Archive for April, 2007

Kiwanuka is moving to LB

April 30, 2007

KIWANUKA IS BIG, and this story is bigger. The poker playing is obvious… by disclosing this AFTER the draft the Giants were able to look at whatever was out there and be a little more flexible. My perception is that if the Giants had found a LB (Wilson trade going through, draft) that this would not have happened. Kiwanuka, Strahan and Umenyiora all deserve to be on the field at the same time. To line up Kiwanuka on the strong side versus the TE is a logical place, because what this will do is give the Giants 5 rushers. But I have to think that Kiwanuka is simply too big to go into any serious pass coverage. The Giants dropped him into coverage INFREQUENTLY last year simply to keep opposing offensive schemes off-balance. Kiwanuka is going to have to lose 10 lbs to keep up w the TE- he is listed at 265.

Separately, I like the DeOssie pick… Steve DeOssie’s son, if anything like his father he will overachieve and be a keeper.

Advertisements

yet more WRs

April 29, 2007

and then the Giants signed Burress in free agency, and it was not enough. and then the Giants drafted Moss, and it was not enough. and then the Giants drafted Smith, and …

It will never be enough.

Wide receivers do not win championships. Apparently this former Wide Receivers coach feels the need to have weapons for Manning, as if that is the antedote to the team’s woes on offense. On offense, this team needs an accurate QB and a Left Tackle. It could have used Leonard (picked immediately thereafter) for the dump off passes that would lift Manning’s putrid completion percentage. But what it needs most is defense. We picked up a DT in the 3rd round. VG. But WR in round two? Unless Steve Smith becomes a household name (consistent Pro Bowler), the pick is failure. It is a misallocation of resources, assuming there is a reasonable amount of SIMILAR talent available at other positions at that time.

Defense wins championships. Even the Indianapolis Colts, the Manning to Harrison dream WR blueprint… was NOT a WR Super Bowl blueprint. It was Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes (ground game) and Bob Sanders (defense) that won the Colts a Super Bowl.

Aaron Ross

April 28, 2007

Seems like a solid and logical first pick. Let’s get one thing straight here.. the Giants had a GOOD spot at #20 as they had plenty to pick and choose from. So they let the draft come to them and did fine. I would have gone apesh*t if they did what Miami did at #9. TRADE DOWN! In fact, I will go one step further and say that if the Giants had decided to trade down, that would have been fine too. But at #20 they got enuf value already and he certainly addresses one of three key needs (LB, CB, and LT). Note that Ross was picked not only for his CB position but also for returns on specials as well.

The item that intrigues me is that Ross started only one season w Texas. That tells me he is not close to his potential. His age (25) seems to be the only downside, of which Reese (see below) says is “nitpicking.”

From the Star Ledger:

General manager Jerry Reese said Ross (a half inch over six feet and 193 pounds) is a press corner who “fits our scheme” and is suited to play against bigger receivers.
“A big guy with long arms who can play that press coverage that our coordinator (Steve Spagnuolo) thinks that we’re probably going to play more of,” Reese said of Ross. “He fits what we wanted to do. He was productive (last season) — six interceptions, 19 pass break-ups.” Ross comes with two red flags: He was a full-time starter for just one season and will turn 25 in early September because he was forced to sit out two seasons for academic/transfer reasons. “Twenty-five, that’s not old,” Reese said. “We’re not worried about that. That’s not an issue for us. That’s nitpicking.” Reese said last week the players the Giants brought in for visits were players in which they were legitimately interested. Ross, however, was not among those who visited. “If it was a poker game, they won,” Ross said on a conference call with reporters.

Ross was out playing catch with his nephew when the Giants picked him. “My mom called me because I guess they had my name at the bottom of the screen as a projection or something,” he said. “I went in and got the call. And immediately, my hands started shaking, my heart started pounding. I’m full of excitement right now.”
Ross’ arrival means Sam Madison, who turned 33 last week, must start looking and playing younger to keep his starting right corner job. “I’m a competitor, so I’m not coming there to sit on the bench,” Ross said. “I’m coming in to battle for a position but of course respect the veteran players.”

