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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gilbride speaks to Giants.com

Our fearless offensive offensive coordinator sat down with John Schmeelk of Giants.com for a video interview...

Giants.com:"Six out of the seven first picks are all on your side of the ball. That must have been pretty exciting for you!?!"

Kevin Gilbride:"It definitely is exciting, but maybe it's an indictment of where we were at the end of last year..."

To be fair to Gilbride, the Giants picked up Canty, Boley, Bernard and Brown in free agency, so we were not surprised that Reese was going to put more draft picks on the offensive side of the ball. But all humor is based in truth, and Gilbride KNOWS he has to answer the critics. Coughlin knows as well.

There will be pressure to get Nicks involved this year. And there will be a lot of pressure on Moss, Manningham, Hixon and Tyree to produce. As evidenced by Gilbride's admission, Steve Smith is the only player who is in a fairly clear position of having a sizeable role before camp starts.

When Gilbride discussed the RBs, it was clear that Ahmad Bradshaw was not going to get anything handed to him. Good. We may be the Bradshawlics, but Bradshaw needs to work for everything he gets, and that includes protecting the ball and earning those carries. If he takes care of business, he should earn that coveted #2 backup spot behind Jacobs and deliver dividends for the Giants. It will be his third year. No excuses.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Papa on Burress

Incredible. That noise you just heard is the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

If Bob Papa is correct, then Burress is truly his own worst nightmare. For him to pass up a deal with 3 months jail time and only 2 months served was another sign that this man is an ignoramus. This was precisely the deal he NEEDED to get back on the playing field in 2009. The expert criminologists concluded he was not being offered anything like this. For him to pass that up was mind-boggling. He could have still been a Giant if he took the deal, and get this... he would practically be out of jail by the time you are done reading this post!

The Giants have gotten back to business without this sideshow. This revelation is yet more evidence that the Giants made the correct move in cutting ties. You can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink. How do you deal with a person professionally when they behave irrationally ..all too frequently?! At a certain point you give up and move on. NEXT.

The best line from Papa: "He does not understand that he is not in any kind of position of leverage."

And there you have it, in a nutshell, why Burress is his own worst enemy. We said that he continually shows poor judgment. He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Locker Room Voice

Q: Who is the voice of the Giants?

a) Antonio Pierce
b) Justin Tuck
c) Brandon Jacobs
d) Shaun O'Hara
e) Eli Manning

Well, this one is debatable. On any given day it may actually be any one of these people. Pierce is the spokesperson and onfield leader of the defense. Thomas George of NFL.com puts his vote here with AP.

But Pierce became noticably more quiet after gun-gate. And his unspectacular play has been less than leader-like. Jacobs is certainly the alpha male right now, the emotional pregame huddle guy who this blogger believes gets the nod.
Tuck is the young Pro Bowler who is speaking out more.

Don't sell Eli completely short, as he is gaining in seniority. ALL of his WRs, TEs and RBs have less experience than him. And only O'Hara and McKenzie have more years.

Without getting too nostalgic, Strahan was THE voice. But that is the past. Given how short the career life of a RB is, combined with Pierce having seen his best days, and Tuck could become THE voice quicker than any of us think.

Is this discussion window dressing? Leadership is critical for championships. Strahan joked how old he was, still playing football in 2007. Yet he was the one who was stomping them out in the pregame huddle. There is never enough good leadership in the lockerroom, sidelines or on the field.

Around the league...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still clueless after all of these years

This story would be sad if it were not so pathetically embarrassing. Baseball is going down like the Titanic and they think it is the damn iceberg that caused the wreck!


Interest in baseball is eroding because:
a) we're tired of watching 38 pitching changes every inning
b) games last too long
c) the World Series ends at 1AM
d) steroids have made a mockery of the competition
e) you have to pay ridiculous prices to see overpaid athletes not run out ground balls
f) complete inequity between franchises

We here at the Ultimatenyg NY Giants Football Blog will rip Roger Goodgrief just as soon as soon as we will rip Bud Sellout. Football, Baseball. The #1 important thing is to protect the quality of the game or else there is NO GAME. This is why we spent numerous posts bringing attention to fact that there is no free lunch in lengthening the NFL regular season. DILUTION is the cancer.

Reread the linked WSJ article at the top. FRIGHTENING! "Fox Sports spokeman Lou D'Ermilio confirmed network executives will head to Milwaukee next week to strategize with Commissioner Bud Selig about reversing the downward trends." Strategize?! Are these guys kidding?! THIS IS OUTRIGHT DENIAL. Go tell Fox that the commissioner needs to rebuild the integrity of the game. That he needs to cut out all of the timeouts and speed the game up so that it lasts 2:20 minutes instead of 3:00. Fox? They would have a canary. They are part of the (Bud) Sellout a long time ago. In order for baseball to reverse this sinking ship they will need to do something radical... true bonafide acceptance of a problem. The headline says it all- "mysterious ratings slump." Mysterious. Well, that is logical. How can two entities find a solution if THEY ARE THE PROBLEM?!

Monday, May 25, 2009

More odds and ends

The cost of obtaining Haynesworth may yet exceed 100M for the Redskins... possible tampering charge being investigated by the NFL.

Syracuse Orange play Big Red Cornell today at 1PM in the Lacrosse Championship. (Yes, this is what happens to football fans in May.) Cornell shocked UVA. (Automatic audio.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Odds and Ends

Coughlin did not say anything particularly new in this video, but it does review the state of the gmen. (Audio kicks in automatically.)

Injuries? A longer NFL season? Here is reason 23b for why lengthening the NFL season is without foundation.

You know ticket price increases are coming. Better for the Giants to get revenue this way than raising tickets prices any more than they have to.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The NFL Network and Comcast

8 games.

Yes, the NFL Network has plenty of news coverage all year round, but in terms of original programming content, it has 8 games. So for the NFL Network to ask for 50M households to pay 75 to 80 cents per month is EGREGIOUS! Do the math.. that is $465M. This was going on for FIVE YEARS. Finally Goodgrief seems to have come to his senses and capitulated, getting 40 cents per household per month from 10M people on a digital classic subscription, which is $48M. This is the first sane move we have seen Goodgrief make. He came back to reality and realized that a fraction of something was bigger than 100% of nothing.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Corey Webster, Elder Stateman. The dynamics of the Defensive Line.

Mike Eisen of Giants.com writes an article on Madison and McQuarters no longer being with the Giants. But the story ends up being all about Corey Webster as the senior member of the backfield. Nothing like turnover of players in the NFL. Youth is served.

An interesting item from DL Coach Mike Waufle: “The thing that I believe is that in the National Football League it is too difficult to play the schedule and to play that many games and not get physically beaten up,” Waufle said. “If you watch film of everybody, you see that there is more physical hitting in September than there is at the end of the season. Because guys just get beat up. It is fact. I told the players that if we can do this, if we can remain unselfish, then we can be more durable at the end of the season. The plays that you do play, you should be more productive. Those three things – unselfishness, durability and you get a chance to more productive -- then it is a good thing. All three of those are good things; positive things. When you are unselfish and a team player – that is what Coach (Tom) Coughlin preaches all of the time.”

