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Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Tom Coughlin Conference Call

Here is the transcript to Tom Coughlin's Sunday Conference Call.

Coughlin's Positives:
1) Run Defense
2) 3rd down defense (1 for 9)
3) punt coverage.. and physical on kickoff coverage
4) Eli cadence to draw penalties on opposing DL
5) Guys are getting open downfield
6) David Carr, Hakeem Nicks
7) first string OL
8) penalties (4 for NYG, 12 for NYJ)
9) Boley progressing well, perhaps we see him this Thurs(?)
10) Good to see Bernard out there, did some good things

Coughlin's Negatives:
1) Defense still giving up big plays, altho there were less
2) Offensive kickoff return
3) Punt Return ball drop-in (Crazed Giant Fan correctly alluded to this one)
4) Two minute drill
5) The Hixon tip for Jets INT
6) No turnovers for Giants defense

Kudos to Mitch for being ahead of the game on Nicks. He wanted Nicks (and Manningham) to start and Coughlin spelled out that Nicks was going to be moving up the depth chart. Good.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

NYJ 27 NYG 25

There were some good things, there were some bad things, but in the end this game was not enough to make us feel that we have something special brewing this season. Not YET at least. Coughlin echoed this sentiment with a VERY MIXED review of the team's performance.

1) Mitch commented last evening that he'd rather see Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks line up wide and put Smith in the slot and take our chances. Interesting. VERY INTERESTING and thought provoking, to say the least. Of course we would never see that because that would require "stones." And as we have seen from the Giants too many times, they do not roll the dice. They are deliberate and patient. Riverboat gamblers they are not. They'll leave that to Rex Ryan and others to do the dice rolling.

But what of the notion of MM and Nicks? Each of these guys dropped a pass this evening. The Giants WRs dropped 6 passes that I know of. Mario Manningham may be RAW but he has the most talent of all of the Wide Receivers by a "wide" margin. We have been pointing to his play in the prior 2 preseason games:

"Good" Versus the Panthers>"Manningham- executing, got behind coverage on bomb"

Versus the Bears>"Some positives: Manningham is going to create opportunities with his separation."

And now this evening, Manningham is getting busier once again. His one drop was bad, but he looks like a bonafide threat out there. He can do major damage to a team in one on one. You cannot "teach" that.. either you have it or you do not. And Manningham has IT. What he can be taught is to correct the many mistakes we see him still make. Carl Banks was not complimentary of Manningham on one play, saying he needs to use his body to box out, not his arms. This is the raw part of Manningham. But that does not concern me. And it does not concern Mitch. He'll just get better each game and let his skills explode on the upside. The intriguing part is the break in his route- it looks like Plaxico Burress out there. The Mitch plan is bold. It is aggressive. The Giants won't do it. But they should. The reason why is that you play to win championships. Mario Manningham is a bonafide WR with star skills that can make your offense powerful. In a regular season game he will make that catch and then we will all be going gaga over him.

Hixon and Smith are 'capable.' I voted for Smith in the poll on the right. Now there is not even a question in my mind that Manningham is the one with the ability to have a breakout season. Yes, Hixon and Smith will probably start and contribute, but these guys are like Buicks compared to Manningham the Sports Car. To be fair, Smith did get behind the defense. But he pulled a Hixon, dropping the TD pass. I'd rather take my chances with the 2nd year and 1st year player dropping passes and growing big time through the season than see Smith and Hixon dropping the same passes. It seems that on almost every play I see Manningham getting separation. Smith is reliable enough- keep him in the slot and shoot the moon with your horses.

Hixon could not make one catch, it bounced off his hands into the hands of a Jet defender on the deflection. Not good. Not inspiring.

As for Nicks, same theory. Let him play. He has been making progress at the end of training camp and made more 'strides' this evening (2 TDs). On the first one, he looked like Amani Toomer, slowing down and boxing out so that he could get underneath the ball. It took Toomer three years to learn that maneuver and Nicks just pulled it off in his 3rd game of preseason. Good for him. Does he know all of the playbook and is he ready for the load of a starting job? Doubtful. WR is a very hard task for any rookie to manage. Regardless, he deserves more time.

Other quick comments:
2) We were worried about CC Brown before the game and saw only more things to be worried about. Considering that Michael Johnson is average, our safeties are thin. Absolutely no safety help on this play?
Addendum: transcript of Coughlin: "We gave up some plays in the secondary that we just shouldn't give up. The one touchdown on the crossing pattern should not have happened. It was a heck of a play by the young quarterback just to stay alive, but the receiver never should have been that open."

3) OL and Eli Manning did fine. This was a good recovery after the Bears game.

4) Carr has REGRESSED into the Texans Carr. GET RID OF THE DAMN BALL! If he is not careful the Giants will cut HIM and keep Woodson and Bomar. WOOF! Coughlin feels differently, but there continue to be some very disturbing tendencies, including taking too many sacks.

5) Gilbride/Manning threw 3 times that I saw to Boss. We see how great the Bossman is when he is thrown to in the same zip code. The offense needs to give this man so much load, it is frightening. Until opposing defenses start doubling Boss, the Giants should be using him to break the box.

6) Tynes looked good. Not worried about the miss from 50, at least he was accurate. Coughlin knows his range.. that FG kick was done intentionally to see the range.

7) Any predictability in the preseason playcalling should not be a concern just yet.

8) The Giants still have red zone woes. They got one TD because of Eli drawing DL players offsides enough times to cure what ails us. The two Nicks TDs were beyond the red zone, so it was more like the offense was 0-3, because we stalled at the 20 and 8 yd lines in Q2.

9) No big injuries as far as we are aware of. "Ware nicked up."

Summary: WR misses were troubling. Defensive backs looked out of position on a few big plays. The Giants bounced back and played a better game but Sheridan needs to iron out a few things. The Giants still have questions to answer. Like which WR to play.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Around the NFL

1) Inactives tonight: Canty, Boley, Pierce, Tyree, Ross, SWoodson, Thompson

2) Brandon Marshall Headcase was suspended for the last two games of preseason. He wants out. He may get his wish. This is a talented WR, but the Giants will not show interest if he ends up hitting the trade block. It is simply too close to Plaxi-show and the Giants are done with divas for the time being.

3) Speaking about Brandon Marshall, here is a pretty good wrapup of the NFL-preseason. Wait till they get to the Vick segment, LMAO.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jets Saturday night

I'll be missing this preseason game, but will catch it on tape thereafter. Please everyone.. give color on what happened. Some of the important things to watch vs the Jets:

1) Boss has the Blutarsky (0.0 receptions). Please correct.
2) Manning should play into Q3. Let's see rhythm, accuracy, YAC.
3) How is the execution of the screen pass? This is the box-buster, practice makes perfect, KG.
4) Diehl and McKenzie should be back to their old selfs, reliable, seen and not heard. Correct?!
5) Snap from center after O'Hara is taken out of game.
6) Of course, WR progress.
7) How many of the walking wounded on Defense play this preseason game?
8) Lane control on run and pass rush addressed and corrected?!
9) Goff/Wilkinson/Kehl MegaMillions LBer sweepstakes.. any winners?!!
10) Tynes adventures in groin babysitting.
11) Improvement by CC Brown needed immediately.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is Manning Bedrock?