Reese said the team tried to trade up toward the middle of the first round because a few corners started to drop further than they expected. Those corners were Darrelle Revis from Pitt and Leon Hall from Michigan. The Jets traded up with the Panthers at No. 14 to take Revis and Hall went to the Bengals at No. 18. “They wanted too much for us to move up and we just decided, ‘You know what, we’ll just stay with the plan,” Reese said. Ross averged 11.8 yards per punt return at Texas and had three returns for touchdowns. He’ll compete with R.W. McQuarters, Sinorice Moss and Michael Jennings for return duties this year. “He has a good first step,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He’s a guy who has the ability to split and go for it. (He) has good size and has very good speed.”

Pat Kirwan: There are a few teams right behind this selection that are upset. He was the target of a lot of teams in the bottom of the first round. Good ball hawk with 10 INTs and 33 passes defended. He was the third corner on everyone’s board. We’re in the middle of a run on defense.

Gil Brandt: Aaron Ross is an older player (25); he spent two years waiting to get cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse to play at Texas. He is a skilled man-coverage corner and also is a very, very good kick returner. He played with injuries this year and still played extremely well.

Vic Carucci: The Giants have to be thrilled. They stayed put and waited for a high-quality player at an area of need to fall to them. Certainly, they could have gone with a linebacker, but Ross was higher rated than any linebacker left on the board. He is an outstanding player, although he might take a few too many gambles in coverage for Tom Coughlin’s liking.

ESPN: The Giants got an excellent pick in Ross. He possesses a very good blend of size, speed, instincts and ball skills. If he develops as expected, he’ll emerge as a playmaking starter at in the NFL.

MARVELOUS IDEAS

April 22, 2007

Every April, yours truly consults with the resident encyclopedia on college football talent for NY Giants draft ideas. Question- Marvelous, what kind of people can we be looking at that are good men at #20?

Marvelous:
RB Marshawn Lynch [California]
OT Joe Staley [Central Mich]
S Reggie Nelson [Fla]
CB Chris Houston [Ark]
CB Darrelle Revis [Pitt]
LB Lawrence Timmons [Fla St]
CB Aaron Ross [Texas]
LB Paul Posluszney [Penn St]
LB Patrick Willis [Miss]
DT Justin Harrell [Tenn]
LB David Harris [Mich]
CB Jonathon Wade [Tenn]
LB Anthony Waters [Clemson]

And Marvelous adds: “I LOVE CB Leon Hall [Mich] but he will not be there!! Neither will RB Marshawn Lynch of Cal (a brilliant RB!!) Probably CB’s Revis of Pittsburgh & Ross of Texas will also be gone BUT- How do we know what other teams do before us??”

A note on Marvelous. For those of you unfamiliar with his knowledge, let me relate one of my favorite stories…. It was January 2002.
Andy: “I am so sick of our woefulness at TE. Howard Cross at TE is a nice blocker but he is killing us because he allows the defense (strong safety) to freelance. Are there any TEs we can look to in April to draft?”
Marvelous: “Where do we pick?”
Andy: “Right in the middle, figure around 16.” (Note- we had the 15th pick)
Marvelous: “Well, there is a guy named Shockey, but he won’t be there at 15, he is definitely going in the Top 10. He’ll be gone (by the time the Giants pick).”
Andy: “That sucks. We need a TE desperately. He is that good?”
Marvelous: “He’s a freak of nature. Big, fast, very good hands, does not drop a ball, from Miami.”
Andy: “Too bad we won’t be able to get him.”

Fast forward three months later. With the 10th pick in the draft the Arizona Cardinals pick….. Offensive lineman Levi Jones. We are going WILD because we know the next 3 or 4 teams will not be drafting TEs. We get to 14 and the Giants trade up 1 pick to get… Jeremy Shockey.

