Burress case delayed until June. This is a negative for Burress (he could not get a deal with min/no jail time) and the Giants (waiting game continues, still assuming without his services).
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
1) There was a really good article from a charity golf tournament where some former players were sitting around and talking about the latest from the NFL.
Jack Youngblood, Mike Ditka, Sonny Jurgenson, Jim Hart, Billy Kilmer.
These guys give us a reality check. They remind us of what the game was like. And young ones out there, trust us, it was better. I saw Ditka. I saw Deacon Jones, the one man who scared me from inside the television set. And of course I saw LT.
To think of these guys, playing football the way it was meant to be played, having to stop because of "the Brady Rule." I cannot speak for all of you out there, but I am still irate at the chickenBrown call on Justin Tuck in the first Dallas game when he makes a totally legit tackle of the QB, they call him for a personal foul, THEN THEY HAVE THE INSANITY TO FINE HIM, then someone wakes the Brown up and tosses the fine out on appeal. To be fair, I actually think the pansyofficiating came to a head that weekend and got a little bit of reality therafter. I like the line from Lombardi- this is a COLLISION sport. When you start outlawing collisions, you degrade the quality of the game. LET THEM PLAY.
2) I was howling when Jurgenson talked about the likes of TO. At least you see that kind of discipline coming from Drew Brees when Shockey opens his mouth. This is what Manning was lacking. Bill Parcells would have controlled that stuff, and then he would have told his QB how to control that, and if his QB did not control it, Parcells would have gotten pissed at ... the QB!! For not being in charge! It is a little lonely at the top, but if you want to lead as a QB that is what it takes.
One of my favorite stories from Monday Morning Quarterback is when Phil Simms remembers how the Offensive Line was not protecting Simms well enough, and how Parcells was starting to lay into the linemen during practice. So Simms is thinking to himself, yah Bill, go Bill, yes, lay into them for not doing a good job. And then Parcells pulls back and stops criticizing the linemen. He turns to Simms and starts ripping into him!! Why? Because (as he then continued in the practice) Simms was getting too buddy-buddy with his linemen, too much of a friend, not willing to take charge and keep his linemen in line. So Parcells ripped into Simms and let him know that winning was not about being friends with everyone in the huddle all the time.
Is it possible that maybe Burress would not be in the trouble he is in if Manning were a little more in charge and would tell the diva star WR who the real law was, before he ever had to know from the NYC law? Just thinking out loud.
How does all of this tie together? The quality of the game is built up or is lost not in one fell swoop but in a combination of smaller things that click together or drop off one by one. Too many franchises. Too many games. Flex scheduling punishing premium viewers. Night winter games. Diva WRs putting themselves before the sport. The Brady Rule. Poor officiating. Pansy officiating. Nature called our sport's commissioner Roger GoToHell, and I am beginning to think he is right. The NFL is losing its compass, and GoToHell is slowly sending the league off the path.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Yesterday, Phil Mushnick, proud NY Post muckraker extraordinaire, aired a PSL story that was sad yet typical of the bs gouging:
As the PSL and other ticket stories roll in, we'll roll some out.
Here's one from a longtime holder of good Giants season tickets, lower deck near the 40:
The Giants want $20,000 per seat for the PSLs. So the fellow calls the Giants and tells the sales rep he has decided he will cough up the $80,000 for the PSLs plus the $5,000 or so per season for the tickets, but the club must meet one, small request.
"What's that?" the rep asks.
"Just stop charging me for those two home exhibition games every year."
The patron goes on to explain that among all the ripoffs he has endured -- all the night games and hikes in parking fees -- being forced to pay for games that don't count and are played by players who aren't likely to make the team is the one he can't stomach.
"I can't even give those tickets away. Eliminate those tickets or waive their cost, and I'll send a check for the balance, the $84,000 and something."
"But I can't do that," says the ticket rep. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, too," said the ticket-holder, now an ex-ticket holder, though the Giants have called back to see if he changed his mind.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I have intentionally avoided discussion of the Plaxico legal case here on the blog because it is a waste of everyone's time to follow everything that has been written. The only legal expertise I have is watching Law and Order for umpteen years, i.e. NOTHING. We'll have more clarity within a few days.
Friday, March 27, 2009
1) John Mara gave a voice of sanity amidst the mob majority of feel-good affection for the expansion of the regular season to (likely) 18 games. Peter King calls it a "freight train." What is not to like, another two hits of crack for all the football addicts?!! How can that be bad?! Well, what if the crack is watered down so that now each of the other 16 hits we get are all weaker and less interesting? What if the coaches are juggling players for survival by attrition instead of simply being worried about playing the game to win?
Most of us here were watching football before 1994 when free agency started. We know the drop in quality that came from wrecking the continuity of team rosters throughout the league. That kind of drop in quality will likely come again, perhaps not as significant a drop, but nonetheless the same insidious undermining of competitiveness we have seen before. At least Mara gets it. Kudos to him for defending the quality of the brand.
2) More PSL news. The Giants sold out Field 3, the $5K endzone dreck seats. Are you surprised the $5K seats went before the remaining "club" seats? What- you mean you don't want to spend $20K and $700/game to watch the Giants? Don't worry, there is a stupid corporation waiting to deduct those seats as a business expense, provided they still have the profits to write it off against. All the food you can eat, what a deal!
And remember the loophole?
From a brochure given to PSL purchasers:
“What if I am not satisfied with the location I am assigned?”
“If you are not satisfied with your assigned PSL zone and/or seat location, your PSL money will be refunded and your seats will be offered to another Giants fan.”