There is no escaping the injuries now. With little more than 2 weeks and 2 more preseason games before Week 1, the injuries are now centerstage. Of course the finality of Andre Brown and Jay Alford is known. But what of Robbins, Boley, Canty, Ross, Pierce, et al. What of the others who have missed enough practice time like Webster, Snee, Seubert, Phillips? If the Giants do not heal up quickly and get ready for primetime, then 2009 will be like 2008. That would be sad, because there is every reason to believe that the pieces are there to go all the way. We said after the Bears loss that there is no need to panic, it is just preseason. Believe that. Believe that the Giants will clean up their execution issues in preparation for the Jets. Believe that enough of these pros who are hurt will do whatever is necessary to be ready Sept 13. Believe that the losses of Alford and Brown, while larger than most Giants fans realize (DEPTH, PREPPING FOR EVEN BIGGER CONTRIBUTIONS THAT GET DELAYED BY A YEAR), will not be harmful to a Super Bowl run. Believe that this team's bedrock (Webster, Jacobs, Tuck, Umenyiora, Snee, and yes .. Boss and Bradshaw) will be there.

Notice the trouble in putting Manning in that category. What do you get with Manning? 2007's postseason or 2008's postseason? 2007's regular season or 2008's regular season? Manning continues to be an enigma. If he can play with the consistency of 2008's regular season and 2007's postseason, wow! Still others will argue he just needs the latter, that the Giants are good enough to get into the playoffs, let'm squeak in and then go on the road so that we keep the guy OUT of the Meadowlands. Is this season going to boil down to the play of Eli Manning? Is it fair to say that the "ultimate" reason we won and lost in 2007 and 2008 was always about Eli?! We'd like to think that that is utterly simplistic in a team sport with numerous coaches and too many other invaluable contributions. But that is not entirely clear. The one thing that is clear is that we need everyone healthy first before Manning can then decide our fate. This sounds like a poll question- does Eli deliver for the Giants in 2009? The answer may very well determine the outcome of this season. If you have the answer to that question, please do share.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Movie Review: Big Fan

"Big Fan" is not a story about a big Giants fan. It is the story of a compromised 35 year old named Paul Aufiero (Patton Oswalt) who is obsessed with football. Everyone of us knows of a Paul in our lives - a relative, a neighbor, a friend's neighbor or relative. He's part of a group of lost souls who are missing something that connects them with the rest of mainstream society.

Patton Oswalt delivers a strong performance as the kid who never grew up. Imagine an adult who never got past the beginning of adolescence and you have Robert Siegel's screenplay. The backdrop of football is perfect for this character, since his passion for a professional sports team knows no age boundaries. Paul is safe in this world wearing NY Giants Blue until he gets a little more attention than he bargained for.

One day per week we are unable to distinguish between the rabid adult and the mentally compromised. When life resumes during the other 6 days, we see behavior that is as uncomfortable as it is real. Siegel dishes out "uncomfortable" in large portions, which makes the movie difficult to watch. "Big Fan" does not give us exhilaration because it is too busy giving us truth. Give Siegel credit for finding the lost soul; if you're up to the discomfort of finding it with him, it is worth going to see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Mario Manningham gets out of his break quickly and gets that separation that you crave. So it is time for the QBs to make practice perfect and start hitting this guy in stride. Those WR fears will melt away IF that happens. Watch the replay of Manningham on that pass that Payne breaks up in Chicago Sat evening. It is only one play, but it is part of the problem and represents part of the solution when corrected and executed.

From Garafolo on his initial writeup:
Coughlin might breathe easier when he sees Eli Manning's numbers: 7-for-10 for 62 yards. But he's just as likely to throw down his remote control when he looks at the tape of the first drive and sees how Manning missed Mario Manningham on third-and-7.

"Yeah, that's me," Manning said. "He ran a good route, we had the good coverage, I just didn't throw it far enough near the sideline."

The Giants need Eli Manning more than ever. Maybe when the DL is healthy and the defense is dominant, Eli does not have to carry the team. But with Robbins and Cofield trying to come back from injuries, with Canty nursing a hamstring tear, Alford gone, this team needs execution and fast. LIFT THESE YOUNG WRs UP, Eli. They may not be Plaxico but they are good enough for a consistent passer.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jay Alford- Torn MCL

On Saturday night, we noted re Alford that "they said it was a sprain but it looked worse" and we said to wait for confirmation. It was worse. Torn MCL and partially torn ACL. One of the original email guys (from the precursor to this blog, pre 2006) is an MD and said he was fairly confident it was a torn MCL. And he reminded me that they said the same thing about Osi before revealing the full extent of the injury.

Alford is not a loss on the scale of Osi Umenyiora. But this is the first MAJOR injury of 2009. Remember, DL is not like any other unit. Every person on the roster who is on the DL is a starter. Everyone. They ALL play. Every time you see tongues hanging out it in the Q4, every time you see Osi or Tuck on the sidelines wondering why they are there.. it is because these guys get exhausted getting pounded on by 325 lb. linemen and then chasing after QBs play after play for 60 minutes. So Alford is a big loss.

We also found out yesterday that Canty's injury is a hamstring tear. This from the DL who has not missed a single game in his 4 year career. It is worth noting that the 3 prime (high profile) free agent signings of Boley, Canty and Bernard have not yielded a single snap so far. Bernard is on the mend and Coughlin hopes that he'll get practice and minutes this Saturday night, but this is not like any of them are "game ready."

Coughlin and Motown (last night) remind us we are not deep anymore at DL. How true. Alford: season-ending IR? Not the DL roster solution we were looking for.

One more item.. Alford was a long snapper, so this makes Zak DeOssie's chances for a roster spot significantly greater. After all, who else on this team is a long snapper?! DeOssie did not add anything to our LB corp, so we were quietly hoping he would not make the squad so that another LBer would.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bears 17 Giants 3

The score was not indicative of how one-sided this loss was. The Giants got their butts kicked.

The bloom is off the rose. Good. Plenty of work for this team to do. We specifically wanted to see how the LBers would handle Forte and the verdict was not good. Carl Banks singled out Blackburn on the 33 yd TD run, where our backup MLB (Pierce out for game) was roasted on the play.

Cross and Banks had this team's flaws noted well. On Defense, lack of lane integrity meant the Giants got gashed up the middle, taken to school. And that same lack of lane integrity on pass rush meant Cutler carved up the Giants when he ran out of time, quickly going out of the pocket and buying plenty of time to reset plays and kill the pass defense. These are the fundamentals Cross and Banks highlighted as being absent. On offense, McKenzie and Diehl made enough mistakes (2 sacks and 1 penalty) to essentially kill 3 drives. Manning did not have time to throw. Ugly.

