Archive for October, 2008

Pat Hanlon: Burress will straighten out

October 31, 2008

Pat Hanlon, the Giants Director of Communications, was on Giants Online this week and offered some Burress remarks beyond the usual commentary: “I think you are going to see the actions of a man who is going to be a big part of this (push to another title). He is ready for the conversation about him to turn to what he is doing on the field.”

Everyone mentioned that Burress admitted to making some mistakes, which universally is understood as the first step in correcting them. But Hanlon put some of his own credibility on the line, going on the record and saying that BURRESS IS NOW COMMITTED TO TURNING IT AROUND. He did not have to do that, but obviously as a pr guy he knows that he needs to contain the damage and repair the image if possible. Cynics out there will say that that is his job. My read on Hanlon is that the guy is too in love with himself to attach himself and his credibility to a sinking ship. He is as close to the situation as anyone, so if he is going to come out and say that Burress is now going to focus on the field, I believe it.

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It’s all about the line of scrimmage

October 30, 2008
McKenzie, Snee, O’Hara, Seubert, and Diehl (out of picture) break from the huddle.


3 Running backs who could start for many teams
4 Wide Receivers who could start for many teams
1 QB who is poised, confident, calm, making less mistakes, making more great throws
1 solid Fullback
1 Tight End with great hands who can even move a little in traffic

AND FIVE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN WHO PLAY AS WELL TOGETHER AS WE HAVE SEEN SINCE PRE-FREE AGENCY.

The stats are gaudy. The Giants are third in the league in (lowest) sacks allowed, slightly less than one per game. The #1 Rushing Offense in the NFL. The #3 Overall Offense in YPG. #2 in Time of Possession.

(Oh by the way, the team is 27th in the league in red zone efficiency. I’ll let you connect that dot.)

Back to the offensive line, these guys have ALL been with one another for four consecutive seasons 2005-2008. Diehl 2003. Seubert (essentially back from injury in) 2005. O’Hara 2004. Snee 2004. McKenzie 2005. To say these guys have their communication down is an understatement. To watch them vs the Steeler blitz was impressive. Air tight. This is what I miss from pre-free agency, an offensive line that works as a unit. Continuity. Consistency. High level of play.

The Giants organization understands this, although I certainly had plenty of doubts about Accorsi when Fassel was around. They relied way too much on McNally to put together patchwork and ignored the OL for cap reasons. I contended that McNally’s presence was a crutch for the organization, because the allocation of resources their dwindled with every successive miracle McNally performed. McNally was practically Dr. Frankenstein, manufacturing linemen in his basement. (Seubert was one those who still remains).

You have to give Accorsi/Reese/Coughlin the credit for their work over the past four years in trying to keep these guys together. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE FIVE MEN AS A UNIT ARE GREATER THAN THE SUM OF THEIR PARTS. And they would be the first ones to tell you that. Simms this past Sunday singled them out as the reason why the Giants would win the game. Indeed, they were the difference.

Lack of depth at Tackle is the only blemish on this story. As long as Diehl and McKenzie are healthy the Giants OL should be fine, because we saw that Ruegamer can come in and plug the inside.

Let’s remember, the offensive line was the single most consistent unit last year also. And the OL is playing better than last year, if that is at all possible.

This weekend we get to see Diehl vs Ware. As long as the OL stays healthy the Giants are one of a handful of teams that can vie for the title.

some Giant remarks

October 29, 2008

1) Is Bradshaw a fumbler? He fumbled ‘twice’ vs SF and one of them was the ground causing the fumble, so yes he fumbled once. ALL Season. 29 touches. NOT ENOUGH DATA to make a conclusion. If he had two fumbles on 29 touches, there ‘might’ be cause for concern, if he had zero that would not be enough data there either. Give him the ball.

2) Ward works for me as well. He’s not as dynamic as Bradshaw but he is doing great, he hits the hole fast enough to get it done.

3) Jacobs is important, just not enough to get ~57% of the carries amongst the three of them.

4) I was out on an errand last evening and heard a caller on WFAN ask about David Carr. The host (I couldn’t tell you his name) shot down Carr like a clay pigeon. Dismissed him completely, said the Giants were totally done without Manning. I would not go that far. The caller and host started talking about how he stunk at Houston, and all I can think is that these two bozos are clueless… Houston? The most sacks in history? Tom Brady would have gotten killed in Houston, and my grandmother could QB this Giants team with how well the OL is playing. (Tomorrow’s post.) Of course Carr is a big dropoff, but he is much better than LorezenWrightWoodson et al. Our championship hopes would take a beating, but I think that the OL is playing so well right now that he would have a shot. Not a big shot, but a shot.