If you want to get simple about 2007 and 2008: in 2007 the team had superior DL depth and was able to survive the loss of Kiwanuka, in 2008 the team did not have superior DL depth and could not survive the loss of (Strahan and) Umenyiora. I had an interesting conversation with a local friend who happens to be a Jet fan. I was able to articulate something that really crystalizes the NFL in 2009 more than ever... This game is not about 22 starters and your reserves. It is about 26 starters and your reserves, where the 11+11 starters also have 4 DLinemen who ARE going to see significant playing time throughout the year. ALL EIGHT DLINEMEN SEE PLENTY OF TIME.


Without getting too carried away, you could "start" two squads from here. GOOD. Because essentially these guys are ALL starters anyway, IF NOT IN NAME. Tuck, Cofield, Robbins.. these guys wore down last year. I'd carry all NINE of them on the roster if I could. ALL STARTERS.

Separately, Cutler. Ya think he could throw the ball in Dec and Jan in the Meadowlands?!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Over/Under for 2009

Here is a look at the 2009-2010 over/under numbers for team totals.

Giants 10.5
Cowboys 9.5
Eagles 9
Skins 8

My initial reaction is to buy the Eagles and sell the Cowboys. Sure, Owens was a circus distraction. But who does Romo throw to? Roy Williams and Jason Witten? They lost enough players, and as long as Wade Phillips is around, he provides more questions than answers. As we mentioned here before, Maclin can provide an immediate boost to the Eagles' specials. I'll bet that spread and take the Eagles +0.5 over the Cowboys.

This is the first time in recent memory seeing a number this high for the Giants. I think what impresses the professional bettors (remember, this Vegas line is about balancing the money, and that means the professionals who dominate this, NOT us the retail* money ) is that the Giants have been able to handle prosperity. Winning 12 games last year despite losing Shockey, Strahan, Wilson, Mitchell and Umenyiora.. AFTER a Super Bowl WIN.. got a lot of attention. So for a team that was one and done in the playoffs after a 12 win season, the professionals have to expect that the Giants are going to be competitive week-in-week-out.

If we walk through the Giants' schedule, it is simply too early to map out wins and losses. There are too many players who have yet to get injured in preseason (for us and/or our opponents). Plus, the Giants play a total of 8 games vs teams who went to the playoffs last year and another 4 games against teams that were in the hunt. Too many variables. The only forecast we'll make right here is the Eagles +0.5 over the Boys. We'll check back on that when preseason is over for any updates.

Btw, did you see the Week 1 lines are already out?! (Click through the above link to find all 16 games.) The Giants are -5.5 over the Redksins.

* speaking about retail, perhaps the Boys are higher than we think because as "America's Team" they get sufficient retail money bet on them from an inordinate amount of fans relative to other franchises.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

David Diehl at the Comix Comedy Club TONIGHT

David Diehl will be at the Comix Comedy Club TONIGHT in Manhattan. A portion of the proceeds will go to Project Sunshine, a charity which helps children who have cancer and other illnesses. Come out and support Dave and this charity.

Sinorice Moss

Kevin Gilbride on Moss:

Q: What makes you think Sinorice Moss will flourish?

A: Because I think last year he had his best year and again, I said to him a couple of times at the end, “We are sitting you down but it is not because you are not contributing.” Because I think he was playing pretty good football. And every time we threw him the ball – I may be off by one – but I think every throw we made to him, he made; he made the catch. And there is a place for his speed and his quicks that I thought he did a much better job last year. And he always, for a little guy, gets after people blocking, which helps in the running game; he does those things. So I think his confidence is a little bit improved. I think our confidence in him is a little bit expanded. So I think it is reasonable to think that he can maybe take one more step forward as he did last year and become a guy that gets a chance to play. Last year it really just came down to the kicking game. We wound up just sitting him down because he wasn’t contributing as much as some other guys were on special teams.

I am still puzzled. This is my problem with KG. He leaves me puzzled more often than not. If it were one player I would be fine, but the problem is that Smith, Boss, Bradshaw AND MOSS all could have helped this offense a lot more and all (except Boss, at the very end) were denied more involvement. So when it is 4 players I start thinking lack of adjustments and lack of leverage of personnel.

I was of the wrong opinion after 2007 that Moss was headed to the dreaded "bust" tag, but he really played well in limited appearances in 2008.

vs SEA: "Moss! This praise for one player after another is going to get tiresome. Limited snaps obviously went way up this game and he made the most of them, with 2 TDs and a lot of fine play."

vs MINN: "Moss looked very good. He has the speed to stretch the defense, not as big a target as a Boss for that long reception, but use him to keep the defense honest."

The reason why I am so confounded is that obviously there is something there, we see it, even Gilbride sees it. I am at a loss to explain why he could not help us more last season. Obviously he can help next season, and if he has a strong camp he can step out of the shadows and make an impact. The exciting thing about camp is that without Toomer and Burress, there is tremendous OPPORTUNITY for a lot of players to get more reps, to step up their game. We saw Hixon take advantage last season, right before our very eyes in preseason. He missed the Toomer toe, then practiced it and a week later was making great grabs and getting those (two) feet inbounds. For Moss to play the slot now and step up, I do not see why (other than his height, a problem for Eli, who tends to throw high on a good day, nevertheless a bad one) he cannot exploit that and then go deep just when the defense is thinking short.

Coughlin mic'd for rookie minicamp (remember, he was a WRs coach for Parcells back in the day)
Kevin Boss .. what a load! 6'6" and now he weighs 270?!! If he still has decent TE speed, he can be an animal! You have to figure Manning is going to be MOST comfortable going to this BIG target.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

DC Bill Sheridan comments, so does the NFL Commissioner

Video from Bill Sheridan media interview last week.

No transcript was available. Summary:

1) Sintim: "Did well rushing the QB out of the nickel. Has a knack/natural pass rush ability. He's going to be a very good OLB. Big kid, smart, will do a good job over the TE."

2) Wright and Woodson: They are getting used to playing up front on the press coverage at the line of scrimmage, so them getting beat behind is not worrisome at all at this early learning stage.

3) Making a splash:
Maurice Evans ("quickness and explosion")
Calvin Smith ("plays his tail off")
Bruce Johnson ("smaller, excellent quickness")
Shareef Rashad ("more than ambitious in run support, good cover guy")

Separately, nfl.com reports that the owners WILL discuss lengthening the regular season. Note how Goodgrief refers to it as the "20 game framework." Another con artist! He's trying to mix metaphors. Goodgrief wants you to think there is linkage in removing 2 garbage preseason games and replacing them with 2 regular season ones. What really should happen is they should remove 1 or 2 preseason games PERIOD. But they will never do that, because they are too busy soaking the seasons tickets holders and making them buy those borefests. Since the 1st squad players only make token appearances in these scrimmages, their "contact" is not equivalent to the real McCoy, the regular season. Goodgrief knows this. THE PLAYERS KNOW THIS ALL TOO WELL. If the NFL passes this, which it will not (update: confirmed will not), it will get immediate objection from the players union and will add to diffulties in getting a new labor agreement.

