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Friday, July 31, 2009

Preseason ticket extortion, etc...

1) From Sunday, Phil Mushnick: NFL Extortion, KC Chiefs-style.

If you have an opinion to share, write a letter to

Commissioner Roger Goodell
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017

All that is necessary for the forces of NFL evil to win in the world is for enough good fans to do nothing.
Edmund Burke Ultimatenyg

2) Sintim and Beatty signed, one left.

3) Andrews and Peters hurt at Eagles camp. Not major, but not a help either. Everyone has injuries, deal with them.

4) Rich Seubert:

Q) What are your individual goals for this upcoming season?
A) My personal goal for this season is for the team to win. The only way you have fun in this business is if you win games, and my goal is for the team to do well. At this stage of my career, it's all team goals. My personal goal is to stay healthy and play well, but it's really for the team to win games, and a lot of them.

Q) Who's going to be the breakout player on the team this year?
A) Everyone can predict a receiver. You know, I think everyone has proved themselves, so you have to pick a rookie probably. So yeah, one of the rookies. It better be one of the rookies.

We just love the wisdom of a lineman. Anonymous team effort. Meat and potatoes. Win.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

David Tyree

Someone please tell us.. how does David Tyree get a roster spot? If Smith, Hixon, Moss, Manningham, Nicks or Barden get hurt badly and go on season-ending IR, okay, we know that one. But let's assume those 6 stay healthy. How does he stick? Everyone knows his special teams play, but at his age, he needs to be doing more. I am not so sure he would have made the team last year either- w/o the PUP he was likely the odd man out last year as well. This year he'll likely be a roster casualty. Some team short on WRs and specials will pick him up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pierce distraction

Pierce to be indicted by DA for involvement in the Plaxishmoe debacle.

John Mara defends Pierce and spars with the DA.

I am not trying to spread rumors. My only logical guess for where this could come from is that Pierce was the one who asked the hospital employee to not report the gunshot wound. It would be the only reason why the DA is not charging the worker, instead letting her roll on Pierce. "Morgenthau did specify that no New York-Cornell medical personnel would be charged for failing in their obligation under state law to inform police about Burress' gunshot wound." Why? I would have to believe the DA is after someone else. With Plaxico Burress not mentioned at all in this light, the next person would seem to be Pierce. This is PURELY CONJECTURE. We have no evidence to suggest this other than what you are reading here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


1) 5 days till camp, 6 days till first practice.

2) Morgenthau wants as many as two years from Plax.

3) The NY Post says Pierce is 'still on the hook' for his involvement in the Plax mess.

4) Vick has been reinstated, and Myers thinks he will become a Redskin.

5) Westbrook out until mid August. He went under the knife June 5th.

6) The Giants top 3 picks have not yet signed. Here is a link to keep track of all of the first round signings.

7) ESPN's lack of coverage of Roethlisberger's civil rape case and Marvin Harrison alleged gun shootings?!!! The parade continues.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ralph Vacchiano is back

Ralph Vacchiano is back and he has given his training camp preview.

Just as interesting, if not more so, is Vacchiano's 5 issues:
1. "Top of the Heap"- the state of the WRs with Plax and Toomer gone.
2. "Money ball"- the state of the defense after the free agent $ignings of Canty, Bernard, Boley and Brown.
3. "Ahmad's touches"- Ward's touches last season were double Bradshaw's the past two.
4. "Rookie roles"
5. "End of the line"- make or break seasons for Sinorice Moss and Gerris Wilkinson.

The Ultimatenyg 5 issues:
1. LBer LBer LBer
2. Lack of depth at OL
3. Boss touches
4. Hixon on kickoffs
5. Lack of depth at S

Please note that we specifically did not mention WR. Two years ago we did not mention RB despite the fact that everyone and their mother was worried about the loss of Barber. We knew the Giants were loaded at RB. And that happened to be the August where Ryan Grant was traded to the Packers because of the quality overload (normally he gets cut). No, WR is not overloaded. But between Manningham and Moss having a good offseason, Tyree fighting for a roster spot, Nicks showing good hands, Hixon and Smith simply extending their play with more consistency, this will not be the bugaboo everyone worries about. #3, Kevin Boss getting the touches from Gilbride-- this is the issue to be concerned about. TE needs to make the PASSING game work. By getting Boss more involved in the passing game, the WRs will have less pressure, less Safeties and more opprtunities. Not to mention helping the crowded box running game.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jim Johnson

Competition makes you better. And taking it one step further, when the competition inside your division is raised to another level, it provides AN OPPORTUNITY for your team to win it all.

We used to think that if there were a few easy games in the season/playoffs, that this route was preferred. STOP! Think about it- since when have the Giants ever gone all the way and won a Super Bowl title with an 'easy' route?!