It comes as no surprise that they moved up the date to show PSL buyers their location from ~March 2010 to the Fall of 2009. Given the economic situation, the Giants are likely rushing to get past this loophole before people change their minds.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Before this conversation of 'where the Giants can trade up to' even starts, let me preface it by saying that in general the second round is the best value in the draft. It is one of the rules. So for all of you yahoos (including Wonder) who want to trade up for the marquee player in Round #1, caveat emptor.
Now that that qualifier is out of the way, let's play fantasy GM for a moment or two. Understand that the draft value chart is not the be-all-end-all of precise measurement. But it is what we have. In my humble opinion it is flawed because it does not 'butterfly' properly (the difference in value between pick 6 and 7 has to be LARGER than the difference from pick 7 to 8). But we see all over the chart that the math is incorrect. We will leave it at that.
Back to the Giants, NYG24 has supplied us with the #s where we pick, and I am taking him at his word.
total = ~1740 points
So if the Giants wanted to pull a Mike Ditka and trade all of our picks to jump to the head of the class, we could get the #4 or #5 pick in the draft. NOT WORTH IT. This short-changes the skills of Reese. It does get a little more sane and palpable to want to package our #1, along with one of the #2's and one of the #3's.
#1 + #2 + #3 = pts ( moves you up to)
29 + 45 + 91 = 1226 (11th or 12th pick)
29 + 45 +100 = 1191 (12th pick)
29 + 60 + 91 = 1076 (14th or 15th pick)
29 + 60 +100 = 1040 (15th pick)
The fact that the Giants got that #3 pick (100th selection) makes me think that Reese is more likely than not to play some poker and see about his options in moving up, because now he can package something together and not be left empty in later rounds. All he would need is a team that is willing to trade down somewhere in that 11-15 area without killing him for a SANE deal to get done. And once Reese is there, he can aim and fire point blank and get someone he covets while still having a 2nd and 3rd rounder left.
Another possibility not to dismiss is that Reese stands pat at 29 BUT he packages his 2's and 3's together for anything from #16 on down in the first round.
The Eagles love to trade down to the second round, and since they have two #1's, they might easily be enticed to trade down with the Giants for two #2s...... the Giants could trade their two #2's and a #4 for the 21st pick in the draft, simultaneously knock Philadelphia out of the WR selection for H-Bey and also keep #29 for themselves.
I do not remember the last time the Giants had 5 picks in the first three rounds. You have to go back to 1986 for that. (Before hitting the link, if you can name all of them, you are probably a liar! Hint: there were SIX, including 4 in Round 2.) If this draft were not so weak (as compared to last year, for example), I would prefer standing pat and just drafting 10 players and being loaded for many years to come.
Summary: Reese has many cards he can play. If he finds a team willing to trade down, he has the bullets to trade up. He can do so in a myriad number of ways. He can stay right where he is. He can use his #1 to move up or he can use his other picks. So he has a great deal of flexibility. Should be a very interesting afternoon.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"More is better." So it goes for the conventional wisdom employed by children and insecure adults behaving like children.
The NFL is floating an idea for a May 2009 vote on increasing the number of regular season football games from 16 to 17 or 18.
Using very simple logic:
we like football
17 or 18 > 16
we like more football
ergo, more games is good
MISTAKE. Big mistake.
We have seen it countless number of times.. players late in the season nursing injuries. It is not a question of whether players are playing hurt, it is a question of how hurt they are. Asking teams and players to play more and lengthen the season is DILUTION. It means the fans will get more games with less quality. It means playoff games with the walking wounded.
What is different now from a decade ago? From a generation ago? Players are a lot bigger and they are slightly faster. Granted medicine is better, but bodies are not able to take the abuse these players get subjected to on a 14 game season, let alone a 16 game season, let alone a 16 game season with higher energy collisions, let alone a 17 game or an 18 game season with these higher energy collisions.
This is where the money gets in the way of the sport. More regular season games means more money. But what about the quality of EVERY game? How do you measure the quality of a sport where players are already getting rotated more and more? We spend countless hours/days/months analyzing the draft, searching for that star, but then the 11 star-ters won't be on the field because they are too hurt or need to be given less snaps to survive the season. We watched as warriors like Tuck and Robbins played hurt, significantly less effective by the end of the season. Let's throw another 1 or 2 games in there and see what we get. What we will get is dilution.
You have to optimize quality, not quantity. The NFL is trying to optimize quantity, their economics. We the fans will get more of the second stringers playing more plays, more games. Is this good football? More is not better. The NFL is going down the road of baseball, whoring themselves out to the television coverage, the tv contracts, whatever they can do to grow their sport. But when growth comes at the cost of diminishing the quality of the product, any business manager will tell you that you have to find another answer. More games is not the answer.
More expansion teams. More teams being allowed into the playoffs. These are all ways of generating more revenue, growing the sport. They dilute the quality of the player on the field. They dilute the importance of the regular season.
Historically speaking, the reason why there were 6 preseason games was because most football players were out of shape come July. Unless they were the star of the team, most played in relative anonymity, did not get paid enough and had to have second jobs in the offseason. As salaries increased, that need became less and less. Offseason training became a mainstay to competitiveness. 6 preseason games gave way to 4 preseason games, and nowadays even 4 are not needed (for most starters) because everyone is a fulltime athlete now who comes into camp in very good shape. But that does not mean that cutting away those four games gives the NFL more "space" for increasing the regular season. That logic does not wash because the reason why starters are playing less and less in the preseason is because the coaches need to protect them for regular season snaps. The number of regular season snaps a player takes cannot be increased indefinitely. In the 2008 offseason all we heard about were the effects of the Giants having to play 20 games instead of 16, how the recovery from that year was longer and they had less time during the offseason to charge up for the new year, something which can get dismissed by the fast start but cannot be dismissed by the weak ending.