"20 game framework." Who the brown does this guy think he is kidding? This should be a warning to all of you football fans out there- the NFL commissioner should not be trusted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rhett Bomar

1) Interesting piece from a week ago on Bomar. It is easier to understand why Wonder gets excited about a later round draft pick like this. Yes, there are going to be the Mannings and Elways who go from Point A to Point B in a straight line. They get a smooth ride to the pros w/o the blemishes and get picked in the first round. But as we all know, the round (pedigree) you were drafted in does not (in and of itself) determine success or failure in the NFL. William Joseph the pedigree is a bust. Antonio Pierce the UFA climbed to the Pro Bowl.

Bomar's path to the NFL was anything but a straight line from Point A to Point B. This is why the draft is intriguing year after year. The NFL gives you a 5th round pick every year along with that 1st round choice, so you leverage that opportunity. As we stated in an earlier post, the Giants have a successful organization that does well in the draft, averaging two starters from each draft class. That means that by the time you get to the 4th or 5th round, you can take a chance. Wonder likes his value, and you see why. Bomar could be a 1st round pick and still be a bust! He can be a 5th round pick and arguably have a better shot at making it in the pros because the Giants can groom him with good habits and afford him every opportunity to learn the offense so that he is in a position to succeed. Sometimes you have to be LUCKY ENOUGH to go to the NFL via Sam Houston State. The Giants are playing with house money on this one. The risk (minimal) vs the reward (always huge for a QB) is one of the reasons why the Giants had a very good draft.

2) NFL.com is conducting a chat with Aaron Ross. For those of you who want to ask him a question in advance, here is the link.

3) The NFL's Spring Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale takes place tomorrow and Wednesday. We are of the understanding that the league will NOT be discussing a proposal to expand the regular season. (FYI, I asked Aaron Ross: You have been hurt and lost playing time due to injury at the end of the season/playoffs in both of your years in the NFL. What do you think of ideas being floated to increase the number of games in the regular season?)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


1) Mushnick: Roger Goodell does a pretty good Selig impersonation. The Giants and Jets are pricing tens of thousands of second- and third-generation ticket holders out of their seats and/or out of new PSL Stadium, and Goodell boasts to ESPN Radio that in bad times, "24 of our 32 teams did not increase ticket prices." Hooray!

2) Eli and Abby Manning made a donation to start a birthing center at St. Vincent's in NYC. Nice work.

3) Safety sighting?

4) Plaxico sighting.

5) The Eagles bid for Boldin before the draft.

6) Giants and Eagles amongst the tops in offseason moves for 2009 season. We agree. Implying that Barden is "polished" is getting a little carried away. The additions of guys like Canty and Boley can really make this defense hum. Terrell Thomas started to play well as the season finished up, so if he and/or Phillips goes to the next level ... look out. At next week's minicamp OTA we will learn a lot more about whether any of our offensive rookies have the kind of game to make their presence felt in 2009. Naturally most eyes will be on Nicks.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Vitriol of Ultimatenyg

Yesterday's NY Giants blog installment was an opportunity for us to poke fun at the offensive coordinator. Some regulars agreed, some did not. Good debate. Xtian always makes remarks which I appreciate, because we agree and agree to disagree, but we always know we are constructive. And since we learn from one another in the forum, it is all good.

One remark from xtian needed a little more time for response: "ny fans always have some guy to pile on--kg... kg is not as horrendous an oc as you state."

Of course Gilbride is not horrendous. He probably works harder than all of us and does plenty of good things. Our point all along has been that he costs the Giants in many ways, and for that, we are better served with someone new. To that general idea of the folks here actually having a say in GM affairs, xtian adds: "a more measured jerry reese response is deserved and gets better results in the long run. thank god you guys aren't the giants gm."

For starters, I do not believe I have ever seen the Giants GM order a head coach to fire any of his assistants. It is likely handled in a much different manner.

Secondly, In terms of this blogger's track record on commenting about NY Giants GM affairs, perhaps we are a little less off the mark than one would think. Do not let the vitriol and slapstick of the last post confuse the point. Our lack of confidence in Gilbride's ability to get the most out of his players and leverage their talent is well known. (Contrast that with Spags.) But our seriousness in having the best wishes of this team needs to be understood...

The time was November 2002. Just as I was capable of a rant against Kevin Gilbride today, I was equally if not more insistent that Fassel was not the man to get us a title. The Giants had just lost to the expansion Texans, a typical hallmark of Fassel not handling prosperity. Fassel could not handle a lead (his 1997 loss to the Vikings in the playoffs foreshadowed much larger implosions to come) and he could not handle a winning season (in 7 years he never was able to put together 2 winning seasons). So I wrote Ernie Accorsi a letter. Spelling out his deficiencies, I urged Accorsi to let Fassel go after 6 seasons because I did not believe he had what was necessary for the team to go all the way.

Nov 29, 2002
Dear Mr. Furman:

Thank you for your letter. I'm not sure that during my time with the New York Giants I have received a letter like yours. It was so genuine, so well and intelligently written, so perfectly expressed that I couldn't help but absorb the points you made. I can assure you that we share many of your thoughts. I was mortified last week to see this wonderful franchise so embarrassed. But, as you wrote, the problems have been apparent for a long time.

Thank you for taking the time and caring enough about the Giants to write such a thoughtful letter. We heard every word you said.

Ernie Accorsi

Literally one game later, the Giants snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with another Fassel Prevent gem against Tennessee, only to be outdone by the benchmark of all 'prevent' implosions, the SF playoff loss. It took another year, two more classic 'prevent' implosions (vs Dallas on Monday night and a PHL Westbrook punt return) for the players to lose complete confidence in their coach, losing the last 8 games of the season.

We may not get everything, but we get enough to know when a coach is underperforming.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Q&A with Kevin Gilgarbage- You Gotta Have Hope!

A few days ago Kevin Gilbride sat down with reporters for an interview. Ultimatenyg comments in red.

Q: How do you feel about receivers?

A: Good. It is hard to get a gauge this early for a couple of reasons. One, they are just learning what it is you expect of them; your system, your technique, fundamentals that we ask them to employ. And two, you are not really sure of the quality of opposition they going against. We will get a much better feel in another two weeks when they start going against the varsity - I think we have pretty good corners. We will get a pretty good assessment of how far along they are.

Q: When you look at the whole group of receivers – Jerry Reese talked before the draft about the level of panic outside your organization --- people kept saying you have to go get this guy or that guy. What is your assessment of what you have been left with Plaxico and Amani gone?