In '86, the Giants lost to division rival Dallas in Week 1. The 49-3 playoff win vs the 49ers was against a very good team. They also played three games of WAR vs the Redskins. That which does not kill you makes you stronger.

In '90, it was the Eagles who stopped the Giants unbeaten streak. And it would be two teams the Giants had lost to during the regular season (49ers, Bills) that the Giants would need to go through for the title. Championships are earned.

In '07, the Giants had lost to the Cowboys TWICE during the regular season. So it took a win vs Dallas in arguably their toughest playoff contest that year to get over the top. I thank the heavens for giving us a Flozell Adams injury in Q3 or else I do not think that game is won.

Contrast this with the adversity given by the Eagles last season, where they drew up the blueprint in W14 for the post-Burress recipe on how to beat the Giants. That ugly day was only made worse when the Giants were not able to answer 5 weeks later in the playoffs to the same divisional rival.

It may seem simple and almost trite, but if you cannot get past your division, you aren't going anywhere. You might as well have a tough division because championships are the goal, not the playoffs.

It is with all of this said that we have to truly respect the job that Jim Johnson has done for the Eagles defenses over the years. Nothing ever came easy playing against Jim Johnson. Those blitzes were going to come and you were going to have to earn your way when you played against him. He is fighting cancer and has stepped aside as DC. We dislike (okay, hate) the Eagles, but Jim Johnson makes the NFC East what it is by giving the division 60 minutes of adversity every single game. You may not want to admit it, but the NFC East will miss him.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tisch and Mara speak to their customers

Earlier this week the Giants reduced ticket prices on their remaining unsold tickets. Yesterday morning Tisch and Mara sent a letter to the waitlist. It was a grim reminder of how much has changed. The takeaways:

1) "Once you purchase a PSL, you will control your seat for as long as the Giants continue to play in the new stadium." Yes, that's right, suckers. In 30 years when this stadium is no longer state of the art, we'll come at you with hat in hand and do this all over again. Can't wait.

2) "We have attempted to convey from the beginning of the PSL sales process that great thought and care has been given to the pricing of the PSLs and tickets in our new home." How much can we get out of this group of people without an insurrection?

3) "After literally sitting in many of the seats, we have decided to reduce the ticket price of the outer two sections in all four Mezzanine Club B corner areas from $400 to $250 per game." These seats smelled, so we had to lower the price on them.

4) "As a reminder, the approximately 70,000 non-club seats have been sold out in the new stadium." The Club Seats are selling as fast as those Yankees seats behind home plate.

5) "Please note that the ticket prices in our club sections will remain the same for at least the first three seasons in the new stadium." The economy browns, we can't sell all of these PSLs at the current price, so we are spinning this as well as we can. Aren't we great for holding the line on ticket price increases?

6) "As waitlist members, we hope you take advantage of this opportunity to experience Giants Football in one of our new clubs." Waitlist member? What's a waitlist member? That list disappeared along with the generations of goodwill that we threw down the toilet. Oh, did we mention how many toilets there are in the new stadium that you are paying for with those PSLs? Alert- new money-raising idea: Maybe we can have naming rights for the urinals.

One Giant fan who also received the letter yesterday emailed Ultimatenyg: "Gotta love them. They are so caring and compassionate." A little sarcasm there? Ya think?!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Who's going to have a breakout year?

Mike Garafolo of NJ.COM has been conducting a summer questionnaire for departing Giants players after minicamp OTAs. A lot of it is human interest, but one thing we felt was info on the margin (especially when aggregated together as a group) were the answers to the same question...

"Excluding yourself, who's going to be the breakout player on this team this year?"

Justin Tuck> "Jay Alford"
Michael Johnson> "Aaron Ross"
Danny Clark> "Sinorice Moss"
Chris Snee> "Domenik Hixon"
Kevin Boothe> "Osi Umenyiora"
Chris Canty> "Hakeem Nicks"
Mathias Kiwanuka> "Domenik Hixon"
Adam Koets> "Steve Smith"
Corey Webster> "Michael Johnson"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"The rookies" enter their 3rd year

A little while back I went to check a particular play from the Super Bowl, something jumped out at me... the first TD drive of the Giants at the beginning of Q4. With the exception of Tyree's TD catch culminating the drive, every play was handled by a rookie!

Boss 45 yd pass play
Bradshaw 4 yd run
Bradshaw 2 yd run
Smith 17 yd pass play
Bradshaw 7 yd run

These guys are now entering their 3rd year, if they can all make the jump, it will be a very good year. It also underscores how all hands have to be on deck- in today's NFL you need your rookies to hit the ground running, to be able to help the team out later in the year. Rookies who start at the beginning of the year get tired by the end because they are not ready for the grind, which can be twice as long as college. But the three rookies featured above are noteworthy for a few reasons.. (1) they all saw limited action for the first ~3/4ths of the season and (2) were all on the list of players who needed more playing from Gilbride last year and certainly need it this year in order for the team to make the jump. Everyone here knows full well that the jump from 2nd year to 3rd year pro in the NFL is usually a make or break proposition. We see no reason why the tremendous rookie class of 2007 cannot and should not make a quantum leap in production for this team.