16 games is plenty of competition to determine who gets to go to the playoffs. When was the last time you heard a player or coach say they needed to play more games to determine who was deserving? Try never. 16 games is more than enough competition.
Addendum: Just found this Peter King link on nfl.com, at the end of the interview he discusses the proposal to expand the number of games. Very sad that his ear to the ground says it will pass. The only selfish/silver lining to this one is that the Giants, with a loaded D-Line, would have a distinct advantage in a longer season. Ya think that maybe Reese understood this when he was stockpiling Canty and Bernard?!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
From CBS Sportsline last year:
Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.
The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 220 choices in the seven rounds of the 2008 NFL Draft (April 26-27). This year, the compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.
From what I have seen historically, the best draft pick position a team can get compensation for is the end of the third round. (Has anyone seen a compensation pick in round 2?.. I cannot recall one.)
Updated: the Giants received a third round pick #100 in the draft. To have a #1, two #2's and two #3's is some haul.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Many thanks to Mitch for filling us in on the latest...
Report: New York Giants discussed trade for Cleveland Browns' Braylon Edwards
by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger
Sunday March 22, 2009, 9:28 PM
Tony Dejak/APThe Giants reportedly pursued a trade for Edwards.
There have been plenty of rumblings the Giants had talked with the Browns about a trade for their top wide receiver, Braylon Edwards. Those rumors had revolved around the Giants' sending defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka to Cleveland. I had heard nothing to substantiate the rumors, so I didn't mention them here.
But Ken Palmer of The Giant Insider reported today that, while the Giants never dangled Kiwanuka, they did inquire about Edwards.
To read the full story, you need a Scout.com subscription, but I've seen the full report and I'll tell you what Palmer's reporting:
The Giants offered the Browns the two draft picks they received from the Saints last year in exchange for TE Jeremy Shockey: a second-round pick and a fifth-rounder.
The Browns countered by asking for WR Steve Smith. The Giants said no.
The Giants then offered either of two other WRs: Domenik Hixon or Mario Manningham. The Browns said no.
The talks died down after that last exchange, though they could pick up at draft time.
I wish I could tell you more on this one, but I have nothing as of right now. What I do know is Palmer has been covering the Giants for a long time and has been out in front of plenty of stories.
I don't doubt the Giants inquired about Edwards. And when Jerry Reese is asked about this report, he'll probably give us the old, "We investigate everything. You know that." But the exchange of several offers indicates this was more than just due diligence here. And while Palmer is suggesting the talks could spark again come draft time, I'm thinking Plaxico Burress' legal situation could be the catalyst. If he goes to jail or is suspended for a while, the Giants will need to move along to the plan they have for Burress' absence. And like Tom Coughlin said at the scouting combine, "it'd be great to have a player, if it's not Plaxico, but with Plaxico's magnitude, on our football team." That player could be the 6-3, 215-pound Edwards, who surely wowed the Giants with his five catches for 154 yards and a touchdown against them last season - even if he has had a bad case of the dropsies of late.
The only part of the report that does surprise me is the Giants' offering Manningham. I know the coaching staff is very, very high on him and the front office obviously loved him before the draft. So maybe that's a sign they're very interested in Edwards.
Right now, who knows? We'll have to stay tuned on this one.
Speaking of Burress, from what I gather, there could be some news on his legal situation this week, despite the fact his next scheduled court date isn't until next Tuesday, the 31st. I'm not sure exactly what we'll hear, as I have precious few details, but I'm expecting to know more at some point. Sorry if that's a tease, but it's even a tease to me.
In addition to the Burress stuff, we might have even more news in a surprisingly busy week. I expect the league to announce the compensatory picks for April's draft at some point during the owners' meetings. The Giants should get at least one high pick after losing Girbil Wilson, Reggie Torbor and Kawika Mitchell to free agency last year. This guy tries to predict the picks each year and he says the Giants will get a fourth-round pick and possibly a third.
And we'll find out the slate of games for opening weekend and Thanksgiving. The Bergen Record is reporting the Giants are expecting five prime-time games. The full schedule likely won't be announced until next month.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
NFL discussions of potential rule changes for 2009.
The one which interests me is that the draft would be reseeded by how you exited the playoffs. That actually seems somewhat logical. Wherever possible, the NFL must make the draft order more equitable. One of my pet peeves is tiebreakers for the draft, and how the loser of a tiebreaker gets punished inordinately by those quirky 'strength of schedule' bullbrown rules and then suffers with a raw deal through the whole draft. Look at the difference between picking 3rd and 6th last season, Matt Ryan and Vernon Gholston... why the Jets did not get to pick at the head of the tiebreak EVERY subsequent round is beyond me. And like I said, if you are the Falcons and don't like that deal, YOU CHOOSE what you want! They will never give up the first round advantage, and that is proof positive of how inequitable the current system is.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Frequent viewers of the blog know the deal I made with the Mrs. I got all NFL games and March Madness, she got everything else. It has been a very good deal for both of us. The baseball strike of 1994 made it even easier to boycott that sport.
The thing that the NFL and March Madness have in common?! -> Single elimination, no excuses. It creates great drama, and for us as fans we get to watch a tournament with hyperbole everywhere.
I admit I did not follow the college basketball season this year as closely I have in other years. That is mostly a function of how well my father's Illinois is doing. Illinois is garbage this year, we have them losing in the first round. My father knows a thing or two about college basketball. He used to be a scout for Illinois back in the day. His Final Four are: Wake Forest, Pitt, UNC and Memphis. Defense is his theme. Memphis over UNC in the final. With the randomness of the tournament, your selections are as good as any of his. Let us know who your Final Four are.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Well, yesterday the Denver Broncos soap opera had its latest installment.