A: Losing Plax was huge. He is a special talent. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that I was incapable of adjusting. So the difference in the club was discernible to anyone who watched us. The 'panic outside' was because they knew it was me driving the bus. Hell, I'd be panicked too. Why do you think Reese got me three new kids?! I don’t know if you replace a guy like Burress. But hopefully, collectively, we have enough quality young players. We believe we do. We are looking forward to seeing some guys step into some roles that maybe they haven’t had to play before and see how they perform. I think we feel good about the guys we have. I think we are optimistic about the guys we have added, but you never know until you have to go out and do it. Oh, by the way, I won't utter that word Amani in this entire interview because he called me out for my deficiencies.

Q: Do you think that you have a number one type of receiver there? Do you have a need?

A: I think everybody is always looking for what. And in a perfect world you have more than a number one, you have two or three guys that you think are special, that anytime somebody matches up one on one that he is going to win that battle. If you only have one, usually that is not enough because they can roll to that and put another guy over there and take the guy out. So that is what made Plaxico. You guys used to constantly ask that question, …..number this or number that? I said, that is fine, his contributions are still very, very significant because we were able to run the ball much more easily. And that enables the other guys to have some success. So you have to have a couple of guys that win. If only one guy can win against one on one coverage, that is not enough to bail out my sorry butt, because they will take that guy away from you. But I think there are some things we can look at. I think Domenik when he was healthy early on showed some flashes. He has to do it on a consistent basis. But he certainly showed some – a couple of games where he played terrific. And we never really gave Steve Smith a chance to play outside because I routinely waste my resources. We used him as an inside guy where he is terrific. But I think he has earned the right to compete as an outside guy, too. And then we are anxious to see what Sinorice and Mario are going to do. And you have your fingers crossed that one of those guys will step up. I think they are working hard and doing all of the things that they can. This OTA, mini-camp, will be very, very important to them and therefore, to us – how they come along. And then of course training camp will be the next stage in the preparation and then you are waiting to see what these young guys can do.

Q: There are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘hopes.’

A Yeah, no question. But that is the way it is every year when you got me as your offensive coordinator. Because you never know if an established guy gets hurt, what are you going to do? I can't make adjustments, so when guys get hurt we are stuck. You never know what is going to happen.

Q: You need guys who you ‘hope’ can, but usually you are ‘hoping’ with the third and fourth and fifth guys, right – not one or two?

A: Again, I think Plax is a big loss. And that one is hard to replace because I need excuses for why we fell flat on our faces with the best offensive line in football, a terrific TE with great hands, a 5th year Pro Bowl QB, a plethora of running backs, and good enough WRs that I simply had running the wrong routes. I don’t think that you can. There are not many 6-6 guys that can run and adjust to the ball the way he does. The other stuff we cannot handle.

Q: Q: So right now would you say that Hixon is your X and Smith is your Z?

A: Well, we are going to give them all a shot. But to start with, the first day of OTAs, that is the way it will start, yeah.

Q: In nickel, would you want to keep Steve outside…..?

A: Both inside.

Re: third receiver

A: Yes. The third wide will be very, very important.

Q: Have you started giving any thought to where Beckum fits in or how you use him?

A: Yeah, he is kind of easy. He is like a slot. We will put him in there. I don’t know that he is big enough to be an every-down point of attack tight end. In fact I know he is not big enough to be an every down point of attack. …….He has exceptional quicks and athleticism when you look at what he showed on film. So he is more of a glorified slot. I don’t know if that is the term that you want to use. When you look at some people and you are playing your best 11, sometimes your best 11 is a fullback and tailback and a tight end, two wides. Some people – Indianapolis, for example – on first and second down have made a living for years having that second guy instead of being in a fullback position, be a detached kind of Dallas Clark. But I would not know what to do with a Dallas Clark because I wouldn't know a TE if he bit me in the a**. I’m not comparing him to Dallas Clark, but you hope that he will grow into that kind of role for us and then you are fighting to make some decisions of how the hell I get that position the ball. Do you go with a fullback? Do you go with what we call a B-tight end, the second tight, a detached tight end, or is three-wides your best personnel grouping? So all of that starts to overwhelm my limited abilities as we go through training camp and in the preseason. As you guys know we will do certain things this next month. Then in training camp you will see some other things and then the preseason you hope you see some other things. And you hope they are always the positive. When you've got me on the sidelines, HOPE is important. ……. You see him develop, you see him grow and feeling good about it and then once the season starts, then you have to take the most important step of all. But I think he can do it. It looks like he can. But you don’t know until he shows it.

Q: You talked about your best 11. We are talking about how much you lost by losing Plaxico. But do you feel like while you have lost that, you may have gained some flexibility in this offense with guys that can play in a bunch of different places? Is that fair to say?

A: I don’t. If I admit that, then I admit I am the weakest link in this offense, so I don't. It is almost apples and oranges. You would like to always add as many parts to the puzzle as you can, but you still like to have a stud – one guy that you feel, “Hey, anytime he goes one on one…” And the other teams obviously knew it – and they were afraid to give us that opportunity very often. You see, I am a puncher, not a boxer, I need that stud or else I am screwed. I cannot box with all of these extra parts. But I do think we have added some parts; I do think that. How quickly it is going to play out is going to be interesting to see but it is also going to be very important that progress be fairly rapid. It is completely different but it is the same. (Hey, ya like that little ditty? I have the IQ of Yogi too!) You look at all of us in our playoff run on the Super Bowl year; I kept saying people don’t realize Steve Smith coming back was a significant role that was for us that he had to play. And all of a sudden he did. Now he didn’t play the whole year – from the Green Bay first series on – but he was a major part of the things. We still had other guys do their thing, but the thing that we needed from his position, he did. So I’m hoping these young guys -- when I say ‘young guys’ I’m not just referring to the two draft choices (I count Hakeem and Ramses because I already plan on wasting that Beckum kid... tell me, what position does he play?), I’m definitely referring to see what Mario can do and Sinorice – this will be kind of his big chance. He will start off in the three wides. He will be the starter. So now you just hope, because with me you need a lot of hope – I know he will hope, for sure – that he flourishes and does well. I know we are hoping that somebody does and I have no reason to think it won’t be him.

At this point in the interview, Kevin breaks out into the spotlight onstage, starts singing Heart from the play "Damn Yankees"

You gotta have hope
Musn't sit around and mope
Nothin's half as bad as it may appear
Wait'll next year and hope

Q: Do you have a preference as to how it is broken down because you don’t have Derrick Ward’s 1000 in that one body any more, whether it is Danny Ware or Bradshaw or the new kid, Brown. How do you mathematically break that down right now?