In descending order of confidence:

Boss- once Plax went down, this man needed to be the center of the offensive passing attack. We argued for it late last season, it did not happen, but we do not see any reason (other than Gilbride neglect) why this kid cannot have a huge year. HUGE. But you don't have to listen to us, just listen to Bavaro, get him the damn ball.

Smith- he'll be taking Toomer's spot at the possession wideout. Looking for big camp and big year.

Bradshaw- protect the ball and the rest is all downhill. There are no excuses for him or the coaching staff this year. NONE. Ward is gone, the snaps will be there, carry that ball high so that it does not get stripped. Run for daylight every single snap. Stretch opposing defenses the way it was done in the 2008 playoffs.

Johnson- surprised? It is more about bodies back there than anything else. Losing Wilson after 2007 and Butler in 2008 leaves a fulltime starter spot open for this guy with less rotation than the past two years.

Ross- ??..did he have a sophmore slump? Is it me, or did he come on like gangbusters early in 2007, only to get more yawns than impact thereafter? Yes, the Giants use a lot of press coverage, so without the DL to keep up the pressure as last season wore on, we saw Ross exposed. Time to make that big jump. At stake is nothing less than a Super Bowl, because with the superior depth of our DL in 2009 and the potential for bookend corners in Ross and Webster, this defense can be awfully stingy. At this point, it is not clear to me whether Thomas can offer even greater upside, given how he came on. So let's see Ross do it, but we'd take either. Or both.

Alford- That sack of Brady still has us worshipping this guy! What can we say. We did not see a lot last season, and with Cofield and Robbins playing hurt, he had an opportunity and did not exactly bust the door down. With the depth this year, does he make the team?

DeOssie- Specials guys get cut if they are not competing for starting jobs by their 3rd season. But this guy is a long-snapper; is that enough to keep him on the roster? By the numbers, he is in trouble. Alford is a long snapper too, so one of them likely stays. With Boley hurt, Sintim hamstring(?), LBer is not exactly teeming with competition for roster spots. So it is up to DeOssie to stay on the field.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rhett Bomar

How many of you saw this little nugget from June 16th?

Garafolo: "Wait til camp and the preseason, when you see how fast the ball comes out of QB Rhett Bomar's hand. He flicks the ball and it's out. It's quite something. He did it again Tuesday on a great ball over the middle for an incompletion. Yes, I said incompletion because TE Darcy Johnson dropped it. But that's not the point. The point is Bomar got it out and up the seam so quickly that the LBs didn't have a chance to get their hand up. I'm really impressed with Bomar so far."

Wonder told us about him ~ two weeks before the draft, his #1 offensive Day 2 gem. NOT because he is going to be a great QB. Because of value. Wonder loves upside. He loves potential. Bomar has the potential to be a franchise QB. Will he realize that potential? Anyone's guess. But Garafolo sees the arm, the release, he likes what he sees. He'll have the opportunity to be groomed, and then we can see what we have. No guarantees. Although Wonder the psychopath football nut believes that Manning could be out of football from injuries in 5 years and that Bomar could be the Giants' #1. With camp and preseason rapidly approaching we'll get to see first hand what he looks like.

Monday, July 20, 2009

NFLN previews the Giants

NFLN video link previews the Giants for 2009.

Jamie Dukes smartly downplays the issues at WR. Between all of the talent they have, there is no reason why they cannot get it done this year. If they do not, it is either because of injuries, Gilbride or a combination of both. Moss is playing better, Manningham is playing better, Boss needs lots more touches, Nicks looks like he make a significant rookie contribution, and Hixon and Smith have already proven (when healthy) they have the game.

What is missing is a serious discussion of two items.

1) LBer. The injury to Boley sets this unit right back to 2008. Where is the speed? Where are the impact plays? Where is Pierce after midyear when he slows down? Sintim pulled a hamstring in OTAs, so he better be very healthy and very active in camp. Kehl? Waiting for GodotWilkinson?

2) Lack of depth at Safety. Knight and Butler are gone. Johnson and Phillips should be fine. But this unit always had rotation, and now there is CC Brown and that is about it folks. If they stay healthy, okay. If they do not, trouble.

And as a footnote Giants fans, if #10 can play at a consistently high level for an entire season, the Giants can collect a title 'EASY.' In 2007 Manning played at that consistently high level for 5 consecutive games. It was the right 5 games. So let's start putting some pressure on Eli Moneybag$. When he signs that contract to be the highest paid player in the NFL, he better know the responsibility needs to be there. Jerry Reese said so.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tom Watson

We watch as Tom Watson, a 59 year old player, is allowed to compete in the same tournament as the best professionals in the world. In a major championship. The British Open.

