Archive for June, 2009

Terrell Owens exit explained

June 30, 2009

Jerry Jones’ son Stephen made some candid remarks to Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports on why Terrell Owens was released:

“It’s hard (for Tony Romo) to take over leadership when you’ve got a strong personality like Terrell,” Jones said. “If you look back at our old teams [from the 1990s], a lot of people would say maybe Michael [Irvin] was the leader. Then you might say, ‘He was a receiver. What about Troy [Aikman]? He was the quarterback. Wasn’t he the leader?’ And the answer is, yeah, Troy was a leader. But if Michael wasn’t supportive of him, Troy would’ve had problems.

“A lot of our players thought the world of Terrell – they still do. They loved the way he prepared and how hard he played, and everybody respected his skills and what he’d done in the league. And with him here, I think he was always going to carry that kind of weight.”

For a 1 year contract, all Owens can do is one thing: play football. The Bills did fine. This is a game of hearts- shoot the moon.

Jerry Reese comments

June 29, 2009

Jerry Reese did Q&A with Giants fans. Bob Papa moderated.

Re expanding the season to 18 games: “Still in the early stages.. a lot of red tape.. Players Union will have to sign off on a lot of stuff. If you go to a longer season you will have to expand your roster a little bit.”

“Mario (Manningham) has really come on.. He really looked fast during the minicamps and OTA’s. Just talking to Eli, after a couple of practices, you really have to get the ball out quick to get it to Manningham, he comes out of his routes so fast.. We are really excited about him.. We expect him to have a breakout season for us.”

First, note how Reese mentions how the roster gets expanded as soon as they go to more games. So now teams would have a ~57 man roster instead of a 53 man roster, so the extra ~4 players you add would be the weakest players the coaches would select, the ones on the fringe. And these guys are going to play LATER in the season when the first 53 can no longer field a team. This is precisely the dilution of the quality of the game we talk about. This is tangible evidence that the game suffers when you increase the length of the season.

Second, strong words from our GM on Manningham. Positive sign.

NFL Network Scam

June 27, 2009

We may be NFL fans who love the product. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree to sit idly by while the NFL sucks money like a leach from the public at large.

In the past we have ripped the NFL Network for making egregious money grabs in their cable deals. This morning the WSJ gives us some hard data to back up our claims.

Estimated Annual Affiliate Revenue divided by average household viewers over a 24 hour period:

NFL Network $6,642
ESPN Classic $3,781
Fuse $2,920
Military Channl $655
Arts & Entrtmt $456
Comedy Central $306
Home & Garden $249
Source: SNL Kagan

Can you imagine what the NFL Network was trying to get from Comcast by putting it on the first tier? Every man, woman and child paying top dollar standard cable money for football programming that most (even us, the football hardcores) do not even watch? Finally we get to see the numbers in their gaudy excess- are we shocked that the NFL Network is the #1 overcharger per eyeball? Of course not!

“But what distorts the picture is the absence of correlation between the size of the fees paid to the individual cable channels and their audiences.”

18 game seasons, egregious cable contracts, PSLs… the NFL is after growth THROUGH ANY MEANS and it has a bullseye on YOUR wallet. Hold on tight, here comes the smash and grab.

Burress vs Goodell

June 27, 2009

Maybe we can see Goodell do the same thing to Burress that Burress is trying to do to the NFL. PB’s attorneys are trying to stall the courts for so long that PB plays in 2009 while he waits. Now perhaps Goodell is going to so the same thing… initiate investigations and hold hearings that will last long enough to delay any new team from signing him. End result, a stall where the Jets/Bucs/Bears see PB2009 as distasteful and not worth it after missing camp next month.

Who is Cliff Avril?

June 26, 2009

The 2009 NFL draft ink is barely dry, and they are already making comments. But it is far-fetched to draw too many conclusions this quickly.

It will still take a while to see just how good Wonder’s Draft Analysis was for 2008. But some early returns are in, so we will cherry-pick…

One player touted in EIGHT POSTS was Cliff Avril. Wonder wanted the Giants to take him at the end of Round 2 (one of four players that were acceptable) and he went out of his way to remind everyone how well the Lions did by getting the LB/DE. IN APRIL 2008. Fast forward to June 2009:

Defensively, Lions pass rusher Cliff Avril tied for the rookie lead in sacks (five) and led all first-year players with four forced fumbles, but was only a third-round pick. The two defensive linemen who tied Avril with five sacks were drafted in the second (Tennessee’s Jason Jones) and sixth rounds (Oakland’s Trevor Scott).

Boley out 8-10 weeks, Part 2

June 25, 2009

Yesterday we learned that Boley had hip surgery and is out 8-10 weeks. Is this the death of this LBer’s 2009 season? I’m feel like I am going through the 5 stages of grief.

Anger- What the brown? Browning LBers!?!!! Let’s blow them all up and start over.

Denial- How can he need SURGERY WHEN HE HASN’T EVEN HAD CONTACT WITH ANYONE YET?