Cutler requested a trade:
"I went in there with every intention of solving the issue, being a Bronco, moving forward as a Bronco. We weren't in there but about 20 minutes, [McDaniels] did most of the talking and as far as I'm concerned, he made it clear he wants his own guy. He admitted he wanted Matt Cassel because he said he has raised him up from the ground as a quarterback. He said he wasn't sorry about it. He made it clear that he could still entertain trading me because, as he put it, he'll do whatever he feels is in the best interest of the organization.
"At the end of the meeting, he wasn't like, 'Jay, I want you as our quarterback, you're our guy.' It felt like the opposite. He basically said that I needed to tell him if we can't work this out, to let him know," Cutler added. "I thought he was antagonizing me and that was disappointing because I was ready to move on, committed as a Bronco. Really, I figured we'd hash things out, shake hands, laugh a little and move forward. What happened [Saturday] was the last thing I expected. If I didn't think it could be fixed, I never would have come back to Denver. It was painfully obvious to me and Bus [Cook, his agent] it's not something they want to fix."
Job of the GM: hire a head coach and assemble players from draft/free agency/trade
Job of the coach: coach the players that are assembled
Job of the player: do what the coach tells you to do
Somewhere in there, McDaniels became the GM too? He is 32 years old, got his first job as head coach, and he is playing with his franchise QB like he is some 4th string Guard. As was stated yesterday, I blame McDaniels. Between your comments yesterday and other voices speaking out, we are not alone in the way we see this.
And now, the Jets are keeping their eyes and ears open, monitoring the situation.
Eli at the offseason training program
on whether he was surprised the Giants spent so much on defense in free agency: “No, not surprised at all. Obviously, they saw some talented players on defense that could come in and make our team better. I love having a great defense being a part of this team. It makes our offensive job easier where we can run the ball and you don’t have to go in thinking you have to score any points in the game. Your defense is going to get some turnovers and stop people and get good field position. Gilbride will kill us in the red zone, but at least FGs will be enough. I was excited when we got good defensive players and added them to an already-good defense.”
On whether he’s working on anything mechanically in the off season to help him throw better in windy conditions: “I’m not trying to alter anything. I suck in the wind. Playing in the wind is just part of Giants Stadium. You’re going to have to deal with that. When you go in certain directions, some throws are going to be tough. When the going gets tough, the QBs with poor mechanics just throw picks. If you can’t step into it and get a spiral and get everything into the ball, it will sail on you and get caught up into it. Oh well. Sometimes you don’t have a choice; you just have to try to fit it in there. Like Q1 in the playoffs to Asante Samuel! That was a pretty floater off my back foot. Aw shucks. When you’re going in certain directions you have to be wary of it and try to stay away from certain throws sometimes, or just make sure you get everything on it and make sure you can get your whole body into it and throw a good ball off that back leg for another floater. That’s part of playing in Giants Stadium - you’re going to have to deal with some windy conditions. I'll keep the same mechanics and deal with it the same way I have been dealing with it every season, you know, lousy.”
Okay, so those weren't exactly "quotes." I know what I heard, but you've got the link to look at what he said. You tell me what you heard. Especially his lamebrown remarks about the wind. Manning gets a free pass for life for delivering a championship to all of us, but that does not mean he gets to sit back in the offseason and do nothing proactive about an ongoing 4 year problem.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Not sure if you have been paying attention to the soap opera in Denver, but it is certainly interesting.
It all started when Josh McDaniels was brought in as the new head coach of the Denver Broncos to replace Mike Shanahan.
And then it was all downhill after that. McDaniels wanted his former QB at New England (Matt Cassel), and missed getting him in a 3-way deal that would have sent Jay Cutler to Tampa Bay. But the damage was done.
I know very little about Josh McDaniels, but I know this: Cutler is the real deal and to NOT work with him for at least a year is patently absurd. For what it is worth, the moment that Cutler expressed his disatisfaction that he was being peddled and that Cutler's availability was in play, Wonder started foaming out the mouth...
On March 1st: Jets should trade T.JONES, CLEMENS, and a 2nd-round pick to DENV for J. CUTLER; Denv desperate for RB and a rift b/t McDaniels and Cutler is a real problem...they'll have Clemens for now and can draft a QB to groom...Freeman in the 2nd?
Point? Getting rid of Cutler makes no sense. He is a FRANCHISE QB. I lost track of the number of times Phil Simms endorsed him and his abilities. Is Cutler acting a little like a primadona for this? Yes. But in this sport, your #1 QB is the bedrock of your franchise and could easily be there well after the head coach. That Bowlen had to get involved to try to put this fire out so quickly after hiring McDaniels obviously means this is a burgeoning nightmare. Someone is going to have to explain to me why McDaniels could not at least TRY to work with Cutler for 1 year before deciding he wanted something better. If you say that it was all about Cassel, then I will reply- SO WHAT?!!! Tough brown that Cassel is on the market in your first year as a head coach. How many times have we seen a replacement shoot up the charts and then flame out just as quickly when he tried to anchor another franchise? The difference is that Cassel COULD be a franchise QB. We already know that Cutler IS the franchise QB of Denver.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
This morning, Phil Mushnick has taken a seat in the PSL stadium and he does not like the view. Echoing the opinions expressed here on the Ultimatenyg New York Giants football blog, the words are unambiguous.
"..the most disgraceful, greed- based story in NFL history"
"the Giants are.. desperate to find suckers to purchase personal seat licenses"
The latest wrinkle that Mushnick uncovers in this PSL mess is how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defends the Jets and Giants seat licenses as 'good investments' while the Jets explicitly say otherwise.