Why was this significant? Because Marvelous knew this guy was the real deal, and it also filled a huge need simultaneously.. a rarity. WHO WAS THE GIANTS PREVIOUS #1 PICK that was sent to the Pro Bowl? You had to go back to Rodney Hampton, the last pick of the first round, taken in 1991! So for the record, Marvelous does not get too excited about Giant #1 picks, and given that we have picked only ONE Pro Bowl player in the past SIXTEEN YEARS, it says something. (It says TRADE DOWN YOU BLIND BATS! The best move of the entire draft last year was the Giants dropping down 7 picks to 32. Marvelous, fwiw, was keen on DeMeco Ryans… who I might add, as a rookie MLB made 125 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Ryans went immediately after the Giants, the 33rd pick (1st pick second round).)

WR

April 22, 2007

The article linked in the right column (“LINK LIST”) discusses the pros and cons of drafting high for a WR. Anecdotally it proves my point that the first round is not a necessity for this position. There will be some very good WRs again in the first round, guys like Johnson and Meachem (a guy that Harold likes for the G-men if he is available at #20). But I will be disappointed if the Giants go that direction.

WRs are visible players who can put the ball in the end zone. Everyone discusses the aging of Toomer, the failure of Carter etc translating to need in that position. BULLBLEEP! Take a freakin’ number! We picked up Burress, we traded UP to draft Sinorice Moss in the high second round. ENOUGH! Enough resources already have been WASTED at that position, and we do not have a QB anyway that can get it to them accurately. So take care of defense and maybe our caretaker QB can be required to do less in order to win us a Super Bowl.

How many of these 98.6 degree bodies did YOU hear of?

April 15, 2007

DT Marcus Bell, DB Michael Stone, QB Anthony Wright, K Marc Hickok, P Cory Ohnesorge. WTF are these people? I’ll tell you who these people are- they are “stabilizers.” Please please I hope and pray that Reese has a plan.

DEFENSIVE mindset for the draft

April 14, 2007

We must rid ourselves of the offensive head coaches and return to our defensive roots. This is why I highlight the absence of a LB as a first round pick.

a) when you pick at #20, all of the ‘expert’ analysis is mostly gone and out the window… all it takes is one player, LB or otherwise.
b) in the first round you ALWAYS draft for TALENT. Go for the impact player and get the role players in later rounds to work around HIM. You do not draft a “versatile” player.. that means he’s a tweener, and the first round is about finding a DOMINANT player at a SPECIFIC position.
c) when I say pick a LB, I merely point out that in a macro sense that we have lost our defensive identity over the past 15 years. the only time we had one was when NOT COINCIDENTALLY Armstead was there growing into (and being) that dominant player. Strahan, Sehorn and Armstead was the three-headed monster in 1997 that was the second best defense we have ever had (in my lifetime). Getting guys like Barrow and Pierce are savers… they lose another year of their prime getting into your system so you only get that 2-3 years of juice and then they are already going downhill. If they are a part of your draft they give you 6 years of dominance.
d) I really like going back to statistics…. in theory over the past 23 years the draft has been equally weighted with the same talent level in all positions. So how can it be that a position that has 3/22nds (or even 4/22nds!) of your team be 1/24th (or 0/23rds) of your 1st rounders?!!! There is obviously systematic neglect. And this is because we have had FOUR SUCCESSIVE OFFENSIVE HEAD COACHES. These f’g idiots draft high WRs (in the first, 2nd, 3rd rounds) when wide receivers today (more than ever) are meathead loser primadonas that do not control the game the way a defensive end, linebacker, left tackle, and quarterback do. If anything, LBs should have an even GREATER weighting, because teams do not normally draft guards and safeties and fullbacks in the first round.

We won two Super Bowls with guys named Manuel, Johnson, Robinson, Baker and Ingram. Only one of those was a first rounder (#28 1987), and he was not exactly an impact player either.

