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Friday, September 25, 2009

Kenny Phillips Fallout

Phillips is out for the year. I really did not want to even post today. Losing Osi last August was worse than this, but this is up there. Francesa said it is big, very big. He did not back away, kept on repeating how big a loss this is for the Giants. And he is right.

A quick word on Phillips- this injury could mean his playing days are in jeopardy. This is no layup. Good luck to him and may he successfully rehab his knee.

This blog is about one thing- championships. Can we win a title without Kenny Phillips. It will be much harder, but not impossible. It means we will need more help from the offense, and that means we'll need Gilbride to remove his head from his butt and get this offense to operate at great efficiency while the defense gets out of intensive care.

Let's list the problems that need to be addressed in order for the Giants to win a title in 2009-10:
1) GET HEALTHY
2) FIX THE RED ZONE
3) FIX SHORT YARDAGE
4) PATCH UP SAFETY
5) FIX THE RUN DEFENSE
6) FIX KICKOFFS
7) FIX KICKOFF COVERAGE

Safety is not, I repeat NOT, a critical position on the field. These guys are some of the lowest salaried people in the league. But go try telling that to the Steelers after they lost Troy Polamalu. Or the Colts w/o Sanders. When you have a player like Phillips who was coming into his own this year (See link above, Coughlin said he was on course for a Pro Bowl season) IT IS A BIG LOSS. But this loss is not a death blow.

HOWEVER> IF the other problems listed above are NOT addressed satisfactorily, the loss of Phillips WILL be a death blow.

There are simply too many things that need to be straightened out before the Giants can be considered contenders. Fwiw, Wonder still thinks the Giants will win the next 3 games with the B team. IF, IF the Giants can GET HEALTHY, IMPROVE THE RED ZONE EVEN MODESTLY, FIX THE GAP/LANE RESPONSIBILITIES ON DL, GET HIXON BACK ON KICKOFFS in time for the Saints, there is a reasonable expectation the team can be 4-1 at worst, or 5-0 and be in a position to move forward.

How many losses on Defense can the team get handed before the whole ship implodes? Alford, Phillips, ... Canty, Tuck, Boley, Ross, Dockery. Folks, that is almost an entire unit! Let's take care of TB this weekend, buy some more time, fix the problems, get people back healthy, keep improving and somehow get to the point where the team can legitimately vie for a title. The season is very early. That is the opportunity. Potential.

We saved the best for last. I am not going to link to everything that was said here on the blog, the regulars know this to be true. We asked for help at Safety 1) before the Draft 2) after the Draft 3) warned about it before Camp as one of 5 issues for the team 4) during camp when we saw CC Brown 5) after camp was over when the roster only had 3 safeties 6) again after seeing CC Brown vs the Redskins AND 7)THEN FINALLY WHEN IT WAS DISCLOSED THAT PHILLIPS WOULD POSSIBLY BE PLAYING INJURED ALL SEASON. Reese has done a great many things right, but he blew it here. There may have been slim pickings out around the league, but this was not a new problem. Now we have a guy named Aaron Rouse (Wonder: "decent fill-in, obviously no star") as the PRIMARY backup on Sunday and he has never worn a Giants jersey. This was not handled well, not at all. Maybe in the next 3 weeks CC Brown will learn the defense well enough to at least be okay out there. If we were playing Brees this weekend, it would be a clinic.

15 comments:

Oxbay said...

I feel bad for Kenny Phillips. I wish I could say I don't feel worse for the Giants but it wouldn't be true.

Maybe they'll put one of their corners at safety often enough to mask the weakness.

Pastime Princess said...

Justin Tuck may or may not play this weekend. He wants to play but it might not be the smartest thing to do. Eli should go to him and say, "sit and rest, we got your back Sunday. We are going to hang 40+ on these guys this weekend."

It will not happen but wouldn't it be great if it did.

Mitch said...

It's Week 3 and this team is almost at a breaking point with injuries.

This has to stop now! If not, then our season will be over before it even got started.

CC Brown is starting on Sunday....'nuff said.

CC is a 4 year journeyman who plays too aggressively. He has to temper that trait and start playing smarter.

Oxbay, I don't think the Giants will mover a corner. That potentially weakens a proven area in an attempt to shore up another. Unless we can trade a middle round pick for next year to get a proven safety. (highly unlikely) Last time I checked there are no Ed Reeds, Troy Palamalus or Bob Sanders on the horizon.

Unless Jerry Reese can work something, this is our team.

Injury wise, this is starting to look like Jim Fassel's last year as coach when we were literally picking up players off the street.

Do I sound depressed? Yes I am. But tonight, I'll forget because I'll be at the Stadium to see Yankees-Red Sox. I'll be able to get my aggression out there tonight for sure. Magic# is 5.

Pastime Princess said...

Real good article by Jenny on Phillips injury

YanksFan13 said...

I posted this comment in the last blog post...but ill post it here again:

I'm getting sick of all these injuries. It seems like we ALWAYS have more injuries then most other teams.

Canty was healthy his whole career now he all of a sudden cant get on the field. Now Phillips is out? Hixon is always pulling muscles and missing games. Ross is always pulling muscles and constantly injured. Boley, Tuck, Alford, Dockery--last year Robbins had his microfracture surgery.

It seems especially the last 2 years this team is just one injury after another.

Im so frustrated--I dont know who's to blame or if its just bad luck. But it just seems like injuries are always such a huge problem for us.

Is it the training staff? bad luck? combo of the two?

Pastime Princess said...