Woodson hit Nicks on a 55 yd pass play, but could not finish the drive with a TD. Considering he could not help the team finish the previous drive either, this is not going to help his roster chances.

Jay Alford was carted off the field. They said it was a sprain but it looked worse. Let's get more confirmation in coming days on that one.

Some positives:
1) Manningham is going to create opportunities with his separation.
2) Tollefson saved a TD and created a FG, so 24-0 instead of 17-3 at the half w/o him
3) Bradshaw behind the 2nd team OL once again looks like he can break it whenever he touches the ball
4) Jacobs looked great behind the sloppy first team OL
5) Ware looked good

Do you want excuses or not? The Giants played poorly. Coughlin wanted to have more than 5 days in between preseason games and the team seemed disorganized. No need for panic. It's preseason. The Giants won the Super Bowl after getting ripped apart for 80 points in the first two regular season games. Back to fundamentals. Blocking and tackling. Keeping your lanes on the run, keeping the edge contained on the pass rush. It will be nice to get guys like Snee, Seubert, Pierce, Tuck, Bernard and Canty back.

Intragame comments Bears vs Giants

Aaron Ross

From Garafolo Thursday:
1) Bernard practiced.
2) Out Saturday: Pierce, Seubert, Canty, Snee, Phillips, Ross. Possibly Out:Tuck, Webster, Bernard.

This makes it two games for those players in bold.

From Vacchiano Friday: positive comment on Hixon.

Of particular note is Aaron Ross. We have mentioned in past posts during training camp and even before camp that Ross was potentially at risk for losing his starting job to Terrell Thomas. Now he has lost TWO OF THE FOUR PRESEASON GAMES. We'll go on record here and say that Thomas is now ahead of Ross and it is HIS JOB TO LOSE. Why? Because
(1) Thomas is practicing and playing well
(2) Coughlin does not like rewarding players who miss too much of camp
(3) the edge that Ross had over Thomas was not that large before camp started.
(4) Maybe this is the kick in the pants that Ross needs to get refocused, a la Webster in 2007. Let Ross lose the starting job for even one game and make him earn it with good play.

If the pass rush is as good as the early billing, both Thomas and Ross will be fine back there. But when the pass rush is NOT there (which is going to happen sporadically), who do you prefer after the jam is over? Thomas looked good on Monday night. He is going to get beat, just like ALL CBs get beat. Thomas is not a finished product. He has not been tested game in and game out. But he has worked himself into a very good place and deserves the opportunity to show us even more.

Note how we're not making the same distinction with Webster. He has missed a lot of camp too, yet the alarm bells are not ringing there because he is solidly entrenched as the #1 CB on this team. It's his job. Unless he keeps missing camp and is out of practice so long that he has clearly lost skills, he is going to start. In the Vacch link at the top, Webster is reported in team drills, so that is a positive.

For tonight's game, look for more of the same we discussed before the Panthers game. Watch how the LBers deal with Matt Forte. Cutler will not have the rhythm with his WRs that we will see later on this season, but let's see how our DBs do against better passing than we saw from Delholme. For a more detailed discussion of what we'll be seeing tonight from the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Plaxico Burress sentenced to 2 year prison term

The end to such a sad story with no winners, except maybe the Super Bowl XLIII champion Steelers.


1) We agree with the Defense Attorney, that he was given a harsher sentence for being a celebrity.

2) We have said previously (and little has been said which would lead us to believe otherwise) that the DA had more leverage in this case because of the obstruction of justice. We have no proof but we nonetheless believe that since no one from the hospital was brought up on charges, that those involved were used to roll on Burress.

2a) A jury would have been at least mildly sympathetic to a person w/o a criminal record. That Burress took a 2 year PLEA w/o going this route makes us more willing to believe in the leverage from possible obstruction.

2b) An explanation for why obstruction did not make it to the media was because the DA wanted to look as good as possible under the PREVAILING circumstances. And the Burress camp had no interest in discussing this facet of the case because it could only damage the accused further. Once again, just our take, nothing concrete to substantiate this.

3) The timing of this is VERY LOGICAL. Burress tried to delay this forever under the mistaken theory that he was going to get picked up by someone else and play a la Keith Hamilton. Goodell got wise to this strategy and leaked it out to the remaining teams that Burress was facing a suspension this season. Interest by the few teams seriously considering the free agent WR quickly dissipated and Burress realized he had no other choice but to serve the time asap so that he could get back on the field.

4) That this sentence can only get reduced to 20 months with good behavior is another joke. HE SHOT HIMSELF.

4a) Vick got 2 years, the same amount of time as Burress?

5) The way this all went down is why the Giants cut bait in April. They probably knew how much DA prison time was being asked for and realized it was going to take too long to end. Great move by the Giants. Next.

6) Thankful that Pierce not involved. He's playing with all of this behind him, he must feel reborn. Good for him and good for the Giants.

7) From same link above: Plaxico Burress is not under contract to an NFL team. In light of his plea today, Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Burress and informed him that he is ineligible to sign with any team until he completes his jail term," the statement reads. "Commissioner Goodell said Burress will be reinstated and eligible to sign with an NFL team upon the completion of his sentence."

8) Burress will be 34 years old when able to hit the football field again. How many millions and how much of the prime of his career did this man blow because he was worried about getting mugged for hundreds or thousands of dollars? Insane.

You guys are smarter than me...

After the draft was over, we asked: "Which draft pick do you like the most?" The winner was 93 people out of 214 taking Ramses Barden. This was in MAY. It was only ONE (preseason) game, but clearly you guys did a very impressive job. Sintim had the best rookie evening, but Barden looks the part. And you guys did not flinch this past week when asked which WR was going to breakout this season, going for Barden again. Smith did not play, but if anything was clear from Monday night, Barden is certainly out of the blocks faster than Nicks. THIS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT. So do not think for a second that Nicks is not going to be seen or heard from again. That is RIDICULOUS. What we are talking about here is the simple observation from camp (one data point) and Preseason Game 1 (second data point) that Barden looks good so far. We saw bits and pieces of good and bad things from all of the WRs... it is a work in progress but they are getting there. Moss did some good things. Manningham got separation. Barden looks so good once he gets off the line. If he put on another 10-15 lbs he could be a tremendous TE. How do you guard that?!

Kudos to Oxbay, Mitch, Craig and Wonder for nailing the idea of the Round 3 big WR ON APRIL FREAKING 7th. THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE DRAFT. Having had success with the Ed McCaffreys and Joe Jureviciuses of the world, we'd be much better served here in the third round with Patrick Turner or Ramses Barden than going for the glamour divas of Round 1. Those Round 2 (and Round 3) guys have their heads screwed on properly and they have the requisite physical tools (read: pedigree) to make it in the NFL. We're not implying that Nicks is a diva, just that WR is not worth it in Round 1. Doesn't the optimism of a Barden in Round 3 make that argument more plausible?!