A: I don’t because all I really care about is that somehow, someway, in one form or another, we move the ball. Can't you figure it out by now that I do not know how to leverage the specific strengths of each ball carrier? That I don't use Bradshaw on screens or flares, that I like running Brandon East-West vs Philly so that the 12 men in the box can string him out for a loss? We have shown some ability to do that on a consistent basis. The more balance you have, the better off you are. I believe in balance to the point of predictability. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. And by balance I don’t necessarily mean the way most people portray it or most people interpret it is that you are 50% run, 50% pass. I just mean we are good enough that if you are overplaying the pass we can run with consistency, or vice versa. The opposite of that is when you are loaded up against the run and we have one on one chances that we are good enough to win outside. Do you have that kind of ability, and to me that kind of balance. I think we do but certainly at the end last year we weren’t as consistent as we would like in that Dallas game (where I could not dial up more than one screen all night to beat all their pressure), that Philly game (where I could not throw a short pass, a flare, a slant, a screen to save myself) and then we were very good in the Carolina game. And really in the Minnesota game we were fine. But we didn’t do it again in the playoff game because I wasted the do-over from Week 14. So it always leaves you a little bit unnerved because you didn’t finish the way you would like to. But as I look at the guys – Domenik will be healthy again, we are going to give Steve a chance to play an expanded role with the additional new bodies from the receivers to Beckum and the other guys. I can’t help but think that we have enough parts that some way, somehow, we will find a way to move the ball the way we need to again like we did last year. Don't ya just love my new plan? Mix in one part some way, one part somehow, and two parts hope.

Q: With the running game, because your O-line has been so successful and is still intact, it kind of makes it easier for these new backs, whether it is Ware or Brown, to work in, correct?

A: Yeah, the fact that you have five guys that have been playing together is certainly a positive. But as you saw last year, if you don’t have those other parts to it, then no one guy can do it with me at the helm. In other words, you have the greatest quarterback in the world, if he can’t stand up and throw, or he doesn’t have a coach with a clue, he can’t perform. So the same thing – I think our running backs help our line just as I think our line helps our running backs. I also know the ability to force defenses to defend the pass also contributed very, very importantly to the success we have had running. So it kind of all plays in. It sounds like it is more --- it is not complicated but it is important to have the ability (which I lack) that they can’t just gang up on one thing and you are left defenseless. I don’t think we are going to be that way. I think we will have enough weapons. I’m anxious to see who is going to do what in a way that you feel confident about. (Ultimatenyg-So am I). But I think there are enough parts, which is what you guys were asking about. I think there are.

Q: What makes you think Sinorice Moss will flourish?

A: Because I think last year he had his best year and again, I said to him a couple of times at the end, “We are sitting you down but it is not because you are not contributing.” Because I think he was playing pretty good football. And every time we threw him the ball – I may be off by one – but I think every throw we made to him, he made; he made the catch. So we rewarded this success with less touches. There is a place for his speed and his quicks that I thought he did a much better job last year. And he always, for a little guy, gets after people blocking, which helps in the running game; he does those things. So I think his confidence is a little bit improved. I think our confidence in him is a little bit expanded. So I think it is reasonable to think that he can maybe take one more step forward as he did last year and become a guy that gets a chance to play. Last year it really just came down to the kicking game. We wound up just sitting him down because he wasn’t contributing as much as some other guys were on special teams. (Ultimatenyg-WTF? Heeelllpppp!)

Q: Smith has often said that he can play wide and get deep.

A: Oh yeah, I have no question that he said that.

Q: Did he show that in college and does his size mitigate against what you want from that position?

A: In a perfect world you would always like to have a 6-3, 6-4, 4.4 guy. How many guys are there like that? Not many. At Houston I had Buddy try to punch some sense into me. Steve is a little bit unique. Now he has very good body control, he has got great quicks. He has good speed. I wouldn’t say it is as good as he thinks he has, but he has good speed. But he just has a knack, he just has a way of making plays. And so I’m not going to say he can’t do it because quite honestly everything we have asked him to do, he has done. So he is going to get a shot; he is going to get a chance to be that guy.

Q: Do he and Manning have a feel for each other?

A: Yeah, he gets open so Eli feels very good about throwing him the ball. It is not real sophisticated, which is good for me. He is hard to cover, he is difficult to cover. He gets open. He does the right thing. He is courageous. He will make the tough catches inside. He is a quarterback friendly guy as a receiver. He is a guy you know is going to do the right thing. And the odds are pretty good that he is going to get himself some separation and give you a chance to complete the pass if you throw it accurately to him. In that sense, yeah, I guess they do have a good rapport.

Q: Eli had talked last year quite a bit in the offseason about getting the longer passes as part of the offense. It worked in spots but not in others. Is that still a point of emphasis?

A: It always is every year. The long pass or the short pass/long run has not been something -- we are actually better at the long pass than we are at the short pass/long run. That is an area that we would like get a lot better in. We are hoping (ya gotta have hope!) some of those young guys will do that. Certainly Mario, when he was in college, looked like that kind of guy. Hakeem looks like he is that kind of guy. So hopefully (ya gotta have hope!) we have added a few more to that type of receiver that does that. It is – as you guys all know – I’m not telling something you don’t know, throwing the long pass is not just the receiver. You have to protect long enough to throw the long pass and sometimes it is other factors that are involved. When you get to late November or December here it is a little tougher to throw the ball condition wise. So there are a lot of things we should do, but don't, like throwing flares, screens, slants, dumpoffs. But is that a goal? No question. Is it something that we feel like we need to get better at? Absolutely, absolutely.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Number of regular season games NOT to be expanded

Early report from Ft. Lauderdale, where the NFL was supposed to take up the issue of putting in more games into the regular season schedule, is that the plan will not be brought up this year.


Perhaps it had less to do with "smarts" than politics. This idea was half-baked, and had ZERO support from the players. So as a matter of reality, it was not going to work. Maybe this is another matter of reality- Goodell, you are fast becoming a joke! How professional is it to propose a plan that has zero support from your players? How professional is it to usher it in as a done deal when there obviously has been so little work in preparation and analysis? How could it be that 200 fans from one little corner of the football world here in the Ultimatenyg NY Giants blog vote this down by a margin of 3 to 1 (almost 4 to 1)? Rabid fans, the ones who you would think would be craving football 24/7/365? The ones talking football in the middle of the offseason? This was your power base and it still got voted down. We scheduled the poll to end when the meetings began. Perhaps the first hundred votes were placed with the lobbying of this blog against expanding the regular season. But the next 100 votes were made long after we quit lobbying, and those votes mirrored the conclusions of the first 100, almost exactly. Sure, if you go to the NFL.com site there probably was a poll and it was overwhelmingly in favor. But the people over there are voting with their hearts, not their heads. We read their comments, and it was the simple logic that more was better, anything to get rid of the preseason games. In fact, the only logical (and highly ironic!) argument we heard was that those "poor" seasons tickets holders wanted it because they were already forced to pay for those garbage preseason games, so they would rather get one extra real game. True, but the linkage ends there, because for players (especially the ones we care about, the ones we want to see and watch) it simply means TWO EXTRA GAMES.