Yanksfan13
Just be glad you’re not an Eagles fan. When was the last time those idiots didn't lose like 5 starters to IR?
Stuff happens. I don't see the Giants having it any worse than others. All the nicks and bruises are a pain but that’s life in the NFL. What you really need to be concerned about is the IR list. You can't put too many guys like Phillips on that list before you are done for the year.

Elliot said...

This year is actually different than others in that the depth is being tested early. So there are really two ways this will go: Either the injuries and issues will build upon themselves and this will be a lost year, or the team will work through this and be the better for it later on even greater back-end depth than expected.

As an optimist, I have to go with the latter. What goes around, comes around. We're just going through the usual spate of injuries now rather than later.

xtian said...

i think losing phillips is bigger than losing osi last year because we still had tuck and kiwi as starters at de. at safety we have johnson and cc--no one near pro-bowl. i know the 86 team won after losing previous #1 pick kinard and having the savy limited welch replace him, whom elway killed, btw.

i would compare this to the steelers polamalo more than sanders on the colts because the steelers have a solid defense throughout whereas the colts don't. either way, their teams just aren't the same.

i don't like and disagree with the disrespect safety gets nowadays. they make receivers drop the ball over the middle and stop any long runs.

andy i even suggested drafting a safety w/ our #1 if there was another phillips type--but there wasn't. [the redskins would have had landry and taylor!] just imagine that!

i think losing philips really hurts our chances.

Raymond Sultan said...

As I see it, the season is now entirely in the hands of the offensive line and, to a lesser extent, of Eli. If the line can get back to run-blocking the way they did last year, and keep giving Eli time to find the (incredibly exciting) young receivers, the Giants might be OK. They should very seriously consider the way the Dolphins played the Colts the other night (minus crapping out at the end, of course.) If they can dominate the clock every week--and score touchdowns at the end of long drives, for my sanity's sake--they can at least keep the thin defense incredibly fresh. Simply not letting other teams play offense might be the best way for them to win moving forward this season. If I'm Coughlin, I'm telling the offense that we're setting a goal of 45 minutes of time of possession this week.

Bob said...

Andy
I agree with your final comments. As great as Reese has been, I think he missed it completely here. With the plan for Phillips & Johnson to be the Starters for 2009, we needed 2 reasonable backups , knowing Phillips had knee issues + the wear & tear on these guys . Although Butler wasn't great, he was probably average & knew the system. Letting him go without a better replacement in hand was the first mistake. Then Reese went into free agency looking for a bargain & got CC Brown,who appears to be a liability. I don't understand why Reese wasn't looking for a backup weeks ago,in light of Phillips knee issues.

Is it more important to be carrying 7 WR's ....surely not.
Especially when we've got underutilized Kevin Boss & Beckum.

Looks to me like we should be moving over a CB to S as soon as
Ross & Dockery get healthy. The talk of finding a high quality S in free agency is comical, everyone wants one.

The other current ticking TIME BOMB
is going into 90 degree Tampa Bay with only 3 DT's this weekend. Again, do we really need 7 WR's this W/E or another DT in the rotation ?

Cody said...

I'm trying to be cool with this one. Injuries happen to each and every team. They're always a bummer and this one definitely hurts quite a bit.

Yeah; it's awful. It's a tough loss and Kenny was really coming into his own. He's a great kid and it's really sad that so many people are spouting hearsay about the extent of his injury. I wish I could write him a letter or something and tell him to keep his head up. He's 22 years old and by some of the accounts I've read about this it sounds like he can bounce back from it.

Think back to the 2007 season when the NY Giants won the Super Bowl basically with Gibril Wilson (a journeyman who got cut by the team that signed him off the GMen and now can't even get on the field with the 'Fins) and Michael Johnson, a rookie 7th rd draft pick. Everything I have read suggests that the S position in the Giants defensive scheme is not as important as it is in other defensive schemes. I'd argue that CB is *FAR* more important, given the D pressure schemes that the Giants utilize - ie the CB's are in tight man coverage on the WR's - which theoretically gives the DL and LB's time to get to the QB. The S's really play centerfield back there.

I'll say this much: I'd be singing a completely different tune this morning if the injury was to Snee or O'Hara.

So in actuality, Kenny was a wonderful luxury for the team; but the Gmen shall perservere! I have faith in Coughlin and Sheridan's ability to fully utilize the other 10 positions on the D and for the next three games mask the S's until they're in a position to start making plays.

And the good news is this: just like Plaxico and Amani's absence gave Hixon a chance to shine; and just like Hixon's injuries gave Manningham a chance to come into his own...the fact that Kenny Phillips is not lining up back there will absolutely give CC Brown or Rouse a solid, "once-in-a-career" opportunity to shine on a tremendous national stage for a true NFC contender (which, make no mistake, this team definitely still is). And one of those two, or both, will step up and shine and take advantage of this opportunity.

All is not lost, true believers!

Russ Wellen said...

Somebody probably mentioned this already, but in case they didn't, let's remember that after Terry Kinard went down, the Giants won the '86 Superbowl with Herb Welch.

Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that the last game wasn't Kenny's "I'll always have Dallas."

Andrew said...

I just wrote an article over here on Giants Gab that outlines a need to change the training methodology for teams like the Giants and Mets to include more stretching routines to prevent injuries, such as Yoga:

http://www.giantsgab.com/2009/09/25/a-tempered-reaction-to-kenny-phillips-news/

please check it out if you haven't already. If you're a Giants fan that wants your players healthy -- Yoga and deep stretching routines are the types of things that need to get into the heads of the Giants medical staff. It's obvious we need to make a stink about it because they are out of ideas.

Mitch said...

Andrew...

It certainly couldn't hurt.

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