1991-present (offensive identity)
HANDLEY (running backs)
REEVES (running backs)
FASSEL (quarterbacks)
COUGHLIN (wide receivers)

1983-1991 (defensive identity)
… Parcells (linebackers)

This is not a coincidence. This is one of the main reasons why imo we are not winning a Super Bowl until we can get a defensive coordinator back in there as our new head coach. This is about architecture. Defensive coordinators know how to build good houses. They play good defense, control the game, and when they get close they pick up a fringe WR who is good enough to put them over the top.

e) There is even more irony here… think about guys like David Patten and Joe Jurevicius. They came from our system and then got picked up for Super Bowls (NE, TB) ELSEWHERE. Interesting how the Eagles picked up Stallworth; if not for a few injuries they could have WON THE WHOLE THING last season. WRs are not building blocks. They are pickups.

Schedu-hell

April 14, 2007

3 evening games and 1 415pm. And two of the evening games are scheduled at the end of December. How do they want fans to go to games when you get the Meadowlands winds at 11PM in late December? Freezing rain. A cold front. More ‘flex’ games where the NFL bumps you unexpectedly to the evening. Start without me. The NFL is slowly but surely whoring itself out to the television ratings (West Coast, primetime) to the point where the 1PM game is going to be extinct. To quote Andy L., Wellington Mara must be rolling in his grave.

1984

April 11, 2007

NO, not George Orwell. Not Van Halen. This is a Giants blog! When was the last time the Giants picked a linebacker in the first round? You are so smart!- 23 years ago in 1984… Carl Banks.

TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO! HOW SAD IS THAT?!!!! Don’t you think it is high time we picked a LB? Considering there are 7 major food groups (WR/TE, OL, QB, RB, DL, LB, S/CB), we should have picked more than one LB in the last 23 years at that impact spot. We have gone WR-happy and this is the cost: a defense that is without an identity. By some miracle we had a pro bowler out of the 8th round named Jessie Armstead, but those kinds of things happen to a franchise about once every 5 or 10 years, if you are lucky. So quit the prayers and stop with the Thomas Lewises, the Hilliards, the Tim Carters and Amani Toomers and Brian Alfords, the Sinorice Mosses and Joe Jurevicious WRs. I have just mentioned SEVEN WRs that went before we took a SINGLE LB the past ~13 or so years! We have used free agency to snap up Barrow and Pierce, or else we would be total dung. DRAFT A LB, prioritize defense.

Drafting for Nerds

April 6, 2007

On the right side is a link to a very good article which includes a draft value chart.(addendum.. the NFL took down the article from its site, but the values are available on the February 25, 2008 posting linked here.)

We cannot change the past. Manning is our QB. Let’s be fair to Accorsi and look at the numbers. What is a first round choice worth? If you answered 1000 points, the value for the 16th selection, that is incorrect. If you answered 975 points, the midpoint of the 16th and 17th pick, you are getting closer, but you are STILL incorrect. The correct answer is 1157. That is the expected value of the 32 picks (summed and then) divided by 32. We need to know that because the Giants gave up the next year’s #1. But is THAT fair either? We are talking about a 4-12 team, a new coach, new schemes the players will need to use, and likely a new QB that will not be sending his team to a winning record. Without stats for the next year’s record (or better yet, the draft spot) of a 4-12 team, we can fairly assume they will be something like 6-10 and get the 12th pick. That falls at 1200. And considering that #13 is 1150 (7 points BELOW our 1157 math), I think 1200 is fair. Add the #3 pick at the same position (210), this year’s #1 and #5 (1800 +40), and your total is 3250. The Giants received 3000. So the Giants overpaid by 250, which is equivalent to a high 3rd rounder.
Fwiw, if you used the 16-17 midpoint, your sum is 975+187+1800+40= 3002. I would not be surprised if this is how Ernie botched, er I mean added it up.