We have been through all the arguments before. The proposal had no answer for how to protect the quality of play and the health of the people we want to see healthy. Here and in other places, we even offered a solution- if it is that valuable to you to expand the season, pay the players overtime, maybe (just maybe?) they would listen to that. All of a sudden the math of diminishing marginal returns kicks in and the NFL begins to understand how woefully inadequate their planning was for this. The battle lines become clear: players are not going to want to voluntarily do anything like this without getting far greater incremental compensation than the league could ever hope to gain from its advertisers (and broadcasters). It died. As a matter of logistical practicality, without the players it died. Goodell, what were you thinking, and when were you thinking it? How could ~200 votes here be so much more in touch with the best interests of the sport than you?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Getting to know some of the rookies

Final rookie minicamp report from Garafolo

And what would it be without the pageantry of pompous publicity.. let the parade of puff pieces begin...

Clint Sintim

William Beatty

Ramses Barden

Rhett Bomar

and from earlier..
Hakeem Nicks
Andre Brown

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rookie Minicamp Day 1, and "a bust from the past"

The rookies are in the order in which they were drafted..
18 Nicks
97 Sintim
65 Beatty
13 Barden
47 Beckum
22 Brown
5 Bomar
26 Wright
29 Woodson

Frightening, I really need a life, I regurgitated all of those jersey numbers after one read of Garafolo's morning report. I can't tell you what I had for dinner last night, but I know DeAndre Wright's jersey number. And you, what's your excuse- you degenerate NY Giants football fan, desperate for any scraps at all on these rookies?!! Of these nine players, statistically over the last 10 years (3 to 12 years, draftees from 1997 to 2006), what percentage of rookies become full time GIANTS starters?

Try 2 out of every 7. 20 out of 73.
Hilliard, Barber, Garnes, Williams, Petitgout, Griffin, Short, Jones, Allen, Peterson, Shockey, Umenyiora, Diehl, Manning, Snee, Wilson, Webster, Tuck, Jacobs and Kiwanuka.

So out of the 9 we have this year, if 3 make it as STARTERS it is statistically a good draft. This could be a very good draft, because it is not that big a reach to see 3 coming from this group. Maybe 4?! But history says the odds are against that forecast- THERE HAS NOT BEEN A SINGLE YEAR (IN THIS SAMPLE) WHERE THE GIANTS GOT FOUR STARTERS FROM A CROP OF DRAFT PICKS. To be fair to the Giants, many organizations fall short of the Giants' averages. The Giants get 2 per year, and even that is above average.

Let's do a mathematical exercise on expected chances of becoming a fulltime starter for each player.

Nicks 80%. That is the run rate of success of our 1st rounders the past 10 years. Only Dayne and Roberts busted. Vacch's afternoon recap notes an early good look. He's got GI-NORMOUS hands, love it!

Sintim 60%. Our LBer corps is weak or else I'd rate it lower.

Beatty 75%. I like his chances because he is in a good organization, will have time to build, the Giants historically have converted their high OL draftees* very well and there is no one else to compete with him (when McKenzie's body gives out, which should be sooner than later).

Barden 50%. Toss up. I love the pick because of the upside but I am a realist.

Beckum 20%. Tweener, and I hate tweeners. Are the Giants jumping on this new trend of the Jets' TE Dustin Keller? Maybe. I should put it at zero as long as Gilbrown is around, because he wastes his TEs and this guy's "H-back" position will be a 'role' position, not a full time starter. 20% is out of respect for Reese.

Brown 50%. His chances would be higher if not for the depth at this position. If his film is any indication, he looks like a Giants RB. This was the pick I liked the most (upper right poll), not because of anything else than VALUE. A 50% shot at being a starter from the 4th round.. do you know how high that is? It is my way of going out on a limb and saying the Giants have got themselves another RB who is 'live.' When you consider the Giants' recent success ratio with RBs, it is impressive.

Bomar 20%. Wonder thinks 1 injury to Manning 3+ years from now and this kid'll be our QB. Tough position to succeed at. He'd be 5% normally, but he gets 15 percentage points because Wonder was so high on his value. The fit is right, a team that can groom him, plus a strong arm for the wind of the Meadowlands. 20% is super high. It is more a reflection of Manning's chances of injury than anything else.

Wright and Woodson 5%. Just looked at the stats and Dhani Jones was the only player drafted 6th round or lower to make it as a starter in the past 10 years. 1/20=5%.

Add it up, it works out to be 3.6 players expected value. That is a VERY HIGH NUMBER. But to be fair, we thought the Giants had a good draft, and if they get 3 or 4 starters out of this bunch it will be a TREMENDOUS HAUL.

*I want to finish off this blog post with a blast ..or rather, "BUST from the past." Jeff Hatch was one relatively high draft pick (3rd round, 2002) who was a bust right out of the blocks. His agent demanded protection vs injury before rookie minicamp, which made Accorsi and Fassel irate. The peckerwood was already hurt, so this was a smokescreen. He gets his signing bonus before training camp, and then INSTANTLY has a back injury and is finished. How he managed to play the last 4 games of the season the following year (the Giants were 4-8 on their way to 4-12) was probably due to scrub time. At least we did not have any HATCH'd surprises yesterday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rookie Minicamp

Ralph Vacchiano gives an excellent preview/primer for what we need to know about the rookies at minicamp this weekend.

I disagree with Ralph on one point- you can sometimes tell about a rookie who is shot out of a cannon. He hits the ground running. The coaches and veteran players that get glimpses will sometimes (infrequently, but yes, it happens) gush at a rookie. I remember it happening with Shockey, where the whispers started here. It happened to lesser extent with Phillips last year, and his rookie year contribution was ... to a lesser extent. If a player has strong buzz in rookie minicamp, it is meaningful. What does "strong" mean? You do not want to hear ANYTHING nebulous about the player. If the words are unequivocal, you can get excited. You'll know the difference. If you have to guess, then it is not there. This has zero to do with them making contributions. It has everything to do with them making an impact, starting their first pro game. Contributing IMMEDIATELY. You'll know.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bradshawlic's Meeting #4

Bradshawlics Anonymous Meeting #4 is now in session.

Was Ahmad Bradshaw playing hurt last year, limiting his involvement in the offense?

Was he given less touches because he could not protect the ball?

Could he have made a big difference if given more touches?

Should he be the 3rd down scatback?

Will he get a much larger opportunity this year?

The answer to all of these questions is most likely YES. This NY Giants blog is not ashamed to let it be known what its bias is- seeing Bradshaw out there, stretching opposing defenses. Assuming Bradshaw picks up his blitz assignments and protects the ball, we should be seeing a lot of him this year. The more the better.

Meeting #2
Meeting #3

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A note from Mike Garafolo

It's the NFL offseason, folks!