Bargaining- I’ll trade you a Boley hip, a Sintim hamstring and a damaged goods Wilkinson for ONE healthy LBer.

Depression- What I am going through right now. I thought having a FAST LBer behind this potentially awesome DL would have meant a possibly dominating defense. How can this defense be dominating if Boley is barely going to get enough reps to be out on the field, nonetheless making an impact?! Everything is predicated on TIME. It simply, realistically takes TIME to get this player acclimated to a NEW system so that he can be at the full speed the defense will need. Such a bummer.

Paul Schwartz echoes these thoughts(see Part 1 yesterday): “This is a blow to the defense, because Boley, after four years with the Falcons, needed all the time he could get getting acclimated into the new scheme.

Acceptance- Well, it is June, so it is hard to be completely down about anything related to football. It could be worse, we could find out about this in camp and not get this guy back until the end of October. Here is to hoping he is a fast learner so that he is playing well by the end of the season, which is realistic and perhaps fortuitous for a playoff run.

SINTIM, WILKINSON, GOFF, KEHL …. heeellpp! SOMEONE PLEASE STEP UP AND SAVE OUR LBer crew.

Boley out 8-10 weeks

June 24, 2009

Boley had hip surgery. Uggh.

Problem here is that Boley needed the reps in training camp to get comfortable with the defense… ie stop thinking and start playing. Barrow and Pierce both were very intelligent linebackers and both took ~ half a season to get in synch with everything to the point where both were making an impact. Between the injury and missing camp, this means Boley will likely not make the kind of impact we were expecting in 2009. He’ll be out there but it just means LBer is still a Giant weakness.

Osi Umenyiora

June 24, 2009

Michael Eisen on Osi Umenyiora: “(Gushing, embarrassed, laughing) He’s the quickest defensive end I’ve ever seen. He looked very..tremendous. Very quick. Tremendous boost to the DL. Osi looks like he is primed for a really good year.”

Bill Sheridan, DC of the Giants on Osi Umenyiora:
Q. How has (Osi) Umenyiora looked coming off that injury?
A. “Super quick, quick as a cat. He looks like he has always looked. He is a dart. He is a great enthusiasm guy to have around the practice field, but he looks fantastic. It is funny, Jim Herrmann, who joined our staff, mentioned after one of the first OTAs, gosh, Umenyiora, he is really fast. He is probably the quickest guy in the NFL. He has looked great and I think he is feeling good, too. We are going to keep track of him and make sure he doesn’t get worn out in the preseason. We have a lot of guys coming into camp that can spell him.”

Glauber of Newsday: “Osi is downplaying his comeback from a knee injury, but I’m told he’s possessed in his training in hopes of having a monster year.”

Nice to hear he’s coming back. Sometimes they are controlled in the way they describe a player’s recovery. But in this case when the coaches are gaudy with the comments, you have to imagine he is better than good. It is worth remembering that we were told by the media that Umenyiora may have been ready by late Dec/playoffs had he not been placed on season-ending IR. That should give us a hint that he will be ready.

Matt Ryan

June 23, 2009

Eli Manning is a good QB, cool under pressure, he won us a championship. He enters his 6th year with the confidence befitting a veteran. He had a good offseason and (generally speaking) makes improvements each year. WITH ALL OF THIS SAID… I trade him straight up for Matt Ryan IN A HEARTBEAT.

For Ryan to make a big leap his second year, not a surprise here at all. We are going to have our hands full (we play ATL after the bye), this kid is the real deal.

Some interesting comments from Gilbride

June 22, 2009

Gilbride spoke with the media Thursday after minicamp was over.

He had some cautiously positive spin on where the team is.

He singled out 4 players by name:

Bradshaw and Ware– “..we feel pretty good about some of the guys that have been given a chance to step up, whether it is Ahmad Bradshaw at running back or Danny Ware.”
WRs– “so many young receivers look good”
Manningham– “he’s showing some things that we thought he could do which we never saw last year, now all of a sudden he’s doing it”
Beckum– “you miss this whole time, it certainly sets him back and you don’t want to say he can’t do it, but he will be one of the unusual ones if he can”

It is very good info on the margin to hear that Manningham had a good minicamp. It means he is getting an understanding of the offense, and will be in a position to start playing instead of thinking. We keep hearing this from the coaches and the players… how when you are rookie the playbook is so immense that you are too busy just trying to learn the plays and not screw up your assignment instead of going out there and hitting the ground running. This is why each season you have to pay attention to which rookies are doing well early- it means these guys are keepers. Guys like Gibril Wilson and David Diehl, fifth rounders who came in, started their first rookie game… they can have very nice careers. These are the exception, the notable exceptions, but it gets you excited. So when we hear that Manningham is doing much better, that Nicks is doing well, that Bomar has a great release… it means these players have half a chance of doing something. And when Beckum is in the trainer’s room as a rookie, he needs to make sure he is healthy for ALL of training camp because he is already behind.