Nicks can end up in the Hall of Fame. Guys like Barden and Turner can both be busts. But you want the upside if you are right. The upside in these guys?.?.?..I'd rather be good and 6'6" than good and 6'2". In 2007, how much of the Super Bowl Title that the Giants won was due to Toomer being 6'3", Burress 6'5" and Boss 6'6"?? You cannot teach genes. Remember Mike's quote on George Young: "I'll take size over speed every time. In the fourth quarter the fast guys slow down but the big guys are still big." Here is to Barden in Q4.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lots coming

1) DBerenson wisely reminded us yesterday not to get too ahead of ourselves in anointing this team or its defense. Keep improving. Something the offense did not do at year end.

2) No injuries (confirmed) was great. Some players (Smith, Ross, Webster, Snee, Seubert) looking to rejoin practice, if even just for individual drills.

3) Wonder thinks this should be Pierce's last year and work Sintim in at MLB. Right now they have Sintim rushing from the edge. He can still do that. "They need a hard-hitting MLB who can run and cover a LITTLE! Groom him!"

4) More extensive recap of the preseason game from Garafolo.

5) The punt block was caused by 10 Giants on the field. Isn't that Feagles' job?! Damn, I'm moving him from 'Good' to 'Ugly,' the man cannot be trusted to do anything right. (Guys, that was a joke.)

6) Bradshaw moving up on Coughlin's Death Chart

7) "And that's why they call me Mr. Loser!" ... How would you like to have the Panthers +3 in that game on Monday night??!!! The 2 pt conversion to TIE, and then the Douzy-able loss?!! Get me off the ledge! Or better, the Over/Under may have gone over at the end on that 15 points of insanity!

8) Wonder won't keep quiet, I have to hear about Britt getting 5 receptions for 89 yards and a TD. I didn't want Nicks OR Britt, I wanted a LBer. Old school. Defense wins championships.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giants 24 Panthers 17

Lots of good things tonight. Some of it wasn't pretty, but overall the Giants did fine, and as far as I can tell, NO INJURIES! If that happens 4 games in a row, we are in GREAT SHAPE.

The Good
1) Bradshaw- doing it all
2) Thomas- good coverage
3) Manningham- executing, got behind coverage on bomb
4) Ware- did well when the run wasn't getting stacked
5) Osi- the cat gets another sack/strip with Alford's help
6) Evans- nice sack
7) Sintim- ubiquitous, and had a sack/fumble where he looked like LT around the end.
8) Sintim- held again on pass rushing duties
9) Feagles- this guy puts it inside the 20 like a heat seeking missile
10) LBers- good work by committee, Wilkinson/Goff/Kehl all made plays
11) Tentatively, no (serious) injuries.

The Bad
1) Carr- needs to get rid of the ball when nothing is there
2) Beatty- got beat on a sack, otherwise learning, ok
3) special teams punt blocked- man untouched, safety
4) backup OL- high snaps, weak protection
5) RRPK predictability is OK in preseason, but tonight it was so excessive in H2 that it begins to hurt your OL and QBs, because the game might as well be 11 vs 13
6) Stoney Woodson- got beat badly twice on final TD drive

The Ugly
1) Gruden- calling Gilbride "one of the best in the business." LOL.

The last two TDs at the end of the game are par for the course. Happy to see the Giants escape with a win, they played a good game. The two stars this evening were Bradshaw and Sintim. Some of the LBers made some nice plays. We got beat around the edge a few times. The RRPK is allowed in preseason but it did make it hard on both Woodson and Bomar.

BOTTOMLINE: Sintim as a pass rusher is going to be scary, considering that this is his rookie preseason game combined with him playing with the likes of Osi, Kiwi, Canty, Tuck. You have to love it when a rookie jumps off the page in his first NFL appearance- a very good sign. It happens infrequently and correlates VERY WELL with future success. Lastly, #44 just gives so much juice to this offense.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Panthers preseason intragame comments

Patience is a virtue. Most of the time.

Watch this progression:
1) 3/12/2008: David Carr signs with the Giants, gives them high reward and low risk
2) 5/24/2008: Palmer rebuilds with Carr
3)12/28/2008: Minn 20 NYG 19 and Carr throws for 2 TDs
4) 8/15/2009: Michael Eisen updates us on Carr

Carr is really getting comfortable with the offense. He has accepted his role and relishes the balance he has achieved with his mind and body. To all of us on the outside looking in, we naturally think in terms of always competing for the starter's job, but as Carr notes, it goes far deeper than that. He needed time for his body. He needed time to learn an offense. When he came in and made some mistakes for the Panthers after Delhomme got hurt in 2007, it was easy to take shots at him. But since when does a QB learning a new system come in and execute it all perfectly in his first time out? By consensus estimates, it takes QBs SIX YEARS to fully mature. And it takes MORE THAN ONE YEAR in a new system to get comfortable. The Giants add value to their players and their franchise by understanding these elements and injecting deliberate patience into all of their processes. It started with a manageable contract. Carr has benefitted.

Players like Woodson, Bomar and Beatty are getting the benefit of this same patience RIGHT NOW. They are not being asked to start. They are being asked to learn.

When players talk about how classy the Giants organization is, they are (in some large part) referring to the loyalty to their employees. Sometimes I for one get frustrated that the loyalty means wasted time when the conclusion is obvious- guys like Tim Carter and Ron MunDayne should have been shown the door a little (okay, a lot) sooner than what took place. I also felt Coughlin should have been shown the door too. But he miraculously changed and the players really responded to the show of respect. John Mara's approach worked. The Giants always give their coach one more year than is necessary before firing them. Think about that in terms of Handley lasting all of two years. Fassel's 49er (second worst ever) playoff debacle in 2002 was the end. 2003 was just the extra year for confirmation.

The organization trusts its players/coaches and the players/coaches trust the organization. Football is a business and the Giants have to be efficient too, but it means they are going to err on the side of the player and be as human as they can be. (Fwiw, it is very puzzling how the organization treated Amani Toomer.)

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but tonight the Giants play the Panthers, Carr's last team. Carr is helping the Giants in ways that the Panthers only wished for just a year prior. The Giants have a credible backup QB because they leveraged a cheap contract and bought enough time to make it work.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eve of Preseason Game 1

1) The Vick-Eagles signing needed some time to simmer. So why did Goodell even let it come to this in the first place, letting 31 teams play the prisoner's dilemma? There is ALWAYS SOME TEAM THAT IS GOING TO DEFECT AND PISS IN THE POT. In this case, there were allegedly 5 teams with "interest." Once again outstanding grades to Commissioner Goodell (uh, NO) for letting this guy back into the league. Vick was every bit as bad as Pacman Jones, yet Goodell has decided Vick is getting another opportunity. The muted reaction on Friday's post was due to the fact that WE ALREADY HATE the Eagles, so this signing was not going to do anything to move the needle.

One of the advantages of letting this story get out more facts is that we learned afterwards that Vick drove up to Lurie's residence to get under the radar of the media. And that Vick was offered a deal without even a workout! After not playing since Dec 2006! Folks, that is classic Prisoner's Dilemma Defection. Get the lowball deal quietly while no one else is aware of what you are doing. They can say all they want about not trying to create a media circus, but in this case they did not want a bidding war to start by having their interest leaked. The Eagles are only interested in Michael Vick's rehabilitation because the price was right.