Garafolo: I awoke this morning feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work after taking some time late last week through yesterday to catch my breath a bit after the draft and before rookie camp. I realized you folks must have been starving for news and, frankly, I didn’t plan on twiddling my thumbs before Friday. Plus, I wanted to get to know more about some of the Giants’ picks, so I figured let’s take a peek at some of the late-rounders who didn’t get much coverage at draft time and will get overlooked again this coming weekend at rookie camp.

And then, I noticed several e-mails in my inbox. You folks must have held a secret meeting or something because I was being bombarded with notes today about how I’d been slacking off for the past week. So I want to address something here – something I have to address every year, it seems – because I don’t have the time to get back to all of you who e-mailed and commented.

I was off since last Wednesday. Like the average human, I need a breather every now and then – particularly after working 7-day weeks during the season and around the draft. I have tons of comp days and vacation time. I don’t take all of it because I don’t need it. But I will grab a couple of days here and there. Just like anybody, I have to have some time off. I’ve heard from plenty of people who say I should be grateful for my job – and I am. But it’s still a job! And by that I mean it comes with the stresses and redundancies of any job. So I need to get away.

That being said, I know you like your info. And I love passing it along, so I’m here working as much as I can during the off-season – but not too much because I will burn out. And then, guess what happens? The in-season work suffers. And that's not good for anybody.

So please, the next time you get aggravated there’s no new entry on the site, understand it’s a necessary evil. (And remind yourself there’s probably nothing going on, either. Believe it or not, the NFL off-season sometimes actually resembles an off-season.)

Okay, that’s all I’ll say on the matter. Back to work on digging up tidbits on the draftees in preparation for this weekend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2009 NFL Draft Grades

NYG: A-....only bad choice was Nicks over Britt..I think they believe Sintim can play MLB in 2010...SOLID...BROWN is a steal
PHL: A+....PERFECT draft inc. #28...which was PETERS from Buff....Jints/eagles the CLASS OF NFC
WASH: C+...of course if I'm wrong about Orakpo...he'll get some sacks only b/c of Haynesworth...
DAL: D....Cowboys will be below .500 by 2011 for several years...they've destroyed what Parcells left them

ATL: B+....VERY solid...close to A- but no "schmaltz"...a team ON THE RISE...look out in future years
NO: B...down the middle draft..all depends on whether Jenkins can be a "cover the field" kind of SAFETY...
CAR: B-...I actually like MOST of their picks..Robinson a steal..but HATE giving up 1st round pk next yr for Brown
TB: C- ...Their only salvation from an F would be if Freeman becomes a solid QB by 2011..

SEA: A-...VERY solid...good values for picks..and LOVE getting EXTRA #1 next year
SF: A- SAME AS SEATTLE !! CRABTREE and an extra #1...they're building..but have sooo many holes...
STL: B....ok draft ...but I think they could have suckered WASH into trading...also think Laur. will be mediocre..
AZ: B+...WELLS will be OFF rookie of year...with 1200 yds..solid draft...but they have a narrow window to "do it"

CHI: A++++.....what a job...Cutler, Gilbert, Iglesias..etc...AWESOME
MINN: A...Harvin??? STEALLLLLINNNNG !!!! Loadholdt at end of 2nd ?? STEALLLLING?? If Sage is Ok...watch out
DET: A- Mayhew did great...SOLID start...of course, all depends on Stafford in 2011
GB: A- Great drafting for the new 3-4..just not totally sold on Mathews as OLB in 3-4..better in 4-3..good OT's drafted

NYJ: A+..or F...boom or bust with Sanchez..but at least they took a chance..LOVE Greene..and Saulson good value
BUF: C...Maybin is NOT BIG ENOUGH to play DE in NFL..Wood ?? not good value...only gd pick was TE Nelson...
PAT: B-...only Bulter saves their draft..plus the 2 #2's next year..rest of their draft MEDIOCRE..they should have moved up
MIA: C...they sink or swim with Davis...white a QB ?? really doubt it...WR ??? They should have taken Britt

PIT: B-...I don't get Hood at #32..not really their type of DT..some solid players...but should have taken MALU for ILB
CIN: A- or F ??? at least they tried..I think smith a "fat bust"...MALU ? Johnson? could be 3 all-pros..OR...??
BAL: B+...SOLID AGAIN...LOVED OHER at 23 !! what a steal...they manage draft well..but should not have let Scott go
CLE: C-....Mack ?? for Mangini's FIRST PICK ?? only salvation is Robiske..great value

IND: B+...love D. Brown..they think he'll be more reliable than Adai...DT's could be good to fill in that soft middle on D
JAX: A-....got TWO of the 5 best OT's to build OL...LOVE Jennings in 7th round...and Knighton MAY be good...
TENN: B+ love Britt...and Cook..Mouton real value..and Ringer may ring the bell as well...really solid choices..
Hou: B...I like Cushing and Barwin..BUT...really would have preferred Mathews as OLB...lacks "pzzzazz"

OAK: F, F, F...the NFL MUST remove Al Davis...unless they're hoping he's dead before next draft
SD: C+...I like English..but not FAST enough for their 3-4..maybe they can bulk him up to play DE.... I like Vazquez
DEN: F..I give credit to McD !! he's destroyed a franchise FASTER than anyone EVER...bye cutler..and NO VALUE !!
KC: B-...some ok picks..Love Jackson..but too high..needed to add more speed..though O'Connell is interesting

Ultimatenyg remarks: I personally do not believe you can technically "grade" how any GM did until at least 2-3 years go by. Sometimes it is obvious, like in 2007, that Reese did a helluva job with that draft class, because there is little chance that the Giants win it all without the help of all of those rookies.

As a reminder, let's go through what these guys did:
Aaron Ross- changed the tone of the defense when he came in in the second half of the Redskins game in W3. Coincidence? He won us the Jet game even though we barely showed up. He also helped bridge the gap to Webster.
Smith- I'll just say one thing, one of the most forgotten plays is sandwiched in between two highlights: 3rd and 11. I rest my case.
Alford- His sack of Brady was priceless.
DeOssie- Special teams are always underrated.
Boss- Tremendous hands, Shockey's replacement, even Gilgarbage underutilized him.
Johnson- many starts at Safety for the rookie.
Bradshaw- blows open the BUF game, great in the playoffs.

So we will come back in a few years and see how Wonder's assessments made out.

Monday, May 4, 2009


1) Unless I can link him to steroids, this was who I wanted at #29.

2) Remember Lawrence Phillips? How could we forget. He was the reason why we ended up with Cedric Jones at #5. He's up to a lot of good lately..

3) Instead of Tiki worrying about Favre's legacy, maybe Tiki should worry about his own.

4) In case you missed it this weekend, the Dallas practice facility accident.

5) Some good links to NY Giant Draft Review, Marc Ross etc..