Warren Buffett defines an investment's return as the sum of (the present value of future) retained earnings over the period of the holding. So for PSLs, they are licenses, not shares. When the stadium closes in ~30-35 years (about the length of the current Giants Stadium), it will be worth zero. Check the fine print, I am sure it says that the license is for this new stadium, not a license forever. Add that you have to PAY for all preseason and seasons tickets, and that is the reverse of a dividend. Yes, you get entertainment, but no, the endpoint of the license WILL be zero. And just for the exclamation point, we'll throw in there that in 30-35 years, if you hold the license until it is worthless, you (or your heirs) will be on the queue to pay for another stadium (license) yet to be built.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Answer: Holt released, Boldin on the block, Burress gets traffic tickets
Question: What WRs developments are the Giants rumored not to be interested in?
In the spirit of Jeopardy, a little fun with Jay Leno.
And back to a little football humor,
"The Top 10 Unluckiest Plays"
Classics, all of them.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Butler's 4 year deal is $3.5M/year. Considering that we signed CC Brown for $1.6M for 1 year, this is far better than spending $3.5M for Butler. Is Butler that much better than Brown? Doubtful, considering how slow Butler is.
This one is 3 days old: Tisch says that the PSLs are well-received by Giants fans. Tisch was there in September at halftime when he was roundly BOOED in reaction to the PSL. So for him to say that the Giants fans are supportive of them is either
(a) delusional or
(b) an outright lie
Since I do not believe that Tisch was born yesterday, I'll pick (b).
TISCH IS A LIAR. Sure, he is trying to push his product, and he has every right to do that. But please do not take Giants fans for being stupid, gullible, vacuous patsies that are ready to be brainwashed by any public relations that you inject into the media. If you would be kind of enough to at least show your customers a modicum of respect and admit the truth, then perhaps there would be a little less resentment about the situation.
Tisch says there has not been a "backlash." This is his proof. Does he mean no marches through East Rutherford? Giants fans are too busy trying to earn a living (SO THAT THEY HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY YOU FOR YOUR TICKETS AND PSLs) to have time to organize 'backlashes' against an entertainment entity.
No backlash? So what was the halftime booing all about? Be so bold, Mr. No Backlash, and try showing your face for some other halftime promotion this September and see what kind of response you get then, and then tell Ralph Vacchiano and the rest of the media that there is no backlash. There were tons of comments off of the Daily News piece. I read the first 30 of them and of the ones that were positive or negative, it was 21 NAY, 0 YAY. 100% against and negative, spewing their ire at Tisch.
No backlash? Go try walking the corridors of your stadium (hint: NOT the club seats) at intermission... I suspect the reception will be somewhat akin to wearing a Giants jersey at the old Vet or Linc.
It cannot be stated enough times that Tisch and Mara have a right to do anything they want with their franchise. We as fans have plenty of choices. This is not bread or water they are selling us. We may all be emotionally tied to this team, but we can also live without them. It could be a lot worse. That $1K big screen hdtv never looked so good. The beer is reasonably priced, and the only thing I will regret is not being able to boo Tisch. But somehow I suspect that there will be a few people at the game who will want to do that for the rest of us.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Before people freak out, rest assured that Reese is almost a lock to take at least 1 WR and at least 1 LBer with his first 3 picks (assuming he does not package to trade up).
You can say that amongst the WRs we have, none are the kind of talent to draw a double team the way a Boldin, Fitzgerald, Burress et al can. So if that is the case, how is this team going to go all the way and win? The answer is that you still have a set of WRs who can move the chains and make enough catches to help the offense win games. Relatively speaking they are all babies, ANY of which can have a breakout year. Which one does it? Perhaps 2 or 3 of them. Perhaps only one. Perhaps NONE! But given their age and experience, this is the time when pros make that leap.
Steve Smith certainly has it in him. He'll play in Toomer's old spot and has been on the biggest of all stages, so he can certainly (not only handle but) excel in the starting role. While on the subject of biggest of all stages, that 3rd and 11 catch and run for the first down vs the Patriots on the penultimate offensive play may be the asterisk sandwiched in between Tyree's helmet (wtbrown did they ever finally name that play?) and the TD, but there aren't many bigger than that.
Sinorice Moss should have gotten way more work when Burress went down. We were one of his biggest detractors, but he stayed healthy last year and delivered whenever called upon in limited snaps. I do not know why (other than the fact that the OC is a browning terd) he did not get more involved. He's got the speed to give any defensive coordinator a problem if they think they can cheat the safety. Stretch the field with him.
Domenik Hixon has had flashes. How much his production dropped off when he was playing hurt cannot be quantified. But when healthy he certainly has demonstrated some big play ability. Consistency is the question.
Manningham missed camp, and the raw rookie never got in the offense.
Sure, would we all love a Crabtree or a Heyward-Bey? Of course. But there is enough talent on this offense to win a championship. No, w/o a WR who can draw a safety, the offense will lack that extra explosiveness. But the 1986 and 1990 Giants had a platoon of ordinary WRs.. Bobby Johnson, Lionel Manuel, Stacy Robinson, Stephen Baker, Mark Ingram. None of these guys were anywhere near Plaxico Burress in terms of talent. Yet they had the kind of defense to win a title, because those guys helped move the chains and made some big plays along the way.
I can only speak for myself on this one: I cannot trust Kevin Gilbride to carry my team, whether he has Larry Fitzgerald at WR or the league's #1 OL.