After 1 round he is in first place with a blistering 5 under and everyone is polite. Tremendous accomplishment. And everyone is thinking.. he'll fade tomorrow. Instead, he shoots another great round of golf and is tied for the lead going into the weekend. He is 59!!! Tiger Woods, the OTHER golfer from Stanford, doesn't even make the cut!

Enter Round 3 yesterday, and the winds are typically savage. They humble the best players in the world. This'll be the day that Watson crumbles. He is 59!!! He had his hip replaced last year!!! But once again we saw yet another brilliant performance from Watson. On a day that few (try 5) golfers in the entire field could break par, Watson shoots one over and takes sole possession of first place after 54 holes.

If Tom Watson wins the British Open, it will be the #1 story of 2009 in all of sports. That is why we have to acknowledge it here on a football blog. When Nicklaus won at Augusta in 1986 at the age of 46, it shook the world. To put this in perspective, it was here at Turnberry THIRTY TWO YEARS AGO that Watson was busy fending off Nicklaus in an epic battle for a major championship. It is 2009. What is Watson doing here?! I'll tell you what he is doing- he is trying to make MORE history.

We have already seen three amazing feats. Can he hold it together and pull it off?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ray Handley

I love telling the story of a dear friend.. his name was Garo Hampar. Gary, as we called him, was walking with us after lunch one afternoon, and the subject of the new Giants head coach comes up. Gary: "I don't know about this guy Handley. He said if he did not get the (offensive coordinator's) job he was going to go to law school. Now if I am calling the shots, that is not the guy I hire. Where is his commitment to the sport, to coaching? This smells of trouble."

Prescient. Two seasons later we saw the franchise take 50 steps backward. What talented players, wasted. And then I remember the words of Bob Trumpy, color analyst broadcasting one of the final Giants games of that ill-fated second season of disaster. The Giants were now playing for jobs for the NEXT head coach, so they played proud and played well vs the Chiefs. It was their only win in the last 7 games of the season. And then Trumpy makes some comments that make my stomach turn:(paraphrased)" I don't understand what the complaints are about Handley. He's a good coach, and he is getting a bum rap." Trumpy was upset at how everyone could pass judgment on a member of the football fraternity so quickly and not give him the benefit of the doubt. There is not a single Giant fan who has any positive memories of the Handley years. I like to juxtapose Trumpy's sloppy and misinformed defense of Handley with George Young's candid summary of the hire: "My worst decision."

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Meeting Room

Giants.com gave us a look into one of the meeting rooms where coaches and players can use state of the art video for teaching.

Tom Coughlin used a little bit of hyperbole, claiming that the team is "in the meeting room twenty times more than we are on the field." Obviously that is a stretch, but Coughlin made his point. If the new facilities enable the team to review 5% more plays in the same period of time, then maybe that converts on the field to one more play being executed precisely by all 11 players in a game... and maybe, just maybe, that is why the Giants win. Every little bit helps.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Andre Brown

"In his third year, ANDRE BROWN will be the featured back of the NY Giants," says Wonder. "He is a Giant STEAL."

Strong prediction for Andre Brown. Wonder is on record. One caveat of course whenever making a football prediction- he needs to be healthy. Brown had an issue with his foot in 2007 and 2008, but he put that behind him and finished strong in 2008.

Back to the present, it is 2009 and we're still the Bradshawlics, eagerly awaiting to see if he can make something of his opportunity as the #2 back NOW. Glauber and I (and many commenters here on the blog) are looking for a breakout year from #44. breakout year from #44. breakout year from #44. Oops, broken record.

Here is to Andre Brown's future- if Wonder is right in 2011 we are going to have to rename the official curse word.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Musical Chairs at DL

9 men, 8 chairs. Round and round we go, when the music stops, nobody knows.

Those were interesting comments from Tollefson last week. He is one of the lesser known subs who certainly gets enough time in the rotation as a DE. But does he even make the team?! Let's do the math..

Assuming that Douzable, Evans, Henderson, Hill, Bryant and JClark all do not make the team...


One of these 9 does not make it. This would imply a shorter list of Cofield/Robbins/Bernard/Alford/Tollefson. I am no doctor, so far be it for me to make a guess about Cofield and Robbins after surgery. I am going to go with Robbins on the PUP list for now so that the Giants take their time, keep him fresh on a longer timetable and have his knees (ETC!) ready for the 2nd half push and postseason. Intentionally speaking, that is a nice luxury to have. Is Robbins better than others on this list? Of course, when healthy, YES. 100% comebacks from microfracture surgery take time. If Robbins were to have a very good camp or even get a lot of reps, it would make this decision harder. Then I would suspect that 1 of these guys- Cofield/Tollefson/Alford gets cut. Normally Cofield would not be there, since he was a starter. But he had offseason surgery too. Drilling down.. Tollefson or Alford? I suspect that Reese would have a shot at getting a late round draft pick for one of them.