2) Things to watch on Monday night:
a) LBer speed to the ball. We play against Peterson, Sproles, Maclin, Harvin and Vick now too, so that speed in the middle of the defense is going to get tested.
b) Terrell Thomas
c) Chris Canty is out- we'll have to wait until Saturday for his debut
d) Osi's side to side agility
e) Eli's accuracy, YAC, deep ball
f) Of course, the WRs
g) backup OLs (center exchange, protection) and Safeties
h) any rookies starting? (Sintim?) anyone making an impact?
i) REPETITIONS for Boss and Bradshaw

3) How many of you remember the Hall of Fame Game in 2002? It was the Giants vs the Texans and there was this rookie named Jeremy Shockey who was shot out of a cannon, his first (preseason) game as a pro. He breaks one tackle, then runs over (former Jet DB) Kevin Williams and turns him into road kill. How many of you remember Amani Toomer's preseason in his 3rd year when he broke out? That was the year when he took karate in the offseason. He got off the jam with those skills and never looked back. So this is the game to watch to see new faces make a splash.

4) Speaking of Jets and first preseason games, how many of you saw the first offensive play from Mark Sanchez of the Jets? It was a bomb to David Clowney, a WR who Wonder has been sky high on for a while now. Clowney has had problems staying healthy, leading some to nickname him Mr. August. But at least the Jets understand what they have and are willing to use it. For the Giants, this means throwing screens, flares and checkdowns to Bradshaw. REPEATEDLY. How many times do the best teams get thwarted offensively, only to find a way to keep the chains moving on a dink and dunk? Brian Westbrook? Kevin Faulk? THESE GUYS ARE NOT GLAMOUROUS BUT THEY KEEP DRIVES GOING, THEY SPREAD THE FIELD, THEY GIVE YOUR OFFENSE RHYTHM, THEY GIVE YOUR DEFENSE REST. Everyone was happy with Ward last year, but Bradshaw can do much more out of the backfield as the scatback than Ward EVER did. That is no knock on Ward. As long as Bradshaw stays healthy and protects the ball, he can be to Manning what Faulk is to Brady. It is not pretty, watching a 'cheap' and scrappy first down, but it is football and it wins games. It is what distinguishes the boxer from the puncher. Let's see some boxing tomorrow night. Practice makes perfect.

addendum- note Canty and Ross are out tomorrow evening. This makes watching Terrell Thomas (singled out by Bob Papa for having a good camp) all the more important, as his chances of getting the starting job rise with every missed game from Ross.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Andre Brown's 2009 season is done

Andre Brown tore his Achilles yesterday, the first significant loss of 2009 training camp. For those of you who dismiss this nonchalantly, that this is just a rookie, that is a big mistake. This one hurts. We felt Brown had an excellent chance to help the team. The Giants not only lose depth this year at RB, they also may lose a young man's career. This is a long recovery. At this point we can only hope he makes it back to the football field competitively.

Friday, August 14, 2009

More camp

We're not going to wax nostalgic and romanticize with the Giants IN CAMP.. onto another post...

Vick signed with the Eagles. Why is it that trouble seems to always find a Weigh Station at the NFC East? Very smart by the Eagles to give this guy a ONE year deal. He is not the alpha male, he is a player trying to help his team, and (pun intended) he is on a short leash. It is not entirely clear how much playing time he will get in 2009, given his need to get in game-playing condition, his need to learn the playbook, the suspension issues etc..

Positive comments from Coughlin on Sintim. "Working with the 1's." Not so positive remarks on the offense as a whole. Is it me, or is ALMOST EVERY YEAR the defense ahead of the offense?

Kiwanuka- to be fair, this season he has the luxury of training camp AT HIS POSITION. So we like the upside. He's been able to make an impact. It has not been consistent. But this year he'll be busy. Sheridan is going to enable him to get good matchups on pass rushing, so we see no reason why he can't have a very good year. Coughlin had some very good things to say about him.

At this point Hagan seems to have an inside track to make the roster. If he plays in preseason as well as he is practicing, do the Giants keep 7 WRs? We've got some time before that question arises, but we knew there were roster issues at WR a while ago. Still have them.

Bob Papa offers up three players by name who he feels have stood out in training camp:
1) Bryan Kehl
2) Terrell Thomas
3) Kenny Phillips

If these three second year players can make that leap and not only contribute but also make impact plays, then this defense can be formidable. The DL is looking to dominate, so you want to have the guys behind them clean up and feast off of the opptys.

Inside Out

Yesterday I saw a movie, Julie and Julia. Nora Ephron romanticized email in "You've Got Mail." This time she romanticized blogging.

No romanticizing this blog. It is here to serve one purpose and one purpose only- to share the ride with fellow Giants seeking out one thing, A NY GIANTS CHAMPIONSHIP.

There are three precious jewels we have, XXI, XXV and XLII. Some of the readers remember 1956 and some only have personal recollections of XLII. What unites us all now is that we are on the verge of the 2009 season. The first preseason game is a few days away. Is XLIV in the cards for the Giants? Is there ANYONE here who does not believe that the Giants have a legitimate shot to win the whole enchilada this season? Of course not.

So much of football is about luck. Crayton breaks off his route or it is quite possible that XLII is toast (not to mention about a half dozen other moments in that game, Crayton's dropped ball, Adams' Q3 injury, Romo's penalty..). If Ingram twists and turns to make any less than 5 players miss, XXV is toast (not to mention about a half dozen other moments in that game, Hostetler by some miracle not coughing up the ball on the Safety, Norwood's miss..).

There are three years of pain- Flipper Anderson, 2002 and 2008. Steeler fans, Eagles fans and Cardinals fans think they were destined to win last season. Bullbleep- the Giants were better than all of them, BEAT ALL OF THEM, but came up short when it counted. So when we hear about the 'bitter taste' in the players' mouths, the emptiness of last season's unfulfilled promise, we know it well. You can easily argue that the Giants denied other teams that same destiny, as the Bills and 49ers of 1990, Cowboys and Patriots of 2007 were certainly powerhouses who could have won the title too. We'll whistle past the graveyard on that one.

2009 is our year. Of course you need luck and good health. Other teams and their fans think that the title is possible this year. Giants players, coaches and their fans KNOW it is possible this year. Every team quietly questions whether they have enough to get by Brady or other individuals. The Giants are not worried about anyone.

2009 is there for this team. No chick flicks. No romanticized journeys. Just championships.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Paul Dottino gives color on Giants Training Camp

Paul Dottino spoke with John Schmeelk of Giants.com and gave 16 minutes of video commentary on numerous player/unit developments at camp.

