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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Volatility is your friend

This week when Brad Van Pelt passed away, there were all kinds of stories that surfaced. One of my favorites was naturally an intersection between him and Goerge Young.

As the story goes, it is early 2004, and Van Pelt has had a very good season. He comes into George Young's office to plead his case for a raise, without his agent. George Young politely agrees with EVERY point that Van Pelt brings up, openly acknowledging and recognizing the 5-time Pro Bowler's significant contributions. He concedes every point! But then, in typical GBY fashion, he lowers the boom on Van Pelt: "Brad, you're right. You are one of the top three outside linebackers in the league. But we were 3-12-1 with you last year. I think we could have done that without you."

Last night, Bob pointed out correctly how good the Giants were with Derrick Ward. Facts are facts and Ward is a 1000 yard runner. So why the heck do you want to lose that?

The answer is simple: VOLATILITY. When you win and are the Super Bowl Champs, you want the status quo. When you are any of the other 31 teams out there that fell short, it does not matter whether you were a game away or 3-12-1, you LOST. But you can only lose once each season, which means you take your chances. The Giants cannot afford to allocate significant resources to Ward, who will be 29 years old come September. Granted, Ward does not have the mileage of other 29 year old RBs. He certainly was a big reason why we beat the Panthers, our only win in the last 5 games of the season. On paper it does not seem to make sense that you could let a 1000 yard runner go. But as a GM this is still not the place where you want to invest your cap dollars. You want it to go where the resources are needed. You commit to Jacobs, which they did. You already have Bradshaw and Ware, cheap and young. You need to leverage what is left elsewhere on the roster. LB, DL, OT.

This is the opportunity to see what #44 has. We may be wrong about him, but you'll never know if you don't try. Bradshaw deserved that much after what he did in 2007. Let's not forget what other professionals in this league were saying about him. I still do not understand why he did not get more opportunities in 2008, other than watching the idiocy of Gilbrown, a dead horse I do not choose to beat on anymore. The word is he was hurt for stretches this season. That is part of our collective confusion on the subject, given his presence on kickoffs (another insanity, pls use Hixon for this). So let's simply see what we have here and end the debate. Maybe it forces Gilbrown to adapt to #44 instead of #44 adapting to Gilbrown. Maybe, just MAYBE, it is the way for Jerry Reese to say to the Giants coaching staff that you have no choice now but to see what we have in #44. Let volatility be your friend. Shake it up. Roll the dice. You can only lose once. Championships last forever.


Mitch said...

Sorry Andy... I wrote this on the previous thread...


In a perfect world the Giants would want to keep Ward.The salary cap does not afford them that luxury. Ward rushed for over 1000 yards...that is incentive enough for another team to pay him as a top running back.

As for my opinion on Ward, he certainly benefited from a strong OL. I don't know how any of you feel...but for my money Ward "dropped" way too many balls or it seems to me that whenever the ball was thrown to him in key situations the play failed. At least that is what I recolect .

Danny Ware can easily provide depth and I look forward to having #44 play a larger role this upcoming season.

Motown Blue said...

If they sign both Jacobs and Ward back that would account for up to $10 million for one unit. Jacobs is due $6 million for just the tag and Ward is seeking $4 million. Way too much to invest in one unit when there are deficiencies in other areas not including the deficiency we have as an OC.

Bradshaw, from what we saw in 2007, has much more upside that Ward. He has more burst, speed, quickness and subtlety more power. His power was displayed by a play in the SB when he carried Ty Warren for 5 more yards. It killed me to watch this season by using him on kickoffs and not on RB flares, dump offs and screens. I do not see too many LBs that could cover this guy in the open field.

Andy, I would love to hear feedback from Wonder about Haynesworth and if he would be worth the contract that it would take to get him? Doesn't make sense that the Titans don't franchise him as he was a top 3 defensive player last year. I know the guy has had some health issues in the past and some concerns about his consistency but we all know that the DT position is the second hardest position to learn coming from College. Just think of a d line with Tuck, HAYNESWORTH, Robbins and Osi??

Andy F. said...

haynesworth is a beast, simms raves about him. have not spoken to wonder about him. in terms of my peronal taste, I would love to have haynesworth on that DL, it would be one Giant NIGHTMARE for every other team in every single game. Instantly it removes pressure from the LBers and Secondary, and with any upgrade at LB you get a fantastic defense. Knowing Reese's track record of going it all the way through the draft and specifically NOT through high-priced free agents, I will literally wait until I finally see Reese even show INTEREST in one of these types of players before bothering to start extraploating whether we have something to discuss. In two years, Reese has not done ANYTHING to lead us to believe he wants any part of this. Perhaps in his third year that changes, but let's respect inertia and believe until proven otherwaise that Reese has no interest in these types of players.

Motown Blue said...

Yes, Reese has no track record of aggressively pursuing top flight free agents but less look at what was available.

Last year it was Asante Samuel, Jared Allen, Marcus Trufant, and Michael Turner. I would not have been happy tying money up with Samuel much less Trufant as we needed to give Ross a chance and Webster proved his meddle in the playoffs against some high quality star WRs. Jared Allen wouldn't make sense since at that point we didn't know what Strahan's situation was and didn't foresee Osi going down. Finally, Turner was a slight risk as I don't think any expert would have envisioned him being that good this year. Besides they already were happy with Jacobs, Ward and Bradshaw.

The year before it was Adalius Thomas and he is better fit for a 3-4 defense. Who else was there?? Nate Clemens who hasn't really lived up to the absurd contract he signed. They did show some interest in Cato June but he is not what I would call an impact player.

Bottom line I don't think he has had the opportunity yet. Haynesworth fills a need and is an impact player that would improve the D dramatically. I really hope they are aggressive considering that they are sticking it to the old loyal fans with the PSLs.

xtian said...

good analysis motown.

in general, i would rather reese be conservative by resigning our own guys, build through the draft, and sign mid-level free agents. but maybe haynesworth is an exception. we will see.

Bob said...

BTW....Ward was our #4 pass receiver
with 41 catches for 384 yards.
As many yds as Boss.

This is while playing as our backup RB and also rushing for 1,000.

This is why I'd pay the 4 mil for Ward.

Andy F. said...

Just my opinion, but Bradshaw is far more dynamic out of the backfield. We'll see if it makes a difference in '09.

Russ Wellen said...

The objectivity on this thread about Ward is a little chilling. Does any Giant play with more heart than him? Does any Giant do more with such little talent (he's slow, he looks dumpy in a football uniform)? Does any Giant back surprise us more on a regular basis with the long runs he springs?

Okay, the Giants don't necessarily need him, but we can at least be sad to see him go. In case you haven't guessed, he's my favorite Giants.

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