6) How does a 50-1 shot win the Kentucky Derby? Watch the video replay and see how. Here is some color from the manager of a Vegas Sports book: "This horse was last by 21 lengths after the first 1/4, almost 20 after 1/2, still 16 lengths out after 3/4s, still 7 out after 1 mile (top of the stretch) and won by almost 7. WOW! He came home in 24 seconds. VERY GOOD last quarter on an off and tiring surface. That is why he went from 7 down to almost 7 up at the end. Yes he had a good rail skimming trip but still this is no fluke, just a horse getting good on the right day. If I own him I do NOT race in the Preakness and come back for the Belmont since he is a gelding. There will be other million dollar races and a triple crown doesn't do anything for stud value. On the other hand he can win lots of money, stay sounder longer, and possibly win horse of the year honors if handled right. Tom Durkin missed the winner. I don't know how. I knew he was winning before the 1/8th pole, just didn't know which horse it was till I could see the 8. Also, he missed the horse at the first call because he was SO far back. As an afterthought he mentioned Mine That Bird was way back."

For fun, when you do the replay, the FIRST time in the stretch call you will hear Durkin mention "UHH - Mine That Bird" is when the horse is already pulling away from the field! It was almost as entertaining as the way this horse sneaked in on the rail. The replay from above the field (BIRD's eye-view) was the only way to understand how insane this trip was. He was in 13th place at the top of the stretch!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Loyal Fans Are Batting Cleanup

The Wall Street Journal reminded us on Thursday that Loyal Fans Are Batting Cleanup.

"The season-ticket holder represents an annuity that is the life blood of the organization."

"I've never seen so many longtime customers -- some with season tickets dating back to 1969 -- saying they have no choice but to bow out this year," says Mark Tilson, Royals vice president of marketing and sales. Adds Terry Loose, a season-ticket salesman for the team, "I've literally had my customers say it came down to buying the tickets or feeding their families. I told them to feed their families."

It is encouraging for sports organizations to respect their customers anew. Better late than never. Kansas City is a start. Considering all of the economic hardship in the Greater NY area, perhaps the fan will get some common courtesy from the Giants down the road. John Mara has the decency and tact to keep his mouth shut. Steve Tisch is another story. He wants those PSLs sold, and the moment they are, then you'll start seeing him 'behaving' better. Which will likely be more duplicitousness on his behalf. What a difference 4 years makes- we lost the Duke and got Steve Tisch. Bad trade.

Addendum Saturday morning 830AM- Phil Mushnick reminds us that the Yankee seat pricing which failed over a year ago gives them no ability to use the economy as cover for their greed. The only unfortunate thing about the Yankee story is that Tisch probably thinks he is a charitable saint, giving away his PSLs in comparision.

Separately, the only PSLs which were NOT priced egregiously were the 1K terrace seats. But we have a warning from someone who is a consultant on the new Meadowlands Stadium- those seats in the upper tier are much higher up than they were for the 3rd tier in the current stadium. We checked the panorama exterior webcam, and you can see that the top of the seats from the old stadium is below while the top tier of the new stadium is still extending higher. Hey, they have to put those suites on FOUR separate levels. In 16 months from now we'll get reports from fans in the upper deck who are not happy with how far up they are. "You get what you pay for?" Apparently you can run up to the terrace but you cannot hide.

Friday, May 1, 2009

More Draft

1) I like it when Wonder gets to reply to another draft analysis that is contrary to his own thinking. We see how they think and perhaps collectively we can get better insight into whether one of them is missing something.

Wonder likes, not loves Nicks. He is not excited about Sintim and certainly does not like him IN THE SECOND ROUND. In walks a KC Joyner critique of Nicks and Sintim that is very positive. What are we missing?

Wonder: "Nicks will be playing against a LOT of press coverage which makes these numbers irrelevant..however, he should be able to learn to use his big body to shield and catch..like Keyshawn somewhat...and the CB's are a LOT faster and better.

"As for Sintim...I really don't agree with Joyner...I think he's actually pretty good against the run..but not FAST enough to be an OLB/pass rusher in the NFL."

2) Separately we asked Wonder about Sintim in light of his comments about not having the speed to be a SAM in coverage, but being able to rush the QB.. why not just make him a MLB? Answer: "Yes...I think it's his ONLY chance for Jints." The Giants are pretty smart about player development. They will figure out what they need to do to get this player on the field.

3) "Wonder"

At 2:11AM (Between Day 1 and Day 2 of the draft) he emails: "as for tomorrow, ....would LOVE Turner for Jets...also, I like Murphy for Jets..BUT the real Home Run for Jets is SHONN GREENE..I would even trade my 6th and 3rd to get the 1st pick tomorrow and RUN to the podium (if not, maybe A.Brown)...I must admit, IF he's gone, Jets MIGHT go for Michael Johnson..it's a BIG gamble..but if he "fills out" w/o losing his speed, he would be a stud DE."

At 2:27AM he emails another time: "my god...I've lost my mind...I forgot about Gilbert...for Jets..IF Greene not available...I would take either him or M. Johnson depending on how the Jets evaluated them..."

Well, at 10AM the third round opened up. The Jets trade up to the #1 pick of Day 2 and take ..SHONN GREENE. Note also that Gilbert went 4th and Michael Johnson went 6th. So the three people he keyed on were selected in the first six spots of Day 2. The Jets needed to pay their 3rd, 4th and 7th to move up, which is more accurate than just a 3 and 6. Nonetheless he was right on target for what the Jets 'should' do. People are already saying that Rex Ryan is aggressive- so is Wonder, and it should not surprise that he is in synch with the coach. The only thing that remains now is to see how Greene does in the pros.

Btw, note how Wonder was keyed on Andre Brown if Greene was gone by the time they picked at 76. The Bmen got him a round (and a half!) later at 129. This was a good day for New York teams getting running backs.

4) Speaking about "and a half," let's remember that Reese has been drafting from the back of the line for two years now. Considering we have filled in the blanks (Edwards asking too much, Maclin trade to move up 9 spots) it is not as if he is asleep at the switch. On the contrary, he is playing poker with much weaker position and is still doing a good job of getting a lot of good people in.

5) Speaking about Maclin, as much as the Ultimatenyg mantra was against taking a WR in the first round, as much as the last minute thoughts before the draft asked that the Giants did not trade up even higher for a WR (I was worried about them doing that for H-Bey), if Reese would have grabbed Maclin you would have to be COMPLETELY ON BOARD with that move. Maclin was a lot of value at that spot. I will go further and say that the Eagles got a very good player. Ralph Vacchiano may be correct to point out that the Giants will not necessarily see him hurt them initially at WR, but I think he overlooks the more important impact... I am particularly concerned about his special teams contributions he will make. I do not watch a lot of college football, but the one game I did catch was scary-- it was very obvious that you had to do everything in your power to keep the ball away from this guy on specials. The opposition did that well, until one play in the second half, and boom the game was over, he broke open a close one with one touch of the ball. All I can think about is the line from Deacon Jones, a must-see video.

6) Speaking about the Eagles, we will have a recap of all 32 teams' drafts next week.

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