Although we strongly recommend that you listen for yourself, here are some quick takeaways:

1) Defensive Line - "having a terrific summer"
2) Bryan Kehl - biggest surprise is his leadership
3) Ramses Barden - "great hands, two spectacular catches today, I think this guy is going to be really special. Old time folks will remember Harold Carmichael of the Eagles. He kind of reminds me of him."
4) Derek Hagan - "great camp here in Albany"
5) Danny Ware - "I think he is terrific; he's got the hands, strength, maturity"

1) Gerris Wilkinson- It was what Dottino did NOT say. Time is running out.
2) Center depth behind O'Hara

1) "5-1-5" Defense
2) William Beatty is "intriguing"... "he will eventually be a starter in this league."

Ultimatenyg comments: VERY pleased with early encouraging words from both Dottino and Schmeelk on Kehl. Kehl's draft comments a year ago alluded to ballsmarts and leadership. Beggars can't be choosers, so we'll take a LBer making progress from anywhere we can get it. Kehl's speed was never anything to get excited about. WE NEED SPEED. That was what the promise of Wilkinson was about. That was what the Boley free agent signing was all about. But make no mistake, if we can have Boley, chip-on-his-shoulder Pierce and Kehl out there playing good football together, then this will be a positive development. So much more information will come from the first few preseason games.

Just because Barden is making some very good catches in camp does not mean he will be making an impact this year. We were reminded by the Beckum comments on Monday's post - if a rookie wants to get on the field he NEEDS to take care of his blocking assignment, not to mention getting past the jam at the line of scrimmage. So while we hope to see Barden see snaps in the red zone, we are cautious to glean too much from the practice catches themselves. In the preseason games, look for how well (quickly) Barden gets separation at the line from his defender, NOT for whether or not he makes the catch. But we'll end this Barden note on a positive by saying that ANY comparison of a rookie to Harold Carmichael is a GREAT uptick. Good good stuff.

Separately, Q&A with Ahmad Bradshaw noted how the injury not discussed last season was his calf, which slowed him down. He was missing a gear. Wait. Let's repeat that. He was missing a gear! Good thing we had him out there running back kickoffs instead of Hixon. $%^&*(#@! If we can see more open field speed from #44, all the better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Poll- Which WR will shine for the Giants?

Russ noted how Peter King is getting out the Mario Manningham megaphone. King thinks: "Manningham is going to get every chance to be the bookend to Steve Smith at some point. That's how good Manningham's offseason was."

Which WR is going to have the breakout season for the Giants in 2009? Take the Poll at the upper right of the blog. And if you have not been keeping up with all of the upticks and downticks of camp, here is a Garafolo recap thus far to help you with your vote.

While ultimatenyg was busy rafting, Derek Hagan has been getting some attention in training camp. If the Giants keep 6 WRs for the roster, he is still going to have a hard time getting a spot.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Jersey Vikings

Ultimatenyg hits the Deschutes River in Maupin, Oregon with Erik the Red and his band of vikings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Camp Comments

1) all the flack about the exchange from center is purely because the Giants did not re-sign Grey Ruegamer. No credible backup. Giants almost 'lucky' that O'Hara was out so that the first team could see how deficient it is.

2) Defensive tackle Fred Robbins was activated from the physically unable to perform list (PUP) and participated in individual drills. Coughlin said he might begin to take part in team work tomorrow on a limited basis.Anything we get from him will be good,” Coughlin said.

Well, this is unexpected and very good news. We felt that Robbins would be on the PUP at the start of the season, given how difficult it is to get immediate success with microfracture surgery, combined with the knees of an aging DLineman. Looks like we'll be wrong come Week 1, assuming Robbins continues to make progress. Whether this translates to Robbins making a meaningful contribution is another matter altogether, but it will be impossible for him to make less of a contribution while activated than on the PUP.

3) “Beckum has gotten a little bit better each day,” Coughlin said. “The thing I think he’s started to do a little better is the physical aspect as a blocker.” Let this remark by Coughlin be a sober reminder to all of us that these rookies (Beckum, Barden, Nicks, Brown) are not going to get on the field to make an impact on offense unless they are first able to block up their assignment. It's good news to see Beckum at least headed in the right direction. So often these guys disappear their first year because they are not fundamentally sound.

4) A little nugget on Bradshaw from Coughlin..

Q. How has Ahmad Bradshaw’s camp been so far?
A. Good.

Q. What’s the biggest challenge as his role is changing?
A. He’s caught the ball well. Obviously, if he can continue to do that, he will help us out tremendously. He runs the ball well, he’s been out there on kickoff returns and punt returns. He’s done a pretty good at picking it all up. Also, his pass protection has really improved. As we go forward, that’s going to have to continue to be a solid part of his game.

We have always felt that #44's blocking/blitz pickup was improving and that he was okay there. The Achilles.. his fumbling. It is not mentioned here in the Q&A. But without parsing out the words too aggressively, "good" means the caveat is still there- as long as Bradshaw protects the ball, he is going to have a very good season. He should be able to get the touches and this will be explosive for the team when he gets them. We need a guy like this to move the chains, to be a threat out of the backfield. He stretches the opposing defense, causing problems for them the same way that a Westbrook causes problems once the defense has dropped into coverage. Bradshaw does not need to be Westbrook. He just needs to be Bradshaw.

5) Wonder on the Eagles: WOW !! IF, IF, IF the rumors are true, Eagles lost Cornelius Ingram for the SEASON with a torn ACL...if so, HUGE LOSS, not only for this year, but for the future..he'll never be the same again..I thought he was a STEAL in the 5th round....Eagles keep losing guys...AND their OL is really IN FLUX due to injuries as well...IF so, might be able to overpower their OL and blitz the bleep out of them...and put McNabb on his big old butt...!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Where did your draft resources go?

We wanted to get an analytical assessment of which positions the Giants drafted over the past 10 years. Specifically, where did the significant (first three rounds of) resources get allocated?

1st round pick = 3 points
2nd round pick = 2 points
3rd round pick = 1 point

OL=5 pts (ie Snee and Beatty 2 pts each, Hatch 1 pt)
QB=7 pts (Eli lovers, remember he cost you two 1's and a 3, forgetting the 5)


But wait, we now must divide by the number of starters on the field:
OL=5 starters
QB=1 starter..


So we now get the final answer of number of draft points allocated to each WEIGHTED player spot over the past 10 years (sorted from highest to lowest):

QB = 7.0
WR = 5.0
SEC= 4.0
TE = 3.8
DL = 3.0
RB = 2.3
LB = 1.2
OL = 1.0


1) First we have to note that 32 points of offense were drafted vs 29 points on defense, so overall there has no particular bias between squads.

2) OL and LB have been denied resources. It is a good thing one of the 5 picks in the first three rounds in 2009 was taken on a LBer (Sintim) or else this position would have come in at a whopping low of 0.4. That is embarrassing. OL needs more resources and this has not received much attention ONLY because of the (knock on wood) health of the starters not exposing the lack of depth.

3) Despite the fact that we have always been on record that the Eli Manning trade was overpayment, it should not bother anyone to see QB get these resources over a 10 year period. But once again, this 7.0 rating should remind everyone just how much Accorsi committed and just how exposed the franchise was if the pick did not work. There was no value and no margin for error.