5) Speaking of OL, Diehl will be tested by DeMarcus Ware this weekend. He has trouble with the speed rusher, and Ware is at the top of his game (9 sacks). Just give him some help, because the rest of the DL for the Cowboys is not that great.

6) Tuck on the Cowboys: “They hate us, we hate them.” That is about it.

7) If I am Coughlin, I have the comments from Wade Phillips (last January) on the bulletin board that the terd made after “the best team” lost.

8) Motown Blue Burke- the two back alignment works for me, but the problem is that you are thinking logically. We’ll have none of that around here. Some of the people who want to get technical about it will tell you that (a) they use Hedgecock for the FB blocking duties and (b) Jacobs/Ward/Bradshaw don’t want to block for one another. Jacobs can be your FB (hey, he’ll get back to the line of scrimmage faster if he gets the call!), Jacobs can make punishing lead blocks anyway. ANYTHING TO SHAKE UP TENDENCY and keep’em guessing.

9) Witten has a broken rib but will play.Maybe Phillips can break another one. (and Wonder jokes the Giants should PREY the Cowboys actually are stupid enough to play him… they’ll hit him in the ribs one time and maybe put him on IR for the rest of the season… logically the Boys should sit him for this one week and give him 3 weeks rest thru the bye.)

10) In that same link there is a quickie about Jerry Jones being nominated for consideration into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ya kiddin’ me, right? He’s an owner the past ~20 years who has been a good businessman and marketing guy for his brand. But Hall Of Fame? More like gall and shame. Mara got in after ~70 years of involvement with the franchise.

11) The gmen are -9 over the Boys. The Ultimatenyg most-hated divisional rival was/is/and always will be the Eagles, but I do admit to having a special interest in seeing the Boys get buried this weekend. Perhaps it is because not only does winning mean a lot for our chances, but I really do want to see Phillips and Jones out of the playoffs… at 5-4 things will get a little tougher for that Wild Card. We’ll take a win by any score, but making a statement on Sunday would be nice.

Nitpickers Convention

October 28, 2008

1) Al Sharpton on Serby.

2) Joe Namath on the Jets.

3) Ultimatenyg for two years on doing it right. Rule #21 anyone? (and that was after 4 downs in a row with the penalty, not 3.)

4) Rule #8 and Rule #16 were discussed by one of the Ultimatenyg blog’s silent majority, Rob, a charter member of this blog from back when it was an email group of 15-20 Giants fans:

When the defense held Pitt on 4th down, we took over the ball with about two minutes left. One first down wins the game, and a play of 20 yards puts us in FG position.

Why not go for the throat and throw the ball on 1st down? The Steelers are expecting nothing but run. Line up for a run and throw the ball. Trust in Manning that if it isn’t there, he will take the sack and let the clock keep ticking and force the timeout ANYWAY. That is the perfect situation to cross up the defense. And you will have no better chance to succeed.

Instead, after a futile 3 and out, you see Gilbride on the sideline with Manning happy that they are leaving the game in the hands of our defense. Why do that? Why not try to get that next score or even that next first down and win?

That is being aggressive. That is playing to win. Don’t give them that last possession. The great coaches don’t let their opponents have extra chances. They play to win and not to lose.

As for the red zone, why not try a few of those plays with AB/Ward. Speed to the corner is deadly. Plus if you have to respect the corner, you can’t sell out to stack the middle. Let them have to gamble a little bit.

You make everything about you more potent when you are unpredictable. People are late getting to the point of attack, because they have to react instead of anticipate. The linebackers and safeties can’t cheat up because they don’t know if it is a run or pass and consequently, the first contact is a yard further behind the line, and there is more separation for a quality RB to make a cut.

Gilbride hinders the team. There is obviously something to lining up and punching someone in the mouth, but much like a fighter, there is a difference between a puncher and a boxer. A boxer can beat a puncher with strategy and technique. And it is much better to be a boxer and not always a puncher.

As for the Prevent Offense, granted Roethlisberger did not have the protection to “likely” pull off a miracle drive, but are you willing to take that chance? Would you feel the same way if Brees or Brady is back there? How many of you (the ones rolling their eyes for this being nitpicky) were there in the Meadowlands in October of 2003 when the Philadelphia Eagles had even LESS of a chance of winning the game than the Steelers (they had scored 7 points the whole game), and Fassel did the same thing, the RRRK. AND WE LOST!!! How? Because Brian Westbrook ran the punt back 84 yards (familiar distance? familiar punter?) for a TD. Game over. Bill Walsh never did the RRRK until the other team’s second string QB was in the game and it was completely over.

