Archive for May, 2009

OTAs: 3 weeks of practices

May 31, 2009

Osi Umenyiora: “I feel explosive.”

Advertisements

Gilbride speaks to Giants.com

May 30, 2009

Our fearless offensive offensive coordinator sat down with John Schmeelk of Giants.com for a video interview

Giants.com:”Six out of the seven first picks are all on your side of the ball. That must have been pretty exciting for you!?!”

Kevin Gilbride:”It definitely is exciting, but maybe it’s an indictment of where we were at the end of last year…”

To be fair to Gilbride, the Giants picked up Canty, Boley, Bernard and Brown in free agency, so we were not surprised that Reese was going to put more draft picks on the offensive side of the ball. But all humor is based in truth, and Gilbride KNOWS he has to answer the critics. Coughlin knows as well.

There will be pressure to get Nicks involved this year. And there will be a lot of pressure on Moss, Manningham, Hixon and Tyree to produce. As evidenced by Gilbride’s admission, Steve Smith is the only player who is in a fairly clear position of having a sizeable role before camp starts.

When Gilbride discussed the RBs, it was clear that Ahmad Bradshaw was not going to get anything handed to him. Good. We may be the Bradshawlics, but Bradshaw needs to work for everything he gets, and that includes protecting the ball and earning those carries. If he takes care of business, he should earn that coveted #2 backup spot behind Jacobs and deliver dividends for the Giants. It will be his third year. No excuses.

Papa on Burress

May 29, 2009

Incredible. That noise you just heard is the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

If Bob Papa is correct, then Burress is truly his own worst nightmare. For him to pass up a deal with 3 months jail time and only 2 months served was another sign that this man is an ignoramus. This was precisely the deal he NEEDED to get back on the playing field in 2009. The expert criminologists concluded he was not being offered anything like this. For him to pass that up was mind-boggling. He could have still been a Giant if he took the deal, and get this… he would practically be out of jail by the time you are done reading this post!

The Giants have gotten back to business without this sideshow. This revelation is yet more evidence that the Giants made the correct move in cutting ties. You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. How do you deal with a person professionally when they behave irrationally ..all too frequently?! At a certain point you give up and move on. NEXT.

The best line from Papa: “He does not understand that he is not in any kind of position of leverage.”

And there you have it, in a nutshell, why Burress is his own worst enemy. We said that he continually shows poor judgment. He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Locker Room Voice

May 28, 2009

Q: Who is the voice of the Giants?

a) Antonio Pierce
b) Justin Tuck
c) Brandon Jacobs
d) Shaun O’Hara
e) Eli Manning

Well, this one is debatable. On any given day it may actually be any one of these people. Pierce is the spokesperson and onfield leader of the defense. Thomas George of NFL.com puts his vote here with AP.

But Pierce became noticably more quiet after gun-gate. And his unspectacular play has been less than leader-like. Jacobs is certainly the alpha male right now, the emotional pregame huddle guy who this blogger believes gets the nod.
Tuck is the young Pro Bowler who is speaking out more.

Don’t sell Eli completely short, as he is gaining in seniority. ALL of his WRs, TEs and RBs have less experience than him. And only O’Hara and McKenzie have more years.

Without getting too nostalgic, Strahan was THE voice. But that is the past. Given how short the career life of a RB is, combined with Pierce having seen his best days, and Tuck could become THE voice quicker than any of us think.

Is this discussion window dressing? Leadership is critical for championships. Strahan joked how old he was, still playing football in 2007. Yet he was the one who was stomping them out in the pregame huddle. There is never enough good leadership in the lockerroom, sidelines or on the field.

Around the league…

Still clueless after all of these years

May 27, 2009

This story would be sad if it were not so pathetically embarrassing. Baseball is going down like the Titanic and they think it is the damn iceberg that caused the wreck!

WAKE UP!

Interest in baseball is eroding because:
a) we’re tired of watching 38 pitching changes every inning
b) games last too long
c) the World Series ends at 1AM
d) steroids have made a mockery of the competition
e) you have to pay ridiculous prices to see overpaid athletes not run out ground balls
f) complete inequity between franchises
G) BUD SELIG IS TALKING TO FOX INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO THE FAN

We here at the Ultimatenyg NY Giants Football Blog will rip Roger Goodgrief just as soon as soon as we will rip Bud Sellout. Football, Baseball. The #1 important thing is to protect the quality of the game or else there is NO GAME. This is why we spent numerous posts bringing attention to fact that there is no free lunch in lengthening the NFL regular season. DILUTION is the cancer.

Reread the linked WSJ article at the top. FRIGHTENING! “Fox Sports spokeman Lou D’Ermilio confirmed network executives will head to Milwaukee next week to strategize with Commissioner Bud Selig about reversing the downward trends.” Strategize?! Are these guys kidding?! THIS IS OUTRIGHT DENIAL. Go tell Fox that the commissioner needs to rebuild the integrity of the game. That he needs to cut out all of the timeouts and speed the game up so that it lasts 2:20 minutes instead of 3:00. Fox? They would have a canary. They are part of the (Bud) Sellout a long time ago. In order for baseball to reverse this sinking ship they will need to do something radical… true bonafide acceptance of a problem. The headline says it all- “mysterious ratings slump.” Mysterious. Well, that is logical. How can two entities find a solution if THEY ARE THE PROBLEM?!