So let me put my faith in the defense. Sheridan is keeping the system in place. Give me that impact LBer with speed that we want. Trade up for Maualuga, now THAT gets me excited. Go blockbuster and trade UP UP for Curry. Very excited.
When Burress suggested the vaunted Patriots offense, 18-0, would be held to 17 points, Tom Brady chuckled. The Giants held them to 14. And that is why DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
PSL Part V - update on sales.
Wake up and smell the coffee. These 4 sections are the dregs. Does it surprise you they are down to the last 5 years remaining on the waitlist?! THERE IS NO WAITLIST ONCE THE SECONDARY MARKET STARTS. Repeating- they are doing their best to make the obligatory contact of the waitlist so they can get to the real people they can fleece, the corporates. They spent all of about 3 minutes on me. It was a single email, I called THEM back, they showed me the website for where the sections were that were still available (the same 4 still available), and they never bothered with another email or a phone call back. They are in a rush to get through these people so that they can get to the corporates before the corporates realize just how bad business is and only buy 2 instead of 4, or buy none instead of 2.
They mispriced Field 3.
They priced the Terrace so cheaply that many oldtimers in the first tier and second tier from the current stadium switched down. When they see how reasonable the seats are in the upper deck, they'll be happy they paid 4K for 4 seats (or 20K for 4 loges) instead of upwards of 80K.
This is not rocket science. The sections that sold out will have firm demand in the secondary market and the seats that are still unsold now will be underbid, all things being equal. In fact, it should be amusing to see how the secondary market re-equilibrates the Coach's Club (20K, $700 per game) with Field 1 (20K, $160/game). Somehow I am willing to bet that the seat license for Field 1 will be a more expensive right than Coach's Club. Any takers of the other side?
Monday, March 9, 2009
In Part I last Tuesday, Wonder talked about the cream of the draft class and specifically the possibility of:
1) trading up to the top 5-10 for a Crabtree if he falls
2) trading up to the top 15-20 for Heyward-Bey if he is available there
Part II: A wider discussion by Wonder
If "all" gone, Wonder actually likes Robiske (Ohio State) and Kenny Britt (WR) to Jints in first round and/or to Jets in 2nd... If no Burress, and no trade for Boldin, likes NYG to draft Robiske..he's "NFL-ready"...more so than anyone but Crabtree.
Wonder sleeper: Dominique Edison, WR, Jints 2nd round or Jets/jints 3rd... 60-90th pick...just have to understand it will take him a couple of years to develop..after that, watch out...
Still...Crabtree, Maclin, H-Bey, Nicks...also like Louis Murphy, FLA, late 2nd-3rd...guy just "got it" for the Gators...don't know if Harvin is right for either as Leon/Bradshaw that type of player..he would be UNBELIEVABLE for the Colts on that turf with Peyton...Colts should GRAB HIM and/or move up to get him...can run PLUS play in the slot..could make that offense unstoppable at home...lots of draws, screens, swings...
Also, these experts don't know sh*t...the best RB from this draft will be D. Brown..assuming he's on decent team with decent line...f Wells and Moreno...Broncos should draft Brown in 2nd round if he's avail...another Terrell Davis.
Summary: For Jints, THEY should use their 2nd round pick from N.O. to grab BROWN...trust me on this one...in 2-3 yrs., after Jacobs has been abused, Brown will be a GREAT pro..in the meantime, he can be "WIND"...Jints should ALSO get the best WR avail at end of 1st round assuming "he's" still avail...nicks, bey, britt, robiskie, etc...UNLESS LB Maualuga/USC is still available.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Tom Coughlin spoke to local radio in Jacksonville.
1) On the playoff loss to the Eagles: "But you know, we held them to a reasonable amount of points where we should have had a reasonable opportunity to win. We were on the fringe of the green enough times to win, but we just didn’t get it done." We'll let you connect those dots.
2) "Chris (Canty) is as excited about being a NY Giant as anyone I've ever been around."
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Courtesy of Garafolo, C.C. Brown's contract. $1.6M cap for 2009.
Also note the ex-Giants free agents with 4+ years still not signed. James Butler, S; John Carney, K; Jerome McDougle, DE; R.W. McQuarters, CB/KR; Grey Ruegamer, G/C; Rich Scanlon, LB; Amani Toomer, WR; Anthony Wright, QB; Renaldo Wynn, DL.
from the St. Louis Dispatch:
The lack of space (in the Rams' salary cap) could be one reason nothing has happened with free agent safety James Butler of the New York Giants, who visited Rams Park last week. The other reason could simply be that Butler's agents, Kevin and Carl Poston, aren't known for striking deals quickly.
The early deals signed by safeties Gibril Wilson and Yeremiah Bell came in at about $5 million a year or more. The Rams are believed to be offering significantly less to Butler. To date, Butler is not known to have taken any other trips.
Friday, March 6, 2009
What some of the silent email crew said to Ultimatenyg today about the idea of the Giants getting Terrell Owens for 1 year:
Andy L.: "Bring him on-what the heck we just signed 2 guys who were arrested for domestic violence-1 year of TO in the Big Apple-that would actually be sort of fun."
Marvelous: "Great Blog Today! B*LLLSYYYYYYY & on target too!! I'd take him --period!! We NEED him & he'd LOVE playing the Big Apple & BEATING the Dallas organization too!! +++ all the others. Our D is FAB & we are in dire need of some EXPLOSIVENESS on O!! YESSSSSSSS!!"
Rob: "He is a poison and a cancer. He will destroy your team and he will not get you the ring. He is 'fools gold.' I pass without any regrets."