The one good thing about all of this is that the Giants are very deep here... nice problem to have. If the Giants stay healthy in camp and some team that is thin at DL does not, then look for the Giants to possibly deal one of them. Why? Because Defensive Linemen are grown, they are not born... another team could make one of these guys a starter and 3 years from now they could be a solid cog in their defense.

Wonder's take on the logjam at DL? "Robbins might be cut period. We'll have to see how Tollefson, Cofield, Alford, Bernard look like in camp." That sounds a little harsh to me. His salary is a reasonable $2.1M in the last year of his contract. A cheap enough call option. I would think the Giants PUP him before they cut him. This way they have an option w/o taking up a roster spot. To be fair, the Giants probably don't know exactly what they are going to do- they need to see how everyone is doing this summer at camp and then simply evaluate who makes the most sense to be on the roster.

Summary: Robbins microfracture+DL+32 years old= PUP.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Manning's payday

Eli Manning enters his 6th season. Time to pay the Man.

1) Poise
2) Stability
3) Unwavering/Unflappable
4) Calm under pressure
5) Improvement each year
6) Smart (Audibles, etc..)
7) Always maturing
8) Selfless (Team first)
9) Young
10)Championship QB

1) Needs a tight spiral
2) Inconsistent accuracy

The great ones do not have weaknesses. Eli is not great. But he is good. Good enough to win championships. With 5 years under his belt, he's going to get a lot better before we're through seeing him. Eli knows his weaknesses; we just hope he can address them to become that GREAT QB. This is what Reese talks about when he thrusts more responsibility on his shoulders. Reese wants him to lead the team and bust down the door. Manning came up aces in 2007-8 and came up flat vs PHL this past winter.

Objective review of Eli by the numbers:

(Year/QB rating/Playoff record)
2004 55 none
2005 76 0-1
2006 77 0-1
2007 74 4-0
2008 86 0-1

Now that Manning is fast becoming the senior member of the huddle, he needs to take charge and demand more from his players. His nickname is 'easy' but he cannot be 'easy' on teammates when they make mistakes. He must hold them accountable.

Hold O'Hara accountable for that stupid personal foul penalty.
Hold Bradshaw accountable for protecting the ball.
Hold Diehl accountable vs the speed rusher.
Hold the young WRs accountable for running their routes well.
And hold himself accountable for inconsistent/wind play.

Like it or not, when you get paid the wallet-bulging numbers he is going to get, you cannot hide from that responsibility. Eli has the calm not to let that be a burden. But he has to realize that if he is going to get those numbers, he needs to simply accept the responsibility of his share of the JOB of winning.

Reese's job gets tougher now in re-signing players. The team has enjoyed success by keeping players like Jacobs, Webster, Snee, Diehl etc.. and by selectively going after players like McKenzie, Burress and Pierce (and now Canty and Boley) in free agency. Mathematically, paying Manning top dollar (literally!) means we would be able to get one less Boley or Canty. Is that going to be the difference in us winning a title? Perhaps. Perhaps not if Manning plays at that level he is about to get paid at.

The way this blogger sees it, Reese is the true man behind the curtain who makes it all work. Signing a guy like Tuck in January of 2008 was almost like stealing. If we have anything less than a great GM, Manning's new salary would be an albatross which would kill the team because mistakes would become magnified. Jerry Jones' mistakes enabled us to GET Canty. Thankfully we have the other Jerry in the NFC East.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Giant Illini

NY Giants Left Tackle David Diehl bleeds blue, AND ORANGE. He is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois, so proud in fact that he is giving back. It is not every day that you hear about a guy who gets a free ride to college and then decides to 'pay it back.' It is a nice gesture. After a week of adultery, murder and battery, football is allowed to have stories about players making good things happen.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dysfunctional Dallas Defense

Remarkable things from former Cowboy Greg Ellis...

We knew things were pretty bad in Dallas when that team underachieved in all sorts of ways. Before the 2008 season started we projected Dallas as the best team.. but that assumes the talent on paper will be used properly by the coaching staff.

Wonder scratched his head in bewilderment at how the team was missing in action in Early October 2008: "the Dallas defense ('like I said after the W2 eagles mon night game') is over-rated. You give up 37 points to the eagles and then you let Washington control the ball like that? bad. It is not about the players. Schemes are not good."

Just three days ago when discussing our 2009 defense, we pointed out that Canty may be even better than we think because he was part of an underachieving unit with a coordinator that is now gone.

