Archive for June, 2007

Where have you gone, Franchise Linebacker, Giants Nation turns its lonely eyes to you…

June 23, 2007

On the http://www.giants.com website the following question was asked….

Which unit is the Giants strongest?
Offensive line
6%
Defensive line
49%
Linebackers
8%
Secondary
2%
Receivers
29%
Running backs
6%

How indicative and sad that WR is called our second best unit. But the reason why this makes perfect sense is ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES! When you pick up Sinorice Moss #2, when you pick up Steve Smith#2, when you pick up Burress in free agency, you are directing a lot of resources there. Hey, Justin Tuck#3, Umenyiora#2, Kiwanuka#1… it says a lot. SO WHY IS LINEBACKER SO IGNORED BY THIS FRANCHISE IN THE DRAFT? This is the systemic reason why this team’s defense (and overall performance) has suffered through the years.

23 YEARS AND COUNTING SINCE OUR LAST #1 LB was picked.
16 YEARS AND COUNTING SINCE OUR LAST #2 LB was picked.

Keep patching it together with free agents and WITHOUT draft picks and this is what you get. Early returns say Steve Smith looks very good. Another option for Manning to not get the ball to IN STRIDE. Wide receivers sell tickets and jerseys, Defense wins championships.

Minicamp Pt. 3: Inaccuracy and six interceptions

June 16, 2007

Still the weakest link. Gilbride’s squad looked lost. I am not sure what is worse, a retread head coach or a retread coordinator.

Minicamp Part 2: Mathias Kiwanuka

June 16, 2007

There are so many questions this year.. like how are we going to be ready at Left Tackle? Will Manning continue to flatline at a 75 QB rating? And this one:

How will it go for Kiwanuka moving from Defensive End to Linebacker?

From the media reports on minicamp, so far so good. Apparently he has spent MONTHS at Giants Stadium in the offseason learning the new position, working w the position coach, and most importantly getting informal tutoring from the glue and MVP of the defense.

Antonio Pierce.

Not only does Kiwanuka have to learn a new position, he has to learn a new defense as well. If this experiment works, I will be pleasantly surprised. Athletically Kiwanuka has the tools. Can he hit the ground running and not get taken to school badly during the regular season? No one knows the answer to that. IF THE EXPERIMENT WORKS, and the secondary gets a positive surprise from Ross or Webster, then the defense will be very good. If the experiment takes too much time, or injuries at defensive end forces Kiwanuka to move back to the line, then the Giants will be thin at LB… AGAIN. Lots of questions, waiting for answers. Welcome to 2007, and why a pragmatist has to be sober about this season.

Minicamp Update

June 15, 2007

1) Finn out for the year. Next stabilizer.
2) Coughlin asks players to talk less and play more. How about if Coughlin would rant less?
3) NY Times: “Coach just has a lot easier demeanor about him,” Strahan said. “When you look at him, you don’t get tense. Before, he just was a very intense fellow. But you look at him, you feel like you can go talk to him. He’s going to come over and joke with you.

“Before, we just didn’t have that rapport. As the years have gone by, the better the rapport has gotten. Guys enjoy playing for him. I can’t always say that, but now guys enjoy playing for him.”

My editorial comment on this is simple- (a) a necessary part of winning in the NFL is to have a coach that is going to get his players to play for him. (b) I have heard this olive branch/spin from the players before, and I am not sold on it. I think Coughlin is still a jerk, he needs to treat different players differently, and we are in another year of purgatory with him.

Shuttle Bus-ted

June 1, 2007

Football is becoming baseball. The football fan is getting dumped on. It comes in small doses. But it is like the erosion of a beach. Slow, insidious, relentless.

1) You can vote with your dollars and walk. Or take the shuttle bus. Seasons tickets holders with 1-5 seats are getting the ‘right’ to buy a parking pass for 10 games x $15 = $150 while Xanadu and the new stadium get built. The rest of us get sent to park in Osh Kosh and take the shuttle bus. Tailgating is a thing of the past, and getting home after the game will become a true joy.

2) “Flex” games sound like a great idea because they give the national audience a much better game. Problem is that these are tv concessions where the (overpaying) networks begin to ask for everything. And then, like dominoes, the other networks that lose those competitive games want better games too. So more games get flexed from 1pm to 4pm. Football keeps drifting to later starts which are not nearly as good to attend as the traditional 1PM game.

2) Flex games run amok. Out of 8 home games last season, THREE (38%) were moved. 3 x 77,000 fans = a lot of people whose schedules were bumped around. This is simply disrespectful of the paying audience. Mara remembered how the tickerholder paid the NFL’s bills. Now TV pays millions, Mara is dead and the ticketholder is less important.

4) Eagles fans were greeted with $5,000 dollar ticket licenses per seat when they got a new stadium. What will be the over/under on how much the Giants will be charging for theirs?

Insidious? Rules keep the game clock rolling more so that the same 3:00 hour game has more “tv timeouts” that disrupt the flow of the game. This is a great game but we are losing it to the Snyders of the world who want every dollar out of their investment now with no future for the sport. I laughed when Snyder started charging $10 to fans for attending preseason camp practices. What a total f’g jerk. And the joke was on him when that meant that other teams could now ‘pay’ to attend and scout his team! But the lesson is that you need to speak out about these practices or else we are going to lose this great sport.