More odds and ends

May 25, 2009

The cost of obtaining Haynesworth may yet exceed 100M for the Redskins… possible tampering charge being investigated by the NFL.

Syracuse Orange play Big Red Cornell today at 1PM in the Lacrosse Championship. (Yes, this is what happens to football fans in May.) Cornell shocked UVA. (Automatic audio.)

Odds and Ends

May 24, 2009

Coughlin did not say anything particularly new in this video, but it does review the state of the gmen. (Audio kicks in automatically.)

Injuries? A longer NFL season? Here is reason 23b for why lengthening the NFL season is without foundation.

You know ticket price increases are coming. Better for the Giants to get revenue this way than raising tickets prices any more than they have to.

The NFL Network and Comcast

May 23, 2009

8 games.

Yes, the NFL Network has plenty of news coverage all year round, but in terms of original programming content, it has 8 games. So for the NFL Network to ask for 50M households to pay 75 to 80 cents per month is EGREGIOUS! Do the math.. that is $465M. This was going on for FIVE YEARS. Finally Goodgrief seems to have come to his senses and capitulated, getting 40 cents per household per month from 10M people on a digital classic subscription, which is $48M. This is the first sane move we have seen Goodgrief make. He came back to reality and realized that a fraction of something was bigger than 100% of nothing.

Corey Webster, Elder Stateman. The dynamics of the Defensive Line.

May 22, 2009

Mike Eisen of Giants.com writes an article on Madison and McQuarters no longer being with the Giants. But the story ends up being all about Corey Webster as the senior member of the backfield. Nothing like turnover of players in the NFL. Youth is served.

An interesting item from DL Coach Mike Waufle: “The thing that I believe is that in the National Football League it is too difficult to play the schedule and to play that many games and not get physically beaten up,” Waufle said. “If you watch film of everybody, you see that there is more physical hitting in September than there is at the end of the season. Because guys just get beat up. It is fact. I told the players that if we can do this, if we can remain unselfish, then we can be more durable at the end of the season. The plays that you do play, you should be more productive. Those three things – unselfishness, durability and you get a chance to more productive — then it is a good thing. All three of those are good things; positive things. When you are unselfish and a team player – that is what Coach (Tom) Coughlin preaches all of the time.”

If you want to get simple about 2007 and 2008: in 2007 the team had superior DL depth and was able to survive the loss of Kiwanuka, in 2008 the team did not have superior DL depth and could not survive the loss of (Strahan and) Umenyiora. I had an interesting conversation with a local friend who happens to be a Jet fan. I was able to articulate something that really crystalizes the NFL in 2009 more than ever… This game is not about 22 starters and your reserves. It is about 26 starters and your reserves, where the 11+11 starters also have 4 DLinemen who ARE going to see significant playing time throughout the year. ALL EIGHT DLINEMEN SEE PLENTY OF TIME.

UMENYIORA
KIWANUKA
COFIELD
ROBBINS
ALFORD
CANTY
BERNARD
TOLLEFSON
TUCK

Without getting too carried away, you could “start” two squads from here. GOOD. Because essentially these guys are ALL starters anyway, IF NOT IN NAME. Tuck, Cofield, Robbins.. these guys wore down last year. I’d carry all NINE of them on the roster if I could. ALL STARTERS.

Separately, Cutler. Ya think he could throw the ball in Dec and Jan in the Meadowlands?!

Over/Under for 2009

May 21, 2009

Here is a look at the 2009-2010 over/under numbers for team totals.

Giants 10.5
Cowboys 9.5
Eagles 9
Skins 8

My initial reaction is to buy the Eagles and sell the Cowboys. Sure, Owens was a circus distraction. But who does Romo throw to? Roy Williams and Jason Witten? They lost enough players, and as long as Wade Phillips is around, he provides more questions than answers. As we mentioned here before, Maclin can provide an immediate boost to the Eagles’ specials. I’ll bet that spread and take the Eagles +0.5 over the Cowboys.

This is the first time in recent memory seeing a number this high for the Giants. I think what impresses the professional bettors (remember, this Vegas line is about balancing the money, and that means the professionals who dominate this, NOT us the retail* money ) is that the Giants have been able to handle prosperity. Winning 12 games last year despite losing Shockey, Strahan, Wilson, Mitchell and Umenyiora.. AFTER a Super Bowl WIN.. got a lot of attention. So for a team that was one and done in the playoffs after a 12 win season, the professionals have to expect that the Giants are going to be competitive week-in-week-out.

If we walk through the Giants’ schedule, it is simply too early to map out wins and losses. There are too many players who have yet to get injured in preseason (for us and/or our opponents). Plus, the Giants play a total of 8 games vs teams who went to the playoffs last year and another 4 games against teams that were in the hunt. Too many variables. The only forecast we’ll make right here is the Eagles +0.5 over the Boys. We’ll check back on that when preseason is over for any updates.

Btw, did you see the Week 1 lines are already out?! (Click through the above link to find all 16 games.) The Giants are -5.5 over the Redksins.

* speaking about retail, perhaps the Boys are higher than we think because as “America’s Team” they get sufficient retail money bet on them from an inordinate amount of fans relative to other franchises.