And now we get the revelation yesterday that the lights were on but nobody was home. DeMarcus Ware was playing possom on the sidelines just to get his buddy Greg Ellis out on the field for more snaps! What the Brown is going on??!! Was it THAT bad? The last time I heard of this kind of insurrection it was LT telling Steve DeOssie to call one of the old defensive setups in revolt against the Rod-Rust-read-n-react bullbrown of Ray Handley's WeaveGoldIntoStraw Days. Woof. It certainly begins to answer questions about how such a great team on paper was coming up empty.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Old Reese quote on Boley

A few months ago, Reese defended both Bernard and Boley.

Reese: "It's really unfortunate that when you're in pro sports everything gets overexaggerated a little bit," Reese said. "We don't condone any kind of domestic violence of any kind in any way, so don't get me wrong on that. But Michael Boley does all kinds of community service and people never talk about that. It's really kind of a shame that people don't say, 'Wow, this guy's a really good guy. He does all this kind of community service.' But the negative things seem to always come up.

"It's just unfortunate, but when you're in a high-profile position I guess this is what happens."

Reese is in a better position to have the kind of information about the person to tip the scales in one direction or the other. None of us can sit here and judge. Just like they did with Bradshaw (or anyone else with a disciplinary history), they need it told to the new player (/in their contract) that if it happens here in a Giant uniform, then the player is gone. Bradshaw has been clean.. it is great to give someone a chance if they show a willingness to admit mistakes and a sincere interest in starting anew. Boley should be on the same notice that Bradshaw was put on.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boley battery

Michael Boley will serve a one game suspension at the start of the season.

Once we get past the shock of a new player already getting a suspension, in the grand scheme of things this does not have to be anything that affects the team greatly. For starters, it happened over a year ago when Boley was a Falcon. Second, Boley is in rehab after hip surgery and will not be effective at that (early, W1) juncture anyway.

In a larger sense, you simply cannot ignore all of this reprehensible conduct. We are reminded of the George Young quote which seems to accurately sum up football players: "We are not in the business of well-adjusted human beings." Be it Burress, Stallworth, Vick, McNair, Leaf, Ingram, Boley... the list never ends. In fact, there is one site that has a regular PARADE of players on the police blotter. So we'll casually dismiss the Boley battery in Giants terms, but we can never ever dismiss it in human terms.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tollefson comments

Q: Why is this defense going to be better than last year?

DL Dave Tollefson: "We're getting one of the most explosive defensive linemen in the league back in Osi Umenyiora. Not that we even needed him last year. (laughs) Chris Canty is, to me, everything and more than we expected. He's a great guy, No. 1, and he practices hard. Within our group, we respect that. Rocky Bernard is right up our alley as a wiley vet and he and Fred (Robbins) are those older, reliable guys. I thought Antonio (Pierce) had a great year last year, but apparently I haven't been around long enough, so I found out he's expecting more of himself. You'd have to expect a guy like that will have a better year. Bill Sheridan, I'm very happy with how he's worked out. He's very smart and very thorough. He and 'Wauf' (DL coach Mike Waufle) are very similar in that they do the work and we just go play football. And just the way last year ended. We had it in front of us and we let it get away. That's going to motivate us - and it should."

Nice color from Tollefson. Re Canty, pls remember that the Dallas defense underachieved. The coordinator is gone and so are many players. It is possible, without getting our collective hopes up TOO high, that Canty makes this defense HUM, especially after getting in rhythm with guys like Tuck and Umenyiora. If this thing can come together and Boley can get healthy, there is no telling how good the defense can be. A lot of things have to go right, but there is POTENTIAL for a great defense. LBer LBer LBer. Crazy, eh?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tennessee 32 Giants 29

2002 was an extremely important year for the Giants and for me personally as a fan. 2002 was, from this NY Giants blogger's perspective, the year which had the best Giants offense I have ever seen. 2008's offense could have possibly eclipsed it, but when Burress went down the wheels came off, so 2002 still holds.

2002 had the juggernaut. Amani Toomer was simply fantastic that year. He was the Giants' #1 WR, and wow could he do it all. He had the speed, the moves, the Toomer toe, in his prime, a Pro Bowl WR for the Giants in everything but name. There was one play that sticks out. The Giants are playing the Colts in Indianapolis, and the first play from scrimmage in Q3 is a flea flicker to Toomer, a bomb of bombs, Collins threw that ball a country mile and Toomer executed perfectly to make it a TD. Collins threw for 4000 yards that season. Tiki Barber ran for 1400 on the ground. Hilliard. And they had a rookie Pro Bowl TE named Jeremy Shockey. That offense could do ANYTHING it wanted. And it only got better as the season went on.

Steve McNair passed away yesterday. The Giants were 6-5 in 2002, playing against the Titans and an injured QB named Steve McNair. Fassel's offensive juggernaut scored oodles that day, it could have scored a lot more. With the Giants leading 20-14 in Q3 they proceed to march down the field and score a TD. We've just entered Q4, there are 14 minutes left in the game. Your team is up 26-14. There is NOTHING TO DISCUSS.

