush on 3rd-and-longs. kehl is fast and could be good at wlb especially coverage, we'll see. wilkerson is gone--just too injury prone, never got his career going. the other guys i believe are backup/special teams/spot starters.

probable s:
i like johnson and butler, but how about if we got another phillips-type to go with phillips. won't that be special.

possible 1 dl:
i wouldn't mind a stud dt as robbins is older and the other guys are good, but not great. i would not complain if they took a de early either because tuck can play some dt.

possible 1 wr:
i agree with nature about going after boldin, the others i'm not that interested in including tj. if not a trade then maybe 1 of the #2's.

possible 1 te:
paring boss with another dominant te would be great.

maybe cb:
i think we are ok with ross, webster, and thomas unless someone really slides.

not likely ol:
we are fine. need backups, but whimper should be back.

no rb:
we should sign jacobs, probably not ward, but we have bshaw and ware in line. only if we let both jacobs and ward go might we draft a rb.

no qb:
hopefully, we re-sign carr.

Bob said...

I disagree.

The Giants D was good in 2008 and will be better in 2009 with Osi back.The D was overworked by the poor performance of the O in late 2008. Look at the good stats our D had early in 2008, when the O was working. Our weakness was the O (no deep threat)late in the season.

Isn't it obvious that when we lost Burress, the O had great problems,except the Carolina game.
That's when and why we started losing games..... Even the Eagles said it was easier to defense us without Burress.

If we can land a top flight wideout in free agency, then I would go along.Most importantly, the weak link in our team in late 2008 was the O (1 TD in the last 2 games, by D. Carr !!) We must add a stud deep threat wideout .....A stronger O would tremendously help the D, by keeping it off the field.
If we do this in free agency, better yet, then spend the picks on LB's.

The TOP PRIORITY still is ejecting Gillbrown. I'm afraid that is a pipedream.

Oxbay said...

I have to disagree with Craig who said at 4:14 the Giants had the "best running game in the league". I don't care what the numbers say. With 3rd or 4th down and 1 yard to go the best running game in the league would get the first down. Not only that but they would especially do it in the playoffs. Especially against an undersized defensive front like say the Philadelphia Eagles have. The best running game in the league would be like FedEx - when it absolutely positively had to be done it would be done.

The Giants have to revamp their offensive line. That would help keep the defense off the field as Bob, rightfully so, points out.

Andy F. said...

Obviously a top flight WR would make Gilbrown's job easier.. he'd have less oppty to screw it up. And you can feel pretty good about how a healthy Tuck, Osi and Blitzing Kiwi (boy he was mostly invisible in the latter part of the season) could get that pass rush injecting new life into the team. But where the team can really become dominant is if it gets that LBer who makes an impact. Pierce made an impact in his earlier days as a Giant, and he still is a leader and presence on the field with his playcall tendencies. But physically he is no longer making plays; it is all downhill for the rest of this unit and it is by far and away the most glaring need for the team. If the Giants want to get a WR in free agency, fine. But LBers wear out, so you need to cultivate that in the draft. We got guys like Barrow and Pierce, and they are extremely perishable despite us being successful in identifying their ability to contribute. Woodley, Harrison, Willis... if this defense had an impact LBer it would truly transform the team. I think back to the dominance of the '97 defense, when you had a dominant lineman in Strahan, a dominant LBer in Armstead and a dominant Corner in Sehorn. To have one in all three units elevates the defense. Right now, the team has Tuck, Osi and Webster. LBer puts us over the top. It is the last word on the list of Giants Rules... DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Andy F. said...

Oxbay- If I am drafting anywhere on offense, it is OL. Yes, they play well together as a unit, but the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and you never get hurt investing (drafting) in the OL. Keep the pressure on these guys to perform, and within a year or two you will be replacing them with guys that are drafted NOW.

Oxbay said...

Andy, I agree with you. I think the Giants could use a new left tackle, at least and a new center. Sorry Sean.

Craig said...

A new center? O'hara is a probowler! we lost the philly game because the entire offense played like crap(gilbrown) but mainly Eli did shit in that game. Ok, if we aren't the best running team, we are in the top 5, there is no need to invest in a Rb, we will have jacobs, bradshaw, ware, and rueben droughn still(can we trade him, get like a 5th or something)

on offense all we need is a
1. No 1 WR
2. WR depth (returner?)
3. Oline depth

defense we need
1. SLB (kiwi is not anything special)
2. WLB (maybe kehl can take over here?)
3. DT depth (there is only alford)
4. SS (knight is gone)

Craig said...

note to everybody, Goff is a mlb but got hurt in preseason, we dont need a backup mlb, we have blackburn who is pretty good, and a young goff.

Oxbay said...

O'Hara is a probowler! Craig says. I understand that. Here's what I want. I want my pro bowl center to block someone who is directly in front of him when it's 4th down and the quarterback that I root for is making a quarterback sneak. I want him to block his opponent far enough that my quarterback makes the first down. When the center doesn't make that block I can't say I'm really impressed that someone else can say he's "a probowler". Results count more than credentials.

That's just the description of one play in the last game the Giants played. There were other plays that were equally dismal.

Mitch said...


You are incorrect about O'Hara. He got enough push along with Snee & Seubert. When you run a sneak, the proper way to execute the play is for the QB to hesitate for a split second and see where the opening is...OR....to go very, very low immediately and get under the center or guard to pick up the the first down. The QB has to be committed to the play. It is all about instinct & desire.

Craig said...

Eli ran right into O'hara's back, not into the hole thats why it didn't work. Eli screwed up the sneak not O'hara

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