Ron: "ANDY, I COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE. THE GIANTS HAVE EVERYTHING TO GAIN BY GETTING T.O. THOSE IN THE LOCKER ROOM ARE BIG BOYS..THEY CAN HANDLE ANYONE WHO GETS OUT OF LINE..INCLUDING T.O.THE GIANTS HAVE NO EXCUSES TO PASS ON HIM..AND TO TALK ABOUT ATTITUDE IS PURE B.S..THE GUY CAN PRODUCE AND WILL GIVE ELI MORE CONFIDENCE IN THROWING THE BALL THAN LOOKING AT ALL THE PAST TAPES IN THE WORLD..I DON`T SEE THE DODGERS QUITTING ON M.R AND HIS MURDEROUS AGENT BOROS..WINNING IS WHAT COUNTS..AND T.O. WOULD HELP THE GIANTS DO THAT."
And then the not-so-silent Wonder: "ABSOLUTELY...make it TOTALLY INCENTIVE DRIVEN WITH TEAM, TEAM, TEAM goals!!! I guess the Giants are too 'Coughlinesque' to CHANGE!...remember Moss going to NE for a #4 pick? "Oh, he'll be a locker room cancer,etc."...JUST bring T.O. in and TALK to him with REESE,COUGHLIN, MANNING, PIERCE, and TUCK right there !!! If it's not "unanimous", fine...forget about him...butttttt, make an EFFORT for crying out loud."
(1) malcontent Corey Dillon came into New England and all of a sudden became a model citizen. The Patriots won a title THAT YEAR. And everyone forgot what a cancer he was on the Bengals.
(2) If it does not work out, you lose THIS SEASON. At least you tried. 31 teams lose each year.
(3) Only 1 year: we will have much more visibility on where Manningham, Hixon, Moss, BurressBailJail and the highdraftpickrookie are.
Reese took some risks in opening up the wallet for Canty. It was a move we applauded because it said we needed to get better. This is a unique oppty for the Giants, where Burress and Toomer are not there and the team could use a 1 year WR shot of adrenaline. Everyone who wants to runrunrunJacobs will have an easier time of it with TO on the corner. TO is a helluva blocker too, and you don't think he could be the difference in springing #44 on a huge run? Manning is an inaccurate passer, but TO is a big and strong WR that can make him better.
Gilbrown's lack of aggressiveness and lack of risk-taking meant we ended up as one of the 31 losers last season. I'd rather take a chance and go down swinging than take a call strike three. Jacobs. Bradshaw. Owens. Smith. Boss. 1 year.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
CC Brown signed as third safety.
Jerry Reese's formula is no secret. He addresses his needs in free agency so that he can draft for as much value as possible and not feel constrained by need to fill any one particular position. Plus, he looks at the strength of the upcoming draft at each position and then targets free agents where the draft is going to be soft. Logical and sound. Everyone on the blog could have set their watch by him addressing the safety need in free agency. The only thing surprising about this year's free agent signings was the profile of Canty and (to a lesser extent) Boley. But obviously Reese shed his dogma of building exclusively through the draft.. and quickly at that. It is good to be unpredictable. Other teams that were mixing it up with Reese on players like Canty and Boley and Haynesworth did not know what was coming next. Keep them guessing wherever possible.
Look at the older players on the Super Bowl team:
Robbins replaceable by Canty and Bernard if he cannot stay healthy.
O'Hara better stay fit or else he'll be supplanted too.
Time is relentless.
And guess who will be 32 by the start of the season? Plaxico Burress. Just remember it's bail before jail so you better not fail.
Speaking of diva WRs, overnight we learned that TO was released. Rule 24: # of headcases <= strong head coaches. (If you have a strong head coach you can have up to 1 head case in the locker room. If you have a weak head coach you cannot have any. A strong head coach with 2 head cases means a locker room infestation and problems.) So let's do the inventory down there in Dallas when TO came in...
TO=headcase. Parcells=strong head coach. 1<=1. Check.
And when they made a coaching change...
TO=headcase. Phillips=weak head coach. 1<=0. That math did not work. Either the head coach or Owens was going to have to leave. This is a win for the Giants as long as that weakest link, Wade Phillips is there.
Okay, I know what you are thinking... hmm, if we got TO, we would be over the top and would win a Super Bowl title. There is ONE way to do that. The idea of letting that toxic nightmare into anyone's lockerroom opens up a can of worms. But the one way I would do it is to give him a one year deal (assuming we have the cap space left). He needs to rebuild. The Giants need a 1 year answer to Burress. He seems to be able to behave for one year before starting to cause trouble wherever he goes. You know he would be a nightmare, running roughshod over Manning. But probably not in the first year. "We are not in the business of well-adjusted human beings." One thing about Owens, he plays hard and wants to win... joining the Giants and staying inside the division would be quite logical for him. ONE YEAR! One title. The Giants offense could be so scary good with him, it is seducing me to the dark side. Coughlin is the unquestioned, strong head coach. 1<=1. A 1 year deal and a title.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Wonder's draft ideas:
1) a LB or WR rates to fall to the Giants at #29.
2) Heyward-Bey is going to make an excellent WR in the NFL.
3) Philadelphia should take Heyward-Bey at #21.
4) If we reach 15-18-20 in the draft and Heyward-Bey is there, go up and get him to front the Eagles.
5) Draft is strong in OT and WR, two things Reese has not yet (likely, intentionally) addressed.
6) Andre Smith was great in college, will make a solid pro, his stock has fallen, do not mind why, he could fall to the Giants at #29, take him. (I think Wonder is wrong, 0.0 chance he falls THAT far, maybe I misheard him.)
7) Another player who may (more likely than others we are discussing here) make it down to #29 is WR Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina. Do not pay attention to his 6' 0 3/4" height, he is like a Chris Chambers, plays bigger than his size.