4) WR got too many resources. It has gotten consistently too much attention and these numbers bear that out. About the only logical extension of this misallocation is that at least the Giants are consistent in also allocating heavy resources to the same people COVERING them- the Defensive Secondary. So if you want to observe anything from all of this, the FIRST THREE POSITIONS ACKNOWLEDGE HOW THE RULE CHANGES FAVORING PASSING HAVE AFFECTED THE GIANTS' FOCUS TO THE PLAYERS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE PASSING GAME.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fantasy Football- Giants Edition

The only link we have that has anything to do with Fantasy Football ("FF") is The Fantasy Football Librarian. It is a really good site run by a football freak named Sara Holliday that has everything you need to know about the players to pick, etc..

Ultimatenyg knows very little about FF but enough about the Giants to discuss 1/32nd of the FF drafting stock. Let's go through each position ON A FF VALUE BASIS:

Eli Manning- NO. Stay away. Eli gets better each year, but he is not the kind of QB you can expect to take over a game. And since he still plays in the Meadowlands Wind Tunnel and has not made any offseason attempts to change his grip for the tight spiral, let him drop. Check his stats in late Nov/December. Nasty with a capital N.

Running Back:
Brandon Jacobs- NO. He just signed a big contract, he slows down, he gets hurt every year, his only redeeming fantasy value is that he is a short yardage pounder for TDs. Let him fall for value.

Ahmad Bradshaw- YES. On a value basis he could explode. Assuming he stays healthy and protects the ball (he did not do either very well last year), he is a secret weapon that is #2 on the depth chart behind Brandon Jacobs. That means platoon relief and plenty of touches. The Gilbride factor (see Kevin Boss below) should not be a problem. He'll be in his 3rd year, he knows the offense, he has TD ability every time he touches the ball. We're sticking our necks out here and saying he is going to be awfully good for the Giants this season. GET HIM.

Danny Ware- Maybe. When all of the RBs are gone, you take him because either Bradshaw or Jacobs will get hurt and then you'll have a lot of touches.

Andre Brown- NO. But get this guy in 2011. Remember where you read about him first.

Wide Receiver:
Smith- NO
Hixon- NO
Moss- NO
Manningham- Maybe. He's worth a gamble at the very end of the draft because he could be a sleeper lottery ticket that gets cashed if he has his s*** together.
Nicks- NO
Barden- NO. 2011 Red zone monster?

Tight End
Kevin Boss- YES. The only enemy of taking this guy is named Kevin Gilbride, the Offensive Coordinator of the NY Giants. One of these days Gilbride is going to wake up and realize that he has a 1000 yard receiving option who is not a WR. One of these days Gilbride is going to wake up and realize that he has TD RED ZONE MONEY and his name is Kevin Boss. He's big, fast enough and has great hands. All he needs is his number to be called. He has a high TD/Reception ratio because he did not get get thrown the ball enough AND still managed to get 5 TDs when Gilbride was awake. This pick has less to do with Boss and everything to do with the OC. If he's in the gameplan, you will score big with this player.

Travis Beckum- Maybe. Worth a gamble at the very end of the draft. He's a rookie who could get meaningful touches. No training camp upticks yet.

Summary- Boss and Bradshaw are off of national radar because the OC needs a lobotomy. With Ward gone to TB, this is now Bradshaw's chance. And if the OC gets Tight End religion Boss is tremendous value.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eli Moneybags

1) Eli Manning is set to get a 6 yr deal worth ~$97M. That's a lot of hospital birthing centers. Reese: "He's a good football player." But therein lies the rub. We have been saying all along, he's a GOOD player. Not great, good. Those were Reese's words, carefully chosen- "good." Someone please explain to us why "good" gets you the highest salary in the NFL. Eli is deserving of a lot, but there are ~1700 players in this league and Eli Manning does NOT deserve the #1 salary in the league.

2) Someone please order me a pizza. But is it possible to get one for less than $90? Like we said before, for this kind of money, buy your ticket without the frills and get over to Il Mulino after the game. The food is slightly better. I'm not that sure what a good restaurant is in Dallas, but it is not going to be as costly as a $90 pizza. But then again, it all makes sense. You better be selling a lot of $90 pizzas to pay for the Romos and Mannings of the world.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Terrell Thomas, Antonio Pierce, Amani Toomer

1) Training camp video highlights.

2) Every now and then we are able to get it right once in a row.

July 22nd
"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... 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."

August 4
"Speaking of closing fast, don’t discount the possibility that CB Terrell Thomas could eventually beat out Aaron Ross. Thomas is having a great start and closed very fast to step in front of Mario Manningham to pick off a Carr pass."

3) Can you name four prominent first round draft choices who were lost to injury for the Giants during successful championship seasons for Super Bowl XXI, XXV and XLII? Yesterday we mentioned three: Kinard, Simms and Kiwanuka. But there is a 4th player, also a first rounder, who was lost to injury for one of these three championships. And he was a Pro Bowler too. Who did we leave out?! Hint, it was Super Bowl XLII... Jeremy Shockey. Almost a trick question, given how he was wasted as an asset that year anyway. Do you see a pattern-- good TEs not getting enough touches? naah, couldn't possibly be.

4) Pierce: “I am eager to go out there,” he said. “Like every year, I always come up with ways to push myself and ways to push my teammates and with everything that happened last year with the negative play in the playoff game and things that were said about me, I’m looking forward to looking those doubters in the eyes again and, like I always say, shut them up.”

We have the utmost respect for Pierce. He is an overachiever, an undrafted LBer who made it to the Pro Bowl and earned himself a championship ring. He has been the on-field General of this franchise's defense EVERY season. As an avid studier of film, he knows formations and tendencies and will call out plays before they happen to fellow teammates, making everyone around him better. Case in point was LaVar Arrington, who was downright crestfallen when word got to him that Pierce had left the Redskins to go to the Giants in 2005. It took Arrington one year to get his tail up to NY to be with his former teammate in the middle. Before the fateful Achilles injury in Dallas that season, the Giants in 2006 had the early seeds of what could have been the most dominant defense in the league. The injury bug ripped through the team, one game after the next. Tuck and Strahan both were lost.

With all of that said, it is now 2009, not 2006. This is now the aging veteran Pierce. The one who got beat on the pass interference call to Watson which set up a 1st and goal for the Pats first TD of Super Bowl XLII. The one who could not handle Brian Westbrook out of the backfield. Spagnuolo adjusted and put a Safety on the RB on third down/obvious passing downs. Sheridan was the LBers coach, so he knows EXACTLY what he has and what he does not have in Pierce. Cold? Heartless? Age is not kind to LBers.

So Pierce has a chip on his shoulder. He's playing with something to prove. He does not have anything to prove to us, his loyal fans. He simply has to prove to opposing NFL Offensive Coordinators that he won't lose that half step in the second half of the season.

5) Amani Toomer has landed a job with the Chiefs. Hail Toomer. Warrior to the end. And just a reminder, you have not seen the last of him- we play the Chiefs Week #4.