Re the boxer, The boxer does the play action to the TE and finds him WIDE OPEN because the Steelers are selling out with every possible body at the line of scrimmage. Maybe THIS is why we were going nuts at HALFTIME about the playcalling? Maybe if you tried the same playcall in Q1 or Q2 you’d have (a) one or two more TDs and (b) one or two LESS bodies selling out in future plays in that situation so that you’d score on the run. Sometimes a little less punching and little more boxing makes you a better puncher too.

WIN THE SUPER BOWL. WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. Psychoanalyze that.

New York Giants 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 14

October 27, 2008

Had it all the way. Not. Let’s see if we can recap the midgame rants in one sentence: Gilbride, you s***.

We are midway through the season, Jacobs has already lost that 1/4 or 1/2 step I mentioned, and now he is a tremendous liability in short yardage and the red zone. Not to mention how predictable the playcalling is on top of that. There might as well be a neon sign blinking above his head> “IT’S GOING TO ME, GUYS!” When Ward started getting more touches in the latter part of the second half, you could see the offense stop the stagnation. Like everyone has commented here numerous times, this is no KNOCK on Jacobs. It is on Gilbride’s delusional use of him when it is not working. And some of this he should have understood from the film room in NJ, not on Heinz Field. Jacobs matches well vs the softie defenses who are not ready for a fight. Against a physical team like the Steelers you still need to use him but not at the expense of Ward and/or Bradshaw. And will someone tell Gilbride to practice the dumpoff pass to the RB outlet on the checkdown? Ward and Bradshaw can kill teams like this with that stuff.

The officiating was HORRENDOUS. I will not go into the horrors of how we almost got completely screwed by the refs, because it would take a novella to list them all. Just understand that Gilbride’s incompetence makes these penalties really hurt, and if we lose a playoff game (or a bye or a playoff spot) because of it, it will NOT be about the penalties, it will be about Gilbride putting us in a position where the penalties CAN cost you.

Once again, the defense played valiantly. Butler giveth (TD) and taketh away (hit for INT by Kehl). The Steeler offensive line was seriously exposed by our pass rush and blitz. GOOD. Pierce was all over the field, he looked like he was back. If I were to mention all of the good players in today’s game from the defense it would be too lengthy. But at least let’s give a special shout out to unsung Tollefson.

The Giants OL was fantastic. Same old story, Gilbride is dealt the most amazing hand in the world, he has the straight on 5 cards and checks. He can run the ball and he can pass the ball, but instead he does what is predictable so that the defense can have a decent chance at stopping the poor playcall. How many times did he violate the Ultimatenyg tell, running on second down and 10 or less in a normal game environment after a first down pass? (He did it at least THREE times that I can recall.) If we are calling the plays from 600 miles away, ya think the Steelers might know what is coming? Ya think?

By the time we reach near the end of the game and we have been to the red zone about 6 million times (okay, so this was the 6th), OMG,

PLAY ACTION!

OMG

A PASS TO YOUR TE!

I am shocked to find him wide open in the end zone. Surprise, surprise, surprise Sergeant Carter!

Please do me one favor. Do not credit Gilbride for turning it around on that last drive for the TD. Do not give him the credit for waking the F up. When I saw that smile on his face standing next to Manning, like, look at me, ain’t we great?! I wanted to wipe that freaking smile right off his face. He is still so clueless, he probably thinks he coached a good game. SIX TRIPS TO THE RED ZONE???!!! YOU S***. You did exactly what we feared you would do, you piece of terd. The Giants won despite you. Take some responsibility for scoring and WINNING games instead of putting it ALL on the defense. YES, we have said it before and we will say it again and again. You can score 40 points EVERY SINGLE GAME. YOU COULD HAVE SCORED 40 today against a ‘so-called’ elite defense because your offense is loaded and it does not matter! It used to be Eli last year that was the weakest link, and we could understand how the offense would be as inconsistent as our emerging QB. NOW, it is Mr. Gilbride, Mr. Meathead, you are the weakest link on this offense and this team. Thank goodness we win despite you.

HOW APROPOS IT IS THAT WE WIN THE GAME ON A PLAY ACTION PASS TO THE TIGHT END?!!!!!

October 26, 2008

IF

October 26, 2008

IF WE LOSE THIS GAME, it will not be anyone’s fault on defense.
IF WE LOSE THIS GAME, it will all be on Gilbride wasting his offense.
IF WE WIN THIS GAME, it is DESPITE GILBRIDE.