8) Anyone who takes Cushing or Matthews before Maualuga in the draft is out of their minds. All 3 USC LBers are good, Maualuga is the pick of the USC litter, no question. He is second only to Curry at LBer in the draft.
9) Reiterating, Curry and Crabtree are the nuts, they are the stars of an overall weaker draft.
10) There has been a stink about Crabtree's height and foot fracture. If he drops at all, it is an oppty to trade up and GRAB HIM.
Summary: Curry, Crabtree, Maualuga, Nicks, A Smith, Heyward-Bey are players to get excited about. At #29 realistically look at someone like Nicks if not prepared to trade up.
Btw, that didn't take long, Craig, here comes Reese going after Safety.
Ward to Bucs for 4 yrs, 17M. Glad Reese spent that money on Canty. Nothing against Ward, nice player... he was not the reason why we lost this past season. But if not employing Ward kept our cap space for Canty, then it was once again Jerry Reese making all the right decisions. Ward had to cash that $6M check- as a 28/29 year old RB, this is his final (meaningful, and ONLY) signing bonus.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Hope springs eternal. This is said with ALL HONESTY... I would not care if the Giants drafted LB/LB/LB with the first 3 picks in round 1 and round 2 come late April. Throw in a Safety for Craig if we don't get a cheaper upgrade in the next wave of free agents. STARVE GILBROWN of any and all talent, he'll just waste the damn thing anyway. Serial underachiever. 1950's-1960's flashback: I can see
Tuck/Osi/Canty/Robbins/Kiwi/Boley/Pierce/Webster/Ross/Phillips/#1/#2 LBers coming off the field and telling Gilbrown and Manning: "Just hold'em until we can get in there again."
You think I'm mad? Here is the plan.
STEP 1: Draft LBer with the first 3 picks, Safety and Corner with the next 6 picks. Draft a RB with the last pick as fodder for Training camp handoffs.
STEP 2: Gilbrown hands the ball off to Jacobs wide right enough times for a loss of 2yards to have us lose three of the first four games. 1-3.
STEP 3: The defense begins clicking on all 8 cylinders.
STEP 4: Gilbrown hands the ball off to Jacobs inside the tackles and he gains +2 yards per carry because the defense has 12 men in the box. By the time the game is over we'll have enough field position to win the game 9-0 after 3 failed red zone attempts.
STEP 5: We finish 13-3 with momentum into the playoffs.
STEP 6: Eli still can't throw in the wind of January, the offense still gets 2 yards per play, but it doesn't matter, as the defense creates more than enough turnovers and negative yardage.
STEP 7: We emulate the '85 Bears and '00 Ravens by winning a Super Bowl with suffocating defense and an offense that no one remembers who played WR. Sheridan is carried off the field on the shoulders of Tuck and Osi. Gilbrown is interviewed for a head coaching job in the Arena League but gets rejected.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
The Giants signed Chris Canty.
Wonder: "Huge huge acquisition for the Giants. He goes inside and outside, long giant arms, can rush from DE standpoint, QB has to get ball over him, knocks down the ball. He can move inside, he'll play inside. The Giants are going to have an unbelievable pass rush, they can be dominant. The Giants improved their defense dramatically with Boley and Canty. Canty, by being 26, you are going to get 4-5 VG years from him. Guys like Canty do not get hurt, their body-type does not put the pressure on the knees, more flexible, weight more evenly dispersed, the Ed Too Tall Jones type who plays to an older age, the Tony Gonzalez-type. Bernard is a grinder, his best days are behind him, not thrilled with that move, fireplug guy. Now the coaches just have to integrate all of these players, but they have it assembled."
Btw, read the El Wondero numbers from Friday ("6 yrs 42M acceptable") for what to pay Canty.
Wonder on the Patriots sending Cassell to KC- KC did fine, Patriots were afraid that they would be stuck with Cassell.
Money for Haynesworth was too too much. His knees are a little screwed up, hasn't played a full season since like 2002. So the skins get 3 years, 2 very good years, but a disappointment in the post-mortm after the entire deal is in the rearview mirrow. The money for DeAngelo Hall is crazy. As in insane.
How aggressively do the Giants go after Chris Canty in the wake of Rocky Bernard being signed? What are the chances of the Giants signing him?
1) The perfect mix of age (26) and experience (4 yrs)
2) Able to play both DE and DT well
3) Cofield and Robbins both underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this winter, so need for depth important
4) Canty grew up in NY (Bronx) and would like to come back here, all else equal
5) Best free agent DL out there (next to Haynesworth)
6) You can never have enough good defensive linemen, because every single dressed player gets snaps in the rotation
7) Lack of pressure up the middle in second half of season a big reason why the Giants want to upgrade the DL
8) Kiwi did not have the year we expected of him, and Canty can line up at DE
1) It's always the money, and this signing won't come cheap
2) Bernard's signing clearly alleviates the need for depth
3) Plenty of other teams strongly interested in him
4) Given that Boley is a 5yr/25M signing, Reese still has not made the big ticket free agent signing
5) With Osi back, Tuck can rush inside and give the push up the middle that was missing
6) Osi, Kiwi, Tuck, Robbins, Bernard, Cofield, Tollefson, Alford (and Henderson, Douzable, Bryant, Clark) make for a pretty crowded roster and enough competition
Summary: the Bernard signing really lowered the chances for this signing, but Canty wanted to play here... he would already be out of town visiting the next team by now if not for his interest in returning to NY. It still looks like Canty will play somewhere else, but all Reese has to do is offer him numbers in the vacinity of Smith and he will be in blue this season. It is up to Reese.. we'll respect his judgment.