6) Who is Vince Anderson? Garafolo reports that his stock is rising and he is competing seriously for that last Safety spot behind Phillips, Johnson and Brown:

"And finally, I mentioned Anderson up top and waited to the bottom to tell you he had an awesome afternoon. The undrafted rookie from Webber International (Fla.) got in front of Nicks on a fade and easily won a jump ball to knock it away. A few minutes later, he picked off a pass from Woodson that was badly behind the intended target. And finally, he showed good concentration to intercept a ball from Bomar that went through Moss' hands. Nice way for Anderson, who converted to safety when he arrived in Albany, to get on the coaches' radar."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The first day of camp.

Kenny Phillips off to a good start
Saed Hindash/Star Ledger

1) Note that we have provided a quicklink to NY Giants camp updates in the upper right hand corner of the blog. As always, we'll try to cut through the fluff and post the salient comments and developments.

2) In yesterday's lunchtime update, we noted that Stewart Bradley, the stud LBer with 150 tackles last season, is likely gone for the season with a torn ACL. Hey, the Eagles were not holding a benefit for us when Osi went down last year, so pardon us while we do not shed any tears for them or any of the other 31 teams in the league. Every team deals with these ugly injuries, so why can't it be some other team for a change?! Let's remember that starting S Terry Kinard went out during our '86 run. That Simms went out in the '90 run. That Kiwanuka (and Ward, altho that brought in #44) went out in the '07 run. So injuries are a part of the game. Deal with it, Eagles fans. "It's a major loss," said Donovan McNabb. Yep.

3) Coughlin: "Sinorce ( Moss) had a nice spring. Steve Smith knows exactly what he is being asked to do at this point in time. Mario Manningham had a nice off-season."

4) Kenny Phillips had two picks. Coughlin: "Yeah, I was (impressed). Those were two outstanding plays, too. I was back here cheering." Good color at the end of the video link on his strong progress. If this guy steps up big he is going to make this defense hum.

5) Q&A with Osi Umenyiora:
Q. Does this team have the right pieces for success?
A. Let me tell you…I haven’t seen a team like this, as far as depth-wise since I’ve been here, we’re solid at every position, I mean every position. I mean we look real good on paper right now, but as soon as we get on the field we’ll see what we really have.

Q. Are you referring to just the defense?
A. Defense, offense…we’re solid at every position on the field.

Q. Is this deeper than the team that won it all a few years ago?
A. Deeper? I would say so. I mean from a straight depth standpoint I think we’re definitely better. But I mean are we going to be as good? That remains to be seen.

Q. When you went into camp last year, did you feel the same way?
A. I felt good about last year too. Maybe not quite as strong as every position like we have now, but I did feel good about last year too.

6) We've been arguing here on the blog that WR is not the issue for the Giants. Pat Kirwin agrees.

7) I sent an email to a few people yesterday before camp in response to someone asking aloud about who would win the battle between Bomar and Woodson for the 3rd QB spot. Those of you following this blog know what the answer is, given how Wonder was crazy for this kid Bomar two weeks before the draft. If Woodson beats out Bomar for a roster spot (barring injury related reason) I will sing "Hail to the Redskins" to my wife's Uncle Roger down in Maryland, I will sing "Fly Eagle Fly" to my wife's stepfather down in Philly, and I will tell Eddie H that the Cowboys are God's gift to the NFL. But that is Not Happening, folks. From Ralph V today: "Speaking of Bomar … Advantage: him, in the battle for the third-quarterback job. On an off morning for the quarterbacks, he seemed to have mostly crisp, straight, spiral throws."

8) I have a day job down here in NJ. But Ed Valentine at Big Blue View is there in person at practices in Albany. He is giving very good color. He offered the same strong sentiments about Bomar that Vacchiano gave.

9) Burress shoots the Giants in 2008... Pierce lifts the Giants in 2009. Is #58's exoneration going to be a metaphor for this season?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lunchtime Special: Pierce not indicted

Pierce not indicted.


and Burress was just indicted. now that one is a shock. not.

Rocky Bernard has a "non-football injury"

1) The info on the margin is that with camp starting today, Rocky Bernard has a non-football injury.

That Coughlin himself was caught by surprise is a candid admission from the coaching staff that they were blindsided by this. A guy goes away ~6 weeks ago, comes back with a non-football injury? When? How? Why wasn't it reported to the Giants medical staff? Barring the injury occurring within the last two days, the lack of communication is disappointing.

2) Coughlin referred to Pierce's legal situation as "serious." If Pierce was involved with obstruction, then that would be legitimate. But if it is not that, then it sounds like political grandstanding at its worst.

3) In case you missed it from the comments section a few days ago, a special shout out to Russ Wellen for providing a link to an article in the Atlantic Monthly from last October. Not a good article, A GREAT ARTICLE. MUST READ. Must read for Giants fans. Must read for football fans. Must read for people who want to understand where the game was and where it is. And by the way, the NFL Network and NFL Films are missing a great opportunity if they do not have one of these shows all the time on breaking down film of the classic games with coaches today. Thanks Russ.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Players Report to Camp TODAY!

The wait is over. Players report to Albany today and camp practices begin tomorrow.

And what a nice job by Reese and Nicks to get a deal done yesterday, so that everyone is in on time.

Everyone is still freaking out and putting way too much attention on the situation at WR. STOP!

Reasons to 'worry NOT' about WR:
1) Moss and Manningham had a good offseason
2) This unit has a ton of pedigree-#1,#2,#2,#3,#3
3) They'll get all the reps from OTAs and camp, so improvement will continue
4) QB/TE/RB/OL are all rock solid
5) Lots of wild cards for upside. And longshot Beckum too.
6) Lots of depth when you consider that #5 on the depth chart is the 1st rounder
7) Coaches have been very happy with the speed of this unit
8) Kevin Boss can(/SHOULD) move the sticks too

And the real reasons to 'worry NOT' about WR:
9) BECAUSE 6th year pro Manning needs to/should/will take more responsibility for their success
10) BECAUSE LBer is a much bigger problem
11) BECAUSE OL is a much bigger problem as soon as someone goes down
12) BECAUSE S is a much bigger problem as soon as someone goes down

Of course there are question marks at WR. But if someone from this group does not step out and make an impact then we'll be surprised, even if it is just from a statistical perspective ALONE. Moss could have made an impact last year if the coaches would have used him more. Hixon WILL make an impact if he stays healthy. Smith will make an impact if the repetition at camp pays off, which we would expect it to. Manningham and Nicks have loads of upside and the only question is whether the timing is going to be this year or not. So relax, something will stick. And just maybe a lot more than something.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bradshaw speaks

Giants.com interviewed Ahmad Bradshaw

On the opportunity this year to be the #2 behind Jacobs: (wide smile) "one of the biggest years of my life"

On the duties of the #2, catching out of the backfield, screens: "that is one of the biggest characteristics of my game, catching the ball, running outside the backfield, and being able to get around the edge. Our offensive coordinator is helping me and our offense do that."

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