RULE #6: Repeat after me, Do not go for the 2 pt. conversion until there are 6 minutes left in the game. If there are more than 8 minutes left in the game, it is a 99% certainty that it was the wrong decision.

Fassel goes for 2 and the conversion fails. Giants still up by 12. Tenn and McNair score. 26-21. The Giants juggernaut 2002 proceeds to march right down the field and gets hung up at 1 yard line. No problem, the game is winding down, we'll kick a FG and ice the game. Except now we are up 5 instead of 6. And 5+3 makes 8 (29-21), enough for Tennessee to come back down the field (there was a little Fassel Prevent Defense here and/or in the prev Tenn drive, if memory serves), score the TD, and have McNair get the 2 pt conversion. And the Giants lose in OT. Last night Eddie George remembered the life of Steve McNair and he remembered two games which McNair led his team back to victory. This game was one of them. Funny how everyone remembers things differently.

You cannot give the good players and the good teams too many opportunities. It'll come back to bite you. The prevent works vs bad teams because they cannot execute well enough. Steve McNair, injured body and all, was a good player on a good team, and you cannot disrespect them for one moment. (The following year, McNair would be League MVP, an honor only one NYG has ever held in the modern Super Bowl era.) McNair put on a clinic, capitalizing on a ray of light left by the Giants.

It is somewhat stunning to hear of the loss of such a huge NFL warrior. Did you note how Eddie George also talked about the pain that McNair played through? McNair did not practice the week leading up to the game with the Giants. Too much pain. As fans we do not appreciate or understand the threshold of pain these men have and what they will do to play. This is such a violent sport. 250 lb. and 300 lb. missiles being thrown at you game after game, year after year. The violence seems to follow into players' personal lives... Stallworth, Burress, McNair. Sad.

After all of the stories of his career, the NFL MVP, the Pro Bowls, the Super Bowl loss at the 1 yard line, to die at 36 from a gunshot. Whether it was murder or murder suicide, it is a terrible loss.

Separately, how ironic is it that JUST DAYS AGO the NFL held its rookie symposium to warn and educate its recently drafted players of the traps and minefields awaiting them? I hope these new members of the NFL realize that class is still in session.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Steve McNair Dead

Steve McNair found dead from gunshot wounds in Nashville TN.

Independence Day Tradition

Each year on July 4th we post The Rules For Winning in the NFL.

1) Do not draft a "versatile" player in Round 1 of the draft. "Dominant" should be there, not versatile.
2) Left Tackle is a rare commodity. A good Left Tackle is better than a great ______ (fill in almost any other position).
3) WRs are a dime a dozen. Do not waste resources here; pick one up when you are close to the prize. They are always available.
4) "Linebackers, I collect'em." - Bill Parcells.
5) Pitchouts do not work in the red zone.
6) Repeat after me, Do not go for the 2 pt. conversion until there are 6 minutes left in the game. If there are more than 8 minutes left in the game, it is a 99% certainty that it was the wrong decision.
6a) The Mike Tomlin Rule- The only thing worse than violating Rule 6 is violating Rule 6 AFTER a penalty makes it a 7 yd (or 12! or 17 yard) attempt.
7) The Devin Hester Rule- If there is a special teams player in the end zone on a FG attempt, it is probably a good idea to fake the kick.
8) Do the unpredictable. Once you are predictable you are dead.
9) Trading down in the draft is good.
10) Investing all of your resources in one player is (now, more than ever in the era of free agency) a mistake. Eli Manning, Herschel Walker, Ricky Williams... the teams that do the best are usually giving the pick and getting multiple players.
11) "Read and react" is for losers. Set the tone, dictate terms of engagement, let others copy your SB blueprint. By the time you copy someone else's, the league has figured out how to adjust, so you are wasting your time.
12) Let the clock wind down to 3 seconds and kick your FG. I have never seen a team muff the (3rd down) attempt and kick on 4th down with the extra time that you left on the clock. I HAVE seen plenty of teams kick the FG and give the other team the oppty/win when they got their hands on the ball again. (ie Dallas Mon Night 2003)
13) The 2 week layover for the SB makes for a lousy game which improves the chances for the favorite.
14) Special teams are always underrated.
15) The only thing the prevent defense prevents you from doing is winning.
16) The only thing the prevent offense prevents you from doing is winning.
16a) The Kenny Holmes Rule- the only thing worse than the prevent offense is the prevent offense when your defense is exhausted/impaired by injury.
17) Players are told to play for 60 minutes. Yet who benches the head coach when he only coaches for 50?
18) The Fassel Rule of Prevent: It is always the coach's fault when a large lead is blown/the game is lost.
19) The Fassel Rule of December: Practice in December w/o pads- your players will appreciate it and win many more games for you with their fresh legs.
20) The Bill Walsh "Quality Win" (winning by 11+ points) is a necessary objective at all times because it enables you to win MORE games that are more hotly contested.
21) After 1st and Goal from the 1-2 yard line, if you fail to score a TD on your first three tries, kick the FG on 4th down.
22) The Carl Banks Rule- You cannot simply turn it on and turn it off in the NFL. Play every game and maintain/improve on your high level of play.
23) Second round draft picks are the best value in the draft. No sizzle, all steak.
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.)
25) The Phil Simms Rule- You must stretch the field on offense. If you do not/cannot pass the ball >20 yards down field, LBers and Safeties will choke off your offense.
26) Defense wins championships.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mushnick's reality check