3rd and short, the Giants hand off the ball to Jacobs, he is the WRONG RB, Ward OR Bradshaw would have made the first down. Typical Gilbride. GILBRIDE=VOMIT.

4 possessions in the red zone and 3 FGs…why? The answer is because..

October 26, 2008

they have the wrong running back in the game when they get into the red zone. Why did the Giants convert last week on 4th and 1 vs SF in the red zone? They brought in Bradshaw. EITHER WARD OR BRADSHAW NEEDS TO BE IN ALL THE TIME WHEN IN THE RED ZONE. Jacobs plays into the strength of this PIT defense which is slower and more physical. Jacobs is not the threat to this team and Ward and Bradshaw would be killing this team. I cannot keep track of all of the things that Gilbride has done wrong, but that has to be at the top of the list. Mike Martz would have 24 points already. Gilbride is a MORON. MEATHEAD MEATHEAD MEATHEAD.

I just spoke with Wonder: “The Giants are thoroughly outplaying the Steelers and they should still win this game, despite all the blown opptys so far. Re your analysis of Gilbride et al, kudos, you have it right.”

GILBRIDE IS THE WEAKEST LINK.

Phil Simms from London

October 26, 2008

Francesa: “Giants offense has not been crisp” (read between the lines, he says the Giants are the best team in the NFL right now, so that implies they are underachieving, hello Mr. Gilbride.)

World Series: they let the game start at 10:07PM after a 1:30 rain delay. The game ended at 1:50AM. Another fabulous job by MLB. What a freaking embarrassment. So many things that went wrong here. Why is the game starting at 830PM in the first place? They cannot postpone the game because there are not enough warm days left in the calendar because of all of the dilution and playoff games. And what about the simple fact that a 5-4 normal 9 inning game takes 3:43 mins? One large joke. A World Series game ends at 1:50AM. Pathetic excuse for a major league sport. This is your championship and the game ends at 1:50AM! Hellloooo??!!

PHIL SIMMS:

1) Sean Payton great playcaller. Brees terrific, protected well. Saints defense is the problem.
2) Saints have a lot of guys who have tested positive for this steroid cover. Impact from losing McAlister would be huge. (As Giants fans, perhaps it happens sooner than later, so that we see the team implode and get the higher #2 pick.)
3) For both Ben and Eli, they both will see blitz pressure. Both can do well if they get the protection. The 2 teams are very equal except in one place, the Giants OL. The Giants OL is a BIG difference, and that is why “the Giants will win the game.”
4) Colts will not come through vs the Titans on Mon night. Titans DL (read: Haynesworth) is overpowering… if they are overpowering against everyone, they will certainly be overpowering vs the Colts OL, so the Colts will lose.
5) Buffalo comes into MIA and will lose to MIA. Buffalo got dominated by the Raiders for 3.5 Qtrs, so it is hard for me to anoint Buffalo when I have not even seen them ‘dominate’ someone else.
6) Francessa reminded everyone that it was Phil Simms who quickly said when Romo first got hurt that Romo had to lay off playing, to rest and heal that injury or else he risked not getting ready to play. And how now the Cowboys have finally come around to that thinking and are holding Romo out until after the bye (Nov 16).
7) Dallas will not have the passing game vs the Bucs because the Bucs play very well in pass coverage. This means Dallas has to run the ball and be physical. “Dallas does not outhit anyone.” Conclusion- TB will beat Dallas in Dallas this weekend.

some odds and ends

October 26, 2008

1) in 2007, the Giants were in the bottom third of the league in penalties with ~5 ppg. In 2008 they are 4th with 7.5 ppg. Not good. Those stupid personal foul penalties are killing us, two (Burress, O’Hara) in the last game alone. Both are 100% selfishness. 4th in the league is back to Luke Petitgout days, that has to be cleaned up.

2) Burress is going to play… so does he give the gmen a great game today in his first visit back to Pittsburgh since coming the Giants? I’d like to think so, but we have not seen him and Manning on the same page since his suspension. I am cautiously optimistic he can get it together for this game.

3) With Santonio Holmes out, this means we are going to see a lot of Heath Miller. Miller is a very good TE. If we want to bump and run on Ward, that means Ward can get some over the top help. Which leaves the strong safety for Miller. Miller was the one who roasted Sammy Knight in the playoff game vs the Jags this past January. You have to expect we will be hearing his name called.

4) Pierce and Diehl have practiced and are “probable.” That means they are playing.

Summary: THERE ARE ZERO EXCUSES NOW. WE ARE HEALTHY. THEY ARE NOT. SMACK’EM IN THE MOUTH, TAKE THE GAME TO THEM AND WIN.