This morning Phil Mushnick, sports muckraker extraordinaire, takes batting practice against one of our favs, Bud Selig. For those of you new or passing through, that was a joke. Bud Selig has, from this blogger's not so always humble perch, singlehandedly ruined a spectacular professional sport and turned it into QVC.

Mushnick: "By now, I suppose, we're supposed to accept it, roll with it. Baseball's Selig Era cultivated a strain of shamelessness that trades common sense and common decency for, well, how much ya got? So, take it or leave it. And get over it.

I'm trying. But it's not taking

And then Mushnick does what any self-respecting (football) fan would do- he takes a step back and sees that Goodell and the NFL are going down that same path:

"Incidentally, when the Giants and Jets don't sell out because of their PSL ticket extortions, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will be forced to change the TV blackout rules rather than risk the New York market. And he'll claim that the bad economy is to blame. But Giants and Jets patrons have remained through previous hard times. The economy will be blamed for the NFL's greed."

Here, I believe Mushnick may err on a minor technicality.. The Giants (and Jets) will likely sell out. You just won't see all the seats filled. The Giants will find some corporate s**kers to pony up the dough for the remaining $20K PSLs and $700 seats that serve all you can eat. Oh, and how we wish that Mushnick will be right and somehow, some way, they all do not get sold. The embarrassment will be palpable. As it is, the Giants should be embarrassed that their hardcore fans passed up on PSLs in DROVES. And that is the reality, the perspective that Mushnick reminds us of today.

Just remember that games ending at midnight in winter time, 18 game seasons going through the month of February, PSLs, flex game schedules that hold ticket holder schedules hostage, cable pilfering.. these are just SOME of the many ways that the NFL is going to war to grab every last dollar from your wallet.

If you are reading this blog it means you are passionate about the Giants and NFL football. The voice of this blog, along with people like Mushnick, want to remind you that at a certain price, it is not worth it anymore. It was a very sad day when one of this blogger's best friends, a guy who I went to the 1986 NFC Championship with, could not stay up for the end of the Panther game this December. He had work (early enough) the next morning and smartly, that was his priority. There once was a time when games did not flex and December games were played in the sunshine at 1PM. Today, they know they'll get someone to buy the seat, so they put it on television to max out the dollar. Tomorrow? That is someone else's problem. Tomorrow they will have Selig-ed themselves out when people stop attending and even stop viewing. 500 saves? What's a save?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Best Offensive Player of All Time?

If LT is the greatest Defensive Player of all time, then this guy is arguably the greatest Offensive Player of all time. I saw highlights, I saw stats, but the most impressive thing is that many decades later, people still compare his domination to that of Michael Jordan in basketball. We even heard that from Benigno too. You can argue Jerry Rice (Wonder's pick) or one of the QBs like Unitas/Montana/Elway/Marino. But how do you argue with a guy who AVERAGED 100+ yards per game HIS ENTIRE CAREER?! Who never missed a game?! Who never missed a Pro Bowl?! I'll take Jim Brown and LT as my two (offensive and defensive) best players ever.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Eli Manning Q&A

Fan Forum with Eli Manning

1) You have to be a PSL owner in order to ask questions in the forum. That changes everything! I'm getting the checkbook out and spending 20K... for my DAUGHTER'S COLLEGE.

2) Manning notes how the Giants passing game will be going to deeper throws. Is his accuracy up to the task when not throwing to the tall receiver? How many times do we see the WR make major adjustments to meet the ball? (Amani mastered the art of slowing down and then reaccelerating to catch the ball in stride at the end of the play. He smartly used his body as a barrier vs the defender. Will these young WRs know/learn how to do that?)

3) Manning made a mistake, said the ill-fated Manningham reverse was vs PHL in the playoffs, when it was in Week 14.

4) The question about Gilbride/Coughlin predictable playcalling was off the mark... it is not about flea-flickers and reverses, which we do not advocate here on this NY Giants blog. It is about play action and screen passes when they are loading the box on the run. It is about a flare to Bradshaw. It is about delayed passes to Boss just above the line of scrimmage to break tendency on his blocking assignments.

5) Hey PSL owners, next time ask Eli how he plans to improve his throwing of the ball into the wind.

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